Your questions: Most champions in a seasons and Massa’s team mates

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Michael Schumacher will race against three other champions next year
Michael Schumacher will race against three other champions next year

Time for another crop of questions sent to the F1 Fanatic inbox.

This week, as Michael Schumacher makes his F1 comeback along three other world champions, what’s the greatest number title-winners to race against each other?

See below for the answers to this and more questions.

Most F1 champions

Since I have a pretty shallow knowledge of F1 history, I’m curious if you know which season and/or race had the most F1 champions racing? By my count, we have four champions and 11 race winners now. That seems pretty competitive, but I’m curious how that compares to the past. Maybe a post on this one? Thanks.

With the return of Schumacher next year we will have three active champions in Formula 1: the German seven-times champion, plus Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and defending title holder Jenson Button.

The last time F1 was so well-populated with former champions was 1999, when Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve were all on the grid.

It’s a shame Kimi R?â?ńikk?â?Ânen has decided to go to the World Rally Championship, robbing us of a potential fifth world champion.

By my reckoning that would have equalled the most former world champions ever assembled on an F1 starting grid. There were five champions on the grid at the Mexican Grand Prix in 1970 – Jackie Stewart, Jack Brabham, Graham Hill, John Surtees and Denny Hulme. If you can find a past race with more champions in let us know in the comments.

But 15 years ago F1 was briefly bereft of former champions. The last time this happened was at the 1994 Portuguese Grand Prix, where none of the drivers on the grid had won a world championship.

As for the race which featured the most race-winners, I would venture the 1979 British Grand Prix as a starting point. Of the 26 drivers entered half had won a race previously. They were Emerson Fittipaldi, Mario Andretti, Carlos Reutemann, Niki Lauda, John Watson, Jody Scheckter, Gilles Villeneuve, Jochen Mass, Jacky Ickx, Jacques Laffite, Alan Jones, Clay Regazzoni and the winner of the previous race, Jean-Pierre Jabouille.

A further seven drivers on the grid that day would go on to win races: Didier Pironi, Nelson Piquet and Rene Arnoux in 1980, and Patrick Tambay, Elio de Angelis, Keke Rosberg and Ricardo Patrese in 1982.

If anyone can think of a race which featured more previous winners than the 13 at Silverstone in 1979, please let us know in the comments.

One more thing about champions…

Next year, Felipe Massa will be team mate to a world champion for the fourth time in a row (Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso).

Can you think of any other occasions this has happened in history?
Ed Greenhalgh

In a word, no! But if anyone else can beat that do post it in the comments…


I just would like to ask you if you are looking for promotional girls for next season in Silverstone. Thanks.

Erm, I think you might have me confused with someone else…

Onboard cameras

Just a quick question about onboard cameras in F1. I did a little research and found out that all F1 cars are fitted with onboard cameras (whether that is true or not is what I wish to find out).

If this is true, why is it that FOM don’t show the footage from onboard cameras when they would solve “mysteries” as to what happened in various incidents otherwise not caught on film? An example could be Heikki Kovalainen’s crash in Malaysia this year. I only found out recently that Kovalainen actually made contact with the barrier after spinning off. If they had have shown it from Heikki’s car then we would have known.

Anyway it has been bothering me for ages and I just don’t understand. For all I know, only a couple of the cars could be fitted with onboard cameras.
Damon Smedley

Any relation to Rob there, Damon?

FOM don’t say much about the amount of footage they capture at race weekends and how much of it ends up being broadcast. But it’s clear from the amount of new material which crops up on the end-of-season DVD review that the live broadcast only accounts for a small portion of what gets shown.

As Damon points out, this is especially annoying when it comes to accidents or controversial incidents which could be better illuminated by extra camera angles. We were promised greater use of video technology to explain stewards’ decisions but we haven’t seen much of it so far.


It used to be the big tobacco companies who were the major sponsors in F1, any fan of the sport can tell you about the John Player Special Lotus or the Marlboro livery McLaren used to have.

A couple of years back though that sort of sponsorship was banned so we had names like AT&T and Vodafone taking their place, and lately it’s been banks like ING and Santander that’s had the biggest marketing campaigns.

