The 10 Most Experienced F1 Drivers of All-Time
Experience counts for a lot in all sports, and F1 is no exception. Of course the recent years of F1 have more races than the early years, so the top ten is very top heavy with guys from the last ten years or so. Here is the top 10, starting with the most experienced of them all – Rubens Barrichello.
Rubens Barrichello – Brazil
Total Races Entered: 326
Total Starts: 322
Drove For: Jordan, Stewart, Ferrari, Honda, Brawn, Williams
The most experienced of them all, making his debut in 1993, immediately impressing in the wet European Grand Prix at Donington Park that year for Jordan. Won races for Ferrari & Brawn in a career that ended with Williams in 2011.
Michael Schumacher – Germany
Total Races Entered: 308
Total Starts: 307
Drove For: Jordan, Benetton, Ferrari, Mercedes
Making his debut for Jordan at Spa in 1991, Schumacher went on to become the most winningest driver of all time, winning 91 races and seven World Championships, two for Benetton and five for Ferrari. Retired in 2006 before being tempted back by Mercedes for a three year stint which wasn’t as successful as his previous career, retiring again for good at the end of 2012.
Riccardo Patrese – Italy
Total Races Entered: 257
Total Starts: 256
Drove For: Shadow, Arrows, Brabham, Alfa Romeo, Williams, Benetton
Runner-up to Nigel Mansell in the brilliant Williams-Renault of 1992, and winning 6 races in his career, Patrese started 256 times, starting out at Shadow in 1977, before ending as Michael Schumacher’s teammate at Benetton in 1993. He retired at the eond of that year after being beaten comprehensively.
Jarno Trulli – Italy
Total Races Entered: 256
Total Starts: 252
Drove For: Minardi, Prost, Jordan, Renault, Toyota, Lotus
Started out in the Minardi team in 1997 before a mid-season switch to the Prost team after Olivier Panis’ Canadian accident. A switch a few years later to Jordan rejuvinated the Italian, before winning the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix for Renault. Gave Toyota their best results in their short F1 lives, before ending his career at the newly-formed Lotus team in 2011.
David Coulthard – Great Britain
Total Races Entered: 247
Total Starts: 246
Drove For: Williams, McLaren, Red Bull
Made his debut for Williams when lead driver Ayrton Senna was tragically lost in Imola 1994, stepping up and showing well. Won races for both Williams and McLaren but always fell short in the final Championship reckoning. Ended his career at Red Bull after 2008, a year before the team started winning races.
Jenson Button – Great Britain
Total Races Entered: 232
Total Starts: 230
Drove For: Williams, Benetton, Renault, British American Racing, Honda, Brawn, McLaren
The only driver in the top 10 still racing, Button made his debut for Williams in 2000, impressing many with his strong drives at such a young age. Stints at Benetton & Renault were unflattering, but Button impressed again when he moved to BAR. Won races for Honda, Brawn & McLaren, winning the 2009 Championship for Brawn along the way. Currently still driving for the McLaren team.
Giancarlo Fisichella – Italy
Total Races Entered: 231
Total Starts: 229
Drove For: Minardi, Jordan, Benetton, Sauber, Renault, Force India, Ferrari
Another driver who began at minnows Minardi, he moved on to Jordan (twice), Benetton, Sauber & Renault before finishing his F1 career at Ferrari via Force India in 2009. He won races for Jordan & Renault, and also scored Force India’s first (and only) pole position and podium finish.
Gerhard Berger – Austria
Total Races Entered: 210
Total Starts: 210
Drove For: ATS, Arrows, Benetton, Ferrari, McLaren
The popular Austrian started his long career for ATS before stints at Arrows & Benetton lead him to Ferrari. Won a few races in his two stints with the team, and also won for McLaren and Benetton. He has the distinction of being the first and last driver to win a race for the Benetton team, in 1986 & 1997.
Andrea de Cesaris – Italy
Total Races Entered: 214
Total Starts: 208
Drove For: Alfa Romeo, McLaren, Ligier, Minardi, Brabham, Rial, Dallara, Jordan, Tyrrell, Sauber
The Italian had a lengthy but unreliable career, being dubbed de crasheris by his rivals and by the press. Never won a race, the closest he came was the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix when he retired from second due to car issues. Raced for many teams over his long career, ending with Sauber in 1994.
Nelson Piquet – Brazil
Total Races Entered: 207
Total Starts: 204
Drove For: Ensign, McLaren, Brabham, Williams, Lotus, Benetton
Points: 481.5 (485.5)
The three-time Champ raced from 1978 to 1991. He drove an Ensign car before a non-works McLaren and Brabham in his first year in the sport. He won races for Brabham, Wiliams and Benetton, winning the championship twice for Brabham (1981 & 1983) and once for Williams in 1987. He retired at the end of 1991 after Michael Schumacher started beating him easily.
Most Grand Prix Starts History
Rubens Barrichello – Brazil – 326 Entries, 322 Starts – 1993 -2011
Broke Record: 2008 French Grand Prix
Ricciardo Patrese – Italy – 257 Entries, 256 Starts – 1977-1993
Broke Record: 1989 Brazilian Grand Prix
Jacques Laffite – France – 180 Entries, 176 Starts – 1974-1986
Broke/Tied Record: 1986 British Grand Prix
Graham Hill – Great Britain – 179 Entries, 176 Starts – 1958-1975
Broke Record: 1971 Monaco Grand Prix
Jack Brabham – Australia – 128 Entries, 126 Starts – 1955-1970
Broke Record: 1966 Monaco Grand Prix
Maurice Trintignant – France – 84 Entries, 82 Starts – 1950-1964
Broke Record: 1961 French Grand Prix
Stirling Moss – Great Britian – 67 Entries, 66 Starts – 1951-1961
Broke Record: 1960 Portuguese Grand Prix
Harry Schell – United States – 57 Entries, 56 Starts – 1950-1960
Broke Record: 1959 Italian Grand Prix
Jean Behra – France – 53 Entries, 52 Starts – 1950-1959
Broke Record: 1959 German Grand Prix
Juan Manuel Fangio – Argentina – 52 Entries, 51 Starts – 1950-1958
First Record Holder
The Next 200 Club Members?
Should he start his weekend in China, Fernando Alonso will become the latest driver to start 200 Grand Prix. Mark Webber whould follow suit the following weekend in Bahrain. Kimi Raikkonen is the next experienced driver currently in F1 and should reach 200 sometime during 2014 if he remains in the sport.
Tagged: Andrea de Cesaris, David Coulthard, F1, Fernando Alonso, Formula 1, Gerhard Berger, Giancarlo Fisichella, Graham Hill, Harry Schell, Jack Brabham, Jacques Laffite, Jarno Trulli, Jean Behra, Jenson Button, Juan Manuel Fangio, Mark Webber, Maurice Trintignant, Michael Schumacher, Nelson Piquet, Riccardo Patrese, Rubens Barrichello, Stirling Moss