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Talented F1 drivers not recognised


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#51 Zippel

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 12:17

You know what, wasn't Ralf managed by Michael's manager at that time, Willi Weber? If so, you can be sure Ralf's contract insisted he got the preferential stuff. That's my opinion though. Otherwise was it because Williams were cash strapped? It just doesn't seem typical of Williams to do that. I agree, Alex had loads more talent than Ralf. But I'd love to know what happened at that late December meeting with Alex and Williams. Despite the bad season it seemed Alex was staying at Williams till that meeting, then suddenly it all changed.

 

BMW happened. They didn't want Zanardi driving one of their cars. All this talk of preference for Ralf at Williams is bullshit, it just doesn't happen there like it does at Ferrari. Frank was utterly delighted at signing Zanardi for 99 and would have been the most disappointed of anyone that he didn't work out. The Williams team tried everything to get Zanardi up to speed inlcuding steel brakes similar to Cart. I reckon the 99 Williams was actually a pretty decent car and had someone like Montoya been driving they would have finished 3rd in the championship.

 

To the OT question, Nick Heidfeld.



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#52 seahawk

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 12:18

Stefan Bellof



#53 Risil

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 12:25

Frank was utterly delighted at signing Zanardi for 99 and would have been the most disappointed of anyone that he didn't work out. The Williams team tried everything to get Zanardi up to speed inlcuding steel brakes similar to Cart. I reckon the 99 Williams was actually a pretty decent car and had someone like Montoya been driving they would have finished 3rd in the championship.

 

Looking back on things, Zanardi was the kind of driver who won from the fourth or fifth row of the grid in CART. Being able to pass, hustle, and handle a car on cold tyres during restarts is a big skill in Indycar but not very useful in F1. Ralf did not have those skills (reminds me of another German) but put him near the front of the grid and he drove like one of the best.

 

Same reason why Unser Jr would've flopped big time in F1. Montoya, who was a qualifying demon and could learn quickly enough to be competitive on ovals right from the start, was a much better fit.


Edited by Risil, 07 June 2014 - 12:25.


#54 SealTheDiffuser

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 12:30

Buemi, damned to drive the fastest lap in LeMans.

What a waste.



#55 scheivlak

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 12:30

 I reckon the 99 Williams was actually a pretty decent car and had someone like Montoya been driving they would have finished 3rd in the championship.

 

 

Quite possible - with Ralf in the other car then and not Zanardi, I guess.



#56 Imateria

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 12:32

Interesting idea. I wasn't being too serious, 2014 is his first full-time season of anything since 2008 so it would be unrealistic for him to be performing at a Pagenaud standard. But it's odd to see a driver with such a good record in the midfield quite often and not posting good results even when he is running in the top five. But it reminds me a bit of his time in F1, where it always felt like he was on the verge of delivering but nothing came to fruition.

Bourdais did all of last season, and the season before, and did all of the ILMC plus Le Mans (Sebring?) for Peugeot. He hasn't lacked for seat time.



#57 Imateria

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 12:37

BMW happened. They didn't want Zanardi driving one of their cars. All this talk of preference for Ralf at Williams is bullshit, it just doesn't happen there like it does at Ferrari. Frank was utterly delighted at signing Zanardi for 99 and would have been the most disappointed of anyone that he didn't work out. The Williams team tried everything to get Zanardi up to speed inlcuding steel brakes similar to Cart. I reckon the 99 Williams was actually a pretty decent car and had someone like Montoya been driving they would have finished 3rd in the championship.

 

To the OT question, Nick Heidfeld.

Not really, the Jordan was a better car, and the Stewart would have been as well if it was reliable. I think HHF against Ralf is a good comparison, both of them had team mates that just did not get on with the grooved tyres.



#58 Risil

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 12:38

Bourdais did all of last season, and the season before, and did all of the ILMC plus Le Mans (Sebring?) for Peugeot. He hasn't lacked for seat time.

 

You're right, I was thinking of 2012. Shows how memorable his oval performances were though. 7 race championship in sports cars isn't really a full season, whatever the ACO want us to believe.



#59 E.B.

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 12:39

Tony Brise; a future world champ was his bitch as a team-mate


I don't know the answer, so I will ask the question: Zandvoort excepted, was that really the case? (not literally, obviously)

Highest skill to recognition ratio? Tony Brooks for me. The second best GP driver in the world at one time.

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#60 Risil

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 12:40

Buemi, damned to drive the fastest lap in LeMans.

