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Best runner up WDC performance?


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#1 Requiem84

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 22:10

The year is nearing the end and besides the winner, we will have a runner up. It has been a classic season with relentless performances by both (and the occasional mistake). They both would be a deserving WDC, but only ome can win. That means the other guy will be second of course. That made me think about P2 WDC drives.

How would either MV or LH stack up in the world of P2 WDC’s?

Which P2 WDC drives do you consider the strongest P2 WDC campaigns in the history of F1 and why? Would MV or LH be high on this list if either of them finishes P2?


Curious to hear your thoughts!

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#2 Bleu

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 22:27

From those I have seen myself, the ones which have had championship battle the best are obvious: Schumacher in 1998 and Alonso in 2012. Second basket includes Kimi in 2003 and Lewis in 2007.

 

Of those which didn't really have a battle, I put Senna in 1993 on top.



#3 Collombin

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 22:28

It felt like for most of the 1980s (not 1988 though!) that the runner up had had a better campaign than the champion! Lauda 1976 stands out too of course.

Weirdly I can think of more occasions where it was the 3rd placed driver that had had a great season.

Edited by Collombin, 26 November 2021 - 22:36.


#4 TheFish

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 22:32

Not all championships are equal and not all 2nd places are equal. To be equal to this 2nd place it needs to be someone who went to the wire rather than someone who was really impressive to take 2nd. Like Button in 2011 was brilliant, but he was the best of the rest. Alonso in 2012 was also brilliant, and was close to winning a title that his car had no business winning.

#5 messy

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 22:43

Alonso in 2012 was the best, surely. That Ferrari was rubbish. It improved a bit, sure, but in the early stages of the season it was probably slower than the customer-team Sauber (and by a distance) and yet who was up there scoring the points, winning at Sepang? That was a brilliant campaign from Fernando. He was pretty much relentlessly brilliant, and clearly better over the season than the guy who won it, Seb.

Frentzen in 1999, too. He wasn’t actually runner-up, that was Irvine, but what an incredible season-long performance that was, never seen from him before or since. Again, pretty clear #1 driver of the season in most publications, despite not winning the title. Irvine, fir all he took his chance, I still reckon had a stronger season in 1998 than 1999, to be honest.

If Max finishes runner-up this season (and I really hope he doesn’t, in all honesty because he deserves to win it), he’ll be up with both of those.

#6 markpenske

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 23:28

I always thought Jacques Villeneuve's 1996 season was something special. Winning multiple races and having a shot at the championship going into the final race. Dont forget, this was his rookie season



#7 P123

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 23:31

It felt like for most of the 1980s (not 1988 though!) that the runner up had had a better campaign than the champion! Lauda 1976 stands out too of course.

Weirdly I can think of more occasions where it was the 3rd placed driver that had had a great season.

 

Frentzen 1999?



#8 MJB5990

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 23:45

If Max does end up P2 this season, he might take that unwanted crown.


Hamilton 2016. More poles and more wins than the man who took the title.

Hamilton 2007. The greatest rookie season ever?

#9 Alfisti

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 00:03

Michael 98, Fernando 2012 and Lewis 2007 best I have seen since 1991.

Edited by Alfisti, 27 November 2021 - 00:10.


#10 DeKnyff

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 00:06

Surprised no one mentioned Moss in 1958.

 

Also, Von Trips in 1961, with a very sad end.



#11 ensign14

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 00:09

Clark in 1962.  He started the season without a World Championship win, and with the Monza mess from the previous season hanging over his head.  Yet he won 3 of 9 races, retired from Monaco when 2nd (having been on pole) because of an iffy clutch, retired from the lead in France and South Africa through no fault of his own, lost the lead at the Dutch GP because of having to change the clutch, and came from near-last to 4th at the Green Hell after stalling on the grid.  With better reliability he would have had 7 wins out of 9.  He did have 6 poles and 5 fastest laps.  Meanwhile his team-mate had one points finish.

