In December 2009, three-time F1 champion Ayrton Senna was elected the best driver ever in a poll taken by British magazine Autosport, widely regarded as the world’s leading motor sports publication.

In the poll, only votes from drivers who had competed in F1 were counted – 217 in total.  At the time, even the oldest Grand Prix winner, Argentine Jose Froilan, and the oldest F1 driver alive, 98 years-old German Paul Pietsch, took part in the survey.

In the end, Senna surpassed seven-time champion Michael Schumacher and five-time champion Juan Manuel Fangio, the other top-three finishers.

Besides Ayrton, two other Brazilian drivers appeared among the top-40: Emerson Fittipaldi and Nelson Piquet, in 12th and 13th places, respectively.

In 2009, only five of the F1 drivers competing at the time were listed among the best ever:: Fernando Alonso (9th), Lewis Hamilton (17th), Kimi Raikkonen (22nd), Sebastian Vettel (26th) and Jenson Button (30th). All of them are still active in the world’s biggest motor sports category.

Each of the 217 drivers heard by the magazine was asked to name their top-10, according to their own criteria. This poll is considered the most relevant and well-organized survey on who is the best Formula One driver ever.

Take a look at the full list:

1st) Ayrton Senna (BRA)

2nd) Michael Schumacher (ALE)

3th) Juan Manuel Fangio (ARG)

4th) Alain Prost (FRA)

5th) Jim Clark (GBR)

6th) Jackie Stewart (GBR)

7th) Niki Lauda (AUT)

8th) Stirling Moss (GBR)

9th) Fernando Alonso (ESP)

10th) Gilles Villeneuve (CAN)

11th) Nigel Mansell (GBR)

12th) Emerson Fittipaldi (BRA)

13th) Nelson Piquet (BRA)

14th) Jochen Rindt (AUT)

15th) Mika Hakkinen (FIN)

16th) Alberto Ascari (ITA)

17th) Lewis Hamilton (GBR)

18th) Jack Brabham (AUS)

19th) Ronnie Peterson (SUE)

20th) Mario Andretti (EUA)

21st) Graham Hill (GBR)

22nd) Kimi Raikkonen (FIN)

23th) John Surtees(GBR)

24th) James Hunt (GBR)

25th) Keke Rosberg (FIN)

26th) Sebastian Vettel (ALE)

27th) Jose Froilan Gonzalez (ARG)

28th) Dan Gurney (EUA)

29th) Francois Cevert (FRA)

30th) Jenson Button (GBR)

31st) Alan Jones (AUS)

32nd) Giuseppe Farina (ITA)

33th) Phil Hill (EUA)

34th) Carlos Reutemann (ARG)

35th) Stefan Bellof (ALE)

36th) Clay Regazzoni (SUI)

37th) Gerhard Berger (AUT)

38th) Jean Behra (FRA)

39th) Riccardo Patrese (ITA)

40th) Jacky Ickx (ALE)

Check out Autosport Magazine’s hotsite here.