Daniel Ricciardo

Australian F1 Drivers: A Legacy of Speed

October 18, 2023
Tom Thorns

Australia has had a powerful impact on the world of Formula 1. In total, since the beginning of the sport, there have been 18 drivers from Australia. And 15 of them have participated in at least one race in every season since 1952.

We’ll go through every section below, so keep reading to learn more about Australian drivers in F1!

Australian Driver Performance Overview in F1

First, I’ll show you a general overview of the historic performance of Aussie F1 drivers in Formula 1:

Grands Prix736
Best Season Finish1st in 1959, 1960, 1966, and 1980
Pole Positions35
Fastest Laps61
First Entry1952 Belgian Grand Prix
First Win1959 Monaco Grand Prix
Latest Win2021 Italian Grand Prix
Latest Entry2023 Italian Grand Prix
2023 DriversOscar Piastri & Daniel Ricciardo

It’s noteworthy that Australia has taken part in F1 almost since the sport took off. In 1952, they added their first driver to the roster – Tony Gaze. While he didn’t make a big impact, future Aussie drivers did.

Let me show you what I mean by that!

All-Time Australian F1 Drivers

Below, you’ll see the list showing all 18 F1 drivers from Australia, with their performance on the track:

DriversActive YearsEntriesWinsPodiumsCareer PointsPolesFastest LapsChampionships
Tony Gaze19524 (3 starts)00000-
Jack Brabham1955-1970128 (126 starts)143126113123 (1959, 1960, 1966)
Paul England19572 (0 starts)00000-
Ken Kavanaugh19582 (0 starts)00000-
Frank Gardner1964-1965, 19689 (8 starts)00000-
Paul Hawkins1965300000-
Tim Schenken1970-197436 (34 starts)01700-
David Walker1971-19721100000-
Vern Schuppan1972, 1974-1975, 197713 (9 starts)00000-
Larry Perkins1974, 1976-197715 (11 starts)00000-
Alan Jones1975-1981, 1983, 1985-1986117 (116 starts)12242066131 (1980)
Warwick Brown1976100000-
Brian McGuire19771 (0 starts)00000-
Gary Brabham19902 (0 starts)00000-
David Brabham1990, 199430 (24 starts)00000-
Mark Webber2002-2013217 (215 starts)9421047.51313-
Daniel Ricciardo2011-2023235 (234 starts)832131133-
Oscar Piastri202314 (14 starts)003600-

Most of the Australian drivers didn’t have a lasting impact in F1 races but a few, like Jack Brabham or Alan Jones, went on to become world champions.

The most recent addition to the roster, Oscar Piastri, is especially looking good, having already earned 36 points in the 2023 season. But more on him later!

In total, Australia won four F1 World Championships, during the 1959, 1960, 1966, and 1980 seasons. Its performance is above average compared to all the 34 countries that have ever hosted Formula One Championship races.

How Many Australian Drivers Are Now on the Grid?

The two Australian drivers who are part of the current F1 driver lineup are Oscar Piastri and Daniel Ricciardo. However, Ricciardo was replaced by team mate Liam Lawson after the former broke his hand in a free practice session at the Dutch Grand Prix.

It’s quite likely that Ricciardo will return during the 2023 season, as he won’t want to miss it for anything in the world.

Now, let me tell you more about the two Aussie drivers on the 2023 grid!

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo
Credit: Corriere.it

Daniel Joseph Ricciardo was born on July 1st 1989, so that makes him 34 years in the 2023 season. He’s a bit older than most other drivers but that doesn’t necessarily make him a weaker driver. Just look at 38-years-old Lewis Hamilton!

He’s originally from Perth, Western Australia, and his first entry in F1 was during the 2011 British Grand Prix. He was 21 back then.

Despite never winning any championships, Ricciardo won 8 races during his career. He reached the podiums 32 times, and scored 1311 career points as of the 2023 season.

He’s a consistent performer who always puts it all on the line.

