65 years of F1 - remembering every world champion (Part II)

As F1 turns 65 (the first ever F1 race was held May 13th, 1950 at Silverstone) we have a look at every world champion produced from 1979 to date…

1979 - Jody Scheckter. Recklessly fast, had some troubles until his consistency. Impressive and effective, won the title with Ferrari at Monza. Could it be any better? He remained Ferrari’s last champion for 21 years. Until Schumacher.

1980 - Alan Jones: AJ. Very honest, a trait that brought him friends and foes. the Australian is Williams’ first champion. “He’s a man’s man” said Sir Frank Williams.

1981, 1983, 1987 - Nelson Piquet. A consistent champion. Not remembered for domination. His best was beating team-mate Nigel Mansell to the title in 1987.

1982 - Keke Rosberg. Hard worker, fierce, looked fast and was fast. Made the most out of his opportunities and eventually finished fifth in Las Vegas to secure the 1982 championship. Only one of two drivers to win the title with just one victory in the season (the other is Mike Hawthorn).

1985, 1986, 1989, 1993 - Alain Prost: The professor. A master at setup, a smart, thinking champion. Not without controversy, but outstandingly efficient. His best was winning his first title with McLaren in 1985.

1988, 1990, 1991 - Ayrton Senna. Ruthless on track, humane and compassionate off track. Arguably the best of all. He won 41 races, achieved 65 pole positions. His career high was beating Prost to the title in equal machinery in his first season at McLaren.

1992 - Nigel Mansell: Red number five. Immensely determined, brave, and with a strong mind, he dominated the 1992 season to secure his title with five races to go.

1994, 1995, 2000-2004 - Michael Schumacher: The most successful of all time. His insatiable desire to win took him to win seven championships. Schumacher was not without controversy, but from 1991 to 2006 was almost the perfect driver. His career best was winning his seventh title in 2004 in a dominant manner.

1996 - Damon Hill. Following his father’s (Graham Hill) footsteps, they remain the only father-son champions to date. Damon had a hard-work ethic, and his ability secured his title in 1996.

1997 - Jacques Villeneuve. Gilles’ son Jacques secured the surname to its rightful spot in F1 history: a champion’s spot. Villeneuve’s best moment was beating Schumacher to the title in 1997, winning seven races.

1998, 1999 - Mika Hakkinen: The flying Finn. Ice-cold on the outside, and one of the most consistent drivers ever. He was emotional underneath. His career best? Beating Schumacher to his first title on the final round in Japan, 1998.

2005, 2006 - Fernando Alonso. Regarded by many as the greatest all-round driver. He is undoubtably consistent and gets the best out of any car. Demanding, controversial, and unique. His best (so far) is racing to claim his first championship and end Schumacher’s reign in 2006.

2007 - Kimi Raikkonen: The Iceman. Cool and calm, man of few words, extremely gifted. he lives his life in a unique manner. His career best (so far) was winning the title at his first year for Ferrari. Going into the final race, in a dramatic ending, he won ahead of Alonso and Hamilton by a single point.

2008, 2014 - Lewis Hamilton. From his early days he looked like a champion in the making. Brave and confident, he attempts overtaking where others wouldn’t. Popular driving style. His best was his 2014 dominance, beating team-mate Nico Rosberg on equal cars to the title.

2009 - Jenson Button. Nine years in the making, Jenson finally won in 2009. One of the most technically perfect drivers. His best drive: at the Canadian GP in 2011 following six pit-lane entries, and going from last place to first.

2010-2013 - Sebastian Vettel. The sport’s youngest champion. He’s one of the fastest drivers and an expert at leading from pole. Dominated everything with Red Bull for four straight years, he now has gone to get five out of five podium finishes (including a win) for Ferrari in his first season with the Scuderia.

 

So there you have it. Which of all the champions would you pick as your favourite?