Hall of Fame 2021: help us decide the next racing great

It’s time for a further intake of sporting legends, and Motor Sport needs your vote!

Hall of Fame header

What makes a racing great? And who qualifies as one? These are questions we have all asked ourselves at some point – and probably been the basis of a heated debate with a fellow enthusiast. And since 2010, Motor Sport has been asking you, our readers, to help us decide the answers.

Our annual Hall of Fame awards seek to create the definitive list of all-time greats and celebrate their achievements. The list features names from across all the disciplines and eras. It includes Ayrton Senna and Jim Clark, Stirling Moss and Jackie Stewart. Valentino Rossi and John McGuinness, Derek Bell and Tom Kristensen. It also celebrates those people who have given to the sport in ways other than simply winning races. Sid Watkins is there and so too are Adrian Newey and Colin Chapman.

Of course, other such lists exist elsewhere. And all have their merits. But what sets our Hall of Fame aside is the way the names are chosen – by popular vote from a group of names decided on by the Motor Sport editorial team.

We like to think that because our readers are among the most knowledgeable motor racing enthusiasts in the world, and because they exhibit such sound judgement (as evidenced by their choice of publication!) the resulting list provides the most definitive answer to who really is a motor sport great.

Every year we are staggered by the number of readers who cast their vote via our website. This time we have introduced a few changes. For a start we have narrowed the shortlist in each category down to three to make the choice simpler. More controversially we have loosened the criteria for making it to the shortlist to include those competitors who may not have retired from the racing arena (a strict condition of previous nominations).

This means, for example, that this year we include Scott Dixon in the US Racing category. Yes, he is still competing at the top level aged 41 – this year being his 18th Indy season – but with six titles to his name and 51 career wins (only AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti have won more) he more than qualifies and shouldn’t be left out on a technicality. We have also, where possible, tried to compare like with like and offer readers a choice of drivers who competed against one another or who have similar records. So, in the F1 category, all three nominees faced each other in period and all three have one World Drivers’ Championship title to their name.

As in previous years, casting your vote couldn’t be easier: scroll down for the voting form. We will announce the winners before Christmas when we will welcome five more names to the Motor Sport Hall of Fame. Happy voting!

2021 Hall of Fame nominees

Formula 1

Jenson Button

The 2009 world-beater and talisman of F1’s ultimate underdog team, Brawn GP

Nico Rosberg

The 23-time GP winner is the only man to beat Lewis Hamilton to a title in the hybrid era

Kimi Räikkönen

F1’s most prolific driver, with a record number of starts. Won the 2007 title.

Le Mans

Allan McNish

Three-time Le Mans winner, whose influence now stretches into Audi team management

David Brabham

His outright 2009 win with Peugeot capped a three-year winning streak after GT1 success

Emanuele Pirro

Never finished off the Le Mans podium from 1999-2007, with five outright wins, all for Audi

US Racing

Scott Dixon

Six-time IndyCar champion and 2008 Indy 500 winner, who is still going strong

Jimmie Johnson

With seven NASCAR Cup Series titles and 686 races in 20 years, he’s a stock car supremo

Hélio Castroneves

The four-time Indy 500 winner is a Brazilian who won the hearts of American fans


Charlie Whiting

From rallying to Surtees, Brabham and then F1’s race director. He’s much missed

Wolfgang Ullrich

Some said he was mad, but he led Audi to a diesel revolution at Le Mans and beyond

Mauro Forghieri

Ferrari’s technical visionary who counts rear wings and the flat-12 among his innovations


Michèle Mouton

Blazed a trail for female rally drivers and now plays a major role at the FIA

Nelson Piquet

The Brazilian won two titles with Brabham and one with Williams in the golden 1980s

John Watson

British Formula 1 hero who scored five GP victories. He now commentates on GT racing

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