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 64.33, Jack Brabham is the most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 51 different languages on wikipedia.
Sir John Arthur Brabham (2 April 1926 – 19 May 2014) was an Australian racing driver who was Formula One World Champion in 1959, 1960, and 1966. He was a founder of the Brabham racing team and race car constructor that bore his name.Brabham was a Royal Australian Air Force flight mechanic and ran a small engineering workshop before he started racing midget cars in 1948. His successes with midgets in Australian and New Zealand road racing events led to his going to Britain to further his racing career. There he became part of the Cooper Car Company's racing team, building as well as racing cars. He contributed to the design of the mid-engined cars that Cooper introduced to Formula One and the Indianapolis 500, and won the Formula One world championship in 1959 and 1960. In 1962 he established his own Brabham marque with fellow Australian Ron Tauranac, which in the 1960s became the largest manufacturer of customer racing cars in the world. In the 1966 Formula One season Brabham became the first – and still, the only – man to win the Formula One world championship driving one of his own cars. He was the last surviving World Champion of the 1950s. Brabham retired to Australia after the 1970 Formula One season, where he bought a farm and maintained business interests, which included the Engine Developments racing engine manufacturer and several garages.
With an HPI of 58.81, Alan Jones is the 2nd most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 41 different languages.
Alan Stanley Jones, (born 2 November 1946) is an Australian former Formula One driver. He was the first driver to win a Formula One World Championship with the Williams team, becoming the 1980 World Drivers' Champion and the second Australian to do so following triple World Champion Sir Jack Brabham. He competed in a total of 117 Grands Prix, winning 12 and achieving 24 podium finishes. In 1978 Jones won the Can-Am championship driving a Lola. Jones is also the last Australian driver to win the Australian Grand Prix, winning the 1980 event at Calder Park Raceway, having lapped the field consisting mostly of Formula 5000 cars while he was driving his Formula One Championship winning Williams FW07B.
With an HPI of 51.31, Mark Webber is the 3rd most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 55 different languages.
Mark Alan Webber (born 27 August 1976) is an Australian former professional racing driver who competed in Formula One from 2002 to 2013 and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) between 2014 and 2016. He is a champion of the 2015 FIA WEC for Porsche with German Timo Bernhard and New Zealander Brendon Hartley. Webber began karting at age 12 or 13 and achieved early success, winning regional championships before progressing to car racing in the Australian Formula Ford Championship and the British Formula 3 Championship. He competed for two years opposite Bernd Schneider in the FIA GT Championship with the AMG Mercedes team, finishing runner-up in the 1998 season with five wins in ten races before finishing second in the 2001 International Formula 3000 Championship driving for Super Nova Racing. Webber made his F1 debut with the Minardi team in the 2002 season and finished fifth in his first race, the Australian Grand Prix. He moved to the Jaguar squad for the 2003 and 2004 championships. For the 2005 season, he was granted an early release from his contract with Jaguar and joined the Williams team, securing his first podium finish at the Monaco Grand Prix. Webber remained at Williams until the 2006 campaign, driving for the Red Bull squad for the rest of his F1 career. He won nine F1 Grands Prix, thirteen pole positions and finished third in the World Drivers' Championship in the 2010, 2011 and 2013 seasons. He left F1 after 2013 and moved to the WEC, sharing a Porsche 919 Hybrid with Bernhard and Hartley in the fully-professional Le Mans Prototype 1 class from the 2014 to 2016 seasons. The trio won eight races in the final two seasons and the 2015 World Endurance Drivers' Championship. He retired from motor sport in 2016, becoming a television pundit for Britain's Channel 4 and Australia's Network 10 and a driver manager. Webber received the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2017 Australia Day Honours. Webber is an inductee of both the Australian Motor Sport Hall of Fame and the FIA Hall of Fame.
With an HPI of 49.62, Mick Doohan is the 4th most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.
Michael Sydney Doohan (born 4 June 1965) is an Australian former Grand Prix motorcycle road racing World Champion, who won five consecutive 500 cc World Championships.
With an HPI of 49.60, Daniel Ricciardo is the 5th most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 52 different languages.
Daniel Joseph Ricciardo ( "Ricardo", Italian: [ritˈtʃardo]; born 1 July 1989) is an Italian-Australian racing driver who is currently competing in Formula One driving for McLaren, under the Australian flag. He made his debut at the 2011 British Grand Prix with the HRT team as part of a deal with Red Bull Racing, for whom he was test driving under its sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso. Ricciardo's driver number is 3. He has achieved 8 Grand Prix victories in Formula One. Ricciardo joined Toro Rosso in 2012 full-time after the team changed its driver lineup and drove a Ferrari-powered car for them in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, Ricciardo was promoted to Red Bull as a replacement for the retired Mark Webber alongside multiple time world champion Sebastian Vettel. In his first season with Red Bull under Renault power, Ricciardo finished third in the championship with his first three Formula One wins, in Canada, Hungary, and Belgium.After two years without a victory, Ricciardo returned to the top of the podium at the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix, eventually sealing third in the championship for the second time in three years at the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix. He has since added victories for Red Bull at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2017 and the Chinese and Monaco Grands Prix in 2018. After 2018, Ricciardo signed with Renault and raced for them in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He joined McLaren for the 2021 and 2022 Formula One seasons, alongside Lando Norris. He obtained his first race win with McLaren at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix. After the 2021 season, Ricciardo was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2022 Australia Day Honours.
