Jump to content


Photo

Top drivers who never won the F1 title


  • Please log in to reply
144 replies to this topic

#101 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,204 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 27 January 2014 - 15:30

As for the AUTOSPORT list, I haven't been following racing the last ten or fifteen years, and hence never saw Kubica drive, but if he really won only one Grand Prix, what's the point in listing him third??? Then, why don't list Onofre Marimón, Ricardo Rodríguez, or Bertrand Fabi, for that matter? Speculating about how a driver could possibly have developed over time is pretty pointless, isn't it? I'm afraid the same goes for Chris Amon - definitely one of the best ever drivers to never win a world championship race, but a potential world champion?? Who's to say that, if he had ever managed that elusive first win, he would have "clicked" like Jochen Rindt did - not everybody does, and maybe today he would be a one-hit wonder, amongst the Brambillas, Baghettis and Beltoises of his era.

 

Of course, the real problem with this idea (and this thread) is the lack of definition of what constitutes a proper "top driver". In my humble opinion, only Stirling Moss really qualifies.


Edited by Michael Ferner, 27 January 2014 - 15:33.


Advertisement

#102 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 37,312 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 27 January 2014 - 15:37

I don't remember Reutemann throwing in the towel. He finished 7th, didn't he?

 

8th - a lap behind his team-mate...



#103 kayemod

kayemod
  • Member

  • 7,189 posts
  • Joined: August 05

Posted 27 January 2014 - 17:08

 

 

Of course, the real problem with this idea (and this thread) is the lack of definition of what constitutes a proper "top driver". In my humble opinion, only Stirling Moss really qualifies.

 

 

Yes, and I think this latest mention of that revered name would be a good point to bring this discussion to a close.

 

(It will probably drag on for several weeks though).


Edited by kayemod, 27 January 2014 - 18:49.


#104 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 37,312 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 28 January 2014 - 08:27

The problem with the gearbox vanishing hypothesis is that Patrick Head afterwards said that the gearbox is in good order.  Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?  But then again Reutemann's media friends would also say that he had gearbox problems, wouldn't they?

 

Besides which, it was claimed he lost fourth gear on lap 3 - by which time he was already down to 7th.  Carlos was good enough to drive around that, he had no clutch at Imola the year before and came third.  I think he said later that the spare car he was using was not as well balanced as his race car and he had problems engaging gears, but that ought not make a lap difference. 

 

And it can't be a case of the British media dumping on Reutemann in favour of Piquet; Roebuck has written to say that most of the Brits were rooting for Carlos...



#105 Stephen W

Stephen W
  • Member

  • 11,723 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 28 January 2014 - 11:32

Good question, as it highlights couple of major changes in Grand Prix racing over the years.

 

One is reliability. During the '62-65' years, for example, Clark's Lotus 25 and 33s was the pacesetter, but they often broke down, as was normal back in those days. Had Clark enjoyed the reliability that Vettel has now and Schumacher had in his five championship years at Ferrari, he would've had a statistically equally impressive record as those recent top drivers.

 

At Kyalami back in 1967 Rodriguez qualified fourth. The front row was an all-Brabham affair, but both Hulme and Brabham had problems during the race. Third on the grid was Clark, in the Lotus 43 with the H16 engine from BRM - which broke, as it used to, when installed in Clark's car, in this instance at quarter distance. So in this instance, Rodriguez Cooper T81-Maserati wasn't the fastest car, it was merely the fastests of the survivors. Not unusual in those days to have a slower car come out on top in a race of attrition, as witnessed by wins like Trintignant at Monaco '55 or Bandini at Zeltweg in '64. The last example, I can recall, was when Panis won at Monaco in a Ligier in the mid-90s.

 

The secon point is technical diversity, which meant some cars were more competitive on certain types of circuits than on others. An example was the 1953 Maserati, which due to its marginally stronger engine matched the Ferrari 500 at faster circuits as Reims and Monza, but was inferior to the Ferrari on circuits with more turns, as its rigid rear axle made its handling inferior to the Ferrari which had a De Dion rear suspension.

 

Another example is the splendid McLaren M23, which never featured strongly in Monaco (or Long Beach), where its large dimensions made it difficult to handle, whereas its large "footprint" gave it a definite aerodynamic advantage elsewhere.

 

The layout of the cars also differed quit a lot - during the 70's, we had front-radiators, side-mounted radiator - both at front end and the extreme rear of the sidepods - and even rear-mounted radiators. A few even tried putting the radiator on the front of the cockpit-fairing (the 1978 Wolf, and the 1979 Ensign).

 

We used to have not only several engine suppliers, butalso a variety of configurations - straight-4, straight-6, V6, straight-8, V8, V12, flat-12 and even V16 and H16, which meant engine characteristics were varied as well (some engines had superior torque, giving them an advantage on slower circuits, others were strongest at top revs, amking them better suited to places like Monza or Spa.

 

The different solutions to the challenge posed by the F1 rules meants that a car could be at the front one weekend, and a fortnight later, it would be burried deep in the mid-field. Of course some years the dominantcar was so dominant it was fastest everywhere, but in some seasons the pace-setting car was only marginally quicker, which in turn meant that on certain circuits another car might've had the upper hand.

 

In the case of Rodriguez' BRM P153 of 1970, it was at its best at the fast circuits, as witnessed by the results (Rodriguez only lost a win at Watkins Glen because he had to make a late splash-and-dash for fuel, and before that, at Monza, he also featured strongly - you will fin a similar pattern, if you examine Jackie Oliver's 1970 season). At Spa the Ferrari 312B still wasn't fully developed, and the other major pace-setter of '70, the Lotus 72, wasn't even used by Chapman's lead driver, Jochen Rindt, so the BRM was the thing to have.

 

Chris Amon's recollection of the race (as told to Simon Taylor for a "Lunch with..." feature in MotorSport of June 2008) certainly supports this point of view:

 

"At Spa I was leading from Jackie and Jochen, and I could see them getting smaller in my mirrors. Then suddenly was this BRM looming up. Pedro Rodriguez - he'd been eight on the grid, a good couple of seconds slower than me and Jackie in qualifying. I thought, where the hell did he come from? He just blew by. I stuck with him. and I worked out that the only way I could pass him was by taking the Masta kink flat, and getting him down the hill. It had never been flat up to then, but on the last lap I hung back, and then I went for it. I did get it flat between the buildings - I was that close to the wall - and I drafted past him down to Stavelot. That was when I set the lap record. But on the long drag up the hill, he just steamed past again."

 

In 1971, newly arrived at Matra after leaving BRM, Aubrey Woods told Amon, that BRM had build a 3,5 liter engine, but wouldn't say where it had been used. Amon believed that it had been at Spa, and must clearly have told Nigel Roebuck so, because some 20 yars ago Roebuck claimed in his weekly olumn in Autosport, that one of Amon's second places had been behind a car with an oversized engine. This caused Doug Nye to investigate, and his conclusion was that the BRM engine was legal and that it was slightly different (placing of the inlet valves somewhere else than usually), as it was the team's development unit (there is a thread about the 1970 Belgian GP where all details are available somwehere in the TNF - I haven't figured outhow to create a link, but it is titled "1970 Belgian GP, Spa-Francorchamps").

 

However, my conclusion is that due to the configuration (V12) the BRM engine had an advantage on fast circuits, and as the particular engine used by Rodriguez that day was the special development unit, which took even kinder to high revs than the usual BRM V12, he had the dominant car of that race. And Pedro being Pedro, he did exactly what he had to do to cross the line first :up:

So let me get this right; (a) the Cooper-Maserati T81 was dominant because it was reliable and slow and (b)  the BRM P153 was dominant because it was good on fast tracks and was quick on one day due in no small part to the team bolting in a development engine!  

 

Sorry but neither really match the definition of dominant.



#106 Spaceframe

Spaceframe
  • Member

  • 231 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 28 January 2014 - 14:03

So let me get this right; (a) the Cooper-Maserati T81 was dominant because it was reliable and slow and (b)  the BRM P153 was dominant because it was good on fast tracks and was quick on one day due in no small part to the team bolting in a development engine!  

 

Sorry but neither really match the definition of dominant.

My apologies - I wasn't born speaking English, so my vocabulary might be a bit incomplete.

 

But I hope you agree that the BRM P153 of Rodriguez was the fastest car of the day at the 1970 Belgian GP and the Cooper T81-Maserati was the fastest of those cars not to break down during the 1967 South African GP (incidentally, Rodriguez outpaced his team-mate Jochen Rindt that day in '67, so he certainly made better use of the equipment than his highly rated team-mate).

 

I'd of course like to hear suggestions as how to evaluate drivers' skills over the years. So far, quite a few posts seem more concerned about telling why the writer doesn't think such a phenomena is worth dealing with, and other than that I've been told I have a "twisted logic" (not by you, thanks) without anybody bothering to substantiate their opinion. I must admit I'm a bit disappointed, as I always thought this was a place where the members did bother to qualify their opinions.... :confused:  



#107 FerrariV12

FerrariV12
  • Member

  • 348 posts
  • Joined: October 04

Posted 28 January 2014 - 17:43

I got bored and decided to try something - with the obvious disclaimers that you'd usually associate with this sort of crude analysis. Looking at each world championship table from 1950 and removing any past, current or future champion (basically leaving only those eligible for this list), and seeing who came out on top of those left in a particular season. Take it or (more likely) leave it :)

 

Oh and another disclaimer, I did this by hand in case of any errors (EDIT: got 1954 wrong)... 

 

Those with more than one "title":

 

4 - Stirling Moss, Jacky Ickx, Carlos Reutemann, Riccardo Patrese, Gerhard Berger, David Coulthard, Mark Webber

3 - Ronnie Peterson, Felipe Massa, Rubens Barrichello

2 - Bruce McLaren, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jose Froilan Gonzalez

 

Villeneuve, Brooks, Amon, Gurney, all appear but only the once (kind of indicating the relevance of what I've just done, oh well). 1966 saw seven past/present/future champions filling the top seven (the highest I found) leaving Mike Parkes in 8th top of the non-champions in the order that year. Apart from Mark Webber in 2012 everyone else finished top five.

 

Full list:

 

Spoiler

 

The latter part of the list is dominated by your stereotypical "good number two driver in best car". Take out drivers who finished behind their teammate and you are left with Ickx on 4, Moss and Berger on 3, and Reutemann with 2, many others remaining with 1. Webber goes from 4 to 0, while Patrese, Coulthard and Massa all drop to one a piece, as does Ronnie.

 

OK I should stop now...


Edited by FerrariV12, 28 January 2014 - 18:02.


#108 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,204 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 28 January 2014 - 18:04

The problem with the gearbox vanishing hypothesis is that Patrick Head afterwards said that the gearbox is in good order.  Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?  But then again Reutemann's media friends would also say that he had gearbox problems, wouldn't they?
 
Besides which, it was claimed he lost fourth gear on lap 3 - by which time he was already down to 7th.  Carlos was good enough to drive around that, he had no clutch at Imola the year before and came third.  I think he said later that the spare car he was using was not as well balanced as his race car and he had problems engaging gears, but that ought not make a lap difference. 
 
And it can't be a case of the British media dumping on Reutemann in favour of Piquet; Roebuck has written to say that most of the Brits were rooting for Carlos...


I don't get it. So, are you REALLY suggesting that Reutemann gave up, threw in the towel, went on a Sunday drive or whatever, BUT CONTINUED TO DRIVE FOR TWO HOURS on one of the physically most demanding tracks F1 has ever visited (it made lesser men vomit, you know...) just to finish a miserly eighth??? For what purpose??? Wouldn't it have been easier to park the car on lap 3 and say that the gearbox was jammed if he was too "moody", too tired or whatever to fight??? If your horse is dead, dismount!

#109 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,204 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 28 January 2014 - 18:30

I'd of course like to hear suggestions as how to evaluate drivers' skills over the years. So far, quite a few posts seem more concerned about telling why the writer doesn't think such a phenomena is worth dealing with, and other than that I've been told I have a "twisted logic" (not by you, thanks) without anybody bothering to substantiate their opinion. I must admit I'm a bit disappointed, as I always thought this was a place where the members did bother to qualify their opinions.... :confused:


Yeah, that was me! Sorry, I didn't read all of your posts, as I did't really feel like twisting my brains into a knot, but your opening sentence (was it?) about "first tier drivers who regularly won in non-dominant cars" already had me in stitches. So, we have that old argument again about dominant and not-so-dominant cars (yawn!). "If driver X wins, it's the car, and if driver Y wins, it's the driver..." yeah, yeah, one can guess the rest. Reading on who's on your short list of regular winners in non-dominant cars, I can't stop shaking my head - if this looks like I'm a Villeneuve basher, I ain't, but this sort of nonsense just goes to show how much he's overrated - When was Gilles Villeneuve ever a regular winner?? Okay so, maybe in 1979, but you are not going to tell me he drove a non-dominant car that year, as his teammate (who only rates second tier in your *twisted* logic - how else can one name that?) won the title! And so it goes on and on, and time becomes too valuable to waste it with discussing such nonsense.

It's not your vocabulary that is incomplete, it's your logic!

#110 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 37,312 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 28 January 2014 - 19:20

I don't get it. So, are you REALLY suggesting that Reutemann gave up, threw in the towel, went on a Sunday drive or whatever, BUT CONTINUED TO DRIVE FOR TWO HOURS on one of the physically most demanding tracks F1 has ever visited (it made lesser men vomit, you know...) just to finish a miserly eighth??? For what purpose??? Wouldn't it have been easier to park the car on lap 3 and say that the gearbox was jammed if he was too "moody", too tired or whatever to fight??? If your horse is dead, dismount!

This is the point, isn't it?  The stories are contradictory.  Either the gearbox was rubbish or it was not.  In the first instance Carlos was heroic to just hang on in there, hoping to sneak a point or two, in the latter there was something else wrong. 

 

He was in the spare car for the race so that lends some credence that he didn't like the set-up.  Autocourse suggests Reutemann raised a handling concern on the grid, and complained about gearbox and handling afterwards; no sign though it was anything terminal.  Maurice Hamilton points out that the Williams mechanics were changing the tyre pressures on the grid itself and Reutemann was the only driver to stay in his car when the clerk of the course was briefing the grid.  Automobile Sport reports that Reutemann complained on the morning of the race about the pole position being on the left so the organizers moved him to the right, and complained about cross-weighting and gear-change problems (rather than a lack of gears).  Whereas Motor Sport suggests Reutemann had lost 4th gear.

 

The best way to reconcile everything is to suggest that Reutemann didn't like the handling of the spare, felt that everything was working against him when he lost 4th, and trundled along either more in hope than expectation or as a form of self-punishment.  Piquet in Autocourse is quoted as saying that Carlos braked amazingly early when he overtook him, after following him for a few laps.  Alan Henry reported that Reutemann bet him after the British GP that Reutemann would not win the title.  Self-fulfilling prophecy?

 

Perhaps Reutemann would have won the title had he had a perfect car at Vegas.  He didn't.  The thing is someone like Gilles would have at least fought through, the eye-witness accounts suggest Carlos did not.  And his latter part of the season was far more erratic than the confident and composed Carlos of the previous 18 or so months. 

 

It seems a bit similar to Button in 2009.  Only Button racked up a much bigger lead in the first part of the season, and after coasting for a while dug out a tiger drive at Brazil when it mattered to clinch the title.  Like Reutemann, Button seems to be one of those drivers who is sublime in a well set-up car but struggles when it struggles - but when it was on the line Button seized his chance, Reutemann let it slip.



#111 Stephen W

Stephen W
  • Member

  • 11,723 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 29 January 2014 - 09:05

My apologies - I wasn't born speaking English, so my vocabulary might be a bit incomplete.

 

But I hope you agree that the BRM P153 of Rodriguez was the fastest car of the day at the 1970 Belgian GP and the Cooper T81-Maserati was the fastest of those cars not to break down during the 1967 South African GP (incidentally, Rodriguez outpaced his team-mate Jochen Rindt that day in '67, so he certainly made better use of the equipment than his highly rated team-mate).

 

I'd of course like to hear suggestions as how to evaluate drivers' skills over the years. So far, quite a few posts seem more concerned about telling why the writer doesn't think such a phenomena is worth dealing with, and other than that I've been told I have a "twisted logic" (not by you, thanks) without anybody bothering to substantiate their opinion. I must admit I'm a bit disappointed, as I always thought this was a place where the members did bother to qualify their opinions.... :confused:  

 

Certainly on the day Rodriguez was unstoppable, I should know having attended the race. He was helped with a couple of retirements but never the less he probably would have won even without the others hitting problems.

 

Certainly in early 1967 reliability was still a key factor and the lumbering T81 was by that time reliable if a tad slow.

 

The problem with all these sort of threads is that personal opinions often subsume logic. Let us not forget that there are statistics, statistics and damned lies. Anyone can be selective in producing a statistic and then try to pass it off as fact.



#112 Spaceframe

Spaceframe
  • Member

  • 231 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 29 January 2014 - 16:01

 

The problem with all these sort of threads is that personal opinions often subsume logic. Let us not forget that there are statistics, statistics and damned lies. Anyone can be selective in producing a statistic and then try to pass it off as fact.

Indeed. Nothing beats the actual race reports, complete with lap charts, quotes from drivers, data from all practice sessions, information about the weather, cut-away drawings of new developments (Giorgio Piola is my favourite), close-up pictures of the cars in the pits and so on, supplemented by more recent accounts from drivers, engineers, designers and everybody else who took part.



#113 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 2,178 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 31 January 2014 - 23:21

Don't understand the Reutemann "love in" at all.

 

Championship / races wins comparison with Peterson during the seasons they both did in full (including 1978 since Ronnie finished higher than Carlos despite sadly missing the last two races).

 

Season      RP       CR       Best Car ? / Wins

 

1972          9          16        Pretty much equal. Neither won

1973          3            7        RP /  RP 4 : CR 0

1974          5            6        CR  /  CR 3: RP 3

1975         13           3        CR / CR 1: RP 0

1976         11          16      CR /  CR 0: RP 1 ( Have excluded the last 3 races as CR wasn't entered but RP didn't score in any of them )

1977         14          4        CR / CR 1: RP 0

1978           2          3         RP / RP 2 : CR 4 ( 1 of which was after RP death )

 

Better Position: RP 5 : CR 2

Years with better car : RP 2 :CR 4 Neither: 1

Years got better position with worse car: RP 2 : CR 0

Wins: RP 10 : CR 9 ( 8 if you exclude the one after RP died )

 

Carlos had a very competitive car from 1974 onwards ie 5 seasons. Ronnie during 1973, possibly 1974 and 1978 ie 2.5 seasons


Edited by LittleChris, 01 February 2014 - 00:24.


#114 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,204 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 01 February 2014 - 18:22

Perhaps Reutemann would have won the title had he had a perfect car at Vegas.  He didn't.  The thing is someone like Gilles would have at least fought through, the eye-witness accounts suggest Carlos did not.  And his latter part of the season was far more erratic than the confident and composed Carlos of the previous 18 or so months.


I don't know about your obscure "eye witness", but the fact alone that he finished that race proves beyond any reasonable doubt that Reutemann did "fight through" - or does your Villeneuve reference mean that you think that anybody who doesn't crash on a regular basis can't be trying hard enough?

And, no, I'm not a Reutemann fan, never was, although I did root for him in '81 (mainly because I disliked Piquet at the time). As already stated, he wouldn't make my list anyway, and neither would Peterson; the list starts and stops with Stirling Moss (with a very distant and lonely Jacky Ickx as a might-have-been). A "top driver" is the one everybody else regards as the yard stick, and only Moss fits that criterion - Ickx would if he hadn't run against JYS most of his career.

#115 kayemod

kayemod
  • Member

  • 7,189 posts
  • Joined: August 05

Posted 01 February 2014 - 20:56

"Carlos finished second in the world championship once (1981) and third three times (1975, 1978, 1980). Along with the legendary Stirling Moss, in my opinion, he’s the greatest Formula 1 driver never to have become world champion."

 

 

Yes you're absolutely right, Carlos Reutemann is the only driver mentioned in this thread worthy of being compared with Sir Stirling, how could we forget all his sports car victories, especially his epic Mille Miglia win. He won a lot of saloon car races as well, didn't he? Didn't he??



#116 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 37,312 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 01 February 2014 - 21:55

I don't know about your obscure "eye witness", but the fact alone that he finished that race proves beyond any reasonable doubt that Reutemann did "fight through" - or does your Villeneuve reference mean that you think that anybody who doesn't crash on a regular basis can't be trying hard enough?

 

It's people on this thread (and the other linked one) describing Carlos that day.  And I think Villeneuve's tendency to crash is perhaps over-stated - after all the only driver to finish every race last season was Max Chilton, was that because he was brilliant at driving around problems or was it because he was some way within his limits?



#117 BRG

BRG
  • Member

  • 11,581 posts
  • Joined: September 99

Posted 01 February 2014 - 23:36

Yes you're absolutely right, Carlos Reutemann is the only driver mentioned in this thread worthy of being compared with Sir Stirling, how could we forget all his sports car victories, especially his epic Mille Miglia win. He won a lot of saloon car races as well, didn't he? Didn't he??

A cheap shot.  How about Sir Stirling's three Brazilian GP wins? Or his two 3rd place finishes in the Codasur (Argentina) Rally?

 

Maybe he doesn't match Moss but to bash him for not winning an event that he wasn't old enough to do is a bit low.



#118 kayemod

kayemod
  • Member

  • 7,189 posts
  • Joined: August 05

Posted 02 February 2014 - 11:33

A cheap shot.  How about Sir Stirling's three Brazilian GP wins? Or his two 3rd place finishes in the Codasur (Argentina) Rally?

 

Maybe he doesn't match Moss but to bash him for not winning an event that he wasn't old enough to do is a bit low.

 

A cheap shot? Not at all, and that's not what I intended. Just making the point that to compare moody and temperamental but very good on his day Carlos, with never had an off-day, brilliant in the wet, the greatest all-rounder the sport has ever seen, and an odds-on favourite to win in any truly competitive car he sat in Sir Stirling, is fanciful in the extreme, is this thread a refugee from Racing Comments?



#119 SEdward

SEdward
  • Member

  • 834 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 02 February 2014 - 20:10

Without the crash in Canada that ended his season, Jacky Ickx could have even won the championship in 1968, his first full season in F1. After the Italian Grand Prix, he was only 3 points behind Graham Hill...

 

In 1969, Stewart was the class of the field and, even if Jacky managed to beat him twice, the title was never really in doubt. He has said on record that he was glad that he didn't win in 1970, given the very sad circumstances. The B2 was off the pace in 1971, but in 1972 he could have won the title with a little more reliability. It was all downhill from then on.

 

A great driver, who won a whole lot of races in many different disciplines, but never a World Champion. Mind you, having read countless interviews with him, he doesn't seem to be particularly bothered by that!

 

Edward



Advertisement

#120 BRG

BRG
  • Member

  • 11,581 posts
  • Joined: September 99

Posted 02 February 2014 - 21:21

....never had an off-day..

Really?  Or is that just part of the myth?  He is human after all, I am sure he had off-days just like anyone else.

 

.. the greatest all-rounder the sport has ever seen...

I'd say Graham Hill had a better claim to that title.  Remind me about Sir Stirling's Le Mans and Indy record?

 

I agree with you that Moss is the top driver never to have been WDC.  But you do him a disservice by making exaggerated claims about him. Very Racing Comments.                                  



#121 D-Type

D-Type
  • Member

  • 8,052 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 02 February 2014 - 22:05

"The greatest all-rounder the sport has ever seen" is somewhat away from the topic of this thread.  It must include American claimants such as Mario Andretti and AJ Foyt, and Pre-World championship stars such as Tazio Nuvolari, Rudolph Caracciola, Louis Chiron and Raymond Sommer.

 

And in this day and age of specialisation, unfortunately no current and recent drivers can be considered


Edited by D-Type, 17 June 2014 - 11:21.


#122 arttidesco

arttidesco
  • Member

  • 5,671 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 02 February 2014 - 22:34

Without the crash in Canada that ended his season, Jacky Ickx could have even won the championship in 1968, his first full season in F1.

 

A great driver, who won a whole lot of races in many different disciplines, but never a World Champion.

 

For the sake of a little non controversial accuracy and perspective, lets not forget that Jacky is actually a two time world champion  ;)



#123 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 6,030 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 02 February 2014 - 23:41

Remind me about Sir Stirling's Le Mans and Indy record?

I don't want to get into a greatest all rounder debate but Moss did finish second twice at Łe Mans and might have won in ’55 if Mercedes hadn't withdrawn. However, I don't believe that any of the top Grand Prix drivers of the 50's took Le Mans seriously.

#124 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,204 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 04 February 2014 - 15:47

It could also be argued that Villeneuve absolutely deserves to be second only to Moss. He only did four full seasons, of which two were hampered by 'difficult' machinery. 1979 could have gone either way between him and Scheckter. His race in Belgium was hampered by a pitstop as a result of getting caught up in someone else's collision (involving Scheckter, who got away with it and won the race)

 

Absolutely, Jody deserved the title. No question. The issue is that Villeneuve would have been equally deserving, rather than it being generally assumed that he threw the title away through impetuosity. The case in point was mainly the Zolder incident, which was Scheckter's mistake, but Villeneuve's loss.


By chance, I just found the video of the Zolder race and it shows at about 7' that the incident as described by plutoman did never happen. Scheckter wasn't even involved in Villeneuve's accident, which was entirely his own fault.

#125 plutoman

plutoman
  • Member

  • 91 posts
  • Joined: June 10

Posted 04 February 2014 - 16:00

I disagree; if you watch at 6:53 you see Scheckter cutting across Regazzoni and sideswiping him, causing him to go offline and brake directly in front of Villeneuve. Arguable who was at fault, but Scheckter was most certainly 'involved'.

 

The point being that Jody rolled the dice on this occasion and won. A couple of inches either way and he and Clay would have been in the fence, leaving Gilles a chance to win the race and go into the second half of the season with a handy championship lead. I was just trying to illustrate that there wasn't that much between them. If that wasn't a reckless move by Jody then what was it? - Also, Scheckter's drive from the back at Zandvoort was hardly that of someone being careful and circumspect. It seems that perceptions have become entrenched over the years about their respective styles. It becomes less 'black and white' the more you look at it.


Edited by plutoman, 04 February 2014 - 16:33.


#126 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,204 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 04 February 2014 - 18:18

I'm not going to argue the point that the '79 season was a close-run thing, nor am I going to say that Scheckter was always a careful and circumspect driver. He'd had had his share of incidents, but by 1979 he was a very mature and calculating contender. To blame that Villeneuve crash on Scheckter is pure fanboy phantasy.

#127 plutoman

plutoman
  • Member

  • 91 posts
  • Joined: June 10

Posted 04 February 2014 - 19:10

Watching it as closely as possible, given the quality of the pictures, I'd say they were all partly to blame - Scheckter chopped, Regga didn't concede, and Gilles should have backed off when he saw what was happening in front of him (all easy in hindsight, probably less so at 100mph). A racing accident, but a good illustration of luck riding with one party on the day. 



#128 plutoman

plutoman
  • Member

  • 91 posts
  • Joined: June 10

Posted 04 February 2014 - 20:57

No. Clay didn't concede to Jody. You've misunderstood my sentence.



#129 Mohican

Mohican
  • Member

  • 775 posts
  • Joined: May 01

Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:39

The topic here is "Top drivers who never won the F1 title".

 

Make that Moss, Reutemann, Villeneuve - and the most exciting 70's driver of all: Ronnie !



#130 zanquis

zanquis
  • Member

  • 196 posts
  • Joined: September 13

Posted 06 February 2014 - 21:25

I think they missed Nannini but maybe his career was cut off too fast. Webber was also very close to winning, was imho better the Patrese.

As honorable mention i would say Alesi, and would rank Montoya much lower. He was not F1 star, great in indy but just decent in F1 imho.

#131 BRG

BRG
  • Member

  • 11,581 posts
  • Joined: September 99

Posted 06 February 2014 - 23:28

As honorable mention i would say Alesi, and would rank Montoya much lower. He was not F1 star, great in indy but just decent in F1 imho.

A curious conclusion to reach.  Alesi with one GP win from 201 GP starts is ranked better than Montoya with 7 GP wins from 85 GP starts?  Neither should trouble the real contenders in this case of course.



#132 plutoman

plutoman
  • Member

  • 91 posts
  • Joined: June 10

Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:13

Ok, I see what you meant. Clay had the right to hold his inside line, but Scheckter passed him just the same and I don't think Clay had any complaints about Jody's move.

 

From Grand Prix International magazine: "Jody Scheckter ... seems to have overtaken Regga in dubious circumstances (according to the Swiss), touching a wheel and climbing over it."

 

For the record, this is Gilles' own account from Gerald Donaldson's book: "In the chicane, Regazzoni bumped with Jody. Jody had the advantage in the corner but Clay wanted to fight it anyway" ... "I thought something broke on Clay's car but there was nothing I could do. I was a foot behind him and he stopped there. I ran into him with my wing and ran over him with my wheel"


Edited by plutoman, 07 February 2014 - 09:28.


#133 plutoman

plutoman
  • Member

  • 91 posts
  • Joined: June 10

Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:11

I am trying hard to be impartial and polite. You are not. Discussion over.



#134 plutoman

plutoman
  • Member

  • 91 posts
  • Joined: June 10

Posted 07 February 2014 - 11:52

Fair enough; no worries. I was just getting irritated as my the original point was how close it came to Scheckter going out of that race, and the consequenses of that had Gilles won instead. Ifs ... buts etc. I'm well aware of Gilles' faults, but often these things are less clear-cut than perceived. Perhaps this has turned out to be a less brilliant example than originally thought!

 

Back on topic - there's four criteria for this subject as I see it;

1) those that had a chance to win a championship, but didn't for some reason outside their control.

2) those who came relatively close on more than one occasion. 

3) those whos careers were cut short before they could achieve it.

4) those whos careers coincided with an unbeatable opponent.

 

On that basis, I'd conclude that Moss has it covered on all counts. A select few others qualify on one or two points only.



#135 AlesiUK

AlesiUK
  • Member

  • 2,844 posts
  • Joined: May 01

Posted 08 February 2014 - 00:50

i think that debates like this are a) pointless and b) hugely interesting and emotive...........

If i could expand on what i see as the "categories" for this debate.

 

1) "the stats" - So the Webber, the Massa (i love Massa as a driver), the Ickx etc - Some of these guys were superb drivers, but the arguments for them tend to be around the stats, the race wins, the "nearly" - So take Massa, my fave driver of the last 10 years. He deserved to be world champion - no doubts. For one year he earned it. The rest of his career dont seem to back it up though. Does that make him amongst the "top" drivers never to win a championship? Im not sure...........

 

2) the "gut feels" - So, i fit into this category. If you asked me this over a pint, i would real off 4 men - Villeneuve, Peterson, De Angelis and Alesi. The race stats of those 4 reads 19 wins in 518 races............cant really argue it on the stats, although i see a few have tried on Gilles and Ronnie. Sometimes its about the racer, the gut feel. Same with the many Chris Amon fans, they will tell you.......watch this guy and the stats go out the window.

 

You wont ever get agreement on any list in F1. Its subjective, thats what makes it so great. I could sit and argue for 3hrs, that a man who one a solitary F1 race was better than several world champions............and the guy next to me will argue that a man who never won a race, was Australiasia's greatest F1 driver, above Webber and Jones et al.............Its why its such a great sport!



#136 zanquis

zanquis
  • Member

  • 196 posts
  • Joined: September 13

Posted 10 February 2014 - 13:08

I think the only thing people will ever agree on is that drivers like Yuji Ide, Nisanny, Taki Inoue, Luca Badoer, Deletrez and Al Pease would NOT be included on this list.

And with regard why I rate Alesi higher then Montoya, is that if you compare the results Alesi was just better imho.
Montoya has onyl driven for top 3 teams, Alesi has driven a lot longer. If you compare their peak time Alesi had 7 seasons and Montoya had 6 seasons.
They both had plenty of retirements only in Alesi time it was mostly because of the nature of the cars. Montoya never had that problem, (allthough he had numerous engine failures in his first season, often in beginning of the race, dunno how he managed to keep doing that?) He also managed to crash into cars even backmarkers who he managed to suprise expecting them to suddenly dissapear as soon as he passed them (happens in games not in reallife JPM)



#137 Spaceframe

Spaceframe
  • Member

  • 231 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 19 February 2014 - 10:55

Yeah, that was me! Sorry, I didn't read all of your posts, as I did't really feel like twisting my brains into a knot, but your opening sentence (was it?) about "first tier drivers who regularly won in non-dominant cars" already had me in stitches. So, we have that old argument again about dominant and not-so-dominant cars (yawn!). "If driver X wins, it's the car, and if driver Y wins, it's the driver..." yeah, yeah, one can guess the rest. Reading on who's on your short list of regular winners in non-dominant cars, I can't stop shaking my head - if this looks like I'm a Villeneuve basher, I ain't, but this sort of nonsense just goes to show how much he's overrated - When was Gilles Villeneuve ever a regular winner?? Okay so, maybe in 1979, but you are not going to tell me he drove a non-dominant car that year, as his teammate (who only rates second tier in your *twisted* logic - how else can one name that?) won the title! And so it goes on and on, and time becomes too valuable to waste it with discussing such nonsense.

It's not your vocabulary that is incomplete, it's your logic!

Now I see, what you mean. Thanks for clarifying!

 

When I wrote about Villeneuve being a regular winner in a non-dominant car, I wasn't thinking of 1979, but 1981. That first generation turbocharged Ferrari sure did have a powerful engine, but the chassis was so terrible, that I consider it a miracle that anybody managed to win in such a car - almost like someone winning in an Osella, a Gordini or an ATS (both the Italian and the German) - and Villeneuve did it twice, in succesive races. But you are right, two wins in a row is a bit away from being a regular winner.

 

I guess my statement about such an evaluation being "fairly simple" was a bit of a simplification in itself, based on my naive assumption that it would be easier to agree on the identity of the dominant car (if such a thing existed, not every season had a Lotus 79 or a McLaren MP4/4) of a given year than agreeing on who the best driver might've been. The thinking was, that instead of comparing drivers from different eas, we could attempt to evaluate their achievements in their own right, in their respective eras.

 

But of course this does open new issues - different eras had different challenges, risks, issues of reliability and so on.

 

Perhaps a more true picture of a given season can be found by studying lap charts, and working out score sheets based on potential (that is, every driver who led a given GP is given nine points, anybody who ran as high as second is given six points, and so on), although that leaves us with a problem in the form of scheduled pitstops regarding the last 30 or so years.

 

In 1979, by the way, Villeneuve scored 91 potential points (leading at Kyalami, Long Beach, Dijon, Österreichring, Zandvoort, Montreal and Watkins Glen, running second at Monaco and Monza, third at Jarama and Zolder, fourth at Brands Hatch, fifth at Interlagos and Hockenheim and sixth at Buenos Aires), Jones got 80 and Scheckter 78 potential points.

 

However, I'm not going to claim to have found the complete truth about the topic at hand. As Niels Bohr once stated, the opposite of the truth isn't the lie - it's the simplification. On the other hand, without simplifications, we can't debate anything, so instead we'll live with the shortcomings of our semantics, fully realising the the complex and multi-faceted nature of the topic at hand.

 

A final word on Gilles Villeneuve. A decade or so ago on another forum the debate was raging on the virtues of a number of front-running drivers, who never won the championship. I (and a few more) brought forward the name Tony Brooks, but most quickly dismissed his inclusion, as they'd taken a quick look on his career statistics and concluded that he only was around for a few years, "only" won six GPs in his three years with Vanwall and Ferrari and showed little interest or quality elsewhere (the Syracuse win in the Connaught was unknown to them, as non-WC races was beyond their horizon - quite understandable, as these once so numerous races has been a thing of the past for 30 years now).

 

I think the same is happening to the reputation of Gilles Villeneuve, who today seems to be viewed as some sort of madman, a 1978-82 Willy Mairesse, only running fast due to a complete lack of imagination and concern for his equipment, crashing cars as often as Andrea de Cesaris in 1981 or Vittorio Brambilla in 1976. To me, that's selling Gilles Villeneuve short. Contemporaries like Jones, Scheckter and Lafitte always praised his skills and his character in manner not unlike the assesment of Fangio and Clark (and Moss) by their contemporaries.



