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The hardest fought F1 WDC title?


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#1 rf90

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 22:13

As I wait for a good close driver's WDC title battle in F1, I wonder which has been the toughest title fight won by a WDC in F1? An obvious one (or two I guess) is that between Senna and Prost in the late 80's but I'm sure there must have been a few over the years? Lauda vs Prost? Maybe some even harder won than those ?


Edited by rf90, 20 November 2020 - 22:23.


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#2 Collombin

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 22:26

Surtees came from nowhere in 1964, but had a superb second half of the season to nick it. Clark finished with more wins, Hill finished with more points, but John won it, and fair enough. A 3 way title decider that changes hands a couple of times in the last couple of laps is hard fought I would say.

Edited by Collombin, 20 November 2020 - 22:26.


#3 Misk

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 22:32

It's maybe not the exact same thing but I remember how mentally tough 2010 seemed on the drivers fighting for the title. Vettel, Alonso and Webber all looked completely emotionally drained in the aftermath of Abu Dhabi. Same goes for Rosberg in 2016 I think.



#4 Augurk

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 22:39

I thought 2000 was, as it was the title that had been worked on for 21 or 5 years respectively (by team and driver). 

For Schumacher that finally put the result to his 5 year long campaign with various opponents. 

 

And the year was a tough one as well with Hakkinen very much on top of his game still. 



#5 Collombin

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 22:41

It's maybe not the exact same thing but I remember how mentally tough 2010 seemed on the drivers fighting for the title.


Understandable. That was the only 4 way title fight at the last race I believe.

#6 Misk

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 22:43

I thought 2000 was, as it was the title that had been worked on for 21 or 5 years respectively (by team and driver). 

For Schumacher that finally put the result to his 5 year long campaign with various opponents. 

 

And the year was a tough one as well with Hakkinen very much on top of his game still. 

 

Yeah 2000 was another one that came to mind for me too. I've been watching Formula 1 live since 1992 so I won't go any further back than that but the years that immediately came to mind for me were: 1994, 1998, 2000, 2006, 2010, 2016. But that is just gut feeling more than anything. 


Edited by Misk, 20 November 2020 - 22:55.


#7 shure

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 22:56

1986 was pretty special.  Prost was always there even though the Williams was the superior machine.  The final race was straight out of a Hollywood script


Edited by shure, 20 November 2020 - 22:57.


#8 SenorSjon

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 23:13

I thought 2000 was, as it was the title that had been worked on for 21 or 5 years respectively (by team and driver).
For Schumacher that finally put the result to his 5 year long campaign with various opponents.

And the year was a tough one as well with Hakkinen very much on top of his game still.

Alonso and Vettel proved that it was harder than you think winning a title in a Ferrari.

#9 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 23:40

1986 was pretty special. Prost was always there even though the Williams was the superior machine. The final race was straight out of a Hollywood script

Agreed. 1986 was special. Not just the finale but the manner in which Prost approached that year and squeezed everything out of a car that was inferior from season start to finish. That's something truly rare.

#10 Alfisti

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 00:20

HOW WAS 1998 even contest? I was there at the first gp and the mclarens were visibly faster than everyone.

#11 SilverArrow31

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 03:31

1986 was pretty special.  Prost was always there even though the Williams was the superior machine.  The final race was straight out of a Hollywood script

 

I would agree 1986, the Rivalry between Mansell and Piquet was insane on and off the track, and then for Prost to come in and snatch it at the end!

 

Shout out for 2007 which is very similar


Edited by SilverArrow31, 21 November 2020 - 03:32.


#12 PayasYouRace

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 09:21

HOW WAS 1998 even contest? I was there at the first gp and the mclarens were visibly faster than everyone.

 

Maybe you didn't watch the other 15 GPs. It was clear that Ferrari had caught up by mid season.



#13 thegamer23

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 09:28

Rosberg-Hamilton 2016 showdown must be there or thereabout.

 

Insane tension between the two drivers through the whole season.

Incidents, drama, psychological warfare, every session of the weekend was very tight. 

 

And the final race at Abu Dhabi was super intense, with Hamilton trying to back up the pack behind Rosberg to force him into a mistake or to get overtaken. 


Edited by thegamer23, 21 November 2020 - 09:28.


#14 jonpollak

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 10:45

“Hardest Fought” ?
I’d say maybe 1990 and the political and personal rancor associated with it.

Does that fit what the OP had in mind or is it solely a points battle?

Jp

#15 Zoe

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 11:04

 

And the final race at Abu Dhabi was super intense, with Hamilton trying to back up the pack behind Rosberg to force him into a mistake or to get overtaken. 

"Hello Lewis, this is Paddy. Speed up. This is an order".



#16 Zoe

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 11:05

“Hardest Fought” ?
I’d say maybe 1990 and the political and personal rancor associated with it.
 

I'd like to forget about 1990. It put a stain on so many things.



#17 AlexPrime

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 11:32

1996, after so many years Damon did it  :smoking:



#18 Misk

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 11:37

1996, after so many years Damon did it  :smoking:

 

Not sure if serious...



#19 DutchQuicksilver

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 11:39

2007 and 2008 come to mind really. 2007 because Raikkonen was 17 points! down with two races to go. Needed to win both races and Hamilton not scoring much. And 2008 especially the last race of course. Hamilton looked beaten and had to fight his way through the field and succeeded on the last lap. And who knows, perhaps 2016 as well? Rosberg gave everything and was mentally exhausted after the season.

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#20 Anuity

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 11:40

2016 - probably the hardest won in the last 10 years. Very tense, same car.

2006 - Alonso against dominant Schumacher in similar cars

2000 - after years of failures and frustration overcoming McLaren/Mika

1998 - Mika taking his first title against prime Schumacher who was having one his best seasons ever

1997 - very tense championship all around, although Williams was better

#21 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 11:43

Not sure if serious...

Well at least Damon can say he beat a high quality teammate to the World Championship. Not every World Champion can say that.

More merit in that... then having a lapdog as your teammate. Food for thought.

#22 Vesuvius

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 11:44

These were all tough:
1998 Häkkinen vs Schumacher
2000 Schumacher vs Häkkinen
2007 Räikkönen vs Hamilton vs Alonso
2008 Hamilton vs Massa
2010 Vettel vs Alonso vs Webber
2016 Rosberg vs Hamilton

And from these I think 2007 was likely the hardest.

#23 sabjit

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 12:12

2007 and 2008 come to mind really. 2007 because Raikkonen was 17 points! down with two races to go. Needed to win both races and Hamilton not scoring much. And 2008 especially the last race of course. Hamilton looked beaten and had to fight his way through the field and succeeded on the last lap. And who knows, perhaps 2016 as well? Rosberg gave everything and was mentally exhausted after the season.

 

I rewatched Brazil 2008 in full last week and I was still shaking throughout the whole thing. If you get the chance to watch it in full would reccomend, regardless of who you were backing on that day, the feeling of tension is palpable and is just one of those days in sport everyone knew something bananas was going to happen and were all waiting for that final twist in the tale.



#24 Anuity

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 13:16

Not every World Champion can say that.

More merit in that... then having a lapdog as your teammate. Food for thought.


I assume you imply Villeneuve here as one of those champions. )

#25 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 13:18

I assume you imply Villeneuve here as one of those champions. )

Not at all. Frentzen wasn't a hired number 2 who had to pull over for Jacques ;)

#26 Disgrace

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 14:51

Rosberg-Hamilton 2016 showdown must be there or thereabout.

 

Insane tension between the two drivers through the whole season.

Incidents, drama, psychological warfare, every session of the weekend was very tight. 

 

And the final race at Abu Dhabi was super intense, with Hamilton trying to back up the pack behind Rosberg to force him into a mistake or to get overtaken. 

 

Yeah. Proven by Rosberg waking up the next morning thinking "you know what, I'd rather not put myself through that again."



#27 messy

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 15:03

2007 was a funny one because for all it was incredibly close I’m not sure I’d call it “hard fought” really. On the Ferrari tracks, Ferrari were well ahead and on the McLaren tracks, vice versa. Brazil was definitely a Ferrari track that year and Kimi just had to do his own thing (with Massa’s help) while McLaren imploded, rather than heroically dragging himself past them....all the hard fought stuff was done by the mathematicians on paper really. Might sound harsh, dunno?

2006 comes to mind, Alonso and Schumacher just slugging it out, and Massa vs Hamilton in 2008 got quite tasty too, with more McLaren v Ferrari head to head stuff than the previous year. But for me the winner (at least in recent years) is 2016. Sure, it wasn’t quite 1989 but still, it was two drivers head to head in the best car and was made tastier by having the slightly slower of the two drivers taking an early head-start.

#28 pacificquay

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 15:31

Maybe you didn't watch the other 15 GPs. It was clear that Ferrari had caught up by mid season.

It wasn’t so much Ferrari had caught up as Goodyear did, in my estimation



#29 thefinalapex

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 15:33

Well at least Damon can say he beat a high quality teammate to the World Championship. Not every World Champion can say that.

More merit in that... then having a lapdog as your teammate. Food for thought.

Villeneuve a high quality teammate? Decent driver in F1 and good on his day but hardly world class. A high quality driver would have won 97 in much more convincing fashion then he did.

Edit: would like to add that was a shame to see him bow out the way he did in 2006, he didn’t deserve that.

Edited by thefinalapex, 21 November 2020 - 15:35.


#30 vlado

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 15:48

2020



#31 Rodaknee

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 16:08

"Hello Lewis, this is Paddy. Speed up. This is an order".

I could visualise Lewis sticking 2 fingers up to that as soon as I heard it.



#32 Rodaknee

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 16:13

Yeah. Proven by Rosberg waking up the next morning thinking "you know what, I'd rather not put myself through that again."

He was thinking that from Lap 1.  All the nonsense he made afterwards of using psychology to beat Lewis, but I could hear him falling apart when he was begging Lewis to let him take the lead.  That one race destroyed Rosberg for life.



#33 AnR

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 16:30

He was thinking that from Lap 1.  All the nonsense he made afterwards of using psychology to beat Lewis, but I could hear him falling apart when he was begging Lewis to let him take the lead.  That one race destroyed Rosberg for life.

 

 

That's probably the most stupid thing I'vre read in here, a family and businessman living the life, get over yourself.



#34 thefinalapex

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 16:33

That's probably the most stupid thing I'vre read in here, a family and businessman living the life, get over yourself.


Well you should check his posts in the alonso thread, Some gems in there.

#35 Rodaknee

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 16:37

That's probably the most stupid thing I'vre read in here, a family and businessman living the life, get over yourself.

He's not racing any longer.  Don't for one moment think I was talking about his life outside of F1.



#36 Disgrace

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 16:56

He was thinking that from Lap 1.  All the nonsense he made afterwards of using psychology to beat Lewis, but I could hear him falling apart when he was begging Lewis to let him take the lead.  That one race destroyed Rosberg for life.

 

Cool story.



#37 Coral

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 17:07

2008,  because Lewis had to fight the FIA as well as Massa. Spa 2008 was a disgrace, and also in Japan, Massa was awarded points that he should not have had.  :mad:  I watched Brazil 2008 the other day and, like Sabjit, I was shaking, especially after the "could rain in 10 minutes" radio message with 14 laps to go. I'll never forget that day...pacing up and down my living room saying "oh no...he's lost it, he's lost it." OMG, the amount of tension that day was unreal... :eek:

 

Other hard-fought recent WDCs were 2010, 2014 and 2016. But 2008 is the one I will always remember. :)



#38 noikeee

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 17:10

1989, 1990, 1994, 1997 come to mind as "hard fought". 😐

#39 PayasYouRace

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 17:37

Villeneuve a high quality teammate? Decent driver in F1 and good on his day but hardly world class. A high quality driver would have won 97 in much more convincing fashion then he did.

Edit: would like to add that was a shame to see him bow out the way he did in 2006, he didn’t deserve that.

 

The idea that anyone would call a World Champion, Indycar champion and Indy 500 winner, anything other than world class just doesn't compute.



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#40 thefinalapex

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 17:55

The idea that anyone would call a World Champion, Indycar champion and Indy 500 winner, anything other than world class just doesn't compute.


In F1 i was talking about. When talking about world class i think off drivers like hakkinen, schumacher, alonso, Hamilton, senna and prost before. I don’t see Vettel, Raikonen or button as world class either. All very good but a tad below the drivers mentioned before. But maybe my definition of world class is wrong and i should add the former group of drivers elite then. And the Villeneuve’s, Vettel’s and Raikonens’s world class.

