World Champions' Career Timelines


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With Sebastian Vettel winning his second world championship, the youngest man to achieve this feat (as well as many others), I thought it would be good to compare the world champions' careers, specifically looking at their ages when they achieved key milestones.

(It's a bit big I know - click on the image to enlarge it a bit, or save it and zoom in)


The axis is marked out in driver's age, from 19 to 49. The yellow bar shows the period that the driver was active in F1, with the green and red markers giving the first and last wins, and the black markers showing when world championships were won.

Hopefully this helps to show just how unusual it is to have won one world championship before the age of 26, let alone two, as Alonso and now Vettel have both done. Three-times world champion Jack Brabham had never entered a Grand Prix before his 29th birthday, and continued winning into his forties.

Similarly this sort of graphic brings out how skewed some drivers' careers were: early success followed by a long fallow period for Jacques Villeneuve, or Emerson Fittipaldi; a long wait for the first victory like Hakkinen and Button; and those who stopped too soon, whether through retirement (like Scheckter) or fatal accident (Hawthorn, Rindt).
Wow thats amazing it's taken Vettel just a little old than when Alonso won his first championship for Vettel to become a double world champion. Hoping that all makes sense :).
Surely the black line for Rindt should be after the yellow stops?

Technically it is, but his death at Monza was less than a month before his championship was confirmed at Watkins Glen. So the yellow and black are adjacent rather than overlapping, in the other cases.
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