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Top 10 F1 Drives [Split Topic]


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#151 Radion

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 21:32

I'd place Canada 2010 over 2012. Nurburgring 2011 was definitely a special one- crucial defence and pass and a close 3-way fight for the majority of the race.

As for Top 10... picking that out of 1000+ races is a tricky task, and seems that most choices edge towards wet race performances. Recent stand-out dry races would be Kimi at Suzuka 2005, Alonso Valencia 2012, Hamilton Monza 2018.... no doubt many more (like those of the Red Bull duo or Vettel Malaysia 2015) but those are the three that I most remember anyway!

What was so special about Monza last year? Hamilton only had to follow the ever so slow Kimi and had help from Bottas?  :stoned:



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#152 davidlan

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 01:06

Scanning this thread and out of Wednesday boredom i decided to re watch the 2008 Silverstone GP.

Now it was a great drive from Lewis but did nobody realize how good of a drive it was from Heidfeld.

He made 2 of the best double overtakes I have ever seen and unlike this modern (dive bomb, run off the road) driving skills

everyone managed to handle close quarters driving without crashing.

 

Dave


Edited by davidlan, 11 April 2019 - 01:07.


#153 messy

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 07:01

If ever a driver deserved to retire with at least one win it was quick Nick.

I mean, he wasn't the fastest but he was a proper all-rounder and so solid. He didn't even get the breakthrough win in FE despite numerous podiums and being about fifty yards away from winning the inaugural race.....

That British GP was possibly his best drive too.

#154 Bleu

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 08:12

Nick Heidfeld ended so often 2nd in chaotic races.



#155 7WDC

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 09:56

*12th

 

Sorry, couldn't resist :D

 

Yes. :up:

And that overtaking on Senna...

Mansell was indeed a lion.



#156 Jovanotti

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 10:42

Number 1, Stewart at the Nürburgring:
https://www.formula1...NY0vZXpx0r.html

Edited by Jovanotti, 11 April 2019 - 10:42.


#157 CSF

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 11:25

Number 1, Stewart at the Nürburgring:
https://www.formula1...NY0vZXpx0r.html

Don't think I can like this enough! :clap:



#158 TomNokoe

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 11:30

The methodology for 10-6 seems much different than 5-1. Hamilton and Button claiming the "21st century throne" is very bizarre.


Edited by TomNokoe, 11 April 2019 - 11:30.


#159 Dicun

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 12:56

While I'm happy and approve of Sir Jackie's 1968 drive in the Green Hell (an astonishing performance, truly out of this world), the conclusion of this list leaves me frustrated and disappointed.

 

I have voiced my opinion on these boards many times before that I feel Prost is disrespectfully and criminally underrated in general and his name rarely comes up when the greats of the sport are being discussed - it is always Senna, Fangio, Schumacher or Clark. Prost is always a bridesmaid, never a bride in these conversations. Some members here didn't agree here with me about this and argued that for those-in-the-know, Prost is a legend.

 

Well, look at this list compiled by those-in-the-know. Apparently, a 4 x WDC who until recently was only second to Schumi with regards to GP wins, and who outscored all of his champion and/or GP-winner teammates (arguably the strongest selection of teammates for a single driver ever in the history of the sport!) throughout a long career bar his rookie season whilst winning titles with 2 different teams and winning races with 4 different teams and 6 different engines has never produced even a single drive during his 199 GPs long career that was worth a mention in a list of the 10 greatest drives.

 

This is ridiculous and dismaying at the same time. And this list will be read by tens of millions of people around the world - making sure that those casual conversations about the great multiple champions of the sport will further exclude Prost.

 

Shame on you, formula1.com and all those involved.



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#160 Henri Greuter

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 13:08

Don't think I can like this enough! :clap:



Something like what Jackie did has been done before, at the same venue: June 14th 1936 by Bernd Rosemeyer.
He was not named `der Nebelmeister` just for fun, he earned that title .....

#161 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 13:11

I listed two brilliant performances of Alain Prost earlier in this thread. I also agree he's criminally underrated amongst the usual Senna/Schumacher hyperbole.

The lack of wet weather brilliance, lack of a spectacular driving style and being outclassed by Senna in qualifying sessions across 88/89 I feel work against him in general perceptions. I am not one of those however.