#41 Anuity

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 18:04

Jacques is a bit like Kimi. Both were amazing in their prime, but their prime was short lived. After that they were/are just plodding around.
I would definitely not put them in line with the likes of Hamilton, Senna, Schumacher, Prost and Alonso. So world class, in general terms of course. Among the f1 top echelon? Nah, I don’t think so.
I would slot Vettel in between these two groups.

It’s a pity we did not see Villeneuve racing in any other top team again, but somehow I think he would lose to Häkkinen in 1998 if they were paired. Even though I personally like Jacques more.
Still, both are very good drivers and fantastic

Edited by Anuity, 21 November 2020 - 18:05.


#42 thefinalapex

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 18:10

Jacques is a bit like Kimi. Both were amazing in their prime, but their prime was short lived. After that they were/are just plodding around.
I would definitely not put them in line with the likes of Hamilton, Senna, Schumacher, Prost and Alonso. So world class, in general terms of course. Among the f1 top echelon? Nah, I don’t think so.
I would slot Vettel in between these two groups.

It’s a pity we did not see Villeneuve racing in any other top team again, but somehow I think he would lose to Häkkinen in 1998 if they were paired. Even though I personally like Jacques more.
Still, both are very good drivers and fantastic


I agree. I would have loved to have seen jacques paired with mika at mclaren. Its a shame he wasted those years at BAR.

#43 ARTGP

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 20:24

Jacques is a bit like Kimi. Both were amazing in their prime, but their prime was short lived. After that they were/are just plodding around.
I would definitely not put them in line with the likes of Hamilton, Senna, Schumacher, Prost and Alonso. So world class, in general terms of course. Among the f1 top echelon? Nah, I don’t think so.
I would slot Vettel in between these two groups.

It’s a pity we did not see Villeneuve racing in any other top team again, but somehow I think he would lose to Häkkinen in 1998 if they were paired. Even though I personally like Jacques more.
Still, both are very good drivers and fantastic

 

 

Kimi would have won 2 WDC between 2003 and 2006 if not for shoddy Mclaren hydraulics. I rate Kimi as good as or even better than Vettel when he was in his peak. But one was blessed with a Newey design that was reliable, the other....well...you know the history. But ultimately neither proved adaptable to different era's of the sport so they only make it to the second class. Vettel is only ahead of Kimi in the numbers game, but that's it. 


Edited by ARTGP, 21 November 2020 - 20:34.


#44 messy

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 20:53

I don’t agree that Villeneuve’s prime was short lived - more accurately I think, his time in a good car was short-lived.

I’d probably even say that his best years from a driving perspective were 1999-2001. He was a complete driver by then. In 1996 and 1997 he was still at times obviously inexperienced and a bit up and down, but he had the best car then. At BAR the way he destroyed his team-mates and delivered some brilliant drives, but that was for sixth place by now rather than wins.

Kimi, yes. I mean, his ‘window’ of top form wasn’t THAT shortlived really, it covered 2003-half way through 2008. But in the context of his career, definitely.

#45 Anuity

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 00:07

I don’t agree that Villeneuve’s prime was short lived - more accurately I think, his time in a good car was short-lived.

I’d probably even say that his best years from a driving perspective were 1999-2001. He was a complete driver by then. In 1996 and 1997 he was still at times obviously inexperienced and a bit up and down, but he had the best car then. At BAR the way he destroyed his team-mates and delivered some brilliant drives, but that was for sixth place by now rather than wins.

Kimi, yes. I mean, his ‘window’ of top form wasn’t THAT shortlived really, it covered 2003-half way through 2008. But in the context of his career, definitely.


1998-2000 maybe.
He looked pretty average compared to Panis, if you Consider him to be elite. And later on, against Jenson, Massa, Alonso, and Heidfeld he sometimes looked pretty embarrassing.

Look at Alonso after three years in McLaren Which was just as bad or even worse than BAR. The guy always seemed to be on top, in the meantime destroying his star rookie.

#46 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 00:20

Just on Villeneuves "decline"... take this into consideration.

