Formula One drivers from Brazil

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Formula One drivers from Brazil
Flag of Brazil.svg
Highest season finish1st (1972, 1974, 1981, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991)
Pole positions126
Fastest laps88
First entry1951 Italian Grand Prix
First win1970 United States Grand Prix
Latest win2009 Italian Grand Prix
Latest entry2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
2019 driversNone
Ayrton Senna in his 1988 McLaren

There have been 31 Formula One drivers from Brazil including three world champions. Ayrton Senna, the three-time title winner, is regarded by many as the best driver in the history of Formula One. Nelson Piquet also won the title three times and Emerson Fittipaldi was a two-time winner. Rubens Barrichello holds the record for the most races contested and finished as the championship runner-up in two seasons. Following the retirement of Felipe Massa after the 2017 season, in 2018 there were no Brazilian drivers entered for the World Championship, the first time this had occurred since 1969.

World champions and race winners[edit]

Piquet at Monza in 1983

Brazil produced three world champions, all of whom won more than once.[1] Emerson Fittipaldi was the first Brazilian to secure the Drivers' Championship, winning in 1972 and 1974.[2] Nelson Piquet managed one better, winning the championship three times in the 1980s and became the first Brazilian triple world champion.[3] In 1991 31-year-old Ayrton Senna won his third title, making him the youngest ever three-time world champion at that time.[4]

Six Brazilian drivers won at least one Grand Prix, with a combined total of 101 wins.[5] Ayrton Senna has won the most races with 41 victories, while Nelson Piquet won 23 out of 204 race starts.[3] Fittipaldi, Rubens Barrichello, and Felipe Massa have each claimed more than ten wins.[2][6][7] Carlos Pace scored his only victory at the 1975 Brazilian Grand Prix.[8] Emerson Fittipaldi was the first Brazilian to win a Formula One Grand Prix – the 1970 United States Grand Prix at the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Race Course.

No Brazilian driver has won a Grand Prix since Barrichello's last win at the 2009 Italian Grand Prix, the country's longest barren run since Fittipaldi's maiden victory.

Former drivers[edit]

Notable former drivers[edit]

Ayrton Senna in 1989
Emerson Fittipaldi in a Lotus 72 in 1971

Ayrton Senna is often regarded as one of the best racing drivers of all time. In an Autosport survey, drivers were asked to vote for the greatest driver in history, and Senna was chosen as number one. He finished on the podium 80 times, nearly half of the races in which he competed, and won 41 events.[9] He was a master of the Monaco Grand Prix, winning it five times consecutively, a feat never achieved by any other driver on any circuit.[4]

Nelson Piquet won three titles in a career that spanned 14 seasons. He made his Formula One debut in 1978 as a privateer before securing a drive with Brabham. He spent the next seven seasons with the team, winning the Drivers' Championship in 1981 and 1983 before moving to Williams in 1986.[3][10] Piquet had battles with teammate Nigel Mansell both on and off track. Piquet publicly called Mansell "an uneducated blockhead", with Mansell retorting that "Piquet is just a vile man". In their first year together Piquet was convinced that Williams were favouring the British driver and their distracting personal feud helped Alain Prost to the title. The following year Piquet got the upper hand and, though he had half as many wins as Mansell, his consistency saw him through to his third title.[11] Piquet moved to Lotus for two seasons before finishing his F1 career with Benetton with whom he achieved three victories.[3] After his retirement Piquet developed a successful satellite navigation company which helped him finance the career of his son, Nelson Piquet, Jr. and now finances the career of the younger Pedro Piquet.[11]

Emerson Fittipaldi spent ten years in Formula One and won the title in 1972 and 1974.[2] The Autosport driver survey placed Fittipaldi in 12th place, one ahead of Piquet.[12] Fittipaldi joined Formula One in 1970 with Lotus and achieved one victory over the first two years. He won five races in his third year on the way to securing his first championship title, and came second to Jackie Stewart the year after. He switched to McLaren for 1974 and won his second title, coming runner-up the following year.[2] Fittipaldi left McLaren to set up Fittipaldi Automotive alongside older brother Wilson, a team financed by Copersucar, the Brazilian state-run sugar marketing company.[13] They remained uncompetitive for several years with only two podiums in the next five years.[2] When the funding stopped Emerson retired from driving to focus on managing the team. He did so for two years before it folded in 1982, and he returned to Brazil. Fittipaldi went on to achieve success in IndyCar.[13]