The equal of Senna and superior to Schumacher in my book. One of the very, very few to genuinely win a World Championship in an inferior car (1986). His roll call of teammates is unmatched. Contrast that with Schumacher...

#162 PayasYouRace

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 13:12

I get what you’re saying about Prost but the way I always understood it was that Prost’s genius was in winning without ever looking spectacular. He was the master of getting the car to do the work for him, and as a result he’d just be there or thereabouts at the finish.

Though I’m sure we could find a few great drives. I’ll put forward the 1987 Belgian Grand Prix. After his fuel computer failed, he relied on the information from teammate Stefan Johansson via the pits in order to ensure he’d get to the finish in a year when the fuel allowance for turbo cars was tight.

Just one that springs to mind regarding The Professor.

#163 Dicun

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 13:33

I listed two brilliant performances of Alain Prost earlier in this thread. I also agree he's criminally underrated amongst the usual Senna/Schumacher hyperbole.

The lack of wet weather brilliance, lack of a spectacular driving style and being outclassed by Senna in qualifying sessions across 88/89 I feel work against him in general perceptions. I am not one of those however.

The equal of Senna and superior to Schumacher in my book. One of the very, very few to genuinely win a World Championship in an inferior car (1986). His roll call of teammates is unmatched. Contrast that with Schumacher...

 

Hear hear.

 

I get what you’re saying about Prost but the way I always understood it was that Prost’s genius was in winning without ever looking spectacular. He was the master of getting the car to do the work for him, and as a result he’d just be there or thereabouts at the finish.

Though I’m sure we could find a few great drives. I’ll put forward the 1987 Belgian Grand Prix. After his fuel computer failed, he relied on the information from teammate Stefan Johansson via the pits in order to ensure he’d get to the finish in a year when the fuel allowance for turbo cars was tight.

Just one that springs to mind regarding The Professor.

 

Nice example.

 

I never understood why the majority of viewers can be "tricked" into thinking that if a GP car is highly sprung, anxious and spectacularly thrown around, its driver is seen as a hero. In Grand Prix racing, this driving style usually leads to losing lap time, not gaining. Prost himself said that "if you see me jerking the car around like that, it means I'm slow and having a problem" (not exact quote, something along these lines).

 

Sir Jackie also confirmed that being smooth and accurately hitting the braking and accelerating points while clipping all the apexes lap after lap is immeasurably more difficult than throwing the car around in a visually appealing fashion. I fail to understand why or how the majority of people can't comprehend this in the context of GP racing  :confused:

 

Besides, saying that Prost was just cruising around unnoticeably in order to get get the most points safely would be criminally underselling the man. He applied controlled aggression and could battle wheel to wheel with anyone - if it was necessary. Prost had the head of Stewart and the right foot of Villeneuve.

 

I guess I will never get how his brilliance is not appreciated by more people. Oh well.



#164 7MGTEsup

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 13:40

I get what you’re saying about Prost but the way I always understood it was that Prost’s genius was in winning without ever looking spectacular. He was the master of getting the car to do the work for him, and as a result he’d just be there or thereabouts at the finish.
 

 

I think you hit the nail on the head. Drivers who are unspectacular don't get much attention.

 

Look at the level of admiration for Gilles Villeneuve a spectacular driver with a very poor resume v a workman like Carlos Reutemann who won twice as many races.

 

#165 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 13:52

Look at the level of admiration for Gilles Villeneuve a spectacular driver with a very poor resume v a workman like Carlos Reutemann who won twice as many races.

Don't quite agree there. Gilles is revered for a level of talent, speed and aggression that gave us one of the greatest wheel to wheel battles of all time (Dijon 1979) and also produced two wins in 1981 that simply shouldn't have been possible with that car. How many drivers in history win multiple races with machinery far outclassed by it's rivals? The list is pretty short.

Take all that away... and he wouldn't be given such legendary status. Add in his death not long after, at a time he was in his prime, it's not surprising he's revered.

#166 Jovanotti

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 13:54

Re: GOAT's, there was a nice segment on Jim Clark in one of the last Grand Tour episodes. Didn't quite realise in how many different championships and cars he competed and won. He would certainly be my No. 1 of all times as it stands.

