<
>

Top Five... Drivers to never win an F1 grand prix

Getty Images

Following the death of Chris Amon on Wednesday, ESPN ranks the top five drivers to have never won a grand prix.

5. Nick Heidfeld

Despite his "Quick Nick" nickname, Nick Heidfeld never won a grand prix -- behind Andrea de Cesaris, he has the most stats without a victory. A brilliant junior career -- including two Formula Ford titles in three years and the Formula 3 championship -- alongside testing duties for McLaren led to a promotion to the Prost team in 2000. Despite out-scoring Kimi Raikkonen in the pair's rookie campaign at Sauber in 2001, it was the Finn who earned promotion to McLaren the following year.

He stayed at Sauber until 2004, when he moved to Jordan for a year. He moved across to Williams in 2005, finishing second at Monaco and the Nurburgring, only to miss the end of the season due to a testing accident. He moved back to BMW Sauber and was part of the team's resurgence, but his best chance at victory slipped through his fingers -- it was teammate Robert Kubica who led home a BMW Sauber one-two at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix.

Five more second-place finishes followed before he was dropped by BMW Sauber at the end of 2009, only to finish 2010 with the team. He competed in 11 races for Renault in 2011 before being dropped, ending his F1 career with 13 podiums and one pole position. His winless streak has since extended to Formula E. He came agonisingly close to winning the series' inaugural race in 2014, but was punted off at the final corner by Nico Prost.

4. Derek Warwick

Derek Warwick had a slow start to life in F1 with Toleman, joining in 1981. A switch to Renault in 1984 propelled him up the grid and saw him replace Alain Prost in what he expected to be a race-winning car. He led in Brazil, his first drive for the team, only to retire due to a suspension failure. Second-place finishes followed in Belgium and on home soil in Great Britain but it soon became apparent he had joined at the beginning of a decline for Renault. The team failed to win a race in 1984, the first time in six years.

Warwick then made a decision which would change his career trajectory, turning down Williams-Honda in favour of another season at Renault in 1985. That season turned out to be a disaster for Renault and the French manufacturer withdrew at the end of the campaign. Warwick was approached for a switch to Lotus, but Ayrton Senna refused to let the Englishman join as his teammate, leaving him without a team for 1986. He briefly drove sportscars before returning F1, joining Brabham to replace Elio de Angelis after his death at Paul Ricard. Wawrick later confirmed he got the drive because he was the only available top driver who had not phoned Brabham team boss Bernie Ecclestone immediately after De Angelis' death offering his services. He moved to Arrows in 1987, finishing eighth the following year.

He twice lost victories in 1989, first through a botched pit stop in Brazil and then through a blown engine while leading the latter part of the Canadian Grand Prix. Four years after Senna's veto he finally joined Lotus in 1990, followed by a drive at Footwork in 1993 after a three-year sabbatical. Like several of the others on this list, he would enjoy greater success away from F1, winning the 1992 Le Mans 24 Hours with Peugeot.

3. Martin Brundle

Perhaps best known to the modern generation of F1 fans as the inventor of the grid walk and a mainstay commentator for various UK TV channels, Martin Brundle's career is a big case of unfulfilled potential. After an encouraging junior career Brundle made his name in Formula Three. In 1983 he engaged in a now-famous championship battle with a young Ayrton Senna -- which is now the subject of a documentary. Brundle stood toe-to-toe with the future three-time world champion and sporting icon, nearly beating the Brazilian to the title.

A promotion to F1 followed in 1984, finishing fifth and second in his first two races before a huge crash in Dallas broke both his ankles and feet, forcing him to sit out the rest of the year. That crash prevented Brundle from left-foot braking in future. His F1 career fluctuated afterwards, though he did win the 1990 Le Mans 24 Hours with Jaguar. A move to Benetton in 1992 alongside Michael Schumacher revived his F1 career and brought a flurry of podiums but that victory still eluded him. He was closely matched to Schumacher for much of the year and could have won in Canada, but his transmission failed while chasing the lead late in the race.

Dropped by Benetton at the end of 1992, he lost out on a drive at Williams to future champion Damon Hill, settling for Ligier. He moved to McLaren in 1994 but the team was on a downturn after its years of dominance. One of the drives of his career followed in Monaco, though it was a distant second to Michael Schumacher's Benetton. His final podium came with a return to Ligier in 1995 before ending his career at Jordan the following year.

2. Jean Behra

Jean Behra had the talent to have been France's first world champion in the early 1950s. As it turned out, for various reasons Behra never even recorded a grand prix win. He had become a national hero by winning the non-championship race at Reims in 1952 with Gordini, who he raced for until 1955. However, increasingly frustrated with his unreliable machinery, he switched to Maserati and immediately claimed non-championship wins at Pau and Bordeaux. However, in 1955 he and Maserati were against the all-conquering Mercedes W196s -- one of the greatest cars in F1 history - and wins were hard to come by.

Mercedes pulled out at the end of 1955 following the Le Mans disaster, meaning Behra was soon joined at Maserati by Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss. He played second fiddle to the superstar pairing in 1956 and 1957, though he scored six podiums in that period. After a year at Owen Racing Organisation, he joined Ferrari in 1959 but the partnership was short-lived -- Behra would punch his team manager after what he perceived to be a team error at the Reims Grand Prix. He was instantly dismissed from the team.

Less than a month later, Behra was killed in a sportscar race at AVUS in Berlin, Germany. He was thrown from his car and fatally injured when hitting a flagpole. Though it had several superstar drivers in the following decades, France would have to wait until 1985 for its first world championship through Alain Prost.

1. Chris Amon

Many of his contemporaries believed Chris Amon had the potential to be a world champion. Were it not for the remarkable bad luck which followed him throughout his career he might at least have won a race, if not a championship. After winning the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours he attracted the attention of Enzo Ferrari, who signed him for the following year. Amon's first Ferrari outing was tinged with tragedy as Lorenzo Bandini was killed at Monaco, thrusting 24-year-old Amon into the team leadership role. He took a quartet of third places and may have won the U.S. Grand Prix but hit engine trouble late in the race.

The following year he and Ferrari had the pace to battle for the 1968 world championship. He dominated in Spain, only to be hit by a late fuel pump failure, before a holed radiator forced him to retire from the lead in Spa -- where he had taken pole by nearly four seconds. After leaving Ferrari, he could have won the epic 1971 Italian Grand Prix from pole but pulled off his entire visor instead of a strip, finishing sixth -- a race which saw the top five covered by less than a second. He suffered a puncture while leading in France the following year but recovered to third - at the end lapping two seconds faster than race winner Jackie Stewart.

Veteran F1 journalist Alan Henry -- who also died earlier this year -- rated Amon as one of the best driver's in the history of the sport. Legendary Ferrari team boss Mauro Forghieri said Amon was the closest he had ever seen in terms of raw talent to Jim Clark. However, Amon's back luck is clearly a matter of opinion -- in his later life the Kiwi disagreed with that tag, saying he had in fact been lucky to have lived through F1's most dangerous era while others, such as friend Bruce McLaren, had been killed.