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F1 Top 10 of All Time


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#1 hittheapex

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 20:13

Yawn, some of you might say, another top 10 GOAT list. So why have another one?

 

Well for one thing I think our opinions change over time. Not only do we have new drivers emerging but we have the opportunities to read about those in the past and over the course of time reflect when the bitterness of some rivalries may have subsided. New drivers emerging can also challenge the existing order. Such as Clark/Fangio/Moss, Prost/Senna, Schumacher/Senna, Hamilton/Alonso/Vettel.

 

Top 10 lists have evolved over time. It used to be an easy top 5 consisting of Fangio, Clark, Prost, Senna and Stewart, with several other drivers filling the rest. We presently have 9 triple world champions. Add to that number the several double world champions and those who were mere points away from much greater numbers such as Alonso, and a top 10 is by no means a foregone conclusion. Stirling Moss is a regular feature of top 10s despite winning no titles. Chris Amon sometimes makes an appearance.

 

What would have been a relatively easy top 10 generations ago has now developed into a much harder choice to make. Add to that the number of factors that go into making a top 10. Should it be based on pure speed? On racecraft? Conduct on and off the track? The ability to get a team to support you? Could the best driver be the all rounder who is a jack of all traders but the master of none? This is for you to decide.

 

On another day, perhaps my list would look slightly different but today, based mostly on a combination of speed and racecraft, it looks like this:

 

1. Juan Manuel Fangio-In addition to his prodigious speed and ability is a disarming modesty and gentlemanly conduct. Having read deeply about almost all the greats, for me the Maestro still stands alone at the top. Gerald Donaldson's biography is superb. Even after all the drivers he has seen since, Stirling Moss always puts him at #1.

 

2. Alberto Ascari-Not quite the equal of Fangio in my opinion but still had a very high ability. Ignore the "F2" cars of his title winning years and instead look at the rivals he had to beat. His consecutive wins record still stands all these years later, testimony to the reliability of his Ferraris but also his consistency. Denis Jenkinson considered him faster than Fangio.

 

3. Jim Clark-Just behind Ascari for me. An ability that came so naturally to him he found it hard to explain to people where it came from. He just had an instinct for extracting speed from whatever he was driving.

 

4. Lewis Hamilton-Hot on the heels of Clark, certainly in my opinion the best British driver since the Scot and considering the roll call of British drivers that's very high praise indeed. In terms of ability a tremendous all rounder with massive reserves of speed and brilliant instincts for overtaking. A slight inconsistency on occasion prevents him from placing higher.

 

5. Michael Schumacher-The margins in my list for places 4-10 are slim indeed. Schumacher for me was more consistent and mentally stronger than Hamilton, but not quite as fast over one lap nor as good at overtaking. But I am splitting hairs here, he was still massively quick over a race distance, relentlessly consistent and was still capable of a clean gutsy overtaking manoeuvre.

 

6. Ayrton Senna-This is why I had a separate top 10 for speed. Senna is arguably most famous for his qualifying laps. In the race I think others on this list have a slight edge.

 

7. Sebastien Vettel-I debated long and hard whether to put him above Senna, as he has received high praise indeed from people like Ascanelli who have worked with both. A very strong all rounder, but perhaps not the best of his generation in any individual factor. In the end, his weaker mental state during the race at times when at Ferrari has marked him down a place.

 

8. Jackie Stewart-The Prost of his day, it's hard to decide whether to put him or the Professor in number 8. In the end his quest for greater safety, alongside others such as Graham Hill, make the difference for me. Prost had his own moment like this in Adelaide 1989 but by then, safety was seen as a more legitimate concern.

 

9. Alain Prost-It is interesting to ponder what Prost would have achieved in later eras where reliability was superior. He still had great speed and racecraft but arguably his greatest strength was coaxing a fragile car to the finish, or biding his time until others pushed too hard and dropped out. Incredibly disciplined in his approach to the strategy of the race.

 

10. Fernando Alonso-But for a few more points, he would have five titles instead of two. For whatever reasons, he often managed to find friction in the teams he was working, which in turn pushed him into bad career moves that prevented him from achieving even greater success. However, he is in a very exclusive club having beaten Schumacher in equal machinery. Metronomic in his consistency, relentless in his determination, matched to a very high ability ensures his name will be remembered long after his retirement.


Edited by hittheapex, 06 January 2019 - 20:55.


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#2 P123

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 20:44

1. Juan Pablo Montoya- held back only by a corrupt FIA, a McLaren pandering to Kimi, groupthink among the teams that to be a successful GP driver you needed to be an MS clone, two McDonald's burgers too many and poor spatial awareness when playing tennis.

 

After that it gets a bit crowded for just a top 10.... so, from who I've seen:

 

1= Senna

2. Alonso

3. Hamilton

4. Schumacher

5. Prost

6. Verstappen (the Max one)

7. Hakkinen

8. Mansell

9. Vettel

10. Button

 

And add in Kimi,  Rosberg, Hill, Danny Ric,  maybe JV, etc



#3 Ivanhoe

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 20:52

As much as I support Max and think and hope he can end up high in F1 all time ranking lists, I find it a bit odd and premature to find him in your list P123. He has the potential for sure, but still has a lot to prove. Don’t think he belongs there and deserves that (yet).

Edited by Ivanhoe, 06 January 2019 - 20:53.


#4 hittheapex

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 21:01

1. Juan Pablo Montoya- held back only by a corrupt FIA, a McLaren pandering to Kimi, groupthink among the teams that to be a successful GP driver you needed to be an MS clone, two McDonald's burgers too many and poor spatial awareness when playing tennis.