What a waste.

 

Heh. He's vindicating Red Bull's decision to pull him up from GP2 mediocrity. Maybe they're not so dumb.  ;)



#61 Sheepmachine

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 13:00

Anthony Davidson. Never got a good car to show off his talent.

#62 ensign14

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 13:21

I don't know the answer, so I will ask the question: Zandvoort excepted, was that really the case? (not literally, obviously)

Their qualification positions in their races together were (Brise first) 7/17, 12/20, 13/20 and 17/21. And Brise finished the first two of those races 7th, with Jones in 13th and 16th. Brise was ahead of Jones in Germany when he retired - and at the British GP was right behind eventual winner Fittipaldi when an early stop dropped him to dead last.

Edited by ensign14, 07 June 2014 - 13:21.


#63 DampMongoose

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 14:00

Chris Bristow, Innes Ireland. Vic Elford in particular for his fine effort in a poor car on his debut at the French gp is overlooked. Also if he ever had a proper chance in a decent car , Mike Thackwell would have been awesome.

#64 George Costanza

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 14:40

BMW happened. They didn't want Zanardi driving one of their cars. All this talk of preference for Ralf at Williams is bullshit, it just doesn't happen there like it does at Ferrari. Frank was utterly delighted at signing Zanardi for 99 and would have been the most disappointed of anyone that he didn't work out. The Williams team tried everything to get Zanardi up to speed inlcuding steel brakes similar to Cart. I reckon the 99 Williams was actually a pretty decent car and had someone like Montoya been driving they would have finished 3rd in the championship.

 

To the OT question, Nick Heidfeld.

1999 Williams wasn't a very good car, compared to even the 1998 Williams. Of the 1990s, the 1999 Williams is by far the worst car they had.



#65 sopa

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 14:42

The 1999 Williams wasn't so much a "bad" car, but an underpowered car with old outdated Renault engines, rebadged as Supertec.



#66 maximilian

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 15:20

Karl Wendlinger.  I believe he would have gone places, if it wasn't for his accident in Monaco. :|



#67 Spillage

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 15:34

Might sound odd for a three-time GP winner, but Thierry Boutsen. Did a good job at Benetton and then won three Grands Prix in his two years at Williams. Then, when Mansell became available for 1991, Williams decided to get rid of Boutsen and keep Riccardo Patrese, despite the latter being four years older than Boutsen, having achieved only one win during their time as teammates and having been outscored by Boutsen in 1990. Then he went to Ligier and that was that, pretty much.



#68 DS27

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 15:43

Jan Magnussen - had the talent if not the application, but was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Also Bellof and Tommy Byrne.

Edited by DS27, 07 June 2014 - 15:44.


#69 Blanchimont2002

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 16:43

Anthony Davidson. Never got a good car to show off his talent.


Good shout, agree that Ant never had the chance to show what he could do.

#70 Blanchimont2002

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 16:49

Couple of posters going for Buemi, I'd also say Jaime Alguersuari. Thought he was pretty quick.

#71 Montie

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 16:54

Tom Kristensen. Always F1 testdriver never got a race seat.

Edited by Montie, 07 June 2014 - 16:56.


#72 BRG

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 19:24

Justin Wilson.  Beat Weber in F3000 but never really got a decent chance in F1.  But his speed in Indy cars has shown what he can do.



#73 Jackmancer

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 19:31

So many names. 

 

For me three really stand out:

 

Jean Behra - won several non-WDC races, never an official one so he isn't in the record books.

Bertrand Fabi - compared to Ayrton Senna by his team owner (whom also hired Ayrton Senna a few years), and rival drivers who also raced Senna. Had a fatal accident before he made it to F1.

the Rodríguez brothers - both hugely talented, but died way too soon



#74 Andrew Hope

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 19:49

Always though Christian Klien was pretty quick but couldn't put it all together in the end.



#75 maximilian

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 19:55

Always though Christian Klien was pretty quick but couldn't put it all together in the end.

Agreed.  He seems to have unfulfilled potential.  I'd also say Alex Wurz's career could have been so much better if a few things had gone differently.

 

Derek Warwick, for sure.



#76 Rob

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 20:12

Pierluigi Martini and Stefano Modena.

 

I'm so pleased that Pierluigi Martini has featured in this thread. He's so often overlooked, but he definitely had a lot of talent.



#77 ensign14

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 20:14

Always though Christian Klien was pretty quick but couldn't put it all together in the end.