 

Honourable mentions:

 

Hamilton 2007, nearly winning the title in an inferior car in his first season and having a genuine great as his team-mate.  Even then he only lost out to an electrical glitch and team "strategy".  The yin to that yang is Kimi in 2005, albeit arguably the McLaren was better than the Toleman.

 

Ascari in 1951 is a pretty good one; it took Fangio in the Alfetta, and Enzo mis-calculating tyre sizes, to beat him.

 

Surtees in 1966 despite changing teams half-way through the season after Dragoni threatened to give him unsafe cars.

 

There have been a few instances where someone has won the title in a dominant car despite being outclassed by their team-mate.  Down to the level of dominance being such that nobody else could take points off them regularly enough.  1987 and 2016 are paramount examples.  But are they impressive runners-up as opposed to unimpressive champions?  Similarly, when Prost and Senna were swapping the title, they were doing so with the opposition hobbled by poor machinery.



#12 AvranaKern

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 00:10

If Schumacher hadn't hit Villeneuve, 1997 would have been on this list. He dragged that Ferrari to places where it did not realistically belong. Shame that it had to end that way.



#13 Astandahl

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 00:12

Schumacher 97-98

Alonso 2012

Vettel 2017

Kimi 2005



#14 ensign14

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 00:13

Surprised no one mentioned Moss in 1958.

 

Also, Von Trips in 1961, with a very sad end.

Thought about Moss, but the Vanwall was a better bit of kit than the Ferrari.  A mix of the point system and a couple of unusual Moss mistakes cost him.

 

Would not include Taffy, a car that was so good that Baghetti would win on his debut in a spare.  Ferrari 1961 was like Brawn 2009, whoever lucked into those seats at the right time was holding kings.  Could have been Ginther or Mairesse, just happened to be von Trips.  He'd never looked close to winning a GP before and had had a pretty spectacular record for spectacular crashes...



#15 ensign14

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 00:17

Frentzen in 1999, too. He wasn’t actually runner-up, that was Irvine, but what an incredible season-long performance that was, never seen from him before or since. Again, pretty clear #1 driver of the season in most publications, despite not winning the title. Irvine, fir all he took his chance, I still reckon had a stronger season in 1998 than 1999, to be honest.

 

If we're going down the field, Jolly Jacques Lafitte in 1981.  Beaten by Piquet in an illegal Brabham and the class-of-the-field Williamses.  His team-mates were Jabouille (former winner), Tambay (future winner), and Jarier (should have been winner), yet none of them scored a point for Ligier.  Reutemann took Lafitte out at Zandvoort in the midst of his meltdown and without that Jacques would have been a good few points closer going into the car park.



#16 mclarensmps

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 00:20

Kimi at McLaren, and Mika at McLaren came runners up because of reliability  :cry:



#17 Collombin

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 00:28

Thought about Moss, but the Vanwall was a better bit of kit than the Ferrari. A mix of the point system and a couple of unusual Moss mistakes cost him.


In general I rate Moss' seasons where he was 3rd (59-61) quite a bit higher than those where he was 2nd (55-58).

Similarly Clark - I would have felt for Graham if he had been pipped at the post in 1962, but when Clark was 3rd (1964 & 1967) he had more wins than the champ.

#18 flyboym3

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 00:29

There's a few but 2007 probably stands out for me. Not only because he was a rookie but because how he also benchmarked vs Alonso in the same car.

People forget with time but that year would be the equivalent of having max and Lewis in the same team now.

#19 ensign14

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 00:40

In general I rate Moss' seasons where he was 3rd (59-61) quite a bit higher than those where he was 2nd (55-58).

Yeah, Moss 1961 was probably Peak Moss.  Even Clark (albeit effectively a rookie Clark) could only get 3rds out of the Lotus that season yet Moss was the only one to beat Ferrari that year.  In the two races Moss won, the next-best non-Ferrari was 5th and 4th.  Good Lord, Moss was so good in a front-engined Ferguson at Aintree that Ferrari grassed on him to get him out.  (Yes, I know it was wet, but Moss had hardly driven it - and he did win in the dry in it at Oulton Park against a strong field.)



