McLaren - Triple Crown Winner

The world of motorsport reverberates with the echoes of legends and the pursuit of excellence, a thrilling theater where speed, precision, and strategy entwine – and so the unofficial Triple Crown feat was invented!.

Among the myriad races that adorn this grand stage, there exists a trio of contests that stand as the pinnacle of achievement, the illustrious “Triple Crown of Motorsport.” It comprises the revered 24 Hours of Le Mans, the iconic Indianapolis 500, and the glamorous Monaco Grand Prix, this triumvirate of challenges has etched its name in the annals of racing lore.

With a history as rich as the engines that roar through these hallowed tracks, the Triple Crown has been a tantalizing quest, a pursuit that has seen champions, contenders, and the relentless pursuit of greatness.

The Components of the Triple Crown

The Triple Crown of Motorsport is an informal distinction bestowed upon a driver who emerges victorious in three specific races:

  • Indianapolis 500: This race was first held in 1911 and has become a hallmark of American motorsport, renowned for its high speeds and demanding oval track.
  • 24 Hours of Le Mans: Inaugurated in 1923, this endurance race takes place on a road course in France and challenges teams to race non-stop for an entire day.
  • Monaco Grand Prix: The streets of Monaco host this Formula One race, which started in 1929. The tight and twisting layout makes it one of the most unique and prestigious events in the motorsport calendar.

While these three races constitute the core of the Triple Crown, there’s debate about its exact parameters. Some, like former Indy 500 winner and F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, believe that winning the Formula One World Championship is essential for the Triple Crown.

According to this perspective, the Monaco Grand Prix alone is insufficient. However, opinions vary on this matter, and ultimately, it’s the victories in these races that define the achievement.

Graham Hill: The Sole Triple Crown Winner

British driver Graham Hill remains the sole Triple Crown winner to date. His accomplishment includes the following.

  • Victories in the Monaco Grand Prix (1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, and 1969).
  • The Indianapolis 500 (1966).
  • The 24 Hours of Le Mans (1972, with co-driver Henri Pescarolo).

Hill’s perspective aligned with Villeneuve’s – he believed that winning the Formula One World Championship held more significance than the Monaco Grand Prix alone. Despite this viewpoint, Hill’s remarkable success in the designated races solidified his place in Triple Crown history.

Fernando Alonso’s Pursuit

Fernando Alonso - Triple Crown

Among the contemporary drivers, Fernando Alonso stands as a strong contender.

With two Formula One World Championships and two Monaco Grand Prix victories, Alonso has proven his prowess in both single-seater and endurance racing.

He also triumphed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018 and 2019, showcasing his versatility across different disciplines.

Alonso’s quest for the Triple Crown was stopped in 2017 when his attempt at the Indianapolis 500 was hampered by technical issues with his McLaren car. This incident underscored the unpredictable challenges that racers face in their pursuit of victory.

Close Calls and Near Misses

Several drivers have come close to achieving the Crown by excelling in two out of the three required races.

Notable names on this list include Tazio Nuvolari, Maurice Trintignant, Mike Hawthorn, Phil Hill, A.J. Foyt, Bruce McLaren, Jim Clark, Karl Jochen Rindt, Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jacques Villeneuve, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Fernando Alonso.

These drivers exemplify the diverse skills needed to excel in different racing formats.

McLaren’s Team Achievement

Mick Schumacher - McLaren - Triple Crown

In a unique twist, the McLaren racing team achieved its own version.

Over the years, McLaren secured victories. These included

  • The Indianapolis 500 (1974).
  • The Monaco Grand Prix (1984)
  • The 24 Hours of Le Mans (1995).

These collective achievements highlight the team’s prowess across different racing disciplines.

Beyond the Racetrack: Endurance Racing and Baseball

Beyond traditional motorsport, the Triple Crown concept extends to other areas. In endurance racing. The title is awarded to drivers who conquer three renowned endurance races:

  • The 24 Hours of Le Mans.
  • The 24 Hours of Daytona.
  • The 12 Hours of Sebring.

This accolade recognizes a driver’s ability to endure and succeed in grueling racing conditions.

Triple Crown in Baseball

Additionally, the term “Triple Crown” finds application in baseball. In this context, a player achieves the Triple Crown by leading a league in three specific statistical categories during a single season.

For hitters, this involves having the highest batting average, the most home runs, and the most runs batted in (RBI). Pitchers can also earn a “Pitching Triple Crown” by leading the league in wins, strikeouts, and earned run average (ERA).


The Triple Crown of Motorsport remains a celebrated achievement in the world of racing. Its elusive nature and the variety of perspectives surrounding it add to its allure.

Whether achieved by individual drivers or racing teams, the Triple Crown symbolizes excellence, versatility, and enduring success across a diverse array of racing challenges.


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!