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Who is the most underated driver ever?


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#1 dretceterini

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 04:54

Thoughts please..

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#2 ehagar

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 05:18

I think the most underrated are those whom had the ability to be in the sport at the highest level, but for various reasons could not get there.

Tom Klauser an example of that?

http://www.atlasf1.c...ormula Atlantic

How about Mo Nunn?

#3 Mark Beckman

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 07:02

Me.

#4 maxie

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 07:16

Me 2.

#5 lustigson

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 07:27

I'd say just about all drivers currently not in the No. 1 Ferrari. :|

#6 ensign14

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 08:01

I think James Hunt is underrated. He won the World Title in a 4 year old car, comprehensively destroying the team-mate who had been on a par with Emerson Fittipaldi.

Also, anyone from before 1950... :p

And how about those that never made it? Dave Coyne, Geoff Lees...

#7 Vicuna

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 08:43

Brian Redman, Graham McRae, Roberto Moreno..........

#8 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 10:17

Morning,

Well thinking drivers in F1, and underrated i think is very much a discussion which can "degrade" into some sort of sling-fest a-la "best ever".

How good can you bve and still be underrated??

Underrated by the casual fan??

Underrated by the team-owners??

The context will likely give the more "prominent" underrated drivers either higher marks, or lower. This discussion will become "emotional" :) , but that is cool.

I keep reading that Chris Amon were the most un-lucky of drivers, but having had seast in the best cars and driven 100 GP's. I think that the jury really should vote "very good, but not great". He is likely not the driver that most will suggest as underrated though, but Chris Amon and Jean Alesi to me are drivers, who were good, who were strong but who did NOT have what it takes to be great.

Accident's have taken some drivers, whom I thought could have been great or merely very good. If they qualify by lag of results then:

Stefan Bellof - In my view the great one lost. He was an amazing driver, and he would have graced F1 for many many years, had he not died.

Allesandro Nannini - Had his accident just when the would would have seen how good he really was, I think he was very good. But I will accept that he may not have been "great" material.

There are constant calls for the big teams to sign Fisichella, however the continued "not signed by a big team" seem to indicate that there are lags in Fisichella, which we mortal fans do not see, but the teams are patently not signing him. So is he underrated?? He may very well be, since the fellow drivers elected him to the best driver of 2002.

I firmly believ that talent floats to the top. So any driver with +50 races have either not shown enough, and will never get there. Or will be "found" and brought into the big teams. I guess that Raikkonen / Heidfeld is a good example of this. McLaren may have had their claws in Heidfeld, yet they jumped at Raikkonen, paying sauber an amazing amount of mony to pry him loose.

Underrated could also be Kyaoshi Hoshinho (spelling??) I think that he did race in two Japan GP's sometime in the 70'ies, yet even after the European drivers started going to Japan for the F3000 championships he kept on winning races and champinships, and he must have been in his late 40ies when he won his last race. And somewhere in his 40ies when he won his last championship.

Will drivers that never drover F1 qualify??

:cool:

#9 eldougo

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 10:32

:
Thanks VICUNA --------- Roberto Moreno top of my list
--------- Rene Arnoux 2nd
--------- Pierluigi Martini 3rd

#10 Ed Kooij

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 10:55

First, I'd like to make clear that with "most underrated" I consider the driver that was rated by general public the furthest under how good he really was, imho. Therefor, I would rank Alex Young higher on the "underrated" list then Alesi, since most people agree Alesi was very good, yet many seem to think Young couldn't drive home from the supermarket in time to put the icecream in the fridge before it melted. And still, Young could probably humiliate any one of us mortals any time any track anywhere.

So lacking personal experience pre-1990 (I'm still young, forgive me), I'd vote for Pedro Diniz. Ever since his debut at Forti he was quicker then the highly rated Moreno (see above posts). And still, even when Sauber (supposedly great talent scout) paid him for a seat, most people refused to acknowledge that he was more than a spoiled rich kid.

I'm not saying Diniz could have whooped Schumi's 'hind, but he was definately lots and lots better than most gave him credit for.

#11 Kpy

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 11:22

Reminds me of DSJ's reply to the question ( I think at a Brands practice) - "who's quick?? "
Answer - "They all are".

#12 Yves

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 12:14

On the french side, JP Jarier and recently Aïello are the most underrated, specially Aïello who dominate almost all "underated" categories in which he drove.

But it's true : all successfull drivers in any underated races or categories are automaticaly underated :o

Y.

#13 mikedeering

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 12:27

Moreno at least got half a season in a Benetton. There he proved to not be a match for an aging Nelson Piquet who was immediately beaten by the less experienced MS from the word go.

I think prior to 1991, Moreno certainly had the tag of most under-rated driver of his generation - remember he dominated the 1988 F3000 Championship, yet could only get F1 rides with the likes of AGS, Coloni, EuroBrun etc. He finally got the break with Benetton and I hoped for better things - at last Roberto had a chance! But in a car capable of running near the front he failed to achieve much of note. He has won races in CART recently, but then a no-hoper won at Surfers Paradise in that series last year, so you shouldn't read too much into it!

I would agree that James Hunt is probably under-rated - mostly I suspect because he is viewed as only wining the WDC due to Lauda's accident, and his subsequent fall from grace in 1978. His performances in 1976-77 were generally excellent - with more luck in 1977 (I guess he used it all up in 1976) he might have been WDC again.

Worth a mention - Stefan Johansson was usually the quicker of the Ferrari drivers in the latter half of 1985 and all of 1986. He had some good performances at McLaren in 1987. Now largely forgotten, although I believe he holds the record for most podium visits without ever winning a GP!

#14 Jimmy Piget

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 13:16

Trevor Taylor & Peter Arundell, who were not given the same treatment at Lotus as Jimmy Clark — even if I doubt they actually could have beaten him.
(same as Eddie Irvine at Ferrari — I still think he's a lot better than Barrichello — BTW how about overrated drivers ? is there yet a thread ?)

#15 Gambino

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 13:35

Of the current drivers, the name of Oliver Panis immediately springs to mind...

#16 Kpy

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 13:36

Originally posted by Yves
On the french side, JP Jarier
Y.


The best never recognised, but still racing I think.

Jumper's an ace.

Look at Watkins Glen post Ronnie.

#17 bobbo

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 14:10

Man! This is one REALLY subjective thread (Which I find interesting as I get an idea of what other people think!)

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Dan Gurney. Surely he is one of the greats: versatile, humble, consistent, etc.

I guess we could (should?) add Masten Gregory up there, too.

Bobbo

#18 jarama

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 14:49

Originally posted by KWSN - DSM

Underrated could also be Kyaoshi Hoshinho (spelling??)

:cool:


KWSN,

Kazuyoshi, IIRC.

Carles.

#19 fines

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 17:30

I always felt that Louis Rosier was very much underrated, even by acknowledged experts. He usually gets the tag "reliable plodder", but on closer examination one finds that he always drove his own cars, and that means he had to pay for any engine or crash damage out of his own pockets, which must have limited his approach. Yet he was still capable of beating some very fancied works cars, and was always there at the finish. He gets my nod.


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#20 bs

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 17:40

I'll put in a vote for Lloyd Ruby.

#21 Martyj

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 18:45

Having followed Atlas Nostalgia forum for several years, the most underrated talent to go unchampioned on these forums is....

Peter Revson

And I have an issue with Bellof: the way he has been deified on the level of Senna and Schumacher, I have to consider him Atlas's most OVERRATED driver.

#22 ensign14

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 19:16

How about "Beurlys"? He seemed to be a pretty mean pedaller in the GT classes but never moved onto the bigger categories. Was he good?

And I ought to add a vote for local boy (at least born!) Ken Miles, about whom I guess no-one outside motorsport has heard, but he seemed to be a demon sportscar driver.

#23 Barry Boor

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 19:17

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Dan Gurney.


Sorry, bobbo, I can't agree. Underated? How can a driver that 90% of the population KNOW is the BEST-EVER be underated !  ;)

#24 ehagar

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 20:24

I view driver that made it to F1 was rated, unless they were given absolutely awful machinery from a team such as Life, Andrea Moda, and the like. But perhaps that is even unfair. Those drivers are rated... just rated very badly! But, is Yannick Dalmas really a bad driver because his results in F1 stunk?

Peter Revson, James Hunt, Brian Redman, Rene Arnoux, don't qualify in my books... they were all rated.

I would pick a guy like Klauser because the initial reaction most people would have is, 'Who?'. Yet look at who he beat in Formula Atlantic...

#25 bobbo

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 20:25

Barry:

Thanks for commenting!

