Following his seventeenth Grand Prix victory in China, Nick Rosberg has taken Sir Stirling Moss’s record of the greatest number of wins without a championship. Throughout his F1 career Moss won sixteen times, and came second in the title hunt on four occasions (1955-58) and third in the title hunt three times (1959-61). He has long be known as the most successful driver never to have won the drivers title.
Fifteen drivers have won more Grands Prix than Rosberg, and while all are champions, there are some who briefly took Sir Stirling’s record before winning their first championship.
Michael Schumacher has the greatest number of wins (and championships), with 91 wins. However he had only managed two wins before his first championship year, and eight during his first championship season, so in common with most champions he needed far fewer than sixteen race wins to secure his first title.
Alain Prost is the next on the list with 51 wins. He had equalled Moss’s record of sixteen wins before the start of his first championship year. During the year he won a further six races, and so would have held the record for the most wins without a championship for most of 1985, before sealing the title with a couple of races to go.
Lewis Hamilton currently has 43 wins, and won his first title after just nine of them. Sebastian Vettel is one race win behind on 42, similarly he won his first title after just ten wins. Ayrton Senna is next on the list with 41 wins in total, and while he got closer to the record, managed his first championship after fourteen wins.
Fernando Alonso with a total of 32 wins currently, only had a single win before his first championship winning season where he won a further seven races to make it just eight before his first championship.
Nigel Mansell is next with 31 wins in total, he needed 29 of them before winning the title in1992. He won a further race in his championship year, and the final one when he came back for the final race of the 1994 season. Mansell equalled Moss’s record in 1990, and with five wins in 1991, held the record for longer than anyone other than Moss before he finally won the title in Hungary 1992.
Another racing knight is next on the list, Sir Jackie Stewart has 27 wins in total, but only needed eleven of them before he won his first title. Fellow Scot, Jim Clark has 25 wins in total, and won his first title after the first ten race wins. Niki Lauda only required seven race wins before he took his first championship on his way to 25 wins in total. Juan Manuel Fangio won 24 times during his F1 career, after the first six of these he took his first championship. Nelson Piquet also won his first title after six race wins, but fell slightly short of Fangio’s total with 23 wins.
Damon Hill won 22 Grands Prix in total, and took 21 of them to win his only championship. He therefore held the record for the most wins without a championship for part of the 1996 season.
Mika Hakkinen won 20 races in total, but took his first title after just nine of them. Fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen also currently has 20 race wins, and won his 2007 championship after fifteen wins.
Nick Rosberg is next on the list with seventeen race wins. He therefore holds Sir Stirling’s record currently, but it may ell be for only part of this year. No one has won six races in a row (or the first three races in a season) without going on to take the title. However as Rosberg said, none of those other drivers had Lewis Hamilton as a team mate. So what do you think, how long will Rosberg hold on to this most unwanted of records?