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Thrown-away title opportunities?


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#1 Henri Greuter

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 14:53

This thought crossed my mind while writing within another Piquet thread.

I think almost everyone out here agrees that Fittipaldi threw away about every chance he had for a third or even more titles when joining Copersucar F1.

Jacques Villeneuve effectively ruined every chance he had for a future title 1999 when going to BAR.


But what about Nelson Piquet?
Member of the strongest team in F1 in 1987: Williams-Honda but very unhappy about his treatemnt within the team. Now let's not get into why what, right or wrong etc.
Fact is, he wanted an undisputed #1 status within the team and he didn't get it anymore at Williams. So instead he went to Lotus to have a Honda supported no-hoper as a teammate. And Lotus happy to take him on to maintain the supply of Honda engines despite Senna's departure.


Now I don't think it is very likely that Honda would have agreed with keeping Mansell and Piquet at Williams and also bringing engines to McLaren for Prost and Senna. But who knows, maybe Frank, Patrick and the others at WGPE could have talked Honda into that after all.

We then would have had what was still the championsteam of the year before, still with Honda power. Versus McLaren-Honda, and we know what they were capable of that year.
But would they have had it so easy had there still been a Williams-Honda team with Nigel and Nelson?
(Had this situation indeed occurred, I think the 88 season could have been a bit more entertaining than it iventually became)

In other word, had Nelson swallowed his pride, kept in mind that he was still within one of the two best teams in the business, it might have given him a better shot at the title than going to Lotus as an undisputed #1 driver. But once with Lotus, Piquet's career went into decline if it was about being a serious title contender.

I agree there is a lot of Ifs en what ifs involved.
But still, anyone also feels that Nelson effectively threw away his chances on one more title by leaving Williams and/or at least compromise his career for a while? (For a while since he did redeem himself a bit when at Benetton)



Henri

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#2 petefenelon

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 15:30

But still, anyone also feels that Nelson effectively threw away his chances on one more title


Far from it. I think moving to Lotus was, on the basis of the evidence available to him at the time, the right move once the '88 engine situation was clear.

The '86-7 Lotuses had still been pretty good cars in Senna's hands, his teammate at Lotus was going to be no threat, and I don't think Piquet ever really 'clicked' at Williams.

So, the '88 Lotus turned out to be a turd without Active (which was being funded by the road-car side of Lotus, who couldn't afford it any more); maybe Piquet in a Williams-Judd could've done about as well as Mansell but on 1987 form I don't think there were any other obviously race-winning drives available to him other than Lotus. He made the right move at the time, and the car turned out to be duff. It certainly wasn't a "throwing his career away to move to Team Shambles" move like Hill (D), Fittipaldi (E) and Villeneuve (J).



#3 mikedeering

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 15:46

I would agree with Pete. I think Honda wanted to leave Williams whatever after the shambles of 1986. There were few drives available to Piquet and on the face of it, Lotus looked a reasonable bet. In hindsight, it looks like Senna's performances from 1987 were inspite of the car, but Nelson at the time would presumably have reasoned that he was as good as Senna and could wring some results out of the Lotus too.

Had he stayed at Williams, even with Honda engines, Piquet would have had another year with Mansell and he never really fitted in the team either. I suspect he would have had to have taken a substantial wage cut as well, and financial matters were always very close to Nelson's heart! From the 1987 performances, in a straight fight Piquet usually had trouble beating Mansell, so why would he stick around for more in 1988?

Hindsight is of course a wonderful thing. Fittipaldi definitely threw away his career. Did Hill? He didn't have too many options. You can talk about the 98 McLaren offer, but I can see why he rejected that. Maybe he should have swallowed his pride, but equally you can't blame him for turning it down. And anyway, would he have beaten Hakkinen to the title? I doubt it. As for Villeneuve - tough one. Where else could he have gone for 99? Williams have achieved little since he left. I think Ron would not have considered him - ditto Ferrari.

#4 santori

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 16:01

A season of a Piquet-Mansell Williams-Honda vs. a Prost-Senna McLaren-Honda would have been incredible, but I don't think Williams would have won the titles. They had lots of car problems that year, didn't they? How much was related to adapting to the Judd engine, someone more technical might be able to say, but I don't think it's regarded as a Williams masterpiece.
On the other hand, I think Piquet would have beaten Mansell and having Piquet on board would have helped Williams. Wasn't a lot of the difficulty in 1988 to do with active suspension? And the more-technical Piquet had experimented with that (semi-active?) in 1987.

#5 petefenelon

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 16:04

Williams had (IIRC) underestimated the cooling requirements of the Judd, although I'm not sure why their active system became unreliable - V8 vibration perhaps, vs the V6 turbo (but I recall the Honda V6 as being a lumpy old thing?)

#6 Henri Greuter

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 11:13

Thanks for the input on this matter fellows.
Several arguemenets make sence.
But I can't agree entirely with rating Lotus enough of a topteam to go to instead of accepting Nigel another year and stay with Williams which then still would have ahd the turbo Honda's and thus could have refined the FW11 line another time.

But again, thanks for your opinions.


Henri

#7 312B

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 12:12

Hi there

I'd argue that as it looked when he signed the deal he'd be going back to a Brabham type situation i.e very much the dominant driver and team member) with the best engine in F1 at the time.

Having said that, even if the 100T had turned out to be a top notch chassis he would he struggled against Prost, Senna and Berger, he certainly wouldn't have been able to 'cruise and collect' and I can't remember many if any occasions after 86 where he fought to get a race win until he retired

#8 selespeed

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 15:47

honda wanted piquet and nakajima for 1988 and they couldn't get that from williams because frank wanted our nige.

the biggest problem with 100T was that the car was flexing and no matter how much nelson tryed in testing he couldn't find a solution. they didn't discover the flexing problems well into the season (mistake from car disagner - i belive it was ducarouge who came from williams with nelson).

so nelson bassically had an ideal situation for 88 but some of all things didn't get him the results.

I can't remember many if any occasions after 86 where he fought to get a race win until he retired



try australia 1990.

#9 santori

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 16:06

If he had stayed at Williams, Mansell would probably have left as he did at the end of 1988, and Nelson would have then been Renault's lead driver and perhaps scored another championship that way.

Originally posted by selespeed

the biggest problem with 100T was that the car was flexing and no matter how much nelson tryed in testing he couldn't find a solution. they didn't discover the flexing problems well into the season (mistake from car disagner - i belive it was ducarouge who came from williams with nelson).


Yes (except that Ducarouge had been with Lotus before - Senna wanted to take him to McLaren). And in 1989 Nelson scored as well in his Lotus-Judd as Mansell had in his Williams-Judd the year before which suggests he hadn't lost it as much as some say.




#10 Mohican

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 21:36

I do not think that Piquet threw away his career - but I am quite convinced that Amon, Ickx, Fittipaldi, Mansell, Hill and Villeneuve threw away theirs...the last three all did so by getting too big for their boots at Williams.

A lot of ink has been used on Fittipaldi's decision to leave McLaren for Copersucar - but what about Ickx choosing the no 2 Lotus in 1974 ? A very well established no 1 driver, a 4-year old car and a team that was famous for not sorting out its second car. What was he thinking, when by all accounts he could have had a McLaren for 1974 ?

And no, the fact that he won the 1974 RoC does not change my opinion.

#11 scheivlak

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 22:30

Originally posted by Mohican
A lot of ink has been used on Fittipaldi's decision to leave McLaren for Copersucar - but what about Ickx choosing the no 2 Lotus in 1974 ? A very well established no 1 driver, a 4-year old car and a team that was famous for not sorting out its second car.

Well, just the year before the #2 Lotus driver had 9 poles ;)
And the 72 was not intented to race its fifth season! I can imagine that Ickx -like most of us before the season- thought that Chapman would enter another sensational and revolutionary car with the 76.....

#12 Mohican

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 07:15

1967, 1973 and 1977-78 were the exceptions to the rule re the no 2 Lotus seat.

