Revealed: The top 10 drivers with the most F1 points without a win
In F1, there are some records you want and some you don’t and the driver with the most points but no win is certainly part of the latter category.
While there are plenty of drivers on the list with an impressive career points tally, they certainly do not have a trophy at home to show for it.
Some were within inches of a maiden win while others enjoyed a long if rather unsuccessful career in the sport.
With five of the 10 drivers also competing in 2023, there is a chance their name may not be on this list come the season end so let’s run you through the current list…
10. Adrian Sutil (124 points)
Coming in at number 10 is the German driver Adrian Sutil who managed to accumulate 124 points but was never quite able to get on the winner’s step, or even the podium for that matter.
The former Spyker, Force India and Sauber driver made his debut in 2007 before dropping out at the end of the 2011 campaign following his first stint with Force India.
However, two years later and he was back in the car, appearing alongside Paul di Resta for the 2013 season. But his return was short lived as he spent a single season at his former team before moving on to Sauber for the final year as a full time F1 driver.
The best result the German achieved was the P4 he achieved in the 2009 Italian Grand Prix where he even managed to put in the fastest lap, however, he missed out on the podium to Kimi Räikkönen by under half a second.
9. Kamui Kobayashi (125 points)
Like the man before him, Kamui Kobayashi also spent a period on the sidelines before a return but unlike Sutil, Kobayashi did manage to record a podium in his F1 career.
Competing in 75 races, most notably for Sauber, he achieved 125 points but there is one memorable moment that stands out in Kobayashi’s career.
In 2012 and in what would prove to be the penultimate season of his career, Kobayashi secured his one and only podium and did so at his home grand prix in Suzuka. It was the first for a Japanese driver since Takuma Sato in 2004 and remains the last podium scored in F1 by a Japanese driver.
He achieved the feat by keeping the McLarens of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton at bay, pipping the former by just half a second.
8. Kevin Magnussen (183 points)
When K-Mag started his career with a P2, there would have been few to have guessed that eight seasons later he has yet to return to the podium.
The Dane announced himself with his podium position for McLaren in Australia but the following season, he was moved down the pecking order behind Fernando Alonso.
The year after, he joined Renault for a full-time seat but Magnussen has never had a car in the same league as the first one he drove with McLaren.
Having spent a period out of the sport, Magnussen returned in the most unlikely of circumstances for Haas in 2022 and marked his comeback with a P5 in his first race and a shock maiden pole position in Sao Paulo for both he and the team.
But the Dane is also the first name on this list so far to still have a race seat so maybe this time next year, Magnussen won’t still be searching for his first win. We know that’s very unlikely though.
7. Lance Stroll (194 points)
Lance Stroll is the second youngest member on this list so time is definitely on his side and, let’s be honest, his dad is the team owner so it’s unlikely he will be dumped out of the sport anytime soon.
The Canadian has earned a respectable 194 points in his 122 starts and has finished on the podium three times including one with Williams and two with Racing Point in 2020.
That Williams podium is also somewhat of a record because even though George Russell is listed as the last driver to finish in the top three for the historic team, that came during the infamous 2021 Belgian Grand Prix where no laps were raced without a Safety Car.
With his place at Aston Martin secured, Stroll can be optimistic for the future at the ambitious team and although he may have the ‘pay driver’ tag still attached to him by some, his performances against Sebastian Vettel in 2022 show he has more talent than many assume.
6. Alex Albon (201 points)
Of all the drivers on this list, it is undoubtedly Alex Albon who has come closest to a race win.
A year after denying Albon his first podium, Lewis Hamilton once again cost the British-Thai driver dear when he tagged him as the then-Red Bull man went for an overtake during the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix.
Albon had genuine pace throughout the race and soon found himself on the gearbox of Hamilton before attempting a move around the outside, only for Hamilton to block him off and eventually touch his rear wheel at a time when Albon was in front of the Mercedes.
The Red Bull driver spun into gravel and lost his chance of a first podium and a first win.
The hit had a costly effect on Albon’s career as he was replaced by Sergio Perez in 2021, but did make his comeback with Williams in 2022.
Ranked: The 10 possible F1 2024 destinations for Daniel Ricciardo in order of likelihood
Five prestigious records held by Michael Schumacher 10 years after his retirement
Explained: How each Formula 1 car got its name and the history behind it
5. Daniil Kvyat (202 points)
Narrowly beating Albon by a single point, Daniil Kvyat spent the entirety of his career in the Red Bull family including a short stint at the senior team.
That perhaps represented his best shot at a race win and he did come close with a P3 in China but, after a disappointing first season, he was replaced after just four races in 2016 for a certain Max Verstappen.
After that, he moved back to Toro Rosso and drove with them for the first season as life as AlphaTauri – before getting the boot with Yuki Tsunoda coming in to replace him.
That was the last time the Russian drove in F1 but he will take part in this year’s WEC with Prema Racing.
4. Nick Heidfeld (259 points)
The second of three Germans on this list scored plenty of podiums in his career, 13 in total, but was never quite able to go all the way to P1.
He was in F1 for 11 seasons, starting with Prost Grand Prix before spending three years at Sauber, but it was his second stint at the team where he had the most success. Heidfeld finished fifth and then sixth in the 2006 and 2007 Championships including four P2s in the latter season.
Heidfeld appeared for just five races in 2010 before leaving the sport in 2011 with a respectable 259 career points to his name.
3. Romain Grosjean (391 points)
The man who rose from fire comes in third after a long F1 career that saw him compete in 10 seasons.
With a reputation for a, shall we say, bold overtaking style, Grosjean could perhaps have had even more points especially during his years at Lotus but retired a total of 50 times in his career.
His best result was P2 which he twice earned in North America starting with Canada in 2012 and the USA in 2013.
When he moved to Haas in 2016, he started with a P6 but as the car became less competitive as time went on, he moved further and further down the grid until he left the team and the sport at the end of 2020 following his fiery crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
2. Lando Norris (428 points)
Like Stroll, Lando Norris’ young age makes it all the more impressive that he should be so high up on this list.
The 23-year-old’s stock in the sport has certainly grown each year he has competed and the fact he was the only non-Mercedes, Red Bull or Ferrari driver to finish on the podium in 2022 proves how skilled he is.
In 2021, he came oh so close to his first race victory, finishing narrowly behind team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, but if the McLaren car can match his talents in 2023 then a race win is certainly a possibility.
1. Nico Hülkenberg (521 points)
Oh Nico. Not only does he stand at the top of this list but he is also famously at the top of the drivers with the most points without a podium.
521 points is certainly no small achievement, in fact there are plenty of race winners who have scored far fewer, but Hülkenberg has never been able to get near the top of the grid.
His best chance came at Spa in 2016 when he managed P4 with Force India and when he returned for a dramatic super sub appearance for the speedy Racing Point in 2020 but, as is the case with the poor luck that seems to follow the German, his car had a clutch/power unit problem and he was unable to start the race.
After a three-year exile from a full-time seat, Hülkenberg is back for 2023 with Haas and while a race win may seem unrealistic, he need only look at the examples of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon in recent years for the fact that anything can happen on a race day.