9

Which F1 World Drivers Champion has the lowest finishing position in the season following a championship winning year?

Examples:

  • 1981, 1983 and 1987 WDC Nelson Piquet finished 11th in 1982, 5th in 1984 and 6th in 1988.
  • 1996 WDC Damon Hill finished 12th in 1997
11

After winning the 1952 and 1953 World Championships, Alberto Ascari only finished 25th in the 1954 Championship. He failed to finish any of the four races he entered that season, and his only points came from setting the fastest laps at the British and Spanish GPs (the former was shared wih six other drivers, hence his bizarre final points tally of 1 1/7).

I haven't been able to find any performance by a defending champion that was worse than this.

9

After Alberto Ascari, the following champions also faced their worst campaign on next season.

  1. Alberto Ascari - 25 - 1954
  2. Juan Manuel Fangio - 14 - 1958
  3. Mario Andretti - 12 - 1979
  4. Jody Scheckter - 19 - 1980
  5. Nelson Piquet - 11 - 1982
  6. Niki Lauda - 10 - 1985
  7. Damon Hill - 12 - 1997
  • Fangio retired mid season in 1958, so I'm not sure if that qualifies for this list. – Martin Argerami Nov 30 '18 at 12:47
  • Curious, why do you sort Scheckter where you do? And, it would be good to add a source to this if you can - wherever you got these numbers from. Thanks for including the full list! – Joe Nov 30 '18 at 15:33
  • @Joe It looks like they're ordered by year. – Anthony Grist Nov 30 '18 at 15:41
  • @AnthonyGrist Ah, okay, you're right. – Joe Nov 30 '18 at 15:42

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