Ten sons were slower than papa
Mick Schumacher will make his Formula 1 debut in 2021 as the 17th son of a former Formula 1 driver. Most of them could not build on the successes of their fathers.
The performance of the Formula 1 racing driver sons in the analysis:
The first son of a Formula 1 driver. Tim Parnell was only able to qualify as a private driver in two of four world championship races, but did not get past tenth place at the 1961 Italian GP in the Lotus-Climax. Father Reg Parnell finished third in the Alfa Romeo at the very first World Championship race in 1950 at Silverstone – the only podium in his F1 career.
Hans-Joachim Stuck: Debut Argentina 1974
Hans-Joachim Stuck entered Formula 1 with March in 1974 and in 1977 took third place twice in a Brabham-Alfa Romeo. This made him better in the World Cup than father Hans Stuck, who competed in three World Cup races in the 1950s. However: Stuck senior was one of the most successful racing drivers of all in the 1930s, for example winning the 1935 Italian GP in Auto Union. But at that time there was officially no Formula 1 World Cup.
Teddy Pilette: debut Belgium 1974
His grandfather Theodore Pilette was already a GP racing driver – but before the First and Second World Wars, when there was no World Championship. He himself was only able to qualify at the home race in Belgium in 1974 in a Brabham-Ford. Father André Pilette not only got more races (nine), but with fifth place in Belgium in 1954 in the Gordini even got two points.
Gary Brabham: Debut USA 1990
Jack Brabham is the only driver who became world champion with his own racing team and his own car (1966 in Brabham-Repco). In 1959 and 1960 he was already world champion twice with Cooper. The Australian is clearly more successful than his two sons who made it into Formula 1: In 1990 Gary tried in vain to qualify for two Grands Prix in Life – one of the worst cars in F1 history.
David Brabham: Imola debut in 1990
As soon as Gary Brabham was out after two races, the second Brabham arrived: David made 24 Formula 1 races for Brabham in 1990 and Simtek in 1994, but never got into the points.
Christian Fittipaldi: Debut South Africa 1992
Wilson Fittipaldi was clearly in the shadow of his brother Emerson Fittipaldi, who was world champion twice, in his 35 races for Brabham and Copersucar. Wilson only got three points. Christian Fittipaldi was better than his father but worse than his uncle in his 40 races from 1992 to 1994 for Minardi and Footwork. There he collected twelve points.
Damon Hill: 1992 Spanish GP
Michael Schumacher’s long-standing rival not only clinched 22 victories, but also the world title in 1996 – as the first son of a former Formula 1 driver. But his father Graham Hill was world champion twice and was therefore clearly better – even if he won eight races less.
The Andrettis are a huge US racing dynasty. In 1992, four Andrettis competed at the same time at the Indy 500. Two made it into Formula 1: Mario Andretti became Formula 1 World Champion in 1978 and won twelve of his 128 world championship races for Lotus, March, Ferrari, Parnelli, Alfa Romeo and Williams from 1968 to 1982. Son Michael Andretti came into Formula 1 in 1993 for 13 races at McLaren – but failed because of Ayrton Senna and was replaced by Mika Häkkinen after his third place at the Italian GP. So the father was clearly better. From 1989 to 1992 both were in the IndyCar for Newman Haas in a team – four times with the better end for the son.
The son is clearly more successful on paper: Jacques Villeneuve was world champion in 1997 (as the last driver for Williams to date) and won eleven F1 races. But his father Gilles Villeneuve went down in Formula 1 history as a daredevil and Ferrari legend. He celebrated six victories with the Scuderia before having a fatal accident in qualifying for the 1982 Belgian GP.
Nico Rosberg: Debut Bahrain 2006
With the world title in his luggage, Nico Rosberg resigned in 2016. His father Keke Rosberg was also world champion in 1982. After victories, however, Nico Rosberg clearly has the upper hand with 23: 5. And: He drove alongside the two most successful Formula 1 drivers of all time at Mercedes – Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton.
Markus Winkelhock had a guest start in 2007 at the Nürburgring in a Spyker-Ferrari, where he even led the race for a few laps thanks to a tire poker. But in the end he dropped out. His father Manfred Winkelhock drove 47 races for Arrows, ATS, Brabham and RAM from 1980 to 1985 and scored two points. In 1985 he had a fatal accident in a sports car race
Kazuki Nakajima: debut Brazil 2007
Kazuki Nakajima started 36 times for Williams, but only got nine championship points. His father Satoru Nakajima was one of the best Japanese racing drivers at the time, but failed in Formula 1 because of Ayrton Senna. But he was always better than the son: From 1987 to 1991 Nakajima competed in 74 races for Lotus and Tyrrell and scored 16 points (and one fastest lap).
Nelsinho Piquet: Australia debut in 2008
At the German GP, Nelson Piquet junior came second in the Renault on the podium – it was the only highlight in his 28-race Formula 1 career. His father was much more successful in 204 races from 1978 to 1991: The Brazilian won three world titles and 23 victories.
Kevin Magnussen: Debut Australia 2014
Kevin Magnussen drove 119 world championship races and made it onto the podium once – right at his debut in Melbourne in 2014 in a McLaren-Mercedes. He was never able to build on this success again. At least he overshadows his father Jan Magnussen, who only scored one point in 24 races for McLaren and Stewart from 1995 to 1998.
Max Verstappen with father Jos
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Max Verstappen: Debut Australia 2015
At 17 years old, Max Verstappen is the youngest rider of all time. The Dutchman has now won ten Grands Prix for Red Bull. This makes him clearly better than his father Jos Verstappen, who, as Michael Schumacher’s Benetton team-mate, made two podiums in 1994 and made his last season for Minardi in 2003.
Neither Palmers were high-flyers: The father, Jonathan Palmer, was in 83 races from 1983 to 1989 for Williams, RAM, Zakspeed and Tyrrell and got 14 points. Jolyon Palmer was under contract with Renault for 35 races in 2016 and 2017. His yield was nine points.