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The Most Successful Formula One Racers Of The Past Decade

Formula One (F1) is one of the most competitive and glamorous sports in the world. In a high-speed competition where winning can bring serious glory and losing can result in spectacularly dangerous car crashes, this adrenaline-driven sport has brought out the best in countless racers who risk it all for the gold.

Over the past decade, the sport has seen some of the most successful drivers of all time. From Lewis Hamilton to Sebastian Vettel, these racers have left an indelible mark on the sport.

Lewis Hamilton

British race car driver Lewis Hamilton began his F1 career with McLaren in 2007, and he made an immediate impact by finishing on the podium in his very first race. He won his first race at the Canadian Grand Prix that same year, becoming the youngest driver to win a race in F1 history at the time. Hamilton finished the season as the runner-up to Kimi Raikkonen, missing out on the championship by just one point.

Hamilton's first championship came in 2008, when he won the title in dramatic fashion at the final race of the season in Brazil. He won four races that year and finished on the podium in 10 of the 18 races. The following year, Hamilton finished as the runner-up to Jenson Button, but he bounced back to win his second championship in 2010.

In 2012, Hamilton made the move to Mercedes, and it proved to be a pivotal moment in his career. He won his third championship with the team in 2014, and he has dominated the sport ever since. Hamilton has won the championship in six of the past seven seasons, with his most recent championship coming in 2020.

Hamilton's success on the track is due to his incredible speed, consistency, and ability to stay calm under pressure. He has won 103 races, which is the most by any driver in F1 history, and he has also set numerous records. In 2020, he broke Schumacher's record for the most race wins, and he also equaled the German's record for seven championships.

Off the track, Hamilton is known for his activism and philanthropy. He has been a vocal advocate for social justice, particularly in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. He has also been involved in numerous charitable causes, including the Lewis Hamilton Foundation, which supports underprivileged children in the UK.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel is another driver who has enjoyed great success in the past decade. The German driver won four consecutive championships with Red Bull from 2010 to 2013. Vettel's driving style is characterized by his incredible ability to qualify well and maintain a consistent pace during the race. 

Vettel's career in F1 began with BMW Sauber in 2007, where he made his debut as a substitute driver. He later joined Toro Rosso, Red Bull's sister team, before moving to Red Bull Racing in 2009. Vettel won his first race with Red Bull at the 2009 Chinese Grand Prix, and he finished the season as the runner-up to Jenson Button.

Vettel's dominance of the sport began in 2010, when he won his first championship with Red Bull. He won the title by just four points, beating Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber in a closely contested battle. Vettel won the championship again in 2011, 2012, and 2013, becoming the youngest driver in F1 history to win four consecutive championships.

During his time at Red Bull, Vettel established himself as one of the best drivers in the sport's history. He won 38 races and set numerous records, including the most consecutive race wins (nine) and the most pole positions in a single season (15).

In 2015, Vettel joined Ferrari. Although he came in as runner-up in 2017 and 2018, he was not able to cinch another championship. He left Ferrari at the end of 2020 to sign on with Aston-Martin. In 2022, he announced his retirement from the sport, bringing his career in Formula One to an end.

Off the track, Vettel is known for his love of music and his charitable work. He has been involved in numerous charitable causes, including the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports disadvantaged children around the world. 

Max Verstappen

Born in 1997, Max Verstappen is the youngest driver on this list, but he has already made a significant impact in the sport. He made his racing debut in 2015 at the tender age of 17, and has been dominating the competition since. 

The Dutch driver has won 37 races in his career and 22 pole positions. Verstappen's driving style is characterized by his aggressive overtaking and fearless approach. He has already established himself as one of the most exciting drivers to watch in the sport.

Verstappen's early years in F1 were with Toro Rosso, where he showed flashes of his potential with some impressive performances. In 2016, he made the move to Red Bull Racing, and it was with this team that he began to show his true potential. In his first race with the team, Verstappen won the Spanish Grand Prix, becoming the youngest driver ever to win a race in F1 history.

Since then, Verstappen has established himself as one of the sport's leading drivers. He has won numerous races, and he finished third in the championship standings in both 2019 and 2020. In 2021, Verstappen clinched the first place championship spot in a controversial decision that made him the first ever driver from Netherlands to win the race.

He won the championship again in 2022, cementing his position as one of the top drivers in the game this generation. He is currently signed on to continue with Red Bull through 2028.

Verstappen's driving style is characterized by his aggressive approach and his ability to extract the maximum performance from his car. He is known for his skill in overtaking, and he has been involved in several exciting battles on track. Verstappen's performances have earned him a large following of fans, particularly in his native Netherlands.

Off the track, Verstappen is known for his love of sim racing and his passion for motorsport. He has also been involved in numerous charitable causes, including the LAPS Foundation, which supports children with cancer.

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso is a two-time world champion who has had a successful career in F1. The Spanish driver won his championships in 2005 and 2006, but he has remained competitive in the past decade. Alonso's driving style is characterized by his excellent racecraft and ability to extract the maximum performance from his car. 

Alonso is widely regarded as one of the greatest drivers of his generation, known for his speed, consistency, and ability to extract the most out of his car. He has won 32 Grand Prix races and has achieved 101 podium finishes throughout his career.

In addition to his World Championships, Alonso finished as the runner-up in the drivers' standings on three occasions (2010, 2012, and 2013) and has also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice (2018 and 2019) and the Daytona 24 Hours once (2019).

After leaving Renault at the end of the 2006 season, Alonso raced for McLaren in 2007 before returning to Renault for two more seasons. He then joined Ferrari in 2010 and stayed with the team until 2014, finishing as the championship runner-up in both 2010 and 2012.

In 2015, Alonso returned to McLaren for a second stint, but the team struggled with an uncompetitive car in the first few years of his return. Despite this, Alonso remained a highly respected and sought-after driver in the paddock, with many considering him to be one of the best drivers on the grid.

Although Alonso took a two-year break from the sport in 2019, he returned to F1 in 2021 and has shown that he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level.

Alonso’s return to Formula One in 2021 included a return to the podium after seven years at the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix. By the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, he scored his 100th podium win, making him the sixth driver in Formula One history to do so. 

Nico Rosberg

A German-Finnish driver, Nico Rosberg began his Formula One career with the Williams team in 2006, before moving to Mercedes in 2010. During his time in Formula One, Rosberg won 23 Grand Prix races and achieved 57 podium finishes. He was known for his consistency, race craft, and his ability to work closely with his team to extract the most out of his car.

Rosberg's most successful season came in 2016, where he won nine races and finished on the podium 16 times en route to his first and only World Championship. His battle with teammate Lewis Hamilton that season was one of the closest and most intense championship battles in recent memory.

After winning the championship, Rosberg made the shock decision to retire from Formula One, citing a desire to spend more time with his family and pursue other interests. His retirement came just days after winning the championship, making him one of the few drivers in the sport's history to retire immediately after winning the title.

Rosberg's impact on Formula One was significant, and he remains one of the most respected drivers to have raced in the sport. His rivalry with Hamilton and his ability to win races and compete at the highest level have cemented his place in the history books. Since retiring, Rosberg has become a successful entrepreneur, investor, and media personality, and remains actively involved in the world of motorsport.

In conclusion, the past decade has seen some of the most successful drivers in the history of Formula One. Lewis Hamilton's achievements stand out, but drivers like Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso, and Nico Rosberg have also left their mark on the sport. As F1 moves into a new era with new regulations and new cars, it will be interesting to see which drivers will emerge as the stars of the future.