These Are the Best Racing Drivers That Never Won a Title

These Are the Best Racing Drivers That Never Won a Title

From F1 hopefuls to IndyCar stalwarts, these are some of the best drivers that never won a championship.

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Jean Alesi of France stands in the pit lane in his red Ferrari fire suit.
Photo: Pascal Rondeau (Getty Images)

When you become a racing driver, the ultimate goal is to win a world title at the top level. But while most drivers dream of this achievement, not many can make it there.

A mix of poor team choices, super competitive fields or just bad luck mean that some phenomenal drivers have gone without claiming a world title in the career. And sure, while victory in feeder series such as F3 or Indy Lights is a welcome consolation, it doesn’t quite make up for missing out at the top level.

So we wanted to celebrate some of the racing drivers that missed out on their crowing achievement. To do this, we turned to you and asked who’s the best racing driver that never won a title? These are some of the top responses we received.

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Mark Martin

Mark Martin

A photo of race driver Mark Martin holding a large check.
Photo: Craig Jones (Getty Images)

“Mark Martin.

“He didn’t miss out once or twice, but five times. Was the man only skilled in one type of race? Nope, he holds the record for most wins (13) and titles (five) in IROC history, four time ASA Champion, oh, and won his class in this little race called the Daytona 24hr five times, even placing an overall podium of third alongside a nobody called Paul Newman in 1995.

“He held the record for most Busch series wins, but never competed a full season. If he’s not #1 on the list I will be shocked.”

Despite winning the International Race of Champions, American racer Mark Martin has yet to win a title in one of the major race series. He’s come close in NASCAR, with five second-place finishes to his name.

Suggested by: Jeffrey Conover (Facebook)

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Stirling Moss

Stirling Moss

Stirling Moss stands outside the new wing of the Silverstone complex.
Photo: Clive Mason (Getty Images)

“Stirling Moss without a doubt.

“16 poles, 16 wins, and 24 podiums out of 67 race entries (a higher rate than many F1 world champions), and an absolute class act as sportsman – he actually lost the championship one year because he defended the eventual winner (Mike Hawthorn) from being given an incorrect penalty, when that penalty would’ve given Moss the title.”

Stirling Moss was by far the most popular response today. His impressive number of wins puts him 18th on the list of all-time grand prix winners, but he never managed to clinch that elusive world title.

Suggested by: gokieks

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Justin Wilson

Justin Wilson

A photo of British racer Justin Wilson in a red fire suit.
Photo: Robert Laberge (Getty Images)

“Justin Wilson.

“Struggled for funding half the time, could never land at a top team because of it, but was always competitive when he had a decent car under him.”

Justin Wilson raced in F1, IndyCar, IMSA and Formula E. He won seven races across various series and gets extra points in my book as he’s from Rotherham in South Yorkshire.

Suggested by: @AtlantiCat99 (Twitter)

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Jean Alesi

Jean Alesi

A photo of Tyrrell Ford driver Jean Alesi in his blue fire suit.
Photo: Pascal Rondeau/Allsport (Getty Images)

“Jean Alesi. Such a talented driver that had the career derailed by bad team choices, and even worse luck.”

French driver Jean Alesi raced in F1 between 1989 and 2001. Despite entering more than 200 races and claiming 32 podiums, he has just one win to his name after triumphing in the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix.

Suggested by: SennaMP4

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Lloyd Ruby

Lloyd Ruby

A black and white photo of racing driver Lloyd Ruby.
Photo: Charles Kelly (AP)

“Lloyd Ruby. He was fast in anything he drove, should have won Indy 3-4 times, did win LeMans and Daytona 24 hours, and many USAC races.”

American racer Lloyd Ruby claimed seven wins, 29 podiums and eight pole positions in Champ Car racing.

Suggested by: Bryan Finnegan (Facebook)

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Larry Perkins

Larry Perkins

Larry Perkins sits in an old race car.
Photo: Keystone/Hulton Archive (Getty Images)

“Larry Perkins.

“15 Grand Prix starts, a 4th at Le Mans, six Bathurst 1000 victories – including one from what effectively was last to first.

“Bathurst is the thing that he ultimately cared about and he built an engineering company to go out and repeatedly win it.”

Larry Perkins might have won the 1975 European F3 Championship, but his successes sadly didn’t follow him up into the senior categories.

Suggested by: rollo75

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Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa races his Ferrari F1 car in Brazil.
Photo: Clive Mason (Getty Images)

“Felipe Massa should at least make the list, he came so so close to winning the F1 title in 2008.”

Is that Glock?

Suggested by: Alan Dahl (Facebook)

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Tim Richmond

Tim Richmond

A black and white photo of racing driver Tim Richmond.
Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS (AP)

“Tim Richmond. He had all the tools and talent to take on Dale Earnhardt and race his way to the NASCAR Cup Championship, before sickness and NASCAR drummed him out of racing and tried their damnedest to erase him out of its history.”

Across his eight-year career, Tim Richmond scored 13 wins, 78 top ten finishes and 14 pole positions in NASCAR. But sadly, that never translated to the ultimate crown.

Suggested by: jrhmobile

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Randy Mamola

Randy Mamola

Randy Mamola of the United States rides in the British motorcycle Grand Prix.
Photo: Don Morley (Getty Images)

“Randy Mamola. Raced in the Motorcycle Grand Prix championship 500cc class for 12 years and finished 2nd or 3rd in the championship for six of those years. On the podium 57 of 151 races (37.7%).

“Also, just an all around good person. Co-founder of Riders for Health, which provides motorcycles, and trains the personnel on maintaining the motorcycles, and other vehicles to deliver medical supplies to remote areas of Africa.”

American motorbike racer Randy Mamola is another driver to rack up some impressive statistics. This includes four second-place finishes in grand prix motorbike racing.

Suggested by: Bob Harrer (Facebook)

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Michèle Mouton

Michèle Mouton

Michele Mouton and Fabrizia Pons race an Audi rally car.
Photo: Mike Powell /Allsport (Getty Images)

“Michèle Mouton.

“She missed out by a few points. The last rally of the year she didn’t score well, the rally that took place just days after her father passed.”

Michèle Mouton raced for Audi in the World Rally Championship. In 1982, she racked up four wins and finished just 12 points behind Walter Röhrl at the end of the season.

Suggested by: elumerere

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Dan Gurney

Dan Gurney

A black and white photo of Dan Gurney racing in F1.
Photo: Ronald Dumont/Daily Express/Hulton Archive (Getty Images)

“Dan Gurney. Won races including LeMans (originating the champagne spray tradition), NASCAR (five victories), four victories in Formula One with 86 starts (including in his own car).

“Competed in Champ Car / Indy 500, Trans Am, and the Cannonball Run (with Brock Yates in a Ferrari Daytona coupe doing 170 in the desert at night). For all around racing, he is second only to Mario Andretti.”

American racer Dan Gurney claimed four F1 race wins between 1962 and and 1967. He also triumphed at Le Mans in 1964 and 1967, and carved out a pretty successful Nascar career.

Suggested by: redpir8roberts

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