Who’s the Best Racing Driver That Never Won a Title?

Sure, we can all claim the best driver is the one with the most world titles, but is there a racer who’s great but never won one?

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A photo of Sam Bird spraying champagne on the Formula E podium.
Sam Bird, 11 wins to his name but no world title.
Photo: Jaguar Racing (Getty Images)

It feels a little bit crazy how many amazing drivers there are across IndyCar, Formula E, and F1 right now. The talent on offer in these, and many other, global race series makes it feel like we might be living in a golden age of racing drivers. And while the best in these categories will go on to claim race wins and world titles, there are some who won’t.

So, as we stare down the barrel of a possible future where F1 doesn’t feature eight-time race winner Daniel Ricciardo, I got to thinking about what other un-crowned talents were out there. Namely, I wondered who is the best racing driver that has never won a world title?


This, by no means, is limited to current or recently retired racers. We want to scour the decades of motorsport history to uncover some top talent that never quite made it to the point of triumph. You might think that is someone like Ricciardo, or you might instead have a case to make for rally driver Mikko Hirvonen and his four second-place finishes in WRC.

Or maybe, like every Formula E fan, you believe Sam Bird is long overdue a world title. The Jaguar driver has been in the sport since the beginning, and won races in each of the first seven seasons. His best year came in season four, when Bird claimed two wins and a further four podiums to earn him 143 points and third place in the standings. Close, but no cigar.


But you’ve got 100 years of motorsport history to trawl through, so who would you pick? Head to the comments section below and let us know who you think should be crowned the greatest racing driver to never win a world title.

We’ll round up some of the best suggestions in a slideshow on Monday.