 

Probably a bit like Alguersuari - got into F1 too soon.  With more education in the lower levels they would have been more rounded drivers when they got to the top.  Not everyone is a child prodigy.

 

One that is hugely overlooked is Hermann Lang.  In 1939 he had Caracciola and von Brauchitsch in his pocket.  His GP swansong in 1954 saw him run 2nd at the Ring before he lost it, plus of course he won Le Mans with the unheralded Fritz Riess, but when it comes to thinking about the greats before the war it's all about Caratsch, Nuvolari and Rosemeyer, with a strong supporting cast of Varzi, Seaman, Chiron &c.  Lang tends to get forgotten.

 

I also still think the wrong Fabi brother made it in F1.
 



#78 Risil

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 20:30

His GP swansong in 1954 saw him run 2nd at the Ring before he lost it

 

Wow, I didn't know that. Talk about a link with the past.

 

I also still think the wrong Fabi brother made it in F1.

 

That was a strange setup he and Teo had. The money they brought didn't specify which Fabi had to be in the car, I'm guessing. Corrado beat Boutsen and Bellof to the 1982 F2 championship so he must've been alright. Four years younger than both. Although I'm guessing that racing for the works March team helped.



#79 scheivlak

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 20:34

 I'd also say Alex Wurz's career could have been so much better if a few things had gone differently.

 

Derek Warwick, for sure.

Posts like this gives you the idea that winning Le Mans one or two times isn't something worth remembering.....



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#80 sopa

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 20:39

Not recognized?

 

Huh, that sounds like we barely remember this person though he was possibly decent.

 

Several names mentioned here.

Anybody else?

What about someone like Christian Fittipaldi? Got into F1 at a very young age, got solid points for both Minardi and Footwork before not finding a seat beyond that.

 

Or what about Robert Doornbos? My memory is hazy here, but I vaguely remember him being slightly more impressive than Albers. And outqualifying Coulthard twice out of three times in late 2006.



#81 Jvr

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 20:46

Nico Rosberg

#82 ensign14

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 20:52

That was a strange setup he and Teo had. The money they brought didn't specify which Fabi had to be in the car, I'm guessing. Corrado beat Boutsen and Bellof to the 1982 F2 championship so he must've been alright. Four years younger than both. Although I'm guessing that racing for the works March team helped.

 

Bernie gave Teo the drive but Teo had a sweet deal in CART with Forsythe that took precedence, so Corrado stepped in pro tem.  He was more likely to win the title there after all.  Pound to a penny Bernie did the deal with Teo after Teo broke the drivers' strike at Kyalami in 1982.  A gesture of recognition for betraying his fellow drivers.  Certainly based on his F1 record hitherto you wouldn't have picked Teo for the number 2 seat to the world champion; in 1982 Derek Warwick had chewed him up, shat him out and recycled him into agricultural fertiliser at Toleman.  OK, he'd done well in CART in 1983, but, criminy, this was the era in which Hector Rebaque won a CART race.



#83 D28

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 02:20

 

One that is hugely overlooked is Hermann Lang.  In 1939 he had Caracciola and von Brauchitsch in his pocket.  His GP swansong in 1954 saw him run 2nd at the Ring before he lost it, plus of course he won Le Mans with the unheralded Fritz Riess, but when it comes to thinking about the greats before the war it's all about Caratsch, Nuvolari and Rosemeyer, with a strong supporting cast of Varzi, Seaman, Chiron &c.  Lang tends to get forgotten.

 

Agreed. I have read where he was essentially unbeatable in 1939. Thus being the case, he was particularly short changed by WW2. He was 30 at the outbreak so missed many of his best years to the conflict. Of all the famous top line drivers of the 30s, he arguably had the best post war results with the 1952 Le Mans win, by then he would have been 43 but still competitive. Of course Nuvolari had one final shot at glory in the 1947 Mille Miglia coming just short at second, it was the car that gave out, not the driver, but 2nd doesn't count for as much in motor racing. 
 


Edited by D28, 08 June 2014 - 02:44.


#84 911

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 04:54

Jean Alesi anyone?

His 1995 season for Ferrari was wonderful.

Always wrong car at the wrong time.

 

Had Jean gone to Williams in 1991-1992-1993? 3 time WDC in those cars?

