Over the years there have been many great German Formula One drivers, including a certain seven-time World Champion.
As one of the great historical motor racing nations, it’s little wonder so many great German’s have made it to F1, with no fewer than five representing their country on the grid this season.
1 – Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher is not only one of the greatest German drivers of all time but simply one of the greatest in the history of the sport. A Championship winner seven times, the most out of any driver, he was the most dominant man during the late 1990’s and the early 2000’s. At times ruthless and controversial he had his fair share of downs during his time in Formula One, but for the most part Schumacher reigned supreme, taking win after win all the while cementing his place as one of the greatest drivers ever. After a short retirement he made a return in 2010, but so far has failed to recreate his success.
2 – Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel is still only 23-years-old, but he has already made a name as one of the greats. Winning the Championship back-to-back in 2010 and 2011 Vettel became the youngest winner of a Formula One season taking the record away from the British driver Lewis Hamilton. Vettel is currently racing for the Red Bull team in 2012 amid rumours he is going to jump ship at the end of the year, with names such as Ferrari mentioned as a replacement team.
3 – Heinz-Harald Frentzen
Heinz-Harald Frentzen competed in Formula One from 1994 until 2003 and showed his talent when trying to get into F1 having to fight for a place with Michael Schumacher. He also impressed heavily enough for Frank Williams to replace Ayrton Senna after his death in 1994. After his time in Formula One he moved to DTM leaving behind him the sport.
4 – Ralf Schumacher
Ralf Schumacher is the brother of the seven times World Champion Michael Schumacher but more than that, he was also a successful Formula One driver. During his 11 seasons in F1 he managed six race wins and from 1999 to 2004 drove for the Williams team consistently performing and finishing within the top five and the end of the year four years out of six. Despite being in the shadows of his brother for much of his time in the sport, Ralf managed to make a name for himself and finally stepped away from Formula One in 2007.
5 – Jochen Mass
Jochen Mass is perhaps best known for his involvement in Giles Villeneuve’s death in 1982 at the Belgian Grand Prix. After the Canadian tried to overtake Mass they collided causing Villeneuve’s untimely death. Mass was an F1 driver from 1973 until 1982 and continued to race in various other competitions after his time in F1.
6 – Nico Rosberg
Nico Rosberg served his time gaining experience before joining F1, winning the GP2 series. Rosberg was touted as the next big thing when he joined however it has never quite worked out that way. Now in his fifth year he continues to show the promise that garnered the next big thing tag with several podium finishes and some brilliant racing ability. In the 2009 season Rosberg scored every point for the Williams team.
7 – Timo Glock
Timo Glock is part of an exclusive group of people in Formula One. He s one of a select few that have scored a Championship point on his debut race. The German has been competing in F1 since 2008 and this year is currently driving for the Marussia. Glock is another graduate of the GP2 series after competing in 2006 which led as it often does to a place as a test driver for the BMW Formula One team. He continued in GP2 in 2007 and ended up winning leading to a driver’s seat in the Toyota car in 2008.
8 – Adrian Sutil
Since 2006 Adrian Sutil has been driving in Formula One. Back in 2005 this young man was testing his skills in the Formula 3 Euro series with Lewis Hamilton and proving to be the Briton’s only serious challenger that year. Since his introduction in F1 Sutil has made steady progress with every season gone and finished the 2011 season in ninth position driving for Force India.
9 – Nick Heidfeld
Nick Heidfeld may not have won a race since joining Formula One but he still holds a number of records that show just what talent this man has. He is the driver who has scored the highest number of World Championship points without a Grand Prix win and holds the joint record for most number of race finishes with 18 in one season. Heidfeld was a racer for six years before making it as a Formula One driver competing first in the German Formula Ford.
10 – Nico Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg is one of the up and coming drivers and in 2010 proved why when he pipped Sebastian Vettel to pole position at the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix. Hulkenberg is thought to be a driver for the future and made his name in GP2 and Formula Three before making the Formula One teams stand up and take notice of him. He did this by joining Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg as one of three drivers to win the GP2 Championship in their debut season.