#167 boillot

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 14:00

Something like what Jackie did has been done before, at the same venue: June 14th 1936 by Bernd Rosemeyer.
He was not named `der Nebelmeister` just for fun, he earned that title .....

The 1935 Nuvolari performance there was remarkable as well.

#168 Dicun

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 14:03

 

I think you hit the nail on the head. Drivers who are unspectacular don't get much attention.

 

Look at the level of admiration for Gilles Villeneuve a spectacular driver with a very poor resume v a workman like Carlos Reutemann who won twice as many races.

 

 

 

 

I'm not sure about that. Fangio and Clark were silky smooth drivers applying an unspectacular driving style yet they are admired and their names always come up in GOAT-discussions. Prost, on the other hand...

 

The whole thing is quite baffling, really  :confused:



#169 Collombin

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 14:08

Re: GOAT's, there was a nice segment on Jim Clark in one of the last Grand Tour episodes. Didn't quite realise in how many different championships and cars he competed and won. He would certainly be my No. 1 of all times as it stands.


My old but hopefully reliable Clark spreadsheet has him racing 36 different types of car, 22 of which were Lotuses. I am fairly sure a "wins in most different types of car" list would have several names ahead of Clark.

#170 Dicun

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 14:17

My old but hopefully reliable Clark spreadsheet has him racing 36 different types of car, 22 of which were Lotuses. I am fairly sure a "wins in most different types of car" list would have several names ahead of Clark.

 

I recently found this interesting video regarding the "Lotuses or Loti" eternal debate:

 



#171 Marklar

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 14:19

I think Prost issue is that he was competing against Senna at their peak. Now it's a cans full of worms, but Senna was seen as better overall by the majority, and this sets the narrative for these sort of discussions (he becomes default not the best for many then, simply because one was "proven" to be better already.

Now this wouldnt have happened if his biggest rival was lets say Mika (like for Schumacher) and maybe Schumacher wouldnt be anywhere near the mythos if he was in Prost's position instead, for example. Prost is in that sense a bit unfortunate I'd say.

#172 PayasYouRace

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 14:24

I recently found this interesting video regarding the "Lotuses or Loti" eternal debate:
 
https://www.youtube....h?v=qM5EOsepj1E


I believe the same applies to Williams (not that anyone says Willii, but Williamses is very wrong).

#173 sopa

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 14:25

I listed two brilliant performances of Alain Prost earlier in this thread. I also agree he's criminally underrated amongst the usual Senna/Schumacher hyperbole.

The lack of wet weather brilliance, lack of a spectacular driving style and being outclassed by Senna in qualifying sessions across 88/89 I feel work against him in general perceptions. I am not one of those however.

The equal of Senna and superior to Schumacher in my book. 

 

Not sure based on which criteria did you reach that conclusion.

 

While you mention criterias in which Prost can be found lacking (i.e wet, qualifying), I don't see a criteria in which Schumacher was lacking to Prost.


Edited by sopa, 11 April 2019 - 14:26.


#174 Dicun

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 14:28

Not sure based on which criteria did you reach that conclusion.

 

While you mention criterias in which Prost can be found lacking (i.e wet, qualifying), I don't see a criteria in which Schumacher was lacking to Prost.

 

Strong teammates who were free to race against him.



#175 sopa

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 14:29

Strong teammates who were free to race against him.

 

Yeah, but speaking strictly of abilities that doesn't prove one's superiority. At best it leaves things fuzzy.



#176 SenorSjon

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 14:30

Ah yes, the infamous "Beirut" chicane, named because it resembled a checkpoint, placed before the since unused Nissan chicane. The circuit bypasses that section with a longer back straight now.

 

2f80634eddbbe1377e1d39bd8a812615.jpg

 

I really miss those cars...  :love:  Three top teams and all very different concepts on almost every front.



#177 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 14:35

Not sure based on which criteria did you reach that conclusion.

While you mention criterias in which Prost can be found lacking (i.e wet, qualifying), I don't see a criteria in which Schumacher was lacking to Prost.

Prost took on and beat Ayrton Senna in the same car. His overall list of teammates he competed against is significant and unmatched. Prost was essentially the king of the 1980s.

In my opinion that gives him the edge on Michael Schumacher. Suppose it depends on your criteria. Michael never taking on another champion in their prime, in the same car, or even a highly rated young star... I really count against him. The contrast there with Prost is significant.