With an HPI of 48.28, Tim Schenken is the 6th most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.
Timothy Theodore Schenken (born 26 September 1943) is a former racing driver from Sydney, Australia. He participated in 36 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 16 August 1970. He achieved one career podium at the 1971 Austrian Grand Prix, and scored a total of seven championship points. He did however have two non-championship race podiums – he finished third in the 1971 BRDC International Trophy and third in the 1972 International Gold Cup.
With an HPI of 46.93, Casey Stoner is the 7th most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.
Casey Joel Stoner (born 16 October 1985) is an Australian retired professional motorcycle racer, and a two-time MotoGP World Champion, in 2007 and 2011. During his MotoGP career, Stoner raced for the factory teams of Ducati and Honda, winning a title for each team. Born in Southport, Queensland, Stoner raced from a young age and moved to the United Kingdom to pursue a racing career. After first competing internationally in 2002, Stoner became MotoGP World Champion in 2007 for Ducati. One of Stoner's greatest talents was his ability to ride any motorcycle beyond its perceived limits, even winning races on the inferior Ducati after both Honda and Yamaha had forged ahead in development during his later racing years. Stoner's 2007 title remains Ducati's only rider's championship. During 2008 and 2009 Stoner remained a strong contender, winning multiple races, but not being able to consistently challenge Valentino Rossi and Yamaha for the title during those seasons. Stoner had a strong start to the 2009 season but had to miss three races due to chronic fatigue. In 2010, Ducati failed to challenge Yamaha and Honda until very late in the season, when Stoner went out on a winning note, winning three races. After his departure from Ducati to Honda following the 2010 season, Stoner won a second world championship title in 2011 for Repsol Honda. The championship was won in a dominant fashion with ten Grand Prix wins and sealed by winning his home race with two races remaining. Prior to the 2012 French Grand Prix, Stoner announced that he would retire from Grand Prix racing at the conclusion of the 2012 season. Stoner was also the winner of his home Grand Prix of Australia on six consecutive occasions between 2007 and 2012. Due to a crash during practice at Indianapolis, Stoner missed several races due to injury, curtailing his championship challenge for his last season. He rounded off his MotoGP career with a remarkable sixth consecutive win in his home Grand Prix at Phillip Island and with a podium in his final race. On 27 March 2015, HRC announced that Stoner would return to competition in a one-off ride in the 2015 Suzuka 8 Hours. Stoner crashed out of the race due to a stuck throttle, and Honda apologized to Stoner over the technical failure that caused him to injure his ankle and shoulder. Stoner served as a test and development rider for former team Ducati from 2016 to 2018.
With an HPI of 45.83, Ken Kavanagh is the 8th most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 21 different languages.
Thomas Kenrick Kavanagh (12 December 1923 – 26 November 2019) was an Australian Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and racecar driver. In 1952, Kavanagh became the first Australian to win a motorcycle Grand Prix race when he won the 350cc Ulster Grand Prix. In 1956, he won the Junior TT at the Isle of Man TT races. Kavanagh entered two Formula One Grands Prix in 1958 with his own Maserati 250F, firstly in Monaco where he failed to qualify, and lastly in the Belgian Grand Prix where he missed out on the race having blown his engine in practice, after having qualified 20th of 28 entrants.
With an HPI of 43.53, Frank Gardner is the 9th most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.
Frank Gardner OAM (1 October 1931 – 29 August 2009) was a racing driver from Australia. Born in Sydney, he was best known for touring car racing, winning the British Saloon Car Championship three times, and sports car racing driver but he was also a top flight open wheeler driver. He was European Formula 5000 champion, and participated in nine World Championship Formula One Grands Prix, debuting on 11 July 1964. He scored no championship points. Gardner also participated in numerous non-Championship Formula One races and his results included a third placing at the 1965 Mediterranean Grand Prix at the Autodromo di Pergusa in Sicily, fourth in the 1965 Race of Champions at Brands Hatch and third in the 1971 International Gold Cup at Oulton Park. He participated each year in the open wheeler Tasman Series held in New Zealand and Australia during the European winter, and shared the grids with the likes of Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Jochen Rindt and won the New Zealand Grand Prix. He is unrelated to the former Grand Prix motorcycle and touring car racer Wayne Gardner. Frank was an Australian champion surf boat rower in 1953, rowing for Whale Beach Surf Life Saving Club. The coach was Jack Uren, brother of politician Tom Uren.
With an HPI of 42.48, Vern Schuppan is the 10th most famous Racing Driver. His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.
Vernon John Schuppan (born 19 March 1943) is a retired Australian motor racing driver. Schuppan drove in various categories, participating in Formula One, the Indianapolis 500 and most successfully in sports car racing. Although he considers himself to be a single-seater driver, Schuppan's biggest career victory was with the factory-backed Rothmans Porsche team when he partnered Americans Hurley Haywood and Al Holbert to win the 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans driving the Porsche 956. In 1984 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for "service to the sport of motor racing".
Pantheon has 22 people classified as racing drivers born between 1923 and 2001. Of these 22, 17 (77.27%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living racing drivers include Alan Jones, Mark Webber, and Mick Doohan. The most famous deceased racing drivers include Jack Brabham, Ken Kavanagh, and Frank Gardner. As of April 2022, 1 new racing drivers have been added to Pantheon including Oscar Piastri.
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Which Racing Drivers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 5 most globally memorable Racing Drivers since 1700.