#138 Spaceframe

Spaceframe
  • Member

  • 231 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 07 April 2014 - 13:57

I think the question can be answered without the slightest doubt. The answer is Hans Strüdel.

 

This is from an interview that Johnny Rives published with the headline "Dragster in Paradise" in Automobile Year 1975/76 (#23). The person answering the question is invisible, but Rives claims he imediately understood who he was talking to, somebody only refered to as "Him" with a capital "h":

 

"Strödel was a poor Austrian woodcutter who never left his forests. That's why he never had the chance to find out that he combined all the qualities necessary to be the greatest driver in the world - determination, natural ability, the driver's eye - he had all these in the highest degree ever known. His collegues were amazed by the way he would chop down the biggest trees; they always fell exactly where he wanted them, accurate to the nearest inch. Ah! He would've outshone them all, Moss, Wimille, the whole lot. Only... he never had a driver's license!"



#139 kayemod

kayemod
  • Member

  • 7,189 posts
  • Joined: August 05

Posted 07 April 2014 - 15:14

I think the question can be answered without the slightest doubt. The answer is Hans Strüdel.

 

 

He wasn't a patch on his brother Apfel, sweetest operator you ever saw, no-one could lick him.



Advertisement

#140 Spaceframe

Spaceframe
  • Member

  • 231 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 15 April 2014 - 11:21

He wasn't a patch on his brother Apfel, sweetest operator you ever saw, no-one could lick him.

A common perception, but wrong none the less. Apfel and Hans Strödel weren't brothers - Apfel might be Hans' ancestor, though. It's the old story of the hen and the egg. For centuries mankind debated who came first, but today we know that eggs appeared long before hens, as hens - like all birds - descend from the dinosaurs, who in turn descend from reptiles, and all of those forefathers laid eggs, long before the first hen arrived.

 

Likewise Adam and Eve had their first bite of the apple (=Apfel) long before the arrival of the first known Hans - John (=Johannes=Hans) the Baptist.

 

But despite all this, it seems very likely that Hans Strödel owed some of remarkable talents to his relationship to Apfel... Hans certainly appears to have been an extremely smooth operator!



#141 Marc Sproule

Marc Sproule
  • Member

  • 624 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 17 June 2014 - 09:01

didn't get many opportunities to take pics of gunnar nilsson. stumbled onto this one today. i really like it.... you can enlarge it by clicking on it

 

https://www.flickr.c...N03/14255921498

 

here's a set i created of gilles......

 

https://www.flickr.c...57624008130538/



#142 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,346 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 17 June 2014 - 11:15

Internet age fans are so focused in their adoration it's quite extraordinary.  I am attracted b y the notion of family Strudel, however...from the small Alpine village, perhaps, of Dudersplitz?

 

DCN



#143 Alan Baker

Alan Baker
  • Member

  • 74 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 17 June 2014 - 12:46

My apologies - I wasn't born speaking English, so my vocabulary might be a bit incomplete.

 

But I hope you agree that the BRM P153 of Rodriguez was the fastest car of the day at the 1970 Belgian GP and the Cooper T81-Maserati was the fastest of those cars not to break down during the 1967 South African GP (incidentally, Rodriguez outpaced his team-mate Jochen Rindt that day in '67, so he certainly made better use of the equipment than his highly rated team-mate).

 

 

For the sake of historical accuracy, it has to be pointed out that Rodriguez' Cooper-Maserati was being outpaced by John Love's privately entered, three year old, 2.7 litre FPF engined Cooper which, unfortunately, did not have the fuel capacity to run the race non stop.



#144 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 2,204 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 17 June 2014 - 14:51

A common perception, but wrong none the less. Apfel and Hans Strödel weren't brothers - Apfel might be Hans' ancestor, though. It's the old story of the hen and the egg. For centuries mankind debated who came first, but today we know that eggs appeared long before hens, as hens - like all birds - descend from the dinosaurs, who in turn descend from reptiles, and all of those forefathers laid eggs, long before the first hen arrived.

 

Misses the point. "Hen" is only an example (a metaphor, if you like) for any egg-laying animal, and the question in logical terms is whether such an animal can exist in a world without eggs, or if an egg can exist in a world without such animals. There is no answer to this question (it's called a "circle argument"), unless you move to another level of the discussion, i.e. you investigate the "nature" of eggs and egg-laying animals.

 

Anyway, Apfel can never be Hans's (or anyone else's) ancestor, because Apfel Strudel is man-made - and delicious! :)



#145 Spaceframe

Spaceframe
  • Member

  • 231 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 18 June 2014 - 13:16

For the sake of historical accuracy, it has to be pointed out that Rodriguez' Cooper-Maserati was being outpaced by John Love's privately entered, three year old, 2.7 litre FPF engined Cooper which, unfortunately, did not have the fuel capacity to run the race non stop.

Indeed!

 

I'm a bit curious, though, wondering about the weight of Love's old Cooper (a T79?) compared to the notoriously heavy (approximately 600 kg) and thirsty T81-Maserati. How much of the difference of the pace of those two combos was due to difference in weight (the smaller amount of fuel in Love's car included)?