Eclipsed or overshadowed: F1 father-son duos on Father’s Day

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Throughout the history of F1, there have been multiple fathers and sons that have competed in the championship.

Families and bloodlines competing in high-level motorsport is nothing new, and not exclusive to F1, but as today, 16 June, is Father’s day across many countries globally, RacingNews365 takes a look at some of the best-known fathers and sons to grace the so-called pinnacle of motorsport.

Unsurprisingly, a number of world champions have children who have gone on to follow in their footsteps and reach F1, but both being able to clinch a title is somewhat less common. 

There are also two examples of the opposite: sons who have gone on to eclipse the achievements of their fathers.

Champions both

The first father and son to both win the F1 drivers’ title were the Hills, and they make up one of just two pairs to accomplish the feat.

Graham Hill world the title in 1962 and 1968, but is perhaps best known as the only driver to even win motorsport’s ‘triple crown’. Taking victory in the Monaco Grand Prix on five occasions, he also won the Indianapolis 500 in 1966 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1972.

Son Damon did not quite reach the heights of this father, but did win 22 grand prix and the 1996 drivers’ championship. He also twice finished runner-up to Michael Schumacher and Benetton, in the two seasons prior.

The other duo to both take the F1 title were Keke and Nico Rosberg. The elder won five grand prix during his career, and was able to win the championship in 1982 – a year he won just one race.

Nico had a more successful career in F1 than his father, in part due to being at Mercedes at the start of its era of dominance. 

The German driver won 23 times in F1 and battled team-mate Lewis Hamilton all the way for the hard-fought 2016 drivers’ title. He promptly retired from motorsport five days after, citing the mammoth effort involved in taking just one championship.

			© XPBimages


© XPBimages

Champion fathers

The last American to win the F1 drivers’ championship, Mario Andretti won the title for Lotus in 1978. One of motorsport’s all-time greats, he has won a host of prestigious races, as well as four CART titles, in 1965, 1966, 1969 and 1984. 

It was a career in a series closest to modern-day IndyCar that spanned 407 races and 31 years. He competed in 131 grand prix in F1, winning 12 and is now focused on getting the Andretti name back on the F1 grid, as a constructor, with his son, Michael, who himself had a short-lived career in F1.

The younger Andretti raced in 13 grand prix for McLaren in 1993, before being dropped towards the end of the season having taken just one podium and seven points in total.

The first driver to win seven F1 drivers’ championships, Michael Schumacher’s place in the history of the series is undisputed. Only in recent years has his mark of 91 grand prix victories been surpassed by Lewis Hamilton.

Following his two titles with Benetton in the mid-1990s, he moved to Ferrari to revive the one-great marque, returning it to its former glory with five consecutive drivers’ titles between 2000 and 2004.

His son, Mick, however, had not fared quite as well. A champion in FIA F3 and F2, he stepped up to F1 in 2021. He endured a difficult rookie campaign in an under-developed Haas, but easily had the measure of team-mate Nikita Mazepin.

The Russian was let go at the start of 2022, with Kevin Magnussen (more on him later) replacing him. Schumacher struggled to match the more experienced and accomplished Dane. A string of costly crashes did little to support his claim at staying in F1 long-term and he was dropped at the end of the season in place of Nico Hulkenberg, having achieved just two points-scoring finishes.

He remains popular amongst F1 fans, who would love to see him get a second chance in the series, but having spent time in a reserve role at Mercedes and as part of Alpine’s WEC set-up, a return to F1 looks unlikely.

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© XPBimages

Champion sons

The first F1 champion to pass the achievements of his father was Jacques Villeneuve. The 1997 drivers’ champion was already a Champ Car title holder, having won the series in the Indy 500 in 1995, when he joined Williams for the 1996 F1 season.

He impressed immediately, finishing his debut season in second behind team-mate and champion Damon Hill. After going one better the following year, his career in F1 fizzled out. A move to British American Racing (BAR) in 1999 did not work, and he would be one of only a few F1 drivers to never win a race as a champion – Nico Rosberg being another.

His father, Gilles, was an exciting talent who lost his life before he could reach the absolute heights of his ability and career. 

The man who the Canadian Grand Prix circuit in Montreal is named after won six grand prix from his debut in 1977 until he died following a qualifying crash at the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder.

Max Verstappen is an F1 prodigy, and could well end up being the most decorated driver in the history of the championship by the time he calls it a day in his career. 

Still just 26 years old, he has already amassed 60 grand prix wins and three drivers’ titles – which may well be four by the end of the current season. He and Red Bull produced the most dominant season in F1 ever in 2023, winning 21 of 22 grand prix, with Verstappen taking 19 of those victories.

His father, Jos, was somewhat of a journeyman in F1 in the 1990s and early 2000s, racing for Benetton – where he was team-mate to Michael Schumacher – as well as Simtek, Footwork, Tyrell, Stewart, Arrows and Minardi before retiring in 2003. He claimed two podiums in 107 attempts.

			© XPBimages


© XPBimages

Last by not least

The only pair on this list to not have a championship between them is Jan and Kevin Magnussen.

Jan competed in 25 grand prix between 1995 and 1998 for McLaren and Stewart, before being dropped by the latter mid-season and being replaced by Jos Verstappen. He scored just one point in his F1 career, in his final race, finishing sixth at the 1998 Canadian Grand Prix.

Kevin burst onto the F1 scene in 2014, taking a podium on debut for McLaren at the Australian Grand Prix. However, that is currently the high-point of his time in F1.

After spending time 2015 as the reserve driver at the Woking-based team, he moved to Renault. He was only there for a season before joining Haas for 2017 – where he has found a longer-term home.

He was dropped at the end 2020, with the American team opting for the youth of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin. 

That did not work out, so he was jettisoned back in for 2022 having spent a season in endurance racing.

Although, it is looking increasingly unlikely he will be able to retain his seat for 2025, with F2 driver Oliver Bearman tipped to be joining Haas with Esteban Ocon the current favourite to slot in alongside him. 



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