 

I often think about "what" Alesi could have accomplished had he gone to Williams in '91.  I don't know if you would have been WDC in '91 & '92 because Nige was there, and then Prost in '93, but he certainly would have had a lot more than just 1 GP win.  Alesi's time at Tyrrell was so incredibly fun to watch.  He certainly looked a future WDC back in '89 & '90, didn't he?



#85 Powersteer

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 05:12

DTM child, Marco Wittman should be in Formula One



#86 Powersteer

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 05:12

DTM child, Marco Wittman should be in Formula One



#87 DarthWillie

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 06:16

Fabi brothers both had more than decent speed
Gianni Morbidelli looked to have more potential
Johnny Servoz Gavin, without the eye injury could have been mega

#88 Peat

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 08:32

There are hundreds.

 

Any one of Red Bull's dropped drivers (Well, maybe bar Scott Speed....) are very good racing drivers. adly, due to the fickle nature of F1, they get labelled as 's**t' and get thrown on the scrapheap, career in tatters.

 

Sarrazin is one of the most talented and versatile drivers on the planet. His 1 F1 outing was not reprasentative.



#89 noikeee

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 18:51

I'm so pleased that Pierluigi Martini has featured in this thread. He's so often overlooked, but he definitely had a lot of talent.

 

I think the problem with Martini was that he had a bit of a Grosjean-esque vibe about him, in that in his earlier F1 appearances he made a lot of mistakes and was considered a bit of a wild loose cannon. Therefore his later achievements were always conditioned by the opinions people had already formed about him.

 

At least that's my theory looking back on results etc and what I've read because I wasn't around then having been born in '86 lol.



#90 sopa

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 20:03

Wasn't an issue with Martini that he didn't speak good English, which meant he spent his career in an Italian-speaking team (Minardi) mostly?



#91 27gilles27

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 02:13

Martini only spoke Italian as far as I know so that would have been a negative. He did not make many mistakes in his career at all, had 2 stints though. First time around he looked useless as the car was bad but shone later on. I don't know much about Corrado Fabi but Teo was super quick. What happened to Johnny Servoz Gavin's eyesight? I know he retired abruptly.

#92 SR388

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 02:17

Takuma Sato.

#93 maximilian

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 02:29

Posts like this gives you the idea that winning Le Mans one or two times isn't something worth remembering.....

 

And it may not be his last one, either.  But given that, I always felt that he could have done so much more in F1... so many years wasted as test driver.



#94 teejay

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 04:31

Christian Fittipaldi? Nah

 

He rode the name, his results in top flight stuff never matched the name - perhaps the original Brazilian "next in the family to be damn good but not really" series.



#95 27gilles27

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 05:18

Bit like Marco Andretti in Indycar. Never quite up to his teammates.

#96 f1RacingForever

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 05:30

Trulli. Extremely fast over one lap (maybe the fastest) during his time

#97 teejay

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 05:57

Bit like Marco Andretti in Indycar. Never quite up to his teammates.

 

Yeah - as the gene pool has diluted, the talent has waned.

 

Marco is too busy living the high life to dedicate himself to that last 5% imho.



#98 ensign14

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 07:10

Martini only spoke Italian as far as I know so that would have been a negative. He did not make many mistakes in his career at all, had 2 stints though. First time around he looked useless as the car was bad but shone later on. I don't know much about Corrado Fabi but Teo was super quick. What happened to Johnny Servoz Gavin's eyesight? I know he retired abruptly.

 

The absolute first time around Martini had a Toleman in which Senna was nearly winning GPs - and failed to qualify.  Same weekend, Stefan Johansson finished 4th.

 

JSG had an off-track accident in which his eye was scratched against a branch, and he never fully regained a racer's sight in it.



#99 PayasYouRace

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 07:15

I often think about "what" Alesi could have accomplished had he gone to Williams in '91.  I don't know if you would have been WDC in '91 & '92 because Nige was there, and then Prost in '93, but he certainly would have had a lot more than just 1 GP win.  Alesi's time at Tyrrell was so incredibly fun to watch.  He certainly looked a future WDC back in '89 & '90, didn't he?

 

My understanding was always that Mansell was lured back to Williams after Alesi chose Ferrari, so Jean's teammate would have been Patrese.



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#100 AlexLangheck

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 07:34

Buemi, damned to drive the fastest lap in LeMans.

What a waste.

Surely said tongue in cheek?? 

 

A factory drive in an FiA World Championship, including drivng in the Greatest race of all. Some waste…..


Edited by AlexLangheck, 09 June 2014 - 07:38.