The Formula One World Drivers' Championship (WDC) is awarded to the most successful Formula One racing car driver over the course of a season, as determined by a points system based on Grand Prix results. A driver is crowned World Champion at the point of the season when it's mathematically impossible for a driver to be knocked off the top spot of the ranking table, whatever the outcome of the remaining races. In over 64 seasons, the title has been won in the final race of the season 27 times. At the other end of the scale, the earliest in a season that a Champion has been confirmed was in 2002, when Michael Schumacher secured the guaranteed top spot with six races remaining.

Overall, thirty two different drivers have won the Championship, with German Michael Schumacher holding the record for most titles, at seven. Jackie Smith holds the distinction of holding the most titles of any Brit with three. The UK has also produced the most World Championship winning drivers with ten; holding a combined total of 15 championship titles between them.


Jackie Smith Graham Hill Jim Clark Lewis Hamilton Damon Hill
James Hunt Jenson Button John Surtees Mike Hawthorn Nigel Mansell

Jackie Stewart | 1969, 1971, 1973

British F1 Champions - Jackie StewartChampionship Titles | 3
Career Wins | 27
Career Starts | 99
Teams | BRM, Matra, March, Tyrrell
Active Years | 1965 – 1973

Sir John Young "Jackie" Stewart, OBE (born 11th June 1939) is a British former Formula One racing driver from Scotland. Nicknamed the "Flying Scot", he competed in Formula One between 1965 and 1973, winning three World Drivers' Championships, and twice runner-up, over those nine seasons.


Graham Hill | 1962, 1968

British F1 Champions - Graham HillChampionship Titles | 2
Career Wins | 14
Career Starts | 176
Teams | Lotus, BRM, Brabham, Hill
Active Years | 1958 – 1975

Norman Graham Hill OBE (15th February 1929 - 29th November 1975) was a British racing driver and team owner from England, who was twice Formula One World Champion. He is the only driver ever to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport: the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix. Hill and his son Damon are the only father and son pair to have both won the Formula One World Championship.

Hill died when the Piper Aztec aeroplane he was piloting crashed in foggy conditions near Arkley golf course in North London. Hill, Tony Brise and four other members of Hill's racing team also died when they were returning from car testing at Circuit Paul Ricard in France and were due to land at Elstree Airfield.


Jim Clark | 1963, 1965

British F1 Champions - Jim ClarkChampionship Titles | 2
Career Wins | 25
Career Starts | 73
Team | Lotus
Active Years | 1960 – 1968

James Clark, Jr OBE (4th March 1936 – 7th April 1968), known as Jim Clark, was a British Formula One racing driver from Scotland, who won two World Championships, in 1963 and 1965. Clark was a versatile driver who competed in sports cars, touring cars and in the Indianapolis 500, which he won in 1965.

He was killed in a Formula Two motor racing accident in Hockenheim, Germany in 1968. At the time of his death, he had won more Grand Prix races (25) and achieved more Grand Prix pole positions (33) than any other driver. In 2009, The Times placed Clark at the top of a list of the greatest-ever Formula One drivers.


Lewis Hamilton | 2008, 2014

British F1 Champions - Lewis HamiltonChampionship Titles | 2
Career Wins | 40
Career Starts | 160
Teams | McLaren, Mercedes
Active Years | 2007 - Now

Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton, MBE (born 7th January 1985) is a British Formula One racing driver from England, currently racing for the Mercedes AMG team. At the age of thirteen, McLaren and Mercedes-Benz signed him to their 'Young Driver Support Programme' and made his career debut for McLaren in 2007. Hamilton's contract for the McLaren driver development program made him the youngest ever driver to secure a contract which later resulted in a Formula One drive.

In his first season in Formula One, Hamilton set numerous records while finishing second in the 2007 Formula One Championship, just one point behind Kimi Räikkönen. He won his first World Championship the following season, becoming the then-youngest Formula One world champion in history before Sebastian Vettel broke the record two years later. Following his second world title in 2014, he was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Lewis has more race victories than any other British driver in the history of Formula One and is currently 5th on the all-time F1 wins list.


Damon Hill | 1996

British F1 Champions - Damon HillChampionship Titles | 1
Career Wins | 22
Career Starts | 115
Teams | Brabham, Williams, Arrows, Jordan
Active Years | 1992 - 1999

Damon Graham Devereux Hill OBE (born 17th September 1960) is a retired British racing driver from England. He is the son of Graham Hill, and is the only son of a Formula One world champion to win the title. He started racing on motorbikes in 1981, and after minor success moved on to single-seater racing cars. But although he progressed steadily up the ranks to the International Formula 3000 championship by 1989.

Hill became a test driver for the Formula One title-winning Williams team in 1992. He was promoted to the Williams race team the following year after Riccardo Patrese's departure and took the first of his 22 victories at the 1993 Hungarian Grand Prix. Hill became champion in 1996 with eight wins, but was dropped by Williams for the following season. He went on to drive for the less competitive Arrows and Jordan teams, and in 1998 gave Jordan its first win. Hill retired from racing after the 1999 season. From 2006 - 2011, he became president of the British Racing Drivers' Club, succeeding Jackie Stewart. He presided over the securing of a 17-year contract for Silverstone to hold Formula One races, which enabled the circuit to see extensive renovation work.