 

After that it gets a bit crowded for just a top 10.... so, from who I've seen:

 

1= Senna

2. Alonso

3. Hamilton

4. Schumacher

5. Prost

6. Verstappen (the Max one)

7. Hakkinen

8. Mansell

9. Vettel

10. Button

 

And add in Kimi,  Rosberg, Hill, Danny Ric,  maybe JV, etc

I'm a huge Montoya fan but the GOAT? I think he made too many mistakes compared to such as Schumacher and Hamilton to be on this list.



#5 cheekybru

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 21:17

1) Hamilton - Everything the other top runners had, but without the tarnish of an "on purpose accident", has just been top quality since race 1
2) Schumacher - Stunning consistancy and just a result machine, would be top without a couple of dodgy moments
3) Senna - As above
4) Prost
5) Alonso
6) Vettel
7) Nico Rosberg - Would have been the new German winning everything without Lewis in the other car, the consistancy and speed from both teammates was stunning every Saturday (Although Nico struggled to be as close on Sundays)
7) Hakkinen
8) D.Hill
9) Button
10) Mansell

Ok, it's a pretty modern list, but trying to list people I never saw race seems pointless, so we are firmly going for the "newer = better" in my list

I do also think Max will ellipse most if not all of the list, but i can't justify him in there at the moment (everyone in the list is a champion)

Edit* D.Hill **
Edit2* Thinking about it I would swap Rosberg and Vettel, I seem to have forgotten about the season just gone when writing my list :p

Edited by cheekybru, 06 January 2019 - 21:32.


#6 Ivanhoe

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 21:21

8) Hill

Is that Graham or Damon?

#7 Pimpwerx

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 21:22

I can only rank those I've seen race.

1. Hamilton
The best I've ever seen. Amazing qualifier, relentless race pace, shrewd racecraft, and deft overtakes. The best in the wet.

2. Schumacher
The previous rainmaster. The same as Lewis, but not as quick.

3. Senna
Maybe more legend than anything, as I only paid attention to him to the end of his career. He was fast over a lap, and I combine that fact with all the adulation he gets even to this day.

4. Prost
I used to rate him higher than Senna for some time. I eventually got over my hate. I still think Prost was the faster racer.

5. Alonso
Lost opportunity and whatnot. He might be the shrewdest racer I've ever seen.

6. Rosberg
This dude's pace is among the greats, and he was very consistent. If Lewis didn't exist, the 2 greatest drivers in history would both be German.

7. Vettel
He's behind Nico because I don't think he's as good of a driver. Still, he is a formidable driver, with impressive care stats, because he took advantage of his opportunities early in his career. He's 7th due to this past season.

8. Mansell
Only caught the end of his F1 career, but know he was quick. I bolster it with continued praise for his skills, and his Indycar run, which I followed closely.

9. Hakkinen
Michael's nemesis. Quick over a lap, but possibly the least-consistent driver of this list.

10. Lauda
Didn't see him drive, but he's gotta be better than Kimi, Jenson and Damon.

#8 Spillage

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 21:27

1/2/3/4. Fangio/Clark/Senna/Schumacher

5. Prost

6/7/8 Stewart/Lauda/Alonso

 

It gets way too hard after that. I didn't include Hamilton because his career isn't over yet, but I'd probably put him level with Prost and behind the top four. As for the rest of the top ten - take your pick between Ascari, Moss, Graham Hill, Rindt, Fittipaldi, Andretti, Villeneuve, Piquet, Mansell and Hakkinen.



#9 cheekybru

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 21:29

Is that Graham or Damon?


Damon sorry (didn't see Graham race)

#10 Radoye

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 22:00

1 Fangio - won half the races he started in. Nobody will ever beat that record!

2 Hamilton - he already started toppling Shumacher's records, something that we all thought was unthinkable to happen in our lifetimes. And he's not yet half done.

3 Schumacher - the winningest F1 driver ever, and a Champion of champions. Enough said!

4 Clark - in his era, arguably the most competitive in the history of the sport, he was the yardstick everyone else was measured against. Tragically his career was cut short before he could rack up even more spectacular numbers in the stats.

5 Senna - another one similar to Clark, but with a shade of controversy to his name so i rank him one step behind. But likely the fastest guy ever over a single lap. His untimely tragic demise at Imola 1994 likely enabled the subsequent Schumacher era of dominance.

6 Prost - The Professor, held most of the records until the arrival of Schumacher. His misfortune is that his career aligned with Senna's - fortunately for us because we could witness one of the greatest and most spectacular rivalries ever!

7 Lauda - the first modern racing driver. Won championships, went into retirement for a few years, then came back and won some more. IMO was good for at least a couple of more world titles.

8 Vettel - 4 titles speak volumes, but still somehow i sense some unfinished business here. He needs to win at least one more to jump up in the rankings (to somewhere around p4-5)

9 Stewart - to me personally Sir Jackie is the standard to measure against all F1 Champions, past present and future, on and off the track. A gentleman in the true sense of the word, and a helluva good racer too.
10 Ascari - would rank him higher if he had a bit more success in actual F1 machinery (his world titles and most of his career wins happening under F2 rules). But still this list would not be complete without him.

 

Honorable mention: Nelson Piquet, Fernando Alonso, Mika Hakkinen, Jack Brabham, Stirling Moss - in that order.



#11 E.B.

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 22:14

Seems a bit odd to mark Ascari down for only winning in 2 litre F2 cars without pointing out that's a much bigger engine than anything Clark won a WDC with!

#12 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 22:25

From early 80s - today (my time of following).

