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New F1 Studies Confirm Ayrton Senna As The Fastest Driver Over The Last 40 Years

New F1 Studies Confirm Ayrton Senna As The Fastest Driver Over The Last 40 Years

Not Lewis Hamilton.

Not Michael Schumacher.

Ayrton Senna is officially the fastest Formula One driver in the last 40 years according to newly-released algorithms.

In a study conducted by the sport's governing body, it appears us F1 tragics now have the answer as to who the quickest driver of all-time is - and there's a few surprises in the mix.

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Ayrton Senna is officially the quickest F1 driver over the last 40 years. Credit: PA
Ayrton Senna is officially the quickest F1 driver over the last 40 years. Credit: PA

Working alongside the Amazon Machine Learning Solutions Lab, F1 officials have devised an algorithm (which is way too complicated for us to explain) which essentially spits out a formula for the fastest driver while eradicating the impact of improved car speeds throughout the years.

In a nutshell, the complex formula takes data from every race and qualifying session since 1983.

Taking car performance, differing tracks, pit stops and race rules into consideration, the algorithm then calculates who (arguably) is the fastest driver on the planet.

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F1 director of data systems Rob Smedley was the brains behind the revolutionary system and is excited by its potential.

The former Ferrari and Williams engineer said: "Fastest Driver enables us to build up a picture of how the drivers compare, by analysing the purest indication of raw speed, the qualifying lap - and it's important to note this pure speed is the only element of the vast driver armoury we are analysing here, to showcase the quickest drivers ever, which is very exciting."

Six-time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton. Credit: PA
Six-time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton. Credit: PA

And for us fans - who have been engaging in fiery debates with friends for years on end - it appears we finally have an answer to the question we've all been bickering over.

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That's right, F1 have revealed that Senna is the quickest man behind the wheel over the past four decades.

Seven-time world champ Schumacher came in at a close second, while the sport's current megastar Hamilton took third place.

According to the statistics, Brazilian racing icon Senna was 0.114 seconds faster than German legend Schumacher.

Judging by the fractional times, there clearly wasn't much in it when it comes to the top three, but the figures themselves somewhat confirm Senna as the quickest driver in history.

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That being said, it was interesting to see what other drivers made the cut.

German legend Michael Schumacher has seven world championships to his name. Credit: PA
German legend Michael Schumacher has seven world championships to his name. Credit: PA

Incredibly, Heikki Kovalainen (8th) and Jarno Trulli (9th) made the top 10 despite both drivers only claiming one pole and one win each throughout their F1 careers.

Aussie star Daniel Ricciardo made the top 20, coming in at 16th ahead of 2009 world champion Jenson Button (17th).

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Meanwhile, competition newcomers Charles LeClerc and Lando Norris also featured on the big-name list.

Here's how the 'Fastest Driver in Formula 1' top 20 looks:

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1. Ayrton Senna (0.000s)

2. Michael Schumacher (0.114s)

3. Lewis Hamilton (0.275s)

4. Max Verstappen (0.280s)

5. Fernando Alonso (0.309s)

6. Nico Rosberg (0.374s)

7. Charles Leclerc (0.376s)

8. Heikki Kovalainen (0.378s)

9. Jarno Trulli (0.409s)

10. Sebastian Vettel (0.435s)

11. Rubens Barrichello (0.445s)

12. Nico Hulkenberg (0.456s)

13. Valtteri Bottas (0.457s)

14. Carlos Sainz (0.457s)

15. Lando Norris (0.459s)

16. Daniel Ricciardo (0.461s)

17. Jenson Button (0.462s)

18. Robert Kubica (0.463s)

19. Giancarlo Fisichella (0.469s)

20. Alain Prost (0.514s)

Featured Image Credit: Twitter

Topics: Formula One, Lewis Hamilton, Analysis, Formula 1, Michael Schumacher, F1, Australia

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Max Sherry

Max Sherry is a journalist for SPORTbible Australia. After migrating Down Under from London as a teenager, he instantly fell in love with Aussie sport and its culture. From NRL to AFL, cricket to rugby — you name it, Max watches it (with a beer in hand, of course). During his time at Fox Sports, he worked in the football department covering the Premier League, A-League, Socceroos and Matildas. Born a stone's throw away from West Ham's training ground, Max is obviously a die-hard Liverpool fan.