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#1 kayemod

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 10:40

An excellent piece on the Autosport site today, from that oracle Sir Jackie Stewart. It's that GOAT thing again, and JYS is comparing, as far as it's possible to do, Lewis Hamilton with men like Fangio and Jim Clark.

 

https://www.autospor...greatest-driver

 

For what it's worth, I agree with almost every word. I wouldn't under-rate or "diss" the hugely talented Lewis Hamilton, but largely because everything is so different today, I'd never compare him with Fangio, Clark and Sir Stirling, (who strangely, JYS doesn't mention) either. It's hard to discuss a subject like this with younger fans, who think that largely for numerical reasons, Schumacher, Senna, and today Hamilton, must be the greatest drivers who ever lived, purely because of the numbers. We've discussed all this endlessly on TNF, and I think that many like me, will agree with most of what Jackie Stewart says, but any cogent comments on the article?

 

 



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#2 jcbc3

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 11:06

Funny. I disagree with almost every word.

 

example: Fangio changed teams to always sit in the best car. Good. Hamilton has stayed in the team with the best car. Bad

example: Since a season was 8 or 9 races former drivers raced 'everything' and thus won a lot of races. Good. Presently seasons are up to 22 races and thus drivers doesn't diversify anymore. So winning many races in F1. Bad



#3 SophieB

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 11:30

An excellent piece on the Autosport site today, from that oracle Sir Jackie Stewart. It's that GOAT thing again, and JYS is comparing, as far as it's possible to do, Lewis Hamilton with men like Fangio and Jim Clark.

 

https://www.autospor...greatest-driver

 

For what it's worth, I agree with almost every word. I wouldn't under-rate or "diss" the hugely talented Lewis Hamilton, but largely because everything is so different today, I'd never compare him with Fangio, Clark and Sir Stirling, (who strangely, JYS doesn't mention) either. It's hard to discuss a subject like this with younger fans, who think that largely for numerical reasons, Schumacher, Senna, and today Hamilton, must be the greatest drivers who ever lived, purely because of the numbers. We've discussed all this endlessly on TNF, and I think that many like me, will agree with most of what Jackie Stewart says, but any cogent comments on the article?

 

I think that you’d probably get better discussions with those younger fans from time to time if you didn’t come across like you’d already decided in advance what they were going to say and dismissed any possible counter arguments as from people too limited to understand anything but a list of race wins anyway. Nice of you to generously to offer to hear them out despite all this, I guess. 


#4 Charlieman

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 11:47

example: Fangio changed teams to always sit in the best car. Good. Hamilton has stayed in the team with the best car. Bad

I wouldn't use the words good and bad to label behaviours which are just different.

 

In the case of Fangio, he had driving skill, good career judgement and every GP team for which he drove became bigger than the sum of its paper attributes. Hamilton has had some wobbly moments, but on the whole he has made the right career moves and served his GP teams well.



#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 11:56

Yes, it's a strange interpretation of Fangio's career.

 

And realistically, I think you need to draw a line under every season which preceded the first Concorde Agreement in 1981. Increasingly, if you raced in F1, it became nigh on or completely impossible to do any other series properly because the F1 calendar was often - and indeed still is - pitched directly against other major events. To quote LP Hartley: “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”

 

Arguably, apart from the ageless Mario Andretti, the late 20th/early 21st century drivers whose careers are most comparable to those of Fangio, Moss, Clark and Hill (NG and P) are three men who have never driven in an F1 GP: AJ Foyt, Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon.

 

Mario is the only F1 driver whose career bridges those two eras. And of course we'll never know about Mark Donohue or Greg Moore ...



#6 realracer200

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 12:23

I completely agree with Sir Jackie Stewart.



#7 rf90

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 12:27

I completely agree with Sir Jackie Stewart.

 

Me too. Certainly the number of titles doesn't necessarily mean the best. Sir Stirling Moss, without a title, is in with the best of them.


Edited by rf90, 06 October 2020 - 12:31.


#8 guiporsche

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 12:43

If one really wants to go down that tortuous road of whoever was the best when racing contexts have changed so greatly over the past hundred years, then there is only one reason preventing Lewis (regardless of being the top of his generation) from being considered in the same light of Fangio, Clark, Senna, Schumacher (yes, Schumacher). And that was the fact that he was beaten twice by teammates with much less talent than his (considerably great) one. He was not beaten by a Prost, but by a Button and a Rosberg.