1. Senna
2. Prost
3. Schumacher
4. Hamilton
5. G. Villeneuve
6. Alonso
7. Lauda
8. Piquet
9. Vettel
10. Mansell

Honourable mentions to Raikkonen, Hakkinen, J. Villeneuve, K. Rosberg, D. Hill, N.Rosberg and Button.

Edited by PlayboyRacer, 06 January 2019 - 22:26.


#13 AustinF1

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 22:30

From early 80s - today (my time of following).

1. Senna
2. Prost
3. Schumacher
4. Hamilton
5. G. Villeneuve
6. Alonso
7. Lauda
8. Piquet
9. Vettel
10. Mansell

Honourable mentions to Raikkonen, Hakkinen, J. Villeneuve, K. Rosberg, D. Hill, N.Rosberg and Button.

I could roll with something like that. It's really splitting hairs in the top 6 or 7.



#14 E.B.

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 22:32

My all time top 10 hasn't really changed for yonks, so I will follow the popular path and stick to those I actually saw race:-

1 Senna
2 Prost
3 Hamilton
4 Schumacher
5 Alonso
6 Lauda
7 Piquet
8 Vettel
9 Hakkinen
10 Mansell

The top 4 here would also place in my all time top 10.

#15 PlatenGlass

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 22:52

1. Senna
2. Schumacher
3. Hamilton
4. Alonso
5. Fangio
6. Clark
7. Prost
8. Stewart
9. Lauda
10. Ascari

Obviously this list has to balance how good I think these drivers were objectively with how they did in their time and what they actually achieved.

#16 ensign14

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 23:18

1. Clark

2. Fangio

3. Moss

4. Stewart

5. Hamilton

6. Alonso

7. Senna

8. Prost

9. Ascari

10. Schumacher M

 

Top two are clear of the field and it's difficult to put a fag paper between them.  The nod to Clark because of Indy and the BTCC titles. 

 

Didn't take driving morals into account otherwise Senna and Schumacher M would have been out. 

 

Ascari was brilliant when he was out front; the wheel-to-wheel stuff he was a bit more lairy with, his two major defeats in 1953 coming in slipstreamers where he couldn't cope with Hawthorn on one of his days and the canny JMF. 

 

The thing with Clark is that he generates something close to worship amongst contemporaries.  Fangio was not dissimilar, perhaps more respect, but Clark gets utter devotion.  More so than any other driver in the history of the sport since Nuvolari.  And it says much for Nivola that Fangio had the sort of awe for him everyone else had for Fangio.

 

Moss was brilliant in everything.  He won a Coupe d'Or in rallying, something only one other person ever managed, that all the rally pros bar Appleyard missed, and Moss did it in basically his winter break.  He won the Mille Miglia in a record time that nobody came close to challenging.  He was always the Le Mans hare to break the opposition.  He is the living embodiment of the worthlessness of the world title; he was plainly The Man from 1957 to 1961, and acknowledged as such by everyone else.  Ferrari had such a brilliant car in 1961 that even a rookie could win in it, yet Moss beat them all at the two most driver-y circuits. 

 

Schumacher is difficult to judge.  The formula suited him so much.  When it came to tyre management, it didn't, and he was floundering to some extent.  He had everything tailored to his likes and a weak opposition field.  Alonso beat him to the title in an inferior car.  And then Kekinho had him up a stick.  Does that detract from him at his peak?  Well, had Graham Hill retired in 1969 after his Glen accident, wouldn't he be in most top 10s?  Indeed, had Fittipaldi quit in 1975...

 

Some of those not included: Lauda had too weak a field and Watson handily beat him at McLaren, but was less marketable.  Fittipaldi made the worst career choice possibly ever.  Clark rated Gurney as the best of his competitors, which means a hell of a lot, and DSG twice walked away from championships.  Rindt I'm never certain about, nil mortuis nisi bonum; everyone raves about Monaco 1970 but why was he so far behind in the first place?  Gilles was mercurially fast but too indisciplined - partly a reflection of overdriving poor cars but he was a maniac on the public roads and that sort of blithe assumption of things going OK is what cost him his life.  Mansell was not in the same class as Senna and Prost, and Piquet not in the same class as Mansell.  Hakkinen's time at the top was too short, and like Mansell he needed that first win to give him the kickstart into the stratosphere.  Surtees was another bad career choicer, but he did have to deal with Ferrari politics so poisonous that the team had not long before split asunder.  Brabham...if I were hiring any two drivers from history, it would be Clark, for brilliance, and Brabham, to get the car sorted in the first place, one of the smartest ever, ultra-determined, cussed, and a will to win surpassed perhaps only by Graham Hill, but, like NGH, not quite at the elite level.



#17 E.B.

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 23:29

Your hiring is interesting in that Brabham was probably the one Clark contemporary that didn't rave about him.

Was the 1961 Ferrari brilliant, or the competition weak? I always felt the latter, thanks to the British teams not having enough time to come to terms with the new regs that were only revealed in, er, 1958.

#18 thefinalapex

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 23:45

Schumacher is difficult to judge.  The formula suited him so much.  When it came to tyre management, it didn't, and he was floundering to some extent.  He had everything tailored to his likes and a weak opposition field.  Alonso beat him to the title in an inferior car.  And then Kekinho had him up a stick.  Does that detract from him at his peak?  Well, had Graham Hill retired in 1969 after his Glen accident, wouldn't he be in most top 10s?  Indeed, had Fittipaldi quit in 1975...

