We’ve got circuits and teams who provide the cars. Now we just need a driver to actually drive the car. In the final part of the USA feature, I cover some of the American drivers that have competed in Formula One.
Alexander Rossi, who is racing for Manor Marussia is the most recent American driver in F1, but he isn’t the first and hopefully won’t be the last.
There have been three Hill’s to have won the Formula One drivers championship, two of them are British. Phil Hill however is American and is the countries first F1 champion having claimed the 1961 title after his team mate, Wolfgang Von Tripps was killed during that year’s Italian Grand Prix.
He claimed three wins during his career, which lasted from 1958 to 1966, two were at the Italian Grand Prix, the other being the Belgium Grand Prix.
One of the most famous names in Formula One is Mario Andretti who competed in the sport from 1968 until 1982. He won twelve Grand Prix’s during his career and claimed the drivers title in 1978, driving for Lotus which he won the majority of his Grand Prix’s with. He also won for Ferrari in 1971.
Dan Gurney initially competed in the sport from 1959 to 1968 before briefly returning in 1970 for a few races with McLaren. In that time he won four races, of which one was with his own team. He also gave the Porsche Formula One team its sole victory at the 1962 French Grand Prix.
Like Phil Hill, Gurney also drove for Scuderia Ferrari, in 1959, he competed in four rounds for the Italian team managing to finish on the podium twice.
Gurney’s highest championship finish was fourth which he achieved in 1961 and 1965. He achieved these fourth places with Porsche and then with Brabham.
Richie Ginther competed in Formula One from 1960 to 1967. In that period he claimed numerous podium finishes with Ferrari and BRM. He also won one Grand Prix, with Honda in 1965.
Like Gurney, Ginther started his career with Scuderia Ferrari where he managed four podium finishes, one in 1960 (his debut year) and three the following year.
Ginther’s highest finish in the Drivers Championship was third which he achieved in 1963 with British Racing Motors (BRM). In that season he scored points in eight of the ten rounds which included five podium finishes.
Competing in Formula One mainly from 1971 to 1974, although having competed briefly in 1964, Peter Revson won two Grand Prix during his career, both in 1973 for McLaren. His highest championship finish is fifth which he achieved in 1972 and 1973, both with McLaren.
His career was cut short however after being killed in a crash whilst testing before the 1974 South African Grand Prix with Shadow Racing.
Due to the Indianapolis 500 being part of the Formula One calendar from 1950 to 1960, any American driver who competed in the event could also be considered a F1 driver and anyone who won the Indy 500 during this period has also technically won a Formula One race.