#9 Michael Ferner

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 12:59

No, I don't agree with JYS either, except maybe that it's difficult to compare. Someone younger on another forum recently posted, "I can't take the likes of Fangio serious because of the huge gaps in those days", meaning that because races were won by half or even full minutes, they were not that competitive compared with today. I didn't pick up the argument, but am pretty much in the opposite corner, believing that race driving was much more difficult in the old days, without tarmac runoffs, computer simulators and almost infinitely reliable cars, etc. etc. Today, many more drivers have the opportunity to go racing, to do well and to hone their skills, so that the races become closer affairs by default, but it's just not the same sport any longer. It's still difficult to be the best of the best, that I can agree upon, but overall the skill level has been lowered. In other words, the average 'quality' of an F1 field today may be higher than in the fifties, but Hamilton and Verstappen are not that much above average than Fangio and Ascari were in their time. Or, to paint a picture with numbers for easy digestion, if the average of an F1 field was 100, Ascari and Fangio drove at 150 to win, with González and Behra at 140 perhaps, Manzon and Schell at 130 etc. Then you had amateurs like Johnny Claes at maybe 70 or 80, or Volonterio at less than 50, with the average man in the street not far behind. Today, even the tailenders in F1 have to drive at least at 90 % of the average, while the winners may be only at 110, 120. It's much more competitive, yes, but a lot easier overall. Man on the street today? Probably way over sixty percent, given the huge increase in daily travel by car over the last seventy years. Is Hamilton as great a driver as Fernand Charron was? Impossible to say.



#10 absinthedude

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 13:30

I partially agree with the esteemed JYS. It is genuinely not possible to make meaningful comparisons between the likes of Fangio, Moss, Ascari or Clark and today's drivers. The world was different....as Jackie points out the F1 season was much smaller and there were more opportunities for F1 drivers to race elsewhere. Being a grand prix driver wasn't necessarily seen as a career in itself. 

 

But that said, it is clear that Hamilton is not just statistically one of the best...he's one of the most talented too. The quality of his team-mates and the fact that over their time together he's got the better of Alonso, Button, N Rosberg and Bottas speaks volumes. It's not just that the nature of the game skews the stats these days. He's one of the true greats....but whether he's as good as or better than Fangio, Clark or even Senna and Prost.....that will be something debated long after we're all gone. 

 

Now regarding Fernand Charron...I'm involved with one of his descendants and in touch with family who still bear the Charron name and who are involved in cars and racing....but they couldn't compare Lewis to Fernand either. As you say, impossible to be objective. 

 

There is a further question.....if Lewis had the opportunity to race tin tops, Indycars, NASCAR and F2 mid-season or in the off-season.....do we think he'd be as good as Clark? 


Edited by absinthedude, 06 October 2020 - 13:31.


#11 rl1856

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 13:43

The nature of racing today is so much different.   More is achieved by engineers than by drivers.  Sure a good/great driver will perform that much better, but in the current environment, it is virtually impossible for a great driver to elevate a mediocre car into the winner's circle.

 

The package is created by engineers, refined by computer, honed through testing.   Then the Driver adds his performance.    LH has benefited by being aligned with Mercedes, just as MS benefited from being aligned with Ferrari.  Consider the generation of drivers before MS;  Senna,Prost, Mansel, etc who routinely switched cars, but were still the best.  The driver was able to elevate the car.  I don't think that is possible anymore.

 

As for specialization, it cuts both ways.  There are a few US drivers who I would have liked to have seen in F1....Tony Stewart, Jimmy Johnson come to mind.  Tony Stewart hated the celebrity part of his job, and preferred to eat chili and compete on dirt tracks.  But he was a winning driver in just about any car he drove, in just about any series.  He could strap in and quickly get the best out of any car, and usually exceeded what others thought was possible.  He could have been the modern version of Mario Andretti or AJ Foyt.  Jimmy Johnson was paid enormous sums of money to stay in the US, and remain the face of Nascar.   

 

Never discount the role of money in decisions made by drivers....either not enough, or obscene amounts. 



#12 kayemod

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 14:32

Slightly odd that JYS left Sir Stirling's name out of his article, I think most of us would agree that Stirling was at the very least the equal of the names he held up as his examples. Come to that, I can't remember Jackie mentioning Stirling's name very often in any discussions of this kind, any suggestions why this might be? Great F1 driver as JYS was, I'd always rate Stirling slightly higher, surely the reason can't be jealousy on Jackie's part? It's true of course that their respective careers didn't meet, but Jackie and Fangio's didn't either, so it's unlikely to be related to that.