I guess that my comment was aimed more at some of my American race fans who tend to give me a comment on the order of, "If he's that good, what championships did he win?" or some variant on that theme, usually accompanied by their opinion that he is vastly overrated. He's probably is much better known outside the United States. Remember, this is NASCAR country I live in.  ;)  ;)

BTW, what's your take on Masten Gregory?

Bobbo

#26 Barry Boor

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 20:27

what's your take on Masten Gregory?


VERY, VERY BRAVE!!!

Underated? To a degree, yes.

#27 Wolf

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 20:52

I'd be controversial and say Fangio, Nuvolari and Moss. I don't think any praise can do their skills justice, so they are in a way underrated...

#28 PRD

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 21:01

Originally posted by Kpy
Reminds me of DSJ's reply to the question ( I think at a Brands practice) - "who's quick?? "
Answer - "They all are".


Didn't he add "even the slow ones" ?

Regards
Paul

#29 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 21:34

A guy like Tony Brooks seems pretty underrated outside of Britain to me, though I've never seen him race myself so I could be wrong on that :cool:

#30 Wolf

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 21:38

Originally posted by Rediscoveryx
A guy like Tony Brooks seems pretty underrated outside of Britain to me, though I've never seen him race myself so I could be wrong on that :cool:


Well here's at leat one non-English member who will (like Don, IIRC) give Wold's fastest dentist his due respect and appreciation. :up:

#31 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 21:42

I'm pretty confident you're all wrong.

I think Ottorino Volonterio was infinitely slower than his usual rating.... :cool:

DCN

#32 David Beard

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 21:44

Isn't this a bit like arguing about what is the nicest colour?

But if I must......Cliff Allison.

#33 patelladragger

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 22:24

dale earnhardt :blush:

Look what he did at le mans - he could turn right too.

#34 theunions

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 22:38

Originally posted by patelladragger
dale earnhardt :blush:

Look what he did at le mans - he could turn right too.


You mean Daytona. ;)

He did want to run Le Mans though.

#35 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 22:46

Damon Hill.

Raymond Sommer (at least by those who measure things by WDC statistics).

#36 Pikachu Racing

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 23:24

Karl Wendlinger. He was impressive driving in a Sauber and even in a downward spiral March team. It's a shame he never got a chance with a big team when he suffered a head injury in Monaco.

#37 Keir

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 23:50

Masten Gregory comes to mind.

#38 AndreasF1

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 00:20

1.Tom Pryce
2.Patick Tambay
3.Manfred Winkelhock
4.Bruno Giacomelli
5.Teo Fabi

#39 m.tanney

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 01:12

Originally posted by Rediscoveryx
A guy like Tony Brooks seems pretty underrated outside of Britain to me...

  I'd say he's underrated by British writers, too. He was always overshadowed by the brilliant Moss, and by more colourful men like Hawthorn. Remember, though, that from '57 (his first full season in F1) through '59 there were 24 GPs. Brooks won six. He gave his best at great tracks like the 'Ring, Spa, Reims, Monza. Even Avus, while perhaps not a great track, required tremendous courage. All that, and not even a single biography...
  On the Indy side, I'd cast a vote for Gary Bettenhausen, a great racer who could have been one of the top drivers of the '70s, but for a horrendous sprint car crash which cost him his spot as Penske's number one.

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#40 dretceterini

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 01:59

My vote would have to go to Rosier, Sommer, and Wimille

#41 MPea3

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 02:51

i'd say masten gregory or tony brooks. there was an old film the other day on speedvision of the '58 european GP at spa, and the film of brooks drifting the vanwall through burnenville was sheer artistry....

#42 Mark Beckman

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 06:04

Originally posted by Keir
Masten Gregory comes to mind.


Seconded for this thread.

Rumour has it he was difficult to get along with and shot himself in the foot a few times as to drives, I would like to hear from someone who knows though.

#43 Mark Beckman

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 06:06

Originally posted by AndreasF1
1.Tom Pryce
2.Patick Tambay
3.Manfred Winkelhock
4.Bruno Giacomelli
5.Teo Fabi


Did you know there is other motor sports other than F1 ?

#44 dmj

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 09:50

Niki Lauda.
Emerson Fittipaldi.

If we would make an analysis of what is written today about '70s we'll be surprised about amount of ink dedicated to Peterson, Villeneuve, Depailler, Andretti, even Hunt... two best drivers of their era remain underrated in great scheme of things, rarely mentioned in same breath with great champions of '60s and '80s.

#45 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 10:13

I am restricting myself to F1, since that is how I read the opening post to ask.

