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Best Drivers Who Never Won A Race Motor Sport 

Birdman

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Looking back at all the historic 'classic' race highlights on Youtube reminded me of some of the midfield drivers who I forgot about - the Gaston Mazzacanes of the world. Got me thinking about all these drivers who came and went without a win, some better than others.

According to Wikipedia, 108 drivers of the 774 who started a race, actually won a race. Which means 86% of drivers never reach the top step - amazing stat.

Who was the best of them though? Current drivers not included.

I'm going to go with Nick Heidfeld. 13 career podiums. Held his own against Mark Webber at Williams in 2005 (ahead on points until he got injured with five races to go), who himself won 9 races when he got a serious car at Red Bull. Finished 22 points ahead of his more illustrious teammate Robert Kubica at BMW in 2006. F3000 champion in 1999. Maybe lacked that killer instinct to turn one of those podiums into a win but very polished driver nonetheless.

Honourable mentions:
Kamui Kobayashi - Probably the best Japanese driver in F1, he showed flashes of brilliance in his F1 career, including qualifying 2nd at Spa in 2012 (in a Sauber) and a great podium in Suzuka that year. A daring overtaker, up and down would be an understatement to describe his career but on his day he was brilliant and would have been definitely good enough to win in a good car like a Red Bull or Ferrari. His sensational qualifying lap record at Le Mans is something to behold and displays the talent he has.

Stefan Johansson: F1 in the '80s is before my time but I do love reading about its history and this guy drove for Ferrari and McLaren but never won. He was mugged at Imola '85 when he ran out of fuel in the lead with two laps to go so you could put him top of the list. But, his teammates (Alboreto and Prost) won five races between them while he couldn't win one which leaves question marks as to how he didn't win in front running cars.

I'm sure some will mention Hulkenburg and you could make a good case considering his good head to head form against teammates Ricciardo and Sainz. But never even a podium in 11 seasons? A good driver would have found a way to win in his cars.

skysports-f1-canada-flag_4333164.jpg
 

David76

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Chris Amon usually comes up in this debate from the late 60s and early 70s. Very well regarded driver and really should have won at least two Grand Prix but for a puncture in TDe 1972 French Grand Prix and tearing off his visor lid by mistake in the 1971 Italian Grand Prix.

Active years1963–1976
TeamsCooper, Amon, Ferrari, March, Matra, Tecno, Tyrrell, BRM, Ensign, Wolf–Williams
Non-works Lola, Lotus, Brabham
Races96
Wins0
Podiums11
Career points83
Pole positions5
Fastest laps3
 

Son Of Jack

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Amon is a good choice.

I'd say Mika Salo. Took a long time to get his shot in a front running car and had to give up his win to Irvine. His nonstop drive at Monaco 97 was brilliant.
 

Bandit

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An obvious one staring us in the face every race weekend is Martin Brundle
 

Tom

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Never saw Amon drive, but by all accounts available on the internet he is the best driver never to win, of those within my lifetime, Heidfeld, Salo and Brundle and probably the top 3, in what order I cannot say.
 

Franco Pinion

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An obvious one staring us in the face every race weekend is Martin Brundle
I was surprised to read recently that Martin Brundle never once even led a lap in F1. Sergio Perez has been in over 170 races and has yet to win one, but I reckon if he'd ever had a competitive car he would have picked up at least one win at some stage. Even the year he was with McLaren he ended up in probably their worst car ever to that point, but you don't have a career that long in F1 without being of above-average talent.
 

Bandit

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I was surprised to read recently that Martin Brundle never once even led a lap in F1.
Did not know that!

Back in the day, Murray Walker used to say that if Johnny Herbert could have got himself into a proper car he would be world champion. Never really saw it myself.

Anyway, Jean Alesi would be another "contender"
 

Birdman

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Looking at the current grid, Sergio Perez with 8 podiums is quite impressive when you look at the cars he has driven. He's never really had a car that could win races but has always been there to pick up a podium if there is a sniff of one.
 

Andy

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Adrian Sutil - Despite his off-track shenanigans, he showed glimmers of talent. In the 2010 season he finished inside the top 10 eight times with a career best finish of 4th in Monza 2009..

I think had he have had the same opportunities as Hulkenberg, he'd have done more with them.
 

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