#13 john aston

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 14:36

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the GOAT driver we all choose is the one who was racing during the first few years of our interest . Sixty plus old farts like me are as predictable as twenty somethings   - we affect to disdain their choices because , bah humbug it's all flappy paddles, tattoos and  and team radio now ,and they disdain ours because , y'know , most of our drivers are dead and the survivors are ancient . 



#14 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 14:37

If one really wants to go down that tortuous road of whoever was the best when racing contexts have changed so greatly over the past hundred years, then there is only one reason preventing Lewis (regardless of being the top of his generation) from being considered in the same light of Fangio, Clark, Senna, Schumacher (yes, Schumacher). And that was the fact that he was beaten twice by teammates with much less talent than his (considerably great) one. He was not beaten by a Prost, but by a Button and a Rosberg.

You might want to look at 2016 again. Lewis won more races than Nico and the only reason he lost the championship was because his engine blew up when he was leading in Malaysia. Rosberg finished a rather mediocre third behind the two Red Bulls; when Lewis's engine failed, he had a lead of 23 seconds over Ricciardo, at which time Rosberg was running fifth.



#15 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 14:59

As for Hamilton v Button; in the three seasons they were team-mates at McLaren Lewis finished above Jenson in the championship twice.

 

In 2010, Lewis won three GPs to Jenson's two.

 

In 2011 they won three each. When neither of them won nor retired the score was 5-5. I'd say that's a pretty even season!

 

In 2012 Lewis won four and Jenson three.



#16 speedman13

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 15:03

Just out of interest where did JYS see Nuvolari and Caracciola race.



#17 BRG

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 15:14

There is a further question.....if Lewis had the opportunity to race tin tops, Indycars, NASCAR and F2 mid-season or in the off-season.....do we think he'd be as good as Clark? 

As good as Clark.   Hmm, that is a big ask, but IF Lewis had had those opportunities, he would for certain have been very close to Jim.  And I say that as one who considers Clark to be the supreme driving talent.  I see a lot of similarities between the two in terms of their apparent ability to extract more form their machinery than anyone else can manage.

 

Slightly odd that JYS left Sir Stirling's name out of his article, I think most of us would agree that Stirling was at the very least the equal of the names he held up as his examples. 

Count me out of the 'most of us' then.  Moss was great, no question, but he was never really match for Fangio, nor would he have been a match for Clark.  He wasn't quite as good.  There is no shame in that.  Nobody else was as good as Fangio and Clark either and Moss was a lot better than almost everyone else.

 

And to suggest that Stewart might be jealous...don't make me laugh.  His own achievements speak for themselves.  If only he had the foresight to die at the wheel, he would be deemed one of the absolute greatest.



#18 kayemod

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 15:26

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the GOAT driver we all choose is the one who was racing during the first few years of our interest . Sixty plus old farts like me are as predictable as twenty somethings   - we affect to disdain their choices because , bah humbug it's all flappy paddles, tattoos and  and team radio now ,and they disdain ours because , y'know , most of our drivers are dead and the survivors are ancient . 

Some truth in that, but I think that  GOAT generalisation applies more to younger "Effwun" fans, than to oldies like most of us. My father and mother were both at Donington to see the Auto Unions and Mercedes, in her past mum had a middle-ranking racing driver boyfriend who actually featured fairly humbly in the Donington GP, and dad was always interested in racing and its history, he brought me up to share his interest. As soon as I learned to read, I devoured his copy of MotorSport each month, cover to cover, and having witnessed the last few races of his career, I still believe that Sir Stirling was arguably the greatest racing driver who ever lived. However, having been told about pre-WW2 men like Nuvolari and Rosemeyer, Tazio ranks equally highly with me, with Bernd only very slightly behind. I never saw either driver race, but I have read and appreciated almost everything available in print, about both of them, best I can do unfortunately.

 

Now consider the 19 year old son of a friend of mine, who would probably claim to be a racing fan, though the two of them only watch current F1 together on TV. Despite the fact that his father has bookshelves of motor racing books, almost all 60s onwards unfortunately, the lad has never even opened any of them as far as we know. He seems to have almost no interest in history at all, of anything, and unless he's heard his dad and me mentioning them, I very much doubt whether names like Nuvolari and Rosemeyer register with him at all, he'd probably guess that they were something like a pair of Jewish tailors or solicitors, younger people from my experience, just don't seem to have much interest in history, or anything that happened much before their time. The 19yr old is far from stupid, he currently studying astrophysics at "Uni", but while if asked he'd probably guess that Lewis was the greatest ever, because that's what his similarly aged friends tell him, how can he formulate any meaningful opinion, when his knowledge only goes back four or five years? It's probable that the motor racing knowledge of an awful lot of today's opinion forming journalists and other writers is similarly limited, so what chance do today's younger followers of the Sport have of forming an objective opinion without any real knowledge of the Greats of the past?