In terms of ability... they're on a similar level. Hard to split them.

Edited by PlayboyRacer, 11 April 2019 - 14:36.


#178 Dicun

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 14:41

Yeah, but speaking strictly of abilities that doesn't prove one's superiority. At best it leaves things fuzzy.

 

Actually, I personally never quite understood this whole notion of Prost being a not-so-good qualifier. In his later years, he preferred to use qualification as a preparation for the race, sure, but nevertheless, the man achieved 86 front row starts and 33 pole positions which, up until Schumi's record-breaking years, was tied 2nd with Clark in the all-time records. So yes, he wasn't as strong a qualifier as was Senna - but then again, who in the history of the sport was? Maybe Hamilton but the list is very, very short.

 

And as for wet weather driving - Prost had no problem handling slippery surfaces. In fact, he enjoyed it - just look at his Andros Trophy record. He won the championship three times and scored 38 race wins - all this at over fifty years of age. What he hated though was driving at insane speeds in poor visibility. And quite understandably so - after all, he was the one whom Pironi crashed into in treacherous conditions and suffered career-ending leg injuries on that fateful practice in Germany in 1982.



#179 ensign14

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 14:48

 

Well, look at this list compiled by those-in-the-know. Apparently, a 4 x WDC who until recently was only second to Schumi with regards to GP wins, and who outscored all of his champion and/or GP-winner teammates (arguably the strongest selection of teammates for a single driver ever in the history of the sport!) throughout a long career bar his rookie season whilst winning titles with 2 different teams and winning races with 4 different teams and 6 different engines has never produced even a single drive during his 199 GPs long career that was worth a mention in a list of the 10 greatest drives.

 

I think it's a compliment to him.  Mansell apparently complained that Prost spent so long setting up the car to make it easy to drive, which bemused Prost, as he said "but isn't that the point?"  Prost tended to get himself into situations where he did not need to tiger - he'd just sail off into the sunset.

 

You've seen I'd question Fangio's one drive listed in the top 10 and that's the same sort of thing.  When you've a second in hand you never need to do anything but cruise home from the front.  That never looks spectacular. 

 

There is also the thing that Prost and Fangio got themselves into front-running cars early in their careers, and stayed there.  So there were never any sort of come-from-behind underdog performances in filth which would have stood out. 
 



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#180 Anuity

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 14:50

Schumacher also won in an inferior car, in 1995. While his main competitor could not stop crashing left right and centre, and taking two more victories from Michael by crashing into him.

I would also say that Mclaren still had slight advantage in 2000 as well.



#181 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 14:51

Prost could drive in the wet, it wasn't a weakness as such. More that he simply wasn't on Ayrton and Michaels level in that regard and he lacks an Estoril '85/Barcelona '96 on his resume.

Being brilliant in the wet is a touch overrated generally. Thierry Boutsen had some very good wet weather races, yet I rarely see his name mentioned anywhere.

#182 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 14:54

Schumacher also won in an inferior car, in 1995. While his main competitor could not stop crashing left right and centre, and taking two more victories from Michael by crashing into him.
I would also say that Mclaren still had slight advantage in 2000 as well.

Agreed. Michael & Alain are hard to split on pure ability and talent, both very intelligent racers with phenomenal records.

#183 sopa

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 15:06

Being brilliant in the wet is a touch overrated generally. Thierry Boutsen had some very good wet weather races, yet I rarely see his name mentioned anywhere.

 

I agree in the sense that there aren't that many wet races on the calendar. Majority are still in the dry. For example Jos Verstappen was very quick whenever it rained, but that was the main strength of his skillset anyway.

 

If all races were wet/damp/changeable, then I think the choice on which drivers teams would hire would look a bit different. But that isn't the case with about 4/5 races if not more held in dry.


Edited by sopa, 11 April 2019 - 15:07.


#184 Atreiu

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 15:21

Yes. :up:

And that overtaking on Senna...

Mansell was indeed a lion.

 

 

Senna was blocked by traffic.

Why do people make a big deal from such a pedestrian move? Is it because he's brit and the british press has always been large and influential? Mansell must have made at least another 20 better than that. The race was great, but that move was mundane.

 

His move over Berger at Mexico 1990 was a million times better.



#185 Dicun

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 15:30

Senna was blocked by traffic.

Why do people make a big deal from such a pedestrian move? Is it because he's brit and the british press has always been large and influential? Mansell must have made at least another 20 better than that. The race was great, but that move was mundane.

 

His move over Berger at Mexico 1990 was a million times better.

 

Oh, come on now :)

 

The reason that move is revered greatly is that it was an opportunistic one, a decision made in a fraction of a second and executed perfectly. That was the move for the win - it happened 20 or so laps to go, but we all know how fierce were Senna's defensive skills and the Hungaroring is a narrow, twisty track. Chances are he would have been able to keep Mansell behind until the chequered flag had Nige not pulled the move off there and then.



#186 PlatenGlass

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 15:52

Prost took on and beat Ayrton Senna in the same car. His overall list of teammates he competed against is significant and unmatched. Prost was essentially the king of the 1980s.

In my opinion that gives him the edge on Michael Schumacher. Suppose it depends on your criteria. Michael never taking on another champion in their prime, in the same car, or even a highly rated young star... I really count against him. The contrast there with Prost is significant.

In terms of ability... they're on a similar level. Hard to split them.

I think this is a bit harsh on Schumacher. After Senna's death there were zero world champions on the grid, and there wasn't a single driver with a reputation robust enough that if they became Schumacher's team-mate and subsequently failed, people wouldn't have been able to just say "Well they were rubbish anyway".

Herbert, Barrichello and Irvine were all highly rated young stars at some point in their career, and the dismissal of them now comes more as a result of how they did against Schumacher than anything they did before. For example, Johnny Herbert was a similar level to Hakkinen at Lotus, and beat everyone that came after. He then outqualified and finished ahead of the highly rated (by some anyway) Panis in a one-off drive at Ligier (where Panis had been all season) before joining Schumacher at Benetton.

And if you look at the drivers of that era that did subsequently go on to become champion (Hill, Villeneuve, Hakkinen), they were generally enjoying their primes at Williams/McLaren and joining Schumacher at Benetton/Ferrari is unlikely to have held any appeal to them.

But anyway, bringing this back round to Prost, I think I would put him behind both Senna and Schumacher overall. And getting back on topic, I think in addition to the races that have been mentioned, I don't think anyone has mentioned Kyalami 1982 where he came back to win after a puncture put him a lap down.

#187 Nonesuch

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 16:00

Michael never taking on another champion in their prime, in the same car, or even a highly rated young star... I really count against him. The contrast there with Prost is significant.

 

Or maybe Prost was just never good enough to make his team-mates look as ordinary as Schumacher did.  ;)



#188 Sterzo

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 16:17

The 1935 Nuvolari performance there was remarkable as well.

Here's me being a very good boy, and not mentioning Nuvolari at the Nurburgring in 1935, because it's not "F1". But now look what you've done! Fantastic drive wasn't it, boillot? Not only was the car slower than those it beat, but the circuit was one to emphasise the disadvantages of the old design of the Alfa Romeo's chassis frame and suspension.



#189 statman

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 16:54

Number 1, Stewart at the Nürburgring:
https://www.formula1...NY0vZXpx0r.html

 

:smoking:



#190 Dicun

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 18:12

But anyway, bringing this back round to Prost, I think I would put him behind both Senna and Schumacher overall.

 

The thing that, at least for me, underlines Prost's unquestionable GOAT-status the most is the fact how Senna was completely obsessed with beating him. Many have said (including Senna's sister and Jo Ramirez) that Ayrton didn't care about the others, he wanted to beat Prost - only Prost, always. He constantly asked Prost during the winter of 1993/1994 not to retire because the thought of fighting for the title with Schumi or Hill didn't motivate him. He needed Prost as a moving target, that's where his passion and will to win came from.

 

That's the best argument for Prost's case. What a beast he must have been if the guy who is widely considered to be the greatest ever was always and solely focusing on beating him and used him as the ultimate benchmark to measure himself against?



#191 PayasYouRace

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 18:15

 He constantly asked Prost during the winter of 1993/1994 not to retire because the thought of fighting for the title with Schumi or Hill didn't motivate him. He needed Prost as a moving target, that's where his passion and will to win came from.

