Winning a Championship is a dream for all the Formula 1 drivers. After years of relentless efforts and hardwork, all it takes to win the Driver’s Championship to be considered as the best of the best. Few manages to reach this Milestone, however for many it remains as a distant dream.
Being the best in their own segment, many drivers can’t make it to the grand stage where they can showcase their World Championship. To win a race, it takes a lot of mettle and efforts, but to win the entire Championship? One needs to have a different set of hardwork and dedication, and even after all these some people didn’t have the fortune to call themselves a Champion. Today we’ll talk about such 10 drivers for whom it was too close yet too far in their journey to claim the Championship.
#10. Gilles Villeneuve
Joseph Gilles Henri Villeneuve, also known as Gilles Villeneuve was a Canadian former racing driver who had a short yet effective race career. Started racing in 1977 and stayed till 1982, he quite made a mark in the racing scene.
Driving for McLaren and Ferrari, he started 67 races and out of which he managed to pick up 6 race wins and 13 podium finishes. The best result for him was finishing P2 in 1979. As usual, winning a Championship was out of his hands.
#9. Sergio Perez
A member of Ferrari Driver Academy, Sergio Perez has joined Formula One in 2011. The Mexican has joined the Sauber team before moving to McLaren two years later. The Guadalajara born has also raced to the teams like Force India and Racing Point and latest Red Bull after joining the Austrian giants in 2021.
Having started 196 races, the 31-year-old managed to win just one race back in Sakhir Grand Prix in 2020. Other than this, Perez managed to clinch 10 podium finishes in his career, however a Championship title was far away from his reach all these years. Finishing in P4 in 2020 was by far the best result by the Mexican till date.
#8. Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo, nicknamed Honey Badger, is an Australian driver currently driving for McLaren. He made his debut at the 2011 British Grand Prix with the HRT team as part of a deal with Red Bull Racing, for whom he was test driving under its sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Having finished at P3 on couple of occasions in 2014 and 2016, the Aussie has managed to rake up 7 total wins in his career so far. The all 193 races that he started has fetched him 31 podiums altogether however, a Championship still remained a Far Cry for the 31-year-old driver.
#7. Mark Webber
Mark Alan Webber is an Australian former professional racing driver who raced for the teams like Minardi, Jaguar, Williams and Red Bull in his career. Having started his career in 2002 that extended till 2013 the Australian has managed to have 215 race starts.
Webber tasted much of his success during his stint with Red Bull Racing. With them, Mark has managed to finish at P3 on three occasions in Driver’s Championship in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Apart from these, Mark managed to rake up 9 race wins and 42 podium finishes in his Formula 1 career.
#6. Felipe Massa
Felipe Massa is a Brazilian former driver much known for his sheer bad luck at the 2008 Formula 1 season. Massa was almost at the verge of winning the 2008 Championship, but Lewis Hamilton won the Drivers’ title by a point – by overtaking Toyota’s Timo Glock on the final corner of the final lap of the final Grand Prix of the season to claim the required 5th-place finish.
The Brazilian has managed to claim 11 race wins out of the 269 races he started in and clinched 41 podium finishes. He raced from 2002 and till 2017 and was one of the most vibrant character of Formula 1.
#5. Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen is a Dutch born driver currently driving for Red Bull Racing. He holds the record for being the youngest Formula 1 driver to compete in the sport at the age of just 17 years and 166 days. The Dutchman has won FIA Action of the year, FIA Personal of the year on more than one occasion from 2014 to 2019 and FIA rookie of the year in 2015.
The Red Bull driver ever since joining the Formula One as a replacement of Daniel Kvyat has managed to finish in P12 in his very first season in 2015. From there on he finished in P5 in 2016, P6 in 2017, P4 in 2018, P3 in 2019 and P3 in 2020. In his all 124 starts he started, the Dutch prodigy managed to pick up 12 race wins and 47 podium finishes. However, the brilliant and emerging driver is the hot favourite to win the Championship in 2021 alongside Lewis Hamilton.
#4. David Coulthard
David Coulthard, or DC is a Formula 1 legend now. Having raced for 15 seasons from 1994 to 2008, the man is no less than an iconic figure in the sport. Having raced for legendary teams like McLaren, Williams and Red Bull, the Briton has made quite a name for himself.
The British former racing driver has 246 race starts to his name and from there he managed to pick up 13 race wins and 62 podium finishes altogether. The best season for him was in the 2001 season while driving for McLaren when he finished runners up next to Champion Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher.
#3. Rubens Barrichello
Rubens “Rubinho” Gonçalves Barrichello is a Brazilian former driver famous for his stint with Brawn GP and Ferrari. The 49-year-old joined Formula 1 back in 1993 and raced till 2011. Rubens has driven for the teams like Jordan, Stewart, Ferrari, Honda, Brawn GP and Williams.
In his long 19 years of racing career, the Brazilian has managed to secure 11 race wins and 68 podium finishes in all the 322 races he started. Being unfortunate to win a Championship, the Sao Paulo born managed to finish at P2 both in 2002 and 2004 and P3 both in 2001 and 2009. These were the best results from the Brazilian.
#2. Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas is a Finnish driver, currently driving for German giants Mercedes. Having joined Formula 1 back in 2013 with Williams’, the Finn has tasted success way more than any racer of his stature since as he joined Mercedes in 2017.
Bottas has much better success rate than any other drivers who failed to win Championships even after having terrific seasons. From the 161 starts he made in his career, the Mercedes driver has managed to pick up 9 race wins and 59 podium finishes.
#1. Sir Stirling Moss
Sir Stirling Craufurd Moss was a British former racing driver known as the “the greatest driver never to win the World Championship”. Sir Moss has such an overwhelming record that he won 212 races out of 529 races he entered in all categories. His Formula 1 career extended from 1951 to 1961 and he drove for the Constructors like Mercedes, Maserati, Vanwall, Rob Walker Cooper, Lotus, HWM.
In his career in Formula 1, Sir Stirling Moss has started 66 races and picked up 16 race wins and 24 podium finishes. His best finishes were at P2 for four years and P3 for three years. It’s unfortunate that a driver of his stature didn’t enjoy the Championship joy.
So, did you like our list of Top 10 drivers never to win a Championship? Mail us to give us your feedback.
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