#19 opplock

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 15:42

 it's just not the same sport any longer.

 

Spot on. Rather like comparing WW1 or WW2 aces to those who fly 21st century aircraft. 

 

 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the GOAT driver we all choose is the one who was racing during the first few years of our interest . 

 

 To demonstrate my scepticism towards universally acknowledged truths the man I consider to be GOAT died 3 years before I was born and never competed in what is now considered to be a Grand Prix.  



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#20 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 16:19

The big difference for me is that now the car is 98% of the equation and all the drivers are very good. In the past a good driver in a slower car could defeat less good drivers in faster cars. (Moss etc)   Now if you mixed our current lot up and put Russell in the Mercedes and Hamilton in the Williams, Russell would win and Hammy might just gain a tenth a lap in the Williams or them he might also spit his dummy out.  Look at Stroll, no one rated him but once he got in the pink Mercedes he has done quite well. 


Edited by Derwent Motorsport, 06 October 2020 - 16:20.


#21 brakedisc

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 16:31

It appears we all agree that it is impossible to compare motor racing eras so why would the chap who Max Mosley suggests " dresses up as a 1930s music hall man " get involved?  Could it be because of another Mosley suggestion?  " He's a certified halfwit".

 

A bit harsh but it doesn't stop me thinking that Mr Stewart is doing his usual self promotion stuff.

 

He never had a good word for Senna or Moss so why should Lewis be treated any better.



#22 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 16:35

I was a big JYS fan until I read his autobiography.  he was very full of himself and there was loads of name dropping, particularly about the then RBS Chairman who JYS seemed to worship. Sadly the book came out at about the same time as the chap had a big fall from grace!

  I do respect his efforts now on behalf of Helen and those with the same issues. 



#23 D28

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 17:03

Just out of interest where did JYS see Nuvolari and Caracciola race.

I am curious as well and looked a bit at some on line sources. Stewart is certainly old enough, around 9 when Nuvolari made his last race entries in Europe; for example the 1948 French GP. Nuvolari did make an appearance in Britain for the 1950 Silverstone Daily Express Production Sports race.  Entered in a Jaguar XK120 he practiced but was too sick to compete. This was discussed here:

https://forums.autos...a-green-jaguar/

 

Anyone know if JYS ever mentioned seeing Nuvolari race before?



#24 kayemod

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 17:06

I was a big JYS fan until I read his autobiography.  he was very full of himself and there was loads of name dropping, particularly about the then RBS Chairman who JYS seemed to worship. Sadly the book came out at about the same time as the chap had a big fall from grace!

  I do respect his efforts now on behalf of Helen and those with the same issues. 

All true, one of the most disappointing books I've read, and in so many ways. As for Sir Jackie not being jealous of the likes of Ayrton Senna and Stirling Moss, I have grave doubts about that. It's a long time ago now, but I met Jackie several times during his racing career, and while I liked the man a lot, he struck me as someone who had very definite ideas about his rightful place in racing history, he isn't going to praise anyone who might knock him down a rung or two on the ladder of motor racing history.

 

 

As good as Clark.   Hmm, that is a big ask, but IF Lewis had had those opportunities, he would for certain have been very close to Jim.  And I say that as one who considers Clark to be the supreme driving talent.  I see a lot of similarities between the two in terms of their apparent ability to extract more form their machinery than anyone else can manage.

 

Count me out of the 'most of us' then.  Moss was great, no question, but he was never really match for Fangio, nor would he have been a match for Clark.  He wasn't quite as good.  There is no shame in that.  Nobody else was as good as Fangio and Clark either and Moss was a lot better than almost everyone else.

 

And to suggest that Stewart might be jealous...don't make me laugh.  His own achievements speak for themselves.  If only he had the foresight to die at the wheel, he would be deemed one of the absolute greatest.

So Stirling was never really a match for Juan Manuel? in equal F1 cars, you could possibly argue that case I suppose, but you're comparing Fangio at the very peak of his career, with a much younger and less experienced Stirling who was only a year or two from the beginning of his, apples and oranges surely, not a fair comparison, and how often did Fangio beat Moss in equally competitive sports cars?

 

Like you, I'd rate Jim Clark very highly indeed, largely because like Stirling Moss, they were competitive in almost everything they raced, real depth of talent, give either a decent car, and both were usually more or less guaranteed to win. And although Lewis Hamilton's multi-talents are so far unproven, not his fault at all given his busy programme and the almost closed field that today's F1 has become, I'd agree that there are many similarities between him and Jim.

 

I've already replied to Derwent Motorsport's post on Sir Jackie's thinly disguised jealousy where comparable talents are concerned, so this is going to have to be a case of agreeing to disagree.



#25 sabrejet

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 17:13

The same JYS who said that Pedro Rodriguez wasn't World Champion material?(if there had been a driver's title he would have been).

 

So yes, a great driver, but that doesn't necessarily qualify JYS to comment on others.

 

It's a bit like having Covid. 



#26 nicanary

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 17:22

There's only one way to sort this - not a fight or even arm-wrestling. Take LH to a road circuit armed with an ERA. Would his bosses/insurers allow it?



#27 as65p

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 18:22

As good as Clark.   Hmm, that is a big ask, but IF Lewis had had those opportunities, he would for certain have been very close to Jim.  And I say that as one who considers Clark to be the supreme driving talent.  I see a lot of similarities between the two in terms of their apparent ability to extract more form their machinery than anyone else can manage.

 

Count me out of the 'most of us' then.  Moss was great, no question, but he was never really match for Fangio, nor would he have been a match for Clark.  He wasn't quite as good.  There is no shame in that.  Nobody else was as good as Fangio and Clark either and Moss was a lot better than almost everyone else.

 

And to suggest that Stewart might be jealous...don't make me laugh.  His own achievements speak for themselves.  If only he had the foresight to die at the wheel, he would be deemed one of the absolute greatest.

 

No need to wish for the worst... just keeping silent half the time might have done wonders to his reputation. :p



#28 absinthedude

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 18:30

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the GOAT driver we all choose is the one who was racing during the first few years of our interest . Sixty plus old farts like me are as predictable as twenty somethings   - we affect to disdain their choices because , bah humbug it's all flappy paddles, tattoos and  and team radio now ,and they disdain ours because , y'know , most of our drivers are dead and the survivors are ancient . 

 

Not universal. I wasn't born until well after both men retired/died but from what I have read, seen on film, and heard from those who raced against them or saw them race I'd say Fangio and Clark are the top two. When I started watching F1 the top man was Mario Andretti and while I certainly do have a soft spot for him, my earliest hero came along with Niki Lauda's comeback. But I wouldn't necessarily put Lauda in the top 10. 

 

As for Lewis, I am not sure I can compare him directly with Senna and Prost who were the top guys in my teens and just into my twenties. But he's clearly damned good. And while he has driven a Mercedes W196, for which I give him credit, he's of course not raced one......I rather like the idea of putting him in an ERA....but then would Sir Stirling even at his best have done well in a W20? Totally different cars, eras.



#29 jcbc3

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 18:38

Are we forgetting that Clark was in as much of a rocketship as Hamilton? Or was ACBC just a hack that was flattered by the genius of Clark?



#30 E1pix

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 18:44

I find this all quite confusing on several fronts, and say that with enormous respect for Jackie.

One glitch is making the comparison at all. For what personal gain? The last two of Jackie’s titles were in the clearly-superior car at many tracks, and often challenged by Francois with little track time up to then.

Now, do I think the machines of old were harder to find the edge in, and the result of errors of more consequence? Of course, but that’s a factor of bravery much more than skill.

This brings up other things, too. While I’ve long had tremendous respect for Mario, I personally liked him far less than many contemporaries. But I had the good fortune of securing media creds at the last two events in 1978, likely the youngest person there, and damned-near cried like a baby when he entered the hotel-top, credentialed bar in Montreal, to a standing ovation — and my eyes were far from alone in not staying dry. Part of that was losing Ronnie, but for me it was sheer pride for a countryman. I still tingle when thinking about this and that will never wane.

My point is I find no logic in demeaning what Lewis has accomplished. It appears over and over and over that his extraordinary achievements mean little, and are constantly questioned — and one possible source of this is downright troubling. Regardless, he should be treated as a Hero and an icon of tremendous pride over judgment and his chosen look and lifestyle.

