Which Formula One Driver Had The Best Facial Hair Of All Time?

Illustration for article titled Which Formula One Driver Had The Best Facial Hair Of All Time?
Photo: Allsport UK (Getty)

It’s the debate that has raged on for decades, one that has torn family dinners asunder and ruined relationships. That’s right. With people sitting down for a big feast tonight, we’re going to decide which Formula One driver sported the best facial hair in the history of the sport. Let’s get ready to fight.

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There are some obvious answers, the go-tos that everyone immediately thinks of: Emerson Fittipaldi’s iconic sideburns, Graham Hill’s pencil mustache, Jo Bonnier’s 90s-esque beard that was three decades before its time, Nigel Mansell’s furry top lip. These are all reasonable choices in their own right, I will admit. You’ll never find me claiming that Emmo was anything less than a style icon, no sir. But I fear that we, as a society, have not looked deeply enough.

I mean, Daniel Ricciardo’s US GP facial hair has always been on point, but none better than this, uh, unique 2014 style:

Illustration for article titled Which Formula One Driver Had The Best Facial Hair Of All Time?
Photo: Clive Mason (Getty)
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Of course, when we talk about beards, we can’t forget Henri Pescarolo, who courageously grew a full beard as early as the mid-1960s, despite fashion trends that demanded a well-shaved chin. Props to you, Henri. Way to buck the trend!

Illustration for article titled Which Formula One Driver Had The Best Facial Hair Of All Time?
Photo: Darrell Ingham (Getty)

Of course, we can’t forget Fernando Alonso who, in my eyes, reached his bearded peak in 2015. What better way to rebel against your terrible McHonda car than by growing your hair out and artfully crafting a nice beard to go along with it? The prettier you look, the less depressing your lack of results will be!

Illustration for article titled Which Formula One Driver Had The Best Facial Hair Of All Time?
Photo: NELSON ALMEIDA (Getty)
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In my eyes, though, there is only one winner. Harald Ertl. The Austrian driver may never have scored a single point in Formula One, but that’s okay. This is a man who dedicated his life to having the most impressive beard. It was well-maintained, but with a lengthy and well-pointed handlebar mustache as the cherry on top. It’s perfection. Leonardo da Vinci is weeping in his grave knowing that he could never create something as perfect as Ertl’s facial hair. I mean, just look at it:

Illustration for article titled Which Formula One Driver Had The Best Facial Hair Of All Time?
Photo: Tony Duffy (Getty)
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While I know that I am fully, 100 percent correct in my decision, I am willing to hear arguments to the contrary.

Just kidding. Much like Ertl’s moustache, my convictions are firm, and they will not bend.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Freelancer. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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DISCUSSION

The correct answer will always be Graham Hill. He could be an actor, painter, or magician. It doesn’t matter. It’s glorious: