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Why is Nelson Piquet not really considered a 'legend'?


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#1 Jackmancer

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 09:05

Brabham, Senna, Lauda and Stewart are seen as legends of F1, but Piquet never seemed to amass such enigma, yet he scored an equal amount of three world championships to them, which is more than let's say Hakkinen, Ascari, Clark, Hill, Fittipaldi and Mansell.

 

Autosport ranked him 13th (http://f1greatestdri....com/?driver=13), behind Gilles Villeneuve, Fittipaldi, Mansell, and 60% said he should even be further up the ranking.

 

Why is this?

Simply because he wasn't as charismatic as Senna, or as remarkable as Lauda? Or was he truely not as good as a driver as them?

 

I've never seen him race live but watched a lot of videos of YouTube from this era, including this overtake in Hungary 1986, on Senna, where he shows superb car control;



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#2 ensign14

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 13:27

I doubt it's a lack of charisma, Piquet was certainly a personality. I think it's because after 1980 the only team-mate of worth he had was the hitherto-midfield tugger Mansell - who totally dominated him. He ended up driving for dollars rather than racing for wins. Again championship mentality destroying the racing, and in NP's case his reputation. Similar applies to Fittipaldi.

#3 ensign14

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 16:29

I was trying to do a quote, but this infernal forum downgrade won't let me.

 

Dominated?  In terms of wins.  Barring a dodgy wheelnut in Hungary Mansell would have had Piquet 7-2 in 1987, and barring a sick Honda at Germany it would have been 8-1; and that one came at Monza, where Honda did their magic chip thing.  And in 1986 Mansell had more wins, even though Piquet had the preferential treatment.  Racing is after all about winning races...

 

Championship mentality is terrific for the accountancy of it.  But when it comes to legendary status that's not really relevant.  Fangio is not a legend because of his titles but in spite of them.  Moss is a legend despite being behind Jody Scheckter in terms of titles.  Stewart earned his legendary status by winning races and the titles followed. 

 

Maybe it's better to look at NASCAR for an analogy.  Fireball Roberts, Curtis Turner, Junior Johnson, all legends.  Bill Rexford, the Labonte brothers, Matt Kenseth...not so much.  But who won the most titles?

 

Piquet's reputation suffered as a result.  In 1984 he was the only driver in the field taking things to McLaren.  With more reliability it might have been a lot more interesting.  He was probably at his peak then; probably a match for Prost, certainly better than Lauda.  But it was almost as if he saw Lauda out-cool Prost to an undeserved title made him think of a different approach; perhaps nursing recalcitrant Beemer engines took the edge of the throttle pedal; perhaps it was a knock-on of the Imola crash.  But certainly after 1986 he was less the lion and more the hyena.



#4 Emery0323

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 16:40

Piquet and Mansell obviously raced together for two years. The first they were even in qualifying (8-8) and Mansell had just one more point (70-69) at the end. The second, in qualifying Mansell was ahead 10-3, but Piquet had his violent accident at Imola the second race of the year which it has been reported slowed him down quite a bit. Nevertheless, Piquet won the championship (73-61) just the same. Where Mansell “totally dominated” Piquet is not clear to me.

 

The statistic people remember more than qualifying is winning - Mansell outscored Piquet in wins in both 1986 and 1987 by an aggregate total of 11-7.    A couple of Mansell's most memorable wins were head-to-head against Piquet on home turf at the British GP, in front of the British media and fans.

 

Having said that, Piquet was far more consistent, as his WDC in 1987 shows, despite Mansell's outscoring him  by 6 wins to Piquet's 3.  Nevertheless, Mansell was probably the more memorable character among F1 fans in the English-speaking world.

 

Anybody who's a three-time WDC is a legend in my book, it's really a highly subjective matter of who's a "legend" and what qualfies somebody to be one.  Probably his WDC's in 1981 and 1983 are devalued in the public mind for whatever reason - perceived quality of his opposition, drama on or off-track, their being overshadowed by his battles with Mansell/Senna/Prost that came later, etc.


Edited by Emery0323, 08 September 2013 - 16:42.


#5 garoidb

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 16:52

He scored two of his three championships before the era with which he is now most associated - the Senna-Prost-Mansell-Piquet era. This was a golden era of F1, and very memorable, but it was very much the latter part of Piquet's career and he sustained the Imola concussion at a fairly crucial stage.

 

I also think 1984 was the peak of his career, wrecked by BMW unreliability. 1985 was ruined by Bernie's decision to use Pirelli tyres. 

 

I doubt it's a lack of charisma, Piquet was certainly a personality. I think it's because after 1980 the only team-mate of worth he had was the hitherto-midfield tugger Mansell - who totally dominated him. He ended up driving for dollars rather than racing for wins. Again championship mentality destroying the racing, and in NP's case his reputation. Similar applies to Fittipaldi.

 

A shocking insult to Michael Schumacher. 



#6 ensign14

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 16:56

'81 is devalued because he got a decent haul of points with a car that was so illegal even Hector Rebaque nearly won in it, '83 has the fuel issue and was seen more as Prost throwing it away. But Piquet threw away 1982 to make a better fist of 1983, and he might have won in 1980 without such a robust title rival...

#7 garoidb

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 17:21

'81 is devalued because he got a decent haul of points with a car that was so illegal even Hector Rebaque nearly won in it, '83 has the fuel issue and was seen more as Prost throwing it away. But Piquet threw away 1982 to make a better fist of 1983, and he might have won in 1980 without such a robust title rival...

 

How did Prost throw away the 1983 WDC? His only major driver error that I can recall took Piquet out of the lead of a GP (and later himself).

 

He was in WDC contention five times (80, 81, 83, 86 and 87) and won three of them, which is a fair return (things will not always go your way). 82, 84 and 85 were lost to BMW and Pirelli as I mentioned above. I also thought his 1990 season impressive.  

 

To go back to the team-mate issue, was Riccardo Patrese not a "team-mate of worth"? (or Teo Fabi, Marc Surer, Sandro Nannini) To only mention Hector Rebaque is to give a false impression.  



#8 D-Type

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 17:45

I think you've missed  the point Ensign14 was making here:

 

~ a car that was so illegal even Hector Rebaque nearly won in it ~

Nothing to do with the calibre of his other team mates.

 

And what point are you trying to make regarding Michael Schumacher?  The half season where they drove together can hardly be considered representative of either driver's career.



#9 ensign14

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 18:34

How did Prost throw away the 1983 WDC? His only major driver error that I can recall took Piquet out of the lead of a GP (and later himself).

Prost was engaging in certain extra-curricular activities which, while legal, did not endear him to the Regie's management. His crash at Zandvoort followed the team's discovery of said antics.

#10 garoidb

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 18:51

I think you've missed  the point Ensign14 was making here:

Nothing to do with the calibre of his other team mates.

 

I think it was clear that this was the comment alluded to. Rebaque was mentioned in a separate context, granted, but I don't think Patrese and co were as poor as this post suggests.  

 

I think it's because after 1980 the only team-mate of worth he had was the hitherto-midfield tugger Mansell - who totally dominated him. He ended up driving for dollars rather than racing for wins. Again championship mentality destroying the racing, and in NP's case his reputation. Similar applies to Fittipaldi.

 

One could also argue with the description of Mansell as a hitherto-midfield tugger (2 GP wins in 1985, podiums with Lotus before that).

 

As for Schumacher, do we not think he was quite fast in 1991?  



#11 garoidb

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 18:56

Prost was engaging in certain extra-curricular activities which, while legal, did not endear him to the Regie's management. His crash at Zandvoort followed the team's discovery of said antics.

 

Apparently so. I just don't see how that particular indiscretion became a WDC that was "thrown away" to such an extent that Piquet's ultimate victory was overshadowed. Prost had a good lead at one point, and was then reeled in. It happens frequently enough, and is usually seen in a positive light for the eventual winner.



#12 GrumpyOldMan

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 19:14

1981 - Can't argue too much about the legality of the Brabham. But the 1983 championship is clean - there was absolutely nothing illegal with the fuel being used by Brabham (which has been explained at length in another thread).

 

What "preferential" treatment did Piquet have in 86? Mansell had Patrick Head as his race engineer and there were no team orders, despite Piquet having signed a contract to have No 1 status (which should have meant preferential treatment).

