British F1 world champions - how many can you remember?

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James Hunt, Damon Hill and Graham Hill are among the British F1 world champions
James Hunt, Damon Hill and Graham Hill are among the British F1 world champions

Lewis Hamilton has been crowned Britain’s most successful Formula One driver after claiming his fourth world championship in Mexico City on Sunday.

The 32-year-old Englishman has now surpassed Sir Jackie Stewart’s haul of three titles.

Here, Yahoo Sport looks at Hamilton, Stewart and Britain’s other F1 champions.

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Mike Hawthorn (1958)

Became Britain’s first world champion when he won the title for Ferrari. Retired on the spot before he died just six months later when he crashed his Jaguar on the A3.

Mike Hawthorn was the first British world champion
Mike Hawthorn was the first British world champion

Graham Hill (1962, 1968)

Won the championship on two occasions and is the only driver to seal the Triple Crown – the Monaco Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours race. Died in a helicopter crash on Arkley Golf Course in 1975.

Graham Hill en route to winning his fourth Monaco GP in 1968
Graham Hill en route to winning his fourth Monaco GP in 1968

Jim Clark (1963, 1965)

A Scottish farmer who won 25 grands prix and two championships. Considered to be among the best British drivers of all-time, and almost certainly would have won more titles, but died in a Formula Two crash at Hockenheim in 1968.

Jim Clark celebrates winning the British GP in 1963
Jim Clark celebrates winning the British GP in 1963

John Surtees (1964)

The only person to have won world championships on both two and four wheels. Died earlier this year following a short illness.

John Surtees: King of two and four wheels
John Surtees: King of two and four wheels

Sir Jackie Stewart (1969, 1971, 1973)

A winner of three championships and a pioneer for improved safety in the sport during his motor racing career. Still involved in F1 and famous around the world. In 2001 he received a knighthood.

Jackie Stewart: Three times a champion
Jackie Stewart: Three times a champion

James Hunt (1976)

Beat Niki Lauda to the 1976 title after he finished third at a rain-soaked Japanese Grand Prix. Lauda retired from the race saying it was too dangerous to continue. Hunt went on to commentate alongside Murray Walker at the BBC but died following a heart attack in 1993, aged just 45.

James Hunt celebrates winning the 1976 French Grand Prix
James Hunt celebrates winning the 1976 French Grand Prix

Nigel Mansell (1992)

Ended a 16-year wait for a British world champion after winning the title with Williams. A winner of 31 grands prix over an impressive career in which he raced for Ferrari, Williams and McLaren.

Nigel Mansell at the 1992 Portuguese Grand Prix
Nigel Mansell at the 1992 Portuguese Grand Prix

Damon Hill (1996)

Son of two-time champion Graham, Damon, a late-starter in the sport, followed in his father’s footsteps by winning the 1996 title for Williams. As he crossed the line in Suzuka, an emotional Murray Walker uttered the immortal words: “… And I am going to have to stop, because I have got a lump in my throat.”

Damon Hill celebrates winning the title in 1996
Damon Hill celebrates winning the title in 1996

Jenson Button (2009)

Won six of the opening seven races for new team Brawn GP in 2009 to clear the way for him to clinch his fairytale maiden championship. Sung Queen’s “We are the Champions” over the radio as he wrapped up the title with one race to spare in Brazil.

Jenson Button celebrates at the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Jenson Button celebrates at the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton (2008, 2014, 2015, 2017)

Hamilton joined the pantheon of all-time greats with his fourth championship. Has a record 72 pole positions, and 62 grands prix victories – second only to Michael Schumacher.


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