With the iconic British Grand Prix taking place at Silverstone this weekend, three days of excitement, speed and drama are guaranteed – but before the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber take to the track to duel it out for glory, we take a look at some of the past masters to have won over the hearts of fans around the celebrated 'Home of British Motor Racing'.
The following has been compiled by our friends at GetMeIn.com
, and lists five of Britain's very best old-school legends who will never be forgotten...
A driver who paid the ultimate price in a sport that he truly loved, Jim Clark won 25 races and secured 33 pole positions during his eight-year F1 career, before dying in a racing accident in 1968.
Clark had been competing in a Formula Two race at Hockenheim in Germany when his car veered off the track, crashing into trees and causing him to suffer a broken neck and fractured skull. Ironically, his accident record prior to this had been impressive – just three incidents in eight years of racing.
The Scot was famed for being able to drive a huge variety of types of car – racing in competitions from the British Touring Car Championship to NASCAR to Le Mans. Some of his most impressive performances came when he was under immense pressure; in 1963, he won the Belgian Grand Prix having started eighth on the grid and in harsh weather conditions, whilst in the 1967 Italian Grand Prix, he fought his way back to first place after losing an entire lap on the rest of the field due to a flat tyre. Though he eventually crossed the line in third due to a lack of fuel, his fightback was simply remarkable.
James Hunt made his debut into the world of F1 in 1973 and raced competitively for six years.
He's famed for being one of the least expensive world champions, and in fact was only signed to race for McLaren at the eleventh hour when an urgent replacement was needed for Emerson Fittipaldi, who had defected to his brother's outfit. Despite not being the team's first choice, he won the world championship in 1976 by just a single point following a dramatic season during which he was involved in countless disqualifications and reinstatements. The next few campaigns were less successful for Hunt, however, and the death of his friend Ronnie Peterson in the 1978 Italian Grand Prix had a profound effect on him and his desire to race, partially prompting his retirement midway through the 1979 season.
If his driving skills don't make him worthy of legend status, then his refusal to sign a clause in his contract which forced him to wear suits to official events does! Hunt often met bigwigs and world leaders wearing jeans, a T-shirt and no shoes!
Nigel Mansell is to this day the most successful British F1 driver of all time thanks to the impressive 31 race wins he secured in his 15-season career. The Brit retired from F1 as world champion in 1992 and switched to competing in the CART IndyCar World Series, clinching the title in his debut season and becoming the only person to be both F1 and CART champion at the same time.
Mansell is still fourth overall on the F1 race-winners list behind Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, and he remains highly-regarded by his peers and industry insiders; long-time F1 commentator Murray Walker lists him in his top ten, and he secured ninth spot in the Times Online's
'50 Greatest F1 Drivers of all Time' rankings.