 

Mansell should have won the 87 championship at a canter after Piquet's massive shunt at Imola. The fact that Piquet could still win the championship with races to spare despite suffering from constant severe headaches, insomnia and a lack of depth perception is testament to his ability.

 

If you want to indulge in how many races each driver could have won, then Piquet could have won 2 more races in 86 (Mansell got lucky at Brands and Prost got lucky at Adelaide), whilst Piquet could (and should) have won at Silverstone in 87. But for Jones barging into him in Canada 80 & Prost's fuel gamble at Adelaide 86, he could have been a 5 time champion.

 

It is interesting to look at people's perceptions of Mansell & Piquet. Mansell is always judged mainly by his 1986 - 1992 form, whilst his 1980 - 1985 form is (comparatively) ignored. Piquet is judged more by his 87 - 91 form whilst his 80 - 86 form is ignored. Thus, Mansell is usually judged to be a "better" driver. Add in the ignorance and jingoism of the Great British Press and bingo - Mansell's a legend and Piquet's a crybaby.

 

Simple fact is that Nelson was the class of the field from 81 to 85, and was still at the top (along with Mansell, Prost and Senna) in 86 & 87.



#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 19:17

To me the memory of him throwing away any chance of a win at Monaco in 1981, which I witnessed, is the outstanding impression I have of him...

 

Jones showed him he had more speed, Piquet went beserk for a lap and a half and then put the car into the barriers. That and the realisation later that he responded to the 'dollars for points' deal he was given, after a year or two of merely tooling around, totally undermine his standing.



#14 Macca

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 19:19

Piquet's '81 WC was seen as having been lost by Reutemann as least as much as won by NP; in '83 it was Renault losing it by being complacent and by not getting rocket fuel as good as BMW's soon enough; and in '87 it was Mansell's car problems and crash at Suzuka which gave it to NP. 

 

When he joined Lotus (and later Benetton), people who knew NP well said if the car wasn't fast straight away he would cruise rather than fight..........and he did. Fighters become legends.............

 

 

Paul M



#15 garoidb

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 19:37

It is interesting to look at people's perceptions of Mansell & Piquet. Mansell is always judged mainly by his 1986 - 1992 form, whilst his 1980 - 1985 form is (comparatively) ignored. Piquet is judged more by his 87 - 91 form whilst his 80 - 86 form is ignored.

 

Yes, basically Mansell's time at Lotus is quietly ignored while Piquet's time there is usually cited as damning evidence against him (as we see even in this short thread). In some ways this is understandable, as Mansell's time at Lotus could be seen as an apprenticeship before coming good. It was an unusually long apprenticeship, however, and did seem to stagnate. It should be mentioned, though, that both Piquet and Mansell scored several podium finishes for Lotus. Their relative lack of competitiveness in those years can sometimes be overstated. 

 

Interestingly, not only is Piquet's own time at Lotus used to damn him, Mansell's perceived poor performance at Lotus (irrespective of the underlying reasons) is also used as a stick to beat Piquet with (midfield tugger etc).



#16 ensign14

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 19:47

Apparently so. I just don't see how that particular indiscretion became a WDC that was "thrown away" to such an extent that Piquet's ultimate victory was overshadowed. Prost had a good lead at one point, and was then reeled in. It happens frequently enough, and is usually seen in a positive light for the eventual winner.

Remember I'm talking about the perception. When something like that happens, the emphasis is usually on the driver losing than the driver winning - q.v. 2007. 

#17 garoidb

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 20:07

Remember I'm talking about the perception. When something like that happens, the emphasis is usually on the driver losing than the driver winning - q.v. 2007. 

 

Maybe. By the finale, Piquet was very much a contender rather than just having an outside shot. I don't think the reversal was quite as dramatic as he last race of 2007. If Arnoux had won the title, then maybe the analogy would hold better. Anyway, there is nothing to really disagree about on this point.



#18 GrumpyOldMan

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 12:29

To me the memory of him throwing away any chance of a win at Monaco in 1981, which I witnessed, is the outstanding impression I have of him...

 

Jones showed him he had more speed, Piquet went beserk for a lap and a half and then put the car into the barriers. That and the realisation later that he responded to the 'dollars for points' deal he was given, after a year or two of merely tooling around, totally undermine his standing.

Your impression is your business - however, it seems a bit unfair to have an impression of an entire career based on a single race! If that were so then we'd have very few "legends" at all - Senna Monaco 88, Prost Monaco 82, Mansell Monaco 84, etc (just using Monaco GP's as an example).

 

Piquet's '81 WC was seen as having been lost by Reutemann as least as much as won by NP; in '83 it was Renault losing it by being complacent and by not getting rocket fuel as good as BMW's soon enough; and in '87 it was Mansell's car problems and crash at Suzuka which gave it to NP. 

 

When he joined Lotus (and later Benetton), people who knew NP well said if the car wasn't fast straight away he would cruise rather than fight..........and he did. Fighters become legends.............

 

 

Paul M

 

The "rocket fuel" was no such thing (as has been mentioned in this thread and proven in another). Brabham & BMW kept developing their car/engine, whilst Renault froze their development to protect their lead. Renault gambled and lost. Brabham gambled and won. It was because this all happened very late in the season that it appears (to some) that Prost/Renault "threw the title away".

 

In 87 Piquet had the title sewn up before the race at Suzuka - this was despite having raced in 13 races against Mansell's 14. So Mansell's crash merely put an end to what was already a very long shot at the title for him. As for "car troubles" - I think he had 1 more mechanical issue than Piquet during that season. Therefore, after Mexico they had both had the same number of races where they had been unaffected by mechanical issues, yet Piquet was ahead by a country mile. So it wasn't Mansell's car toubles which gifted the title to Piquet, it wasn't Mansell's crash which gifted the title to Piquet - what was it? Perhaps it was just (contrary to popular perception) that Piquet was actually the better driver that year?

 

And again, you're judging Piquet's entire career by his time at 2 teams at the tail-end of his career. This was a time that Nelson himself said it was more difficult to motivate himself (partly the natural process of ageing but a large part of it was the issues he was still suffering from his Imola shunt).


Edited by GrumpyOldMan, 09 September 2013 - 12:29.


#19 GustavoB

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 16:34

I think is more a England based perception that Piquet was not so good as Mansell. 

 

Four or five years ago Racing (a brazilian magazine) did a research about who was better Senna or Piquet?

And to surprise a few people it was Senna 53% to Piquet 47%. Even the magazine called that a draw. And it's normal here in Brazil when you talk with people about F1 to have this kind of discussion, sometimes it's ends in tears.  :lol: 

 

Normally in Brazil Senna is considered a legend (mostly because he was killed inside a racing car doing what he loves) and a better racer but Piquet is considered a more skilled driver (technical) and a better developer.

 

It's all about perception...



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#20 BRG

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 18:01

It's an interesting issue, and not one that I understand.  For myself, I was quite impressed and excited by Piquet in F3 and at first in F1.  I was rooting for him to do well.  I well remember being incensed when Jones put Nelson into the wall (was that the US GP?) as I saw it as a pretty deliberate manoeuvre that was not penalised.  Such things are not really new, whatever we may think when decrying the likes of Maldonaldo.

 

But later on, my enthusiasm for Piquet waned.  It certainly wasn't because of Mansell for whom I have always had enthusiasm very much in check - fast and a real racer, but such a pain in the neck.  I confess that I was at Silverstone for that race and shared the total euphoria (and I still have the Goodyear hat I bought to celebrate) but that was because of such a terrific race, not because it was Mansell who won.  Maybe it was hearing about some of Nelson's off-track comments about other people (disrespectful comments about Mrs Mansell, slurs about Senna etc) and about his juvenile sense of 'humour'.  Or maybe it was just watching Piquet's career and motivation seeming to decline.  

 

Whatever the reason, I have never felt he was a 'great'.  Unfair perhaps, but these things are about personal perceptions rather than just results.  So for me, Gilles Villeneuve is a great, but Mika Hakkinen isn't.  Keke Rosberg is a great, Damon Hill isn't.  Emerson Fittipaldi is a great, Nelson Piquet isn't.


Edited by BRG, 09 September 2013 - 18:02.


#21 kayemod

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 19:34

 

But later on, my enthusiasm for Piquet waned.  It certainly wasn't because of Mansell for whom I have always had enthusiasm very much in check - fast and a real racer, but such a pain in the neck.  I confess that I was at Silverstone for that race and shared the total euphoria (and I still have the Goodyear hat I bought to celebrate) but that was because of such a terrific race, not because it was Mansell who won.  Maybe it was hearing about some of Nelson's off-track comments about other people (disrespectful comments about Mrs Mansell, slurs about Senna etc) and about his juvenile sense of 'humour'.  Or maybe it was just watching Piquet's career and motivation seeming to decline.  

 

 

Nelson doesn't seem to be too well regarded on TNF, this is just the most recent thread to show that, so this will probably fall on deaf ears, but he's always claimed that he was mis-quoted in that infamous Playboy article. It's also worth pointing out that most of the people who actually worked with him have said only good things about him. Nelson was very well liked at both Brabham and Williams, just ask Frank and Bernie, and also towards the end of his career at Benetton. Some months ago I read I Just Made the Tea by Di Spires a woman who along with her husband looked after catering and hospitality for most of the teams in the F1 paddock at various times. This is a fascinating volume that changed my perceptions of a lot of F1 characters, several people that I'd always thought of as 'nice guys' turn out to have been anything but that, while others on the other hand seem to be much nicer than many thought, and Nelson Piquet is one of these. The chapter about that time is entitled 'The Dream Team', and Di says that Nelson and Sandro Nannini were two of the nicest drivers they worked with. Along with husband Stuart, she came to Regard Nelson as one of her all-time favourites, and she backs this up with plenty of fr'instances, so on balance Nelson Piquet doesn't seem to me to be a bad bloke at all.



#22 ensign14

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 19:55

Piquet also pretended to be afraid of being run over when Reutemann left the pits for the first time after the sad incident with the Osella mechanic at Zolder in 1981, so I am guessing enthusiasm amongst those on the inside was kept extremely in check.

#23 Frank S

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 23:06

I am remembering - very vaguely, it's true - that a woman motorsports journalist ranked Piquet at the top of the boor list among all racing drivers.



#24 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 23:30

She thought he was a pig?

 

I wonder what brought that on?



#25 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 23:47

The adoration for Senna has always amazed me. He was an accident waiting to happen with his intimidatory attitude to racing. I always expected him to kill himself in a racecar though the way he died was not it ofcourse. Though he had seemed to mature in those last few months. And was as fast.

Nelson to me is more deserving of the term 'legend'. He did win 3 titles and was a very good, and fair racer though as a person was by all accounts a prat at times.

Stirling Moss is considered a 'legend' too. And he did not win a title. Though ofcourse was a very good racer and seeminly mostly a gentleman too.

#26 chrisj

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 00:34

I think Piquet was one of the smartest drivers of his era -- concentrated a lot on car development in order to make his races easier. He didn't care at all what the press thought (didn't read any of it), was portrayed as a villain by our Nig' and Saint Senna advocates, and had a juvenile sense of humor. He admitted (as recently as last year) that after Imola '87, he was never the same and raced for the money. The press writes the history, and since he wasn't well liked (except by Mike Doodson), his status isn't what it probably should have been. His championship in '83 was a thing of beauty, and he really should have won in '86, too. Piquet should be considered a legend if only for his pass on Senna in Hungary '86.

 

 

Edit: Full disclosure -- I was a paid up member of the Nelson Piquet fan club (organized by his mechanics?) in '83/'84!


Edited by chrisj, 10 September 2013 - 00:37.


#27 eldougo

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 08:50

 Three-time WDC is a legend in my book, it's really was a matter of how the press could not get, Nelson because he did not give a dam about them and it showed and they in turn could not give him the  status he deserved in the WDC .He is way above Senna and Prost by laps.



#28 Michael Ferner

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:48

I never cared that much for Piquet during his heydays, but learned to like him more and more as time marched on. He had a wicked sense of humour, yes, maybe even juvenile, but that put him very much apart from the "serious" drivers of his time, especially Mansell and Senna. He was definitely a "character", and the best of it, he's so down-to-earth and "cool", he doesn't give a shit about whether he's a legend or not unlike Senna who probably checks the heavenly internet every half hour or so to see if he's still a god in the eyes of his fans. Nelson had his time in the sun, and whether you, or you, or you recognize it or not is not of his concern. That is CLASS, pure and simple.