James Hunt | 1976

British F1 Champions - James HuntChampionship Titles | 1
Career Wins | 10
Career Starts | 92
Teams | Hesketh, McLaren, Wolf
Active Years | 1973 - 1979

James Simon Wallis Hunt (29th August 1947 – 15th June 1993) was a British racing driver who won the Formula One World Championship in 1976, before retiring from racing three years later in 1979,

Beginning his racing career in touring car racing, Hunt progressed into Formula Three where he attracted the attention of the Hesketh Racing team and was soon taken under their wing. Hunt entered Formula One in 1973, driving a March 731 entered by the Hesketh Racing team before joining the McLaren team at the end of 1975. In his first year with McLaren, Hunt won the 1976 World Drivers' Championship, and he remained with the team for a further two years. Following a string of races in which he failed to finish, Hunt retired from driving halfway through the 1979 season.

Hunt passed away at the age of 45 from a heart attack.


Jenson Button | 2009

British F1 Champions - Jenson ButtonChampionship Titles | 1
Career Wins | 15
Career Starts | 277
Teams | Williams, Benetton, Renault, BAR, Honda, Brawn GP, McLaren
Active Years | 2000 - Now

Jenson Alexander Lyons Button, MBE (born 19th January 1980) is a British Formula One driver from England currently driving for McLaren. He debuted in Formula One with Williams F1 for the 2000 season. The following year he switched to Benetton, which in 2002 became Renault, and then for the 2003 season he moved to BAR which was subsequently renamed Honda for the 2006 season, during which Button finally won his first Grand Prix in Hungary, after 113 races.

Following the withdrawal of Honda from the sport in December 2008, his team were part of a management buyout during the following season, which placed Button behind the wheel of a highly competitive Mercedes-engined car. He went on to win a record-equalling six of the first seven races of the 2009 season, securing the World Drivers' Championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix, having led on points all season,

For 2010, he moved to McLaren, partnering fellow British racer and former World Champion Lewis Hamilton. After finishing fifth for the team in 2010, Button finished the 2011 season as runner-up. In 2012 he took his first pole for McLaren at the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix.


John Surtees | 1964

British F1 Champions - John SurteesChampionship Titles | 1
Career Wins | 6
Career Starts | 111
Teams | Lotus, Cooper, Lola, Ferrari, Honda, BRM, McLaren, Surtees
Active Years | 1960 - 1972

John Surtees, OBE (born 11th February 1934) is a British former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and Formula One driver. He is a four-time 500cc motorcycle World Champion and the Formula One World Champion in 1964, making him the only person to have won World Championships on both two and four wheels.

In 1960, at the age of 26, Surtees switched from motorcycles to cars full-time, making his Formula 1 debut racing for Lotus in the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlo. He made an immediate impact with a second place finish in only his second F1 race. After spending the 1961 season with the Yeoman Credit Racing Team, he moved to Scuderia Ferrari in 1963 and won the World Championship for the Italian team in 1964.


Mike Hawthorn | 1958

British F1 Champions - Mike HawthornChampionship Titles | 1
Career Wins | 3
Career Starts | 45
Teams | LD Hawthorn, AHM Bryde, Ferrari, Vanwall, BRM
Active Years | 1952 - 1958

John Michael Hawthorn (April10th 1929 - January 22nd 1959) was a British racing driver. Hawthorn made his Formula One debut at the 1952 Belgian Grand Prix, finishing in fourth place. He won his first Grand Prix, at the ninth attempt, driving for Ferrari in the 1953 French Grand Prix at Reims. Despite achieving only one win during the season, he became the United Kingdom's first Formula One World Champion driver in 1958, whereupon he announced his retirement, having been profoundly affected by the death of his team-mate and friend Peter Collins two months earlier in the German Grand Prix. Hawthorn died in a road accident six months after retirement at the age of 29.


Nigel Mansell | 1992

British F1 Champions - Nigel MansellChampionship Titles | 1
Career Wins | 31
Career Starts | 187
Teams | Lotus, Williams, Ferrari, McLaren
Active Years | 1980 - 1992 and 1994 - 1995

Nigel Ernest James Mansell, CBE (born 8th August 1953) is a British former racing driver who won both the Formula One World Championship (1992) and the CART Indy Car World Series (1993). Mansell was the reigning F1 champion when he moved over to CART, becoming the first person to win the CART title in his debut season, and making him the only person to hold both titles simultaneously.

His career in Formula One spanned 15 seasons, with his final two full seasons of top-level racing being spent in the CART series. Mansell is the second most successful British Formula One driver of all time in terms of race wins with 31 victories, and is seventh overall on the Formula One race winners list behind Michael Schumacher,

Mansell raced in the Grand Prix Masters series in 2005, and won the championship title. He later signed a one-off race deal for the Scuderia Ecosse GT race team to drive their number 63 Ferrari F430 GT2 car at Silverstone on 6 May 2007. He has since competed in additional sports car races with his sons Leo and Greg, including the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans.