You hear it all the time, Britain punches above its weight whenever Formula 1 is mentioned. It can only be down to the skill of some of F1’s finest ever drivers hailing from the United Kingdom.
So NGB, a one-stop site for the freshest and most factual information from the realm of casinos and bookies which helps UK bettors to find sports websites where they can place bets on F1, thought it would be a good idea to shed some light on just how incredibly British F1 drivers have performed over the years. Here we present to you the seven best F1 drivers from Britain!
Lewis Hamilton is a certified fan favourite, rightfully earning him the top spot on this list. Lewis Hamilton was born on January 7, 1985, in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England. He began his racing journey at the young age of 8 and eventually joined the McLaren young driver programme in 1998. Between 1998 and 2007, Lewis won several races and championships including world karting championships and Formula 3 Euroseries.
But really, what makes Lewis Hamilton one of the best? Well, Lewis Hamilton holds seven World Drivers’ Championship titles! He is currently tied with another F1 legend Michael Schumacher in that area.
Having just joined McLaren’s Formula 1 team the year before, Lewis Hamilton bagged his maiden Formula 1 title in 2008, at the age of 23—making him the then-youngest driver and also the first black driver to win the driver’s championship. Lewis continued to dominate the Formula 1 scene, winning several races in each season from 2009 to 2012. In 2012, he decided to move to Mercedes-Benz where he races up until now.
In 2014, Lewis Hamilton snagged his second driver’s championship title and his third the next year. And just as when things seemed to quiet down for Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton again won two more titles, his fourth and fifth, in 2017 and 2018. By this time he was already tied at five titles with Juan Manuel Fangio, another well-loved and praised driver who gave Mercedes two titles during his time.
Lewis Hamilton would then win his sixth and seventh driver’s championship in 2019 and 2020. With this, Lewis Hamilton won four titles in a row.
Last 2021 season, controversy surrounded Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull Racing Max Verstappen. The two butted heads in the circuit frequently, making them the season title favourites for spectators. Ultimately, Max Verstappen won the title, preventing Lewis Hamilton to bag his eighth title. Had he won, he would’ve been the driver with the most diver’s championship title in history.
in addition to these very notable achievements, Lewis Hamilton also won a record-tying five British Grands Prix in a row from 2014 to 2018, becoming the first driver ever to achieve such a feat. Currently, he also holds the records for the most wins, pole positions, and podium finishes, among others.
Lewis Hamilton has had an illustrious career that still has no signs of slowing down and boy are we here to watch his glory.
Jackie Stewart is Formula 1’s very own safety advocate and for good—nay, the best—reason. Born in Milton, Dunbartonshire, Scotland on June 11, 1939, Jackie is one of the oldest drivers on this list. He competed in Formula One between 1965 and 1973, and in those nine Formula 1 seasons, he won three World Drivers’ Championships and finished as runner-up twice. These achievements alone should be enough to put him on this list but here’s more, Jackie Stewart was a fierce advocate for Formula 1 safety.
Jackie lived and raced in an era where Formula 1 was the most dangerous so it was only expected that he wanted to push for safer sports, right? Well, not really. Like other Formula 1 drivers, he wasn’t always fond of the safety measures in the game. Not until he faced death himself in 1966. Since then, he campaigned strongly for better medical facilities and track improvements at motor racing circuits.
He called for run-off areas, better barriers, and emergency personnel and vehicles on the track. While doing so, he called for a boycott of the races at Spa and the Nürburgring when officials refused to institute better safety practices.
Jackie Stewart is the last surviving Formula One World Champion from the 1960s. After Tony Brooks’ death on May 3, 2022, he is also the oldest living Formula One winner. He’s a living legend.
Jim Clark is considered by many to be the greatest racing driver of all time. Here’s why.
Jim Clark was born into a farming family at Kilmany House Farm, Fife on March 4, 1936. He first competed in local road rallies and hill climb events to his parents’ disagreement. From 1959 to 1962, he raced, placed and even won in several events. He was a multi-talented driver who raced in sports cars, touring cars, and the Indianapolis 500, which he won in 1965. He was especially connected to the Lotus brand.
In 1963 and 1965, Jim Clark won two World Championships. His performances were notable and his unbeatable records place him among the greatest drivers of Formula 1. Clark holds the title for the highest percentage of laps in a season lead. He also holds the record for winning the most races by winning the pole, fastest lap, race win, and leading every lap eight times.
Tragedy struck Jim Clark in 1968—he was killed in a Formula 2 race in Hockenheim, West Germany. His demise was one of the many that convinced his friend Jackie Stewart to advocate for safer motorsport.
Jim Clark had won more Grand Prix races (25) and scored more Grand Prix pole positions (33) than any other driver at the time of his death, at the age of 32. Clark was named one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time by The Times in 2009.
Along with his outstanding natural aptitude as a racing driver and triumphant association with Lotus, he was known for his sportsmanship as a gentleman. In all sorts of motor racing, he dominated the world like no one before or since.