 

 

 

Alonso beat him to the title in an inferior car? when was that? Sometimes i think schumacher suffers the same as messi right now in football, so good for so long that they are getting underrated.. Also 'had everything tailored to his likes' he chose the hard way by joining Ferrari. And in 2012 Michael was arguably the better driver at mercedes but his car failed him too many times in the first half of the season, aside from his error in spain wich cost him a well deserved pole, his car failed in the race again though. Would 

i have put him as number 1? no but for me he deserves to be in the top 5. 

I have soft spot for graham hill though, also underrated by some, so sad that it ended the way it did :(



#19 chrisj

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 23:55

1. Fangio

2. Clark

3. Moss

4. G. Villeneuve

5. Stewart

6. Prost

7. Lauda

8. Ascari

9. Piquet

10. Mansell

 

The first 2 are ahead by a country mile. Moss and Villeneuve are Formula 1's uncrowned champions, better than all of their contemporaries. I don't think there's a driver in the last 25 years that belongs on the list; Hamilton or Vettel being closest (and their careers aren't over yet). Senna and Schumacher raced too dirty to be on any "all-time" list.



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#20 ensign14

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 23:57

Was the 1961 Ferrari brilliant, or the competition weak? I always felt the latter, thanks to the British teams not having enough time to come to terms with the new regs that were only revealed in, er, 1958.

 

To be fair, that was in part because the British teams thought they were going to be able to run to a different formula, only Ferrari ratted on them in secret.

 

A tradition that continues to recent years.



#21 noikeee

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 00:57

1. Michael Schumacher
2. Juan Manuel Fangio
3. Jim Clark
4. Ayrton Senna
5. Lewis Hamilton
6. Alain Prost
7. Jackie Stewart
8. Alberto Ascari
9. Niki Lauda
10. Fernando Alonso 
 
Next would be Moss and Rindt and probably only then Vettel despite the 4 titles - I feel a bit disillusioned with Vettel and despite remembering his peak and his best seasons, specially 2011 and 2013, I only rate him as the 3rd best of his own "era", which is less than the drivers above.
 
The trickiest thing here was how to order the top 4, I reckon they're on a different level from everyone else, they have that extra, almost unquantifiable specialness, that completely separated them as the field's lone aliens, in their respective eras at their peaks. I chose Michael because of how relentlessly crazy good he was from about 1994 to 2004, every single year (bar maybe 2003). He was untouchable for a decade. Fangio comes next because he did it with so many different teams; Senna misses out by the tiniest margin to Clark for the odd lapses of concentration and odd small periods of inconsistency and/or his temperament getting the better of him, but he was utter magic at his best.
 
Hamilton I think is fair already to put as high as 5th next, largely thanks to his achievements (5 titles now), and the fact he's probably been the best driver for a whole decade now (!) too, but I don't think he ever set himself completely apart from the remainder of the field like a Schumacher or a Senna did. He could be outqualified by a Rosberg or outraced by a Button - mighty fine drivers they were as well, but that puts Hamilton just a shade below the very very cream of all time.
 
Prost is underrated due to his understated driving style, almost overly cautious, overly concerned with conservation of car and of not ever taking any unnecessary risks. He was simply terrifyingly effective throughout almost the entire 80s and beat lots of records on merit. However there's no denying he was simply plain slower than Senna, at least in his later years, and obviously this marks him down.
 
I put Stewart Ascari and Lauda in the following tier, Stewart and Lauda are very similar drivers, almost contemporary as the Lauda era came almost next to the Stewart era, both pushed the sport to the next level with unprecedent levels of professionalism, and for about 3 seasons at their best they were untouchable. However that didn't last for either, Stewart due to choice, Lauda due to fading motivation which kinda marked him down here compared to Stewart, as I think his later years were unconvincing, and also he came to F1 as a fairly unconvincing paydriver who took a while to get settled. In between them I placed Ascari, I think he's hard to rate, from such an early era, he was utterly dominant like almost no other driver, but it was so fleeting and against such thin fields. Of course it's not his fault he passed away whilst driving, but I feel it's fair to rate ahead of him the drivers who dominated for a longer period in F1.
 
Finally, Fernando. I think he's been almost inseparable from Lewis as the 2 benchmarks of this generation, both of them have been immense for a full decade and seemed to alternate as the "best driver", but the differences are a) Lewis matched him as a rookie which will forever give Lewis that little edge in comparisons (although I honestly did think Fernando outdrove him in some of the seasons that came later!); and most importantly b) Lewis knew how to take the best out of his talent to get achievements to match it, whereas Fernando lacked the temperament and professionalism to place himself to extract the results from it. Unlike other drivers that didn't get the results they deserved due to lack of luck, in Fernando's case it feels as much as luck as his own doing. As such it feels fair to me to place him a few places behind Lewis, behind a few other world champions that did know how to extract the very best of their skills, unlike Fernando, despite his colossal talent that stood out for over a decade.
 
I didn't consider sportsmanship as a factor, as I'm rating mostly performance not ethics. If I considered such, I'd have to downgrade Schumacher, Senna and Prost, for obvious reasons.

Edited by noikeee, 07 January 2019 - 01:14.


#22 noikeee

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 01:09

1. Clark

2. Fangio

3. Moss

4. Stewart

5. Hamilton

6. Alonso

7. Senna

8. Prost

9. Ascari

10. Schumacher M

 

The only thing I'm surprised about this is you kept Fangio that high despite him not having the correct passport. Maybe swap him for Mansell or Graham Hill or something so you can clean out the top 5.



#23 screamingV16

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 01:19

I don't feel I can really make a genuine judgment about drivers I've never followed/watched race, so as of when I started properly watching (circa 1991-2)....

 

1 Senna
2 Hamilton
3 Prost
4 Alonso
5 M Schumacher
6 Hakkinen
7 Mansell
8 Montoya
9 Vettel
10 D Hill


Edited by screamingV16, 07 January 2019 - 01:21.


#24 noikeee

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 01:30

1/2/3/4. Fangio/Clark/Senna/Schumacher

5. Prost

6/7/8 Stewart/Lauda/Alonso

 

It gets way too hard after that. I didn't include Hamilton because his career isn't over yet, but I'd probably put him level with Prost and behind the top four. As for the rest of the top ten - take your pick between Ascari, Moss, Graham Hill, Rindt, Fittipaldi, Andretti, Villeneuve, Piquet, Mansell and Hakkinen.

 

We seem to think alike, as this is almost the exact same as mine! Except I included Hamilton (at the same level you put him) and promoted Ascari to that Stewart/Lauda/Alonso tier.



#25 teejay

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 01:47

I always sit down to write my top 10 and just can't do it - so hard to split era's, assess lucky/unlucky careers, actually working out what top 10 it is... Fastest? All round best? Best results? 

 

10 or names I'd have in no given order

 

Lewis

Senna

Michael

Prost 

Alonso

Lauda

Hakkinen

Mario Andretti 

Fangio

Clark

Montoya

Stewart

 

Few more I could add...

 

Then I look at it, and there is a mixture of emotional and logical selections there, and then I realise whilst the drivers of yesteryear probably weren't as well trained/focussed at racing, with slower cars, etc etc, they also drove bucking animals that would kill you with ease if you didn't get it right all the time. 

 

We are lucky to have a sport filled with a diverse range of brilliant drivers who raise these sort of discussions. 



#26 AustinF1

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 02:44

I always sit down to write my top 10 and just can't do it - so hard to split era's, assess lucky/unlucky careers, actually working out what top 10 it is... Fastest? All round best? Best results? 

 

10 or names I'd have in no given order

 

Lewis

Senna

Michael

Prost 

Alonso

Lauda

Hakkinen

Mario Andretti 

Fangio

Clark

Montoya

Stewart

 

Few more I could add...

 

Then I look at it, and there is a mixture of emotional and logical selections there, and then I realise whilst the drivers of yesteryear probably weren't as well trained/focussed at racing, with slower cars, etc etc, they also drove bucking animals that would kill you with ease if you didn't get it right all the time. 

 

We are lucky to have a sport filled with a diverse range of brilliant drivers who raise these sort of discussions. 

Agree completely. With the truly elite drivers, finding anything between them is supremely difficult. 



#27 RacingGreen

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 03:33

1 Clark

2 Fangio

3 Hamilton 

Stewart

5 Prost

6 Moss

Ascari

Brabham

9 Lauda

10 G Hill

 

- The exact order is somewhat arbitary but the top three were/are clearly the class of their generation.

- I can't bring myself to put drivers as sportingly tarnished as Schumacher or Senna on the list, undoubtedly talented as both were.

 

Most of the list are common to many of the above other lists but last three names are perhaps worth a comment

- I am a long time admirer of Jack Brabham and his achievements in his own team along with Repco are unique

- Niki Lauda is there for his bravery, his professionalism and also because he (unlike others who have tried) made such a successful comeback

- Hill would make the top 10 on charisma alone but is also there because I think the Hill/Clark partnership was the best team pairing ever, big call I know given some of the other obvious candidates (I feel a new thread coming on*) so really wanted both on my list.

 

* - but I don't want to butt in on hittheapex's territory and start a top 10 list as I know he enjoys kicking off these threads.


Edited by RacingGreen, 07 January 2019 - 03:53.


#28 messy

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:00

I just can't judge the likes of Fangio, Ascari, Clark. It's outside of my era by too much. Anything back to the maybe 1970s I've watched videos, read enough to have a decent idea over the years, but the 50s and 60s are just too far away, I just don't know enough about them to judge at all so if I put Clark at #2 say it would be meaningless. Stewart is the first driver who I feel I know enough about and have seen enough of to judge. 

 

 1. Michael Schumacher

 2. Ayrton Senna

 3. Lewis Hamilton

 4. Alain Prost

 5. Jackie Stewart

 6. Fernando Alonso

 7. Niki Lauda

 8. Nelson Piquet

 9. Mika Hakkinen

10. Gilles Villeneuve



#29 ensign14

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:07

The only thing I'm surprised about this is you kept Fangio that high despite him not having the correct passport. Maybe swap him for Mansell or Graham Hill or something so you can clean out the top 5.

 

Literally didn't notice that 4 of my top 5 were British till you pointed it out.   But you have 3 of the top 7 as British, so it's not statistically an outlier.  Especially as you seem to have eschewed Moss. 

 

And had it been open to best GP driver of all time Caracciola and Nuvolari would certainly have made the top 10; possibly Varzi too, Antonio Ascari and Rosemeyer would have been in consideration.



#30 Nonesuch

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:14

Here goes, the completely inconsistent ranking du jour. Which would be significantly different when made at a different time. :p

 

I'll stick with guys I've at least seen a proper season review video of, ca. 1985 and onwards.

  1. Michael Schumacher
  2. Alain Prost
  3. Fernando Alonso
  4. Lewis Hamilton
  5. Ayrton Senna
  6. Sebastian Vettel
  7. Nigel Mansell
  8. Mika Häkkinen
  9. Jenson Button
  10. Kimi Räikkönen

Big shout out - but no spot on the list - to the Americans Montoya, Villeneuve, Massa and Piquet. And of course Barrichello. Everyone likes Barrichello - even though 'the team made me lose the race'. Come back to Le Mans, Rubens! :cool:



#31 hittheapex

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:27


 

* - but I don't want to butt in on hittheapex's territory and start a top 10 list as I know he enjoys kicking off these threads.

