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10 Of The Most Underrated F1 Drivers Ever

From Damon Hill to Giancarlo Fisichella, here are some F1 drivers who, while celebrated, just don't have the recognition or legacy they deserve.

There are lots of living legends in the world of sports. Formula One certainly has its share, past and present, but drivers don't have to be winners to make themselves known in the sport. Many of the drivers are known for their switches and trades into other teams or their partnerships with a certain company.

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Although some have gone on to become iconic, many of them are highly underrated, despite all their achievements. These F1 drivers are underrated not only because of their lack of an imposing presence on the field, but because most of them have not had many serious wins or have been overshadowed by more recent successes. 

10 Sergio Perez

This young driver from Mexico joined F1 with a lot of support. He began his career with Sauber and soon showcased his talents on the track. During the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix, he earned a lot of accolades and took three podiums with Sauber.

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His career began to go downhill after he took a seat with Mercedes. He drove a McLaren that effectively ended his career. The car was clearly a poor drive. Later the same year, his career came to an end. He was taken out very early in his career, yet he still continues to race for Force India. Not many remember him from his glory days, however.

9 Juan Pablo Montoya

Unlike some other drivers, Montoya’s career ended abruptly. He ran five-and-a-half seasons with F1, where he was at the top of his game. The driver boasts seven wins to his name, along with 30 podium finishes. He proved his capabilities behind the wheel like few other racers could.

He holds the fastest speed in F1, acquired at the Italian Grand Prix with a speed of 372.6km/hr. In 2002, he finished 3rd, repeating the feat in 2003. His contract was suddenly terminated halfway through the season in 2006, however, and he never raced in F1 again. This racer was once one of the best, making his abrupt departure really sting. 

8 Gerhard Berger

This old-time racer is a forgotten legend in the world of F1 racing. This racer had 10 overall wins and finished 3rd twice. Although he isn't remembered for his wins, he is remembered for the number of retirements he had: retiring from 95 races!

He was much more consistent later on, but not enough to erase his reputation. He fully retired from the sport in 1997, and refused to continue racing due to the restrictive new guidelines that he found irrelevant to the sport. He later became a coach for BMW.

7 Giancarlo Fisichella

This Italian driver is known for his multitude of races, for multiple teams. The teams range from Jorda, Benetton, Force India, and Ferrari. He has 231 starts with three victories, and 19 podiums and four pole positions (one of those poles being earned while on Force India).

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He was signed by Ferrari to replace an injured driver, but his career shortly ended. After the 2009 season, he was demoted to a reserve once the injured driver returned. After his contract ended, he moved onto other sports, never standing out as much as he did in F1. stand out as much as in F1. The talent and potential he had were limited by his contract with Ferrari.

6 Carlos Reutemann

This driver has had a diverse background when it comes to F1. Beginning his career in 1972, he raced in the sport for ten years. He was signed by Williams, Ferrari, Brabham Racing, and Lotus. He began with Brabham in 72 and continued onwards until they struggled to keep up with the competition.

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He signed with Ferrari in 1975 and stayed with them until 1978. He went for a year with Lotus then transferred to Williams. While at Williams, he had a successful run, finishing 3rd and 2nd in 1980 and 1981 Grand Prix. He had to end his career due to political tensions. He currently works in politics, having foregone all his fame from racing in F1.

5 Damon Hill

The younger half of the Hill father/son pair that have won F1 championships. In 1992 he was able to race for Brabham, who went bankrupt before the season ended. Later that year he signed for Williams, where his career really took off. For four years he raced and got 21 of his 22 career wins with them.

Finishing 3rd in 1993, runner-up in 1994, and 1995 then finally winning 1st in 1996. That same year, his contract expired, and he moved on to racing for Arrows and Jordan before retiring in 1999. His career ended far too soon for someone of his caliber, yet he is highly underrated for his amazing racing history.

4 Martin Brundle

This is one of the most aggressive racers out there. His career began in 1984 when he began racing with the Tyrrell Racing Organization. He raced aggressively, finishing 5th in his first race in Brazil and 2nd in Detroit.

In the 1984 Grand Prix, he broke both his ankles and feet in a practice race. He was left unable to run the left-foot brake, but he did recover. In 1987 he moved on to to the Zakspeed team, where he scored two points all year, the only points the team has scored in their five-year F1 history. He retired shortly after that. Had it not been for his injuries, Brundel would have been a great addition to any team. 

3 Robert Kubica

Kubica is amongst the few who were forced out of F1 due to severe injury. His career began in 2006 with BMW, where he raced until 2009. After leaving the BMW team, he moved on to race for Renault in 2010, where controversy surrounded his acceptance into the team.

He later extended his one-year contract until 2012. His career was abruptly cut short in 2011, when he suffered a near-fatal crash. He suffered a partial amputation of his forearm, fractures in his right elbow, shoulder, and leg. He never returned to F1 racing again, taking with him a possible world champion.

2 Nico Hülkenberg

This F1 driver began his career in a good place. He sighed with Williams in 2010, where he won the team their first pole since 2005. After having secured the pole, he had gone for another lap, resulting in him ending up in 8th place due to opposing racers in more competitive cars.

He went on to sign with Force India, where he reached a meager 8th place in the two years that he raced with them. He signed with Suber a year later, where he won no awards. Currently, he races for Renault, where he has yet to win the awards he did in his prime.

1 Jean Alesi

This former F1 driver became known when his career took off in 1991, after signing with Ferrari. He scored 42 points in 1995, his final year at Ferrari. In 1996, he signed with Benetton, where he thought he would continue his rise but was left unimpressed.

The team went into a financial slump and Ferrari began to grow more famous. He stayed with Benetton one more year before signing with Sauber. He had poor races with the team and left after another year. He got a chance at fame overall, but after leaving Ferrari, it all came crashing down.

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