Look at any other year and you will see that the second Lotus was not where you wanted to be.

#13 paulhooft

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 07:21

Dan Gurney when he went from Ferrari to BRM in 1960 and then on to Porsche in 1961 and from Brabham to make his beautiful Eagles in 1966...
Is a classic..

#14 Vicuna

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 08:58

Agree about Dan.

His move may have meant we never had a world champion - especially because added to the list

Amon leaving for March
Amon creating the Amon

#15 SEdward

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 09:21

but what about Ickx choosing the no 2 Lotus in 1974 ? A very well established no 1 driver, a 4-year old car and a team that was famous for not sorting out its second car. What was he thinking, when by all accounts he could have had a McLaren for 1974



The deal between Ickx and Mclaren was scuppered by sponsors who preferred Fittipaldi. When that deal fell through late in the day, the second Lotus was just about the only seat available for 1974.

Having said that, and despite being an ardent fan of Jacky, I think that the fire was already no longer burning and that in the Mclaren, he would not have won the championship, which Fittipaldi did.

Amon's decision to leave Ferrari at the end of 1969 was a disaster, especially as he had already tested the 312B and surely must have detected its potential. His turning down of offers from several teams while trying to sort out his own car, while noble, was equally catastrophic.

Edward

#16 scheivlak

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 09:40

Originally posted by Mohican
1967, 1973 and 1977-78 were the exceptions to the rule re the no 2 Lotus seat.

Look at any other year and you will see that the second Lotus was not where you wanted to be.

Very easy to say now :wave:
How could Ickx know that 1974 would be so different from 1973?
You forget 1969 BTW and in a way also 1968 (had Jimmy lived....see the 1968 SA GP)

#17 kevthedrummer

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 10:09

Another missed opportunity was Alesi's choice of Ferrari over Williams. Still, his move to Ferrari was worth it, if just to see him win with number 27 on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. It's hard to remember a more popular victory.

Reutemann '81?

#18 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 10:46

Alesi was never talented enough to become WDC. Character and all, he was just not good enough. Had he gone to Williams, he would likely have won more than 1 race, but zero championships.

Reutemann is the clearest of them all "to cruise and collect" which he was incapable of in a car there were nothing wrong with, and which won the race in the hand of the other driver in the team.

:cool:

#19 Mohican

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 10:49

The real tragedy about Ickx' drive in 1974 is that he should really have been driving a Ferrari. Too bad he fell out with the team in the summer of '73.

Not many people today remember that Clay Regazzoni was Ferrari's no 1 driver going into the 1974 season. That changed pretty quickly, admittedly, but Clay was signed up long before Lauda.

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#20 Falcadore

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 11:28

Phil Hill and was it Giancarlo Baghetti? move to the ATS team in 1963 was ill timed and effectively ended the Americas career as a front line driver. By the time he had made his way back to an effective team he was no longer a front runner. By '64 Ferrari was bouncing back - a Hill-Surtees super team?

Coulthard leaving Williams for McLaren was a gamble, but a gamble of a pleasant kind. Still though, might Williams have resisted Ecclestone's Villeneuve overtures if Coulthard was not leaving? Although they had been testing Villeneuve throught '95 so maybe DC knew he was unlikely to find a seat.

Henri - I think perhaps where your criticsm of Piquet's decision falls down is that the assumption that Honda could be talked into staying with Williams. The 1986 situation was almost Williams behaving expressly against Hondas wishes, and rightly or wrongly for Mansell's sake, they were right in that it cost them a title with Piquet. Perhaps Piquet should have been mindful that his first title came about because a Williams #2 driver decided he would not toe the party line. In any case, Honda probably decided to leave Williams very early in the '87 season when there was no curtailing of Mansell, and the team's disrespect for the chosen one. In any case Honda probably had their '87 hopes pinned on Senna winning the title in order that he might keep the #1 plate in house with Honda.

