Which F1 driver has started the most races?
Who has won the most?
Is F1 getting less competitive now, with richer teams taking all the spoils?
I made a dashboard to find out. This is not designed for smaller screens so you’ll need to be on desktop to see it fully:
Who’s won the most Formula 1 races?
On the first page, Winners, you can see that in terms of drivers, the Brits have historically dominated the sport. British drivers have won more races, and the driver with the most wins is (Sir) Lewis Hamilton. British constructors (the teams who make the cars and hire the drivers – each constructor gets two cars per race) also have the most wins, however, the single constructor with the most races is Ferrarri, an Italian team.
Who’s started the most Formula 1 races?
On the Races page, Brits again are in the lead on the whole – British drivers and constructors have started the most races. But on an individual level, they are a little behind. Kimi Raikkonen, a Finn, has started the most races, and as he’s (at the time of writing) a current F1 driver, he’s going to hold that spot for a while. The closest current driver is Hamilton, who’s in 7th place some 66 races behind him. At around 20 races per season, Kimi would have to retire, and Lewis carry on for probably three seasons afterwards, maybe 4 if the calendars are shorter for some reason. On the constructor side, Ferrari are again in the lead.
Are F1 drivers getting younger?
It’s often said that F1 drivers are getting younger, owing to the fact that power steering means you don’t need older and presumably stronger people to race the cars anymore. Is this true? Yes, the average age of drivers has been falling since 1950. But interestingly, there have always been younger driver on the grid – the youngest driver in 1950 was just 20.
The biggest drop comes from older drivers. The oldest driver in 1950 was 53. No one that old has been seen since 1958.
Is F1 getting less competitive?
The big three (Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull) have been streets ahead of the rest over the last couple of decades, leading some to feel that F1 isn’t as competitive as it used to be. If we judge competitiveness by the number of different drivers who win a race in a season, there doesn’t seem to be an effect of time – it’s been relatively flat since the 1950s at around 4-5 winners per year. There was a spike in competitiveness from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s. I asked r/F1Technical why this might have been, and got some interesting ideas:
- Teams used the same engines at that time
- Less reliable technology
- Bernie Ecclestone’s Concorde Agreement in 1981 – constructors had to commit to every race, effectively making it more of a “pro” sport and forcing higher investment
- Race refuelling was banned in 1984 (although it did come back in the 1990s)
- Changes to the scoring system
- Changes to regulations meaning the aerodynamics of the cars had to be massively rethought
- More regulations in general
However, if you think of competitiveness in terms of drivers who finished on the podium per race, that has been in gradual decline, on average, since the 1950s (with some ups and downs on the way of course).