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Unsung (or under-rated) heroes

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#1 maplestone71

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 22:12

Thought it might be interesting to throw a fairly open topic out there for everyone's consideration ...

It's a fairly simple one and you've no doubt guessed it from the title - who do you think in your experience or opinion is an unsung hero of F1, be it through obscurity or simply under-rated as an F1 person. I'm leaving this completely open to yuor judgement (and certainly not limiting it to drivers).

If I may (and I think I may as I'm starting the post - ahem), I'd like to start the ball rolling with Peter Warr of Lotus ilk. I fear I may scupper this whole thread with this nomination as I know he doesn't always get a great press, but I would make the following arguments:

1) Who could have stepped into ACBC's shoes and lived up to the Lotus record to that point?
2) He was clearly rated by ACBC as his key lieutenant through many of his F1 years (1977-81 being viewed as temporary leave)?
3) Post ACBC, his hands were tied by the De Lorean legacy (freezing the Chapman estate)
4) Despite these issues, he got Lotus reasonably close to further championships with Senna - my only real criticism being (with the benefit of hindsight of course) he should have stuck to his guns with Imperial Tobacco and signed Senna for 1984, then Senna might have driven the team earlier to be better positioned in the 1985 season (Lotus' best post ACBC season in terms of raw pace), thereby potentially delivering the championship

Over to you guys ...


#2 RStock

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 22:44

I think Luca Cordero di Montezemolo is under-rated for what he has done at Ferrari . They won championships when he was there in the 70's and upon his return in the 90's . He inherited a mess on his return but completely changed the entire corporate mindset . Yet he's generally viewed as a buffoon who opens his mouth too often and is rarely given any credit for the success of the team . The domination of Ferrari has been deemed the work of Brawn , Todt and Schumi , yet it was Luca who brought them all in and laid the groundwork for them to be able to succeed .

#3 Ross Stonefeld

Ross Stonefeld
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Posted 03 September 2009 - 04:37

I think Todt is far more responsible for that than Luca.

As a driver, Gil de Ferran. Had a good CV in Europe including driving for Paul Stewart Racing. Won 'Indycar' races for Jim Hall, Derrick Walker, and Roger Penske. Two championships, an Indy500, the fastest qualifying lap in history, and apart from a few strange lines in Alex Zanardi's autobiography there was not a single critical thing said against him. If I could trade CV's with anyone in the world it'd be Gil.

And probably under-rated or simply under-known outside of NASCAR, Mark Martin. Probably the only person in the world I'd ask for an autograph.

#4 stevewf1

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 04:45

How about Steve Nichols - who either designed or co-designed the McLaren MP4/4? I'd heard about him back then, but he never seemed to be in the "headlines"...

#5 ensign14

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 06:47

Mo Nunn. ;)

Echoing what Ross said, a lot of the NASCAR drivers. Bobby Isaac and LeeRoy Yarbrough for example. Both had their careers ended in somewhat strange ways.