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The Best Ever to never win a Grand Prix


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#1 holiday

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:03

A near-clone to this thread. Ok, I admit that I only wanted to bring up second place subscriber Heidfeld, but I am open to other suggestions, with Brundle, Amon and Derek Warwick also belonging to the usual suspects in this category. Too bad most near-missers have already largely been forgotten a few years after they left F1. Anyone going with Stefan Johansson?

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#2 potmotr

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:10

All from different eras but:

1960s/70s: Chris Amon

1980s: Tommy Byrne/Stefan Johannson/Stefan Bellof

1990s: Martin Brundle (got into good cars in the 90s) / Andrea De Cesaris (should have won Spa 1991)

2000s: Nick Heidfeld

#3 Nonesuch

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:11

Just for reference, Wikipedia has a list of drivers without a win sorted by number of points and number of races.

#4 ensign14

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:12

Amon. Amon, Amon, Amon. And a dash of Amon. Unless you count the non-title Argentine GP in 1972-ish.

There are others who never got the chance to shine, but Tony Brise was so good he lapped Alan Jones. In an identical car. In about his fourth race. Jonesy went on to win the world title so just how good was Brise?

#5 krapmeister

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:12

Originally posted by Nonesuch
Just for reference, Wikipedia has a list of drivers without a win sorted by number of points and number of races.


In that case I'll put Mark Webber's name forward then... :lol: :(

#6 krapmeister

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:16

Originally posted by ensign14
Amon. Amon, Amon, Amon. And a dash of Amon. Unless you count the non-title Argentine GP in 1972-ish.

There are others who never got the chance to shine, but Tony Brise was so good he lapped Alan Jones. In an identical car. In about his fourth race. Jonesy went on to win the world title so just how good was Brise?


Not trying to be funny or anything - but is that on pure pace or did AJ have any problems/issues?

#7 Little Leaf

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:27

Originally posted by holiday
A near-clone to this thread. Ok, I admit that I only wanted to bring up second place subscriber Heidfeld, but I am open to other suggestions, with Brundle, Amon and Derek Warwick also belonging to the usual suspects in this category. Too bad most near-missers have already largely been forgotten a few years after they left F1. Anyone going with Stefan Johansson?


I would (obviously) say Stefan, although I can't comment on Amon having never seen him race.

#8 ensign14

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:28

Originally posted by krapmeister

Not trying to be funny or anything - but is that on pure pace or did AJ have any problems/issues?

Not aware of any problems. Jones did have a pitstop but that was afterwards. At Zandvoort Jones did have 2 more pitstops in the wet but was 4 LAPS adrift of Brise at the end.

They had 4 races together at Hill. Jones' qualifications were 17th, 20th, 20th and 21st. Brise's were 7th, 12th, 13th and 17th. Racewise Brise was 7th, 7th and two retirements, Jones 13th, 16th, 10th and 5th - the latter at the Ring, where Brise was running ahead of Jones when he retired, having lapped in 7m16. Jones couldn't get under 7m25.

#9 27GV

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:29

Amon.

He's the one I remember with the most clear on-the-way to victory when something goes wrong moments.

Canadian GP 1968 he was dominating and then the car died with about 10 laps to go (72 laps lead)

#10 alfa1

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:34

The Best Ever to never win a Grand Prix


The real answer is that it is impossible to say. How are we to know if drivers who did only 1 or two grand prix were in fact the best ever ever ever ever driver in Formula 1 history, but never had the career to let it show.

Your question is really "who is the best ever to never a win a grand prix, but actually completed in a LOT of races which give a statistically representative sample of how well they perform in this sport?"

#11 krapmeister

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:38

Originally posted by ensign14
Not aware of any problems. Jones did have a pitstop but that was afterwards. At Zandvoort Jones did have 2 more pitstops in the wet but was 4 LAPS adrift of Brise at the end.

They had 4 races together at Hill. Jones' qualifications were 17th, 20th, 20th and 21st. Brise's were 7th, 12th, 13th and 17th. Racewise Brise was 7th, 7th and two retirements, Jones 13th, 16th, 10th and 5th - the latter at the Ring, where Brise was running ahead of Jones when he retired, having lapped in 7m16. Jones couldn't get under 7m25.


Cheers ensign :up:

A great talent lost for sure...

