Formula One has five three-time World Champions but just four men have won four or more titles in motorsport’s elite series.

The all-time leading Formula One world champions

T6 Ayrton Senna (BRA) — 1988, 1990, 1991 (McLaren-Honda) – 3

Senna won three Championships in four years with McLaren-Honda before leaving the team to join Williams for an eyewatering salary in 1994. Widely regarded as one of the greatest drivers of all-time, Senna’s career and life were cut short when he was tragically killed in an accident at the San Marino Grand Prix.

Formula One world champions

T6 Nelson Piquet (BRA) — 1981 (Brabham-Ford), 1983 (Brabham-BMW), 1987 (Williams-Honda) – 3

Another Brazilian Legend, Piquet won two of his three World titles with the innovative Brabham team. His third title was won at Williams after a bitter title race with teammate Nigel Mansell, the fallout of which saw Piquet leave the team.

T6 Niki Lauda (AUT) — 1975, 1977 (Ferrari), 1984 (McLaren-Tag Porsche) – 3

Lauda’s career might be viewed as one where fine margins made a world of difference. He might have been a four-time champion, having been denied the title in 1976 by just one point. Lauda could also have been just a two-time F1 champ if the slightest thing hadn’t gone his way in the 1984 campaign where he pipped Alain Prost to the title by half a point.

Formula One world champions

T6 Jackie Stewart (GBR) — 1969 (Matra-Ford), 1971, 1973 (Tyrrell-Ford) – 3

Now the last surviving Formula One World Champion from the 1960s, Stewart became one of the leading voices for race safety after a terrible crash at Spa-Francorchamps in 1966. Stewart competed in Formula One between 1965 and 1973, winning three World Drivers’ Championships, and twice finishing as runner-up over those nine seasons.

Formula One world champions

T6 Jack Brabham (AUS) – 1959, 1960 (Cooper-Climax), 1966 (Brabham) – 3

An Australian Racing legend Brabham’s influence went far beyond the three championships he won as a driver. While still competing Brabham won the first of four Drivers Championships scooped by the team that bore his name.

T4 Sebastian Vettel (GER) — 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 (Red Bull-Renault) – 4

Vettel is one of only two men in the history of the sport to win four consecutive Drivers Championships. He has not been able to add to his quartet of wins at Red Bull since making a move to Ferrari and revealed he would be leaving the team after the 2020 season.

T4 Alain Prost (FRA) — 1985, 1986 (McLaren-Tag Porsche), 1989 (McLaren-Honda), 1993 (Williams-Renault) – 4

Senna’s great rival Prost held the record for most Grand Prix victories from 1987 until 2001. Prost was also involved in memorable battles with Mansell and Piquet and contributed to one of the sports truly great periods.

Formula One World Champions

3 Juan Manuel Fangio (ARG) — 1951 (Alfa Romeo), 1954 (Maserati/Mercedes-Benz), 1955 (Mercedes-Benz), 1956 (Ferrari), 1957 (Maserati) – 5

For a long time it seemed Fangio’s World record five Driver’s Championships would remain the standard all aspired to but none would achieve. He was Formula One’s most successful driver from 1955 until 2000. Fangio remains a legendary figure from the dawn of Formula One even if two men have surpassed him.

Formula One World Champions

2 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) — 2008 (McLaren-Mercedes), 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 (Mercedes) – 6

Hamilton will begin an abbreviated 2020 season hunting a record-equalling seventh Driver’s World Championship. Hamilton has enjoyed spirited rivalries with Vettel and former teammate and 2016 champion Nico Rosberg.

1 Michael Schumacher (GER) — 1994 (Benetton-Ford), 1995 (Benetton-Renault), 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 (Ferrari) – 7

Regarded by many as the greatest of all-time Schumacher at his peak was almost unbeatable. He holds the record for most consecutive Drivers World Championships as a result, claiming five straight from 2000 until 2004. Schumacher’s career was at times controversial, as he was twice involved in collisions in the final race of a season that determined the outcome of the World Championship, with Damon Hill in 1994 in Adelaide, and with Jacques Villeneuve in 1997 in Jerez.

Author: Onlineautos