A shocking fact – the 2022 and 2023 F1 season has no Italian drivers. This is a far cry from the rich history and connection Italy has with the sport. For the time being Antonio Giovinazzi is the latest Formula One driver. He competed in the 2017 season and came back from 2019 to 2021. Since then, we are yet to see any newcomers from the country.
However, Italy has a rich history in the world of motorsports, and Formula 1 is no exception. Over the years, Italian drivers have become synonymous with speed, skill, and passion, with many of them achieving great success in the sport. From the legendary Alberto Ascari to the current reigning champion, Charles Leclerc, let’s take a closer look at the best Italian F1 racers of all time.
Alberto Ascari was one of the most successful Italian drivers in Formula 1 history. He won back-to-back championships in 1952 and 1953, driving for Scuderia Ferrari. During his career, Ascari won a total of 13 races and achieved 17 podium finishes. He was known for his precision and consistency and is considered to be one of the greatest drivers of all time.
Death: Tragically, Ascari died in a testing accident at Monza in 1955, but his legacy lives on in the world of motorsports.
Nino Farina was the first ever Formula 1 world champion, winning the title in 1950. He drove for the Alfa Romeo team and won three races that season, including the first-ever F1 race at Silverstone. Farina was known for his speed and aggression on the track and was one of the most popular drivers of his time.
Career Highlights: Farina only competed in F1 for three seasons, but his contribution to the sport was significant. He retired in 1955 and went on to become a successful businessman and sports administrator.
Giuseppe Farina was Nino Farina’s cousin, and he also enjoyed success in Formula 1. He won the championship in 1950, driving for the Alfa Romeo team, and achieved four race wins during his career. Farina was known for his smooth driving style and his ability to extract maximum performance from his car.
Career Highlights: Farina retired from F1 in 1955 and went on to become a successful racing team manager. He passed away in a car crash in 1966, but his legacy lives on as one of the best Italian F1 racers of all time.
Clay Regazzoni was one of the most popular Italian drivers in the 1970s. He drove for Ferrari from 1970 to 1975, winning five races and achieving 28 podium finishes. Regazzoni was known for his aggressive driving style and his ability to push his car to the limit. He was also known for his humour and his outgoing personality and was a fan favourite during his time in the sport.
Career: Regazzoni continued to race in F1 until 1980, driving for various teams including Williams and Ensign. He passed away in a car accident in 2006, but his legacy as one of the best Italian F1 racers of all time lives on.
Michele Alboreto was one of the most successful Italian drivers of the 1980s. He competed in F1 from 1981 to 1994, driving for teams such as Tyrrell, Ferrari, and Larrousse. Alboreto achieved five race wins and 23 podium finishes during his career, and was known for his smooth driving style and his ability to manage his tires.
Best Season: Alboreto’s best season came in 1985, when he finished second in the championship behind Alain Prost. He was also part of the Ferrari team that won the constructors’ championship in 1984. After retiring from F1, Alboreto went on to race in various other motorsports, including sports cars and touring cars.
Giancarlo Fisichella was known for his speed and consistency on the track. He competed in F1 from 1996 to 2012, driving for teams such as Jordan, Renault, and Force India. Fisichella achieved three race wins and 19 podium finishes during his career and was known for his ability to adapt to different racing conditions.
Best Season: Fisichella’s best season came in 2006 when he finished third in the championship behind Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher. He was also part of the Renault team that won the constructors’ championship in 2005 and 2006.
Jarno Trulli is another successful Italian F1 driver, known for his smooth driving style and his ability to qualify well. He competed in F1 from 1997 to 2011, driving for teams such as Minardi, Prost, Renault, and Toyota. Trulli achieved one race win and 11 podium finishes during his career and was known for his ability to get the most out of his car during qualifying.
Best Season: Trulli’s best season came in 2004, when he finished sixth in the championship driving for Renault. He was also part of the Toyota team that achieved its best-ever finish in the constructors’ championship in 2005.
Sebastian Vettel may not have been born in Italy, but he has Italian ancestry and has raced for the Italian team, Scuderia Ferrari, in recent years. Vettel is a four-time world champion, having won the championship from 2010 to 2013 while driving for Red Bull Racing. He has also achieved 53 race wins and 122 podium finishes during his career.
Career Highlights: Vettel joined Ferrari in 2015 and achieved his first win for the team in Malaysia that year. He went on to win three more races in 2017, finishing second in the championship behind Lewis Hamilton. Vettel left Ferrari at the end of 2020 and currently drives for the new team, Aston Martin.
Who is next for Italy and where is the best place to watch young talent?
It is hard to say who will become the next pro-F1 driver to represent Italy. For now, you can use f1 streaming ita to watch the Italian Grand Prix and up-and-coming drivers coming through lower formulae of motorsport, such as Formula 2 and Formula 3. These series serve as a stepping stone to F1 and are highly competitive, featuring some of the most promising young drivers in the world.
Some names to look out for are in F2 and F3:
- Antonio Giovinazzi: Giovinazzi is a former GP2 Series runner-up and made his F1 debut with Sauber in 2017. He is currently a reserve driver for Alfa Romeo Racing.
- Luca Ghiotto: Ghiotto has been a front-runner in GP2/F2 since 2016 and has achieved eight wins and 25 podium finishes in the series. He is currently racing in the Asian Le Mans Series.
- Callum Ilott: Although not Italian, Ilott races under an Italian license and has been a frontrunner in F2 since 2019. He finished second in the championship in 2020 and is currently a reserve driver for Alfa Romeo Racing.
- Leonardo Pulcini: Pulcini won the GP3 Series in 2018 and has since moved up to F2. He is currently racing for the Hitech Grand Prix team.
- Federico Malvestiti: Malvestiti has been a consistent point scorer in F3 since 2019 and is widely regarded as one of Italy’s most promising young drivers.
We could see one of these young Italian hopefuls come through the ranks and represent one of the Italian super cars and the Italian Grand prix!