Henry, The Podiumist shows you how to carry off a moustache with style
henry_the_podiumist_Inspection of the finest whiskers - Illustration Stephane Manel
Inspection of the finest whiskers - Illustration Stephane Manel

Champion moustaches


While today’s drivers occasionally opt for the stubbly look, their predecessors were much cleaner-cut. Or rather, hair was allowed to appear only on the upper lip and even then after entrusting the task to a barber. An inspection of the finest whiskers.

Nigel Mansell

Fifteen seasons in Formula 1™, a championship title, thirty-one victories and before Sebastian Vettel bested him, the record number of pole positions in a single season. A set of trophies won with the help of virtually every stable in the UK: Lotus to begin with, Williams predominantly and finally McLaren. And then a season with Ferrari – the last driver to be selected by Enzo Ferrari himself. But the British driver, apart from his legendary Red 5, will be remembered above all for his magnificent brush moustache, which he shaved after he retired from the sport in 1995. A symbolic gesture?

“his magnificent brush moustache”

Keke Rosberg

Once upon a time, Nico Rosberg was the son of Keke Rosberg. Now Keke Rosberg is Nico Rosberg’s father. While the father’s trophy cabinet does not reflect his true talent, he remains a world champion. It was back in 1982, a crazy season in which no driver won more than two races. Despite snatching one sole victory, the Finn came up with the goods consistently enough to take the championship at the wheel of his Williams. It was a decidedly moustache-friendly team, with Keke sporting a fine handlebar moustache, straw-coloured and reminiscent of Asterix. For his part, Nico is sadly clean-shaven. Not everything is a matter of genes.

Graham Hill

With his thin pointy moustache and his hair swept back off his forehead, Hill was the epitome of the dandy. The worlds of television and the silver screen soon spotted the potential, and he appeared on many a film set after his retirement from racing. Before that, he had nevertheless picked up the supreme title on two occasions. He is to date the only holder of the “Triple Crown” (24-hour Le Mans, Indianapolis 500, F1™ World Champion). His death in 1975 in a helicopter crash was met with great sadness by all lovers of the racing world.

Harald Ertl

The Austrian was doubtless not the greatest driver ever to sit behind the wheel of a Formula 1™ car. Simply put, in 28 races, he never made it to the podium, or even scored a single point. But Ertl’s place in history is secure, for two reasons. First, for having been one of the four drivers to help Niki Lauda from his burning Ferrari during the 1976 German Grand Prix. And second for having what is without a doubt the craziest moustache imaginable, described as “imperial” by cognoscenti, and accompanied by a full beard. Unfortunately his death in 1982 aged just 33 in a plane accident prevented him from taking part in the world championship in the discipline.

Clay Regazzoni

With his Italian name (Gianclaudio Giuseppe Regazzoni), English nickname (Clay) and Swiss passport, Jacky Ickx’s former team-mate at Ferrari was honour-bound to sport a fine moustache. While he had not always been moustachioed, he certainly was in his heyday in the mid-seventies with Ferrari. Dark lustrous whiskers which he sported proudly for the rest of his life, until his death in 2006 in a road accident.

Jenson Button

While the Englishman is less hirsute than his illustrious predecessors, that hasn’t stopped him trying. Thus, for Movember, an annual charity event organised, as the name suggests, in November, Button grew a moustache, like thousands of men around the world. While the results were mixed – his moustache was too sparse and fair – the main thing is that Movember raised public awareness and raised funds for research into male illnesses.

Joseph Siffert

The second Swiss driver to win a Grand Prix, Jo was not at first glance born to be a racing driver. Born with a deformed right foot, he had to undergo a surgical operation while only six weeks old, then a second a few months later. As a result, his right leg was slightly shorter than his left – none of which stopped him winning two F1™ grand Prix and many endurance races. And like Graham Hill, a romantic thin moustache which had the pretty young things in the paddocks all a-quiver.

Emmanuel de Graffenried

The third member of the Swiss Grand Prix winners’ club, “Toulou” also sported a fine moustache. But above all, this gentleman driver was a pioneer. In fact he was present at the first race that counted for the first F1™ World Championship, the British Grand Prix in 1950. A time when helmets were not required, aerodynamics were less central and your hair blew freely in the wind. A whole different era.

Fernando Alonso

Last but not least, the exception that proves the rule. Fernando Alonso. The Asturian driver has not settled on a style. With his outsize caps, the 2005 and 2006 World Champion has tried every possible look: long sideburns, three-day stubble, clean shaven, goatee and soul patch. But the worst is the moustache-soul patch-goatee combo. All the same, the Spaniard remains our best chance of seeing a moustachioed World Champion, after Hill, Rosberg and Mansell.

henry_the_podiumist_Nigel Mansell – British Grand Prix, Silverstone, 12 July 1992 Credit: www.sutton-images.com
Nigel Mansell – British Grand Prix, Silverstone, 12 July 1992 Credit: www.sutton-images.com
henry_the_podiumist_Keke Rosberg – German Grand Prix, Rd 10, Hockenheim, Germany, 29 July 1979 , Credit: www.sutton-images.com
Keke Rosberg – German Grand Prix, Rd 10, Hockenheim, Germany, 29 July 1979 , Credit: www.sutton-images.com
henry_the_podiumist_Graham Hill – 1975 Credit: www.sutton-images.com
Graham Hill – 1975 Credit: www.sutton-images.com
henry_the_podiumist_Harald Ertl – Thruxton, England, 31 March 1975 , Credit: www.sutton-images.com
Harald Ertl – Thruxton, England, 31 March 1975 , Credit: www.sutton-images.com