Edited by Michael Ferner, 11 September 2013 - 12:49.


#29 Bill Becketts

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 13:16

I saw a lot of his races at the time and Piquet always struck me as a driver who liked the "Unfair advantage". When  he and Rebaque had the Trick (But perfectly legal) Suspension or when Brabham pioneered fuel stops, for instance.

 

When everything was on his side he was in his element.

 

Loved fast Circuits...not so keen on places like Monaco and not good under pressure (Ask Alan Jones about Monaco OR Zolder :rotfl:  :smoking: )

 

When compared to some of his competitors, I would say he was a Boy amongst Men.

 

Anyone who was there at the time and thinks Piquet was in the same bracket as Senna as far as his application and maturity was concerned, are misguided at best.



#30 E.B.

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 14:17

I never cared that much for Piquet during his heydays, but learned to like him more and more as time marched on.

 

My view of him is almost exactly the opposite. I only discovered F1 late in the 1983 season, and so Piquet became an obvious first choice as a favourite driver. I loved his cool, relaxed attitude, exemplary racecraft, and he was seemingly possessed of more talent than any other driver in F1 at that time. This viewpoint was reinforced by his 1984 season, with the added element of perpetual bad luck that made him even easier to support - especially as his sense of humour seemed to remain intact throughout. A natural hero.

 

Once he joined Williams though, it all seemed to fall apart. Over the next few seasons, far from thinking he was the best in the business, a drastic reassessment of his abilities was due. And the humour which had seemed endearing earlier in his career now seemed puerile and in some cases a bit pathetic. I also learned that he was the driver involved in the Reutemann mocking incident at Zolder, by which point his fall from the pedestal upon which I had placed him was complete.

 

As a driver, it is easy in retrospect to forget how good he was in the early 1980s, as it has been overshadowed by his later career, at Williams and Lotus especially. Nobody today would bracket him with Prost, let alone Senna.



#31 Michael Ferner

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 14:44

All right, if you insist, call me "Nobody" henceforth...



#32 RogerGraham

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 14:47

Prost was engaging in certain extra-curricular activities which, while legal, did not endear him to the Regie's management. 

 

Is it possible to elaborate on this?



#33 ensign14

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 15:17

Hinted at here...



#34 Tim Murray

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 16:38

Also discussed in this thread:

 

Who was Nigel Roebuck referring to?



#35 garoidb

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 17:03

 ;) Also discussed in this thread:

 

Who was Nigel Roebuck referring to?

 

But Piquet is the bad guy for making disparaging remarks about a team member's wife !  ;)  


Edited by garoidb, 11 September 2013 - 17:05.


#36 GrumpyOldMan

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 19:19

I saw a lot of his races at the time and Piquet always struck me as a driver who liked the "Unfair advantage". When  he and Rebaque had the Trick (But perfectly legal) Suspension or when Brabham pioneered fuel stops, for instance.

 

When everything was on his side he was in his element.

 

Loved fast Circuits...not so keen on places like Monaco and not good under pressure (Ask Alan Jones about Monaco OR Zolder :rotfl:  :smoking: )

 

When compared to some of his competitors, I would say he was a Boy amongst Men.

 

Anyone who was there at the time and thinks Piquet was in the same bracket as Senna as far as his application and maturity was concerned, are misguided at best.

I think you'll find that every driver likes to have the "unfair advantage". Senna with Active Suspension in 86 for example, or Nige with his self-driving car in 92. Even Clark with the Lotus 25 could be said to have had an "unfair" advantage.

 

The sainted Senna had his moments of cracking under pressure - Monza 87 when he threw away the win and then Paul Ricard the following year, when Nelson completely out-psyched him when being lapped. Not to mention his numerous crashes with Mansell. Prost had Monaco 82, Zandvoort 83 and Imola in the Ferrari when he slid off on the warm-up lap. Mansell had plenty of times when he threw away good positions.

 

The point is that none of these incidents make any of these drivers any less than "great". They are performing at the limit, lap after lap, race after race so it is hardly surprising that things occasionally go awry. What is interesting is that it appears that only Piquet has these incidents held against him.



#37 William Hunt

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 20:25

I've always considered him a legend. Was a big fan of him when I was a kid. In '85-'86 when Piquet was transferred from Brabham to Williams that was a huge transfer. Piquet was by many regarded as the best driver in Formula 1 after the younger Ayrton Senna and possibly ahead of Prost and Rosberg. I know I rated him 2nd after Senna in terms of talent in '85'-86 but then I should mention that I was a Piquet fan and I hated Prost and didn't like Mansell much either. De Angelis was rated very higly as well in those days.



#38 scheivlak

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 21:59

 Even Clark with the Lotus 25 could be said to have had an "unfair" advantage.

 

Tell that to Trevor Taylor  :D

 

That said, excellent post!



#39 William Hunt

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 00:21

Clark with the Lotus 25 could be said to have had an "unfair" advantage.

 

I would say that the 'unfair advantage' part of the Lotus 25 was mostly the Scottish driver that was steering it.



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#40 Wirra

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 02:48

I'm not really addressing the OP but IIRC Jones was the driver/car to beat in '81 and if not for a series of uncharacteristic mechanical DNFs caused by a mysterious fuel starvation problem (IIRC traced to a vibrating fuel pump mount) would have been WDC. That would have resulted in Jones 2xWDC and Nelson 2xWDC. Winning a WDC/s to me means you were in the best car and beat your team-mate.

 

I like to judge drivers on their performance either against their team-mate or once they leave a winning team. For example, I didn't think much of Damon Hill winning the WDC but he went way up in my estimation later in his career.



#41 William Hunt

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 04:19

From my book Grand Prix by Nigel Roebuck & John Townsend, published at the end of '86: " When Frank Williams signed Piquet for 1986, he announced that he now had 'the best driver in the world' in his team. A lot of people agreed with him." Piquet was paid 60.000 pounds a week. So that doesn't sound like Piquet was underrated at all to me, in fact I am sure he never was underrated since I closely followed F1 in those days.



#42 RA Historian

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 14:59

 unlike Senna who probably checks the heavenly internet every half hour or so to see if he's still a god in the eyes of his fans.

I am glad to see that I am not the only one who does not worship at the altar of Senna. To me Suzuka 1990, the most despicable act in the history of racing, forever branded Senna as a driver of low on track morals and one who was not worthy of any respect. I know, it is heresy not to kiss Senna's ring, but count me out as an admirer.


Edited by RA Historian, 12 September 2013 - 15:00.


#43 hogstar

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 20:09

I am glad to see that I am not the only one who does not worship at the altar of Senna. To me Suzuka 1990, the most despicable act in the history of racing, forever branded Senna as a driver of low on track morals and one who was not worthy of any respect. I know, it is heresy not to kiss Senna's ring, but count me out as an admirer.

 

I must agree on the above. Senna could be a danger to himself and others around him and I remember thinking that many years before he got killed. That has kind of been forgotten in history of F1. Prost was the much smarter driver which is the main reason why he is still alive and Senna is not. Anyway, back on the main subject...

 

Piquet. I would give the main reason he is not legendary in my eyes is that in his Brabham years, it was a one car team. I don't mean to be unfair to Patrese, who I rated highly, but the whole team was based around him every step of the way and the Number Two seat at Brabham was the oddest seat in F1. Rebaque, Zuniho, The Fabi Brothers, Surer, Hesnault... It was a token effort for the second car. Had Piquet had higher quality team mates instead of Bernie's rent - a - drivers, then maybe history would look at Nelson differently.

 

When all said and done, you don't win the 3 WDC's without being very good, but Prost and Senna were always held in higher regard. Personally after his Imola accident he wasn't quite the same, though the same could be said of Berger and several others. Having a 'big one' can make a driver look at the world slightly differently... 



#44 Bill Becketts

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 20:48

OT I know but...

 

I have never understood the "Senna at Suzuka in 1990 was unforgivable" thing. Ayrton saw this as nothing more than balancing the books in my opinion. 

 

Prost chopped Senna as he tried to overtake him into the Chicane in 1989. Both Drivers stopped. Eventally Senna was wrongly robbed of a fantastic "Win from behind" Victory, giving the Championship to Prost.