Montoyas chances of becoming champion probably ended with his drive at Indianapolis in 2004. Leaving Williams was the right call, but Raikkonen did to him what over time Hakkinen eventually did to Coulthard. It almost seems this could be his last F1 season unless Raikkonen moved to Ferrari.

What might have been for John Watson if he had stayed at McLaren as the TAG era spooled up?

If some other than Pironi had joined Ferrari when he did, with a less assertive team mate might Villeneuve not just be alive today but had taken the 126 turbo to a world crown?

And what of Webber's choice to join Williams rather than Renault? While I don't think he would have beaten Alonso, certainly things would have been different.

#21 Henri Greuter

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 12:19

Originally posted by Mohican
The real tragedy about Ickx' drive in 1974 is that he should really have been driving a Ferrari. Too bad he fell out with the team in the summer of '73.

Not many people today remember that Clay Regazzoni was Ferrari's no 1 driver going into the 1974 season. That changed pretty quickly, admittedly, but Clay was signed up long before Lauda.



within books of Heinz Pruller, the Austrian journo and pseudo biographer of Rindt and Lauda, he wrote that Lauda was hired before Clay was. Peter Revson was considered as a teammate to Niki but there was the slight problem to work out that Peter wanted to drive at Indy. Jarier was another option but Niki then stepped in for Clay, telling that he and Regga had got along well at BRM and could do the same at Ferrari.

Henri

#22 Henri Greuter

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 12:28

Originally posted by Falcadore
Henri - I think perhaps where your criticsm of Piquet's decision falls down is that the assumption that Honda could be talked into staying with Williams. The 1986 situation was almost Williams behaving expressly against Hondas wishes, and rightly or wrongly for Mansell's sake, they were right in that it cost them a title with Piquet. Perhaps Piquet should have been mindful that his first title came about because a Williams #2 driver decided he would not toe the party line. In any case, Honda probably decided to leave Williams very early in the '87 season when there was no curtailing of Mansell, and the team's disrespect for the chosen one. In any case Honda probably had their '87 hopes pinned on Senna winning the title in order that he might keep the #1 plate in house with Honda.


If some other than Pironi had joined Ferrari when he did, with a less assertive team mate might Villeneuve not just be alive today but had taken the 126 turbo to a world crown?


Falcadore,

I think that it is indeed higly unlikely that Honda had gone on with Williams, Piquet and Mansell another year unless Piquet would have supported the entire venture another year and persuaded Honda to take it as it was. But given that he was a Honda favored driver, had he said anithing in this direction, Honda might have taken notice after all.
Might, but not very likely indeed.

As much as I am a Villeneuve fan (Gilles that is!!!) I am not sure he would have taken the title in '82. Somehow I can't imagine Gilles taking it easy in a dominant car and taking up the points instead of making it look even more impressive by declassing the entire field with the best car. It should have cost him a lot of efforts to settle for the pointscores like Didier did between Zolder Hockenheim. Maximizing his score instead of going for the glory, very un-Gilles. Waiting for the Renaults to break down and take up the lead was not exactly his style....

But then, we never know if the sense got into him in, given the circumstances to capitalize on.
And to me, that still hurts....


Henri

#23 petefenelon

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 13:36

Originally posted by Henri Greuter



within books of Heinz Pruller, the Austrian journo and pseudo biographer of Rindt and Lauda, he wrote that Lauda was hired before Clay was. Peter Revson was considered as a teammate to Niki but there was the slight problem to work out that Peter wanted to drive at Indy. Jarier was another option but Niki then stepped in for Clay, telling that he and Regga had got along well at BRM and could do the same at Ferrari.

Henri


Interesting, almost the reverse of the story I've seen elsewhere -- which goes something like: Regga was advised at the end of the '72 season that Ferrari would be concentrating mostly on sports cars for '73 and he was free to look elsewhere for an F1 drive but would be brought back into the fold as soon as they had the cash to do F1 properly... with Niki coming across partly at Regga's recommendation!

