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Top 10: Most experienced Formula 1 drivers

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Top 10: Most experienced Formula 1 drivers
By:
May 12, 2020, 1:16 PM

With the help of our friends at Motorsport Stats, we list down the 10 drivers with most grand prix appearances in Formula 1's history.

One of the consequences of drivers beginning their F1 careers ever younger is that they are competing for many more years than before.

There is a high chance that Max Verstappen or Lando Norris would go on to become the most experienced driver in F1 history in years to come.

For now, though, that record is held by Rubens Barrichello – who broke the record for the most starts on this day in 2008 at the Turkish Grand Prix.

His record may not stay for long though, with Kimi Raikkonen breathing down his neck, but here is a recap of how the records currently look.

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List

10. David Coulthard – 246 starts

10. David Coulthard – 246 starts
1/10

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

David Coulthard made his F1 debut in 1994 with the Williams team when he was promoted from test driver to race driver after the death of Ayrton Senna. During his 15 years in F1, Coulthard won 13 times, scored 12 pole positions and secured 62 podium finishes.

Years: 15
Starts: 246
Wins: 13
Podiums: 62
Poles: 12
Fastest Laps: 18
Best: 2nd in 2001

9. Lewis Hamilton – 250 starts

9. Lewis Hamilton – 250 starts
2/10

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton made his grand prix debut back in 2007 with McLaren and has won six titles (five of those with current Mercedes), taken 84 race wins and 88 pole positions.

Years: 13
Starts: 250
Wins: 84
Podiums: 151
Poles: 88
Fastest Laps: 47
Best: 6x Champion

8. Jarno Trulli – 252 starts

8. Jarno Trulli – 252 starts
3/10

Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

Jarno Trulli started his F1 career in 1997 driving for Minardi and switched to Prost midway through that year as replacement for the injured Olivier Panis. Trulli never came close to winning the world championship, but his best season was in 2004 when he finished sixth in the standings, having scored the only victory of his career in Monaco.

Years: 14
Starts: 252
Wins: 1
Podiums: 11
Poles: 4
Fastest Laps: 1
Best Year: 6th in 2004

7. Riccardo Patrese – 256 starts

7. Riccardo Patrese – 256 starts
4/10

Photo by: Ercole Colombo

Riccardo Patrese made his F1 debut in 1977 with Shadow after winning the European F3 championship in 1976. He raced non-stop in F1 for 17 years, and his best year was 1992 when he finished second in the championship but with almost half the number of points of champion Nigel Mansell.

Years: 17
Starts: 256
Wins: 6
Podiums: 37
Poles: 8
Fastest Laps: 13
Best Year: 2nd in 1992

6. Felipe Massa – 269 starts

6. Felipe Massa – 269 starts
5/10

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Felipe Massa made his F1 debut in 2002 with Sauber, while in 2003 he was only a test-driver for Ferrari. He raced again in 2004 for Sauber before returning to Ferrari as a full-time racer. During his 14 years in F1, he won 11 races, finished 41 times on the podium, scored 16 pole positions and came very close to winning the 2008 title.

Years: 15
Starts: 269
Wins: 11
Podiums: 41
Poles: 16
Fastest Laps: 15
Best Year: 2nd in 2008

5. Jenson Button – 306 starts

5. Jenson Button – 306 starts
6/10

Photo by: Andrew Hone / Motorsport Images

Jenson Button made his debut in F1 with BMW Williams in 2000, and became the 2009 world champion when driving for Brawn GP. During his 18 years in F1, Button won 15 races and stood 50 times on the podium.

Years: 18
Starts: 306
Wins: 15
Podiums: 50
Poles: 8
Fastest Laps: 8
Best Year: 2009 (champion)

4. Michael Schumacher – 306 starts

4. Michael Schumacher – 306 starts
7/10

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Michael Schumacher made his debut with Jordan at the 1991 Belgian GP and enjoyed successful stints at Benetton and Ferrari, before coming out of retirement and completing his F1 career at Mercedes. With almost 19 years of racing in F1, Schumacher’s seven titles remain his most stand-out record. He has also scored more wins than any other driver (seven more than Hamilton).

Years: 19
Starts: 306
Wins: 91
Podiums: 155
Poles: 68
Fastest Laps: 77
Best: 7x Champion

3. Fernando Alonso – 311 starts

3. Fernando Alonso – 311 starts
8/10

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Fernando Alonso made his debut with F1 minnows Minardi in 2001, but quickly moved up the pecking order, delivering back-to-back titles with Renault in 2005 and '06. He quit F1 after 2018 after a difficult spell at McLaren.

Years: 18
Starts: 311
Wins: 32
Podiums: 97
Poles: 22
Fastest Laps: 23
Best Year: 2005 & 2006 Champion

2. Kimi Raïkkonen – 312 starts

2. Kimi Raïkkonen – 312 starts
9/10

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Kimi Raikkonen was all set to break Barrichello’s record before the start of the 2020 season was postponed. He is only 10 races behind Barrichello and if the year had started normally he would have taken the crown in Austria. Raikkonen is one of three world champions in the 2020 driver line-up, and has won 21 races in all.

Years: 19
Starts: 312
Wins: 21
Podiums: 103
Poles: 18
Fastest Laps: 46
Best Year: 2007 Champion

1. Rubens Barrichello - 322 race starts

1. Rubens Barrichello - 322 race starts
10/10

Photo by: Hazrin Yeob Men Shah

Barrichello took the record for the most starts from Riccardo Patrese. He started his F1 career in 1993 for Jordan, after finishing third in the F3000 series (now F2). He raced in F1 for 19 consecutive seasons.

Years: 19
Starts: 322
Wins: 11
Podiums: 68
Poles: 14
Fastest Laps: 17
Best Year: 2002 & 2004 (2nd)

 

Sources: Forix.com / Motorsportstats.com 

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jan Sergeant