A topic open to contention, given the difficult nature of defining the best racing car drivers, ever, this list is based on performances as well as personality. Car racing is a dangerous and demanding sport, and was even more so in the past, and drivers should be recognised for their skill and bravery.
Despite never winning a world championship, Sir Stirling Moss is viewed as one of the all-time greats of Formula One racing and is especially popular among British fans. He performed to a consistently high standard of car racing, coming second four times and third three times in seven seasons. A highlight of his racing career happened outside Formula One, when he achieved an average speed of 99.2 mph while driving a Mercedes-Benz 300SLR 1,000 miles across Italy to win the Mille Miglia. His career was tragically cut short in 1962 when he crashed at Goodwood.
Juan Manuel Fangio
This Argentinean racing driver achieved incredible success during his time, and won his final grand prix at the age of 47. In total, Fangio won 5 world championships in Formula One and his record included driving in only 51 grand prix but starting 48 of them on the front row of the grid. He had a knack for knowing which cars were best, and how to best drive them. Stirling Moss was in awe of him and views him as the best racing driver.
The racing driver known for both his driving prowess and safety campaigning for the sport, Sir Jackie Stewart was the first millionaire driver. Committed to racing, Stewart secured 3 world championships and drove in 99 grand prix before turning his back on the sport after the death of his team-mate and friend, François Cevert in 1973. Stewart is a great figure within car racing, campaigning for greater safety standards and measures.
This Brazilian car driver secured legendary status not simply because of his immense racing ability but because of his dramatic death, which was witnessed by TV viewers around the world. During the 1994 San Marino grand prix, Senna careered off the track and into a wall. Regarded by many as the forebear to the modern grand prix driver, Senna matched technical ability with fitness. He was fast, exciting to watch, daring and brave.
Statistically, Michael Schumacher is the greatest racing driver. He has won 7 championships, and had 91 wins in his driving career. However, his record-breaking abilities are sometimes overshadowed by his ruthless streak – for example, in 1994 when he won his first title, he’d crashed into Damon Hill and prevented him from winning the championship.