The Most Famous

RACING DRIVERS from Italy

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This page contains a list of the greatest Italian Racing Drivers. The pantheon dataset contains 1,080 Racing Drivers, 122 of which were born in Italy. This makes Italy the birth place of the 2nd most number of Racing Drivers.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Italian Racing Drivers of all time. This list of famous Italian 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 Italian Racing Drivers.

Photo of Enzo Ferrari

1. Enzo Ferrari (1898 - 1988)

With an HPI of 75.55, Enzo Ferrari is the most famous Italian Racing Driver.  His biography has been translated into 66 different languages on wikipedia.

Enzo Anselmo Giuseppe Maria Ferrari (Italian: [ˈɛntso anˈsɛlmo ferˈraːri]; 18 February 1898 – 14 August 1988) was an Italian motor racing driver and entrepreneur, the founder of the Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix motor racing team, and subsequently of the Ferrari automobile marque. He was widely known as Il Commendatore or Il Drake. In his final years he was often referred to as L'Ingegnere ("The Engineer") or Il Grande Vecchio ("The Grand Old Man").

Photo of Alberto Ascari

2. Alberto Ascari (1918 - 1955)

With an HPI of 68.40, Alberto Ascari is the 2nd most famous Italian Racing Driver.  His biography has been translated into 57 different languages.

Alberto Ascari (13 July 1918 – 26 May 1955) was an Italian racing driver and a two-time Formula One World Champion. Noted for careful precision and finely-judged accuracy, Ascari was a multitalented racer who competed in motorcycle racing before switching to cars. He won consecutive Formula One world titles in 1952 and 1953 for Scuderia Ferrari, being the team's first World Champion, and the last Italian to win the title as of 2024. This was sandwiched by an appearance in the 1952 Indianapolis 500, and winning the 1954 Mille Miglia. As of 2024, Ascari and Michael Schumacher are Ferrari's only back-to-back World Champions, and Ascari remains Ferrari's sole Italian champion. As the first driver to win multiple World Championship titles, he held the record for most World Championship titles from 1952 to 1954, becoming one of four drivers to have held the record for most World Championship titles. Juan Manuel Fangio held the record from 1954 to 2002 (jointly with Ascari in 1954) and Schumacher has held the record since 2002, although Schumacher also shares that record with Lewis Hamilton since 2020. When Ascari was a young child, his father Antonio Ascari, also a famous racing driver, died in an accident at the 1925 French Grand Prix. Ascari himself was later killed during a test session for Ferrari at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in 1955.

Photo of Giuseppe Farina

3. Giuseppe Farina (1906 - 1966)

With an HPI of 67.52, Giuseppe Farina is the 3rd most famous Italian Racing Driver.  His biography has been translated into 54 different languages.

Emilio Giuseppe "Nino" Farina (Italian pronunciation: [dʒuˈzɛppe ˈniːno faˈriːna]; 30 October 1906 – 30 June 1966), often known by the name Giuseppe Antonio Farina, was an Italian racing driver. He was the Italian National Champion in 1937, 1938, and 1939, and in 1950 became the first World Drivers' Champion during the FIA's inaugural season of Formula One.

Photo of Giacomo Agostini

4. Giacomo Agostini (b. 1942)

With an HPI of 63.29, Giacomo Agostini is the 4th most famous Italian Racing Driver.  His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.

Giacomo Agostini (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdʒaːkomo aɡoˈstiːni]; born 16 June 1942) is an Italian former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer. Nicknamed Ago, he amassed 122 Grand Prix wins and 15 World Championship titles. Of these, 68 wins and 8 titles came in the 500 cc class, the rest in the 350 cc class. For these achievements obtained over the course of a career spanning 17 years, the AMA described him as "...perhaps the greatest Grand Prix rider of all time". In 2000, Agostini was inducted into the MotoGP Hall of Fame as a MotoGP Legend, while in 2010, he was named an FIM Legend for his motorcycling achievements.

Photo of Valentino Rossi

5. Valentino Rossi (b. 1979)

With an HPI of 60.30, Valentino Rossi is the 5th most famous Italian Racing Driver.  His biography has been translated into 59 different languages.

Valentino Rossi (; Italian: [valenˈtiːno ˈrossi]; born 16 February 1979) is an Italian racing driver, former professional motorcycle road racer and nine-time Grand Prix motorcycle racing World Champion. Nicknamed The Doctor, he is widely considered to be one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time. Rossi has nine Grand Prix World Championships, seven of which were in the premier 500cc/MotoGP class. He holds the record for most premier class victories, with 89 to his name. He won premier class World Championships with both Honda and Yamaha. He is also the only road racer to have competed in 400 or more Grands Prix, and rode with the number 46 for his entire career. After graduating to the premier class in 2000, Rossi won the final 500cc World Championship (becoming the last satellite rider to win the top-class title to date) and the 8 Hours of Suzuka with Honda in 2001. He also won MotoGP World Championships with the factory Honda Team in 2002 and 2003 and continued his run of back-to-back championships by winning the 2004 and 2005 titles after leaving Honda to join Yamaha. He lost the 2006 title with a crash in the final round at Valencia. In 2007 he ultimately finished third overall, before regaining the title in 2008 and retaining it in 2009. After a 2010 season marred by a broken leg and no title defence, he left Yamaha to join Ducati, replacing Casey Stoner for the 2011 and 2012 seasons, and endured two winless seasons with the Italian marque.Rossi returned to Yamaha in 2013 and finished fourth in the standings followed by three successive runner-up positions in 2014, 2015 and 2016. His best chance of winning a tenth title came in 2015, where he led the standings for most of the season, finishing five points behind teammate Jorge Lorenzo, the eventual champion. 2017 was the final season he achieved over 200 points in the championship and he took his final race victory at the 2017 Dutch TT at the age of 38. After three winless seasons with the factory Yamaha team, he moved to Petronas SRT for 2021, retiring after only one season with the satellite Yamaha team and failing to achieve a podium for the first time in a career spanning 26 seasons in Grands Prix. The dominant force in MotoGP in the 2000s, all of Rossi's seven premier class titles came in this decade, including 77 race wins and 48 pole positions. In the ensuing 12 seasons, he managed 12 race wins and seven pole positions. During this period, Rossi was the 6th most successful rider in terms of total race victories.Rossi was inducted into the MotoGP Hall of Fame as an official Legend by the FIM at the awards ceremony after the conclusion of the 2021 season. His #46 bike number was retired at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix. Rossi owns the Racing Team VR46, which competes in both Moto2 and MotoGP as of 2022. He also plans to be involved in and administering his motorcycle racing team VR46. In addition to his team management role, Rossi competes full-time in GT World Challenge Europe, driving for Team WRT.

