A statue of Juan Manuel Fangio is pictured during previews ahead of the 2020 F1 Italian Grand Prix (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Which F1 driver has won multiple titles without even having a driver's license?

F1 drivers are some of the most skilled drivers in the world. They drive highly technical cars that are worth millions at unimaginable speeds. Most young racing drivers, however, don't even have a regular driver's license. This might sound crazy to many, but there is one racing driver who not only drove in F1 without a regular driver's license but won five world titles as well.

Since racing drivers start at an early stage, most of them are not eligible for a regular driver's license, which is given to someone when they're 18 or above. For F1, the FIA offers drivers a special kind of permit called a 'super license'. If a driver has enough points on their super license, they are allowed to race in the sport. These points can be gathered by winning or finishing in the top three in different racing series.

When Verstappen debuted in ‘15, he didn’t have a driving license as he was under 18

However, did you know that Fangio won 5 Drivers’ World Championships without having a driving license?!?

He went on to get one after retiring… crazy stuff! #F1

Juan Manuel Fangio was the first F1 driver to win several world titles without even having a regular driver's license. Moreover, he was the oldest driver on the grid, which made the fact even crazier. After his first year in the sport, Fangio went on to win five drivers' championships from 1951 to 1957. He finally received his regular driver's license after retiring in 1958. Despite not having a regular license, Fangio was one of the first and most successful drivers in the sport.

In modern times, several young racing drivers do not have a regular driver's license but still participate in several racing series. Max Verstappen was one of the very few drivers who joined the sport before they had a regular license. He only had a super license which allowed him to race. After 2021, however, the FIA imposed new rules where drivers have to be above 18 to receive a super license.

McLaren team boss questions F1's super license system


McLaren team boss Zak Brown worded his thoughts on the F1's super license system. After Colton Herta was denied a seat in F1 due to super license regulations, there were several questions and discussions regarding the rules regarding the license.

In a media interaction at Laguna Seca's IndyCar finale, Brown said:

“I think the whole licensing system needs to be reviewed. I get that the rules are what the rules are and that rules shouldn’t be broken, but I question whether just because those are the rules that are in place now that those are the correct rules. Someone of Colton’s caliber, or Pato’s caliber, or half the [IndyCar] field are Formula 1 capable. If someone like Colton who’s won a lot of IndyCar races isn’t eligible for a super license then I think we need to review the super license system.”
RE: SL for Herta from Zak Brown: “We have had Colton in our simulator and our F1 car for testing and are probably in a better position than anyone to give an opinion. Our opinion is that he would be a great addition to the F1 grid and is very deserving of a Super License.”

Later on, Brown also pointed out how championship-winning drivers like Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen would not be eligible for a super license under current regulations imposed by the FIA.

Edited by
Anurag C
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