The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Racing Drivers of all time. This list of famous Racing Drivers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Racing Drivers.
With an HPI of 72.77, Juan Manuel Fangio is the most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 65 different languages on wikipedia.
Juan Manuel Fangio (American Spanish: [ˈfanχjo], Italian: [ˈfandʒo]; 24 June 1911 – 17 July 1995), nicknamed El Chueco ("the bowlegged" or "bandy legged one") or El Maestro ("The Master" or "The Teacher"), was an Argentine racing car driver. He dominated the first decade of Formula One racing, winning the World Drivers' Championship five times.From childhood, he abandoned his studies to pursue auto mechanics. In 1938, he debuted in Turismo Carretera, competing in a Ford V8. In 1940, he competed with Chevrolet, winning the Grand Prix International Championship and devoted his time to the Argentine Turismo Carretera becoming its champion, a title he successfully defended a year later. Fangio then competed in Europe between 1947 and 1949, where he achieved further success. He won the World Championship of Drivers five times—a record that stood for 46 years until beaten by Michael Schumacher—with four different teams (Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Maserati). He holds the highest winning percentage in Formula One at 46.15%, winning 24 of 52 Formula One races he entered. Fangio is the only Argentine driver to have won the Argentine Grand Prix, which he won four times in his career, more than any other driver.After retirement, Fangio presided as the honorary president of Mercedes-Benz Argentina from 1987, a year after the inauguration of his museum, until his death in 1995. In 2011, on the centenary of his birth, Fangio was remembered around the world and various activities were held in his honor.
With an HPI of 64.03, Carlos Reutemann is the 2nd most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.
Carlos Alberto "Lole" Reutemann (12 April 1942 – 7 July 2021) was an Argentine racing driver who raced in Formula One from 1972 to 1982, and later became a politician in his native province of Santa Fe, for the Justicialist Party, and governor of Santa Fe in Argentina. As a racing driver, Reutemann was among Formula One's leading protagonists between 1972 and 1982. He scored 12 Grand Prix wins and six pole positions. In 1981 while driving for Williams he finished second in the World Drivers' Championship by one point, having been overtaken in the last race of the season. Reutemann also finished in third overall three times for three separate teams, 1975 for Brabham, 1978 for Ferrari, and 1980 for Williams. To date he is the last Argentine driver to win a Grand Prix. In terms of race wins, his final Ferrari season in 1978 was his most successful with four wins, but he fell short to the consistency of the Lotus team with Mario Andretti and Ronnie Peterson and was not in championship contention to the final race. He finished third, just behind Peterson, who had died in an accident at Monza earlier that autumn. In 1981, Reutemann instead relied on consistency, but narrowly lost out to Nelson Piquet for the title. He became the second Formula One driver after Leo Kinnunen to be at the podium of a World Rally Championship event, when he finished third in the 1980 and 1985 editions of Rally Argentina. He was also for three decades the only Formula One driver to score drivers' championship points in both F1 and WRC, until Kimi Räikkönen's eighth place at the 2010 Jordan Rally.As a popular governor and a senator, he was considered by some, on several occasions, to be a worthy candidate for President, but while he considered running for president in the 2011 Argentine general election he declined to do so.Reutemann died in a medical facility in Santa Fe, Argentina on 7 July 2021 after suffering from issues relating to a haemorrhage as well as other health issues.
With an HPI of 57.05, José Froilán González is the 3rd most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 30 different languages.
José Froilán González (October 5, 1922 – June 15, 2013) was an Argentine racing driver, particularly notable for scoring Ferrari's first win in a Formula One World Championship race at the 1951 British Grand Prix. He made his Formula One debut for Scuderia Achille Varzi in the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix. His last Grand Prix was the 1960 Argentine Grand Prix. González competed in 26 World Championship Formula One Grands Prix over nine seasons (1950–1957 and 1960) and numerous non-Championship events. In the 26 World Championship races, González scored two victories (the 1951 British Grand Prix and the 1954 British Grand Prix), seven second-place finishes, six third-place finishes, three pole positions, six fastest laps, and 72 1⁄7 points. He won the 1951 Coppa Acerbo, in 1954 the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Maurice Trintignant, and the Portuguese Grand Prix for Ferrari. Physically well built, González was nicknamed The Pampas Bull (by his English fans) and El Cabezón (Fat Head, by his Argentine fans). His close friends, like Juan-Manuel Fangio and Roberto Mieres, called him Pepe.
With an HPI of 54.15, Onofre Marimón is the 4th most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.
