Youngest F1 Champions

8 of the Youngest F1 Champions in History

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Formula 1 racing is one of the most prestigious international racing competitions. It takes place annually, and consists of different companies manufacturing 2-seater racecars to market their products. These companies include Renault, Mercedes, Honda, and many other notable brands.

Numerous professionals participate in the F1 competition each year, and all are very skilled and experienced. Though this level experience generally lends itself to older racers, there are still several young racers who participate in F1. Moreover, history has demonstrated that younger racers are more likely to win championships.

Stick around – we’re about to explore eight of the youngest Formula 1 racers of all time!

8. Kimi Raikkonen

Born: October 17, 1979
Age at the time of championship: 28 years and 4 days
Year of championship: 2007
Currently alive?: Yes

Kimi Raikkonenphoto source: Kimi Raikkonen | Formula1

Kimi Raikonnen is a Finnish racer. He is now retired, but won the 2007 championship for Ferrari. He has been one of the most unapologetic players of all time. Training since the young age of 10, his passion for cars and racing drove him all the way to the F1 championship.

Raikkonen has gained a massive following due to his passion for the sport, as well as his quieter and more reserved nature. “A man of few words” is a statement that’s often used to describe him.

Known for his blunt and unapologetic behavior, Raikkonen has now become a family man. He plans to enrich his personal life by spending more time with his family and taking a break from racing.

Did You Know?

Kimi Raikkonen has been called the “Iceman” because of his ice-cool demeanor. He is known for his staggering aplomb from the moment he steps into the cockpit of his car, and consistently remains cool under pressure.


7. Jim Clark

Born: March 4, 1936
Age at the time of championship: 27 years, 6 months, and 4 days
Year of championship: 1963
Currently alive?: No (DOD: April 7, 1968)

Jim Clarkphoto source: Jim Clark | BBC

Jim Clark was brought up in Berwickshire Hill in Scotland as the only brother of four sisters. He was passionate about sports from his early years, yet it was difficult to convince his parents for him to use vehicles as a recreational activity and for sporting purposes.

In 1961, Clark took part in his first Grand Prix season where he was also involved in a dangerous collision. Two years later in 1963, he stormed to victory in seven championship races, and moved forward to win his very first championship title.

Clark died in a freak tire accident during the 1968 race in Germany, shocking fans around the world.

Did You Know?

Jim Clark was very close to a near-fatal accident even before his racing career started. In the 1961 Italian Grand Prix, he collided with Wolfgang von Trips. Even though Jim Clark was not harmed during the collision, the accident killed 16 spectators.


6. Jacques Villeneuve

Born: April 9, 1971
Age at the time of championship: 26 years, 6 months, and 17 days
Year of championship: 1997
Currently alive?: Yes

photo source: Jacques Villeneuve | Formula 1

Jacques Villeneuve spent much of his youth with his parents on the racing circuit – first in North America, then in Europe. Villeneuve reached the pinnacle of his career in 1997, when he finished one point behind Michael Schumacher in Jerez.

Villeneuve struggled against opponent Williams in the 1998 championship, finishing fifth without any wins. Afterward, he went on to race stock cars and sports cars in the United States and Europe.

Did You Know?

Jacques Villeneuve was the son of Gilles Villeneuve, who was an extremely famous F1 driver and one of the most respected in the sport.


5. Niki Lauda

Born: February 22, 1949
Age at the time of championship: 26 years, 6 months, and 16 days
Year of championship: 1975
Currently alive?: No (DOD: May 20, 2019)

Niki Laudaphoto source: Niki Lauda | The New York Times

Nikki Lauda was an Australian F1 driver and an aviation entrepreneur. He was born in Vienna, Austria in 1949.
Unfortunately for Lauda and his fans around the world, he was killed in an F1 accident where his car, a Ferrari, tumbled and caught on fire. The crash proved to be fatal.

Overall, Lauda enjoyed a strong career, and most likely would have become one of the best F1 racers in the world. He is still remembered as one of the most influential people ever.

Did You Know?

Nikki Lauda has been the only competing athlete to win F1 championships for both Ferrari and McLaren.


4. Michael Schumacher

Born: January 3, 1969
Age at the time of championship: 25 years, 10 months, and 10 days
Year of championship: 1994
Currently alive?: Yes

Michael Schumacherphoto source: Michael Schumacher | The Indian Express

Competing for team Sauber Mercedes, Michael Schumacher is a German racing driver. With an excellent driving record to date, Michael Schumacher has been immensely successful in his career, gaining a staggering number of seven world championships throughout his years on the track!

Michael Schumacher has been one of the most influential people in the world of Formula 1 racing. His driving on the track has attracted so many people that even the ones who do not normally like to watch formula one racing also know the name Michael Schumacher.

Did You Know?

Micheal Schumacher had an accident while skiing in 2013, where he suffered from a traumatic brain injury. He has not been seen in public since.


3. Fernando Alonso

Born: July 29, 1981
Age at the time of championship: 24 years, 1 month, and 27 days
Year of championship: 2005
Currently alive?: Yes

Fernando Alonsophoto source: Fernando Alonso | Planet1

Fernando Alonso is a Spanish Formula 1 racecar driver who won his first ‘world drivers’ championship in 2005 at the age of 24. At the time of his win, he competed for Renault. He currently competes for Alpine in Formula 1.

Alonso is predicted to become a force to be reckoned with in the future, largely because of his unbridled passion for his career. Many commentators consider Alonso to be one of the rising competitors in the world of Formula 1.

Alonso has driven for McLaren, Minardi, and Ferrari over the course of his career.

Did You Know?

Fernando Alonso has been in numerous accidents, even having to take time off for facial reconstruction surgery. He was most recently hit by a car while cycling.


2. Lewis Hamilton

Born: January 7, 1985
Age at the time of championship: 23 years, 9 months, and 26 days
Year of championship: 2008
Currently alive?: Yes

photo source: Lewis Hamilton | motorsport

Lewis Hamilton is one of the most well-known F1 racers of all time. He won his first championship at the young age of 23. Hamilton is a British racer who competes for Mercedes.

Due to his dashing personality and accomplishments in F1, Hamilton has gained a significant following. He has managed to stay relevant and hold the social media spotlight for many reasons – not just for his driving, which is actually quite the feat (given that his racing career is reason enough to be a fan)!

Did You Know?

Lewis Hamilton won another championship in 2020 for a total of seven championships under his belt. This puts him directly in competition with Michael Schumacher’s seven championships.


1. Sebastian Vettel

Born: July 3, 1987
Age at the time of championship: 23 years, 4 months, and 11 days
Year of championship: 2010
Currently alive?: Yes

Sebastian Vettelphoto source: Sebastian Vettel | Essentially Sports

Sebastian Vettel is the youngest F1 champion in the history of Formula 1 racing.

Sebastian Vettel competes in Formula 1 for Aston Martin. Born in Germany, he is known for winning multiple consecutive championship titles from 2010 to 2013. He has been the poster boy for F1 for some time, and achieved a huge fanbase at a very young age.

Vettel is known as the youngest person by far to win an F1 championship. He has become the team leader of Aston Martin, where he intends to put his knowledge and expertise to good use. At such a young age, Vettel is not only learning more, but also teaching.

Did You Know?

Apart from the F1 championship, Vettel is also the youngest scorer for BMW Sauber at the U.S. Grand Prix. He is also the youngest pole sitter and race winner at Monza.


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