Although Formula 1 was first introduced in the 1920s, modern F1 racing is said to have began in 1946. The FIA began setting standardized rules and continued to evolve its technical regulations throughout the years. First known as “Formula A” driving, the formulas were based on engine capacity to recognize supercharged cars. It wasn’t until 1950 that World Championships for Drivers was introduced. These championships attracted teams such as Ferrari and Maserati to put their best drivers forward. From numerous world championships to hundreds of races throughout their careers, t
Born in 1969 out of Germany, Michael Schumacher jumped onto the racing stage with his very first win in Belgium in 1992. He later joined the Ferrari team in 1995, raising the standards of pace, consistency and performance. Known by some as the “greatest driver of his era”, Schumacher even had Bridgestone tires made custom for his vehicles. This celebrated German driver collected more wins and world championships than any other Formula 1 driver ever. However there was also some controversy throughout his career. He experienced disqualifications for actions such as ignoring flags and barging a rival off the track. With 91 wins and 7 world titles, Schumacher retired from the racing world. He soon re-entered the scene just three years later with Mercedes. He was eventually forced into retirement when Lewis Hamilton was signed by Mercedes, but left behind a long career of championships.
Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna has been remembered as one of the most dedicated drivers in F1 history. Earning three world championships with more than 160 Grand Prix starts, he started his career with Toleman in 1984 and joined Lotus the next year. In his second race ever, Senna won his first victory and solidified his spot on the team. On-board cameras also began development during his career. These cameras gave race fans an up close look at Senna’s driving while actually racing on the track. Best known for testing his limits, Senna was once quoted “You are doing something that nobody else is able to do. (But) the same moment that you are seen as the best, the fastest and somebody that cannot be touched, you are enormously fragile. Because in a split second, it’s gone.” Senna died at the age of 34 after obtaining fatal head injuries from a suspension arm piercing his helmet.
One of the “most remarkable” F1 drivers of all time, Niki Lauda had won three world titles along with 25 Grand Prix at the time of his retirement. While trying to break into the Formula 1 world, Lauda paid for his very first drive himself. Using bank loans and life insurance, he joined the March team in 1971 and moved to BRM two years later. Lauda landed a spot with Ferrari just a few years later and dominated the track in a Ferrari 312T. After a dangerous crash at Nurburgring, he suffered severe burns when his car caught fire – also losing his right ear. His strained relationship with Ferrari led him to join Brabham in 1978. Lauda went on to win a world title and a Grand Prix before retiring in 1985. He later took a job as a TV analyst for Germany’s RTL and continued to attend races.
From Grand Prix to world titles, some of the best F1 drivers in history also have some of the most wins under their belts. Want to experience your very own racing adrenaline rush? Check out these luxury driving experiences and test drive some of the fastest cars on the market.