Is The Triple Crown of Motorsport Still Possible to Win?

The Triple Crown victory is the ultimate achievement in motorsport, but as the races in the Triple Crown get increasingly different, the Triple Crown seems increasingly out of reach for most drivers.

By Niklas da Silva Ekberg, Staff Writer

In 1972, Graham Hill made history by being the first-ever driver to win the Triple Crown of motorsport. Since then, not a single driver has gained that achievement, and in the 50 years, only five drivers have come close.

In order to win the Triple Crown of motorsport drivers must win the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and either win the Monaco Grand Prix or the Formula 1 World Championship. Given how different each race has become, it becomes increasingly unlikely for someone to ever win the Triple Crown.

What stands in the way of many of these Triple Crown attempts are the series that the races are a part of. Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500 both race in series that usually feature over 30 to 40 drivers throughout the season, while Formula 1 rarely sees more than 20.

Formula 1 is the only one of the three that requires a super license with a minimum of 30 points to enter. If a driver were to compete in IndyCar and wanted to join F1, they would need to finish second in the IndyCar championship, and if a Driver were to compete in the world endurance championship (the series that races at Le Mans) and wanted to join F1, then they must finish first in the championship.

Formula 1 teams are also not particularly looking for WEC and IndyCar drivers either, as most teams have young drivers in their driver academies competing in Formula 2 – the feeder series for Formula 1. It is also easier for Formula 2 drivers to get into F1 as F2 drivers only have to finish fourth to get their 30 super license points.

This system has fallen under criticism, specifically from IndyCar drivers. Mario Andretti is trying to have his driver, Colton Herta, to join F1, but Herta is just shy of the super license points that he needs. “I mean, that Russian kid (Nikita Mazepin) gets a super license, and the guy (Colton Herta) who’s at the very top level over here (IndyCar) can’t get one? There’s something wrong there!” Andretti said in an interview with

I really want to try and win

— Juan Pablo Montoya

Even though it’s difficult for drivers to achieve a win in any of the three races, there are three drivers that are still racing and have already won two of the three races needed for the Triple Crown.

Jacques Villeneuve is the 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner and 1997 Formula 1 World Champion, so all he needs to win now is Le Mans. Villeneuve has attempted a win at Le Mans in 2007 and 2008 but ended up falling short of his goal. Villeneuve now competes in the Nascar Euro Series, and since he hasn’t achieved a podium since 2001, it’s unlikely he will compete in Le Mans again.

Juan Pablo Montoya is the 2000 and 2015 Indianapolis 500 winner and 2003 Monaco Grand Prix winner, and, like Villeneuve, needs to win Le Mans to claim the Triple Crown. Montoya made his assault on Le Mans in 2018 but came seventh, and then again in 2021 where he crashed.

“I really want to try and win,” said Montoya on the WEC talk podcast. Montoya now competes with the DragonSpeed Racing Team in the WEC, so it’s likely he will compete in Le Mans again.

The final driver who is still racing and is could take the Triple Crown is Fernando Alonso. Alonso is the 2006 and 2007 Monaco Grand Prix winner, 2005 and 2006 Formula 1 World Champion, and 2018 and 2019 Le Mans race winner. All he needs is the Indianapolis 500 win and he can claim the Triple Crown.

Alonso began his assault at the Indianapolis 500 in 2017 where he led for 27 laps before his engine blew out. In 2019 he failed to qualify for the event and in 2020 he finished twenty-first. Now that Alonso is back to competing in F1 for Alpine, he stated it’s unlikely he will try for the Indianapolis 500 win again. In a Formula 1 press conference Alonso said, “If I do it again, it’s going to be for a dream of the Triple Crown or try to achieve the win. You don’t do that type of race just for fun.”

The Triple Crown victory is still possible, and Alonso and Montoya are most likely to achieve the triple crown, as they have already established themselves as top racing drivers. However, the Triple Crown seems to be increasingly out of reach for young drivers today.