Australian F1 Drivers: A Legacy of Speed
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:
|Best Season Finish||1st in 1959, 1960, 1966, and 1980|
|First Entry||1952 Belgian Grand Prix|
|First Win||1959 Monaco Grand Prix|
|Latest Win||2021 Italian Grand Prix|
|Latest Entry||2023 Italian Grand Prix|
|2023 Drivers||Oscar 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:
|Drivers||Active Years||Entries||Wins||Podiums||Career Points||Poles||Fastest Laps||Championships|
|Tony Gaze||1952||4 (3 starts)||0||0||0||0||0||-|
|Jack Brabham||1955-1970||128 (126 starts)||14||31||261||13||12||3 (1959, 1960, 1966)|
|Paul England||1957||2 (0 starts)||0||0||0||0||0||-|
|Ken Kavanaugh||1958||2 (0 starts)||0||0||0||0||0||-|
|Frank Gardner||1964-1965, 1968||9 (8 starts)||0||0||0||0||0||-|
|Tim Schenken||1970-1974||36 (34 starts)||0||1||7||0||0||-|
|Vern Schuppan||1972, 1974-1975, 1977||13 (9 starts)||0||0||0||0||0||-|
|Larry Perkins||1974, 1976-1977||15 (11 starts)||0||0||0||0||0||-|
|Alan Jones||1975-1981, 1983, 1985-1986||117 (116 starts)||12||24||206||6||13||1 (1980)|
|Brian McGuire||1977||1 (0 starts)||0||0||0||0||0||-|
|Gary Brabham||1990||2 (0 starts)||0||0||0||0||0||-|
|David Brabham||1990, 1994||30 (24 starts)||0||0||0||0||0||-|
|Mark Webber||2002-2013||217 (215 starts)||9||42||1047.5||13||13||-|
|Daniel Ricciardo||2011-2023||235 (234 starts)||8||32||1311||3||3||-|
|Oscar Piastri||2023||14 (14 starts)||0||0||36||0||0||-|
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 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 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.
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:
|Teams||Cooper, Rob Walker Racing Team, Brabham|
|Entries||128 (126 starts)|
|Championships Won||3 (1959, 1960, 1966)|
|First Entry||1955 British Grand Prix|
|First Win||1959 Monaco Grand Prix|
|Last Win||1970 South African Grand Prix|
|Last Entry||1970 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 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 Years||1975-1981, 1983, 1985-1986|
|Teams||Hesketh, Hill, Surtees, Shadow, Williams, Arrows, Haas Lola|
|Entries||117 (116 starts)|
|Championships Won||1 (1980)|
|First Entry||1975 Spanish Grand Prix|
|First Win||1977 Austrian Grand Prix|
|Last Win||1981 Caesars Palace Grand Prix|
|Last Entry||1986 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: