F1: 5 drivers who were unlucky to have not won the championship

V Silver City Trophy

Each driver who steps into the F1 car has a dream of winning the Championship but only a few drivers have managed to win the title multiple times, while some drivers have managed it once. But there are drivers who missed out after coming very close.

Almost 68 years have passed since the inception of Formula 1, and we have witnessed only 32 champions. Some drivers were frequently seen on the podium but never got to win a title. These are the deserving drivers who missed out on being crowned the champion of the Formula 1 Driver's World Championship.

These drivers didn't lack any skill or talent, but were unlucky. Some of them had fatal crashes, some missed out by a few points, and others were not good enough when it required the most.

Here is a list of five drivers who were unlucky to have not won the Grand Prix title:

#5 Wolfgang von Trips

formula 1, Wolfgang von Trips
Wolfgang von Trips

Wolfgang von Trips had the saddest ending to his F1 career after he crashed in the 1961 Italian Grand Prix. He led the championship before the race by four points and was the favorite to win the title.

In the second lap of the race, he was involved in a crash with Jim Clark, and his car crashed into the barrier killing 17 spectators and von Trips. Jim Clark was unharmed, and Phil Hill, his teammate and contender, went on to win the race and the title.

#4 Ronnie Peterson

Ronnie Peterson
Ronnie Peterson

Ronnie Peterson is a two-time runner-up of FIA Formula One World Drivers' Championship and was known for his aggressive driving. Peterson is regarded as Sweden's most successful driver in Formula 1, having finished second in the driver's championship in 1971 and 1978.

His career came to an end at the 1978 Italian Grand Prix where he was involved in a crash. Although he suffered no major injuries, Peterson passed away in the hospital as his condition worsened due to renal failure.

To honour Peterson, a statue of him was made in Örebro and also fellow Swedish racing driver Marcus Ericsson paid respect to him in the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix by wearing a helmet which was modelled on Peterson's.

#3 Stirling Moss

Stirling Moss (Image Courtest: justbritish)
Stirling Moss (Image Courtesy: justbritis)

Stirling Moss, who is often regarded as the greatest driver never to win the World Championship, came close to winning the title not twice but seven times. He finished as the runner-up four times and finished third three times.

Apart from the Formula One World Championship, his trophy cabinet includes victories in other motorsport events, as he won 212 of the 529 races he participated in throughout his career.

Moss was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1990, and FIA gave him the FIA gold medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to motorsport, in 2006.

#2 Jacky Ickx

Jacky Ickx
Jacky Ickx

Jacky Ickx is a legendary racing driver who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans six times, and also won the Can-Am Championship in 1979 and is a former winner of the Dakar Rally. Ickx was also quite successful in Formula 1 with 25 podium finishes and eight race wins.

He raced in Formula 1 for more than ten years, and the closest he came to the title was in 1970, losing it by just five points.

He won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three years in a row, from 1975 to 1977, and before the start of the Le Mans race in 2000, Ickx was Awarded the Honorary Citizen of Le Mans.

#1 Tony Brooks

 Tony Brooks
Tony Brooks

Tony Brooks or the "racing dentist" is a British former racing driver. He was a very successful driver having won the 1957 1000 km Nürburgring and the 1958 RAC Tourist Trophy. His Formula 1 record was equally impressive; he came very close to winning the title two times in 1958 and again in 1959 finishing third and second respectively.

Brooks was the first British driver to win an F1 race after 32 years. Jack Brabham, Tony Brooks, and Stirling Moss were all in contention to win the title in the last race of the 1959 season. Brabham and Brooks had to battle it out for the title as Moss retired early into the race.

Brabham was leading the race, but he ran out of fuel just 400 yards from the finish line. Brooks finished the race in the third place, but it was not enough to earn him the title as Brabham finished fourth by pushing his car over the finish line and won by a margin a few points.

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Edited by Nishant Jayaram
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