Champion of Champions: Juan Manuel Fangio vs Jackie Stewart

Juan Manuel Fangio vs Jackie Stewart

Champion of ChampionsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Champion of Champions: Juan Manuel Fangio vs Jackie Stewart

As well as being multiple champions, Juan Manuel Fangio and Jackie Stewart are both drivers whose successes were concentrated into a relatively brief period of time.

Between them they started less than half the number of races Rubens Barrichello has.

Fangio won four world titles on the trot from 1954-7. Factor out the 1952 season he lost to injury and he picked up all five of his titles within six years of competition.

Stewart won three titles in five years and might have had more: he missed the 1968 title by four points and in 1972 was hit by an illness which kept him out of the cockpit.

Both drivers also understood the importance of choosing the right time to stop. Fangio did not stay long after winning his fifth championship. Stewart planned to retire after the final race of 1973, an arrangement that was hastened by the death of his team mate Francois Cevert.

The Nurburgring was the scene of some of their greatest drives. In 1957 Fangio recovered a minute to catch and pass the Ferraris of Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins. He did so by daring to take the Nordschleife’s corners in one gear higher than he’d been using before.

The same daunting and dangerous circuit was the target of Stewart’s forward-thinking safety campaign. But he mastered it as a driver as well, winning there three times. In 1968, in pouring rain and thick fog, he came home four minutes ahead of second-placed Graham Hill.

Between them they won eight world championships and over a third of their 150 race starts.

But 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 Jackie Stewart
Juan Manuel Fangio, 1955 Jackie Stewart, Matra, 1969
Titles 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957 1969, 1971, 1973
Second in title year/s Alberto Ascari, Jose Froilan Gonzalez, Stirling Moss, Stirling Moss, Stirling Moss Jacky Ickx, Ronnie Peterson, Emerson Fittipaldi
Teams Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Mercedes, Ferrari BRM, Matra, Tyrrell
Notable team mates Giuseppe Farina, Peter Collins, Stirling Moss Graham Hill, Johnny Servoz-Gavin, Francois Cevert
Starts 51 99
Wins 24 (47.06%) 27 (27.27%)
Poles 29 (56.86%) 17 (17.17%)
Modern points per start1 17.12 11.20
% car failures2 17.65 32.32
Modern points per finish3 20.79 16.55
Notes Missed 1952 season due to injury Finished his first six races in the points and won his eighth start
Handed 1956 title by team mate Peter Collins Runner-up to Graham Hill in 1968 before winning three titles in five years
Record haul of five titles unequalled until 2002 Retired on the eve of what would have been his 100th start after team mate Cevert was killed
Bio Juan Manuel Fangio Jackie Stewart

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

Round two

Round one

Which was the better world champion driver?

  • Juan Manuel Fangio (65%)
  • Jackie Stewart (35%)

Total Voters: 586

Loading ... Loading ...

You need an F1 Fanatic account to vote. Register an account here or read more about registering here.

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

Browse all Champion of Champions articles

Images ?? Daimler, Pirelli (Fangio), (Stewart)

104 comments on “Juan Manuel Fangio vs Jackie Stewart”

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3
  1. Fangio


    Ok, Fangio.

  2. Fangio, just

  3. why do we bother keith is rigging the vote!! every new driver had to face an old world champion but his beloved Hamilton!! ohh he had to beat button? big challange! and he wont close the vote on rd 2 till Hamilton wins even if it takes twice as long to “count the votes” as everyone else, don’t get me wrong im taking nothing from Hamilton but a young rookie with a handfull of years under his belt should not be given a free ride to the finals!! maybe in 10 years when he’s a 3 or maybe even 4 time world championships, keith should stack the deck to save us from ourself’s but for now it just stinks of a rigged comp!

    1. It’s not a ranking system it’s to find out who is the Champion of Champions. Hamilton will inevitably have to come up against tough opposition and he’s just faced Brabham and checking the results he’s actually losing to Jack.

      1. aw steph you got in the way of my reply! Now it looks like I replied to you!

    2. You’re either trolling or misinformed.

      Either way, you’re wrong.

  4. DiamondEagle (@)
    27th January 2011, 17:57

    Fangio vs Stewart at the quarter final stage…evil.

    Both of them are in my all time top four (Fangio, Stewart, Senna, Schumacher) but I voted for Stewart in the knowledge Fangio had more votes.

  5. Stewart.

    Without him, I doubt we’d still have Schumacher (either of them), Massa, Hakkinen, Kubica, Alonso and many others. And those are just recent drivers that spring to mind who have had major accidents over the last while.

    His drive for safety has saved many, many lives. Combined with his charisma and skill, it makes him, overall, a better champion in my eyes.

  6. Stewart…great stats and for the amount he did to bring safety into the sport. This has to be about more than just stats or we could just get the computer to work it out.

  7. Very hard to choose between two magnificent and very dominant drivers, but I have always had Fangio in my top four – but Stewart was displaced from that group about 15 years ago.

  8. Fangio… King of power-steering, pure gentleman, raw talent, won with every team he drove for, came back from a broken neck (!) in ’52, at 42 years old !!!, was kidnapped in Cuba ’58… his life story is just literally unbelievable. His name even made it to popular language (at least in french & dutch, we say “you drive like a fangio”)… during his lifetime !

