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Ranking the Top 10 Driver Debuts in F1 History

Top F1 Driver Debuts

Competing in Formula 1 is a dream for many drivers all around the world. Since it’s inception in the 20th Century, there are thousands of drivers who dream of driving in the fast tracks of this extreme sport. Many can fulfill their dreams while many can’t. On top of that, not only driving for a team is the main concern, but making a dent in the debut is. Making his presence felt and letting the world know that the next big player of the sport has just arrived is also a dream many drivers watch. Winning the debut race or atleast finishing in the podium place is what people consider as the perfect way to start off things in F1.

Today we’ll talk about such 10 drivers who were pretty successful in making their presence known into the sport, circuit and paddock and had their almost dream entry into the Formula 1. So, let’s hop in, lights out and away we go.

#10. Carlos Reutemann

Carlos Reutemann.

Carlos Reutemann. (Image Courtesy: Getty Images)

Starting with at no. 10 we have Carlos Reutemann. Carlos, the international has made his debut in 1972 Argentine Grand Prix. In the qualifying, Carlos clocked the fastest and picked up pole position in his Brabham-Ford. However, the Argentine finished the race in P7. So, how about that for a debut at his home Grand Prix for the Argentine!

#9. Felipe Nasr

Felipe Nasr.

Felipe Nasr (Image Courtesy: Getty Images)

In at no. 9 we have Felipe Nasr. The Brazilian international, Nasr has made his debut in Australian Grand Prix in 2015. Felipe, qualified 11th in the grid on his Sauber, one stop ahead of Max Verstappen. But astonishingly in the race Nasr managed to finish in P5, just behind his fellow Brazilian Felipe Massa and ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen and Sergio Perez. What an achievement for the young lad.

#8. Johnny Herbert

Johnny Herbert.

Johnny Herbert. (Image Courtesy: Getty Images)

Up at no. 8, we have Johnny Herbert. Johnny, the Englishman has made his debut in 1989 Brazilian Grand Prix. Johnny ended his first ever qualifying session on 10th place in the Grid behind Brazilian Nelson Piquet. But with a superb performance in the race, the Briton picked up P4 position in his Benetton ahead of drivers like Ayrton Senna and Andrea de Cesaris.

#7. Mark Donohue

Mark Donohue.

Mark Donohue. (Image Courtesy: Getty Images)

Next in at no. 7 we have Mark Donohue from USA. Mark made his debut in 1971 Canadian Grand Prix. The American qualified at 8th in the grid in his McLaren that year on that race. But a brilliant performance saw him come back to the podium place and what a way to start off his innings in F1. Very first race and P3 ahead of heavyweights like Emerson Fittipaldi, Helmut Marko, Jacky Ickx and Chris Amon. Outstanding.

#6. Jean Alesi

Jean Alesi

Jean Alesi. (Image Courtesy: Getty Images)

At no. 6 we have Jean Alesi who made his debut in 1989 French Grand Prix. Alesi the French international qualified in the second half of the Grid, in 16th in his Tyrrell. But what a turnaround for him, the Frenchman finished the race in a staggering P4 ahead of drivers like Nelson Piquet and Jonathan Palmer! Debut race and such a way to start his F1 career, a performance worth lauding.

#5. Reine Wisell

Reine Wisell.

Reine Wisell. (Image Courtesy: Getty Images)

Next in no. 5 we have Reine Wisell. Reine made his Formula 1 debut in 1970 United States Grand Prix. The Swedish debuted in his Lotus and managed to qualify in 9th place just ahead of Graham Hill. A brilliant comeback from Wisell saw him come way up to finish the race in the podium place. P3 ahead of people like Jacky Ickx and Chris Amon in the debut race and what a way to start off.

#4. Jacques Villeneuve

Jacques Villeneuve.

Jacques Villeneuve. (Image Courtesy: Getty Images)

Next up in at no. 4 we have Jacques Villeneuve. Villeneuve made his Formula 1 debut in 1996 Australian Grand Prix. This has to be one of the most impressive debut in F1 so far. In the race, Villeneuve took the pole position in qualification. The Canadian set the fastest lap as well. In the race, there were duel between him and Damon Hill the entire race. The Williams duo fought it out till the end with Jacques being the race leader at one point and Hill being at some point else. At the end of the race, Villeneuve had to settle for P2, but one must laud him for the performance he put out on his debut.

#3. Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton. (Image Courtesy: Getty Images)

At 3rd place we have none other than Lewis Hamilton. Lewis who made his F1 debut in Australian Grand Prix in 2007 is the seven times world champion now. Who’d have thought this man from 2007 will go all the way to fix his name as one of the sport’s greatest? The Briton qualified 4th in the grid in a tight qualification. Hamilton then went on to finish the race in P3 in McLaren. Hamilton finished behind his McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso and winner Kimi Raikkonen. What a debut for the man.

#2. Kevin Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen.

Kevin Magnussen. (Image Courtesy: Getty Images)

At runner’s up position we have Danish Kevin Magnussen. Kevin who made his debut in Australian Grand Prix in 2014. Magnussen, the Danish driver is known as one of the driver to win many podiums without a win. The Dan was almost on his way to secure his first win on his debut but unfortunately came short. Kevin qualified in 4th place on the grid behind Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo amd Nico Rosberg. But a brilliant performance from the Dan saw him upgrade himself and finish the race in P2 behind race winner Nico Rosberg and ahead of his McLaren teammate Jenson Button. What a debut!

#1. Giancarlo Baghetti

Giancarlo Baghetti.

Giancarlo Baghetti. (Image Courtesy: Getty Images)

Finally the time for the top spot and it belongs to Giancarlo Baghetti. Baghetti made his debut in French Grand Prix in 1961. None of the drivers we’ve covered so far won their respective debut races in Formula 1, but here comes Italian Giancarlo Baghetti. Baghetti qualified in the second part of the grid in 12th place. If there’s anything called a debut comeback, then this is it. The Italian won the race in his Ferrari ahead of the heavyweights like Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Stirling Moss. A dream debut is what we call this. This was Baghetti’s first and last win in Formula 1, he never won any Podium places or won any race after this.

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