The Driver

Lewis Hamilton is he the greatest driver of all time. He has matched or beaten Michael Schumacher for records, titles, wins, podiums etc, but is he the greatest of all time.

To my mind Jim Clark was the greatest driver of all time. He won two World Championships, in 1963 and 1965. Clark was killed in a Formula Two racing accident in 1968 at the Hockenheim circuit in Germany. At the time of his death, aged 32 he had won more Grand Prix races and more Grand Prix pole positions than any other driver. In 2009 The Times of London newspaper claimed that Clark was the greatest-ever Formula One driver.

Clark was a versatile drive, driving in sports cars, touring cars and having raced the Indianopolis 500. Of the 9 races in 1962, he won 3, finished 4th and 9th and retired in 4 others. Graham Hill the Championship winner finished in all 9 races. In 1964 he won more races (3) than any other driver but have 4 retirements. In the last race of the season if he had beaten John Surtess and won he would have won another world title, but an oil leak on the last lap cost him dearly.

In 1966 retirements ruined his chances of a title and 1967 despite winning more Grand Prix than anyone else more retirements cost dearly again. In 1968 the year he was killed he won the first race of the season, his team mate Graham Hill was second. Hill went on to win the World Championship that year.

His title win in 1965 was notable because he won the championship by winning 6 out of the 9 races he took part in. Missed the Monaco Gran Prix to race at Indianapolis. Qualifying on the front row of the grip Clark led for 190 laps to become the first non-American to win the race since 1916 and the only driver to win both the Indy 500 and Formula One World Championship in the same season.

In other forms of motorsport he excelled too. He won the British Touring Car Championship driving a Lotus-Cortina. He raced three times at Le Mans, coming 3rd in an Aston Martinin DBR1 in 1960. He even drove in a NASCAR race in 1967. He qualified 27th but was only able to complete 147 out of the 500 lap distance.


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