    Steward, on the other hand, is partly responsible for seat belts, safety helmets, removable steering wheels, better marshalls, the disappearance of tracks like Nordschleife & old Spa, etc. (I know, I don’t have the facts anywhere near 100% right) Sir Stewart saved many, many drivers’ lives, by being publicly honest about his fears, and acting on them. Respect.

    But in my idealist (child’s?) mind, the Legend, the Champion of Champions, the Hero of F1 has to be someone oblivious to his own safety, to political correctness and all these other ‘adult’ concerns. Dreams stuff.

    Stewart nearly had it, but Fangio got my vote.

    1. at least in french & dutch, we say “you drive like a fangio”


      In Czech we say “he drives like a Chiron” :-). I wonder whether some other languages have similar expressions.

      1. in spain we used to say. Who do you think you are fittipaldi?

      2. In the States a policeman might ask, “Who do you think you are, Mario Andretti?”

  9. Fangio for me. The great Stirling Moss called him ‘Maestro’ and copied his driving style. In 1949 in his first full season in Europe he won 6 out of 10 times, the first 4 races, straight victories. When the F1 championship started he was already 39, an age most modern F1 drivers are already retired. Stewart is one of the greats, but Fangio (in my mind) is greater.

  10. i’m surprised to see fangio leading. stewart’s contributions to the sport, with and without a steering wheel, are massive. multiple champion, teacher, statesman, leader… what more does it take?

    1. not to belabor the point, but please watch this:

      what was it? “he can take 20 seconds off of anyone’s lap time”?

      1. To quote Jackie himself at 3:45 in that clip

        I’m not sure if the very best drivers all the way through the life of racing have not basically done the same thing. I don’t think too many of them have explained it the way they want to explain it, but I’m sure if you spoke to Fangio…

  11. I’m sure semi-finals will be :

    Prost vs Senna
    Fangio vs Schumacher

    Winners: Senna and Fangio

    Champion of champions: Senna

    One way or the other it will a tough call. I believe Schumacher doesn’t stand a chance against any of other three.

    Someone in Lauda vs Prost duel put it best: Prost was probably the most complete F1 driver ever.

    This is getting more and more interesting.
    Thanks Keith.

    1. If you look at the draw and the seedings it will be
      Schumacher vs Prost and
      Fangio vs Senna if Fangio and Senna win their respective rounds, so one of Fangio and Senna will go out in the semis.

  12. Oh, I voted Fangio

  13. Stewart, for three reasons.

    First of all, he was phenomenally talented and his stats aren’t the same as Fangio’s because he wasn’t always in the best car.

    Second of all, his abilities as a development driver were and still are immense. Not only was he instrumental in the dominance of the Tyrell 003 but he was also responsible for testing the Ford Mondeo, one of the most successful road cars ever.

    Thirdly, no man has done more to make F1 as safe as it is today. The long road from deaths every other weekend to 17 years since the last driver fatality in F1 has been paved in a very large part by Stewart himself. As a world champion he used his status to make sure that all but one of the world champions that followed were alive to see their achievement realised.

    1. I really hate to give Bernie and Max credit for anyhting, but…credit where credit is due: the safety drive was spearheaded by Stewart, Ecclestone, and Mosely. True, no one has done more than Jackie, but at least two others have done as much.

  14. in 1972 was hit by an illness which kept him out of the cockpit

    Stewart only missed 1 race in 1972, the Belgian GP at Spa, and ended the season 16 points behind Fittipaldi (9 points for a win then). Fangio missed the entire 1952 season.

  15. Fangio was in a differnt era of racing, the cars were no where near as powerful. Its inevitable Senna will win though, don’t see how personally. I find the whole ‘paradox’ of Senna that Brundle spoke of during the top gear feature was precisely why Senna is over rated. He resorted to driving other drivers off the track if he deemed it necessary. Thats not brilliance thats plain stupidity.

    1. were you following f1 when he was driving, because as far as i can see you have been manipulated.
      Senna only pushed one driver out of the road during his career. Prost at suzuka. And he was pressured into it.
      Don’t put senna into schumi’s club. He was decent, but was forced to take matters into his own hands, because balestre robbed him one title in 89, and was trying to do it again in 1990.

  16. At this stage Keith…..please now don’t compare Senna and Fangio.

  17. Wow, this is really hard to choose. I voted for Fangio, just.

  18. Fangio. Never been a fan of Stewart.

    Plus, even my Mum has heard of Fangio.
    It’s the nickname she uses for me when I drive too fast, even today in my 40’s!

  19. Stewart has this easily for me! Was the top driver of the 70’s and in my opinion through the 60’s as well. Almost winning the title in the cars he had during the 60’s, compaired to his teamates is amazing. Shame he seems to be on his way though out

  20. The hardest thing about the champion of champions is the different eras they drove in. Many different aspects of the sport come in to consideration, contracts and cars are just part of it. Stewart was involved in a difficult and evolving time for grand prix racing, therefore he wins my vote.

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.