My question is that now that we have a financial crisis and the banks are doing everything to save money we probably won’t seem them sponsoring F1 teams for long so what type of industry do you think will fancy it’s chances next? Or rather if you were a Formula 1 team boss where would you look for money?

Thanks for that interesting and original question. With RBS and ING receiving government support it’s hardly surprising they’ve pulled their sponsorship of F1 teams as well as the big race-branding deals ING had been doing.

One of the growth areas for F1 sponsorship at the moment seems to be airlines. In recent years we’ve had Emirates sponsoring McLaren plus the arrivals of Kingfisher and Air Asia, and Virgin has an airline arm too.

If you can help expand the answers to these questions, please post in the comments.

Got an F1 question that needs answering? Send it in by email or using Twitter.

86 comments on “Your questions: Most champions in a seasons and Massa’s team mates”

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  1. i don’t see airlines doing any better. Kingfisher and Virgin are both part of a group of companies and it isn’t their primary trade. Same for Emirates, the group they belong to lost money in every division except their airline, so i highly doubt they would want to continue plunging cash into f1.

    1. Clothes sponsorship like Hugo Boss could increase too I think! (designers)

      1. Social media, starting with YouTube-backed USF1

        1. We have seen social media sponsorship before, MTV used to sponsor Simtek (I hope it was them, kick me if wrong folks).

          Problem with internet based companies is they already get global coverage, so not too sure how long it will be until we see Google McLaren F1 or Microsoft Scuderia Ferrari, but AT&T and Compaq among others have been notable recently.

          For a slightly leftfield idea, how about country sponsorship of a team, or tourism and business profile awareness? Could see Dubai or Singapore sponsoring a team. Tied in with a home Grand Prix supported by the government, it demonstrates a willingness to invest in their own future – a very positive message to any international business looking for a base in their region.

          1. Think the Malaysian government once sponsored Stewart back in 1997 with Visit Malaysia promos :

    2. don’t forget etihad!

    3. I think you’ll see betting companies coming into F1 more in the future.

  2. “Next year, Felipe Massa will be team mate to a world champion for the fourth time in a row (Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso).”

    But does that fact really work considering Kimi wasn’t world champion when he was paired with Massa at the start of ’07.

    On the topic of onboard camera’s is there any chance of helmet cams like the one Massa wore for the first test of the F60 ever becoming widespread. It’d also be cool if they brought in rotating cameras on top of the cars like they have in Indycar.

    1. i think he means all of massa’s teammates have/will have driven alongside him as a world champion at some point.

    2. Yeah, they also fitted the helmet cam to Coulthard’s helmet for the 2008 Brazilian GP and I thought it was great…

      …maybe next year!!

  3. Airlines – etihad with Ferrari as well.

  4. In the fia tech rules (PDF) it actually outlines the areas that must be made available to locate cameras.
    While there are a substantial amount of additional cameras areas I am unsure if all cars have all locations used at all times.
    I know there are set locations that must have cams though. Another series that uses this style of setup is v8 supercars for one, and from memory there was a crash C Lowndes had with a rouge tyre at Bathurst and from tv broadcast it wasn’t shown with as much detail as was the stewards own in car (private) camera…These cameras also carry simple telemetry..brake throttle, gear and can help when making judgment calls for penalties.
    The extra video was released after the race.

    It would be more interesting to see a small replay with this detail after penalties and incidents during the race rather than post race…but it’s F1 and well…lets get HD first :)

  5. Regarding sponsorship, in the absence of tobacco, booze, and retail banking, it seems the ideal sponsor would be a transnational consumer product brand, like RedSwill. These are not common in F1 now, and this may be a rule-proving exception because many such companies with extra cash are U.S.-based and they spend their ad dollars on NASCAR and other sports. You need smallish-market brands looking for an international presence and with the money to spend. So I’m looking, hoping to see some emerging East Asian and Indian brands stepping up soon as Kingfisher and Petronas have done.

  6. I think we’ve had this discussion in the past.

    I am expecting oil companies to make a comeback soon. Apart from Petronas, there aren’t too many title sponsors on the grid just now. We have Total on the Renaults, Mobil/Esso on the Mclarens and the defunct Toyotas, Shell on Ferrari, Petrobras on Williams etc. but none of these are title sponsors.

    The oil and gas industry will pick up next year and the race is on for clean efficient fuels, F1 will serve as the best platform to market these products, especially with the ban on refueling.

    I am also quite surprised why the Gambling industry has not come into F1. There are quite a lot of them on football shirts, but can’t recall one which was a title F1 team sponsor.

    Unlike NASCAR, where even chewing gum and bread make the liveries, the cost to enter as a sponsor for F1 is too high for smallish companies. A title sponsor will be paying in the tune of at least 100 million dollars a year, at least thats what the VP in my former company told me a couple years back.

  7. About the onboard cameras, just to add to the discussion I’d like to mention that here in the UK when you watch races on the cinema, it seems the transmission privileges the usage of onboard cameras much more than the one on TV… which is great cause you feel like you’re in the car most of the time with that surround sound.

    1. Where is F1 shown in the cinema?!?!?

      1. ODEON cinemas were showing some races.

        1. when was this???!!! and where?

          1. I saw several races in the cinema in 2008, are they not showing anymore? Anyway I remember that it was almost nonstop onboard cameras.

      2. I knew they’d been showing the British Grand Prix at the London IMAX for the past few years, but this is the first I’ve heard of them being shown anywhere else!

  8. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the 1968 South African GP also had five world champions on the grid: Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Denny Hulme, John Surtees and Jack Barbham. It also had Jochen Rindt and Jackie Stewart as future champions =P

    1. There was an article in F1 Racing a couple of years ago where some researcher had been through every GP ever and decided that the Austrian GP of 1980something had the most race winners, past and future.

      Unfortunately, I’m too lazy to go through all my old magazines to find it, but if anyone has an F1 Racing collection to hand, please go and do it for me!

  9. Thankyou very much Keith for answering my question about the onboard cameras! It has been on my mind for ages and it really frustrates me when Brundle and Legard are clueless as to what has taken place but it is obvious that FOM have shown the worst possible angles of the incident.

    I just got the 2009 Official Review for Christmas and found that they had included many extra camera angles of various moments.

  10. Oh and there isn’t any relation to Rob Smedley, but don’t I wish there was….

    1. What’s Damon’s Medley, huh? ;)
      Anyway, I hope people won’t be confusing us.

      1. No, my name is Damon Smedley, just I live in Australia and I am not (or at least I don’t think I am) related to Rob Smedley.

  11. On the onboard cameras – FIA say “Throughout the Grand Prix weekend all cars must be fitted with at least five housings for cameras which are used to provide on-board TV footage.

    The positions of the housings are specified in the regulations and the one mounted on top of the air box immediately behind the driver’s head must always contain a camera.

    All cars must also be fitted with a timing transponder supplied by the officially appointed timekeepers. These transponders allow the timekeepers to record every lap time of every car throughout the weekend.”

    1. oh right so they must all have the 5 ‘housings’ for cameras but i’m guessing that FOM choose which ones will actually have cameras in them.

  12. G


    I just would like to ask you if you are looking for promotional girls for next season in Silverstone. Thanks.

    Erm, I think you might have me confused with someone else…

    do you hear that, keith? that is the sound of opportunity knocking.

    1. José Baudaier
      28th December 2009, 4:52

      LoL. Opportunity knocking indeed. I must say that if I would be in Silverstone next year I would definatelly be looking for promotional girls.

      1. maybe we should get some F1fanatic t-shirts printed off and sold at the British GP?

    2. “that is the sound of opportunity knocking”

      Nice knockers! ;)

    3. I’d be happy to have some promo girls stood around my TV for the Silverstone race…

  13. Prisoner Monkeys
    28th December 2009, 4:00

    I’d say mobile phone service providers would be bigger than airliners, which is a industry where it is notoriously difficult to stay in the black. In terms of mobile phones, we’ve seen Vodafone (McLaren), AT&T (Williams), MegaFon (Renault), Virgin (Brawn), T-Mobile (BMW) and Alice (Ferrari), and we’re getting Embratel (Campos). Telefonicia was also tipped for Campos, but apparently they’re happy with just sponsoring races.

    Oil companies are also likely to be big, though sometimes – like (Shell) and Petrobras (Williams) – they have a technical, rather than commercial relationship with the teams. But Mercedes now has Petronas, who were invovled with BMW and Sauber on previous occasions, Renault have Total, and depending on whether Campos takes Vitaly Petrov or Pastor Maldonado, we’ll probably see Gazprom or PDVSA.

    Energy drinks also seem to be popular, as well. Red Bull and Toro Rosso are the obvious candidates, but Wiliams have a deal in place with Hell, while Brawn ran TNT at the Brazilian Grand Prix and Jenson Button is sponsored by Monster.

    1. Yeah good call PM, you’re always an expert on this sort of stuff!

    2. but Wiliams have a deal in place with Hell

      Has Frank sold his soul or is there a company or product I haven’t heard of?

      ….and regarding girls looking for promotional work,I would be happy to screen these ladies for you Keith :)

      1. No, don’t be silly… Hell is an energy drink. Besides, Sir Frank can’t sell his soul to the devil, he’s already sold it to the FIA…

  14. Hey Keith, first of all, merry christmass.

    I would like to know if FIA will expressly prohibit the so called “double-difuser”, no longer beeing a breach on the rules? This is being pointed by many ass the true cause of the new aerodynamic rules´ failure on achieving more thrilling races.

    Thank you, and happy new year.

  15. José Baudaier
    28th December 2009, 5:10

    We know which race(s) had the most champions racing. But which race had the most championships racing? Like next year we’ll have 11 (Schumi-7; Alonso-2; Hamilton-1; Button-1) and I must say it is hard to beat.

  16. Hey Keith!
    Thanks for answering my question, and thanks to everyone who provided their opinion in the comments.

  17. i think the last there was 5 WDCs on the grid is 1985 Australia, where Lauda, Jones, Piquet, Rosberg and Prost raced as well.

    previous GPs with 5 WDCs:

    1968 South Africa
    Jack Brabham, Graham Hill, Clark, Surtees, Hulme

    1969 Canada
    1969 USA
    1970 South Africa
    1970 Spain
    1970 Monaco
    1970 Great Britain
    1970 Germany
    1970 Canada
    1970 USA
    1970 Mexico
    Jack Brabham, Graham Hill, Surtees, Hulme, Stewart

    1985 Australia
    Lauda, Jones, Piquet, Rosberg and Prost

  18. about “future champions” as it was mentioned above, the biggest number is 8 (so crowned and yet to be crowned champions together):

    1970 Great Britain
    1970 Germany
    Jack Brabham, Graham Hill, Surtees, Hulme, Stewart, +Rindt, +Fittipaldi, +Andretti

    1978 Germany
    1978 Austria
    1978 Netherlands (till this GP +Andretti)
    1978 Canada
    Fittipaldi, Lauda, Hunt, Andretti, +Schekter, +Jones, +Piquet, +Rosberg

    1980 Austria
    Fittipaldi, Andretti, Scheckter, +Jones, +Piquet, +Rosberg, +Prost, +Mansell

  19. i have created an excel sheet just for this case a while ago with the correct data inputs, that’s how i got the races so exactly. maybe you guys can take a look at it if you want:

    at the right upper corner you can filter titles, for all the possible solutions.

    1. that’s an awesome chart!

      1. wow, i thought the link is down or something, as noone replied for that, thanks!

        1. Hi.
          I reckoned the same thing few months ago. Thanks God I got the same result about the WDCs on the grid. :)

          I reckond the GP winners on the grid too. There were two races in a row in 1978 (Belgian and Spanish GP, both won by Andretti) with 15 different winners.

          Thanks for sharing your sheet. I think we’re a bit crazy. :)

          1. or at least (f1)fanatics ;)

        2. The link works fine. How long did it take you to do the chart?

          1. took about an afternoon

    2. José Baudaier
      29th December 2009, 3:51

      Really nice Andrew, you must have put a lot of work on it. Really great job. That’s a chart I’ll keep for future references.

      1. nice to hear that, and now i’m thinking on another chart, as GeoCucc caught my attention with the GP winners :O

  20. Nicolas Todt, Massa and Stefano! The best team Ferrari has ever had. They made it to records book with Massas new sensational record by pairing up with 4 different WDC winning drivers without winning his own. =)

    Go team Red GOOO!!!!!!!

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