I think that both Lauda and Fittipaldi were very very good drivers, yet I would NOT call them underrated based on which other drivers the media and fans write about.

If we open up for all sorts of autoracing, then we surely will never get to any sort of consensus here.. :confused:

In regard Bellof. Well he was the Group C World Champion, and he did show a lot of talent drving those 956 cars. In his all to brief career in F1 he showed at lot of good raw F1 talent. Let us not forget that the ever-going debate as to who rightly won in Monaco Prost or Senna, should include Bellof gaining on BOTH of them. Yes I know that Tyrrel were found have cheated, and excluded from the championship. But my personal opinion of that particular case, is that the FIA needed to get rid of Tyrrel's constant harping against the Turbo-engines. Basically a heavyhanded political move by the FIA, and now way were Tyrrel the only team running "water cooled breakes".

Mike Thackwell?

:cool:

#46 Paul Newby

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 10:28

Originally posted by KWSN - DSM
I am restricting myself to F1, since that is how I read the opening post to ask.

Mike Thackwell?

:cool:


Yes, Mike Thackwell indeed. I'm sure you could easily start a thread on those young drivers that were potentially world championship material only to suffer a terrible accident, that while not ending they're career, reduced the impact they may have made. Thackwell was never the same driver after his terrible F2 accident at Thruxton in 1981. Another good example is Johhny Herbert and his leg breaking F3000 accident at Brands Hatch. I dare say young Australian F3 driver James Courtney may be the same after his huge Jaguar F1 testing accident at Monza last year.

Two drivers I feel are underated are Pier-Luigi Martini and Ukyo Katayama.

Martini did some wonderful things in that Pirelli shod Minardi Ford in 91, qualifying on the front row at Phoenix and leading at Portugal (at least for a lap.) We will never know how he would've faired in an English team.

Katayama did some amazing things in the Tyrrell Yamaha in 94, but then faded after that. I believe that he had some personal problems (health and otherwise) that affected his driving, and his low weight was an advantage when cars had fixed weights. I believe he has since climbed Mt Everest!

#47 masterhit

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 10:50

My Dad. Or the bloke who drives the milk float.

Seriously, it's all just opinions, innit?

And people who quote stats to substantiate their opinions are no more "right" or "wrong" because there is no right or wrong - just opinion, which is cool and spiffy, just so long as we are agreed that's all it is, right?

Terms like "the best", "the most", "all time"... I mean, I can't even name my favourite songs, there are too many for a given mood. I would hate to have to set a definitive top ten and the very idea appals me.

Equally, phrases such as "all time" or "ever" include the future. None of us can be so arrogant as to suggest that we know the future, but time and time again these polls crop up all over the place.

Anyway, rant over! That wasn't directed at anyone, just a general rant at the way of the world! :)

#48 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 10:51

Hmm.....

Johnny Herbert - I disagree, he got 3 wins in his F1 acreer, he had a long career and I think that he basically got the results that his talent called for.

Pier-Luigi Martini - Yes he is likely one that was never fully appreciated. However since he won the F3 european championship, which "Super" John Nielsen should have won. I never really liked him...

Ukyo Katayama - No way.

What about:

Bernd Schneider or Vincenzo Sospiri - Both had all the results needed coming to F1, both were then given a car which basically ruined them in F1 for ever!!


:cool:

#49 Flying Panda

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 11:55

I would have to say

Perry McCarthy - Unless his biography is just self promotinal propaganda :p
Archie Scott-Brown
Vincenzo Sospiri - International F3000 Champion, qualified 3rd for the Indianapolis 500 the first time he drove an Indycar.

and in European circles - A.J. Foyt Jr.

#50 petefenelon

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 11:59

Originally posted by Flying Panda
I would have to say

Perry McCarthy - Unless his biography is just self promotinal propaganda :p
Archie Scott-Brown
Vincenzo Sospiri - International F3000 Champion, qualified 3rd for the Indianapolis 500 the first time he drove an Indycar.

and in European circles - A.J. Foyt Jr.


I think Perry is careful in his biography not to paint himself as any more special than any of the Rat Pack - then again, that means he's implying he's as good as Hill, say, but didn't have the breaks. Then again, I always felt Hill was no better then Donnelly, for example... just luckier in many ways.

(Actually, a vote for Martin as an underrated driver - we never really saw him competing properly in F1, but he was at least on a par with Alesi from time to hime in F3000...)

pete