Champion of Champions
Juan Manuel Fangio and Mike Hawthorn were rivals of the 1950s who spent many seasons racing against each other.
But although both won titles with Ferrari they were never paired up at the same team.
Fangio drove seven complete season in which he won five world championship titles before retiring two races into 1958. Hawthorn succeeded him as world champion.
With better reliability, Fangio could have been the first ever world champion instead of Giuseppe Farina. Both drove for Alfa Romeo, but Fangio lost three finishes to car failure while Farina’s only let him down in Reims.
The following year Fangio clinched his first championship but he injured his neck in 1952 and missed the season. He returned in 1953 and finished runner-up to Alberto Ascari.
Hawthorn’s first championship season was in 1952 at the wheel of a Cooper entered by his father Leslie. After several impressive drives he was hired by Ferrari and he won his fourth race with the team, edging Fangio at Reims.
Fangio dominated 1954, winning six of eight races (excluding the Indianapolis 500), starting the season with Maserati before moving on to Mercedes.
In 1955 Hawthorn abandoned a planned switch to Vanwall and returned to Ferrari. Fangio stayed at Mercedes where he won his third title, but the team quit Formula 1 at the end of the year following the Le Mans disaster.
That led Fangio to Ferrari but Hawthorn was no longer there. He’d moved on to BRM, mainly because he wanted to drive the British team’s sports cars. Fangio claimed the title in an ex-Lancia D50, before returning to Maserati.
Hawthorn re-joined Ferrari but couldn’t keep Fangio from title number five: Fangio famously defeated Hawthorn having fallen over a minute behind him at the Nurburgring that year. He retired not long after.
Hawthorn won the title in 1958 despite taking a single Grand Prix victory to Stirling Moss’s four. But he drove consistently, with seven podium finishes from ten starts. He retired after winning the title, but was killed in a road accident the following January.
Which of these drivers should go through to the next round of the Champion of Champions? Vote for which you think was best below and explain who you voted for and why in the comments.
|Juan Manuel Fangio||Mike Hawthorn|
|Titles||1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957||1958|
|Second in title year/s||Alberto Ascari, Jose Froilan Gonzalez, Stirling Moss, Stirling Moss, Stirling Moss||Stirling Moss|
|Teams||Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Mercedes, Ferrari||Cooper, Ferrari, Vanwall, Maserati, BRM|
|Notable team mates||Giuseppe Farina, Peter Collins, Stirling Moss||Giuseppe Farina, Alberto Ascari, Peter Collins|
|Wins||24 (47.06%)||3 (6.67%)|
|Poles||29 (56.86%)||4 (8.89%)|
|Modern points per start1||17.12||10.40|
|% car failures2||17.65||22.22|
|Modern points per finish3||20.79||13.37|
|Notes||Missed 1952 season due to injury||Famously beat Fangio at Reims in 1953|
|Handed 1956 title by team mate Peter Collins||Consistent points-scoring brought him the 1958 title, aided by team mate Phil Hill|
|Record haul of five titles unequalled until 2002||Retired but killed in a road accident in January 1959|
|Bio||Juan Manuel Fangio||Mike Hawthorn|
1 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of races they started
2 The percentage of races in which they were not classified due to a mechanical failure
3 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of starts in which they did not suffer a race-ending mechanical failure
Which was the better world champion driver?
- Juan Manuel Fangio (97%)
- Mike Hawthorn (3%)
Total Voters: 554
Read the F1 Fanatic Champion of Champions introduction for more information and remember to check back tomorrow for the next round.
Have you voted in the previous rounds of Champion of Champions yet? Find them all here:
Champion of Champions
- Ayrton Senna voted Champion of Champions by F1 Fanatic readers
- Champion of Champions in stats
- Champion of Champions Final: Senna vs Schumacher
- Ayrton Senna vs Juan Manuel Fangio
- Michael Schumacher vs Alain Prost
- Ayrton Senna vs Jack Brabham
- Juan Manuel Fangio vs Jackie Stewart
- Alain Prost vs Niki Lauda
- Jim Clark vs Michael Schumacher
- Jack Brabham vs Lewis Hamilton
Images © Daimler (Fangio), Chris Ilsley (Hawthorn)