There’s hundreds and hundreds of greatest F1 driver lists out there but now someone has taken a statistical approach to find out just who really is the greatest F1 driver of all time.
The study used statistical analysis to work out who is the best driver because of their talent and not just their car’s performance, with research showing the teams (or car) matter six times more than the talent of a driver when it comes to success.
According to a study from Dr Andrew Bell at the University of Sheffield, Juan Manuel Fangio is the greatest of all time followed by Alain Prost and Fernando Alonso in third.
The biggest surprises include Ayrton Senna down in fifth place while Christian Fittipaldi (a guy who scored just 12 points in his career) is in 12th just behind multiple world champions Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, his position clearly enhanced by his performances in woeful machinery.
Also worth noting is that Michael Schumacher would have been third on the list had he not made his less-than-successful comeback with Mercedes in 2010.
Dr Bell said: “The question ‘who is the greatest F1 driver of all time’ is a difficult one to answer, because we don’t know the extent to which drivers do well because of their talent or because they are driving a good car. The question has fascinated fans for years and I’m sure will continue to do so.
“Our statistical model allows us to find a ranking and assess the relative importance of team and driver effects, and there are some surprising results. For example the relatively unknown Christian Fittipaldi is in the top 20, whilst three time champion Niki Lauda doesn’t even make the top 100. Had these drivers raced for different teams, their legacies might have been rather different.”
The big question is though, where does Pastor Maldonado rank?