Mind you, I wasn't impressed by the Pruller Rindt bio - not sure how much is down to it being badly translated and how much is down to it just not having been very good to start with. Touch of the Chris Hiltons?;)

#24 Henri Greuter

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 13:48

Originally posted by petefenelon


Interesting, almost the reverse of the story I've seen elsewhere -- which goes something like: Regga was advised at the end of the '72 season that Ferrari would be concentrating mostly on sports cars for '73 and he was free to look elsewhere for an F1 drive but would be brought back into the fold as soon as they had the cash to do F1 properly... with Niki coming across partly at Regga's recommendation!

Mind you, I wasn't impressed by the Pruller Rindt bio - not sure how much is down to it being badly translated and how much is down to it just not having been very good to start with. Touch of the Chris Hiltons?;)





Pruller did gaive attention to other drivers within the series as well but he was (is?) utterly patriotic within his books.
But that's not exclusive for him to do.
And often did he he publish most interesting other inside stories you can't find back in Autocourse and other annuals of the same year

Henri

#25 Mohican

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 11:19

Have seen so many references to Regazzoni being recruited back to Ferrari long before they even considered Lauda that I believe it to be true; as I said before.

Prüller is an Austrian, and as such likely to be very biased in this particular regard.

#26 Henri Greuter

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 14:37

Originally posted by Mohican
Have seen so many references to Regazzoni being recruited back to Ferrari long before they even considered Lauda that I believe it to be true; as I said before.

Prüller is an Austrian, and as such likely to be very biased in this particular regard.



Could well be: I only reacted since I read a different story somewhere else. This is a discussion forum to exchange thoughts and info, isn't it?
Anyway, I hope I didn't offend you somehow with all this. Pruller's Grand Prix Annual books are indeed very much biased to Austrian drivers. They were not translated into my language anymore since 1987 and then I took the German versions but I gave up on them from '92 on since I can read some German but not too well.
But I have the Era 1973-1991 in Pruller's and it is focussing on Lauda, later on Berger....

But then, Autocourse adds the British Touringcar championship races. Patriotism isn't anything new, back then, and now.

Must admit that as far as I can recall I haven't read Regga being signed up first, then Lauda, but I believe you.

Greetings


henri

#27 paulhooft

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 19:29

The real tragedy about Ickx' drive in 1974 is that he should really have been driving a Ferrari. Too bad he fell out with the team in the summer of '73.


Deja Vue:
John Surtees had some problems mid 1966,
Nobody could have said how could be the 1966 World Champion, If he had stayed...
and there were more before and after him at Ferrari's place

Fangio, Stirling, Phil Hill?

If only he had paid more to the great Alberto Ascari???
But:
That is all history....

Paul

#28 canon1753

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 21:45

Andretti threw away (or at least Cosworth did) the 1977 Title. Best car- w/unreliability thrown in. Mario potentially threw away a few more race wins by going to Alfa and not McLaren in 1981.

Prost/Renault threw away the 1983 title by accidents and the interteam turmoil after Zandvoort.

Renault threw away the 1982 title by unreliability.

Kimi lost the 2005 title due to driver and team errors.

Williams, as a team, has thrown away a bunch of titles for various reasons- 1981, 1986,1992, 1994, 2003.

#29 Twin Window

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 22:52

Originally posted by SEdward

Amon's decision to leave Ferrari at the end of 1969 was a disaster, especially as he had already tested the 312B and surely must have detected its potential.

Hi Edward! :wave:

From what I remember from both contemporary reports, and later from Chris himself, when he first tested the 312B it suffered mechanical problems and having just put up with a couple of heart-wrenching seasons being deprived of wins by Ferraris breaking on him, he simply said "enough!"

That, plus the fact that by then he'd convinced himself that the only way forward was to have a DFV behind you...

Originally posted by Mohican

Have seen so many references to Regazzoni being recruited back to Ferrari long before they even considered Lauda...

Indeed; it was Regga who recommended Lauda to Ferrari when asked his opinion.

Originally posted by paulhooft

The real tragedy about Ickx' drive in 1974 is that he should really have been driving a Ferrari. Too bad he fell out with the team in the summer of '73.

Yes, but who's to say he would - or could - have developed the B3 in the same way that Lauda did with Forghieri...?

