F1: Drivers without a single DNF in an entire season
Over the years, the number of races in a complete Formula One season has increased from seven to twenty-one. However, the number of times that a driver has completed an entire season without a single 'DNF' or "Did Not Finish" is only eight.
As the Hungarian Grand Prix is about to begin, in what would be the 12th round of races of the 2018 F1 season, already every single racer has failed to finish at least once. Drivers are often hindered due to reliability issues or crashes.
Even when the F1 calendar comprised of only seven races, it was difficult for a driver to finish the whole season without retiring once. The first time such a feat was achieved was in 1961 while Lewis Hamilton managed to do so during his 2017 World Championship winning season.
It is important for any championship contender to try and garner as many Grand Prix finishes as possible to increase their chances for a title win. Here’s a list of all the drivers who have been able to finish their season without a single DNF:-
#1 Dan Gurney - 1961
Formula One championship in 1961 was vastly different from how we view it in this day and age. Only eight Grands Prix were conducted, out of which the best five results were chosen to represent the driver’s points. Only the top six finishers were awarded points, unlike the first ten that are now included in the list of point scorers.
As only five races were considered, not every driver was keen or under obligation to participate in every Grand Prix. Dan Gurney was the first driver to attempt each and every race and manage an entire season without a non-finish.
The American racer drove for Porsche and despite not scoring a win, he claimed the third position in the driver’s standings by the end of the year. He competed in every race but scored points in only five, accumulating a total of 21 which he shared with Stirling Moss. It was the best Formula One season for Porsche where they finished in third place.