 

One year later, fighting for the Championship again with Prost, Senna wanted to swop the side he took the start from and despite pointing out previous examples to the FIA, they insisted he started from pole on the normal (Dirty) side of the track.

 

Once they started and Prost took advantage of the better grip into the first corner, Senna believed his predetermined action of neutralising Prost (Both non scoring equals Senna as Champion so reversing the previous the "Wrong" of 1989) was the only right thing to do.   

 

I know I am at odds with Nigel Roebuck on this, so there's another reason to post  ;)  



#45 chrisj

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 21:06

OT I know but...

 

I have never understood the "Senna at Suzuka in 1990 was unforgivable" thing. Ayrton saw this as nothing more than balancing the books in my opinion. 

 

Prost chopped Senna as he tried to overtake him into the Chicane in 1989. Both Drivers stopped. Eventally Senna was wrongly robbed of a fantastic "Win from behind" Victory, giving the Championship to Prost.

 

One year later, fighting for the Championship again with Prost, Senna wanted to swop the side he took the start from and despite pointing out previous examples to the FIA, they insisted he started from pole on the normal (Dirty) side of the track.

 

Once they started and Prost took advantage of the better grip into the first corner, Senna believed his predetermined action of neutralising Prost (Both non scoring equals Senna as Champion so reversing the previous the "Wrong" of 1989) was the only right thing to do.   

 

I know I am at odds with Nigel Roebuck on this, so there's another reason to post  ;)  

Simple. Two wrongs don't make a right, should have been a lifetime ban for Saint Senna. To bring the thread back to Piquet, both he and Mansell referenced this in an interview last year, (paraphrasing) "... we may have hated each other, but at least we never deliberately took out a rival to win the championship".



#46 garoidb

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 21:07

OT I know but...

 

I have never understood the "Senna at Suzuka in 1990 was unforgivable" thing. Ayrton saw this as nothing more than balancing the books in my opinion. 

 

It is on topic. Nelson won the race (and the next one)   :) . 


Edited by garoidb, 12 September 2013 - 21:08.


#47 garoidb

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 21:09

Simple. Two wrongs don't make a right, should have been a lifetime ban for Saint Senna. To bring the thread back to Piquet, both he and Mansell referenced this in an interview last year, (paraphrasing) "... we may have hated each other, but at least we never deliberately took out a rival to win the championship".

 

Yes. I got the impression they were referencing both 1989 and 1990 actually. Piquet may have been thinking of 1980.



#48 D-Type

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 21:49

OT I know but...

 

I have never understood the "Senna at Suzuka in 1990 was unforgivable" thing. Ayrton saw this as nothing more than balancing the books in my opinion. 

 

Prost chopped Senna as he tried to overtake him into the Chicane in 1989. Both Drivers stopped. Eventally Senna was wrongly robbed of a fantastic "Win from behind" Victory, giving the Championship to Prost.

 

One year later, fighting for the Championship again with Prost, Senna wanted to swop the side he took the start from and despite pointing out previous examples to the FIA, they insisted he started from pole on the normal (Dirty) side of the track.

 

Once they started and Prost took advantage of the better grip into the first corner, Senna believed his predetermined action of neutralising Prost (Both non scoring equals Senna as Champion so reversing the previous the "Wrong" of 1989) was the only right thing to do.   

 

I know I am at odds with Nigel Roebuck on this, so there's another reason to post  ;)  

Simple.  It was premeditated.  Other incidents are considered to have been 'spur of the moment' but Senna admitted later that he had decided before the race that he would take Prost out.



#49 ensign14

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 21:51

OT I know but...

 

I have never understood the "Senna at Suzuka in 1990 was unforgivable" thing. Ayrton saw this as nothing more than balancing the books in my opinion. 

 

Prost's was a one-off cack-handed block at little more than walking pace.  Senna hit Prost so hard that they both went through the sand trap and into the tyre wall.  Right in front of a full field of F1 cars. 



#50 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 22:04

Simple. Two wrongs don't make a right, should have been a lifetime ban for Saint Senna. To bring the thread back to Piquet, both he and Mansell referenced this in an interview last year, (paraphrasing) "... we may have hated each other, but at least we never deliberately took out a rival to win the championship".

There is a German bloke who has done that too. Ask Damon about it!