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Keeping it in the family: second generation Formula 1 racing drivers

Keeping it in the family: second generation Formula 1 racing drivers - News

If there’s one proud tradition that has continued throughout the 70 years that Formula 1 has been hosting Grand Prix championships, it is that of second generations of racing drivers. Many of the early F1 greats have subsequently seen their sons - or in some cases other family members - go onto take pole position.

Ahead of the Eifel Grand Prix in this, F1’s 70th anniversary year, due to take place at Nürburgring a week on Sunday (11th October), we’re taking the opportunity at TrackDays to explore previous generations of motor racing greats that have entered the annals of Formula 1 history…

  • Stan and Alan Jones

Stan Jones’ motor racing career in Australia and New Zealand in the 1950s was prolific itself, as he is one of eleven drivers to have won both those countries’ respective Grand Prix titles, in 1954 and 1959.

He also notably raced in Maybach Specials, which were the last such notable Australian built specials to compete against the European built F1 cars. However, his son Alan equally achieved a glittering set of records over the course of his F1 career between 1975 and 1986.

Not only was he the first driver to win a Formula One World Championship with the Williams team, and the second Australian driver after Sir Jack Brabham to win the Formula One World Championship in 1980, but he also remains the last Australian driver to win an Australian Grand Prix, which he also achieved in 1980.

  • Graham and Damon Hill

Graham Hill’s standing in the world of motor sport was already legendary prior to his tragic passing in a plane crash at the age of 46 in 1975. He remains the only victor of the ‘Triple Crown of Motorsport’ for wins at both 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix.

His son Damon sadly began his career in motorsports without his father being able to witness or offer guidance on his journey into the world of Formula 1, which wasn’t without its problems - funding being one of them.

But his determination and perseverance eventually saw him become a British Grand Prix winner, as well as taking the World Championship in the 1996 Grand Prix. They are still the only father and son in F1 history to take World Championship titles.

  • Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve

Quebec born Gilles Villeneuve’s F1 career was comparatively short compared to most other drivers - just six years racing for Ferrari between 1977 and 1982.

But he was highly praised by fans and critics alike in that time, as well as notching up six Grand Prix wins between 1978 and 1981, before his unfortunate death in an accident during qualifying rounds for the 1982 Belgium Grand Prix.

Fourteen years after his passing in 1996, his son Jacques entered his first season of Formula 1, starting off on a motor racing career that took in 11 wins, 23 podium finishes, and the 1997 World Championship, and he is to date the only Canadian to take the title.

  • Michael and Ralf Schumacher

So we’ve had numerous father and son champs, but what about brothers? The obvious pairing that comes to mind are the Schumachers. Michael’s career and achievements need very little introduction, but they still make impressive reading.

He is the only driver in Formula 1 history to win seven World Championships, five of which were consecutive wins. He also has the most Grand Prix wins, fastest laps and most races won in a single season all to his name, making him one of the all-time greats.

Younger brother Ralf first drove onto the F1 starting grid in the 1997 season, initially with the Jordan team for his first two seasons, before going onto race for Williams and Toyota up until 2007 when he retired. He won a total of six Grand Prix titles, starting with the 2001 San Marino Grand Prix and ending with the 2003 French Grand Prix.

  • Jos and Max Verstappen

Bringing it up to the present day, and the newest addition to the F1 family hall of fame is undoubtedly the Verstappens. Jos Verstappen’s career was sporadic to say the least - on and off over the course of nine years between 1994 and 2003.

Despite only notching up two podium finishes across his career, for many years, he was considered to be the most successful Dutch F1 racing driver, racing for Tyrrell, Simtek, Honda and Stewart to name a few.

His son Max meanwhile, has had great success since entering his first F1 season back in 2015, notching up nine wins, two pole positions and 38 podiums, the most recent of his wins back in August at the special 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit.

He has had podium finishes on all of the Grand Prixs he’s completed so far this season, and all eyes are on him to see if he can add any more pole positions to his achievements over the remainder of this F1 season.

01 October 2020

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