#12 MegaManson

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:16

Stefan Bellof

#13 ensign14

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:22

Bellof was on a par with Brundle at Tyrrell. If you have Bellof you have to have Brundle, logically speaking.

#14 Clatter

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:34

I think Zanardi needs an honourable mention.

#15 DN5

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:35

I am biased - but it is still Tom Pryce for me

Geoff

#16 ensign14

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:35

Originally posted by Clatter
I think Zanardi needs an honourable mention.

Meh, he got epically pwned by Ralf.

#17 Dalek Caan

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:39

I guess it has to be Martin Brundle, but I would never usually associate the word 'BEST' with his name.

Of the current drivers, Heidfeld and Webber.

#18 wewantourdarbyback

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:42

Bloomin eck:

Driver Entries Starts Points
1 Nick Heidfeld 154 152 204
2 Mark Webber 125 123 101.5
3 Martin Brundle 165 158 98
4 Stefan Johansson 103 79 88
5 Chris Amon 108 97 83
6 Derek Warwick 162 147 71
7 Eddie Cheever 143 132 70
8 Andrea de Cesaris 214 208 59
9 Jean Behra 53 52 51.14
10 Nico Rosberg 55 55 44.5

:eek:

#19 Little Leaf

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:49

Originally posted by wewantourdarbyback
Bloomin eck:

:eek:


This goes back to the old adage that you can't compare drivers from different eras.

You used to only get points for 1st-6th, and less than are given now. Nico has driven all his races in seasons where down to 8th get points.

A small difference I know but if you gave those other drivers points where they finshed based on todays system it would look different.

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#20 Bloggsworth

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:50

Amon, Amon, Amon, Amon, Amon, Amon, Amon, Amon, Amon, Amon, Amon, Amon...........................

There is no-one else that comes anywhere near the number of times his cars managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

#21 Zarathustra

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:51

Originally posted by wewantourdarbyback
Bloomin eck:

:eek:

He's flattered by the change in the points system, but it's still impressive he's on that list. A win can't be too far away.

#22 ensign14

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:52

Jarier's probably the next closest on the Amon scale. He lost at least 2 sure-fire wins through mechanical problems, there was one race where he qualified on pole and retired on the warm-up lap, and had he not blundered into Rosberg should have won Long Beach 1983.

#23 Risil

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:54

A.J. Foyt. No question. :cool:

#24 wewantourdarbyback

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:54

Originally posted by Zarathustra
He's flattered by the change in the points system, but it's still impressive he's on that list. A win can't be too far away.

agreed

#25 Risil

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:55

Originally posted by ensign14
Jarier's probably the next closest on the Amon scale. He lost at least 2 sure-fire wins through mechanical problems, there was one race where he qualified on pole and retired on the warm-up lap, and had he not blundered into Rosberg should have won Long Beach 1983.


Wasn't it Tambay who hit Rosberg? That said, I think Keke hit everyone about twice that race. Incredible performance...

#26 Barramut

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:58

Don't worry people.
When Heidfeld and Webber wins in F1, they will break Rubens record of most races before 1st win.

This title is not totally negative, bcs at least they've lasted 123 races in F1. This is a feat. :up:

#27 ensign14

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 12:03

Originally posted by Risil


Wasn't it Tambay who hit Rosberg? That said, I think Keke hit everyone about twice that race. Incredible performance...

Rosberg hit Tambay, nerfing the Frenchman out, then Jarier half-a-lap later lost it and piled into Rosberg. Given the massive positional changes over those laps I think Jumper went from about 9th to 2nd to out in 3 miles. Thing is, he was on Michelins, which were getting better as the race went on...Wattie came from 22nd to win...

#28 john ruston

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 12:06

Mark Donahue .(correct Spelling?)Check his Can Am record in quicker cars.Can't remember him winning GP as Watson won in Penske

#29 Paolo

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 12:13

Since my brain says there are too many of them,
my heart will step in and say

David Purley

#30 Rosemayer

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 12:28

Originally posted by Bloggsworth
Amon, Amon, Amon, Amon, Amon, Amon, Amon, Amon, Amon, Amon, Amon, Amon...........................

There is no-one else that comes anywhere near the number of times his cars managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

:up: :up: :up: Yes and I saw him race.

