Centurions without a Win


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There are 10 drivers who have raced 100 times in Formula One without winning a race, namely:

10: Jos Verstappen (NED, 107 - Benetton, Simtek, Footwork, Tyrell, Stewart, Arrows, Minardi)

Jos is most famous for being set on fire in his time at Benetton where he was an uncompetitive team-mate for Michael Schumacher, and a replacement for JJ Lehto. He scored only 17 points in his 107 races in Formula One, scoring no points in 4 of his 8 seasons. His best result was 3rd place for Benetton at the Hungarian GP, and at Spa the same year following his team-mates disqualification. He never qualified higher than sixth.

9. Phillippe Alliot (FRA, 109: RAM, Ligier, Larrousse, McLaren)

Alliot scored a threadbare 7 points in his time in F1, with his best result being 5th for Larrouse at the 1993 San Marino Grand Prix. 66 of his race starts did not end up as finishes, and 17th was his best World Championship placing. After a ban for Mika Hakkinen, he raced for McLaren at the 1994 Hungarian GP, but did not finish.

8. Mika Salo (FIN, 110: Lotus, Tyrell, Arrows, BAR, Ferrari, Sauber, Toyota)

Salo was the last man to drive a Lotus in a Formula One race for 17 years, and the first to drive a Toyota in the sport. He scored 33 points in Formula One, 9 of which were achieved at the Monaco Grand Prix. He scored Toyota's only points of its début season in 2002, but his big break came in 1999 when he was Ferrari's Schumacher substitute. He scored podiums at both high-speed circuits (Hockenheim and Monza) leading a lap of each Grand Prix. He gave his lead up to team-mate Irvine at Hockenheim to make this list! However, at more ordinary circuits he struggled.

7. Pierluigi Martini (ITA, 118: Minardi, Scuderia Italia)

Save from a season at Scuderia Italia in 1993 before their merger, Martini drove his whole F1 career for a team which never won a race, Minardi. He scored 18 points, 16 of which for Minardi, and his best results were 4th places in the 1991 Portuguese and San Marino Grands Prix. His Pirelli-qualifiers aided front-row start at Phoenix has become legendary, and he led a lap of the 1989 Portuguese GP in the pitstop sequence. It would take the sale to Red Bull and Sebastien Vettel to see Faenza celebrate a Grand Prix win.

6. Eddie Cheever (USA, 132: Hesketh, Osella, Tyrell, Ligier, Renault, Alfa Romeo, Team Haas Lola, Arrows)

In contrast to the above, Cheever was reasonably successful in F1. He scored 9 podiums with second places in Canada in 1983 for Renault and in Detroit in 1982 for Ligier. However, his 132 starts saw an incredible 84 retirements, and the teams he drove for tended to have been successful, if ever, at other times. He finished a career best 7th in the Championship in 1983. He never led a lap of a Grand Prix and his last F1 race was in 1989.

5. Jean-Pierre Jarier (FRA, 134: March, Shadow, Penske, Ligier, ATS, Lotus, Tyrell, Osella)

Jarier retired 70 times from his 134 starts, with 3 third places as his best results in Monaco in 1974, as well as in South Africa and Britain in 1979. He sat on pole 3 times, for Shadow in the first two races of 1975, not starting in Buenos Aires and retiring from the lead in Brazil. His other pole came in the second Lotus 79 at the 1978 Canadian GP, again he retired from the lead to complete Gilles' fairytale. However, his best championship position was only 11th, and he scored 31.5 points in F1.

4. Derek Warwick (GBR, 146: Toleman, Renault, Brabham, Arrows, Lotus, Footwork)

It is said that Ayrton Senna vetoed Warwick's move to Lotus in 1986. Like Cheever, his teams tended to be successful when he was not racing for them. He participated in the slow deaths of Renault, Brabham and Lotus, and retired from 84 Grands Prix. His four podiums came in Kyalami, Zolder, Brands Hatch and Hockenheim for l'équipe in 1984, and he was to lead that year's Brazilian GP as well as the Canadian race 5 years later. He twice set fastest lap. His 12 year career was not attended by Lady Luck!

