Susan Verzilli Tribute
Putting together a list like this is almost impossible without courting controversy. Race car fans are a rapid bunch. Seeing their favorite driver excluded while a rival is in the list definitely needs one to have choice car insurance. A reason why one would choose one great driver over another with more championships or victories is probably passion and the contributions made to the motor racing sport. Here is a tribute to the greatest drivers past and present, defined as from the 1960s to today.
Ayrton Senna was world driving champion three times, but was tragically killed during the 1994 season at Imola. Probably best known for his driving style involving balls-to-the-wall, Senna possessed the uncanny ability to make up for weaknesses of the cars he drove. His skill at driving when it was raining was unrivaled, with his drive to win policy astonishing rivals and teammates in equal measures.
It was during the second race of Malaysian Grand Prix Formula One 2007 season, when Lewis Hamilton first caught the media attention. Then a rookie driver driving for McLaren, he was being pressurized by Felipe Massa, driving a much faster Ferrari. An experienced F1 veteran, Massa grew impatient searching for an opportunity to overtake. When approaching a right hand corner, Hamilton appeared to allow Massa to pass by going wide, but it was a trap since he knew Massa would not take the corner at such speed. Massa was forced to slow down since he was off the racing line and let Hamilton regain the lead. Several laps later, Hamilton mislead Massa into trying another pass while approaching another right hand corner, with terrible results. Felippe was unable to slow his car enough to stay on course, making him ran into the glass and lose two positions. Hamilton the rookie become the master.
If there was ever a name that was synonymous with car racing, it has to be Mario Andretti. Together with Dan Gurney, he was the only driver to win races in NASCAR, Formula 1, World Sportscar championships and IndyCar. He had also successfully campaigned in drag racing, midget cars and sprint cars. He is only the second American to win a Formula one title, and has won four IndyCar championships. Ha has raced ovals, road courses, drag strips and dirt tracks, and during the 1960s, 70s and 80s was named US driver of the Year.
Hate him or love him, there is no denying that A.J. Foyt's skills behind a race car wheel were exceptional. The acerbic Texan participated in the Indy 500 for 35 years nonstop, winning the race four times. He is the only driver to ever win the race in both rear and front engine cars, some he accomplished twice.