 

I appreciate the sentiment but feel free, this is the last of my top 10s and it's not just my territory. Charisma is another factor in a top 10 of all time though. One could argue it's also about being loved by the fans as much as raw results.


Edited by hittheapex, 07 January 2019 - 08:28.


#32 Lights

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 10:43

I just can't judge the likes of Fangio, Ascari, Clark. It's outside of my era by too much. Anything back to the maybe 1970s I've watched videos, read enough to have a decent idea over the years, but the 50s and 60s are just too far away, I just don't know enough about them to judge at all so if I put Clark at #2 say it would be meaningless. Stewart is the first driver who I feel I know enough about and have seen enough of to judge.

I have the same problem. As much as I'd like to contribute, having only started watching in 2002 means my knowledge of all other decades feels not enough to judge on. Sure I've read books and watched old footage but it's not the same as following the sport live. Doesn't help that it feels difficult to compare era's to begin with. Listening to Stewart's Beyond the Grid podcast underlined this for me, it sounds like such a different sport. And that's not even the times of Fangio or Ascari.

If I'd only rank what I really know about, the furthest I can go back is Schumacher. And I don't feel like that's a useful contribution given the scope of this thread. Unless one holds the perspective that drivers only got better and better, but I'm on the fence of that one.

#33 thefinalapex

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 11:37

Literally didn't notice that 4 of my top 5 were British till you pointed it out.   But you have 3 of the top 7 as British, so it's not statistically an outlier.  Especially as you seem to have eschewed Moss. 

 

And had it been open to best GP driver of all time Caracciola and Nuvolari would certainly have made the top 10; possibly Varzi too, Antonio Ascari and Rosemeyer would have been in consideration.

 

I asked Nigel Roebuck once about varzi, his reply is just brilliant:

 

https://www.motorspo...e-achille-varzi


Edited by thefinalapex, 07 January 2019 - 15:22.


#34 Radoye

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:38

Seems a bit odd to mark Ascari down for only winning in 2 litre F2 cars without pointing out that's a much bigger engine than anything Clark won a WDC with!

 

The topic title is "F1 top 10 of all time". When Ascari won his two world titles the World Championship was run under 2.0 liter F2 rules, yet F1 rules were still kept in place and there have been non-championship 4.5 liter F1 races held during the same period. Therefore, while Ascari won the World Championship fair and square (and set a few records along the way), he only ever won 6 races under the F1 rules during his entire career (4 of which non-championship). When Clark won his world titles the rules of F1 have been changed to 1.5 liter engines, so unlike Ascari's both Clark's titles have been won in what was then contemporary F1 machinery (even though Clark's F1 cars had a smaller engine than Ascari's F2's).

Had the OP title been "WDC top 10 all the time" i would've ranked Ascari significantly higher on such list (and also consider including some of the Indy 500 guys from the period, like Bill Vukovich).


Edited by Radoye, 07 January 2019 - 12:44.


#35 JG

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:49

It's tragic that Jack Brabham is almost always overlooked. I mean, the guy is 3xWDC and one of these titels with his own team/car, which is unique.  



#36 E.B.

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 13:21

He isn't being forgotten, just not considered an all time 10. He was never remotely the benchmark of his own era, so in an all time list he will inevitably struggle. I suspect those who include him would put very heavy weight on the "did it in his own car" aspect, or else are younger fans who know little more than WDC lists.

#37 derstatic

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 13:34

1. Fangio - Winning 50% of started GP, for different manufacturers, five championships from seven full seasons of racing. Records that will never be matched. True legend. Very easy first place on this list.

2. Clark - Incredible natural ability. Quick in everything. Pole position for almost 50% of the races he started.

3. Ascari - Not quite at Fanigo's level, but incredibly quick and consistent driver.

4. Schumacher - Doesn't quite mix it with the top three, mostly because his sometimes controversial driving. You know what i mean. His ability to execute qualifying laps and adapt to anything in races was incredible. Numbers still put him ahead of...

5. Hamiton - Raw pace in qualifying. Superb in the wet. Usually very clean (when not crashing into Massa). Could very well move ahead of Schumacher in the coming seasons. A very clean overtaker, when he's not running away in p1.

6. Stewart - Won more than 25% of his races in one of the toughest and most dangerous eras of F1. Clean, intelligent, very quick.

7. Senna - Like Schumacher gets marked down for controversial driving. Has some amazing drives on his CV. Is only ahead of Prost because of his number of pole positions.

8. Prost - Finished on the podium more than 50% of races in an era when reliability was nowhere near today's level. Could take care of a car and still be super quick.

9. Alonso - Should have had more championships than he has. Fighting spirit. Ability to be quick in any situations and find ways to force pace from a difficult car.

10. Moss - Shame he never got a championship to his name. His ability certainly deserved it.



#38 Sterzo

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 14:59

 

 

The thing with Clark is that he generates something close to worship amongst contemporaries.  Fangio was not dissimilar, perhaps more respect, but Clark gets utter devotion.  More so than any other driver in the history of the sport since Nuvolari.  And it says much for Nivola that Fangio had the sort of awe for him everyone else had for Fangio.

 

 

 

It may be my dodgy memory, but I simply do not remember this from the time. Fangio, yes, clearly looked up to by Moss, Hawthorn and Collins. Moss, too, widely acknowledged by his contemporaries. (Masten Gregory's definition of a slow day: one where Stirling isn't present). But Clark?  I just can't think of fellow drivers talking of him the same way. Which doen't affect his standing; I'm just questioning the specific point about other drivers' attitudes. Did Hill, Brabham or Gurney actually acknowledge his superiority in his lifetime?

Edited by Sterzo, 07 January 2019 - 15:04.


#39 Yamamoto

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 15:49

I found it quite difficult to choose based on driving ability, beyond the obvious number one, so ranked them by how much I like their names instead.

 

1. Derek Warwick 

2. Wolfgang Von Trips

3. Clay Regazzoni

4. Alessandro Nannini

5. Takuma Sato

6. Elio de Angelis

7. Innes Ireland

8. Tiago Monteiro

9. Froilan Gonzalez

10. Eugenio Castellotti



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#40 tyker

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 16:23

 

1. Michael Schumacher
2. Juan Manuel Fangio
3. Jim Clark
4. Ayrton Senna
5. Lewis Hamilton
6. Alain Prost
7. Jackie Stewart
8. Alberto Ascari
9. Niki Lauda
10. Fernando Alonso 
 
Next would be Moss and Rindt and probably only then Vettel despite the 4 titles - I feel a bit disillusioned with Vettel and despite remembering his peak and his best seasons, specially 2011 and 2013, I only rate him as the 3rd best of his own "era", which is less than the drivers above.
 
The trickiest thing here was how to order the top 4, I reckon they're on a different level from everyone else, they have that extra, almost unquantifiable specialness, that completely separated them as the field's lone aliens, in their respective eras at their peaks. I chose Michael because of how relentlessly crazy good he was from about 1994 to 2004, every single year (bar maybe 2003). He was untouchable for a decade. Fangio comes next because he did it with so many different teams; Senna misses out by the tiniest margin to Clark for the odd lapses of concentration and odd small periods of inconsistency and/or his temperament getting the better of him, but he was utter magic at his best.
 
Hamilton I think is fair already to put as high as 5th next, largely thanks to his achievements (5 titles now), and the fact he's probably been the best driver for a whole decade now (!) too, but I don't think he ever set himself completely apart from the remainder of the field like a Schumacher or a Senna did. He could be outqualified by a Rosberg or outraced by a Button - mighty fine drivers they were as well, but that puts Hamilton just a shade below the very very cream of all time.
 
Prost is underrated due to his understated driving style, almost overly cautious, overly concerned with conservation of car and of not ever taking any unnecessary risks. He was simply terrifyingly effective throughout almost the entire 80s and beat lots of records on merit. However there's no denying he was simply plain slower than Senna, at least in his later years, and obviously this marks him down.
 
I put Stewart Ascari and Lauda in the following tier, Stewart and Lauda are very similar drivers, almost contemporary as the Lauda era came almost next to the Stewart era, both pushed the sport to the next level with unprecedent levels of professionalism, and for about 3 seasons at their best they were untouchable. However that didn't last for either, Stewart due to choice, Lauda due to fading motivation which kinda marked him down here compared to Stewart, as I think his later years were unconvincing, and also he came to F1 as a fairly unconvincing paydriver who took a while to get settled. In between them I placed Ascari, I think he's hard to rate, from such an early era, he was utterly dominant like almost no other driver, but it was so fleeting and against such thin fields. Of course it's not his fault he passed away whilst driving, but I feel it's fair to rate ahead of him the drivers who dominated for a longer period in F1.
 
Finally, Fernando. I think he's been almost inseparable from Lewis as the 2 benchmarks of this generation, both of them have been immense for a full decade and seemed to alternate as the "best driver", but the differences are a) Lewis matched him as a rookie which will forever give Lewis that little edge in comparisons (although I honestly did think Fernando outdrove him in some of the seasons that came later!); and most importantly b) Lewis knew how to take the best out of his talent to get achievements to match it, whereas Fernando lacked the temperament and professionalism to place himself to extract the results from it. Unlike other drivers that didn't get the results they deserved due to lack of luck, in Fernando's case it feels as much as luck as his own doing. As such it feels fair to me to place him a few places behind Lewis, behind a few other world champions that did know how to extract the very best of their skills, unlike Fernando, despite his colossal talent that stood out for over a decade.
 
I didn't consider sportsmanship as a factor, as I'm rating mostly performance not ethics. If I considered such, I'd have to downgrade Schumacher, Senna and Prost, for obvious reasons.

 

This has got to be the best list and summation that I have see. :up:



#41 Spillage

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 17:06

It's tragic that Jack Brabham is almost always overlooked. I mean, the guy is 3xWDC and one of these titels with his own team/car, which is unique.  

Brabham's achievements as an engineer and team manager are beyond question, but was he good enough just as a driver to make these lists? I'd argue not. Roy Salvadori and Dan Gurney both got the better of him as teammates and he was pretty evenly matched with Denny Hulme (though Brabham was almsot always quicker in qualifying). He did have impressive longevity, but you'd have to leave out an awful lot of fantastic drivers to find a place for Brabham. I just can't bring myself to do that.



#42 boillot

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 17:41

Since 1950:
Fangio, Moss, Clark, Stewart, Lauda, Prost, Senna, Schumacher, Alonso, in no particular order (now I see it's chronological :-)).

Honorable mentions: Ascari, Hamilton, Piquet, Brabham, Fittipaldi, G. Villeneuve, G. Hill.

Actually, while I'm not 100% happy with my top 10 list, I see that I can't even find completely outstanding 20 for top 20....maybe Häkkinen, Mansell...
Vettel will make this second list if he wins a WDC outside Red Bull.