Photo of Alfredo Ferrari

6. Alfredo Ferrari (1932 - 1956)

With an HPI of 60.15, Alfredo Ferrari is the 6th most famous Italian Racing Driver.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Alfredo Ferrari (nicknamed Alfredino or Dino; 19 January 1932 – 30 June 1956) was an Italian automotive engineer and the first son of automaker Enzo Ferrari. He was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and died aged 24. After his death, Ferrari named the car fitted with the engine that Alfredo was working on at the time of his death "Dino" in his honour.

Photo of Tazio Nuvolari

7. Tazio Nuvolari (1892 - 1953)

With an HPI of 59.99, Tazio Nuvolari is the 7th most famous Italian Racing Driver.  His biography has been translated into 27 different languages.

Tazio Giorgio Nuvolari (Italian pronunciation: [ˈtattsjo ˈdʒordʒo nuvoˈlaːri]; 16 November 1892 – 11 August 1953) was an Italian racing driver. He first raced motorcycles and then concentrated on sports cars and Grand Prix racing. Originally of Mantua, he was nicknamed Il Mantovano Volante ("The Flying Mantuan") and Nuvola ("Cloud"). His victories—72 major races, 150 in all—included 24 Grands Prix, five Coppa Cianos, two Mille Miglias, two Targa Florios, two RAC Tourist Trophies, a Le Mans 24-hour race, and a European Championship in Grand Prix racing. Ferdinand Porsche called him "the greatest driver of the past, the present, and the future".

Photo of Lella Lombardi

8. Lella Lombardi (1941 - 1992)

With an HPI of 59.77, Lella Lombardi is the 8th most famous Italian Racing Driver.  Her biography has been translated into 29 different languages.

Maria Grazia "Lella" Lombardi (26 March 1941 – 3 March 1992) was an Italian racing driver who participated in 17 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix. Lombardi is one of two female drivers to qualify for Formula One and is the only female driver who scored points in Formula One. Lombardi grew up in Italy and developed an interest in racing by driving a delivery van for her family. Starting in karting and moving to Formula Monza and Formula Three, Lombardi advanced through racing until she reached Formula One. She is the only woman to win points in Formula One, winning half a point in the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix. Lombardi was also the first woman to qualify and compete in the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch and raced in sports cars. She won the 6 Hours of Pergusa and the 6 Hours of Vallelunga. Lombardi's story has impacted generations of racers. Her experience has shaped the involvement of women in racing and how people perceive women in the racing industry.

Photo of Riccardo Patrese

9. Riccardo Patrese (b. 1954)

With an HPI of 58.83, Riccardo Patrese is the 9th most famous Italian Racing Driver.  His biography has been translated into 36 different languages.

Riccardo Gabriele Patrese (born 17 April 1954) is an Italian former racing driver, who raced in Formula One from 1977 to 1993. He became the first Formula One driver to achieve 200 Grand Prix starts when he appeared at the 1990 British Grand Prix, and then became the first to achieve 250 starts at the 1993 German Grand Prix. For 19 years, he held the record for the most Formula One Grand Prix starts, with 256 races from 257 entries. As of the end of the 2023 season he is the tenth-most experienced F1 driver in history. At the age of 38 he was runner-up to Nigel Mansell in the 1992 Formula One World Championship, and third in 1989 and 1991. He won six Formula One races, with a record gap of over six years between two of these – the 1983 South African Grand Prix and 1990 San Marino Grand Prix.Patrese also competed at the World Sportscar Championship for the Lancia factory team, finishing runner-up in 1982 and collecting eight wins.

Photo of Maria Teresa de Filippis

10. Maria Teresa de Filippis (1926 - 2016)

With an HPI of 58.72, Maria Teresa de Filippis is the 10th most famous Italian Racing Driver.  Her biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

Maria Teresa de Filippis (11 November 1926 – 8 January 2016) was an Italian racing driver, and the first woman to race in Formula One. She participated in five World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 18 May 1958, but scored no championship points. Though her Formula One racing career was brief, she won races in other series and is remembered as a pioneer in the sport.

People

Pantheon has 129 people classified as Italian racing drivers born between 1892 and 2002. Of these 129, 72 (55.81%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Italian racing drivers include Giacomo Agostini, Valentino Rossi, and Riccardo Patrese. The most famous deceased Italian racing drivers include Enzo Ferrari, Alberto Ascari, and Giuseppe Farina. As of April 2024, 7 new Italian racing drivers have been added to Pantheon including Alfredo Ferrari, Ernesto Prinoth, and Eugenio Lazzarini.

Living Italian Racing Drivers

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Deceased Italian Racing Drivers

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Newly Added Italian Racing Drivers (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

Which Racing Drivers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Racing Drivers since 1700.