Lewis Hamilton could have become an eight time world champion in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but lost to Max Verstappen in a controversial finale, but are there any eight time motorsport champions?
History was on the line for Hamilton, as he could have eclipsed Michael Schumacher’s tally of seven F1 world titles.
He looked to have the race under control for long periods after acing the start and getting ahead of Verstappen.
The #44 Mercedes had enough raw pace to pull away from Verstappen, and take a commanding position.
However, a late crash for Nicholas Latifi, brought out the safety car, with racing resuming with one lap to go.
Verstappen passed Hamilton at Turn 5 to lead and then held the position at Turn 9.
Mercedes has protested the result, pointing to the fact that safety car restart rules were not followed correctly by race control.
But Verstappen is champion as it stands, denying F1 its first-ever eight time world champion.
That’s just F1 though? Are there any other championships/series in motorsport that have an eight-time champion?
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Seven championships all round
Interestingly, F1, NASCAR and IndyCar are all-tied when it comes to their most successful drivers.
Between them, six drivers in these series have all won seven titles apiece.
In F1, it is Hamilton and Schumacher who fly the flag for septuple world champions.
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Over in NASCAR, it is a three-way tie for top spot.
Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt Sr and Jimmie Johnson could not go any higher than seven titles.
In the open-wheeled American scene, it is A.J Foyt who has seven titles.
Seven-time motorsport champions
- Michael Schumacher – 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
- Lewis Hamilton – 2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
- Richard Petty – 1964, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1979
- Dale Earnhardt Sr (below) – 1980, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994
- Jimmie Johnson – 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2016
IndyCar (then ChampCar)
- A.J Foyt – 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1967, 1975, 1979
Are there any eight time champions?
There is one series in motorsport where there are eight time champions.
It is the World Rally Championship – and both men are called Sebastien.
Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have dominated the loose stuff since 2003.
Between them, the two French rivals have claimed a staggering 17 world titles.
The only driver to beat them since 2003 was Ott Tanak in 2019.
Loeb was the WRC king from 2004 to 2012, going undefeated for nine straight years – and people talk about Hamilton’s four-year stint being boring!
Ogier took over in 2013, winning every year aside from Tanak’s 2019 crown, to make him an eight-time motorsport champion.
WRC Champions by Sebastien
- Loeb (left) – 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
- Ogier (right) – 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021
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