British Racing Drivers

Among the 34 drivers who have won the F1 World Drivers Championship (WDC), 10 are British F1 Drivers. This makes the United Kingdom the most successful nation in F1 history.

The British F1 Drivers have won 20 world championships between them. They have also produced the most race winners (19) and podium finishers (31) in F1. Lewis Hamilton holds joint first place with Michael Schumacher having won 7 world championships.

Stirling Moss is the only one of these greats to have not won a world drivers’ championship. Despite that he deserves to be on this list.

In this article, we will take a look at all of the great British F1 drivers and their achievements.

British F1 Drivers – Stirling Moss

British F1 Drivers Stirling Moss

Sir Stirling Moss was one of the most legendary and influential drivers in Formula One (F1) history.

He won 212 of the 529 races he entered across several different motorsport categories. Ironically he was widely regarded as “the greatest driver never to win the F1 World Championship.”

Moss was also a pioneer of driver safety and a gentleman of the sport. Stirling died on April 12, 2020, at the age of 90, following a long illness.

Select the following link to read more about Stirling Moss.

British F1 Drivers – Mike Hawthorn

British F1 Drivers

The first British driver to win the WDC was Mike Hawthorn. He clinched the title in 1958 by just one point over his compatriot Stirling Moss.

Hawthorn drove for Ferrari and won only one race that year, the French Grand Prix. He scored consistently in other events which accumulated enough points to win the championship. Mike also became the first driver to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the WDC in 1958.

Mike retired from racing after winning the title and sadly died in a road accident a few months later.

Select the following link to read more about Mike Hawthorn.

British F1 Drivers – Graham Hill

British F1 Drivers Graham Hill

Graham Hill was one of the most versatile and charismatic drivers of his era. Hill won two WDCs, in 1962 and 1968, driving for BRM and Lotus respectively.

He also won five times at the Monaco Grand Prix, earning him the nickname “Mr. Monaco”.

Hill is the only driver to have won the Triple Crown of Motorsport:

  • The F1 World Drivers Championship
  • The Indianapolis 500
  • The 24 Hours of Le Mans.

He was also a mentor and team owner for several young drivers, including his son Damon Hill.

Sadly, Graham Hill died in a plane crash in 1975.

Read more about Graham Hill.

British F1 Drivers – Jim Clark

British F1 Driver - Jim Clark

Jim Clark is widely regarded as one of the greatest drivers of all time. He dominated F1 in the mid-1960s, winning two WDCs for Lotus in 1963 and 1965.

Clark also won a record seven races in a single season in both years. Jim was known for his smooth and precise driving style, as well as his versatility in different types of cars.

He also became the first British driver to win the Indianapolis 500 in 1965.

Clark died tragically in a Formula Two race at Hockenheim in 1968.

Read more about Jim Clark.

British F1 Drivers – John Surtees

John Surtees

John Surtees was another versatile driver who excelled in both two-wheel and four-wheel racing.

He was a four-time world champion in motorcycle racing before switching to F1 in 1960.

Surtees won the WDC in 1964 while driving for Ferrari.

John also became the first driver to win races with four different constructors:

  • Cooper.
  • Lola.
  • Ferrari.
  • Honda.

Surtees later founded his own F1 team, which competed from 1970 to 1978.

He died in 2017 at the age of 83.

Select the following link to read more about John Surtees.

British F1 Drivers – Jackie Stewart

Jackie Stewart and Lewis Hamilton
Jackie Stewart and Lewis Hamilton

Jackie Stewart is one of the most successful and influential drivers in F1 history. He won three WDCs, in 1969, 1971 and 1973, driving for Matra and Tyrrell.

He also won 27 races, which was a record at the time of his retirement.

Stewart was a pioneer of driver safety and campaigned for better standards and regulations in motorsport.

He also became a successful team owner, commentator, and businessman after his racing career and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2001.

Read more about Jackie Stewart.

British F1 Drivers – James Hunt

James Hunt

James Hunt was one of the most charismatic and controversial drivers of his era.

He won his only WDC in 1976, driving for McLaren. James was involved in a fierce rivalry with Niki Lauda that year, which was dramatized in the film Rush (2013).

Hunt was known for his aggressive and flamboyant driving style. Off the track he had a reputation of being a “party animal” and a playboy.

He retired from racing in 1979 and became a popular commentator for the BBC. Hunt died of a heart attack in 1993 at the age of 45.

Read more about James Hunt.

British F1 Drivers – Nigel Mansell

Nigel Mansell

Nigel Mansell was one of the most popular and determined drivers of his generation.

He won his only WDC in 1992, driving for Williams. Nigel also set a record for the most wins in a single season (9) that year.

Mansell was known for his fierce battles with his rivals, especially Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

Nigel raced in IndyCar, winning the title in 1993. This made him the only driver to hold both the F1 and IndyCar titles simultaneously.

He retired from racing in 1995 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2012.

Select the following link to read more about Nigel Mansell.

Damon Hill

Damon Hill

Damon Hill followed in his father’s footsteps and became an F1 driver in 1992.

He won his only WDC in 1996, driving for Williams. This made him the first son of a world champion to win the title himself.

Damon was involved in an infamous rivalry with Michael Schumacher, who denied him the title in 1994 and 1995.

He also drove for Arrows, Jordan, and BAR before retiring from racing in 1999.

Later Hill became a commentator, writer, and president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club.

Select the following link to read more about Damon Hill.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton 2009

Lewis Hamilton is the most successful British driver and one of the greatest drivers of all time.

He has won seven WDC s (2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020), equaling Michael Schumacher’s record.

Hamilton won his first title in 2008, driving for McLaren. After this he moved to Mercedes in 2013, where he has won six more titles.

Lewis also holds the records in F1 history for the following.

  • Most wins – 103
  • The most pole positions – 103
  • The highest number of podiums – 176.

Lewis is also a vocal advocate for diversity and social justice in motorsport and beyond. Hamilton was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2020.

Select the following link to read more about Lewis Hamilton.

British F1 Drivers – Jenson Button

Jenson Button was one of the most consistent and smooth drivers of his era.

He won his only WDC in 2009, driving for Brawn GP. This was a remarkable feat considering the team’s limited resources and uncertain future.

Button also drove for the following teams.

He retired from racing in 2017.

Jenson won 15 races and scored 50 podiums in his F1 career. Button became a commentator, triathlete, and team owner after his racing career.

Select the following link to read more about Jenson Button.

Summary Of The Great British F1 Drivers Records

of GPs
Lewis Hamilton30810352357x
Jackie Stewart100271153x
 Jim Clark7325162x
Graham Hill179141572x
Stirling Moss671652(4x 2nd)
Nigel Mansell1923117111x
James Hunt9310671x
Damon Hill122221551x
Mike Hawthorn473961x
Jenson Button3091515201x
John Surtees 6   


The UK has produced some of the finest drivers in F1 history. Between them they have won a total of 20 WDCs between them.

These remarkable sportsmen have also contributed to the development and popularity of the sport with their skills, personalities, and achievements. They have inspired generations of fans and drivers around the world with their passion and dedication to racing.


By Jonny Noble

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Jonny Noble I’m a dedicated F1 Writer – and I’ve Been One for Over Four Decades, I’ve been intimately immersed in the world of Formula One for more than 44 years. That’s longer than most professional commentators can boast! As an independent writer, I offer a unique perspective on the entire F1 landscape, free from biases that might cloud the discussion. We dive deep into the exhilarating, frustrating, and captivating facets of the F1 universe. So, regardless of my amateur status, one thing is undeniable: four decades of dedicated F1 fandom have forged strong opinions worth exploring!