Originally posted by canon1753

Andretti threw away (or at least Cosworth did) the 1977 Title. Best car- w/unreliability thrown in.

Unfair not to mention him crashing (IIRC) with Watson in Zolder, Hunt at Zandvoort...

#30 canon1753

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 00:31

Originally posted by Twin Window
Unfair not to mention him crashing (IIRC) with Watson in Zolder, Hunt at Zandvoort...


Fair enough. I knew Mario had some incidents that year too. Just don't remember where and I am bookless at this moment.

#31 Mohican

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 09:41

The incident with Hunt at Zandvoort was a good one. Andretti had tried to overtake Hunt for a few laps, Hunt defended his line and Andretti tried the outside at Tarzan...

Hunt was furious afterwards, saying that "we do not overtake on the outside in Formula 1..." to which Andretti responded "Oh, yeah...?".

Or words to that effect...a highly entertaining war of words, anyway.

#32 paulhooft

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 13:10

Originally posted by paulhooft

The real tragedy about Ickx' drive in 1974 is that he should really have been driving a Ferrari. Too bad he fell out with the team in the summer of '73.


I did not post this one, my ferrari remarks where on Surtees, Fangio, Ascari and Stirling
they all had some kind of problem at Ferrari's, some left, one never drove for them because of it..

#33 man

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 15:08

I remember Patrick Head saying some time ago that he honestly believed that his team could have produced a package as good as the Honda powered MP4/4 if Honda continued to supply Williams for '88.

But in all honesty, the Williams had to be a second and a half per lap quicker than the McLaren if Piquet was going to have any chance of beating Senna for the WDC. Nelson was out-thought and out-classed by Nige in 1987. Nelson bought home the bacon, but Nige made less mistakes and was a lot quicker. If my memory serves me correctly, Herbert did a test for Lotus in '88 in the 100T - I think it was at Imola, and did a time that Piquet could not match. The difference between Senna/Nakajima and Piquet/Nakajima was quite shocking. Perhaps Nelson would have shown more motivatin in a Williams Honda for 1988 to the extent where he could have pushed Nige, but making up the difference to Nige is one thing, making up the difference to Senna was another task all together.

#34 man

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 15:15

Berger had a chance to go to Williams in 93 and would have beaten Prost for the WDC.

#35 David M. Kane

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 16:51

I think we're being a little naive and unfair to Amon, Surtees and Ickx as relative to Ferrari. We're talking about life and death decisions!

I was told by Brian Redman, and it is also in a written story in Vintage Motorsport, that in 1968 he did a F2 for Ferrari. He tried so hard that when he went back to his room he put his head in his hands and said to himself "if I drive for these people I will die!"

Mauro Forghieri had told he wasn't going fast enough! He was only 5th fastest. In fact, he was either 2nd or 3rd. Later after the race he was offered a permanent F2 drive. He turned it down!

Would you put your life on the line if someone lied to you? I wouldn't.

Several years later Brian was offered a drive, which he accepted, to drive a Ferrari 312P. It was highly unusually to ever be offered a drive by Ferrari if you had ever turned them down.

Basically in 1960s and 1970s these teams expected you, demanded that you risk it all. NOT this Cowboy!

BTW...Amon, Surtees AND Ickx are ALL still alive!!!

#36 selespeed

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 18:41

the Williams had to be a second and a half per lap quicker than the McLaren if Piquet was going to have any chance of beating Senna for the WDC




:lol: :lol: :lol: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

#37 David M. Kane

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 11:44

Late in his life when he was very sick, the Pope came to visit Enzo. He wouldn't see the Pope, he would only talk to him. Enzo said he had been a bad Roman Catholic, he might have even said he had been a bad person. The Pope said he would pray for him.

Just another bit in the Surtees, Redman, Ickx and Amon defections thought...

#38 John B

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 13:31

Anyone think that Schumacher would have taken Benetton to another title in 1996 had he stayed? Interesting call as he undoubtably would have been the preseason favorite, but with Berger and Alesi the team never tasted victory all year.