Many potentially great drivers died too early.

Edited by boillot, 07 January 2019 - 18:04.


#43 hittheapex

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 19:11

Since 1950:
Fangio, Moss, Clark, Stewart, Lauda, Prost, Senna, Schumacher, Alonso, in no particular order (now I see it's chronological :-)).

Honorable mentions: Ascari, Hamilton, Piquet, Brabham, Fittipaldi, G. Villeneuve, G. Hill.

Actually, while I'm not 100% happy with my top 10 list, I see that I can't even find completely outstanding 20 for top 20....maybe Häkkinen, Mansell...
Vettel will make this second list if he wins a WDC outside Red Bull.

Many potentially great drivers died too early.

Just wondering why his failure to do so disqualifies Vettel given that Clark, Senna and Alonso have never won a championship with a different team?



#44 AmonGods

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 20:38

This has got to be the best list and summation that I have see. :up:

 

 

1. Michael Schumacher
2. Juan Manuel Fangio
3. Jim Clark
4. Ayrton Senna
5. Lewis Hamilton
6. Alain Prost
7. Jackie Stewart
8. Alberto Ascari
9. Niki Lauda
10. Fernando Alonso 
 
Next would be Moss and Rindt and probably only then Vettel despite the 4 titles - I feel a bit disillusioned with Vettel and despite remembering his peak and his best seasons, specially 2011 and 2013, I only rate him as the 3rd best of his own "era", which is less than the drivers above.
 
Hamilton I think is fair already to put as high as 5th next, largely thanks to his achievements (5 titles now), and the fact he's probably been the best driver for a whole decade now (!) too, but I don't think he ever set himself completely apart from the remainder of the field like a Schumacher or a Senna did. He could be outqualified by a Rosberg or outraced by a Button - mighty fine drivers they were as well, but that puts Hamilton just a shade below the very very cream of all time.
 
Finally, Fernando. I think he's been almost inseparable from Lewis as the 2 benchmarks of this generation, both of them have been immense for a full decade and seemed to alternate as the "best driver", but the differences are a) Lewis matched him as a rookie which will forever give Lewis that little edge in comparisons (although I honestly did think Fernando outdrove him in some of the seasons that came later!); and most importantly b) Lewis knew how to take the best out of his talent to get achievements to match it, whereas Fernando lacked the temperament and professionalism to place himself to extract the results from it. Unlike other drivers that didn't get the results they deserved due to lack of luck, in Fernando's case it feels as much as luck as his own doing. As such it feels fair to me to place him a few places behind Lewis, behind a few other world champions that did know how to extract the very best of their skills, unlike Fernando, despite his colossal talent that stood out for over a decade.
 
I didn't consider sportsmanship as a factor, as I'm rating mostly performance not ethics. If I considered such, I'd have to downgrade Schumacher, Senna and Prost, for obvious reasons.

 

 

I'm watching F1 since 1998, so I cant really rate all the greats before that, but since then I'd say Lewis is the best. You say he lost some qualies to Rosberg and some races to Button, that's true, he sometimes lost vs 2 WDC guys and that makes him less special than Michael. But then again, I'd say Michael had it way easier with only Rubens as his teammate.



#45 garoidb

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 21:07

I'm watching F1 since 1998, so I cant really rate all the greats before that, but since then I'd say Lewis is the best. You say he lost some qualies to Rosberg and some races to Button, that's true, he sometimes lost vs 2 WDC guys and that makes him less special than Michael. But then again, I'd say Michael had it way easier with only Rubens as his teammate.

 

There is circular logic there, though. Rubens is viewed as an easier team-mate because Michael beat him convincingly. He was a strong appointment when he joined Ferrari. Button and Rosberg both had their statuses enhanced because Lewis was not able to beat them as thoroughly as initially expected. Retrospectively uprating or downrating a driver as a means of trying to justifying his team-mates relative performance is a slippery slope.



#46 noikeee

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 21:13

Also there was little between Rubens and Jenson. In the defining year of 2009 (due to the championship being at stake), specially early season where the big points were for grabs with Brawn at their most competitive, Jenson won, but it was tight between the two of them overall.

#47 BuddyHolly

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 21:21

off the top of my head:-

 

1. Jim Clark
2. Juan Manuel Fangio
3. Michael Schumacher
4. Ayrton Senna
5. Alain Prost
6. Jackie Stewart
7. Jack Brabham
8. Lewis Hamilton
9. Niki Lauda
10. Graham Hill
 
Honourable mentions to those who had the talent to be on that list at some point, but fate dictated otherwise:-
Jochen Rindt, Ricardo Rodriguez, Gilles Villeneuve, Ronnie Peterson.


#48 RPM40

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 21:21

As much as I support Max and think and hope he can end up high in F1 all time ranking lists, I find it a bit odd and premature to find him in your list P123. He has the potential for sure, but still has a lot to prove. Don’t think he belongs there and deserves that (yet).

 

I'd place Max ahead of at least some on that list in terms of talent, potential etc. But such is the way of F1 you really need the championships, which in itself is kind of as much out of your control as it is within it.



#49 boillot

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 21:49

Just wondering why his failure to do so disqualifies Vettel given that Clark, Senna and Alonso have never won a championship with a different team?

I don't want to bring Vettel as a potential centrepiece of this topic so I answer via PM.

#50 sopa

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 10:18

Tier 1 - Fangio, Clark, Senna, Schumacher, Hamilton in chronological order.

 

For "10" you need five more names. So let's go for Moss, Stewart, Lauda, Prost, Alonso.