MotoGP and Formula 1 are the two most important motorcycle and car competitions worldwide in which the best open wheel and motorcycle racers compete in different Grand Prix throughout the season. And all the action from both competitions can be enjoyed live in the United States through FuboTV.
Winning MotoGP or Formula 1 is undoubtedly a huge achievement, and not all the drivers who participated (or participate) in these categories have managed to become champions. However, being champions of both motorsport categories is already something even more limited. Here we tell you if this ever happened.
At present, considering the enormous degree of professionalism and demand that is required to compete in both categories, it is truly very difficult to see a rider make such a radical change in his career, and decide to leave one of the two competitions to try luck on the other. In the past that wasn't quite the case, and most of the drivers who made the switch will be from older days of racing.
Drivers who moved from one category to another
The first of the drivers to compete in both categories was Nello Pagani. He may have been the first champion in MotoGP history, but the points system of that inaugural season counted only the 3 best results achieved by each rider, nullifying the points obtained in other races. In Formula he only competed in two Grand Prix in 1950: the Pau GP and the Swiss GP, before returning to motorcycles.
Another case was Mike “The bike” Hailwood, a true MotoGP legend. The British driver was four times champion of the queen category of motorcycling. At the age of 23, he wanted to try his luck in the biggest car competition in the world, although his time in Formula 1 was not as successful as in MotoGP. His best result in the general standings was eighth place.
And although he never officially raced in Formula 1, it is worth mentioning the case of the Italian MotoGP multi-champion, Valentino Rossi. In 2006 after Schumacher's retirement, Rossi played a session at the controls of the Ferrari, and in an exhibition at Fiorano he made very competent times, for which they were offered a contract to drive in two years. The Italian declined the proposal to continue competing (and winning) in MotoGP.
The only one who achieved the feat
There was a rider who could be proclaimed champion of MotoGP and Formula 1. It was this rider that Mike Hailwood wanted to imitate, although without having the same success. It is none other than John Surtees, who began competing in the premier category of motorcycling in 1952, winning four titles (1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960). In 1963 he signed for Ferrari to become champion in 1964.