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#20 MKSixer

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 00:45

There's a few but 2007 probably stands out for me. Not only because he was a rookie but because how he also benchmarked vs Alonso in the same car.

People forget with time but that year would be the equivalent of having max and Lewis in the same team now.

 

2007 is definitely the best one of the modern era, IMHO.

 

The equivalent of 2007 with Max in the same car as Lewis would be 2017 and Max would be in no shape to handle Lewis at that point in his career.  



#21 noikeee

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 00:54

From those I have seen myself, the ones which have had championship battle the best are obvious: Schumacher in 1998 and Alonso in 2012. Second basket includes Kimi in 2003 and Lewis in 2007.

Of those which didn't really have a battle, I put Senna in 1993 on top.


Great choices. All of those campaigns were seriously impressive.

#22 Blackjack1967

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 01:23

Fangio in 1950. Same wins than Farina.

Prost 1984 and 1990. Half point to Niki with 7-5 in GP wins, and forcing Senna to make the sad Suzuka 1st corner decider.

Nando in 2010 and most particulary 2012

Lewis in 2016



#23 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 05:26

Mansell 1987 could also be mentioned.

#24 Collombin

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 05:57

Mansell 1987 could also be mentioned.


I certainly included Mansell 1986 and 1987 in my sweeping comment about the 1980s as he won the most races in those years, but I suppose it depends how much we want to factor the car into it. Prost was ultimately lauded for pulling it off in 1986 in an inferior car (and boy was he overdue some good luck in a WDC decider), whilst in 1987 neither Prost nor Senna had the machinery to put up a good fight (though up to the mid-point of the season the points were really close).

Edited by Collombin, 27 November 2021 - 05:57.


#25 Dave Ware

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 06:15

Stewart in '68.  Missed a race and drove several races with his hand in a brace, and dealt with pain until his wrist healed. Won as many races (3) as '68 champ Hill, and went into the final race with a chance to take the title. 



#26 Dhillon

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 06:58

Schumacher 1997, amazing how he drag that ferrari to just one hit away from wdc 😋

#27 PlatenGlass

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 07:25

Of those I haven't seen mentioned, Senna in 1989 is worth a shout. Unless the conspiracy theories are true, he outclassed Prost for the most part.

#28 Bleu

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 07:54

Of those I haven't seen mentioned, Senna in 1989 is worth a shout. Unless the conspiracy theories are true, he outclassed Prost for the most part.

 

You can argue that reliability issues Senna had that year was worse than Lewis Hamilton in 2016. In both cases those had a big effect that their team-mates won titles.



#29 pacificquay

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 08:12

Hakkinen 2000



#30 Taxi

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 10:31

Lots of great performances: 

 

Prost 1984,1990

Senna  1989, 1993

Schumacher 1997,1998

Mika 2000

Kimi 2003, 2005

Lewis 2007

Alonso 2012

Lewis 2016

Max 2021



#31 Requiem84

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 10:32

Lots of great performances:

Prost 1984,1990
Senna 1989, 1993
Schumacher 1997,1998
Mika 2000
Kimi 2003, 2005
Lewis 2007
Alonso 2012
Lewis 2016
Max 2021


😄😄.

#32 Taxi

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 10:36

I'm not a hater, on the contrary, I like Max. But Mercedes found an edge, and Lewis is still amazing (on level with max). It's done. 



#33 Collombin

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 10:41

Several mentions of Schumacher 1997. So much for that "punishment".

#34 Taxi

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 10:45

we are just talking about pure performance. He was the best. 



#35 PlatenGlass

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 11:13

Although he made a couple of mistakes and made that stupid move at Monaco qualifying, Schumacher still had it in 2006 and had some great drives that season.

#36 messy

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 12:21

I'm kinda conflicted with the two Schumacher runner-up seasons, because if you'd asked me at the time, I'd have said he was absolutely heroic in both years, taking the fight to the vastly superior Newey cars. Watching him on a qualifying lap in 1998, absolutely on the edge, is probably what made me fall in love with F1.