3. Martin Brundle (GBR, 158: Tyrell, Zakspeed, Williams, Brabham, Benetton, Ligier, McLaren, Jordan)

Martin was another to not lead a lap in Formula One, racing for almost all the big teams at all the wrong times. Even his one race for Williams was in 1988, when they were at their slowest in 20 years, and did not leave a lasting impression like his fellow Mansell-substitute Jean-Louis Schlesser. His two second places came at the 1992 Italian GP at Monza (ahead of team-mate Schumacher) and at the 1994 Monaco GP for McLaren. His career started with every result from his first season being disqualified, but he was to finish 6th in the WDC in 1992 and score a career 98 points. Don't know what happened to him after retirement though...

2. Nick Heidfeld (GER, 174 to date: Prost, (BMW) Sauber, Jordan, Williams, Renault)

8 times a Grand Prix runner-up and a further 5 times a podium finisher. One pole position at the Nurburgring in 2005. 25 laps led over 8 Grands Prix. The record for consecutive finishes. 240 points. 5th place in the 2007 Drivers' Championship. Seasons bettering team-mates Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen and Robert Kubica; and defeated Sebastien Vettel in their only race together. Admittedly Seb was about 10, and it was his début! I'd elaborate, but I expect this may cease to be relevant this year. Cross your fingers!

1. Andrea de Cesaris (ITA, 208: Alfa Romeo, McLaren, Ligier, Minardi, Brabham, Rial, Scuderia Italia, Jordan, Tyrell, Sauber)

It took Andrea de Cesaris until 1992 to string five finishes together. He retired from 148 races! His chance to get off this list came as pole sitter in Long Beach in 1982, but he was overtaken by Niki Lauda and then planted himself in the wall, although he also led the first 18 laps at Spa the year after. He scored 5 podiums; two of which after running out of fuel on the last lap, and scored 59 points. His best Championship position was 8th in 1983. He may have done something in F1 had he finished enough races!
Nick Heidfeld is definitely the best driver in recent years not to have won a race. Nico Rosberg may be a new competitor for that title.

Interesting post. :)
Nice work tby.

The mid-1990s was obviously a boom time for centurions of disappointment.

I am staggered that Philippe Alliot managed to start over 100 Grands Prix.
Martin Brundle could very well be one of the unluckiest drivers in F1. Driving for Mclaren, Williams, Tyrell, Brabham and Bennetton and yet no wins.
Did you see that he was just chosen as McLaren's 50th greatest driver ever as well? Guess they were really scraping the bottom of the barrel to reach 50, as Phillipe started just a single GP for McLaren, being outqualified by Martin Brundle by nearly 2 seconds at Hungary 94.


Must be fiftieth out of fifty then.

I think the it was clear the relationship between McLaren and Peugeot wasn't going to last when the latter suggested Alliot as a better option than Brundle.
Nice one TBY, shame two of my favourite drivers, Jarier and Warwick, come in at 5 & 4 :(

Here's Philippe Alliot's greatest moment in F1:

Didn't they rebuild the car for the race next day?

BTW - Michael Andretti comes in at 49 in McLaren's list of "greatest drivers" :snigger:
Of that lot, I think Warwick and Jarier were the best.

BTW, didn't Button have over 100 races before scoring his first win?
BTW, didn't Button have over 100 races before scoring his first win?

Yes he did, but this thread is about drivers who never won.

There are 5 drivers who got themselves out of this club by winning a race after hitting 100:

Giancarlo Fisichella (110), Jenson Button (113), Jarno Trulli (117), Rubens Barrichello (124), Mark Webber (130)

Mika Hakkinen had to wait 96 races to win one!
TBY-- My point was that Heidfeld still has a chance of getting off the list. I hope he manages to do so!

To me, the most surprising thing is that these drivers were allowed to linger so long when they weren't producing the desired results. I cannot fathom why. Was there such a dearth of good drivers that no better replacements were available?
You can see Brundle, Cheever, Warwick, Heidfeld etc. getting drives at any time. How Verstappen, Salo, Alliot and even de Cesaris racked up their numbers is slightly disturbing!
To me, the most surprising thing is that these drivers were allowed to linger so long when they weren't producing the desired results. I cannot fathom why. Was there such a dearth of good drivers that no better replacements were available?

I think the problem still exists in F1 today S_F, taking Jarno Trulli and, dare I say, Michael Schumacher as cases in point. I suppose the team managers saw some of these drivers as a safe pair of hands who would help sort the car and, although not going to win anything, might scrape the odd points finish. Strangely though I remember Lotus getting better when Martin Donnelly joined Warwick and gave a few ideas on how to improve the car. Martini is possibly the exception to this as there was some "love affair" between him and Minardi
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