Sixteen years after Spain, another country joins the list of champions


Let’s welcome the Netherlands. Thanks to a spectacular end to the season with Max Verstappen overtaking on the last lap at Abu Dhabi to win, this country has also joined the list of Formula 1 champions. 

Obviously, Brembo has contributed to this success since in Formula 1 all 22 GPs raced in the current season were won by vehicles equipped with components made by the Brembo Group. 

To go back to Verstappen’s achievement, these are the nationalities of the drivers who have won the World Formula 1 Championship in ascending order of titles won.


 8​th place – Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands and South Africa: one title


Demmy Hulme won the title for New Zealand in 1967, just four points ahead of his team mate Jack Brabham. Twelve years later, Ferrari equipped with Brembo brakes and driven by Jody Scheckter put the South African flag on the map. Gilles Villeneuve missed out, but in 1997 was avenged by his son Jacques who put Canada in the select circle of winners. In 2021 it was the turn of the Netherlands, thanks to Verstappen who had followed in his father’s footsteps: his dad Jos stepped on the podium twice in 1994, with Benetton equipped with a Cosworth engine and Brembo brakes.​


​ 7​th place - USA and Spain: two titles


With the exception of Harry Schell and Masten Gregory, in the first decade of F1, the American drivers only raced in the Indianapolis 500 which was part of the World Championship at the time. They were joined in 1958 by Phil Hill who in 1961, the year that Brembo was founded, won the World Championship with Ferrari. In 1978, on the other hand, the title was won by his fellow American Mario Andretti. Spain’s wins were much more recent and entirely in the hands (and feet!) of Fernando Alonso who managed to break Ferrari’s winning streak to win the title in 2005 and 2006.


​ 6​​th place – Italy: three titles


In the first years of the World Championship, the cars (Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and Maserati) and the drivers to beat were Italian: in 1950 Giuseppe Farina became the first world champion. In 1952 Italy won the title with Alberto Ascari (6 wins in 8 races) and won 2nd place with Farina and 3rd place with Piero Taruffi. Ascari did the same again the following year with Farina coming 3rd and Luigi Villoresi 5th, all in Ferraris. Since then, though, the Italian drivers have not managed to stay at the top and 68 years later, still only have three titles.​


5th place – Australia, Austria, France and Finland: four titles​​


Of the four countries that have won four world championships, the only one to do this with one driver is France: merit for this goes to Alain Prost who was world champion in 1989 in the amazing McLaren MP4/5 with Brembo calipers. He lost another title by half a point in 1984 to the Austrian Niki Lauda who won three in a row and together with the title of his fellow Austrian Jochen Rindt brought the number of titles won by the Austrians to 4. Jack Brabham also won three titles and Alan Jones won the 4th for Australia in 1980. Finland has also won four world championships with three different drivers: two for Mika Hakkinen but before that Keke Rosberg and then Kimi Raikkonen.​


4th place – Argentina: five titles

The star of the heroic age of Formula 1 was Juan Manuel Fangio, as shown by the remarkable figures: in the 51 GPs he raced in, he obtained 29 pole positions, 24 wins, 23 fastest laps and 35 podiums. He managed to win the World Championship in 1951 with Alfa Romeo, in 1954 driving first Maserati and then Mercedes, in 1955 once again with the German manufacturer, in 1956 with Ferrari, and in 1957 with Maserati. Thanks to him, Argentina has won 5 titles, but the number could have been even higher because he was runner-up in 1950 and 1953.​


3rd place – Brazil: eight titles​


The last time a Brazilian driver won a title was thirty years ago: a crazy length of time for a country that began to win in 1972 with Emerson Fittipaldi and won again two years later. In the 1980s, Nelson Piquet stepped onto the podium with 3 world titles, all in odd numbered years. Ayrton Senna also won 3 world titles, the last two with Brembo brakes which he insisted on after moving over to McLaren. The King of the Rain had get to know them at Lotus where he won 6 GPs and was due to try them out on Williams a few days after the tragic accident in Imola.​

2nd place – Germany: twelve titles​


If Wolfgang von Trips had not died in the 1961 Italian GP, Germany would have won its first title that year. However, it had to wait for the rise in the 1990s of Michael Schumacher, who succeeded in winning 2 world titles with Benetton and 5 with Ferrari, all with Brembo as well as 91 wins, 68 pole positions and 155 podiums: Schumi favored a short, very responsive braking system. Sebastian Vettel was also highly successful with 4 world titles whereas the 12th title went in 2016 to Nico Rosberg, son of the Finnish driver Keke, who has a German passport. ​​

1st place – United Kingdom: twenty titles​


The United Kingdom alone has the same number of titles as the second and third countries in the rankings. 10 different drivers have contributed to this achievement with 6 of these not able to do this twice: Mike Hawthorn, John Surtees, James Hunt, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Jenson Button who raced with Brawn GP, the team that only raced for one season and used Brembo brakes. Two world titles were won by Damon’s father, Graham, and by Jim Clark. Three were brought home by Jackie Stewart whereas Lewis Hamilton stays at 7 titles after losing the battle with Verstappen.​


Bonus track: and if Brembo were a country?​ 

Even if Brembo only went into F1 in 1975, its successes achieved in F1 in the last 47 years would put it at the top of this special ranking. But we are joking and this is just a game. 

Even if 47 years have passed, even today at Brembo the first steps in F1 are remembered with excitement - they culminated in the world title won by Niki Lauda with the Ferrari team which managed to return to its position at the top in 1975 after 11 years of disappointments. In the first half of the 1970s, thanks to Piero Ferrari, his father Enzo commissioned Alberto Bombassei with a small supply of cast iron brake discs. The 312T driven by the Austrian therefore became the first world champion single-seater with Brembo components. 

Since then, Brembo’s presence in Formula 1 has multiplied as demonstrated by the 27 World Driver titles and the 31 World Manufacturer titles won by the drivers and single-seaters equipped with Brembo brake systems. ​