 

 

 

I don't think the MP4/9 was really up to it, but it would have been interesting to see Alain in a last fling in a McLaren.



#192 Currahee

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 18:18

The thing that, at least for me, underlines Prost's unquestionable GOAT-status the most is the fact how Senna was completely obsessed with beating him. Many have said (including Senna's sister and Jo Ramirez) that Ayrton didn't care about the others, he wanted to beat Prost - only Prost, always. He constantly asked Prost during the winter of 1993/1994 not to retire because the thought of fighting for the title with Schumi or Hill didn't motivate him. He needed Prost as a moving target, that's where his passion and will to win came from.

That's the best argument for Prost's case. What a beast he must have been if the guy who is widely considered to be the greatest ever was always and solely focusing on beating him and used him as the ultimate benchmark to measure himself against?


Add to that the fact Senna got a painting commissioned by I think a Mexican painter of the grid at Monaco. There was 2 stipilations. 1. Clark had to be on pole as he was the best of the best and 2. There was to be no Prost.

I took that as someone who feared Prost.

Maybe i'm wrong but thats how I read it.

That is praise indeed albeit a strange way to do it.

#193 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 23:29

I think this is a bit harsh on Schumacher.

It it though? The teammates he had, particularly at Ferrari, were they cherry picked with number two contracts or were they hired to be successful in their own right? I have my doubts on the latter. Particularly as the ability of Irvine and Barrichello, whilst good, they weren't World Champions nor were they outstanding young talents. They fit a certain range and role. In addition when Ferrari finally bit the bullet, hiring Raikkonen as early as 2005, Schumacher then retired despite fighting for the championship in 2006. Convenient?

It can be debated all day but I think there are genuine question marks over the situation of Schumachers teammates at Ferrari.

There are most definetly no such question marks over Alain Prost.

#194 Astandahl

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 23:45

It it though? The teammates he had, particularly at Ferrari, were they cherry picked with number two contracts or were they hired to be successful in their own right? I have my doubts on the latter. Particularly as the ability of Irvine and Barrichello, whilst good, they weren't World Champions nor were they outstanding young talents. They fit a certain range and role. In addition when Ferrari finally bit the bullet, hiring Raikkonen as early as 2005, Schumacher then retired despite fighting for the championship in 2006. Convenient?

It can be debated all day but I think there are genuine question marks over the situation of Schumachers teammates at Ferrari.

There are most definetly no such question marks over Alain Prost.

Looking at Kimi performance against Massa i don't think Schumi would have a lot of problems with him. Sure he would have been 38 years old in 2007 so who knows...



#195 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 03:02

Michael should have taken him on then! He knew Kimi was coming for a while... but as we know, Kimi at Ferrari didn't end up quite being Kimi at McLaren...

#196 Afterburner

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 03:43

Michael should have taken him on then! He knew Kimi was coming for a while... but as we know, Kimi at Ferrari didn't end up quite being Kimi at McLaren...

1993-1994 Michael might have taken that challenge, but 2006 Michael was probably like, “I’m too old for this crap.”

What gives Schumi his legend status, in my opinion–and what so many both for and against him tend to leave out of the discussion–is that he reinvented what it meant to be a Formula One driver. We take for granted just how normal it is now when we hear of drivers spending every waking minute in the simulator or training with specialised equipment to help them stay fitter when driving–Michael was the first driver to take that ‘next-level’ approach to his fitness and to a greater extent car development in the modern era (apropos to the discussion, he took Prost’s holistic approach and added another dimension to it). He redefined the off-track responsibilities of racing drivers to such an extent that champion drivers in racing series the world over now take his approach.

Was it inevitable that drivers would get to this point? Maybe in hindsight–but someone had to be the first to do it, and Michael was. The true greats don’t just play the game, they also change it. His relentless perfectionism in how he managed his time away from the track was the driving force behind the metronomic consistency and speed we saw every weekend, reshaping the way racing drivers approach their careers–this is why Michael will always be in my top tier of drivers along with Prost, Clark, Fangio, and Senna. Sure, maybe he would’ve been beaten by an Alonso or a Raikkonen in the same team, but by the time they raced him neither of them had to invent the template Schumi used to become successful; they just had to perfect it.