But with the benefit of hindsight, I can't ignore Jerez 1997 and in 1998 feel that by the end of the year the Ferrari was quite possibly slightly better than the McLaren. And he rather bottled it in Suzuka. The common narrative was that the McLaren was miles ahead and Schumacher was heroic in his vain pursuit of them - but I don't think that was the reality. Mika Hakkinen was THE guy in 1998 for me.

Similar to 2007 I think. Hamilton was incredible that season, but on balance I still think Kimi was the best driver of the season. That said, being narrowly beaten by such an experienced driver in your rookie year - not to mention matching your reigning double WDC team-mate - no way Lewis doesn't deserve mentioning here.

#37 TheRhodesian74

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 12:33

I think Hill in 94 deserves a lot of credit as he up against so much that season. A car that even Senna couldn't tame early on, suffered with reliability problems at Aida plus of course losing his teammate Senna at Imola...

 

Going up against a team that in all probability was cheating on several levels and a driver willing to put other people's lives at risk with his antics. It was a very credible season for someone who didn't have Schumacher's grooming and funding into F1 and was very much 2nd driver with Prost and Senna before being thrust into the midst of a title fight. 

 

I always think it must have taken a huge mental toll on himself and Williams that season as well. 



#38 renzmann

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 12:39

I won't comment seasons I've only read about or seen replays of but haven't seen at the time. It's impossible for me to correctly assess the vibes of those seasons. All I can say is I've been watching F1 since the mid 90s and this is the best battle I've ever seen. Other seasons would have been equally impressive or better if they hadn't been so much shorter, but 2021 is a very long season that had everything even if the last two races will turn out boring somehow. The season will be an instant classic right after Abu Dhabi, and whoever will be the runner up deserves more praise than many WDC winners of rather boring seasons.

 

If Verstappen will be P2, he'll be a very honorable runner up, and maybe the most impressive one of all the runner ups I've witnessed. I reckon he had the quickest car on 25 or 30 % of the tracks, he was incredibly unlucky three times and he would have managed to stay competitive till the very end only because of his fast and clinically faultless driving. Bar Silverstone, Hungary and Baku, he only got P1s and P2s. I'd like to add to that he disproved the "he'll crack under pressure" myth this season as well. He raced against a 7 WDC champion that is renowned for his mental games and showed no sign of nervousness. A F1 performance can't be much more epic than that.

Contrary to that, Hamilton's P2 would be impressive, too, but considerably less impressive. Arguably, he made costly mistakes this season, and he had the quicker car overall IMO. I think most will agree with me that at this point, it's his championship to lose - so if he loses, that'll give his P2 a rather bitter taste. Then again, having been this quick and motivated (and never giving up) at his age would definitely make him a glorious runner up. It baffles me Verstappen's young age is always quoted as a disadvantage. It is, I reckon, but Hamilton's old age is a bigger handicap. Let's not forget Hamilton suffered from what looked like LongCovid symptoms, too. Fantastic stuff overall.

 

Of course, as a Verstappen fan I'm more subjective than others, so I expect other forum members to disagree with me vehemently on this one :kiss:

 

EDIT: I forgot Monza. Somehow I forgot what happened there, but Verstappen didn't take P1 or P2 at Monza, either :rotfl:


Edited by renzmann, 27 November 2021 - 12:45.


#39 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 12:46

I think Hill in 94 deserves a lot of credit as he up against so much that season. A car that even Senna couldn't tame early on, suffered with reliability problems at Aida plus of course losing his teammate Senna at Imola...

Going up against a team that in all probability was cheating on several levels and a driver willing to put other people's lives at risk with his antics. It was a very credible season for someone who didn't have Schumacher's grooming and funding into F1 and was very much 2nd driver with Prost and Senna before being thrust into the midst of a title fight.

I always think it must have taken a huge mental toll on himself and Williams that season as well.