Most importantly, he has tons of experience on the racing track, having participated in Formula 3, Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Formula Renault Eurocup, and more. He’s been driving since 2005, all in all.

Oscar Piastri

Oscar Piastri
Credit: Formula1.com

Oscar Piastri is a newcomer to F1. He made his debut during the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, in March this year. He was born on April 6th, 2001, so that makes 22 years old.

He was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and he took up karting ever since he was big enough to drive them.

Piastri doesn’t have much to show for himself in F1 since he barely started participating. However, he won the FIA Rookie of the Year Award and the Anthoine Hubert Award in 2021.

He also has a history of competing in Formula 2, Formula 3, the Formula Renault Eurocup, the F4 British Championship, and the Formula 4 UAE Championship.

In short, he’s far from a novice behind the wheel of an F1 car. He can handle the pressure and brings consistent results.

Oscar Piastri had a remarkable debut in 2023 after already scoring his first points and achieving a fastest lap on the track.

How Many Australian Drivers Have Won Championships?

Only two Australian drivers have ever won Formula One championships: Jack Brabham and Alan Jones.

Let me tell you more about them below.

Jack Brabham

Jack Brabham
Credit: Britannica.com

Sir John Arthur Brabham was born on April 2nd 1926 in Hurstville, New South Wales, Australia, and became a Formula One World Champion three times: in 1959, 1960, and 1966. He had a very long career and managed to put Australia on the map in F1!

Here’s his performance in F1:

Active Years1955-1970
TeamsCooper, Rob Walker Racing Team, Brabham
Entries128 (126 starts)
Championships Won3 (1959, 1960, 1966)
Races Won14
Career Points261
Pole Positions13
Fastest Laps12
First Entry1955 British Grand Prix
First Win1959 Monaco Grand Prix
Last Win1970 South African Grand Prix
Last Entry1970 Mexican Grand Prix

Brabham was a Royal Australian Air Force flight mechanic, and he was both a mechanic and driver for the Cooper Car Company’s racing team in F1. He took part in the design of the mid-engine cars that Cooper took to F1 and the Indianapolis 500.

Brabham won the most F1 Championships of any Australian driver before and after him, and in 1962, he established the Brabham racing car brand. In fact, he won his last championship in 1966 driving one of his own cars, which was a considerable success at the time.

His first two victories (1959 and 1960) happened when driving for the Cooper Car Company and one (1966) while driving for the Brabham Racing Organisation.

To this day, Jack Brabham remains the most successful Australian driver in Australian motorsport with an illustrious career after winning three world titles.

Alan Jones

Alan Jones
Credit: MotorsportMagazine.com

Alan Stanley Jones was born on November 2nd, 1946, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and he became the second Australian to win a Formula One World Championship, in 1980.

Here’s more about his performance on the track:

Active Years1975-1981, 1983, 1985-1986
TeamsHesketh, Hill, Surtees, Shadow, Williams, Arrows, Haas Lola
Entries117 (116 starts)
Championships Won1 (1980)
Races Won12
Career Points206
Pole Positions6
Fastest Laps13
First Entry1975 Spanish Grand Prix
First Win1977 Austrian Grand Prix
Last Win1981 Caesars Palace Grand Prix
Last Entry1986 Australian Grand Prix

Alan Jones is most known for giving the Williams team the first World Championship after he became champion in 1980. The Williams team is still active today, and Jones is one of the reasons for their continued existence.

He’s also the only Australian driver to have won the Australian Grand Prix in the history of Formula 1 and one of the most successful Australian drivers.

Through his achievements, Alan Jones put Australia back in the spotlight of Formula One, continuing the legacy of Jack Brabham before him.

In conclusion, Australia has had 18 F1 drivers throughout its history. Four of them are most notable now:

  • Jack Brabham for winning three World Championships
  • Alan Jones for winning one World Championship
  • Daniel Ricciardo for being a multiple Grand Prix winner on the 2023 grid
  • Oscar Piastri for being on the 2023 grid and a new addition to the roster

Checkout the drivers from other countries in our other nationality-based posts: