Topic: Driver or car - what's the most important?
The days of winning in totally inferior equipment went out with the 70's. The last time I feel that a car won that was totally outclassed was at the Glen in 1966 with Jim Clark in the Lotus BRM H16.
It is and always has been 95%+ the car. Even in the "golden era" of the 50s and 60s, one or two cars (or makes of cars) would dominate races lapping other cars 2-4 times in a race, the points system then (removing the best top scores of the season and having only 9 points for a win) would make the championships look closer but in reality it was the same as today.
The major difference is drivers. They are much, much better now than the drivers of old. Where as half the field was made up with gentleman drivers and the like in the past - the nearest we have to that today is Pedro Diniz, who has been in motor racing as a professional for years and is actually a good driver and would have beaten 90% of the golden era drivers hands down.
So it was easier to be a legendary driver in the past as the overall quality of race drivers was much worse.
Every driver in F1 today could perform well in the best car - the same couldn't be said of the 50s and 60s.
Interesting opinions from some of those on the RC Forum and perhaps shared by the vast, vast majority of those fans of F1 today.
I don't intend -- nor do I want or I will tolerate -- the discussion to become one that takes on a "we" versus "they" sort of thing, but about the perception itself. Most of the modern fans truly believe, in my opinion, what is quoted. How would Nuvolari have fared in the current Ferrari? Denny Hulme in the current McLaren? David Coulthard in a BRM P25 during the 1958 & 1959 seasons? Mika Hakinnen in an Alfa Tipo B at Pescara or Jacques Villeneuve in a Bugatti 39 at Montlhery?
I think there are perhaps a few other examples besides Clark at Watkins Glen in 1966 to look at as far as "out-classed" cars making the race stand on its ear. That Shadow has a victory and Arrows doesn't is always an interesting item to me. Or that the current McLaren operation could just as easily been labeled the "Dennis" or the "Project 4" or whatever.
Just food for thought.