#31 RSNS

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 12:37

It has to be Amon... He was fast as hell – faster that Stewart – on a single lap, yet in races, he lacked bite. Nevertheless, we was a really fantastic driver and lost a few certain wins because of bad luck.

I must say I don't understand why people are bringing Heideld into this... He was never really competitive at the top level, I don't remember him as the shining member of a duo (I mean, he never clearly outshone his team mates) and I have yet to see a race when I find him really beating everybody. He is regular but never really inspired. If I'm wrong correct me.

#32 WHITE

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 12:38

Originally posted by ensign14
Jarier's probably the next closest on the Amon scale. He lost at least 2 sure-fire wins through mechanical problems, there was one race where he qualified on pole and retired on the warm-up lap, and had he not blundered into Rosberg should have won Long Beach 1983.


:up


His "for sure fire wins " Brazil 1975 and Canada 1978. Also the hors-concours race at Dijon 1975 ( Swiss GP )

#33 giltkid

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 12:44

Jean Pierre Jarier was the first name that came to mind when I saw this thread. And of course Tom Pryce (the Taffs choice) although he had the Race of Champions win by way of a small consolation.

#34 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 12:50

I think that Amon had too many races to be considered 'Best to never win', and by same token Heidfeld have exceed the number of races he should have, and since still not won a race, can he really be seen as 'Best to never win'.

Looking at Amon's career, and I do not remember he very well. He was a good, not a great driver. Same can be said of Heidfeld, a good (possibly very good) not a great driver.

Of drivers whom I think had the potential to be great I would chose Bellof.



:cool:

#35 giltkid

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 12:53

Originally posted by KWSN - DSM

Of drivers whom I think had the potential to be great I would chose Bellof.



:cool:


:up:

#36 TickTickBooom

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 15:24

The entire top 10, as listed by the Wiki.

But Nick especially. I really wish he was Jenson's team mate this season.

#37 stevewf1

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 15:27

Here's a (partial) quote from Jackie Stewart's book, Faster! regarding Amon...

Despite his enormous talent, he's never won a championship F.1 race, and as I've said before, this is in large part attributable to a disorganization which he's never been able to shake...

Perhaps he needs more experience, I'm not sure. He's a good tester and has learned to set up a car well, but beyond this there's a lack of intensity that can't be measured in terms of effort or talent. It's something else, something having to do with his character, with will. He still doesn't go for the best deal, for example. He doesn't care, and the indifference extends to almost everything. He rarely knows what airline he's on, rarely has a booking in a hotel, a rental-car reservation, or even his airplane ticket.



#38 TheD2JBug

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 15:37

Originally posted by RSNS


I must say I don't understand why people are bringing Heideld into this... He was never really competitive at the top level, I don't remember him as the shining member of a duo (I mean, he never clearly outshone his team mates) and I have yet to see a race when I find him really beating everybody. He is regular but never really inspired. If I'm wrong correct me.


He beat Kimi's ass in the Sauber and Kimi's a WDC.

#39 metz

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 15:39

As Nick's biggest fan here, I still need to go with Amon.
However, Nick never had a better than 3rd best car. Ever.
The teamates that Nick beat went on to become superstars once they were in faster cars.

edit: and as of this weekend, Nick has had more podiums than Amon, in worse cars.
Also Amon started from pole 6 times and threw the lead away. Heidfeld once.
My point is CA had the car to win.
Heidfeld never did, except Montreal '08 where due to team strategy it was given to his teamate.
Heidfeld made sure it was a team 1-2. Kubica made sure it was a Kubica -1.

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#40 metz

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 15:47

Originally posted by RSNS
It has to be Amon... He was fast as hell – faster that Stewart – on a single lap, yet in races, he lacked bite. Nevertheless, we was a really fantastic driver and lost a few certain wins because of bad luck.

I must say I don't understand why people are bringing Heideld into this... He was never really competitive at the top level, I don't remember him as the shining member of a duo (I mean, he never clearly outshone his team mates) and I have yet to see a race when I find him really beating everybody. He is regular but never really inspired. If I'm wrong correct me.

