Welcome to GPFans

CHOOSE YOUR COUNTRY

  • NL
  • GB
  • GB
Download
×
GPFans Global app
Download the app!
Everything F1 in one place!
Ranked - Formula 1 top-10 driver debuts

Ranked - Formula 1 top-10 driver debuts

News

1 comment

Ranked - Formula 1 top-10 driver debuts

Ranked - Formula 1 top-10 driver debuts

Yuki Tsunoda may have impressed with his fine performance in Bahrain but the Japanese driver does not come close to featuring on the list of the best Formula 1 debuts of all time.

Tsunoda finished ninth in his maiden grand prix appearance with AlphaTauri but every driver featured on this list not only managed to score points but finished inside the top four.

Some names may surprise you and in compiling this list, we considered only drivers who made their debut after the formation of the constructors' championship.

This date was selected as it began the trend of teams fielding two cars although this was not mandated by the Concorde agreement until 2007.

Without further ado, here are the top-10 F1 debuts.

10. Innes Ireland - 1959 Dutch Grand Prix

{inlineimage[https://sportsbase.io/images/gpfans/copy_620x348/86dad80741499c6270874c85d30333aaa9d55e5b.jpg][][2]}

10. Innes Ireland - 1959 Dutch Grand Prix

Our list opens with Ireland, who ranks lower than others purely for the size of the grid.

At Zandvoort in 1959, only 15 cars were entered, with Ireland qualifying ninth for Lotus. Just 10 cars lasted the 75-lap distance but Ireland comfortably saw off team-mate Graham Hill to finish fourth.

Ireland raced in F1 for eight years and scored his only victory in the 1961 USA Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.

9. Vic Elford - 1968 French Grand Prix

{inlineimage[https://sportsbase.io/images/gpfans/copy_620x348/39312350674f9c08d1a2e80b641879cfe1b06a25.jpg][][2]}

9. Vic Elford - 1968 French Grand Prix

Driving for Cooper, Elford's performance is striking in that he battled from the back of the 18-strong grid to finish behind Jacky Ickx, John Surtees and Jackie Stewart.

His qualifying effort would likely have been stronger were it not for an engine problem in the closing stages.

The Briton spent the majority of his first race battling Piers Courage and Denny Hulme, both relatively established names in the sport by this time.

After a brief 13-race career in F1, Elford turned his focus entirely to endurance racing where he claimed a second class win at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

8. Johnny Herbert - 1989 Brazilian Grand Prix

{inlineimage[https://sportsbase.io/images/gpfans/copy_620x348/7722f770446304a6becad04852383e6b07316561.jpg][][2]}

8. Johnny Herbert - 1989 Brazilian Grand Prix

More famous for his three race wins than making a flying start to his career, Herbert also finished fourth on his F1 debut.

Racing for Benetton, a team he would return to alongside Michael Schumacher in 1994, Herbert recovered from 10th on the grid.

What made this result special was that Herbert was still recovering from severe ankle and foot injuries sustained in a horrific F3000 crash at Brands Hatch just six months earlier.

The threat of amputation had been a real one but just 217 days later the Briton was in F1 and narrowly missing out on what would have been a superb podium.

7. Jean Alesi - 1989 French Grand Prix

{inlineimage[https://sportsbase.io/images/gpfans/copy_620x348/ce930de17509d280014f9d8a57993341f3ac9a3f.jpg][][2]}

7. Jean Alesi - 1989 French Grand Prix

In the early days of his F1 career, Alesi was a driver who regularly impressed. The Frenchman made his debut in his home race with Tyrrell and navigated his way from 16th on the grid to fourth by the chequered flag.

On a grid of 30 drivers, Alesi was aided by a number of retirements ahead of him but kept his head to drive the unfancied Tyrrell 018 to within a few seconds of an unlikely podium.

He did score a podium in the 018 at the start of 1990 - the 019 was not introduced until the third race of that year - but that is a story for another list.

6. Mark Donohue - 1971 Canadian Grand Prix

{inlineimage[https://sportsbase.io/images/gpfans/copy_620x348/e22b3045854bb4154c1b0d6efc0cdf1fcd8ab23b.jpg][][2]}

6. Mark Donohue - 1971 Canadian Grand Prix

The first podium finisher to feature on this list, Donohue raced under the Penske-White Racing banner in a McLaren M19A.

Donohue was only entered for the two North American races of the 1971 season but withdrew from the United States Grand Prix despite qualifying 19th after a USAC race was rescheduled to clash with F1.

A fortnight earlier at Mosport Park, Donohue had out-qualified more illustrious and experienced team-mate Denny Hulme to line up eighth, two places ahead of the New Zealander.

In the race, which bears the distinction of being the first in F1 history to be red-flagged, the American came home third behind Sir Jackie Stewart and Ronnie Peterson.

The driver returned in the same two races in 1974 and raced a full season for Penske cars in 1975, registering two fifth-place finishes.

Read More (1/2)

Wat vinden jullie?
AL

Not sure i would put JV ahead of LH. Unlike LH, JV had the quickest car by a massive margin. The McLaren and Ferrari were more evenly matched. Also, Alonso is more highly rated than Hill-so performing well against Alonso has a higher premium than performing well against Hill

3 3

Comments (1)

Je moet ingelogd zijn om te kunnen reageren.

Inloggen
 

Write a comment

Comments (1)

Gravatar
Amateur
AL
Gravatar
7
44
6
Feb 2020
First Poster
AL

Not sure i would put JV ahead of LH. Unlike LH, JV had the quickest car by a massive margin. The McLaren and Ferrari were more evenly matched. Also, Alonso is more highly rated than Hill-so performing well against Alonso has a higher premium than performing well against Hill

Ontdek het op Google Play