However, I've often thought that there are some who are above others when it comes to other aspects of driving a race car which would put them in another catagory, and one of the most important attributes outside of driving skill, in my opinion, would be "mental toughness". Let me explain what I mean by that. Frank Williams once said that "Formula One drivers are ruthless bastards because they have to be", so maybe some feel inclined to win at all costs. However, being ruthless would not be a trait that I would consider being "mentaly tough". As an example, I've always considered Schumacher and Senna as "flawed geniuses". I see the inclivity to drive someone against the wall, or off the track as a weakness, one brought on by emotions.
Likewise, there are fellows like Gilles Villeneuve, and my own personal hero Bernd Rosemeyer, who while not being "dirty drivers" by any stretch of the imagination, were prone to doing "silly things" occassionally, but not from lack of skill, that could give the "mentally tough" driver an edge. I would also rule out Alain Prost who, while was not "ruthless" on track or prone to "silliness", could play minds games with the best of them and the fact he felt the need to do so could also be construed as a flaw.
The two examples I held up as being truely "mentally tough" were Juan Manuel Fangio and Tazio Nuvolari. They seems the sort to me who, even though you squeezed their nuts in a vise, they wouldn't crack and resort to emotionally driven decisions, but would cooly and calmly think their way out of the situation. And they have a legacy that is equal too or even surpasses all others.
So my question is, am I wrong. Can someone recall instances where these two did something "ruthless" or "silly", even so much as lost their nerve. I've of course only read about their exploits, but can't say that I ever read anything that would lead me to believe they were ever anything but cool and calculating behind the wheel, and were not ones to be easily rattled, if at all.
Also, since my original conversation about this, I wonder who else would belong with Fangio and Nuvolari in this catagory. Jim Clark? Mike Hawthorn? Sir Jackie?
Are there any "unflawed geniuses"?
Edited by REDARMYSOJA, 06 August 2010 - 04:28.