Rubens Barrichello raced a record 322 times.[4] He finished in the top four of the drivers' championship in five consecutive seasons with Ferrari between 2000 and 2004. During this time Barrichello, like Massa after him, found it difficult to be the second driver to Michael Schumacher. He left Ferrari to join Honda and endured three tough seasons before Brawn GP bought out the team and produced a 2009 car that helped him to finish third in the championship. At the beginning of his career Barrichello was mentored by Ayrton Senna, and the drivers became close friends. Senna's death, just a year after Barrichello's debut, deeply upset the young Brazilian who had been injured in a crash at the start of the same Grand Prix weekend. When Barrichello won his first race six years later he was overwhelmed by the emotion of being the first Brazilian driver, since Senna, to stand atop the podium.[6]

Felipe Massa debuted in 2002 and drove for Ferrari from 2006 to 2013. In his first three seasons with the team he finished third, fourth, and then second in the drivers' championship. All eleven of his race victories happened during those three seasons. He has found himself as the number two driver in the team on several occasions, firstly to Michael Schumacher and then Fernando Alonso, having to yield the lead and let the senior driver through for the victory.[7] Massa came very close to winning the 2008 season, eventually losing to Lewis Hamilton by just one point. He lost it on the last lap of the final race of the season when Hamilton managed to pass Timo Glock for fifth position and secure enough points to win the championship. The Ferrari team, unaware of Hamilton's late overtaking move, were celebrating in the belief that Massa had won the title. When the situation became clear the message was relayed to a very disappointed Massa.[14] For 2014, Massa moved to Williams. He announced that he would retire from Formula One at the end of the 2016 season.[15] However, the abrupt retirement of 2016 Formula One Champion Nico Rosberg from Mercedes precipitated the late move of Valtteri Bottas from Williams to Mercedes, leaving a late vacancy at Williams. Massa subsequently postponed his retirement, returning to Williams to partner rookie Lance Stroll for the 2017 season.[16] On 4 November 2017, Massa confirmed that he would be retiring from Formula One at the end of the 2017 season.[17]


Former drivers Born in
Chico Landi[18] 19511953, 1956 São Paulo
Gino Bianco[19] 1952 Milan
Nano da Silva Ramos[20] 19551956 Paris
Fritz d'Orey[21] 1959 São Paulo
Emerson Fittipaldi[22] 19701980 São Paulo
Wilson Fittipaldi Jr.[23] 19721973, 1975 São Paulo
José Carlos Pace[24] 19721977 São Paulo
Luiz Pereira Bueno[25] 1973 São Paulo
Ingo Hoffmann[26] 19761977 São Paulo
Alex Dias Ribeiro[27] 19761977, 1979 Belo Horizonte
Nelson Piquet[28] 19781991 Rio de Janeiro
Chico Serra[29] 19811983 São Paulo
Raul Boesel[30] 19821983 Curitiba
Roberto Pupo Moreno[31] 1982, 1987, 19891992, 1995 Rio de Janeiro
Ayrton Senna[32] 19841994 São Paulo
Maurício Gugelmin[33] 19881992 Joinville
Christian Fittipaldi[34] 19881992 São Paulo
Rubens Barrichello[35] 19932011 São Paulo
Pedro Paulo Diniz[36] 19952000 São Paulo
Ricardo Rosset[37] 19961998 São Paulo
Tarso Marques[38] 19961997, 2001 Curitiba
Ricardo Zonta[26] 19992001, 20042005 Curitiba
Luciano Burti[39] 20002001 São Paulo
Enrique Bernoldi[40] 20012002 Curitiba
Felipe Massa[41] 2002, 20042017 São Paulo
Cristiano da Matta[42] 20032004 Belo Horizonte
Antônio Pizzonia[42] 20032005 Manaus
Nelsinho Piquet[43] 20082009 Heidelberg
Bruno Senna[44] 20102012 São Paulo
Lucas di Grassi[45] 2010 São Paulo
Felipe Nasr 20152016 Brasília

Count of drivers from the same cities[edit]