Norman Graham Hill is considered one of the finest drivers of his generation despite not getting his driving test until he was 24 years old and only joining the world of motorsports a year later. Born in Hampstead, London, on February 15, 1929, his interest was first in motorcycles.
Hill joined Team Lotus as a mechanic but was rapidly promoted to the driver’s seat. He made his Formula One debut at the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix, retiring with a half-shaft failure.
Hill won the Formula One World Championship twice, in 1962 and 1968 and was also a three-time runner-up (1963, 1964 and 1965). Hill is best known for being the only driver to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport, which he defined as winning the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship.
Hill and his son Damon were the first father-son duo to win a Formula One World Championship. Hill’s grandson Josh, Damon’s son, battled his way up the ranks before retiring from Formula Three at the age of 22 in 2013.
Hill died when his Piper PA-23 Aztec twin-engine light aircraft crashed near Arkley in the London Borough of Barnet during a night approach to Elstree Airfield in dense fog on November 29, 1975.
Graham Hill set records like nobody’s business which makes it the right choice to add him to this list.
Damon Hill may have had a short Formula 1 career but he made a mark still in history to the point you can find his name in several video games. If that’s not a testament to how good he was, I don’t know what is.
Born in Hampstead, London on September 17, 1960, Damon Hill is the son of Graham Hill—a racing driver himself in the international Formula One series. He first started racing motorcycles in 1981. He then entered Formula 1 in 1991 as a test driver with the championship-winning Williams team. His Formula 1 career lasted 115 races, and he won 22 of them.
Damon Hill’s 14 years of racing history earned him several achievements including the driver’s championship third place in 1993 and the 2nd both in 1994 and 1995. In 1994, he scored the British Grand Prix which is an extremely popular event in the UK. In 1996, he won a driver’s championship title with Williams, making the season his best yet. As a result, he received his second BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award, making him one of only three people to receive the award twice, along with boxers Henry Cooper and Mansell. However, Williams dropped him the year after in favour of Heinz-Harald Frentzen.
Damon raced for 3 more years, with Arrows and then Jordan, before retiring in 1999. His last race was the 1999 Japanese Grand Prix.
Even though his career was cut short, Damon Hill is a name many fans still remember. He started in Formula 1 when he was already in his 30s and even after his retirement, he stayed involved in motorsports.
Damon Hill’s hardworking nature surely inspires young generations of drivers today.
Stirling Moss is an inductee into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame which is enough reason to give him the fifth spot on this list.
Born on September 17, 1929, in London, Moss’ first experience with cars was when he received his Austin 7 at the age of nine. From 1948 until 1962, Moss competed in 529 races, winning 212 of them, including 16 Formula One Grand Prix.
He was dubbed “the greatest driver never to win the World Championship”. Between 1955 and 1961, Moss finished fourth four times and third three times in the championship.
Stirling Moss had more wins on other playing fields which earned him much praise and respect from the racing world.
Nicknamed “The Lion”, Nigel Mansell is the last driver to make this list. We say he’s on a level of his own.
Born on August 8, 1953 in Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire, Nigel had a sluggish start to his racing career, relying on his own funds to assist him to climb the ranks.
He won the Formula One World Championship (1992) and the CART Indy Car World Series (1993) thanks to his unwavering determination. When Mansell switched to CART, he was the reigning Formula One champion, becoming the first driver to win the CART championship in his first season and the only driver to hold both the World Drivers’ Championship and the American open-wheel National Championship at the same time.
Mansell is the second most successful British Formula One driver of all time, with 31 victories (after Lewis Hamilton’s 103 victories), and is seventh all-time in race wins, behind Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, and Fernando Alonso.
Nigel Mansell is another record-setter that many fans adore. He was rated among the top by several bodies like Murray Walker, ESPN and even Times Online where he was joined by other great drives like Prost, Senna, Jackie Stewart and Jim Clark.
In 2005, Mansell competed in the Grand Prix Masters series and won the championship. He later agreed to drive the number 63 Ferrari F430 GT2 car for the Scuderia Ecosse GT race team at Silverstone on May 6, 2007. He and his sons Leo and Greg have since competed in many sports car events, including the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans, and he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2005.
The 7 Best British Drivers In Formula 1: The Final Word
The history of F1 is long and full of notable personalities from various countries. Some countries are particularly strong in developing extremely talented drivers but it is a fact that the UK produces very fast drivers that are hard to beat.
This list contains the cream of the crop, from the talented and young Lewis Hamilton to the legends like Jackie Stewart. Most of these drivers are from the past who were once glorious and most sought after by sponsors. Typically, F1 sponsorship is not profitable, but it may raise brand exposure and may prove to be beneficial in the future, which may become a testament to a driver’s popularity.
Most of these drivers raced during the unsafest era of motorsports and yet they managed to rise above the rest and make names for themselves.