Top 5: Biggest winning margins in F1 history

Jan Sergeant

His winning margin that day of two laps over his nearest rival – which was especially impressive considering the length of the track – has not been beaten since.

Here we take a look at the five biggest winning margins through the years.

1954 Italian Grand Prix

Juan Manuel Fangio, Mercedes W196

Juan Manuel Fangio, Mercedes W196 Motorsport Images

Motorsport Images

The 1954 Italian Grand Prix was the penultimate round of the championship and Juan Manuel Fangio had already won his second world title.

Fangio started from pole position in his Mercedes W196 by being just 0.2s faster then Alberto Ascari in his Ferrari 625, but had to fight for the win during most of the race

The race lead changed four times between Karl Kling, Stirling Moss, Ascari and Fangio, but the world champion took the lead for the final time on lap 68 and won by one lap from Mike Hawthorn. Such a gap at the time was not that unusual.

Full results:

1967 Monaco Grand Prix

Denny Hulme, Brabham BT20

Denny Hulme, Brabham BT20 Motorsport Images

Motorsport Images

In the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix, Jack Brabham had put his Brabham BT-19 on pole position, just 0.7s faster than Lorenzo Bandini in his Ferrari.

Brabham’s hopes of victory were dashed on Sunday by engine problems, so it was teammate Denny Hulme who turned the strong pace in to the win.

Hulme, who had started from fourth, had taken the lead on lap 15 from Jackie Stewart and pulled clear – finishing one lap (more than three minutes) ahead of Graham Hill.

The day will sadly be remembered, however, for the fiery accident that claimed the life of Bandini.

Full results:

1962 French Grand Prix

Dan Gurney, Porsche 804

Dan Gurney, Porsche 804 David Phipps

David Phipps

In 1962, the French Grand Prix was held at Rouen where it looked like the battle for the title was going to be between Graham Hill, Phil Hill and Bruce McLaren.

But it was someone that hadn’t score a point until that round that was going to leave everybody behind that day: Dan Gurney.

The American had qualified his Porsche only sixth with a time that was 1.7s slower than Jim Clark’s pole position. Until lap 41, Graham Hill had led most of the race but then he stopped his car with fuel injection and throttle troubles to give the lead to the charging Gurney.

None of the other racers who were still in it were able to put up a fight, and Gurney would finish one lap ahead of Tony Maggs in his Cooper-Climax. This was Dan Gurney’s first and most dominant win of the four he was going to achieve in his F1 career.

Full results:

1995 Australian Grand Prix

Damon Hill, Williams FW17

Damon Hill, Williams FW17 Sutton Images

Sutton Images

The ’95 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide was the final round of the season, and the championship was already decided in favour of Michael Schumacher. But that didn’t mean the last event of the year was a dull affair.

Damon Hill had snatched pole position from Williams-Renault teammate David Coulthard by just 0.123s.

But it was Coulthard who took the lead at the start before crashing his car on lap 19 when entering the pitlane for his first pitstop.

Michael Schumacher took over from Coulthard, but the then double world champion had a collision with Jean Alesi’s Ferrari on lap 23, handing over the lead to Damon Hill.

The afternoon proved to be a race of attrition after that, with only eight cars finishing because of a variety of circumstances. In the end, Hill would finish two laps (almost three minutes) ahead of Olivier Panis in his Ligier/Mugen-Honda.

Full results:

1969 Spanish Grand Prix

Jackie Stewart, Matra Cosworth MS80

Jackie Stewart, Matra Cosworth MS80 Sutton Images

Sutton Images

The Montjuic event was the second round of the 1969 F1 World Championship, and Jackie Stewart had already won the first race in South Africa in his Matra-Ford.

His qualifying performance for the Spanish GP wasn’t that great and he had to start from fourth on the grid, while Jochen Rindt scored pole position in his Lotus-Ford.

Stewart fell further back at the start, losing two places on the opening lap, but from lap seven onwards he charged his way to the front – taking the lead from Chris Amon on lap 56 when the New Zealander’s engine gave up.

Stewart never looked back in his mirror and disappeared from the rest of the field, lapping second place Bruce McLaren twice. His winning margin was effectively almost four minutes.

Full results:

Top 10 winning margins in F1 history

Pos Year Race Margin First   2nd  
1 1969 Spain

2 laps


 Jackie Stewart Matra MS80  Bruce McLaren McLaren M7C
2 1995 Australia

2 laps


 Damon Hill Williams FW17B  Olivier Panis Ligier JS41
3 1962 France

1 lap


 Dan Gurney Porsche 804  Tony Maggs Cooper T60
4 1967 Monaco

1 lap


 Denny Hulme Brabham BT20  Graham Hill Lotus 33
5 1954 Italy

1 lap


 Juan Manuel Fangio Mercedes W196  Mike Hawthorn Ferrari 625
6 1952 Great Britain

1 lap


 Alberto Ascari Ferrari 500  Piero Taruffi Ferrari 500
7 1950 Monaco

1 lap


 Juan Manuel Fangio Alfa Romeo 158  Alberto Ascari Ferrari 125
8 1953 Argentina

1 lap


 Alberto Ascari Ferrari 500  Luigi Villoresi Ferrari 500
9 1985 San Marino

1 lap


 Elio de Angelis Lotus 97T  Thierry Boutsen Arrows A8
10 1969 Great Britain

1 lap


 Jackie Stewart Matra MS80  Jacky Ickx Brabham BT26A