It is quite possible that if Lewis could transcend time and race against Stewart, and Fangio, and Moss, he’d wipe the floor with them. There’s simply no way to know and comparisons are useless. But I get the sense even that wouldn’t be enough.

And by the way, I’m not even much a fan of his in my typically supporting underdogs, but I also see no reason to judge his fans in a lesser light than “us” when our sport is in dire straights — and “they” should be encouraged, supported, and welcomed with open arms. What makes our era so bloody superior?

Aside, my lifetime favorite shoe came good on those 1978 weekends — and was realized after 15 years of following the sport, despite that driver not being from my country.

#31 Radoye

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 19:32

Well one could look at the percentages rather than absolute numbers, this would equalize things somewhat considering modern racers have more F1 World Championship starts compared to those from the past, so Schumachers, Hamiltons and Vettels don't automatically end up at the top of the list. If we do that, Fangio would come up on top (his win % ratio is incredible, i doubt we will ever see someone equaling it) but Hamilton wouldn't be too far off in such a list.

 

Is Hamilton the GOAT? Only time will tell. But for better or worse, in the future any discussion about the F1 GOATs will have to include Hamilton as well with all the other "usual suspects" (Fangio, Scumacher, Clark, Senna, Prost, Ascari, Stewart etc).

 

(Personally for me it's between Fangio who i never seen race but whose results speak for themselves, and Lauda because of whom i became a motorsports fan - but that's just my very subjective opinion not based on any palpable criteria. And i'm pretty sure each one of us, Sir Jackie included, has their own favorites - and i do agree some are more qualified to make that choice than others.)



#32 Bloggsworth

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 19:53

Given the equality of performance within teams, and the modern F1 car's reliability, winning consistently is far more difficult than it ever was, and Hamilton is peerless in that regard, if you take into account that his team-mates have not been actively prevented from beating him...



#33 guiporsche

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 19:59

You might want to look at 2016 again. Lewis won more races than Nico and the only reason he lost the championship was because his engine blew up when he was leading in Malaysia. Rosberg finished a rather mediocre third behind the two Red Bulls; when Lewis's engine failed, he had a lead of 23 seconds over Ricciardo, at which time Rosberg was running fifth.

 

Why should I? Of course I'm aware of his reliability problems in 2016 but regardless of Malaysia he had enough opportunities to win those five points that would have given him the WDC.

Lewis lost the title because of races like Australia, where he failed to capitalise on his pole position by finishing second; or Bahrain right afterwards, which he finished third after again starting from pole. At Baku, he crashed in qualifying and finished 5th whereas Rosberg won (had he cared to know about engine modes like his teammate, maybe he would have won).

At Singapore, Rosberg won from pole and Lewis finished third behind Ricciardo. And of course, there is Spain... Apart from Baku, in none of those races he had technical problems (and it's not like Rosberg in 2016 didn't have them, albeit to a lesser degree). 

 

And in 2011 he finished behind Button in points...hence why I wrote 'beaten'. The balance of his other seasons against Button is, I find it, incredibly balanced given Lewis's talent. One would have expected him to wipe Button apart and quite the opposite took place. It tells much of Button's racecraft and attention to detail (there was a M. Hughes article in which he tells Button said to his father something like 'if he actually cared to look at his telemetry properly with his engineer he would be out of my reach'), but it does not strenghten Lewis's position to be a GOAT.

 

All the modern F1 greats had one thing in common: massive talent and massive work-rate. And all past and modern F1 greats had one thing in common: they were not beaten by teammates to a world title (apart from Fangio, in a very different historical context of course). 

 

[Edited to add missing words]


Edited by guiporsche, 06 October 2020 - 21:10.


#34 Squeed

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 19:59

An excellent piece on the Autosport site today, from that oracle Sir Jackie Stewart. It's that GOAT thing again, and JYS is comparing, as far as it's possible to do, Lewis Hamilton with men like Fangio and Jim Clark.

 

https://www.autospor...greatest-driver

 

For what it's worth, I agree with almost every word. I wouldn't under-rate or "diss" the hugely talented Lewis Hamilton, but largely because everything is so different today, I'd never compare him with Fangio, Clark and Sir Stirling, (who strangely, JYS doesn't mention) either. It's hard to discuss a subject like this with younger fans, who think that largely for numerical reasons, Schumacher, Senna, and today Hamilton, must be the greatest drivers who ever lived, purely because of the numbers. We've discussed all this endlessly on TNF, and I think that many like me, will agree with most of what Jackie Stewart says, but any cogent comments on the article?

My understanding of the early days of F1 is that the series was about 1) the engine, and 2) tire management.  They were races of attrition as much as speed.  I wasn't there, just repeating what I've read. 



#35 D28

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 20:22

There's only one way to sort this - not a fight or even arm-wrestling. Take LH to a road circuit armed with an ERA. Would his bosses/insurers allow it?

Excellent idea that should be possible. To refresh memory on Jim Clark's feat, I found this on the forum posted by JB Miltonian 2008: He said:

 

 

""Regarding the story about Jim Clark, let me quote from Road & Track, September 1964, and their report on the French Grand Prix:

"The Honorable Patrick Lindsay took his ERA, the famous 'Remus' formerly owned by Prince Bira of Thailand, round the circuit in 2 min 58 sec which was quite creditable. However, the next evening he asked Jim Clark if he would like to have a go in the ERA. Jim accepted and after one standing lap he did his first flying lap in 2:49 and his second and final one in 2:48, while the incredulous Lindsay stood in the pits with mouth wide open. The Scotsman loved the ride and when asked if he had driven anything comparable he said that the only car he would remotely compare it with was the Lister-Jaguar he drove in his early racing days. He modestly excused his meteoric progress to the still incredulous Lindsay by saying 'After all, I've been round this track a few more times than you have.' ""



#36 BRG

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 20:38

So Stirling was never really a match for Juan Manuel? in equal F1 cars, you could possibly argue that case I suppose

Well, yes, quite so. When they raced in equal cars, Fangio was better.  Despite already being as old as the hills.  (Not the Hills)

 

The same JYS who said that Pedro Rodriguez wasn't World Champion material?(if there had been a driver's title he would have been).

There's been a WDC since 1950.  Rodriguez didn't win it despite multiple seasons.  So how exactly is Stewart wrong?

 

This forum pours faint praise regularly on Lewis Hamilton yet bridles when Stewart seems to do the same.  Odd.



#37 E1pix

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 20:47

This forum pours faint praise regularly on Lewis Hamilton yet bridles when Stewart seems to do the same.  Odd.

Well, our words don’t have the voice to change history like Jackie’s could — and might.

I will never understand demeaning any National hero unless there’s improprieties involved. Or maybe there are, but they are not Lewis’.

#38 realracer200

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 20:55

You might want to look at 2016 again. Lewis won more races than Nico and the only reason he lost the championship was because his engine blew up when he was leading in Malaysia. Rosberg finished a rather mediocre third behind the two Red Bulls; when Lewis's engine failed, he had a lead of 23 seconds over Ricciardo, at which time Rosberg was running fifth.

Lets not start with this "won more races" nonsense again. Rosberg had a big points lead in the championship and was racing conservatively to collect the points he needed for winning the title. Sort of like Prost in 1989 or Alonso 2005. The title was 100% deserved and he was the better driver that season. Of course Fangio, Clark or Senna would have never lost against Rosberg in the same car...



#39 Glengavel

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 21:51

As good as Clark.   Hmm, that is a big ask, but IF Lewis had had those opportunities, he would for certain have been very close to Jim.  And I say that as one who considers Clark to be the supreme driving talent.  I see a lot of similarities between the two in terms of their apparent ability to extract more form their machinery than anyone else can manage.

 

Count me out of the 'most of us' then.  Moss was great, no question, but he was never really match for Fangio, nor would he have been a match for Clark.  He wasn't quite as good.  There is no shame in that.  Nobody else was as good as Fangio and Clark either and Moss was a lot better than almost everyone else.

 

And to suggest that Stewart might be jealous...don't make me laugh.  His own achievements speak for themselves.  If only he had the foresight to die at the wheel, he would be deemed one of the absolute greatest.

 

Stewart himself said "I would have been a much more popular World Champion if I had always said what people wanted to hear. I might have been dead, but definitely more popular.".



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#40 Roger Clark

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 21:55

Well, yes, quite so. When they raced in equal cars, Fangio was better.  Despite already being as old as the hills.  (Not the Hills)

 

 

The 1957 Argentine Grand Prix?



#41 Glengavel

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 21:57

It appears we all agree that it is impossible to compare motor racing eras so why would the chap who Max Mosley suggests " dresses up as a 1930s music hall man " get involved?  Could it be because of another Mosley suggestion?  " He's a certified halfwit".

