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De facto #2 drivers that became #1


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#1 Nustang70

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 18:38

I was thinking about Rosberg and how he will probably wind up as a de facto #2 to Schumacher. This could set an unfortunate precedent for the rest of his career. Once a driver earns a reputation as a solid #2, can they break out of their mold and establish a new reputation as a lead driver for a competitive team?

Coulthard and Barrichello never really became legit #1 drivers after driving behind Hakkinen and Schumacher. I guess Irvine did, but Jaguar sucked so bad that it didn't really matter. Massa pulled it off. I think Mansell was considered a #2 at Williams, and after challenging Piquet earned a rep as a #1.

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#2 salamin

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 18:40

I think it will be the case with hülkenberg this season

#3 Group B

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 18:45

Easy; just do a consistently better job. F1 teams aren't charities or (generally) morons; they don't exist to prop up overrated talent, so if the little fish is swimming faster it'll soon enough get the big fish's job.

#4 Jackmancer

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 18:47

Mansell for sure, and yes Irvine and Massa.

Ronnie Peterson was well on his way too.

#5 Atreiu

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 18:49

I think it will be the case with hülkenberg this season



I seriously doubt he has been hired as a number 2 to Barrichello.

#6 MegaManson

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 18:52

Damon Hill 93 and till Imola 94

#7 Nustang70

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 19:00

I think it will be the case with hülkenberg this season

Hulkenberg hasn't earned a reputation as a number 2 though.

#8 salamin

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 19:03

Hulkenberg hasn't earned a reputation as a number 2 though.


i know it's an inaccurate example, but still i think he will earn a #1 status

#9 Nustang70

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 20:00

i know it's an inaccurate example, but still i think he will earn a #1 status

I do too, but I don't think he will ever earn a #2 status prior to that.

#10 onemoresolo

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 20:41

I think it will be the case with hülkenberg this season


I'm not sure that's the kind of number two being discussed here.

He'll be number 2 purely because he's a rookie, with a very experienced team mate. By default, if you like.

This more about established drivers that are number two drivers, because they're not regarded as top-drawer drivers.

#11 Altitude

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 20:51

Probably one of the few that would have been able to deliver the goods was Francois Cevert.

#12 SAFC09

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 20:52

I think it will be the case with hülkenberg this season


Don't write Rubens off, i think there's plenty of fight left in the old dog yet

Edited by SAFC09, 22 January 2010 - 20:53.


#13 ensign14

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 21:10

Graham Hill, surely the most outstanding example, not least because he voluntarily gave up being a number one. Niki Lauda was a number two at March and a number zillion at BRM.

#14 olliek88

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 22:26

Probably one of the few that would have been able to deliver the goods was Francois Cevert.



:up: massive shame he died just before jackie retired.

#15 abou27

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 23:04

Jacques Villeneuve, originally signed as Damon's number 2.

Hopefully about to repeat history by signing as Kubica's number 2 ;)

#16 FLB

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 23:04

Gilles Villeneuve in 1980 and arguably until Zolder in 1979.

#17 Jose Mourinho is Special

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 07:46

Damon Hill obviously.

Possible is Jenson Button no.2 at Williams, then became no.1 at Brackley

#18 giacomo

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 08:06

Main examples are Nigel Mansell who was signed to Piquets number two at Williams and Felipe Massa who was signed to be Raikkonens number two at Ferrari.

#19 Schuperman

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 08:17

Hamilton to Alonso
Massa to Raikkonen


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#20 Gilles12

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 14:38

Prost to Lauda

#21 Nustang70

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 18:28

Hamilton in 2007, Villeneuve in 1996, and Button in 2000 don't count because they had not earned reputations as #2 drivers. They were rookies and not expected to be the lead driver, but they weren't hired as the second driver because they had proven they couldn't be the #1 driver.

#22 alfista

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 11:05

Keke Rosberg I guess is the best example. He was absolute underdog when FW signed him to be #2 to Carlos Reutemann in the end of 1981. Year later he was a World Champion.

#23 Buttoneer

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 11:10

Button went to BAR - Villeneuve's team - and by the end of 2003 had made sure he wasn't going to be #2.

#24 Gilles12

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 11:21

Button went to BAR - Villeneuve's team - and by the end of 2003 had made sure he wasn't going to be #2.


To be fair he was up against Villeneuve... No contest

#25 Buttoneer

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 11:23

To be fair he was up against Villeneuve... No contest

I wouldn't want to downplay Villeneuve's abilities. He was no slouch and, after all, a WDC.

#26 Gilles12

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 11:37

I wouldn't want to downplay Villeneuve's abilities. He was no slouch and, after all, a WDC.


OK, so he's better than Ricardo Zonta.

But even Patrick Head thought he made a meal of his championship in a car head and shoulders above the competition

If we're saying Jenson is in the same league as Hamilton and Alonso then Villeneuve is Division 2

#27 Zippel

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 11:42

Frentzen and Ralf Schumacher were viewed as the '2nd' drivers in their respective teams before the 1999 season.

#28 Orin

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 10:12

I was thinking about Rosberg and how he will probably wind up as a de facto #2 to Schumacher. This could set an unfortunate precedent for the rest of his career. Once a driver earns a reputation as a solid #2, can they break out of their mold and establish a new reputation as a lead driver for a competitive team?

Coulthard and Barrichello never really became legit #1 drivers after driving behind Hakkinen and Schumacher. I guess Irvine did, but Jaguar sucked so bad that it didn't really matter. Massa pulled it off. I think Mansell was considered a #2 at Williams, and after challenging Piquet earned a rep as a #1.


As you say, once you've been number two, it's not easy to shake off the stigma: Hill, Coulthard, Irvine, and Barrichello were never considered first rate drivers - even Massa has had a hard time establishing a reputation as a truly top driver.


#29 cheapracer

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 11:37

But even Patrick Head thought he made a meal of his championship in a car head and shoulders above the competition


Hang on, JV and Head had many disagreements about car setup so much that JV had to sneak some of his settings in and it was a fight to get the rear anti roll bar that he wanted fitted.

Exactly the same happened to Keke Rosberg at McLaren until the last 2 races where they relented and let Keke and his engineer have a free hand - check the results of that.

JV while possible not one of the greatest was certainly very, very good and Button faired well.

Theres a number of arrogant chief engineers who think drivers should just shutup and drive their masterpieces and thinking of it Alan Jones in John Surtee's car is another example.


#30 cheapracer

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 11:46

As you say, once you've been number two, it's not easy to shake off the stigma - Barrichello were never considered first rate drivers .


Crapola, Rubens was stunning before he went to Ferrari and one of the highlights on the track (thats why he got the Ferrari drive) but proves your stigma point.

Rubens by the way is considered very good in the wet but he had the misfortune to get a team mate who happens to be exceptional in the wet.

I expect he will show quite well at Williams this year and I think Williams need him too.


#31 taran

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 13:15

Nelson Piquet at Brabham when he was the #2 behind Niki Lauda.

Didier Pironi at Ligier before moving to Ferrari.

Alain Prost at Renault in 1981.

Lewis Hamilton at McLaren. He said so in Monaco 2007......

As to Damon Hill, he was never a real #1 at Williams IMO. In 1993 he got the drive because nobody else was left (and his achievements certainly didn't merit it). He did well enough but was still the #2 behind Senna come 1994. Again, he did extremely well under trying conditions but Williams went all out to sign Coulthard for 1995, even dumping Mansell. And in 1995, they ditched Hill for Frentzen (effective 1997) so at no point was Hill highly considered by Williams and thus worthy of #1 status...



#32 Jose Mourinho is Special

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 13:49

Nicholas Rosberg 2010

#33 Henri Greuter

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 16:18

Prost to Lauda




Piquet to Lauda in '79...

henri

#34 Kenaltgr

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 20:55

Ayrton Senna 1988 McLaren, was signed as #2 for Prost

#35 giacomo

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 21:27

Ayrton Senna 1988 McLaren, was signed as #2 for Prost

Actually he was signed as equal #1, just like Rosberg in 1986.

#36 BullHead

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 21:36

Crapola, Rubens was stunning before he went to Ferrari and one of the highlights on the track (thats why he got the Ferrari drive) but proves your stigma point.

Rubens by the way is considered very good in the wet but he had the misfortune to get a team mate who happens to be exceptional in the wet.

I expect he will show quite well at Williams this year and I think Williams need him too.


Yeah. The Ferrari years are what gave him the #2 stigma, but then that was always gonna be the case partnering Schumi. If he hadn't gone to Ferrari, he probably wouldn't have won as many races, but he also wouldn't have the #2 stigma. I guess last year wasn't a great help in shaking it off....