When it comes to cold hard statistics, Lewis Hamilton is closer and closer to establishing himself as the greatest of all time. Part of that journey has been built on simply winning races. Here we look at the drivers with the most race wins in history. It won’t be a surprise to anyone that it is indeed the Brit who tops the list. We’ll get started with a quick look at Hamilton before bringing you those closest to him.
Number 1. Lewis Hamilton
94 Wins (still racing)
So, you likely already know that Hamilton has recently set a new record for race wins. Even so, 94 victories is an incredible number. It’s not the only area where the Mercedes man leads the Formula One history books though.
He also has more podium finishes to his name than anybody else along with ranking first in pole positions earned and total career points. His most recent win, in Turkey, saw him pull in his seventh World Championship. It means he has the same number as Michael Schumacher.
The Ferrari legend is widely considered the G.O.A.T but you’d be a brave man for going against the betting odds, which suggest Hamilton will make it world title number eight next year. If he does that whilst continuing to use his profile to speak out on societal issues – such as racism – then that unofficial honour of being ‘the greatest’ could easily become Hamilton’s.
Number 2. Michael Schumacher
Yeah, there no surprises with the second name on our list. Schumacher had a glorious career spanning across 18 seasons spread between 1991 and 2012. Hamilton might lead the way on several fronts now but Schumacher stills holds a few of his own with the German having considerably more ‘fastest laps’ and having recorded the most race wins in a season.
On the more subjective front, time can play a funny role. For some, as mentioned, Schumacher is the best there has been. For others though, he gets labelled as someone who simply had the best car. Let us tell you, that latter statement is nonsense.
Schumacher had two World titles to his name when he switched allegiances to Ferrari. They hadn’t won a title for near on 20 years. It was Schumacher who put them back at the top. That shouldn’t be forgotten.
Number 3. Sebastian Vettel
53 Wins (Still Racing)
Just to illustrate how far ahead Hamilton and Schumacher are of the rest, the next most race wins belongs to Vettel. He has only won 53 races, which is 38 short of Schumacher’s 91. Still, Vettel is hardly a mug when it comes to driving.
For starters, he has won four World Championships with his first win, back in 2010, making him the youngest winner of all time. In addition to that, whilst he lags behind the dominant duo in pure race wins, neither of them have managed to string together as many first place finishes in sequence. Vettel managed to win nine races back to back in 2013. That’s another F1 record. Finally, he’s still racing so the gap will probably shorten between him and second spot – although he’s not going to catch up.
Number 4. Alain Prost
Narrowly behind Vettel is Frenchman Alain Prost although he does boast a significantly stronger percentage win to race ratio than the former Red Bull man. Prost was one of the leading drivers during the late eighties and took three titles in a five year spell between 85 and 89.
His career, which included 106 podium finishes, wasn’t always plain sailing though – namely because of the next name on this list – and in 1992 he took a year out after a disagreement with his team, Ferrari. His comeback 12 months later was rather special though as he added a further Championship trophy to his cabinet before calling it a day once and for all.
Number 5. Ayrton Senna
We’ve just named Prost as one of the top drivers of his era. His rule would have been much greater had it not been for this man, Ayrton Senna. The duo were often at each other skin, a rivalry that could be only comparable to the one between two UFC fighters in the MMA. So, when Senna teamed up with Prost at McLaren fireworks were to be expected.
Senna won his first Championship in his debut season at McLaren in 1988 before Prost took the next. What followed was two years of Senna at his sensational best as he took his overall Championship haul to three. His tally of wins sits at 41 but we think everybody agrees there would have been a shed load more had he not suffered his tragic death at San Marino back in 1994.
There you have it, the five drivers with the most race wins in history. It’s fair to say it will be a while before someone disrupts this list.