 

 

 

 

I don't think someone who likes dressing up in Nazi uniforms and whipping hookers has much room to talk about other people's mode of dress.



#42 sabrejet

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 22:06

There's been a WDC since 1950.  Rodriguez didn't win it despite multiple seasons.  So how exactly is Stewart wrong?

 

 

Because there's more in this world than F1, and more than one way to be a world champion in any given year. And plenty of GOAT nominees who never even raced in F1. 

 

And it was sports cars I was referring to. No driver's title, but add the points up.

 

The world of F1 is a very insular one: it's why Barry Boys think Sir Stirling wasn't very good.



#43 HP

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 23:50

As the OP said, everything was different back then in Formula 1. 

 

All the drivers mentioned were among the best and arguably the best of their generation. 

 

My take is that these comparisons of drivers are usually made by competitive people. Hence the need for a #1 list. Since my days as a kid following F1 I was slowly brainwashed by the media with all those comparisons. Then one day, unfortunately decades later, I had a big revelation. I actually started following F1 because I just enjoyed to see cars racing, the tracks, etc. So these days I am mostly enjoying myself following F1.

 

Since I like to play with words, talking about GOAT is for me rather ironic and amusing anyway. If I call a (EDIT: female) person im my mother tongue a goat, I am saying, she's an id..t!

 

And finally, records are there to be beaten. Who knows who will beat the records after Hamilton has retired from F1? 


Edited by HP, 06 October 2020 - 23:52.


#44 TecnoRacing

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 23:51

Jackie devalues Hamilton...in other news, water is wet.



#45 PCC

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 03:27

I don't understand how JYS's comments could be understood to be demeaning or belittling toward Hamilton. He just said that Lewis wasn't, in his view, as good as Fangio or Clark. That's kind of like saying you don't rate the Holy Ghost quite as highly as the Father or the Son. Not exactly an insult.



#46 E1pix

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 04:23

If that’s directed at my comments Peter, know that mine were mostly directed at some comments posted above — and the bulk of what so many have said of their own Champion throughout my tenure on these forums.

So far as what Jackie said, I agree with your take overall.

#47 john aston

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 06:33

You might want to look at 2016 again. Lewis won more races than Nico and the only reason he lost the championship was because his engine blew up when he was leading in Malaysia. Rosberg finished a rather mediocre third behind the two Red Bulls; when Lewis's engine failed, he had a lead of 23 seconds over Ricciardo, at which time Rosberg was running fifth.

 The only reason Hamilton didn't win the championship -it wasn't 'his ' to lose - was that Rosberg had more points than he did when the season ended. That's how it works, no shoulda woulda couldas .. 

 

On JYS - he's an 80 year old bloke with a very sick wife who was good enough to fire off a few thoughts to a journalist . The latter knew that their provenance would stimulate discussion - and it has- but JYS ' views aren't writ on a tablet of stone. 

 

I share the view above about Sir Jackie's book - it was pretty dreadful . But JYS the man is a star in my house - he was a sublime driver, the driver of the very first  F1 car I saw driven in anger  and (sorry to repeat my brush with fame ) a total gent and pro when I interviewed him . . 



#48 jcbc3

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 06:34

I would also like to clarify that my initial take was not an opinion if JYS was correct or not in his assessment of driver skills, but rather that his argumentation were those of xxxx (sorry, that was too harsh).

 

[edited to remove characterization]



#49 Michael Ferner

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 07:21

What makes our era so bloody superior?


Well, for a start, we didn't have painted track limits, super smooth surfaces, bland circuit layouts, computer simulation practice, sequential gearboxes, paddle shifting, power steering, electronic engine management, overcomplicated aerodynamics, a fresh set of super sticky tyres three or four times during a race, media training for drivers, teams that are so big that not a single person will know everybody by name, no petulant drivers whining on their twitter accounts, no internet forums debating GOATs or other animals of little importance... have I forgotten something?


Edited by Michael Ferner, 07 October 2020 - 08:36.


#50 Stephen W

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 07:37

To quote LP Hartley: “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”

 

 

This is yet another "If my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle" threads. Due to the changes that have occurred F1 now is a totally different beast to what it was in the 1970s let alone the 1950s.

 

The only way that you can get anywhere near to a rational comparison is to compare the careers of drivers expressed as the percentage of wins to starts etc. You may think that you would have to discount drivers who only started in less than 50 GPs but that would be a mistake as careers back in the 1950s were relatively short with fewer GPs per annum.