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Top 20 Greatest F1 Drivers of all time - BBC list [split]


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#751 flavio81

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 17:25

My understanding was that Ron Dennis also considered signing Piquet for 1988, but Prost recommended Senna, despite the fact that he got on well with Piquet and was confident of being able to beat him at this stage of their careers, because he believed that Senna was quicker and therefore a greater asset to the team. Of course, perhaps he believed he could beat Senna as well, but McLaren's dominance made for a unusual championship that was essentially decided by race wins and not consistent points-scoring finishes.


Parts in bold are true; he always had been good friends with NP and in 1988 Piquet already had suffered the accident (1987) that -by his own admission years later- left him with diminished performance and -according to him- with temporary loss of depth perception.



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#752 Simioni

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 18:53

I never heard this notion that Prost was in a position to choose Senna over Piquet at Mclaren from anyone but Prost himself. Frankly it wouldnt be the first time that Alain played fast and loose with the facts in his recollection of events...

Senna was very closely connected with Honda, he played a key part in bringing Honda engines to Lotus and subsequently to Mclaren. Maybe Prost didnt object Senna joining because he knew he wouldnt have the Honda engines without him...

#753 garoidb

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 18:57

I never heard this notion that Prost was in a position to choose Senna over Piquet at Mclaren from anyone but Prost himself. Frankly it wouldnt be the first time that Alain played fast and loose with the facts in his recollection of events...

Senna was very closely connected with Honda, he played a key part in bringing Honda engines to Lotus and subsequently to Mclaren. Maybe Prost didnt object Senna joining because he knew he wouldnt have the Honda engines without him...


So was Piquet. I think Piquet and Senna were going to have Honda engines no matter what happened.

#754 E.B.

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 19:50

If the race would have progressed, it would probably had either Bellof or Senna in #1 with Prost in #2. Which is what Prost needed for the WDC. Who knows, maybe Bellof passes Senna for #1, Senna -with his typical hot temper- can't stand it, pushes harder, spins out/crashes into Bellof... Prost gets the 1984 title, making Prost a 5X WDC.

Yes, it's just a fantasy, i know.


Prost would have won the 1984 WDC even finishing 3rd on the road in a full points race behind Senna and Bellof, thanks to the great Tyrrell stitch up.



#755 Gagá Bueno

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 20:25

I never heard this notion that Prost was in a position to choose Senna over Piquet at Mclaren from anyone but Prost himself. Frankly it wouldnt be the first time that Alain played fast and loose with the facts in his recollection of events...


I also really don't remember other sources, but even Prost said that he recommended Senna rather than Piquet, the first time I heard about a "veto-right" by Prost was here in this thread. It must be remembered that we are talking about Ron Dennis being the boss here, I simply can't imagine him giving such rights to any driver...


#756 flavio81

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 19:41

I also really don't remember other sources, but even Prost said that he recommended Senna rather than Piquet, the first time I heard about a "veto-right" by Prost was here in this thread. It must be remembered that we are talking about Ron Dennis being the boss here, I simply can't imagine him giving such rights to any driver...


"Yes, I think that was a good way of putting it. My biggest problem was that I really loved McLaren, and wanted to do everything I could for the team. For my team-mate in '88, it was a choice between Senna and Nelson Piquet. When I went with Ron (Dennis) to Japan, to meet the Honda people, I said that Ron should take Ayrton, because he was the more talented driver, and for me the team came first. If I was going back to the start of my racing career now, I would do it rather differently - I would concentrate on me and my job..."

"In fact, I could have said no to Ayrton coming to McLaren. One strength I have is that normally when I make a decision, I don't regret it, but, from my own point of view, on that occasion I definitely made a mistake!"

-- Alain

As mentioned before, both Piquet and Senna were connected with Honda engines. Perhaps that's why the choice was between them!!



#757 Kingshark

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 02:27

interesting to see that you rate Jack Brabham higher as Fangio, Clark, Moss or Senna. Very strange choice indeed.

He only rates Brabham highest out of the 5 lowest rated in the top 20, those being - Brabham, Piquet, Hill, Fitipaldi & Rindt.

#758 ali.unal

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 10:13

So BBC puts Michael Schumacher in 4th place together with an article consisting such childish belittling attempts:

Michael Schumacher's 1994 Season narrated by BBC

Ayrton Senna joined Williams for 1994 and was expected to continue the team's domination of F1, but the new FW16 was a handful, and Benetton had pulled out all the stops with the B194.

Senna, his skill over-riding deficiencies in his car, took pole position for the first race in Brazil but he was chased down and beaten by Schumacher, Senna suffering the ignominy of spinning in the closing laps in his desperation to keep up.

When he was taken out at the first corner at the second race at Aida in Japan, Senna stood watching Schumacher's Benetton canter to victory, and became convinced something was amiss. He felt Schumacher was benefiting from electronic driver-aids that had been banned after 1993.

It was the start of a cataclysmic year. Senna was killed at the next race in Imola and Schumacher dominated the season before things started to unravel at Benetton.

A too-perfect start in France got tongues wagging, before Schumacher was disqualified from the British Grand Prix for ignoring black flags.

At the disciplinary hearing into that offence, Schumacher was given a two-race ban - and the team were cleared of using illegal driver aids found in the car's electronics on the grounds there was no evidence they had been used.

The ban - and a second disqualification after winning in Belgium because his under-floor plank was too worn - meant the title went down to the wire between Schumacher and Williams' Damon Hill.

Schumacher won it but only after he deliberately drove into Hill, who was trying to pass him after seeing the Benetton go off the track at the previous corner. The collision put both men out of the race.

Michael Schumacher's 1995 Season sentenced by BBC (pun intended)

After crushing Williams drivers Hill and David Coulthard in 1995, Schumacher joined Ferrari.



#759 repcobrabham

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 10:35

it will be interesting to see how harshly they judge senna's 'competitive' style by comparison.

edit: http://www.bbc.co.uk...rmula1/19998444

Edited by repcobrabham, 23 October 2012 - 10:37.


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#760 David1976

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:12

At the end of the day we'll all have our own opinions. as does the BBC.

However, I find it strange how Vettel is rated so highly when he has spent the majority of his career in a dominant car? Some will say "that's the same with Schumacher" however Schumacher proved his talent in inferior machinery prior to 1994 against Senna, Prost and Mansell.



#761 DutchCruijff

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:35

:rotfl:


The whole article consists of bullshit as to why he wasn't chosen as No.1 as opposed to why he was chosen to be so high up.

#762 H2H

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:44

The problem as usually is the consistency. Sadly there seem to be a lot of different weights used for different drivers. Personally I just car no longer about such lists as such a frequent behavior does wreak havoc in an already highly difficult job.

The comment by DutchCruijff rings true. It all seemed to come down to find lots of reason - not used in other circumstances or at the least not in the same degree - to not rate him as the No.1.

Edited by H2H, 23 October 2012 - 11:44.


#763 MightyMoose

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:14

The whole article consists of bullshit as to why he wasn't chosen as No.1 as opposed to why he was chosen to be so high up.


Generally agree with this, however it's written by Andrew Benson who frankly can't seem to write anything without his trolltastic approach to all things Schumacher.

However, its worth considering that when you have statistically the most successful driver ever, by quite a margin in terms of race wins, you have little choice but to nitpick to justify why he's only "4th best" in your opinion.

Can't say I'm surprised by a> where he's rated (clearly a lot of weight has been placed in the past 3 years) and b> the approach taken in his write up.

#764 ali.unal

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:18

At the end of the day we'll all have our own opinions. as does the BBC.

Andrew Benson might have an opinion, but BBC? I should expect them to be impartial, objective and consistent with their approach.

#765 H2H

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:29

I will just let Mazzola, head to testing at Ferrari talk again. In short Schumi was shockingly good in every necessary way. In pure driving talent he blew Alesi, Berger and Irvine away and he in other areas he was incredible as well.

A proposito di Schumacher, il suo ritiro è un vero peccato. Perdiamo un campione vero, un pilota che – oltre ad essere velocissimo – sapeva vedere molto avanti, dando tutte le informazioni su che cosa la vettura aveva bisogno per andare veloce. Non dimenticherò mai il primo test fatto insieme a Fiorano nel lontano 1995: venivamo dai tempi di Alesi e Berger, ma il talento di Michael fu scioccante. Nei test dell’Estoril ’95, Irvine fu veramente velocissimo, ma ammise subito la sua inferiorità rispetto al tedesco. Testualmente, mi disse che Schumy era di un altro mondo.

In particolare, per i sopraffini della guida. Nell’ultima parte del tracciato era impressionante vederlo affrontare quel tratto con la Ferrari settata sul sovrasterzo. A 230 Km/h, a farfalla spalancata, controllava l’instabilità della vettura sopra il bump che c’era a metà curva, uscendo con un sovrasterzo controllato. Uno spettacolo. Berger, che guidava la Benetton – ovvero la vettura con cui Michael aveva vinto il mondiale – proprio in quella curva andò a sbattere due volte, rompendo due telai! Con quella sua caratteristica flemma e pacatezza, alla fine del test ci chiese quali erano stati i motivi per cui non avevamo vinto il Mondiale nel ’95. La risposta fu semplice ed immediata. Dopo qualche anno ne avremmo avuto la conferma. Grazie Michael per tutto quello che mi hai dato. Ho avuto la fortuna di conoscere molti campioni e con te ho potuto gioire per i risultati ottenuti, grazie al durissimo lavoro fatto insieme. Mancherà alla F1.


For me it is difficult to contrast his words with those found on the BBC list as it really is no contest. I only underlined one bit of this very short farewell but every part of the it is so telling. It is just so amusing to see the width and depth of his many talents so underappreciated while his errors are judged so much more harshly. It seems that the slogan is in dubio and fact against Schumi.

Personally I will take his words and say also Grazie.

Edited by H2H, 23 October 2012 - 12:35.


#766 LiJu914

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:48

Well, it´s just a harmless little thought experiment by the BBC and one should take it as that - especially since there´s no way to compare driver of totally different eras in a serious manner anyway.



Seeing certain drivers behind Moss and especially Mansell makes me chuckle though.... :p I guess, their origin has nothing to do with it.;)

Edited by LiJu914, 23 October 2012 - 12:49.


#767 Ferrari2183

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 13:49

Lol. Schumacher fourth while Vettel is eighth without half the achievements.

#768 schubacca

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 14:00

Generally agree with this, however it's written by Andrew Benson who frankly can't seem to write anything without his trolltastic approach to all things Schumacher.

However, its worth considering that when you have statistically the most successful driver ever, by quite a margin in terms of race wins, you have little choice but to nitpick to justify why he's only "4th best" in your opinion.

Can't say I'm surprised by a> where he's rated (clearly a lot of weight has been placed in the past 3 years) and b> the approach taken in his write up.


I have to agree 100%

Benson is a piss poor writer that clearly has an axe to grind with MS.

Personally, I would be happy if he was top 3



#769 Jovanotti

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 14:06

Lol. Schumacher fourth while Vettel is eighth without half the achievements.

The list obviously is not based on stats. I suspect they'll put Senna 1st for sentimental reasons.

Edited by Jovanotti, 23 October 2012 - 14:07.


#770 Kyo

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 14:34

I never heard this notion that Prost was in a position to choose Senna over Piquet at Mclaren from anyone but Prost himself. Frankly it wouldnt be the first time that Alain played fast and loose with the facts in his recollection of events...

Senna was very closely connected with Honda, he played a key part in bringing Honda engines to Lotus and subsequently to Mclaren. Maybe Prost didnt object Senna joining because he knew he wouldnt have the Honda engines without him...

The decision were between Senna and Piquet because both were well connected with Honda. I believe Prost just gave his opinion about who he wished to have as team mate. Anyway Piquet said he didn't like Ron Dennis so when they were negotiating he asked for much more to join McLaren.

#771 Wander

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 15:04

I think that overall, the list is not (going to be) any worse than any other Top drivers list out there.

#772 schubacca

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 15:26

I think that overall, the list is not (going to be) any worse than any other Top drivers list out there.


Yep....

Just BBCs opinion....


Nothing more.

#773 Ferrari2183

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 15:36

The list obviously is not based on stats. I suspect they'll put Senna 1st for sentimental reasons.

Then what are the stats for then? It is a sport and greatness is measured by achievement. I could just as well put Fisichella on the list then and say he was blindingly quick without the luck. Anyway, Fangio, Senna, Prost, Stewart, Lauda etc etc are on the list because they were successful not because they possessed some neat skill that others didn't have. Formula 1 is very much about being in the right place at the right time and begrudging Schumacher based on that is ludicrous. I wonder of they will use the same logic when rating Senna... He was after all in the best car by a country mile when he won his titles.

I think that overall, the list is not (going to be) any worse than any other Top drivers list out there.

I think this list is tripe.


#774 Wander

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 15:39

Show me a list that isn't.

#775 ensign14

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 16:39

Then what are the stats for then?

Guidance. Unless you're seriously going to raise an argument that e.g. Bill Rexford was a greater driver than Curtis Turner, or Terry Labonte greater than Bobby Allison, as after all the first-named won more titles than the second.

#776 SennaBoys

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 16:50

Then what are the stats for then? It is a sport and greatness is measured by achievement. I could just as well put Fisichella on the list then and say he was blindingly quick without the luck. Anyway, Fangio, Senna, Prost, Stewart, Lauda etc etc are on the list because they were successful not because they possessed some neat skill that others didn't have. Formula 1 is very much about being in the right place at the right time and begrudging Schumacher based on that is ludicrous. I wonder of they will use the same logic when rating Senna... He was after all in the best car by a country mile when he won his titles.


I think this list is tripe.


Not sure why people are having a pop at Senna, it's the BBC that produced this list.

1988 I give you but I'd love to know how Ayrton's car was the best by a country mile in 90 & 91 ??

End of the day guys and girls, this list is pointless as you can't properly compare different generations, makes for a good arguement though I suppose :D

#777 Boxerevo

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 16:57

Hope Fangio first,what a legend too for many reasons.

Edited by Boxerevo, 23 October 2012 - 16:58.


#778 LiJu914

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 17:40

Hope Fangio first,what a legend too for many reasons.



Well i don´t know BBC´s criteria, but when they put Moss in 6th, you would expect Fangio on top - as he was a class above and furthermore the most successful driver of all time (in relation to individual number of seasons/races of course...).

On the other hand he may appeal boring compared to Senna and Clark, who died on race-track and have become some kind of myth afterwards.

#779 aditya-now

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 17:49

Can't say I'm surprised by a> where he's rated (clearly a lot of weight has been placed in the past 3 years) and b> the approach taken in his write up.


Considering the fact that the Beeb has obviously "sanctioned" that line of journalism, the reassessment of Michael Schumacher's total career is taking place already. They let facts of the last three years weigh in their total assessment - and while there is a certain logic to it, it is questionable if it is fair.

The 56 wins in 2000 - 2004 are under a certain question mark - top equipment and favourable treatment - and in that context it makes no sense to place Sebastian Vettel (who has now the same favourable conditions like Michael had in 2000 - 2004), at 8th best of all times. There the logic ends.

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#780 Mandzipop

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 18:09

Then what are the stats for then? It is a sport and greatness is measured by achievement. I could just as well put Fisichella on the list then and say he was blindingly quick without the luck. Anyway, Fangio, Senna, Prost, Stewart, Lauda etc etc are on the list because they were successful not because they possessed some neat skill that others didn't have. Formula 1 is very much about being in the right place at the right time and begrudging Schumacher based on that is ludicrous. I wonder of they will use the same logic when rating Senna... He was after all in the best car by a country mile when he won his titles.


I think this list is tripe.


That is a good analogy using Fisi as it does prove the difference (to some extent).

Drivers that start out in mediocre cars but excel themselves in that car usually rise to the top cars. However, it is what they do with the top cars that makes the difference. Some can't handle the pressure and they don't show the potential they did in a mediocre car. The great drivers will perform well in both. That is the distinguishing difference. Just because someone is blindingly quick in a mediocre car does not equate to being awesome in a top car. That has happened numerous times over the history of F1.

Being politically successfull is part of the driver skillset. Without that a driver can't be considered a great. They generally have a win at all costs attitude. That is slightly different in the early days of F1 as it was too dangerous, therefore they had to be political off track instead of just being blindingly quick on track.

Sometimes it appears that the drivers that have made it so high on the list have always had the quickest car. It is the driver who can get the maximum out of the car which sometimes makes it appear to be the quickest car. But if the rivals aren't able to get the maximum out of a potentially quicker car, then it can mask the results.

It isn't just what you achieve, it is how you achieve it. A driver does not need the quickest car to achieve greatness, but it helps.

At the end of the day, it is a list compiled by the BBC. They have their favourites and they won't be 100% impartial, no matter what they say. But that is their opinion. Doesn't mean that everyone agrees with it or has to agree with it. All of the top 4 drivers (you don't have to be a genius to work out the other 3) have strong arguments why they could be considered the greatest, but as it is a list, they have to be put in some order. And yes their teammates should be considered into the argument as well as the era they drove in.

#781 apoka

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 18:10

The top 5 are all quite close and hard to rank, but if there is any modern driver who dominated the field over a long period of time, then it was Schumacher. Seeing him as low as P4 is a bit of a surprise. I think his second unsuccessful career didn't help his status. As others said, he is probably lacking the post-career myths of other drivers (which is no surprise considering he is still racing).

#782 Scotracer

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 18:16

I'm not going to say Michael deserves #1 status because I'm not that much of a fanboy...but 4th? Really?

The 3 above him are obvious: Clark, Senna & Fangio...but I'd put Schumacher ahead of Fangio at least and on-par with Senna and Clark.

#3 would have been more reasonable.

#783 Fastcake

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 18:17

Can't say disagree too much with Schumacher's ranking, though I'd place Prost above him.

The top 5 are all quite close and hard to rank, but if there is any modern driver who dominated the field over a long period of time, then it was Schumacher. Seeing him as low as P4 is a bit of a surprise. I think his second unsuccessful career didn't help his status. As others said, he is probably lacking the post-career myths of other drivers (which is no surprise considering he is still racing).


The question though when you're looking at dominance, is the driver dominant in an era because he's that good, or because there's just no one else to compete against?

#784 Collective

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 18:37

Should have been Prost in 4th (or higher) and Schumacher in 5th. See signature for reason.

Edited by Collective, 23 October 2012 - 18:38.


#785 schubacca

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 18:38

Considering the fact that the Beeb has obviously "sanctioned" that line of journalism, the reassessment of Michael Schumacher's total career is taking place already. They let facts of the last three years weigh in their total assessment - and while there is a certain logic to it, it is questionable if it is fair.

The 56 wins in 2000 - 2004 are under a certain question mark - top equipment and favourable treatment - and in that context it makes no sense to place Sebastian Vettel (who has now the same favourable conditions like Michael had in 2000 - 2004), at 8th best of all times. There the logic ends.


You seem to be the only one reassessing (read: downgrading) MS's career.

Ferrari was no where before MS came.

He also worked his balls off for half a decade in the later half of the 90's to enjoy those 56 in 2000-2004.

Of course, it suits you to gloss over those facts ;)

Edited by schubacca, 23 October 2012 - 18:39.


#786 FenderJaguar

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 18:50

It's a list of opinions. As it should be.
The one thing I would like to add is that when I watch racing I don't just watch results. I enjoy the way a great driver drives the car. If we were talking about football a lot of people would put Pele and Maradona at the top because of their skill and not sit and count how many titles they had achieved. And someone would put Cruyff there. Or Zidane. I think a part of that comes into play when you watch a certain race driver. It's not just sentimental. It's about the skill and what we appreciate. I think a lot of people in the racing world ask themselves how good was Schumacher when you compare him to drivers like Senna, Prost, Fangio and Clark. And I think when you go through Schumacher there is nothing wrong in mentioning the obvious controversies. He's a great driver even with those. If he is 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5th is a matter of different opinion.

Edited by FenderJaguar, 23 October 2012 - 18:51.


#787 1Devil1

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 18:52

Considering the fact that the Beeb has obviously "sanctioned" that line of journalism, the reassessment of Michael Schumacher's total career is taking place already. They let facts of the last three years weigh in their total assessment - and while there is a certain logic to it, it is questionable if it is fair.

The 56 wins in 2000 - 2004 are under a certain question mark - top equipment and favourable treatment - and in that context it makes no sense to place Sebastian Vettel (who has now the same favourable conditions like Michael had in 2000 - 2004), at 8th best of all times. There the logic ends.


Let's put a questions mark under all Fernandos wins in the years 2005 and 2006. Massive advantage through a french tires supplier, Flavio and a team mate not allowed to race. What's next eliminate Hill and Hakkinen from the championship list because they belonged to a second tier generation (as some want us to believe)? Even if you blank out all wins from Michael from 2000 - 2004 you are left with a 31 year old two championship and over thirty races wins. Even without his Ferrari years Michael probably would have caught Prost some time later on regarding race wins. Schumacher was a legend even before he entered his winning streak. Furthermore it tarnished his legacy and a lot of people forget his brilliant drives in the late 90's

#788 Kingshark

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 18:56

The question though when you're looking at dominance, is the driver dominant in an era because he's that good, or because there's just no one else to compete against?

Uh, there were 21 other drivers on the grid during Schumacher's time. It's not Michael's fault that he was the best by a country mile in his era and no one else even came close.

#789 Fastcake

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 19:13

Uh, there were 21 other drivers on the grid during Schumacher's time. It's not Michael's fault that he was the best by a country mile in his era and no one else even came close.


Well, I think you've missed the point. I was talking about the difficulty in assessing Schumacher's career against others when for much of it he had little competition.

#790 LiJu914

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 19:23

Well, I think you've missed the point. I was talking about the difficulty in assessing Schumacher's career against others when for much of it he had little competition.


MSC fought for the WDC in 94,95,97,98,99,2000-2004,2006. 3 of these 11 seasons were basically clean sweeps (01,02,04) but he had to fight til the end in the other 8 seasons. I wouldn´t call that little competition.

Edited by LiJu914, 23 October 2012 - 19:24.


#791 ali_M

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 23:55

MSC fought for the WDC in 94,95,97,98,99,2000-2004,2006. 3 of these 11 seasons were basically clean sweeps (01,02,04) but he had to fight til the end in the other 8 seasons. I wouldn´t call that little competition.


... but if you say it to yourself 20 times and read it here several times, you'll soon start to believe it.

If he won 7 titles, it meant he had no competition.

Now say it again, and again.... etc.



See how you feel about it later.

Try it again with how he enjoyed unfair advantages where the others didn't. Maybe you'll start believing that one too. :rotfl:

#792 SUPRAF1

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 02:34

Who ultimately decides the BBC's list? I can remember Murray Walker saying several times that he thinks Schumacher is the greatest driver in F1 history, so I don't think it's him.

#793 DutchCruijff

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:12

Look, a 7xWDC, 91 GP wins, 69 pole positions, a career spanning over 20 years yet kicked Piquet's arse in '91 and is kicking Rosberg's arse in'12, stringed together 12 wins (exc. Monaco) in 2004 and finished only twice outside the podium in the races he finished between his comeback after his leg break and 5th championship in Suzuka '02. GOAT.

#794 CSF

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:19

GOAT should always be considered "opinion" rather than fact. It's always going to cause controversy.

We pretty much know Senna's going to be number one, continuing his rise from 4th in the first ever GOAT article I ever read in 1997.

#795 Jovanotti

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:34

Sorry if it sounds harsh, and I even agree that #4 is too low for him on the list, but the thing with Schumacher (fans) is that the reasoning ALWAYS comes down to his stats in the end. You can't blame other people if they don't take the number of titles, wins, etc. as the ultimate criteria for their choice of the GOAT.

If it was for me, I'd regard the inevitable top 5 as pretty much equally great and would renounce to rank them higher/lower vs. each other.

Edited by Jovanotti, 24 October 2012 - 08:38.


#796 FenderJaguar

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:55

Look, a 7xWDC, 91 GP wins, 69 pole positions, a career spanning over 20 years...
between his comeback after his leg break and 5th championship in Suzuka '02. GOAT.


But the interesting thing is to try and figure out what the titles are worth...when it comes to skill and driving.


#797 juicy sushi

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 11:35

I think the only fair statistical measure is (average finishing position) x (average finishing position as a % of teammate's finishing position), as it allows comparison between different eras by allowing for points inflation and schedule expansion. I'm going to try and mock up a spread sheet later to see what the numbers would look like, then I'll post the results.

Edited by juicy sushi, 24 October 2012 - 11:36.


#798 ali_M

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:35

I often joke that it's a popularity contest but in all seriousness, the drivers popularity seems to weigh heavily when looking at the list.

All the drivers will have their fans sure.... but what about their wider appreciation.

When one weighs achievements vs wider popularity as a driver then the remaining three being where they are do make sense. They were and still are HUGELY popular, making the question marks more readily overlooked, especially when there's the opportunity to hide such question marks in the obscurity of the distant past. In the wider arena, most speak of Senna's incredible speed as evidenced by his number of pole positions, passion for racing and depth of thinking about what he was doing etc. Afterall, this is what the movies and documentaries about him bring across primarily. They don't speak about his all too often questionable behaviour on track and don't even mention that he enjoyed dominant cars in the more successful part of his career. Same for Fangio... very fast as well but he uncannily moved from fastest team to fastest team in the more successful segment of his career. His success also earned him preferential treatment by teams and even co-drivers, giving him space to show his colours and achieve even more. A true gentleman while at it. No1 overall by many. Such a nice chap, he deserved what he had is the popular perception.. he earned it with his driving. Same for Clarke.

Now, Schumacher is different. The wider view is that he's F1's most successful, arrogant driver who too often drives in a way that fails to show respect for the other drivers. The perception is that he's willing to do *whatever* it takes to win. He's also been embroiled in some of the most unpopular team incidents/situations in F1 history where preferential treatment and team orders are concerned. I say this is the wider view since journalism will not flow a particular way unless it's allowed to, i.e., that it's accepted by the readership. It's very unlikely that his preferential treatment, very fast cars, custom made bridgestones and team cheating will be brought forward to further strip him of any credit. It's quite simple.... if you don't like the man, you'll naturally be more critical of him and discredit his achievements while the opposite also applies. It's the sheer brute force of his overwhelming statistics that have got him there admixed with a grudging admission that his speed and other qualities must have been there for him to capitalize so much on the opportunities that he but none of the other drivers he competed against enjoyed.

Edited by ali_M, 24 October 2012 - 12:36.


#799 ensign14

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 13:14

I'm certain that the folks making this list are sure that have little bias, but the positioning of many British drivers alone does put a giant question mark behind it.

Not really. After all we are constantly told that the most important thing in motor racing history is Statistics. And British drivers have been disproportionately successful in earning Statistics such as World Titles. May as well say Finland has too many drivers, after all the Finns did produce Leo Kinnunen and Mikko Kozarowitsky.

Besides which, had it been an all-time list, there are only really two candidate British drivers from before 1939 - and one of them was half-Irish and US-born. But would that mean Italian drivers would be disproportionately reprsented, surely? Nuvolari and Varzi in the top ten despite there being fewer Italian than Scots F1 world champs...

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#800 schubacca

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 13:22

The more that I think about it as objectively as I can, their is no shame in MS being 4th.

Clark, Fangio, Senna, Prost, Schumacher.

Heck....

Any order to put them..... The company is good :)

Vettel 8th on the other hand.....