Onofre Agustín Marimón (19 December 1923 – 31 July 1954) was a racing driver from Zárate, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He participated in 11 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 1 July 1951. He achieved two podiums, and scored a total of 8 1⁄7 championship points. Marimón was killed on 31 July 1954 during practice for the 1954 German Grand Prix, becoming the first driver to be fatally injured at a World Championship Grand Prix other than the Indianapolis 500. His Maserati left the Nürburgring race course at the Breidscheid curve near the Adenauer Bridge after he lost control attempting to improve his qualifying time. He died at the bottom of a steep and treacherous incline. He was going fast on a downgrade but failed to negotiate a sharp turn at the bottom. Marimón impacted a ditch, his Maserati shearing off a tree and rolling over a number of times. He was pinned underneath the car as it came to rest on its top with the wheels spinning in the air. Marimón was given the last rites by a Catholic priest before dying a few minutes after rescue workers freed him. It was thought that his braking unit failed.Marimón's death trimmed the Maserati team to four drivers. His practice times had not been satisfactory enough for him to make the top 5 for the 1954 German Grand Prix. His best time was 21.3 seconds behind the record time of 9:50.1 set by Juan Manuel Fangio.
With an HPI of 52.95, Alejandro de Tomaso is the 5th most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.
Alejandro de Tomaso (10 July 1928 in Buenos Aires – 21 May 2003 in Modena, Italy) was a racing driver and businessman from Argentina. His name is sometimes seen in an Italianised form as Alessandro de Tomaso. He participated in two Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 13 January 1957. He scored no championship points. He later founded the Italian sports car company De Tomaso Automobili in 1959.
With an HPI of 49.36, Ricardo Zunino is the 6th most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.
Ricardo Héctor Zunino (born 13 April 1949 in San Juan) is a former racing driver from Argentina who participated in Formula One from 1979 to 1981. He competed in 11 World Championship races and two non-Championship Formula One races, the 1980 Spanish Grand Prix and 1981 South African Grand Prix. At the 1979 Canadian Grand Prix, he replaced Niki Lauda at Brabham after the Austrian abruptly quit the team and Formula One. Zunino, attending the race as a spectator on a weekend off from his regular British F1 Championship drive, was chosen to take over the seat, having recently tested for the team. After the 1980 French Grand Prix he was replaced by Héctor Rebaque. In Argentina, he was two-time Turismo Nacional champion, with Fiat.
With an HPI of 48.36, Clemar Bucci is the 7th most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.
Clemar Bucci (4 September 1920 – 12 January 2011) was a racing driver from Argentina. He participated in five World Championship Formula One Grands Prix, debuting on 17 July 1954 and several non-Championship Formula One races. He scored no championship points. He was born in Zenón Pereyra and died in Buenos Aires.
With an HPI of 47.46, Alberto Crespo is the 8th most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.
Alberto Augusto Crespo (16 January 1920 – 14 August 1991) was a racing driver from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He entered one World Championship Formula One Grand Prix, the 1952 Italian Grand Prix, with a Maserati entered for him by Enrico Platé. Crespo narrowly failed to qualify.
With an HPI of 47.03, Pablo Birger is the 9th most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.
Pablo Birger (7 January 1924 – 9 March 1966) was an Argentine racing driver who raced in two World Championship Grands Prix for the Gordini team. He raced a Gordini Type 15 in the 1953 Argentine Grand Prix but the car lasted just twenty-one laps. Two years later he again rented a seat with Gordini, this time racing a Type 16, but spun on the first lap and collided with Carlos Menditeguy. Birger, who was born in Buenos Aires, died in a road accident in his native city at the age of 42.
With an HPI of 46.70, Roberto Bonomi is the 10th most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.
Roberto Wenceslao Bonomi Oliva (30 September 1919 in Buenos Aires, Argentina – 10 January 1992) was a racing driver who took part in one Formula One World Championship Grand Prix driving a Cooper for the Scuderia Centro Sud team. Before he participated in Formula One he was a sports car champion in 1952 and 1953, as well as a member of the Argentine team to race in Europe. Bonomi worked as a local politician and landowner.
Pantheon has 27 people classified as racing drivers born between 1911 and 1983. Of these 27, 7 (25.93%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living racing drivers include Ricardo Zunino, Oscar Larrauri, and Miguel Ángel Guerra. The most famous deceased racing drivers include Juan Manuel Fangio, Carlos Reutemann, and José Froilán González.
1911 - 1995
1942 - 2021
1922 - 2013
1923 - 1954
1928 - 2003
1920 - 2011
1920 - 1991
1924 - 1966
1919 - 1992
1913 - 1989
1914 - 1973
1924 - 2012
Which Racing Drivers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 19 most globally memorable Racing Drivers since 1700.