Born outside Brazil[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Formula One World Drivers' Champions". ESPN F1. ESPN EMEA Ltd. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Emerson Fittipaldi". ESPN F1. ESPN EMEA Ltd. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d "Nelson Piquet". ESPN F1. ESPN EMEA Ltd. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Manishin, Glenn. "All-Time F1 Records". Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Sauber's Vettel upstages Schumacher in free practice". Times of Malta. 9 September 2006. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Rubens Barrichello". ESPN F1. ESPN EMEA Ltd. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Felipe Massa". ESPN F1. ESPN EMEA Ltd. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  8. ^ "Carlos Pace". ESPN F1. ESPN EMEA Ltd. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  9. ^ "Ayrton Senna". Autosport. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  10. ^ "Nelson Piquet Sr". Autosport. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  11. ^ a b Donaldson, Gerald. "Nelson Piquet (profile)". Formula One World Championship Limited. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  12. ^ "Emerson Fittipaldi". Autosport. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  13. ^ a b Donaldson, Gerald. "Emerson Fittipaldi (profile)". Formula One World Championship Limited. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  14. ^ Mole, Giles (2 November 2008). "Ferrari's celebrations premature as Lewis Hamilton beats Felipe Massa to F1 world title". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  15. ^ "Felipe Massa to quit F1 at end of 2016 season". Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  16. ^ "Massa and four other race winners who came out of retirement". 21 January 2017.
  17. ^ Massa, Felipe (4 November 2017). "Thanks for the support love you guys". @MassaFelipe19. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  18. ^ SRZD (29 October 2008). "Você Sabia? – A história de um herói do automobilismo brasileiro" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  19. ^ Luiz Alberto Pandini (20 January 2006). "Gino Bianco: melhor do que se pensa" (asp) (in Portuguese). GP Total. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  20. ^ "Nano da Silva Ramos | F1 Driver Profile | ESPN F1". ESPN. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  21. ^ "Entrevista: Fritz d'Orey – 1ª parte" (in Portuguese). Almanaque da Fórmula 1. 18 February 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  22. ^ Donaldson, Gerald. "Emerson Fittipaldi". Site Oficial da Fórmula 1. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  23. ^ "Fittipaldi, Wilson". Site Oficial da Fórmula 1. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  24. ^ "José Carlos Pace viveu em Interlagos o grande momento da carreira" (in Portuguese). iG. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  25. ^ "O imbatível recorde de Luiz Pereira Bueno, o Peroba" (in Portuguese). Motor Pasion. 9 February 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  26. ^ a b Gecys, Bruno; Gianjoppe, Mariana (17 May 2012). "Para ex-pilotos de F1, Alonso é o melhor da atual geração" (in Portuguese). iG. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  27. ^ Coelho, Gustavo (4 August 2008). "Você Sabia? – Fórmula 1 e Religião" (in Portuguese). Sidney Rezende. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  28. ^ Felix, Leonardo (17 August 2012). "Nelson Piquet: a trajetória dos 60 anos do tricampeão, década a década" (in Portuguese). UOL. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  29. ^ Piccinin, Renato (19 June 2011). ""Piquet era mais técnico do que arrojado", diz Chico Serra" (in Portuguese). iG. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  30. ^ Vieira, Rodrigo (13 August 2011). ""Piquet era extremamente inovador", afirma Raul Boesel" (in Portuguese). iG. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  31. ^ "Roberto Pupo Moreno volta a acelerar um Fórmula 1" (in Portuguese). Auto Racing. 12 April 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  32. ^ "Os 10 feitos que transformaram Senna em mito da Fórmula 1" (in Portuguese). Editora Abril. 4 November 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  33. ^ Silva, Fernando (20 April 2011). "Parabéns, Gugelmin" (in Portuguese). iG. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  34. ^ Nogueira, Wanderley (14 January 2011). "Christian Fittipaldi relembra carreira e esclarece saída da F1" (in Portuguese). Terra. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  35. ^ "Rubens Barrichello na F1: Dados do piloto" (in Portuguese). UOL. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  36. ^ Guerrero, Cesar (13 March 2000). "Não existe amizade na Fórmula 1" (in Portuguese). Terra. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  37. ^ "Ricardo Rosset vence em Interlagos e comemora título da Porsche GT3 Cup" (in Portuguese). Auto Sport Motor. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  38. ^ D. L. (29 April 2011). "Ex-piloto de F1 Tarso Marques suspenso por doping" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  39. ^ Bruno Ferreira, Leonardo Felix, Lucas Berredo e Lucas Santochi (10 August 2012). "Entrevista – Burti: "GP da Alemanha de 2010 acabou com Massa"" (in Portuguese). UOL. Retrieved 21 September 2012.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  40. ^ Felix, Leonardo (3 September 2012). "Bernoldi confirma participação nas 6 Horas de São Paulo pela classe GTE-Am" (in Portuguese). UOL. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  41. ^ "Massa diz estar mais confiante em permanecer na F1" (in Portuguese). TN Online. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  42. ^ a b 24 Horas News (5 November 2002). "Três brasileiros confirmados na Fórmula 1 em 2003" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 29 April 2010.
  43. ^ O Globo Online (10 December 2007). "Renault anuncia Alonso e Nelsinho Piquet como pilotos" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  44. ^ O Globo (29 October 2009). "Bruno Senna acerta com a Campos para 2010" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  45. ^ Jornal Diário (12 December 2009). "Di Grassi será 30º brasileiro na F-1" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 20 April 2010.
  46. ^ "Brazil - Grands Prix started". Retrieved 6 February 2019.