You don't know him at all.
He beat the following teamates:
Alesi, Kimi, Massa, Webber, Villeneuve, Kubica, all superstars and great drivers.
Nick has NEVER had a competitive car.
Hell, he used to beat Michael and Ralf at their dad's track....;)

#41 Broadway

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 15:53

Originally posted by stevewf1
Here's a (partial) quote from Jackie Stewart's book, Faster! regarding Amon...

:lol: I like that guy :up:

#42 Alfisti

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 15:58

Originally posted by metz

You don't know him at all.
He beat the following teamates:
Alesi, Kimi, Massa, Webber, Villeneuve, Kubica, all superstars and great drivers.
Nick has NEVER had a competitive car.
Hell, he used to beat Michael and Ralf at their dad's track....;)


he arguably beat Webber, you can argue the opposite. You also cannot shake the feeling that Massa, Webber and Kimi fromt hat bunch would have found a way to win int he BMW the way Robert did. Thing with HEidfeld is, has ever not won a race due to a failure when looking set for a decent chance at winning?

#43 Blythy

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 16:50

Webber, Brundle (sportscars wdc, was senna's greatest competition in F3, arguably schumacher's greatest competition as an F1 team mate), Heidy. Can't think of any others of the top of my head.

#44 John B

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 16:55

Commenting on from what I've seen from 1980 onward a pairing of Bellof and Warwick might make a good team. Warwick had one of the closest misses of the group, he was headed for the win at Rio in 84 before the suspension broke and started Prost's run with McLaren. He also had one of the most surprising races of 1982 when he cruised right up through the field with one of those old Tolemans past Pironi's Ferrari to 2nd before something broke. Going to Renault for 1984 was a logical move at the time, though they quickly fell off the map and out of the sport.

#45 27GV

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 17:06

I personally believe that Nick should have won a few races, luck always seems to fall his way in chaotic races. Yet he has always come across as more consistent, cruise and collect than pulling crazy speed out of nowhere which can grab you freak wins in slower cars. I really can't remember one very fast and spectacular drive, just him being there at the end.

Still, if he had been instead of Kova I can't help but feel he would have given Lewis a fair WDC run and picked up wins on both merit and where others fell out.

#46 911

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 17:14

Originally posted by DN5
I am biased - but it is still Tom Pryce for me

Geoff



Besides Amon, I'll go ahead and put Pryce's teammate at Shadow down for one of the best F1 drivers not to have won: Jean Pierre Jarier.

#47 metz

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 17:52

Originally posted by Alfisti


he arguably beat Webber, you can argue the opposite. You also cannot shake the feeling that Massa, Webber and Kimi fromt hat bunch would have found a way to win int he BMW the way Robert did. Thing with HEidfeld is, has ever not won a race due to a failure when looking set for a decent chance at winning?

Why don't I show you what Heidfeld said about his years in F1.

Nick Heidfeld is about to start his 10th season in F1.

In an AMuS interview, he reflected on each of these seasons, talking freely about the teams, the cars and the team mates.
Nick joins an exclusive club of only 50 drivers that have participated in F1 for 10 years. He's raced for 5 teams and twice has almost missed a ride.
Here's his take so far.

2000
"At Prost we were in last place, behind Minardi. It seemed that I had an engine failure every second race. The lowest point was Friday morning practice in Magney-Cours. Alesi and I sat in our cars for half an hour while the others were on track. Peugeot refused to let us start the engines. There had been another argument with Prost. The car was extremely difficult to drive. One could see that at Monaco. There, good cars react to every turn of the wheel but we needed to correct the car behaviour a thousand times. Only in the wet was the Prost passable. Probably because the car was loose in the rear, which tends to be an advantage in the rain."

2001
"A great year. Our expectations were not that great. Maybe that's why we were all so pleasantly surprised. We finished right behind 3 very strong teams. Sauber was able to drasticly reduce the weight so with ballast we were able to lower the CoG to our advantage. The car was well balanced and easy to drive. The 3rd race with the team resulted in my first podium. Let me say this about Kimi. He had good speed right from the begining, particularly during the races. He was constantly quick and without error. For a rooky, that was amazing. In practice I was faster but during the race he was hard to beat."

2002
"At the end of 2001, Willy Rampf said that next year we want to move to the front and win a race. Everyone felt the enthusiasm. We probably developed the car a little too conservatively. In any case we droped back in the standings. My new team mate, Massa, was again a rooky. With him, one noticed instantly that he had a good command of the car. But, compared to Kimi, he made a lot of mistakes."

