We're lucky that there has never been an undeserving champion. There are of course those who deserved it who didn't win, and who deserved it more than those who did win, but that doesn't make any on the list undeserving.
To take some of the names at random. Rosberg won in a car that had no right to be in the title contention. Daly was reckoned a decent hand and he only came close to podiuming once. Rosberg deserves one for ignoring most of the politics and just driving.
Damon Hill in 1994 kept a team together in the face of tragedy and nearly won the title despite being up against a cheat driving an illegal car. He would have won the 1993 title had he had his team-mate's reliability.
Jacques V nearly won as a rookie. Destroyed another decent hand in Frentzen. Ignore his BARdventure, he was a remarkable talent, and not many WCs have won Indy as well.
Denny Hulme was as tough and determined as they come. Never let on how much his 1970 Indy burns really hurt because Bruce's team needed him sans Bruce.
There is one possible exception to this and that's the first champion. Farina won by being the Last Man Standing. His pre-war career was Fisichella-esque, nothing to suggest he was anything more then decent. Straight after the war Alfa weren't interested in him, they went with the talents. They even preferred the amiable, cancer-ridden Trossi to Farina. Farina's first GP win came against a pretty weak field - Wimille had him beaten in a Gordini, after all - and come 1950 with Alfa's return to racing they were scraping the barrel to the extent that they even had the two-decades-past-it Fagioli in the team. Even given a dominant car Fangio had him beaten in nearly every race - and when Farina went to Ferrari he was never anywhere near Ascari. Throw in on top of that his double manslaughter and I'd say Nino Farina is the one chap whose name denigrates the title of champion.
But had Ferrari not forgotten Irvine's wheel the choice would be obvious.
*Give this man more gold stars. Thank you for sharing your far-ranging knowledge and astute analysis. It's valuable and rare.
"Rave on, John Donne", as Van the Man would say.
But what the hell is that avatar?
*this is a sarcasm-free post.
Edited by nordschleife, 19 December 2012 - 02:09.