#197 Junky

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 04:24

Actually, I personally never quite understood this whole notion of Prost being a not-so-good qualifier. In his later years, he preferred to use qualification as a preparation for the race, sure, but nevertheless, the man achieved 86 front row starts and 33 pole positions which, up until Schumi's record-breaking years, was tied 2nd with Clark in the all-time records. So yes, he wasn't as strong a qualifier as was Senna - but then again, who in the history of the sport was? Maybe Hamilton but the list is very, very short.

 

And as for wet weather driving - Prost had no problem handling slippery surfaces. In fact, he enjoyed it - just look at his Andros Trophy record. He won the championship three times and scored 38 race wins - all this at over fifty years of age. What he hated though was driving at insane speeds in poor visibility. And quite understandably so - after all, he was the one whom Pironi crashed into in treacherous conditions and suffered career-ending leg injuries on that fateful practice in Germany in 1982.

 

I completely agree with this post and with your previous one. Another driver that for me is ridiculously underrated is Nelson Piquet, although at a different level when compared with Prost, naturally. Whenever there is a ranking of the best drivers, the mouse of my computer gets waisted while I find your name on such a list.  The press, especially the British, has an almost inexplicable contempt for its history. I do not know if it was the battle with Mansell or if it was Senna's rise, but it's ridiculous.

 
Piquet was a huge rider with phenomenal performances between 1980 and 1987, the year he won the title in the best Prost style, after being hit by the crash in Imola and slower than Big Nige. In fact, technically, rare were the pilots who managed such communion with the team as he and Brabham - and he just came out of the team because Bernie was going to sell to focus as big boss of F1. I feel bad that his legacy is so undermined.

Edited by Junky, 12 April 2019 - 04:24.


#198 Henri Greuter

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 06:15

I completely agree with this post and with your previous one. Another driver that for me is ridiculously underrated is Nelson Piquet, although at a different level when compared with Prost, naturally. Whenever there is a ranking of the best drivers, the mouse of my computer gets waisted while I find your name on such a list.  The press, especially the British, has an almost inexplicable contempt for its history. I do not know if it was the battle with Mansell or if it was Senna's rise, but it's ridiculous.
 
Piquet was a huge rider with phenomenal performances between 1980 and 1987, the year he won the title in the best Prost style, after being hit by the crash in Imola and slower than Big Nige. In fact, technically, rare were the pilots who managed such communion with the team as he and Brabham - and he just came out of the team because Bernie was going to sell to focus as big boss of F1. I feel bad that his legacy is so undermined.


Piquet kind of suffers from the same thing that many complain about with MS. Not willing to be teamed with a strong ream mate that has equal status with him. Granted he did so with having Mansell as a team mate but that was only because of Mansell unexpectedly rising to the occasion. He went away from Williams because he refused to be in a team with two near equal drivers. Lotus garuanteed him undisputed #1 status and a lap dog team mate and he was off....
All he did for his teams and granted, that was a lot, but it was always with a selfish instinct that no-one but he had to benefit from that.
Other then that, though he was fair on the track, unlike a few others, his psycho jobs on team mates and opponents often went below the belt.
I still wonder if his oh-so-tactful and innocently made questions during the drivers briefing of Suzuka 1990 about leaving the track at the chicane had no other purpose to infuriate Senna a bit more than he already was at that moment, (Piquet) knowing all too well that might set off a few things he could benefit from....

Good driver for sure, but also tainted because of .....

#199 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 06:44

Strictly speaking peak performances, talent and ability... Piquet is criminally underrated. A triple World Champion in the 80s no less.

We see how lauded someone like Hakkinen is when these 'best of' lists are created. Granted he was a great driver... but you'll always see him ahead of someone like Piquet. Which shouldn't necessarily be the case.

I think his abrasiveness and the way his career dived from Lotus onwards plays a big part in that.

Edited by PlayboyRacer, 12 April 2019 - 06:45.


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#200 ensign14

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 07:04

Piquet was a triple champ, yes, but there were question marks about every title.  No question in 1981 Piquet harvested points with an illegal car before FISA tacitly allowed everyone else to copy.  1983 had the iffy fuel (as well as Prost's extracurricular activities) and 1987 may be the least deserved title ever.

 

Which overlooks that he would have been a decent champ in 1980 and basically threw away a winnable 1982 to prepare for the next season.