2003
"That year was a copy of 2002. The team was not very strong. The results at Indianapolis, a 3rd for Frenzen and a 5th for me, gave somewhat of a false impression. It easily could have ended up the other way around. I pitted one lap before Heinz. Just as I left the box, it started to rain. The press made a lot of the German/German driver duel but in reality it was quite harmless."

2004
"The year at Jordan was very difficult but I must thank Eddie for giving me another chance to drive in F1. I dominated my team mates and the good races formed the basis for my Williams contract. The Car was very bad, particularly in Monte Carlo, although strangely, that's where I collected 3 points. When Ralf had his accident in Monza, I was asked to drive for Williams. I was already on the way for a seat fitting when Eddie Jordan changed his mind and refused to let me go." (I guess he wanted more money from Frank - metz)

2005
"Antonio Pizzonia and I did not know until 10 minutes before car rollout, which one of us would be the driver. I had a good feeling but Frank Williams played it very close to his chest. I have never experienced such stress. Although it turned out well for me I'm sure I did not look too happy. I asked myself, how I would have reacted in Pizzonia's position. Unfortunately, the car was not as good as in previous years. Mark and I noticed this right from the start of testing. Something was wrong with the aerodynamic. We played around with the front and rear wings but never achieved the results indicated in the wind tunnel.'

2006
"As I returned to Sauber, it had been transformed from a privateer to a works team. The chasis was still a Sauber but one that was built with the help of BMW. We knew that we could not expect miracles. One noticed in the details that more money was available. Although the first front end survived the crash test it was said that it was too heavy and a lighter one would be built. I found Jaques Villeneuve completely different than his reputation. He was very likable and easy to work with. Not a Diva at all. He didn't do a worse job than Kubica."

2007
"Our expectations were high and we achieved these. We regularly collected points and went to the podium. In 2007 we first explored and experienced new technical capabilities. We made signifiant progress. The switch from Michelin to Bridgestones was accomplished easier than most other teams. The BMW F1.07 was a car that performed equaly well on fast and on slow circuits. I was able to regularly extract the maximum from the car and was always in the top 5. When the McLarens and Ferraris got into difficulty, it was enough for us to get a podium. The only down side was the reliability, particularly with our gearbox during the early part of the season. That problem was solved near the end."

2008
"We were shocked after our first test. Nobody was bluffing. The car was a catastrophy. It was slow and undrivable. Although nice looking. When I first saw it I said it looked awsome. We notice improvements with almost every setup, aerodynamic and mechanical change. I was actually surprised at the lap time, the first time I drove with low fuel. In comparison to previous cars, the optimal operating window for the F1.08 was very small. One could easily be off pace very quickly. Some of that was due to the tyres and the abolition of electronic correction, which had a great effect on tyre usage.
Starting at the third race, I encountered problems getting the tyres to operating temperature for qualifying. A bad starting position was almost impossible to recover from during the race. It took me to the race at Spa to fully solve this problem. The problem was that each of the 4 rubber compounds needed to be dealt with differently. Every tyre type needed to be conditioned differently during the warmup lap. During the last 5 or 6 races, I was a little stronger than Robert and he is of the highest standard. I was somewhat compforted by this after a disappointing season."

2009
"The new cars need some getting used to. The F1.09 is not as elegant as the .08 but I like it better than the interim car of last December. The same can be said about the drivability. It's not as easy to drive as the .08 but substantialy better than the prototype F1.08B. On the whole, this has been the most interesting testing period I have ever experienced. Almost everything is different.

#48 ensign14

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 17:59

Originally posted by John B
He also had one of the most surprising races of 1982 when he cruised right up through the field with one of those old Tolemans past Pironi's Ferrari to 2nd before something broke.

Unfortunately the fuel pump did not distribute fuel to the engine on the basis that there was none left. Belgrano was running light so Toleman could get up the sharp end in the home race.

#49 Ivan

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 18:18

Metz,
Thank's for that interview. I always liked Nick, but he always seems to have crap luck at the wrong time.

#50 metz

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 18:25

It is said that Nick is everybody's second favourite driver.... :cool:
If I had to critizise him for anything it's probably that more successful drivers have wider elbows.