If you really want to cause a commotion in the Formula 1 world, start asking fans to rank their greatest drivers. In mere moments, you’ll watch chaos descend as debate rages between the relative merits of Juan Manuel Fangio when compared to Michael Schumacher. This holiday season, I thought I’d craft my own ranking of the 15 greatest F1 drivers — but ranked specifically on the quality of their facial hair.
Close your eyes and conjure up some images of Formula 1 drivers throughout history. There’s a fairly good chance you’re thinking of a few less due to the Championships they won and more due to the fact that there was something charismatic and memorable about their appearance. In some cases, that probably comes down to facial hair.
Beards and facial hair come in and out of vogue in normal fashion, but for racing drivers, the presence of a beard or mustache usually comes with some discomfort thanks to the presence of fireproof balaclavas rubbing against the prickly hairs. Despite that, some have committed to the look — and today we celebrate those intrepid heroes.