Jones at Williams in 1981 stands out to me. Overall a real lost opportunity for the team as a whole that year....

#39 James Page

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 13:42

Originally posted by canon1753
Williams, as a team, has thrown away a bunch of titles for various reasons- 1981, 1986,1992, 1994, 2003.


I'm working off the top of my head, but surely Williams didn't throw away the 1992 championships? Mansell won the drivers' title handsomely, and Patrese MUST have gathered enough points for them to win the constructors' as well…

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#40 boostpressure

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 13:52

Originally posted by mikedeering
Hindsight is of course a wonderful thing. Fittipaldi definitely threw away his career. Did Hill? He didn't have too many options. You can talk about the 98 McLaren offer, but I can see why he rejected that. Maybe he should have swallowed his pride, but equally you can't blame him for turning it down. And anyway, would he have beaten Hakkinen to the title? I doubt it. As for Villeneuve - tough one. Where else could he have gone for 99? Williams have achieved little since he left. I think Ron would not have considered him - ditto Ferrari.


I think if Damon Hill had moved to McLaren for 1998 there is every chance he would have won the World Title. He was still very capable as a driver and already had one under his belt and no doubt would have done a better job than Coulthard. It would have been very interesting seeing him against Hakkinen, not much to choose between them IMO. Money was the sticking point though, from what I gathered.

As for Villeneuve leaving Williams, aside from them wanting to keep him (and ultimately slot JPM in as his teammate) I remember hearing that McLaren were very interested in him and did make him an offer in 1998. They also tried to lure Schumacher also, Im guessing they went after Villeneuve once MS said no. Of course though, JV turned it down and did again a year or two later. Alan Henry alluded to this quite strongly years ago, from what I remember. So he most definetly threw away chances for more World Titles and him against Hakkinen, both at their peaks remember, would have been fascinating to watch.

#41 Henri Greuter

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 14:05

Originally posted by John B
Anyone think that Schumacher would have taken Benetton to another title in 1996 had he stayed? Interesting call as he undoubtably would have been the preseason favorite, but with Berger and Alesi the team never tasted victory all year.


I think that MS in a Benetton-Renault would have been far more more competive than he eventually was with the Ferrari. Not sure if it would have been good enough to topple any or both Williams-Renault drivers. With the Ferrari he finished the season as third so in that respect no improvement perhaps. But it would have been a much closer third for sure.
And maybe more....


Henri

#42 SEdward

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 16:41

Somehow, the words "Williams" and "team" do not fit together very closely...

Edward

#43 John B

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 17:59

Originally posted by James Page


I'm working off the top of my head, but surely Williams didn't throw away the 1992 championships? Mansell won the drivers' title handsomely, and Patrese MUST have gathered enough points for them to win the constructors' as well…



The reference could have been a typo for 1991, when Williams had the late start letting Senna sweep the first four, then Mansell's odd last lap retirement at Canada.

#44 Spaceframe

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 19:00

Thrown-away title opportunities (besides those already mentioned):

Tony Brooks retiring after the 1961 season instead of staying at BRM for 1962.

Chris Amon leaving March for Matra for 1971.

Chris Amon turning down an offer from Brabham in 1974.

Michael Schumacher joining Ferrari in 1996 - I'm pretty sure he could have had a seat somewhere else like at Williams if he'd wanted to.

#45 lustigson

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 07:14

Originally posted by Spaceframe
Michael Schumacher joining Ferrari in 1996 - I'm pretty sure he could have had a seat somewhere else like at Williams if he'd wanted to.

IIRC, Schumacher had offers from Benetton, Williams, McLaren AND Ferrari for the 1996 season. Assuming he wanted a true challenge, Benetton and Williams (both with superior Renault power) were a no-go. So the choice was between McLaren-Mercedes and Ferrari. I believe the money on offer from Ferrari (and the fact that he could be the first driver in, then, 17 years to win the title for the team) eventually lured him to Italy. His love for the Scuderia only came after a couple of seasons, I recall.