Button he squared even in qualifying head to head in 2003. Massa, in the second half of 2005, he was outqualifying regularly. Heidfeld - he was 7-5 up when the BMW suits decided grungy, outspoken Jacques was out.

2 out of those 3 were ultimately top drivers, one a World Champion. The other was World Champion for a minute.

No Villeneuve wasn't his "old self". And my suspicion is his massive accident in Melbourne 2001 had a bit to do with that. But obviously the bravado of the guy will never let that come to light, IF true.

But in his later stages, he was still a good F1 driver. Politics and having Pollock still hanging around is what finished his F1 career. He paid for his sins.

#47 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 00:26

Villeneuve a high quality teammate? Decent driver in F1 and good on his day but hardly world class.

Sorry. I usually like your posting but you're so far off with this, it isn't even funny!

To take a point from one of your posts thereafter - JV in a McLaren from 1999 would have been brilliant. Another Newey car, he likely would have taken Jock Clear with him and not cared a bit that Ron loved Mika.

Every chance he could have won the 1999 World Championship. And 2000 a three way duel between Mika, Jacques and Michael. The theatre that would have provided.

Edited by PlayboyRacer, 22 November 2020 - 00:32.


#48 as65p

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 00:27

He was thinking that from Lap 1.  All the nonsense he made afterwards of using psychology to beat Lewis, but I could hear him falling apart when he was begging Lewis to let him take the lead.  That one race destroyed Rosberg for life.

Yet somehow it was Lewis needing a thorough kitchen-talk with Toto during the off-season, to be convinced he was still the favoured son and loved by everyone... :p

 

The Hamilton-Rosberg years took it's toll on both drivers. Rosberg drastically drew the consequences for himself, a bit meh from a sporting perspective, but overall a wise move (and I really can't stand the guy, hollow PR personified IMO).

 

But ultimately Hamilton should be grateful, and subconsciously i reckon he was, going by his enthusiastic words about life with Bottas instead of Rosberg in the team during 2017. It's not certain at all that Lewis would have enjoyed life at MGP so much with Rosberg staying, or a similar competitive teammate instead of Bottas.


Edited by as65p, 22 November 2020 - 00:28.


#49 Anuity

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 00:33

It’s all a bit off topic in all honesty. Although an interesting one. But it’s not a thread about Jacques.

Just to finish my own off topic here, I don’t agree with you.
Jacques was out of his depth in 2005. I think it was in Malasia when his race engineer pretty much told him to stop it (when he went off) just to put him out his misery.
Similarly with Button in 2003. Those were not A WDC Button and top Massa, they were very troubled rookies that he struggled against.
And with Panis as well. Just as with Heidfeld. It must be said he looked a bit better in 2006 than he ever did since 2001, but just not enough. I like Jacques, and that time I really wanted to sugar coat it, when cheering for him in 2003-2006, but it’s impossible to do it.

#50 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 02:32

Jacques is a bit like Kimi. Both were amazing in their prime, but their prime was short lived. After that they were/are just plodding around.
I would definitely not put them in line with the likes of Hamilton, Senna, Schumacher, Prost and Alonso. So world class, in general terms of course. Among the f1 top echelon? Nah, I don’t think so.
I would slot Vettel in between these two groups.

It’s a pity we did not see Villeneuve racing in any other top team again, but somehow I think he would lose to Häkkinen in 1998 if they were paired. Even though I personally like Jacques more.
Still, both are very good drivers and fantastic

Now this post I can get behind. Well said. Well balanced.

In closing - Jacques is an open wheel great. That is beyond dispute. An F1 great however? No. He's a World Champion yes but he's not with the 5 GOATS you mentioned to begin with. Not many are.

Jacques is well and truly amongst the Raikkonens, Buttons, Montoyas and Rosbergs (Keke and Nico) of the world. And that is some fine company. His impact on his arrival in F1 has rarely been matched and, at a time F1 was still reeling from Sennas death and lacking in star power, Jacques Villeneuve was the perfect tonic. In the mid to late 90s he, along with Schumacher and Colin McRae, were the biggest superstars in motorsport.

We focus so much on the "GOATS" of F1 and the winning machines that break all the records. Which is fine of course - but some of these one and two time World Champions have a real charm about them. Kimi Raikkonen epitomizes that imo.