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Remembering F1’s first superstar

india Updated: Jun 25, 2011 00:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Japanese Grand Prix

At the 2003 Japanese Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher won a record sixth drivers' championship. The previous holder was from a time before the commercialisation of F1 and the rise of household names like Senna, Prost and Hamilton. Heck, it was even before F1 cars had seatbelts and drivers had full-face helmets!

Had he not passed away at the age of 84 in 1995, Juan Manuel Fangio would have been 100 years old yesterday. The Argentine's centennial birth anniversary seems as good a time as any to remind people of his grip on the F1 world. Fifty-one world championship race starts, 35 podiums, 24 wins, 29 pole positions and five world championships with four different constructors.

His wins to races percentage of 47.06 is likely to never be bettered. To give you some kind of reference, Schumacher is next up with a wins to races percentage of 33.09.

The likeable Argentine was affectionately nicknamed El Chueco (knock-kneed) and reverentially referred to as El Maestro (the master). He won his fifth title at the age of 46 in 1957. Not bad for a man who didn't start his F1 world championship career until the age of 38!