It was yet again another action-filled British Grand Prix this year with current World Champion Lewis Hamilton clinching the top spot once more in front of a roaring home crowd at Silverstone.
Hamilton is on course to retain his world title with bookmakers as he currently sits aloft the drivers’ standings on 194 points, 17 ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg. But of course there’s still a lot of driving to be done before Abu Dhabi so for now, inspired by the weekend’s events, let’s take a look at some of the best British Formula 1 drivers to have graced the F1 circuit.
Since joining Formula 1 in 2007 Hamilton has become a two-time World Champion and is looking to make it a third this year. A superbly talented driver who is incredibly quick around the circuit, and with an almost unrivalled will to win, his skilfulness and abilities grow with every race. When Lewis finally retires, he could be considered as the best Brit of all time. This weekend he became the third highest pole scorer behind Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna and broke Sir Jackie Stewart’s 45-year-old record for leading the most consecutive races at 18.
In 2009 Somerset-born star Jenson Button drove to victory in the World Drivers’ Championship and managed to equal the record of winning six of the first seven races of the season. Button led on points right from the beginning and continued to see off the challengers right up until the end – of course helped by his Brawn GP team who also landed the Constructors’ Championship trophy that year. Following his move to McLaren, Button has struggled to re-discover his previous form, coupled with car issues, and hasn’t managed a Championship finish higher than 8th in the past couple of seasons.
Sir Jackie Stewart
During his eight-year Formula 1 career the legendary racer Jackie Stewart won a trio of World Championships. He became one of the most iconic figures in British racing and managed to pick up 43 podium finishes between 1965 and 1973. The Scottish racing star picked up championship titles driving for both Matra International and Elf Team Tyrrell and throughout his professional career always managed to finish in the top nine.
Mansell was a highly respected figure in the word of Formula 1. His tenacity and competiveness in the sport helped him to win his first F1 Championship title in 1992 fighting off driving giants Ayrton Senna, Riccardo Patrese and Michael Schumacher in order to secure the title. The Britain is also the first person to win the CART title in his debut season, making him the only person to hold both CART and F1 titles simultaneously.
Sir Stirling Moss
Moss is the odd one out on this list, because he never won a championship, and whilst many would define a successful driver as having won at least one championship, it doesn’t apply in this case.
He’s often described as “the greatest driver never to win the World Championship”, and it’s easy to see why. He finished runner-up four times and came third another three. He won 16 races from 66 starts during his F1 career, but it’s his dedication to motorsport that makes him a true great. It wasn’t unusual for Moss to take part in multiple races a day, in fact he would compete in as many as 62 races in a single year and drove 84 different makes of car during his career.