The top 10 Spanish Formula One drivers of all time

It is now a thing of the past that Spanish drivers in motorsport did not consider Formula 1 to be the Mecca of their sport.

An increasing number of people have the ambition and success to compete in the most prestigious category of four-wheeled events.

Obviously, the high cost of living and the widespread poverty that afflicted the nation immediately following the war contributed to the formation of this reality.

It took Spain many years to emerge from this state of poverty.

The top 10 Spanish Formula One drivers of all time

In light of this, we at Motorbli are going to look back at the drivers who have competed in the Grand Circus since it first opened its doors by compiling a list of the top 10 Spanish drivers in the annals of Formula One racing.

Some are more well-known than others, but there’s no point in trying to deceive ourselves about that; what is very interesting is how the popularity of this sport has grown in a country that has traditionally gravitated much more toward two-wheeled vehicles.

The most accomplished Spanish racecar drivers in the annals of Formula One.

After we have devoted the first few paragraphs to the introduction, it is time to get down to business and talk about the racers who have carried the red and white flag around the circuits around the world with their single-seaters.

Once we have completed the introduction, it is time to get to business and talk about the racers. Fernando Alonso

1. Fernando Alonso

The Asturian is undoubtedly the most talented Spanish driver who has competed in Formula One at any time.

His two world titles, which he won in 2005 and 2006, the number of records he has accumulated and continues to accumulate, and his role as a great promoter of this world in Spain are clear justifications for this accolade.

Before he was able to reach the clouds, he made his racing debut in 2001 with Minardi.

After that, he raced with Renault, initially as a test driver in 2002 and later as an official in three stages that are still ongoing under the name Alpine.

Despite all of these entrances and exits, he made his way through the Ferrari and McLaren teams, which are widely considered to be the two most illustrious in the entire competition.

While driving for red (2010-2014), he came close to winning his third championship in the years 2010 and 2012, and while going for the British team in 2007, he had a chance to win it despite the contentious season he shared with Lewis Hamilton.

In 2015, he returned to the English team, coinciding with his bid for Honda.

However, after four years of disappointment, he retired from the sport to return in 2021.

After 2022, he will have the opportunity to become the driver who has competed in the most races in the history of the sport.

2. Carlos Sainz Jr.

Carlos Sainz spent most of his life being trained by Red Bull, but he competed in the world championship for Toro Rosso.

The road leading up to his arrival at Ferrari was not easy for him, just as living alongside Max Verstappen for a little over a year could not have been pleasant.

Because of how well he has performed in the Faenza, Renault, Mclaren, and his current Ferrari, he has steadily improved the number of points he has scored each year.

It took him a while to get his first podium, as he did not arrive until the Brazilian Grand Prix 2019 in his fifth year.

Still, he has already come close to victory on three occasions with the two-second places of Monaco 2021 and 2022 and that of Monza 2020, which escaped him for having entered to change tires shortly before Pierre Gasly (winner) when the safety car came in after the impact against the barriers of Charles Leclerc.

He did not arrive until the Brazilian Grand Prix 2019 in his fifth year.

Will he attempt to win the Prancing Horse like his hero Alonso did before him? The only way to know is to wait.

3. Pedro Martinez De La Rosa

Between 1998 and 2012, the Catalan continued to compete in the world championship.

During this time, he had the opportunity to compete for the following teams: Jordan (tester), Arrows, Jaguar, Mclaren, Ferrari (tester), Sauber, and Hispania.

His first race was successful, as he earned a point with his unassuming Arrows by finishing in a respectable sixth place in the first race held in Australia.

However, his best days came later with other teams.

His that first with Jaguar improved that result with a fifth place in the Italian Grand Prix, and, already with Mclaren, he got the Bahrain circuit record (2005) with 1:31:447 that remains in force and his only podium in the race in Hungary in 2006 with a magnificent second place finish.

In 2006, he won the race in Hungary with a superb second-place finish.

As a result of Lewis Hamilton’s arrival, he was demoted from his position as an official driver to that of a test driver.

It would not be until 2010, when he signed with Sauber, that he would have another opportunity to shine on the track.

However, things did not go well with the Swiss team, as he could only score points in the European and Hungarian Grands Prix.

As a result, the decision to do away with him was partially conditioned by the fact that he could only score points in those two Grands Prix.

However, in 2011, he replaced Sergio “Checo” Pérez in the Canadian Grand Prix after Pérez was involved in a severe accident in Monaco.

Pérez’s injury prevented him from competing in the race the previous year.

In 2012, De La Rosa completed his final season as an official driver for Hispania, even though the single-seater he was driving could not accomplish very much and could not score points.

After that, he became a test driver for Ferrari, where his time there overlapped with that of Alonso and Marc Gené.

4. Jaime Alguersuari

Only 19 years and 125 days old when he made his Formula One debut in 2009, Jaime Alguersuari held the record for the youngest driver to compete in the sport until Max Verstappen broke it in 2015.

