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F1

The five best American drivers in F1 history

RacingNews365.com takes a look at the best US F1 drivers as Logan Sargeant gears up to become the first American to race at home since Alexander Rossi in 2015.

Logan Sargeant will become the first American driver to compete at a home race in eight years when taking part in the Miami Grand Prix.

The Williams driver follows Alexander Rossi, who drove for Manor Marussia at COTA during his bit-part 2015 campaign.

But whilst America has struggled to promote winning talent in the modern era, the country's legacy from the early days of F1 continues to provide hope of a renaissance. Here, RacingNews365.com takes a look at the best five American drivers to have graced the sport.

Richie Ginther

Richie Ginther started 52 grands prix for a number of teams including Ferrari and BRM.

At the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix, Ginther wrote his name into F1 folklore by securing his first and only win in the sport when driving for Honda.

This was the Japanese manufacturer's first F1 victory, kickstarting a story of success that has fluttered in and out of the championship to this very day.

A further 14 podiums would come Ginther's way in a career that saw him finish joint-runner-up in the 1963 Drivers' standings. His final race in Mexico came one year on from his victory and fittingly, Ginther secured the fastest lap.

Peter Revson

Peter Revson's introduction to F1 was understated - a few races with a non-works Lotus outfit failed to prove fruitful in 1964.

But after returning to America and creating a close relationship with McLaren, largely through his Indianapolis 500 exploits, Revson rejoined the F1 grid with Tyrrell at the 1971 season-ending event at Watkins Glen.

McLaren signed Revson for 1972 where he picked up four podium finishes, whilst his best form came a year later with two victories with the same team, though the arrival of World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi saw him overlooked for 1974.

But his switch to Shadow was short-lived. Testing ahead of the third race of the season at Kyalami, Revson was tragically killed in a crash.

Phil Hill

The first American World Champion, Phil Hill's success was tinged with tragedy.

Hill secured three wins and 16 podiums across his 49 grands prix starts but his crowning glory came driving for Ferrari in 1961.

With the help of the rear-engined 'Sharknose' 156 Hill secured his title - though the glory came in tragic circumstances as teammate and title rival Wolfgang von Trips was killed at Monza.

Accomplished across various forms of Motorsport, Hill was a trailblazer for US talent in F1.

Dan Gurney

Dan Gurney may not have secured a World Championship despite securing four wins and 19 podiums in 86 starts, but few drivers have earned respect equal to that garnered by the American.

He raced for some of the biggest names in F1: Ferrari, BRM, McLaren, Brabham and Porsche before setting up the Anglo American Racers outfit [AAR].

Gurney's legacy will be forever carried in motorsport folklore through two innovations, the Gurney Flap - a right-angled downforce-creating device added to rear wings without drastically increasing drag - and the now traditional spraying of champagne on the podium.

The first time this was done was when Gurney did so after emerging victorious at the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans.

His talents across motorsport were staggering and Gurney is high on the list of the best drivers not to have secured the F1 World Championship.

Mario Andretti

The greatest American driver in F1? It had to be Mario Andretti.

A World Championship with Lotus in 1978 was his crowning glory, though his talent spread far past just F1.

His first appearance in the sport came at Watkins Glen in 1978, where he clinched pole position for Lotus whilst a victory for Ferrari in the 1971 season opener underlined the potential Andretti possessed.

Twelve wins in 128 starts across a stop-start career juggled with other series was some achievement and his time in the sport was poetically punctuated with a comeback pole position and podium for Ferrari at the Italian Grand Prix in 1982 - a dark season for the Scuderia following the death of Gilles Villeneuve.

The Andretti name is aiming for a return to F1 with Cadillac as a potential new team and Mario has been singing the praises of son Michael in the process. All is being made possible by the legacy forged by the now-83-year-old.

The five best American F1 drivers

F1 starts Wins Podiums World Championships
Mario Andretti 128 12 19 1 [1978]
Dan Gurney 86 4 19 0
Phil Hill 49 3 16 1 [1961]
Peter Revson 30 2 8 0
Richie Ginther 52 1 14 0

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