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Greatest Team Principal?


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#1 Stormsky68

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:20

So all the talk of whether Marshwhit makes a good or bad TP, and should stay or go got me thinking... what makes a good TP? and who are/were the best at it?

10 names that come immediately to mind, in no particular order, as amongst the best:

Colin Chapman
Ross Brawn
Ron Dennis
Jean Todt
Frank Williams
Flavio Briatore
Enzo Ferrari
John Cooper
Jack Brabham
Ken Tyrell
Christian Horner

For me 2 are stand outs (This is obviously based on perception, never having known these guys personally)

Jean Todt - gives the impression of being the nastiest mean spirited focused to win at any cost. Not admirable but traits that can't be faulted in a business where success is all that matters, and boy did he succeed.

Colin Chapman - the ultimate F1 engineering enigma, could be at times totally clueless and other times stunningly brilliant when it came to race car engineering. A boy hood hero of mine.

So what are yours?

Edited by Stormsky68, 25 April 2012 - 08:32.


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#2 GSiebert

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:24

Roger Penske. :smoking:

#3 One

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:38

ACBC
then
Il comandatore


#4 GotYoubyTheBalls

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:39

Ross Brawn is a dullard and massively overrated

#5 Boing 2

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:40

My favourite would be between Ken Tyrrell and Frank Williams but I'd say the greatest (by no means the most likeable) was Ron Dennis. Whilst Chapman was a great engineer I wouldn't say he was that great a team boss.

Dennis on the other hand has built an empire from a team that was small and on the way down when he bought it, he's built a British Ferrari virtually from scratch and his empire is still growing. At one point in 93 McLaren were the most successful constructors in F1 and he achieved that in what, 12 years?

He has also built a team strong enough in breadth and depth that has continued to remain at the top after his departure.

Total pain in the arse but an amazing team boss.

#6 Pamphlet

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:47

In terms of how much I like them, it's a 2-way tie between Ross Brawn and Martin Whitmarsh (which is already incredible, as I utterly despise McLaren). On the opposite end we have Ron Dennis.

In terms of how good I think they were, Jean Todt wins. Ron Dennis is, in my view, highly overrated, and his favoritism of his pet drivers only served to drive better drivers away. By this, I mean Prost (compared to Senna) and Alonso (compared to Hamilton).

#7 Boing 2

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:00

In terms of how much I like them, it's a 2-way tie between Ross Brawn and Martin Whitmarsh (which is already incredible, as I utterly despise McLaren). On the opposite end we have Ron Dennis.

In terms of how good I think they were, Jean Todt wins. Ron Dennis is, in my view, highly overrated, and his favoritism of his pet drivers only served to drive better drivers away. By this, I mean Prost (compared to Senna) and Alonso (compared to Hamilton).


It's strange to critisise Dennis for favouritism towards drivers then announce Jean Todt as your favourite boss.

#8 SonnyViceR

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:11

Maybe not the greatest ever as it's simply impossible to define that, but of course this legend deserves a mention...

Posted Image

Edited by SonnyViceR, 25 April 2012 - 09:14.


#9 aray

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:12

i would say dennis and william...not only for their achievements,but also they are/were balanced person(in mind and ambition)...chapman was a driver killer and His Highness thought all he need is some big engine....

#10 Pamphlet

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:13

It's strange to critisise Dennis for favouritism towards drivers then announce Jean Todt as your favourite boss.


Probably because he didn't mess up as much when choosing drivers. You have a fair point though.

#11 Victor

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:37

It has to be Enzo Ferrari. A great Alfa Romeo team principal and then managed to create the most important racing team in the world.

#12 flyer121

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:54

Eric Boullier - by any chance...

#13 sofarapartguy

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:56

Ron Dennis. Awful behaviour, but had and approach I admire and often find in myself - always be the best and on the top in what you are passionate about, always trying to make all things perfect. Although it is not possible, it is still a nice thing to reach - total perfection and no excuses.

Edited by sofarapartguy, 25 April 2012 - 09:57.


#14 velgajski1

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:56

Ron Dennis.

#15 Rob

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:58

Ron Dennis. Built an empire from scratch and had a much better hit rate than Enzo Ferrari.

#16 phil1993

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:05

Ron Dennis and Jean Todt.

#17 fed up

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:22

Ron Dennis and Jean Todt.


This....

#18 BRG

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:59

Ah, I see we are as F1-centric as ever...

Roger Penske is the correct answer.

And he did win races in F1 as well as in the US.

Edited by BRG, 25 April 2012 - 10:59.


#19 Woody3says

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:07

Will definately agree the Captain is in this arguement.

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#20 DampMongoose

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:24

Surely has to be 'Black Jack'? More than just a Principal!

