The worst driver in F1 History

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
We're doing overrated and underrated so lets go to the very bottom of the pile.

We did this on here years ago but we haven't done it for a while so let's have another look and see if time and tide melt the snowman.

Who do we think is the worst driver in F1 History? ........ wait a moment..... hold your horses.

Before we start however, I will say, any driver you pick must have completed at least 50 percent of one season. It's not fair to nominate those clowns who were brought in to provide 50 quid in sponsorship to a struggling team, these have to be almost full time drivers, hired to do a job and who utterly and miserably failed to achieve it.

Over to you all.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I'm going to start start you off with a driver who took part in 114 Grands Prix, won one (that was stopped just after half way) and had six other podium finishes, Jochen Richard Mass. For the life of me I could not fathom how he kept getting drives with different teams, and even made a comeback in 1982 with March. How he managed 3 1/2 season at McLaren when the team was at its peak I have no idea.

Brilliant sportscar driver though.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
What are the rules here? Does the driver have to have qualified for a race? After all, there are lots of people who have tried to qualify, but failed... Bernie Ecclestone for one...

Brogan - I don’t know how you can list Luca Badoer - ok he was terrible at Ferrari, but so was Giancarlo Fisichella.

Back in the ‘90s, there were lots of candidates...

Giovanna Amati
”Raced” for Brabham - but never actually qualified in 1992. Lost her seat to Damon Hill, who managed to qualift for 2 GPs (Silverstone, and Budapest, despite a massively underpowered car).

Gabriele Tarquini is probably the best worst driver out there. Raced for AGS, Osella, Fondmetal, and Tyrrell, having been entered for 78 races - amazingly he actually scored 1 point as well! However, he dominated touring cars, winning the BTCC (back when it was good), the ETCC, and the WTCC...
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Gabriele Tarquini is probably the best worst driver out there. Raced for AGS, Osella, Fondmetal, and Tyrrell, having been entered for 78 races - amazingly he actually scored 1 point as well! However, he dominated touring cars, winning the BTCC (back when it was good), the ETCC, and the WTCC...
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Not sure what you expect from Tarquini in those cars?
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Olivier Grouillard - he was famous for blocking drivers with them fist shaking at him

Taki Inoue - Not an F1 driver and infamous for two things hit by medical car and being cranked with him in the cockpit
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Marcus Eriksson- "Roman did you check your mirrors "

Pastor Maldonado- I think he is better on here than the other thread

Satoru Nakajima - 3.5 seconds slower than Senna , 2 seconds slower than Piquet in Honda propelled cars. Clearly was not because he had talent

Kazuki Nakajima - only drove for Williams Toyota and not seen again in F1 when Toyota quit tells his story like his dad.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
I will mention Eddie Irvine because he was happy to be No 2 and just earn a few million . Only took it a bit more seriously when he won races in 1999 which became the start of his fall out with Ferrari. Both Lauda and Scheckter thought he was not good enough to be world champion so it was proven
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
Pastor Maldonado- I think he is better on here than the other thread
this is harsh on the guy who from 2013 onwards was only there for comedy value admittedly & he did it very well. but credit where its due he was a very good driver in 2012. beat Perez & Bianchi to the GP2 title
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
this is harsh on the guy who from 2013 onwards was only there for comedy value admittedly & he did it very well. but credit where its due he was a very good driver in 2012. beat Perez & Bianchi to the GP2 title
Well 2012 was a false dawn for him and after that he seemed to be accident prone. If it was not for his backers other more capable drivers would have done better at Wiliams and Lotus
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
There have been quite a number of pay/self drivers over the years who have been pretty dreadful.

Wilson Fittipaldi had to create his own team to get a drive
Hector Rebaque bought second hand Lotus cars so that he could go racing and then bought the second seat at Brabham
Riccardo Zunino also bought the second seat at Brabham for a season
Slim Borgudd took the seat at ATS because ABBA threw money at him
Derek Daly got the second seat at Williams in 1982 because they signed "the wrong Derek"
Arturo Merzario was another who had to create his own team to get a drive, nice hats though.
Emilio de Vilotta resorted to buying second hand McLaren's and Williams' cars to be able to indulge himself
Rupert Keegan tried his hand in F1 but found his level in the British F1 championship
Eliseo Salazar is most famous for getting punched by Nelson Piquet at Hockenheim. Other than that he was just another rotten pay driver.
Siegfried Stohr was driving the same Arrows A3 Riccardo Patrese put on pole at Long Beach. Stohr failed to qualify.
Corrado Fabi, who apart from buying a seat at Osella got his other driver in F1 because his brother, Teo, was busy eslewhere when at Brabham in 1984.
The last one I will leave you with is Huub Rothengatter, or God of the Rats as Niki lauda dubbed him. Looking through his biography he was just as crap in all the other formulas he took part in. Probably should have stuck to club racing

There are teams which seem to attract the very worst driving talent - Osella, Minardi, Ligier (towards the end), AGS, Spirit and Zakspeed.
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
Pedro Diniz, Esteban Tuero & then embarrment of riches from Minardi Gaston Mazzacane, Alex Yoong ,Gianmaria Bruni, Zsolt Baumgartner, Patrick Fiersacher who managed to come last in 6 car USA GP. then what about rio Hariyanto
 

Titch

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
I’ll put these two forward for the award :
Giovanna Amato
Chanoch Nissany
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Phillips Alliott springs to mind- had 14 accidents in 15 races in 1990 not all in the race but Hunt said "He was a guaranteed crasher. So he should not have been hired in the first place" . After a success sportscar career Peugeot were trying to pressure Ron Dennis to put him in a McLaren but he wisely chose Brundle

For nostalgia Vittoria Brambillia had a reputation for being fast but accident prone . Amusingly his only win he lifted his hands off the steering wheel to celebrate and inexplicably crashed
 
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