He was forced to take over for the Frenchman Sébastien Bourdais at the Hungarian Grand Prix after some underwhelming results.

He participated in all aspects of the subsequent two races, which took place in 2010 and 2011, and he shared a box with the Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi, whom he decisively defeated in the second of those races.

In Malaysia, he scored his first points, and he would score twice more, once in Spain (10th) and once in Abu Dhabi (9th).

Even though he scored 26 points in the next competition, which was a significant improvement, it was not enough for him to continue his career in the Grand Circus.

Later, he gave Formula E a shot, but by 2015, he had already decided to retire and devote his time to pursuing another one of his passions: music.

On the other hand, Karting has recently become one of his top priorities.

5. Marc Gené

The Ferrari ambassador and team member made his debut in the same year (1999) as De La Rosa, but he did so while defending the colors of Minardi.

De La Rosa’s debut was in the colors of Ferrari. During that season, he finished an impressive sixth in the European Grand Prix, earning him one point for the year; however, he could not replicate this performance with the Italian team during the following season.

Later, he moved to Williams, where he spent most of his career as a test driver.

During his time with Williams, he only participated in three races with the illustrious English team: the 2003 Monza Grand Prix, in which he finished fifth; the 2004 races in France and Silverstone, in which he finished tenth and twelfth, respectively; and the 2005 Canadian Grand Prix, in which he finished fifth.

Although he drove for Peugeot in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and became the first Spaniard to win it in 2009, he signed at the end of that year as a tester for Ferrari, a job that he combined for years with his participation in endurance races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

However, he was more successful in the other field, as evidenced by his victories in competitions such as the 1,000 kilometers of Monza and Silverstone and the 12 Hours of Sebring.

6. Alfonso de Portago

If we go back in time quite a ways, we’ll find that another Spaniard competed in Formula One.

His name was Alfonso de Portago.

He was a wealthy competitor who held the noble title of marquis and had the honor of being the first Spaniard to drive officially for Ferrari.

This distinction earned him the title of marquis. It was in the 1950s when he crossed paths with a legend such as Fangio.

Unfortunately, he could only experience that dream five times, even though his resume is relatively brief and includes a podium finish in Great Britain at the second event in which he competed.

Unfortunately, he was one of eleven spectators who perished in the tragic accident during the 1957 Mille Miglia.

7. Paco Godia

Alongside every one of you, the genuine trailblazer of Formula 1 in Spain. Paco Godia was a significant player in the second season of the world championship, which took place in 1951.

During that season, he finished in tenth place in the Grand Prix of Spain, held at the Pedralbes circuit in Barcelona. In total, Paco Godia competed in five seasons of the world championship.

During that time, he earned a fourth-place finish at the Nurburgring and then a fourth-place finish at Monza.

As a matter of curiosity, he retired in 1958 to devote himself to another one of his great passions, which was art.

In point of fact, there is a foundation that bears his name and was established by his family to preserve his works and honor his legacy.

8. Luis Pérez-Sala

Luis Pérez-Sala, who raced for Spain in Formula One with Minardi, became a protagonist for his country much later than the two drivers mentioned earlier.

In 1988, he became a member of the Italian national team, which also included another countryman who, in the paragraphs that follow, will be given the space that is rightfully his.

Despite this, he was only able to compete in the Grand Circus for a total of two years, a period during which he achieved his best result, a sixth-place finish at a renowned racetrack such as Silverstone in 1989.

This point was the only one he could earn in the series. In this century, he competed in the world championship once again, this time as the manager of the Hispania team.

This venture ultimately failed due to a lack of financial support.

9. Adrián Campos

Because of him, we can talk about the characters who have copied the top positions, so Adrián Campos deserves a separate mention. It is thanks to him that we can do so.

Although he was not a particularly successful race car driver in Formula One (F1), where he shared the Minardi team with Luis Pérez-Sala, he was very successful in other aspects of his life outside the sport.

In 1998, he established the Campos Racing team, which took part in several promotional and training competitions and was responsible for spotting the talents of drivers such as Fernando Alonso, Marc Gené, and the current Indycar champion, lex Palou.

2009 was the year that he established the Grand Circus by forming the Hispania team.

In preparation for this endeavor, he enlisted the assistance of Pedro Martinez De La Rosa as the team’s driver, Pérez-Sala, as was mentioned earlier, and Toni Cuquerella as the team’s engineer. Unfortunately, he passed away on March 21, 2021, when he was 60.

10. Roberto Merhi

Although he signed with Manor instead of Toro Rosso, he made his Formula One debut at the same time as Carlos Sainz in 2015 and earned the nickname “Teto.”

Both participated in simultaneous promotional competitions and battled it out for the Renault World Series champion title.

Because the Spaniard was only there during that particular season, the path that both have taken since then has been entirely different.

He made his debut in the world of endurance competition by competing in the LMP2 category of the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours, but he could not take the win. He raced in Formula Two during 2017 and 2018 to move up to Formula One, but he ultimately decided to concentrate on endurance racing and tour cars instead.

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