Fernando Alonso is enjoying the last races of his current stint in Formula 1 and some of his comments are clearly well noted and discussed. During the United States Grand Prix drivers’ press conference, the Spaniard was asked about his top 5 drivers of all time in Formula 1. Alonso included in his list the recently crowned five-time drivers’ champion Lewis Hamilton.
A Statistical Look Into Fernando Alonso’s Top 5 Drivers Of All Time
Alonso did not give any details or any special comments about his choices. “Michael (Schumacher), (Juan Manuel) Fangio, (Ayrton) Senna, (Alain) Prost, Lewis – probably this will be the top five that comes to my mind,” said the two-time World Champion in no particular order.
Many would include Alonso himself on that list. Certainly, the person writing this article would put him at the number 5 spot behind Hamilton, Senna, Prost, and Fangio. Daniel Ricciardo, who was alongside Alonso during the press conference, whispered to Alonso saying “yourself”, including the Spanish driver in the prestigious but highly subjective list.
Let us take a statistical look into the careers of the drivers included in Alonso’s top five list:
The German is the driver with the greatest statistic in the sport and the most dominant during his time. The record holder for most titles with seven, victories (91), podiums (155), and many others, Schumacher is commonly referred to as the greatest driver of all time. And his case is absolutely solid.
Schumacher won his first two titles with Benetton in 1994 and 1995, winning eight and nine races, respectively. He and a group of personnel from Benetton who moved to Ferrari with him in 1996.
In 1996, he won three races and secured eight podiums. Ferrari had won just two races in the previous five seasons. Schumacher’s success with Ferrari came after some disappointments, especially in the 1997 and 1998 seasons when he failed to win the championship, being disqualified in 1997 for his crash with championship contender Jacques Villeneuve in Jerez.
From 2000 to 2004, Schumacher won five consecutive titles and his tally of victories for Ferrari went up to 71 until his first retirement in 2006. He returned to the sport in 2010 and retired definitively in 2012 after adding another podium to his tally.
Juan Manuel Fangio
Juan Manuel Fangio was the first driver to reach five world titles in Formula 1 and his statistics are great. Fangio won 24 races out of 52, his win percentage of 46% is the highest in Formula 1 history.
The Argentine maestro added 35 podiums, 29 poles, and 23 fastest laps. Fangio has the highest pole position percentage in history with 55%. The Argentinian is the only driver in history to start at least 50% of his races in Pole Position.
His five championships were won with a record four teams. Fangio is the only driver to win consecutive titles with different teams. He won in 1951 with Alfa Romeo, in 1954 with Maserati and Mercedes, in 1955 with Mercedes, in 1956 with Scuderia Ferrari, and in 1957 with Maserati. again
In eight Formula 1 seasons, Fangio won five titles and finished second twice.
The Brazilian legend is one of the greatest drivers ever and certainly a mythical one. His stats in Formula 1 were great, although his career was cut short after his fatal accident at Imola in 1994.
Senna won 41 times in 162 races, six of those wins came at Monaco, where he dominated at will. In addition to his victories, Senna was the fastest of his generation in a single lap, as he was on pole position 65 times.
Senna scored 80 podiums in his career. The Brazilian won his three championships with McLaren-Honda and finished second twice. His 41 wins were 6 with Lotus and 35 with McLaren. Senna is often considered as the greatest driver of all time and his career will always be remembered by F1 fans.
Senna has the highest pole position percentage between drivers with at least 100 GPs with 40%, slightly better than Hamilton’s percentage.
Senna’s main rival, Alain Prost was a fantastic driver and probably the one who had the coldest mind on every Sunday. Nicknamed as “The Professor” for his calm approach in the races and his calculative mindset towards the championship, his career is definitely one to remember.
With four championships under his belt with two different teams and three different engine suppliers, Prost’s approach helped him secure 106 podiums and 51 victories. When he retired in 1993, he had the most wins in history, now he is fourth on the all-time list.
Prost won three titles with McLaren (1985, 1986 and 1989), and one with Williams in 1993. He won races with Renault (9), McLaren (30), Ferrari(5), and Williams(7), the four teams he drove for.
Recently crown as a five-time Formula 1 champion, the current Mercedes driver has some of the greatest statistical records in the category. The British driver has the most poles in history with 81 and is second in the all-time winners list with 71, and podiums with 132.
Hamilton became the third driver to reach five world titles after Fangio and Schumacher. He ranks second on the list of drivers with the most victories for the same team (50 with Mercedes).
Hamilton has won at least one Grand Prix in each of his twelve seasons. Also, he has at least one pole in each of his seasons.
He’s the youngest driver to lead the championship and has the record for most podiums to start his career (9).
His win percentage (31%) is the highest between drivers with at least 100 races in the sport. Hamilton is the only driver with consecutive seasons of at least 10 wins (three, between 2014, and 2016). The Englishman has the most seasons with at least 10 wins in a year.
The Last Word
Alonso’s opinion is highly respected on this topic and his list contains the all-time great drivers who showed amazing skills. There are 24 world titles between these five drivers.