Well, yes and no I would say. He certainly had an extremely dificult situation to deal with, and his push in those final races (in particular Suzuka) was hugely impressive. At the same time he would have been miles off in the Championship if Schumacher hadn’t effectively been banned from three races that year. It would have been highway robbery if he had snatched the title in Adelaide.

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#40 ConsiderAndGo

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 12:47

Since I started watching it’s Alonso 2012. That car had no right being where it was most of the season.

#41 Dolph

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 12:49

I think Hill in 94 deserves a lot of credit as he up against so much that season. A car that even Senna couldn't tame early on, suffered with reliability problems at Aida plus of course losing his teammate Senna at Imola...

Going up against a team that in all probability was cheating on several levels and a driver willing to put other people's lives at risk with his antics. It was a very credible season for someone who didn't have Schumacher's grooming and funding into F1 and was very much 2nd driver with Prost and Senna before being thrust into the midst of a title fight.

I always think it must have taken a huge mental toll on himself and Williams that season as well.


RIIIGHT

#42 TheRhodesian74

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 13:01

here's one from leftfield, what about Michele Alboreto in 85? 

 

He was just 3 points (I think) behind Prost after Zandvoort but then had 5 consecutive retirements (all because of the unreliable Ferrari) that meant he ended up 20 points behind.

 

It looked like it was going to go to the wire before that. Obviously not in the Senna 93 class but worth a mention I think, if only to remind some people of it. 



#43 Sterzo

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 13:05

Another vote here for Moss in 1958. Three wins, one of them utterly brilliant in a "stand-in" private owner car because Vanwall couldn't make the race. Whereas Hawthorn (of whom I was a boyhood fan) won only once. Add to that Moss's intervention to prevent Mike's disqualification in Portugal, without which he would have been champion.

 

And yes, Verstappen must be right  up there amongst the very best runners-up.

 

Great idea for a thread, by the way.



#44 JustNotFastEnough

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 13:07

Max Verstappen 2021.

#45 Collombin

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 13:09

Three wins, one of them utterly brilliant in a "stand-in" private owner car because Vanwall couldn't make the race. Whereas Hawthorn (of whom I was a boyhood fan) won only once. Add to that Moss's intervention to prevent Mike's disqualification in Portugal, without which he would have been champion


You're not giving him enough credit. Four wins to 1, and of course Mike needed team orders in the end too. But as I said I rate his later seasons even higher - give him Brabham's reliability in 1959 and he wins the WDC by a mile, and he also had better results than Brabham in 1960 in races in which they both competed, but the Spa crash cost him 3 races - and while the cat's away, Brabham won all of them.

Edited by Collombin, 27 November 2021 - 13:10.


#46 Collombin

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 13:13

here's one from leftfield, what about Michele Alboreto in 85?


I was scared of Michele in mid-1985, being so desperate for a Prost title by then. I spent the Zandvoort race shouting at Lauda to move over!

But I read somewhere that after the 1985 German GP Michele never won another race at all until Le Mans 1997 - unthinkable at the time.

#47 Sterzo

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 13:14

You're not giving him enough credit. Four wins to 1, and of course Mike needed team orders in the end too. But as I said I rate his later seasons even higher - give him Brabham's reliability in 1959 and he wins the WDC by a mile, and he also had better results than Brabham in 1960 in races in which they both competed, but the Spa crash cost him 3 races - and while the cat's away, Brabham won all of them.

 

^ Maybe we should say "Moss - every year!"

 

(And thank you for correcting my inadequate counting skills).



#48 Collombin

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 13:26

Is Gilles in 1979 worth a shout? As has been mentioned many times, if you move the middle race (Dijon) into the other half of the season and keep all the race results the same, Gilles is champion.

#49 Dhillon

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 13:53

Max Verstappen 2021.

 

If Lewis wins then Yes, It would be one of the best runner up performance. Can't say the same for Lewis if Max wins.



#50 mclarensmps

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 14:38

If Lewis wins then Yes, It would be one of the best runner up performance. Can't say the same for Lewis if Max wins.

 

:rotfl: