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Drivers with great natural speed who lacked in other departments


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#101 Jimisgod

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 13:35

Another driver I'd add would be Rene Arnoux. To this day it is still a matter of conjecture as to why he and Ferrari parted ways in 1984.


Ah, the young granddaughter story.  ;)



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#102 BetaVersion

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 14:41

A friend of mine in Germany said to me a few months ago, the only two drivers he saw that left him genuinely speechless were Schumacher and Frentzen when they were in F3. Frentzen was highly rated in F3, and obviously it didn't translate over to F1 as many expected.


yeah, I had already heard/read things like that. HHF was VERY highly rated and succesfull in lower formulae, but, for some reason, he couldn't show that in F1, and imho, he can't always put it on the machinery. He had some moments in the fastest car but JV that was getting those poles and etc.....

#103 Anderis

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 14:56

Well, I think Frentzen had some very good seasons in F1. He was just not good enough when he was at Williams.

#104 BetaVersion

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 15:24

I don't know how you can say lacked motivation. Maybe in the last year he started getting frustated when the results did not come. Actually I think many of these fast drivers start cracking and become unable of using all their chances when they are beat by their teammates. It's the human nature of feeling pressure. Sacrificing 2nd driver for the ego of 1st driver has been effective with Schumacher's and Alonso's teams..


The other drivers were "treated" like that simply because they were confortably slower than both Alonso and MSC on most race tracks. If other drivers, like Kimi, can't turn their team mates into 2nd drivers, it's because they are not faster enough than their colleagues

'Jumper'? Yes, I'd go along with that. However, for me Reutemann tops the list. Blindingly fast and unbeatable when the mood caught him, but when it didn't, forget about it. A prime example of this is how he lost the 81 championship in the final round at the Caeser's Palace GP.


He would probably be up there in my list too. Speed-wise, he's probably among the fastest ever in F1, imo.

PS: I also don't think neither Kimi or Lewis fit this topic because I think both are "complete package" even if, imho, have some of their qualities hyped by their most avid fans.

#105 RealRacing

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 15:25

ALESI is the poster boy for this. Great first races in 1990, was in front of Senna at Phoenix with a V8 Tyrell vs. the V10 Mclaren, gave him a hard time with a re-pass...then 2nd at Monaco. Was already considered to be the next big thing, so much that he signed with Ferrari for 1991. Unluckily for him, the Ferrari, after their excellent 1990 car, was crap and he was never able to deliver on his promise: he only won 1 GP on a very long career.

Up to a point: Mansell. Very fast, very exciting driver (usually beat Prost in qualy with same car) but was passed later during the race (mistakes, tyre burning, inconsistency, who knows). Although his bad luck is notable, at the end of the day he was only able to win one championship on a dominating car.

JPM sure. People like BAR and COU never had the talent or the speed to begin with.



#106 BetaVersion

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 15:28

Well, I think Frentzen had some very good seasons in F1. He was just not good enough when he was at Williams.


I agree. The only thing that was my point is that he, or an eventual fan, can't really say he never had a good shot in F1.

He had it(at Williams) but, even if not entirely his fault, couldn't deliver it, when it most mattered

When I say "deliver", I don't mean choking or anything psychological related. He simply couldn't show if he really had that great natural speed or not.

Edited by BetaVersion, 28 December 2012 - 15:32.


#107 Group B

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 15:32

ALESI is the poster boy for this. Great first races in 1990, was in front of Senna at Phoenix with a V8 Tyrell vs. the V10 Mclaren, gave him a hard time with a re-pass...then 2nd at Monaco. Was already considered to be the next big thing, so much that he signed with Ferrari for 1991. Unluckily for him, the Ferrari, after their excellent 1990 car, was crap and he was never able to deliver on his promise: he only won 1 GP on a very long career.

Up to a point: Mansell. Very fast, very exciting driver (usually beat Prost in qualy with same car) but was passed later during the race (mistakes, tyre burning, inconsistency, who knows). Although his bad luck is notable, at the end of the day he was only able to win one championship on a dominating car.

JPM sure. People like BAR and COU never had the talent or the speed to begin with.

Can't agree with that; when Rubens was in the groove, such as a couple of races at Silverstone, he was absolutely blistering. He just couldn't do it often enough.

#108 JSDSKI

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 17:13

Montoya is a bit of the same. Maybe the mere knowledge that they are fast is at the core of their problem; getting big-headed as a result and not being able to give up a fight when they need to for the points etc,

Like many natural talents in many sports... they can't find the instinct to push and develop other important qualities. Too easy to just drive around problems while they are in junior formula and by the time they get to F1 - they don't have the habit of improvement. Another argument, to my mind, of the need for a qualified coach or observer who can give them a real objective opinion about what's needed to move ahead of everyone else. Of course, that's assuming "natural talents" would listen to anyone.



Jean-Pierre Jarier, anyone?

most on this board are too young to have seem him drive... natural speed and wonderful in the rain.



#109 santori

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 17:48

Heinz-Harald Frentzen: the Dimitar Berbatov of F1.

I think he showed at Sauber and Jordan that he really did have the talent he was reputed to have. It didn't work out at Williams but then I wonder how many great drivers have just been lucky enough to never find themselves in the seat that would have shown their weaknesses.

Edited by santori, 28 December 2012 - 17:49.


#110 Atreiu

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 17:57

I'd say Montoya was one who had unfullfilled talent and speed. Not that he should have been a WDC, but 7 wins was too little.
Coulthard and Barrichello, well, they had more than enough chances with great cars.

And I mention Kimi because he lacked the reliability inducing luck of the champions through his first career.

Edited by Atreiu, 28 December 2012 - 17:58.


#111 Force Ten

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 19:05

Well, I think Frentzen had some very good seasons in F1. He was just not good enough when he was at Williams.

Again, it ties in with the "guys that can turn fours to sevens" or "guys that can turn sevens to eights". Alesi, Fisi, Frentzen, they were all great at turning fours to sevens. When they were handed a seven, then they were unable to improve it.

Alonso, Vettel, Häkkinen amongst others were.

#112 George Costanza

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:10

Heinz, while talent wise, was equal with Michael, but he lacked the mental strength or the mindset to compete with him or the best like Mika for that matter.

Mika and Michael were two of the strongest F1 drivers mentally of their generation. Talent wise, Jean Alesi and Heinz and probably others had equal or better skill but mindset makes the difference. Fernando Alonso is a great example today...

#113 George Costanza

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:12

Well, I think Frentzen had some very good seasons in F1. He was just not good enough when he was at Williams.



He did, but Williams had a very high standard of demands, and had Heinz been stronger psychologically, he would have probably gone head to head with Jacques and Michael.

#114 gillesthegenius

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 06:17

Heinz, while talent wise, was equal with Michael, but he lacked the mental strength or the mindset to compete with him or the best like Mika for that matter.

Mika and Michael were two of the strongest F1 drivers mentally of their generation. Talent wise, Jean Alesi and Heinz and probably others had equal or better skill but mindset makes the difference. Fernando Alonso is a great example today...


+1

Aussie spin wizard Shane Warne said it best when he said recently that 'attitude is more important than skill at the highest level of sport'.

#115 george1981

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 22:16

I'd add another driver to the mix, Giancarlo Fisichella. He was properly fast at times but was unable to get it together when he had the chance.
He had a really good season in 1997 which led to his Benetton drive for 1998-2001, which I think trashed his reputation and confidence. Even when driving dogs of cars he was always solid.
When he finally did get a decent car driving for Renault in 2005 I doubt he got a fair crack of the whip Flavio running the team but seemed to be beaten mentally by then.


#116 Skinnyguy

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 22:42

If Button can't cope with car upgrades that don't suit him, it's his fault, but if Raikkonen can't, it's team's fault.


Yep, that´s an unfair thing to do. But I do get why people can think like this, and I sometimes think like that too, even if I KNOW it´s unfair. Why?:

-Button has a long career behind him, and has spent quite some seasons/long periods well off his max potential speed.
-Räikkönen has a long career behind him, and has spent ONE season/long period well off his max potential speed.

That´s why I get why people feels like this. Räikkönen has a very long career and it´s not exactly a common thing that he suddenly spends long periods in boogie shape. He´s not the Webber/Button sort of guys that will fade and shine weekend in weekend out, or nearly dissapear for a season. He´s done full brilliant seasons time and time again, has sustained good shape for a lot of time to challange and win WDCs multiple times. And it´s not as if he lost the ability to do that back then, he´s still doing it 4 years later.

And having said all that, I DON´T buy the "it was all Ferrari messing with him" crap. He shares a good part of the responsability for that poor season, but of course Ferrari does have responsability too: When a guy able to score poles with a one stop strategy versus a two stopper from the rest of the field spends half as season qualifying like average Joe, it´s not only a driver´s problem or a team´s problem only: it´s both parts being unable to get the full potential out of each other.

Back on topic, it has the name of JPM on it. :lol: Incredible speed sometimes and very skilled for wheel to wheel; but terrible other times, mistake prone, overagressive...

#117 BoschKurve

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 22:54

He did, but Williams had a very high standard of demands, and had Heinz been stronger psychologically, he would have probably gone head to head with Jacques and Michael.


The skill was present when he got behind the wheel of the Williams-Renault in '97 I thought, but he seemed to have mental lapses throughout the race.

Mental toughness is what set Senna and Schumacher far ahead of their peers. Many of the guys they drove against were incredibly talented, but just didn't have the ability to take it to the next level against guys who were better than they were. Once in awhile they did, but to have that focus for an entire season is really tough.

#118 BigCHrome

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 22:57

The only thing Hamilton lacks is luck, compared to Alonso and Vettel, its like he walks under ladders and black cats cross his path before every race.

#119 George Costanza

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 23:01

The skill was present when he got behind the wheel of the Williams-Renault in '97 I thought, but he seemed to have mental lapses throughout the race.

Mental toughness is what set Senna and Schumacher far ahead of their peers. Many of the guys they drove against were incredibly talented, but just didn't have the ability to take it to the next level against guys who were better than they were. Once in awhile they did, but to have that focus for an entire season is really tough.



I don't think it was seen in Heinz in 1997. Williams did not exactly provided him any comfort for him to do his very best (1999 with Jordan). It was in 1999, Heinz found his true liking to Jordan's car and methods that enabled him to perform. Of Course, in 2001, he was fired for not being able to produce results, but Jordan had a horrible car in '01.

To be fair, Heinz only had one true race winning car in whole season and that was the 1997 Williams. Jordan in '99 was kind of a "fluke" if you will, but still... I rate Heinz as one of the most talented F1 drivers we have seen in the past 20 years.

But Michael's work-horse and focus were simply better than Heinz, ten fold. If one puts Heinz and Michael in same car, both would be quite close in speed, but Michael woud easily have an edge in finding extra speed in reserve.

Edited by George Costanza, 30 December 2012 - 23:07.


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#120 billm99uk

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 23:02

Jan Magnussen is the first name that springs into my mind for this one. Record breaking F3 career... so basic speed wasn't the problem. But in F1, it just didn't work out....

#121 ensign14

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 23:05

Jan Magnussen is the first name that springs into my mind for this one. Record breaking F3 career... so basic speed wasn't the problem. But in F1, it just didn't work out....

Lack of discipline and application. Wouldn't even give up the cancersticks.

#122 Mauseri

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 23:43

The only thing Hamilton lacks is luck, compared to Alonso and Vettel, its like he walks under ladders and black cats cross his path before every race.

At least he is not blamed for the loose wheelnuts and mechanical DNFs, unlike certain former McLaren driver was in his time. Maybe he should motivate his crew better :p

Having said that, he also had too many avoidable incidents because of his attitude. Vettel also had his fair share of bad luck, but was able to raise to top nevertheless. If Hamilton drove like in his first year he would be 3x WDC by now.

#123 jals99

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:43

Jarno

#124 mnmracer

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:37

The only thing Hamilton lacks is luck, compared to Alonso and Vettel, its like he walks under ladders and black cats cross his path before every race.

Hamilton's had his share of luck earlier on in his career, to be that near to Kimi and when Massa would have walked with the title.
'10 he was unlucky, but less so then Vettel. This year it's the other way around.

The only one who seems to have a case of permanent luck is Alonso, who's gained from his opponents' misfortunes more than it cost him, for most of his career.

#125 ric

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:56

yeah, I had already heard/read things like that. HHF was VERY highly rated and succesfull in lower formulae, but, for some reason, he couldn't show that in F1, and imho, he can't always put it on the machinery. He had some moments in the fastest car but JV that was getting those poles and etc.....


We don't exactly know why HHF's Williams job did not exactly work out. It has been reported that Patrick Head ignored a lot of Heinz-Harald's setup demands. It had been better in 1998 - compared to JV - , but the car was much slower that year.
I was very sorry for Heinz, 'cause I expected a lot from him in that team.
So it was a good surprise to see HHF doing so exceptionally well in 1999's Jordan (see what his team mate Damon Hill achieved that year!), had his car not broken down after his pit stop during the Nürburgring race, Heinz could have raced for the championship until the end of the season.
But mental strenght still is a champion's key component ...


#126 Sin

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 11:40

We don't exactly know why HHF's Williams job did not exactly work out. It has been reported that Patrick Head ignored a lot of Heinz-Harald's setup demands. It had been better in 1998 - compared to JV - , but the car was much slower that year.
I was very sorry for Heinz, 'cause I expected a lot from him in that team.
So it was a good surprise to see HHF doing so exceptionally well in 1999's Jordan (see what his team mate Damon Hill achieved that year!), had his car not broken down after his pit stop during the Nürburgring race, Heinz could have raced for the championship until the end of the season.
But mental strenght still is a champion's key component ...



exactly my opinion... and besides of that he seemed to be a really nice guy as well.... so he was a great person and a great driver, what he lacked like I said in my opinion was mental strength... and sometimes luck

#127 Force Ten

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 13:08

We don't exactly know why HHF's Williams job did not exactly work out. It has been reported that Patrick Head ignored a lot of Heinz-Harald's setup demands. It had been better in 1998 - compared to JV - , but the car was much slower that year.
I was very sorry for Heinz, 'cause I expected a lot from him in that team.
So it was a good surprise to see HHF doing so exceptionally well in 1999's Jordan (see what his team mate Damon Hill achieved that year!), had his car not broken down after his pit stop during the Nürburgring race, Heinz could have raced for the championship until the end of the season.
But mental strenght still is a champion's key component ...

Again - HHF:
1995 4 to 7
1996 4 to 7
1997 7 to 7
1998 4 to 7

Maybe 7 was as high as his score would go? One could make a sensible argument that 1999 was a 5 to 8 year for him but that was the only one ever and it was a no pressure situation much like all his "4" years were. The only time he had a "7" year from get go he scored 1 win against his teammate's 7 and about half the points.