The Best F1 Drivers of All Time - Farina, Prost & Stewart

Welcome to our new series, ‘The Best F1 Drivers of All Time’. As we prepare for our home Grand Prix at Silverstone, we’re kickstarting our most exciting series yet. The Best F1 Drivers of All Time is a series that will recap the careers of the sport’s most legendary drivers – from Giuseppe Farina, Graham Hill and Emerson Fittipaldi to modern legends like Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

Some of these motorsport legends might be your childhood heroes or you may discover them for the first time. Take a walk down memory lane before you prepare for Silverstone with your George Russell t-shirt and Lando Norris Cap

Welcome to the Formula One Hall of Fame, full of World Champions, Grand Prix legends and those who have a claim to the title of the ‘Greatest of All Time’.

  1. Giuseppe Farina

One of the most popular questions for pub quizzes is “who was the first F1 champion?”. The answer – Giuseppe Antonio “Nino” Farina. While he only had one title under his belt, it’s only fitting to start this series at the beginning of Formula One’s life.

Farina was an Italian driver who drove for Alfa Romeo during the first FIA World Championship of Drivers in 1950. The season started in Silverstone in front of a crowd of 150,000, with Farina clinching victory. Farina won the title of being the first World Champion in Monza after competition from Juan Manuel Fangio and Piero Taruffi.

Farina was beaten in 1961 by Fangio before moving to Ferrari for 1952 and 1953. After disappointing finishes in F1, Farina took part in the 24 Heures de Spa-Francorchamps and the 1956 Indianapolis 500.

  1. Alain Prost

Alan Prost is a former World Champion who is no stranger to appearing on our TV screens during a race weekend. Although Prost is now an advisor at Alpine, the driver was part of one of the fiercest rivalries in the sport’s history – Senna v. Prost.

Like most F1 drivers, Prost began with karting before joining McLaren in 1980. He moved to Renault the following year and won his first home Grand Prix. The 80s and 90s saw the toughest years of Prost’s career. While Senna is offered portrayed as his biggest rival, Prost also fought against Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell for the title. 

One of the most controversial moments of his career came in 1989 at the Japanese Grand Prix when his rivalry with McLaren teammate Senna saw the pair collide on the course – allowing Prost to take his third championship title. He had a winless season at Ferrari in 1991 before taking a sabbatical before joining Williams and winning his fourth championship in 1993.

He held the title of the ‘Best F1 Driver of all Time’ until Michael Schumacher broke his record of winning 51 races. Prost famously has the nickname ‘The Professor’ for his relaxed style that he mirrored after Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart.

  1. Jackie Stewart

With Silverstone next on the calendar, it’s only right to talk about a home hero. Jackie Stewart – the Flying Scot – drove in Formula one from 1965 to 1973 and took three championship titles with two second-place finishes.

Stewart drove for BRM, Matra, March, and Tyrell with 99 race starts across six seasons. Off the track, Jackie Stewart is praised for his “one-man safety crusade” to make the sport safer and was an early pioneer of tapping into the sport’s commercial potential. 

He was a team principal for the ‘Stewart Grand Prix’ formula one team from 1997 to 1999 and is the oldest living Formula One winner. You’ll often see him appear on grid walks during a Grand Prix weekend.

Formula One wouldn’t be what it is today without the Flying Scot. Pick up a copy of his biography for your next race week read.

Are you getting ready for the British Grand Prix? Keep an eye out for our new arrivals to see the Silverstone merchandise being released by your favourite British teams and drivers. Join us next time as we look at the career of three more Formula One legends.