Don't see too many others on the list that drove a car bearing their own name to both Constructors and Drivers World Championships...

#21 Wiggy

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:26

Actually, who was the worst?

Tom Walkinshore? Craig Pollock? Aguri? Prost?

#22 Zoe

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:39

As one of the greatest, I would vote for Alfred Neubauer. He was active in the pre- and the post-war era, invented the pit-to-car signalling and was as passionate about the sport as you could get.

Zoe

#23 TheBunk

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:43

Dennis on the other hand has built an empire from a team that was small and on the way down when he bought it, he's built a British Ferrari virtually from scratch


Oh, yeah, those famous Mclaren engines, built inhouse really stack up to the Ferrari legacy.

Ron Dennis. Built an empire from scratch and had a much better hit rate than Enzo Ferrari.


From scratch? Bruce Mclaren did nothing?



#24 undersquare

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:51

My favourite would be between Ken Tyrrell and Frank Williams but I'd say the greatest (by no means the most likeable) was Ron Dennis. Whilst Chapman was a great engineer I wouldn't say he was that great a team boss.

Dennis on the other hand has built an empire from a team that was small and on the way down when he bought it, he's built a British Ferrari virtually from scratch and his empire is still growing. At one point in 93 McLaren were the most successful constructors in F1 and he achieved that in what, 12 years?

He has also built a team strong enough in breadth and depth that has continued to remain at the top after his departure.

Total pain in the arse but an amazing team boss.

Top post. They were all pains in the ass though.

For me all the garagistes are a level above the mere employees, anyway.

#25 IceSkyrim

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:52

From the ashes:
Jackie Stewart
Ross Brawn
Ted Toleman

In the long run:
Ron Dennis

Edited by IceSkyrim, 25 April 2012 - 11:55.


#26 Red17

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:11

Will definately agree the Captain is in this arguement.

/thread

#27 sosidge

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:36

Still think it has to be Ross Brawn.

In part for the slot racing, but mostly for tricking Mercedes into buying Brawn GP.

#28 ed24f1

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:54

As one of the greatest, I would vote for Alfred Neubauer. He was active in the pre- and the post-war era, invented the pit-to-car signalling and was as passionate about the sport as you could get.

Zoe


Yes, as well as some of the names mentioned, I was thinking of him as well.

#29 Fastcake

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:57

Oh, yeah, those famous Mclaren engines, built inhouse really stack up to the Ferrari legacy.


In time, they'll come. In case you haven't noticed Dennis hasn't finished yet :)

From scratch? Bruce Mclaren did nothing?


Bruce started a racing team, and one that was failing at the time of Dennis coming in. Ron built it back up and developed an entire empire, one that is still growing and likely to become a successful car manufacturer. The racing team may have been in place but the rest of the company was from nothing.

#30 mknight

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:57

Ron Dennis. Built an empire from scratch and had a much better hit rate than Enzo Ferrari.


Enzo Ferrari, with Ferrari, focused most of their attention to sports car racing for Le Mans and Miglia, in which they were highly successful. In fact even though Ferrari had success in GP racing with Fangio etc. their recognition came from the sports car victories. So a comparison of F1 hit rate is massively flawed considering Enzo effectively managed 3 different teams, in 3 different series, at the same time.

Edited by mknight, 25 April 2012 - 12:57.


#31 NJB13

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 13:00

It has to be Enzo Ferrari. A great Alfa Romeo team principal and then managed to create the most important racing team in the world.


Agree with your choice, Enzo Anselomo Ferrari for me is the greatest. He was a great Costruzioni Meccaniche Nazionali team man before he created other great motoring teams (including as you've said Alfa Romeo), of both 2 and 4 wheel variety before creating his own team which would of course go on to be the most successful motor racing team.

#32 nordschleife

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 13:05

Roger Penske. It's not even close. If you doubt this, take the trouble to investigate the comparison yourself. It will exhaust you.

#33 TheBunk

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 13:11

In time, they'll come. In case you haven't noticed Dennis hasn't finished yet :)


Oh? He said 'has built', not 'will be building'. Currently Mclaren doesnt build engines, and cannot be considered the British Ferrari, flattering as it may be to the Italian team. :)


Bruce started a racing team, and one that was failing at the time of Dennis coming in. Ron built it back up and developed an entire empire, one that is still growing and likely to become a successful car manufacturer. The racing team may have been in place but the rest of the company was from nothing.


1 constructorstitle and 3 wdcs in the last 19 years is not that great, is it?

Edited by TheBunk, 25 April 2012 - 13:12.


#34 Boing 2

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 13:50

Oh? He said 'has built', not 'will be building'. Currently Mclaren doesnt build engines, and cannot be considered the British Ferrari, flattering as it may be to the Italian team. :)




1 constructorstitle and 3 wdcs in the last 19 years is not that great, is it?


psst, 1979-2000 :wave:


#35 Marbles

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 13:51

Roger Penske. It's not even close. If you doubt this, take the trouble to investigate the comparison yourself. It will exhaust you.


Yup. In this thread, if you're not pointing at Penske with at least one of your hands, you're making a fool of yourself.

Kudos for the nod to Pescarolo. If nothing else, watching him slowly degrade from his normal state of grouchiness to sullen, then to surly, and finally to morose over the course of each 24hrs is one of the high points on my racing calendar.

#36 Boing 2

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 13:53

Oh, yeah, those famous Mclaren engines, built inhouse really stack up to the Ferrari legacy.



When I'm calling them a British Ferrari I'm not referring to them building their own car, I'm referring to them having a long history of sporting success in F1 and sportscars togther with producing definitive, iconic roadcars.

After all, Toyota built their own F1 car but you wouldn't call them a Japanese Ferrari.

#37 Chick0

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 13:57

Enzo Ferrari.

#38 JRizzle86

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 13:57

Oh, yeah, those famous Mclaren engines, built inhouse really stack up to the Ferrari legacy.



From scratch? Bruce Mclaren did nothing?


Ron created Project Four racing from nothing, then merged Project 4 with McLaren

#39 Smile17

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 14:00

I'd say Jean Todt, although I have to admit that I don't know much about the 'older' ones on the list..

However, it's certainly not Ron Dennis. He looked fantastic, until 2007. That was a hit-hit season, but he still managed to miss it. 'Fantastic' indeed.

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#40 britishtrident

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 16:01

A lot of on the forum will never have heard of him but Rudolf Uhlenhaut is the king of the hill.

#41 SCUDmissile

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 16:02

Enzo Ferrari. F1 and WSC success, which cannot be said of many, maybe McLaren, but not as consistent.

And whoever said Neubauer good shout. Although I only mostly read about him.
Thisis only F1 though. Don't know much about other Motorsport.

Btw, Dennis over Ferrari. :drunk:

#42 Andretti Fan

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 16:04

Lord Alexander Hesketh. Definately the most fun team principal.

Rob Walker. The most respected.

Penske. Probably the best overall.

Ferrari is in a categorey all by himself. You probably can't compare him with anyone else.

#43 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 16:06

Ross Brawn is a dullard and massively overrated

agree
he's only managed to win races with Benetton, Ferrari, Brawn & Mercedes and WDC/WCC titles with Benetton, Ferrari & Brawn.

I don't know....

#44 Dunder

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 16:23

agree
he's only managed to win races with Benetton, Ferrari, Brawn & Mercedes and WDC/WCC titles with Benetton, Ferrari & Brawn.

I don't know....


Not as Team Principal though.


#45 Stormsky68

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 16:32

The most popular votes seem to be on these 4:

Jean Todt - 13 x F1 WCs. 4 x WRCs. LeMans. ParisDakar.
Enzo Ferrari - 17 x F1 WCs (whilst he was alive) Numerous sports car, LeMans, too many to mention. Plus built the road car business.
Ron Dennis - 20 x F1 WCs. Plus built engineering and road car businesses.
Roger Penske - 23 x US national Cs. Plus built Penske Corp.

Its actually quite hard to split them purely on achievement. 3 of them were/are owner entreprenueurs, Todt being the odd man out. Penske odds on greatest for North America, but comparing his business to Ferrari or Mclaren road and automotive engineering businesses / brands?

Then again, does achievement automatically mean the greatest?

Edited by Stormsky68, 25 April 2012 - 16:43.


#46 Szoelloe

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 16:39

E. Ferrari and Todt. However much I dislike him, Dennis has to be up there unfortunately. FW too.

edit:

a list of the biggest pricks of them all would be fun too.

Edited by Szoelloe, 25 April 2012 - 16:41.


#47 MirNyet

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 16:51

Speaking from the head -Ron Dennis, from the heart - Colin Chapman.

#48 halifaxf1fan

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 16:56

E. Ferrari and Todt. However much I dislike him, Dennis has to be up there unfortunately. FW too.

edit:

a list of the biggest pricks of them all would be fun too.



J. Todt or Peter Sauber

Ron Dennis though would belong on the other list.

Edited by halifaxf1fan, 26 April 2012 - 02:07.


#49 BigCHrome

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 16:58

Ron Dennis by far.

#50 Boing 2

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 17:12

Not as Team Principal though.



What exactly was Brawns role at Ferrari? Before Todt went to manage the Ferrari group, was he team manager or technical director?