Alan Henry’s 100 greatest F1 drivers of all time

There are a couple of oddities in this list compiled by Alan Henry (a well known motor racing journalist in Great Britain). See the complete list here at the official website for Bruce McLaren, the founder of the McLaren Formula 1 team. Some of the surprises that I noted, as well as Autoblog (h/t to them) include:

  • Mika Hakkinen (10th) above Michael Schumacher (11th). Sure, Schumi dominated because of the superior car in the 2000s, but put them in the same car and I reckon that he would have still come out slightly on top. He had to deal with slightly recalcitrant machinery in the late 90s and still turned out superb performances, plus was a magnificent tactical driver at his prime. He was the subject of some controversy during his career, but Formula 1 as an international spectacle owes a lot to its most successful driver ever.
  • I don’t think Kimi Raikkonen (29th) is the best driver currently in the F1 championship. Besides the fact that Fernando Alonso (32nd) has won 1 more championship, there are drivers in the field who have been around for just as long who, by virtue of unspectacular cars, haven’t had the chance to excel (eg. Mark Webber, who doesn’t crack the 100).

It’s hard to come up with a solid set of criteria for such a list, but success (wins, championships) isn’t the best indicator of just how good a driver was or is. No doubt there are some wonderful drivers on the list, and it makes motorsport fans like me wonder what Ayrton Senna could have done if his life hadn’t been tragically ended at Imola in 1994.

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