Formula 1 Champions With the Longest Win Drought in the Sport As Lewis Hamilton Hits Milestone 50

Formula 1 Champions With the Longest Win Drought in the Sport As Lewis Hamilton Hits Milestone 50

Ero Samson
updated at April 22, 2024 at 5:06 PM
  • Formula 1 champions often experience winning droughts at certain times in their career
  • Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher are prime examples of drivers who experienced such
  • Sports Brief spotlights F1 champions who have endured the longest win drought after the Chinese GP

Even the very best of Formula 1 drivers go through phases where they endure a barren spell without victory in the sport. Several elite drivers, including the iconic Michael Schumacher, have had their fair share of win droughts in the sport.

This drought could be a result of various reasons, including swapping teams, changes in regulations, or even because a new driver may have proven too formidable to challenge.

On the 2024 grid, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are currently on the list of F1 champions who are enduring one of the longest barren runs of any driver in the history of the sport.

Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1, F1, Fernando Alonso, Chinese Grand Prix, Mercedes AMG
Lewis Hamilton recently hit the milestone of 50 races without a victory at the Chinese Grand Prix. Image: Lars Baron.
Source: Getty Images

Hamilton hit the magic 50 races without clinching a victory. The 39-year-old's last victory was at the 2021 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix.

In light of this unceremonious feat, Sports Brief spotlights a list of F1 champions who endured the longest winless runs in the history of the sport.

F1 champions with the longest winless run

Fernando Alonso – 185 [Spanish GP 2013 – counting]

Fondly dubbed the "wily old fox," Fernando Alonso has been on the hunt for a victory since his last win at the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix.

The two-time drivers' champion has struggled to replicate the lofty heights he achieved with his title-winning Renault.

Alonso has unfortunately piloted a series of underwhelming McLarens and Ferraris, none of which have been able to secure a victory for him.

However, his current partnership with Aston Martin holds promise. Since joining the Silverstone team, Alonso has frequently claimed podium places, suggesting that this elusive victory may someday be within reach.

Jacques Villeneuve – 130 [Europe 1997 – Germany 2006]

The 1997 Formula 1 champion also endured a torrid drought in his final year in the sport.

The Canadian last tasted victory at the 1997 European Grand Prix in Luxembourg.

The win would not just end up being the final victory of his title-winning season in 1997; it would be the last of his Formula 1 career.

Villeneuve would clinch two more podiums with British American Racing (BAR) in 2001, which would be as high as Candian would stand in the F1 field for the remainder of his career, until retirement in 2006.

Kimi Raikkonen – 112 [Australia 2013 – United States 2018]

One might expect a driver with the finesse of Kimi Raikkonen to have claimed victory on multiple occasions during his tenure in Formula 1.

However, the ice-cold Finnish driver only recorded 21 wins out of his 103 podium finishes.

The 2007 drivers' champion, who clinched the championship with Ferrari in 2007, endured a wait of over five years for his next race victory.

Many anticipated the win in Austin in 2018 as a turning point for Raikkonen's career. Sadly, that would prove to be his final win in F1.

Emerson Fittipaldi – 81 [Great Britain 1975 – United States 1980]

The Brazilian champion also endured a challenging winless streak in Formula 1. After securing his second drivers' championship in 1974, he chose to depart from McLaren—a decision that would hinder his dominance in the sport.

Opting to leave the Woking team after claiming his 14th Grand Prix victory in Silverstone, the two-time F1 champion decided to join Copersucar as they aimed to establish a successful team in Formula 1 from scratch.

However, this move proved costly, as the Brazilian never tasted victory in F1 until he announced his retirement.

Jenson Button – 78 [Brazil 2012 – Monaco 2017]

Unfortunately for 2009 World Champion Jenson Button, his lengthy tenure with McLaren coincided with the team's gradual decline in competitiveness throughout the mid-2010s. This decline culminated in their ultimately failed reunion with Honda, a partnership that saw teammate Fernando Alonso famously criticise their power unit as a "GP2 engine."

Button secured his 15th career victory at Interlagos in 2012, but after that, only one more podium finish would come for the British driver.

Drivers with the most Sprint race victories

In another report, Sports Brief compiled a list of Formula 1 drivers with the most Sprint race victories.

The list featured George Russell and Stake F1 Kick Sauber driver, Valtteri Bottas.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).