Lauda got back into the car that had nearly killed him, while his serious burns were far from healed, and pretty much as soon as the plastic surgery that created new eyelids to replace the ones he had lost in the fire had set. The best of a series of outstanding drives that season was a remarkable victory at the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, where in appalling conditions of rain and fog he won by four minutes. Each member was asked to come up with their own personal list of the 20 greatest drivers since F1 started in His five-year tenure as a team boss best forgotten, Prost leaves behind memories of a man who drove like an angel, won more races than anyone in history bar Schumacher, and who pushed arguably the greatest racing driver of all time beyond his limits. It was frightening – and exhilarating – to watch.

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Bbc 20 greatest f1 no other driver has transcended the capabilities of his car on quite such a regular basis as Villeneuve. In seven full F1 seasons, he won five world championships. Regardless, Schumacher at his peak would have been greatesy challenge for the best of any era. Trapped in the wreckage, but conscious, he was dragged clear by four fellow drivers but not before he had suffered bbc 20 greatest f1 burns to his head and inhaled toxic gases which damaged his lungs.

There was no doubt about the speed of Chapman’s cars – but it was a speed based often on paring things to the bone, and as a result they tended to break a lot as well.

Only a driver of the very highest calibre could have done this to Bbc 20 greatest f1, and Prost was undoubtedly that.

His first season at Maranello was one of his greatest. The most striking of these – although there have been others – was in the penultimate race of in China. McLaren boss Ron Dennis, sensing Lauda had unfinished business, persuaded him to return and he won his third race back in F1 in But again Schumacher hit below the belt bbc 20 greatest f1 his title fight, notoriously parking his car on the track in qualifying at Monaco to stop Alonso taking pole.

Formula 1’s greatest drivers. Number 5: Alain Prost

John Watson, Keke Rosberg, Jean Alesi, Damon Hill – all former team-mates who were left shaking their heads in admiration bbc 20 greatest f1 how Prost took their car to limits beyond their reach. Fangio gratest the Englishman for two hours, on – and sometimes over – the limit throughout. With no drives available, he took a forced sabbatical inbut returned with Williams in BBC Vreatest has profiled 20 of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time.

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Formula 1’s greatest drivers. Number 7: Jackie Stewart – BBC Sport

Niki Lauda climbed out of his Ferrari and grimaced as he took off 2 helmet, revealing a fireproof balaclava stained red with his blood. He bbc 20 greatest f1 so little of the road; the car was hardly ever out of shape, his driving silky smooth and ultra-precise.

Fangio, already 37, at that stage had competed in only one grand prix, in France in The Frenchman qualified d1 – 2. Two huge talents, both intensely competitive, highly intelligent and politically astute. For three laps, he made no real impression on Hawthorn and team-mate Peter Collins, circulating together bbc 20 greatest f1 the front, but then he let loose.

But even in losing the inaugural F1 world championship title grextest to Alfa Romeo team-mate Giuseppe Farina by a narrow margin, already there were signs that he was on another level from bbc 20 greatest f1 rest.

I might not have been alive, mind you, but more popular.

When the key people from Benetton – technical director Ross Brawn and chief designer Rory Byrne – joined Schumacher at Maranello forit was the start of a bbc 20 greatest f1 era that changed the face of F1.

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At Silverstone inin an outdated Bbc 20 greatest f1, he out-qualified team-mate Jochen Mass, who had a newer and faster car. The significance of his achievements cannot be properly understood without a full appreciation of their origins.

The Red Bull driver has undoubtedly had a stellar career so far – 22 grand prix victories, at a rate of hbc than one in four v1, 33 pole positions and the youngest double world champion in history.

These two races undermine the belief that Villeneuve was a heavy-handed and irresponsible driver. He talked eloquently of his own mortality, but greaatest its limits with his almost every action in bbc 20 greatest f1 racing car.

Brabham designer Gordon Murray, watching from trackside, said it was the best drive he had ever seen.

BBC Sport remembers F1’s greatest drivers of all time – BBC Sport

He found himself in the position to exploit them, though, because he was the greatest driver of his era. I think Fangio is the example of a true world champion. But Stewart the man is a restless character and, his driving career finished, he embarked immediately on a new, even more lucrative, one in business and bbc 20 greatest f1 greatezt, using the contacts he built up while racing.

As I came out of the chicane, I was bbc 20 greatest f1 of something different with the crowd – a different colour. The list goes on and on, but perhaps his extravagant gift is summed up best by his final victories, in Monaco and Spain in