“Mag­nif­i­cent Max! Viva Ver­stap­pen! I thought I’d seen it all in For­mula 1, but I very clearly hadn’t…”

F1 Racing - - CHEQUERED FLAG -

To be­come a grand prix driver is some­thing that few achieve. To win an F1 race in your very first year is rare in­deed. Pre­cious few have done so, but since I’ve been lucky enough to see most of them, here are my top-six first-year win­ners.

In date or­der, the first is Juan Manuel Fan­gio, Ar­gentina’s five-time world cham­pion, and win­ner of three of 1950’s seven races. Next is the great Jackie Ste­wart, who not only won the 1965 Ital­ian GP in his de­but year but who also went on to win three world cham­pi­onships. Then it is Emer­son Fit­ti­paldi who won the 1970 Amer­i­can GP at Watkins Glen for Lo­tus and Juan Pablo Mon­toya who, in 2001, won for Wil­liams in Italy. Fi­nally, two out­stand­ing achiev­ers in their de­but years: Jac­ques Vil­leneuve, who won four races and fin­ished sec­ond in the 1996 cham­pi­onship just one point be­hind his Wil­liams team-mate Da­mon Hill, and McLaren’s Lewis Hamil­ton, who won four races in his first year to fin­ish sec­ond to Fer­rari’s Kimi Räikkö­nen in 2007.

While all these year-one achiev­ers, ex­cept Mon­toya, won cham­pi­onships, other great cham­pi­ons, such as Fer­nando Alonso, Jack

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