5 of Formula 1's greatest lost talents
#3 - Jim Clark (1936-68)
Jim Clark is, without a doubt, one of the best drivers to have ever sat in an F1 car, still holding some major F1 records over 50 years after his death. Indeed, Ayrton Senna -- who some say is the best ever -- believed that Clark was the best of all time, and he's hardly alone in thinking that.
Clark drove exclusively for the Lotus team and was instrumental in bringing success to Colin Chapman's team. Clark's speed over 1 lap was incredible, taking pole position in almost half the Grands Prix he competed in. The percentages and stats speak for themselves. He won a third of every race he competed in, setting fastest lap in a similar percentage of GPs and the Brit still holds the record for the most "Grand Slams" (win, pole, fastest lap and led every lap) in F1 history.
His 25th and final F1 victory came in his final race, breaking the record for wins that was held by the great Juan Manuel Fangio. Clark would die during a Formula 2 race at the Hockenheimring in 1968, being a 2-time champion by the age of 32. Graham Hill (Clark's teammate) won the driver's championship in '68, so the Scot would've had a shot at the title that year had he lived.
I'd have honestly backed Clark to come out on top there and with Lotus winning driver's titles in 1970 and '72, Clark could well have matched Fangio's tally of five driver's titles. Like Ferrari when Villeneuve passed away, Clark's death hit Colin Chapman hard, with close friends of the design engineer saying that he was never the same after.
Want to learn more about Clark? Check out our Top 5 British F1 drivers of all time!