Who took the most F1 Grand Prix wins in each decade?
As we say goodbye to the 2010s with its three world champions – Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg – and approach the 70th anniversary season of Formula 1, the question arises: which driver won the most races this decade? We didn’t stop there, either, digging up the numbers and finding out who won the most races in the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s and beyond…
Alfa Romeo were the dominant force at the dawn of the 1950s, with Nino Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio battling it out for the first drivers’ championship, won by Farina. But it’s Fangio who scored the most wins that decade, with 24 –a staggering return rate considering he entered 51 races that decade. Next-best that decade is Alberto Ascari, who died in 1955 after scoring 13 F1 wins while Farina, who retired from F1 in 1955, scored five wins over his career. Sir Stirling Moss never won a championship, but won 12 Grands Prix between 1955 and ’59.
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Two world championships and 25 race wins made this Jim Clark’s decade, before his death at Hockenheim in ’68. Graham Hill took 14 wins that decade and two championships to boot. Although Jack Brabham came out swinging in the ‘60s, winning five races on his way to the first title of the decade, it would be six more years until he won another GP. He scored 11 altogether in the ‘60s, tied with Sir Jackie Stewart.
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Niki Lauda’s career sparkled in the ‘70s but went well into the ‘80s, too, before he’d leave an indelible impact beyond the cockpit. Of his 25 GP victories, Lauda scored 17 of them in the 1970s, with two of his championships delivered that decade. It was Stewart who scored the second-most wins of the ‘70s with 16, becoming the seventh different champion in a decade with his ’69 triumph, while Emerson Fittipaldi took 14 GP wins.
PODCAST: Emerson Fittipaldi on flying the flag for Brazil and the loss of Ayrton Senna
Of Alain Prost’s 51 wins, 39 of them came in the ’80s – when six different champions emerged. The first champion to defend his title since Brabham (1960), Prost won his second in ’86 – but the emergence of a certain Ayrton Senna cost him the ’88 title. Senna took 20 of his wins in the ‘80s, joint with fellow Brazilian Nelson Piquet who took three championships in those 10 years.
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When he died in 1994, Senna had amassed 41 wins in all – 21 in the 1990s – and taken the first two championships of the decade. Prost, having retired for the final time after his 1993 championship, scored 12 wins in the ‘90s, the year when Damon Hill entered the scene and scored 22 victories. A certain Michael Schumacher was that decade’s most decorated winner, however, with 35 GPs and two championships under his belt. There was more to come.
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This decade started off with Schumacher and the Scuderia winning their first F1 race, the 2000 Australian Grand Prix, on the way to their first championship. It would prove to be a devastating combination for the competition, as Schumacher notched up 56 wins and five championships with Ferrari. Fernando Alonso, who made his debut in 2001, took 21 wins and two titles – while Kimi Raikkonen won 18 races and a title – Ferrari’s last, so far.
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Lewis Hamilton took 73 wins in the 2010s and, while he scored 11 between 2010 and ’13, longer races, Mercedes and the dawn of the turbo-hybrid era signalled the start of Hamilton’s ongoing dominance. Sebastian Vettel’s 48 wins in the 2010s yielded all four of the decade’s first championships before Hamilton’s domination, while Nico Rosberg managed to rack up 23 wins, his first in 2012 and his last in 2016 – when he bowed out as champion.
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