Formula 1 is known as the pinnacle of motorsports. The series has seen extremely talented drivers who all hope to achieve their dreams of winning a Formula 1 Grand Prix. Despite being the best drivers on the planet, many came close to standing on the top step of the podium, but never did. This begs the question:
Which driver has the most podiums without a Formula 1 win?
#1: Nick Heidfeld - 13 podiums
Nick Heidfeld holds the record for the most podium finishes without ever winning a race. The German racked up 13 podiums in his career without winning. Heidfeld came close to winning on eight occasions, where he finished the race in second place. Heidfeld scored his first podium in the 2001 Brazilian Grand Prix when he came second to David Coulthard.
Heidfeld's best chance of winning a Grand Prix was during the 2008 season - when BMW-Sauber were the third-best car on the grid. The German finished second on four occasions while his teammate Robert Kubica managed to win a Formula 1 race. Heidfeld's last podium came in 2011 when he finished third in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
#2: Stefan Johansson - 12 podiums
With 12 podiums in a career spanning 10 seasons, Swedish driver Stefan Johansson comes second in the list of most podiums without a Formula 1 race win. The Swede drove for some great teams like Ferrari and McLaren however a Grand Prix victory always eluded him. Among the 12 podiums, Johansson finished second on four occasions.
Unfortunately for Johansson, he raced in a dominant McLaren era. The likes of Lauda, Prost and Senna won most of the races during the span of his career. His last podium came at the 1989 Portuguese Grand Prix in Estoril, where he came third.
#3: Chris Amon - 11 podiums
With 12 podiums in Formula 1, the Kiwi Chris Amon comes third on the list of most podiums without a win. Amon raced for March, Matra and Ferrari but wasn't able to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix. The New Zealander could only manage three second-place finishes in his career, two with March and one with Ferrari.
Despite not winning a Formula 1 race, Chris Amon won the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans with fellow countryman Bruce McLaren in a Ford GT40.
#4: Romain Grosjean - 10 podiums
The most recent driver on the list, Romain Grosjean, retired from Formula 1 last season after suffering from a near-fatal accident during the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. However, the Frenchman should be proud of his Formula 1 career, which saw him finish on the podium 10 times. Grosjean finished second twice in his career and third on eight occasions.
However, a win was always going to be tough for Grosjean as he was unfortunate to race in two of the most dominant periods in Formula 1 history: Sebastian Vettel with Red Bull and Lewis Hamilton with Mercedes. Grosjean now races in the IndyCar Series with Dale Coyne Racing.
Grosjean's last Formula 1 podium came in the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix where he finished P3 behind the Mercedes of Hamilton and Rosberg.
#5: Martin Brundle, Eddie Cheever, Jean Behra - 9 podiums
Joint fifth with nine podiums without a win are: Frenchman Jean Behra, American driver Eddie Cheever and British driver Martin Brundle. Current Sky Sports F1 commentator Martin Brundle came close to winning when he finished P2 in the 1992 Italian Grand Prix, losing to Ayrton Senna. He also had a chance at the 1994 Monaco Grand Prix, but finished over 35 seconds behind Michael Schumacher's Benetton.
Both Jean Behra and Eddie Cheever also had two second-place finishes but were never lucky enough to win a Formula 1 race.