A passion for speed seems to run in the blood of certain families, especially those who have seen multiple generations enter Formula 1. But what father/son duos were the most successful?
Success can be a challenging thing to define, especially over multiple generations of Formula 1, where rulesets have continually evolved and the number of points available for wins and finishes have changed.
So, to evaluate the father/son pairings in F1, we’ve determined success via several metrics: championships, wins, top-5 finishes, and top-10 finishes as a percentage of all seasons and races completed.
The results take into account the accomplishments of both father and son, giving greater weight to duos where both parties scored World Championships as opposed to duos where one party obviously outperformed the other.
In this way, we hope to take into account not just evolving regulations but to also provide several different metrics that define “success” over the course of an entire career.
5. Nelson Piquet Sr. / Nelson Piquet Jr
The controversial Piquet family still remains one of the most successful in Formula 1 history. But, because only Nelson Piquet Sr. won World Driver Championships, this father-son duo has been relegated to fifth place on our list.
Further, the Piquet family also featured the lowest percentage of race wins per start, with only 5.6% for both father and son. That comes down to Piquet Jr.’s fairly lackluster — and abbreviated — career.
4. Jos Verstappen / Max Verstappen
While Max Verstappen is undoubtedly the most dominant driver of our era, the Verstappen family overall only qualifies for fourth place on this list; that’s because young Max has essentially carried the family name to glory.
While his father never won a race and only finished in the top five positions five times, Max has won three WDCs, 54 races, and has finished in the top five 125 times — and all of that has come within 185 race starts. Based on our weight system, which gives priority to families whose members both scored WDCs, the Verstappen family could still make up one place on this list.
3. Michael Schumacher / Mick Schumacher
Topping our list of father-son duos where only one party took World Driver Championships is the Schumacher family. Michael Schumacher’s seven WDCs outweighs son Mick’s zero to such an extent that the Schumachers actually have the highest percentage of WDCs per season competed, at 18.4%, when compared to the other father-son pairings on the list.
That all comes down to young Mick, who really didn’t have a chance to shine in his two F1 seasons. This creates some heavily skewed numbers; while Michael finished in the top 10 in 73.5% of races he started, Mick was only able to achieve the top 10s in 4.7% of his race starts. That brings their collective top-10 percentage total down to 39.1%, the lowest on this list.
2. Keke Rosberg / Nico Rosberg
Both Keke and Nico Rosberg took home one World Driver Championship over the course of their career — making the Rosbergs only the second father-son duo to complete that feat.
The Rosberg family saga in Formula 1 is a fascinating one; both father and son were successful, but neither were particularly dominant. Keke Rosberg, for example, only won 4.4% of the races that he started, while Nico Robserg won 11.2%.
Compared to other folks on this list like Michael Schumacher or Max Verstappen, those are both extremely small numbers — but when combined, they’re enough for second place on this list.
1. Graham Hill / Damon Hill
Between the two of them, Graham and Damon Hill scored three World Driver Championships; two for the father and one for the son.
Of the father/son duos in which each family member scored a WDC, the Hills have the highest percentage of WDC per season competed at 11.8%; they also have the highest percentage of race wins per start within this category, at 14.4%.
While the Hill family may not have the most WDCs or race wins per family name, they do have the most democratic split between father and son, giving them the top spot.