Formula 1 drivers who proved it is not all about winning but taking part
Over the decades, many drivers were privileged to drive in Formula 1 Championship. Some of them were not so talented but on the other hand, many of them were also pretty good drivers who raced for many years, but they ended their careers without a single win.
This is the list of some well-known names that were unable to win a single race out of more than 100 starts during their careers but some of them were very successful in other racing categories.
This Finn started in 109 Formula 1 Grand Prix races, driving mainly for smaller teams like Tyrrell, Arrows or Toyota, but he also had an opportunity to drive for Ferrari, replacing injured Michael Schumacher. During eight years Mika Salo scored podium finish only twice, with Ferrari in 1999, which is pretty miserable result considering his number of starts.
Just like Salo, Alliot started in 109 Formula 1 races and failed to win. During 10 years in the most popular racing competition, Frenchman drove for the teams like Larousse and Ligier and had disastrous results, failing to score even a single top 5 finish. Considering his results, it is a mystery how Philippe Alliot managed to stay so long in the series.
Interestingly, Alliot was more successful in endurance racing as he thrice finished 3rd in 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving for Porsche and Peugeot.
During 10 years in Formula 1, Martini notched a remarkable number of 119 starts, most of them driving for Minardi team which was never near the top. Considering that, a number of 18 points looks like a solid achievement. Pierluigi Martini finished in the Top 5 six times but never had a podium finish.
As a consolation, he won 1999 Le Mans 24 Hours, driving a BMW alongside Joachim Winkelhock and Yannick Dalmas.
This German was once considered as a hot prospect but he was never able to make a serious impact in Formula 1. Adrian Sutil spent eight years in the series driving for Spyker, Sauber and Force India, started in 124 races but never won the race neither reached the podium. His best result was 4th place at the 2009 Italian Grand Prix.
Eddie was very popular during his Formula 1 career but many are thinking that he is one of the most overrated drivers in the history of the competition. During 11 years he changed teams like socks, started in 132 races but he never won one. However, he was able to score nine podiums. The highlights of Eddie Cheever’s career were 2nd places in 1982 Detroit Grand Prix and 1983 Canadian Grand Prix.
Another driver who triumphed in 24 Hours of Le Mans, but never in Formula 1, despite spending 11 years in the series. Derek Warwick drove for many teams, including Brabham, Arrows and Renault. Only four podiums out of 147 starts, look as a pretty piteous score for the British racer who won the 1992 World Sportscar Championship title.
British driver started in 158 Formula 1 races during 12 years and had only nine podium finishes. Brundle’s best results were two 2nd places in 1992 Italian Grand Prix when he was the driver of Benetton team and 1994 Monaco Grand Prix when was driving for McLaren.
However, Martin Brundle wasn’t a poor driver. He won 1990 Le Mans 24 Hours driving a Jaguar XJR-12 while two years earlier he won the World Sportscar Championship, scoring a record number of points.
Nick started in 183 Formula 1 races but he wasn’t fortunate enough to score at least one victory. However, his F1 career wasn’t a bad one. Driving for many teams, including Sauber, Williams and Jordan, he had many notable performances and achieved 13 podium finishes, collecting a considerable number of points.
Just like some of his colleagues from this list, Nick Heidfeld also has Le Mans victory in his books. Driving for Rebellion Racing, German grabbed an LMP1-L class win in 2014.
Andrea de Cesaris
It must be a bit frustrating when you look behind and see that you have raced in 208 Formula Grand Prix and failed to win. Exactly that happened to the former Italian driver Andrea de Cesaris who had only five podiums in his 15 years long career. Luckily for him, Italian was never afraid of his status in F1 because he had very strong sponsorship backing.
He was a well-known and a quite popular driver of his time but the results were never as good as they were supposed to be. Sadly, de Cesaris was killed in a traffic accident near Rome in 2014.