Jump to content


Photo

Greatest versus Best in each era


  • Please log in to reply
43 replies to this topic

#1 mariner

mariner
  • Member

  • 2,142 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 07 May 2022 - 11:45

That may sound like a contradiction but let me try to explain via my own racing heroes - Fangio, Clark, Andretti and Peterson.

 

To my mind Fangio is still the greatest driver since WW2. It's the totality of his achievements - The success in the long distance South American races - coming to Europe at  40 years old to race in F1 - winning the Championship in four different cars and living into retirement despite seeing over 30 of his fellow drivers die.

 

However I still rate Jim Clark as the best driver since WW2. His uncanny skill, his smoothness and the ability to go faster than everybody else in anything on 4 wheels - FJ, F2, F1, Sportscars, saloons, and Indy cars - even Ford trucks   I don’t think he reached Fangio's greatness however , partially because we can only judge him in a Lotus in F1 and , sadly, because he died quite young.

 

The same applies to Andretti versus Peterson. Their JPS years showed Ronnie was faster and there were very few drivers with Ronnie’s blinding speed. However, Andretti is , to my mind, the greater driver because like Fangio he raced in so many different types of car. From Sprint cars on the lethal dirt tracks of Pennsylvanian , though NASCAR, Indy, F5000 , Canam and F1.

 

I hope that sort of explains why I think "greatest" and "best" are two slightly different things in racing drivers.

 



Advertisement

#2 sabrejet

sabrejet
  • Member

  • 731 posts
  • Joined: January 09

Posted 07 May 2022 - 19:05

Anyone fancy a pint?



#3 john winfield

john winfield
  • Member

  • 4,778 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 07 May 2022 - 19:54

Of best?

#4 GLaird

GLaird
  • Member

  • 32 posts
  • Joined: June 19

Posted 07 May 2022 - 23:56

I'm a Philistine and prefer a Lager, but good one, or does that bring another level into it!

 

Seriously, I know what the Original Poster means, it isnt even Quality  v  Quantity, it is Juggling Mercury  v  Catching Perfume on the Breeze.

 

Back to trying to gauge our own emotions, experiences, something half glimpsed at high speed at a track, often second hand views, about something we all love, and which is under our skin, long may it continue here! :clap:



#5 D-Type

D-Type
  • Member

  • 9,543 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 09 May 2022 - 17:50

The way I see the difference is that "Greatest" embraces not only skill on the track, but the whole persona on and off track - not only winning, but how they won.  While "Best" relates only to skill and speed.
As far as I know, it was only Fangio whose peers invariably stated their admiration for him.  
 



#6 9203RW

9203RW
  • Member

  • 35 posts
  • Joined: April 21

Posted 09 May 2022 - 19:20

The way I see the difference is that "Greatest" embraces not only skill on the track, but the whole persona on and off track - not only winning, but how they won.  While "Best" relates only to skill and speed.
As far as I know, it was only Fangio whose peers invariably stated their admiration for him.  
 

 

Agreed, and 'best' could arguably be demonstrated (or at least claimed) mathematically: for example, proportion of wins to events started, championship points achieved to points available etc.  Whereas, to be defined as 'great', a whole raft of judgemental factors need to be considered, such as quality of opposition, ability to look after a car, versatility, demeanour, sportsmanship and many others beside.  For me, this is why Fangio, Clark and Andretti are 'great' but the likes of Senna, Schumacher and Hamilton, while maybe the 'best' of their eras, cannot be considered as 'great'.



#7 john aston

john aston
  • Member

  • 2,305 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 10 May 2022 - 07:01

Hamilton not a great? His behaviour on track is  nearly always  exemplary , he has shown immense speed and class in every formula he has competed in and , last time I checked he'd won a fair few races . Of course he has had  a good car most of the time - same as Fangio , Clark and Andretti then. Hamilton's only sin , I suspect , is his number of wins and his outspokenness . 



#8 Charlieman

Charlieman
  • Member

  • 2,347 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 10 May 2022 - 09:25

I'm not very good at these comparisons because I keep changing my mind. The one constant is the value of sportsmanship. It's why Senna, Schumacher and their like will never make it onto my lists of Greats. They are fast, great overtakers and good at winning but how a driver wins is most important. Jack Brabham was a hard driver, perhaps adopting blocking techniques which would be forbidden today, but never quite crossing unspoken rules of the day. I think that is how Hamilton has driven in the current era -- although badly advised by McLaren on occasions when before the race stewards.



#9 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 6,417 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 10 May 2022 - 09:45

Greatest v Best? I have the greatest respect for the best of each era.

 

Actually, that's not true, and maybe therein lies the distinction: you can use numbers to define who's best, but that doesn't necessarily mean they deserve respect for their achievements. We all have our own parameters, how we judge greatness, who's deserving of respect, and so we will probably never arrive at a universal list of greats. The best are mostly defined by somewhat 'material' standards, which are shifting over time, so that's not easy, either. But, perhaps it's that "the best" are defined by materialistic standards, and "the greatest" by idealistic ones?



#10 9203RW

9203RW
  • Member

  • 35 posts
  • Joined: April 21

Posted 10 May 2022 - 09:50

Hamilton not a great? His behaviour on track is  nearly always  exemplary , he has shown immense speed and class in every formula he has competed in and , last time I checked he'd won a fair few races . Of course he has had  a good car most of the time - same as Fangio , Clark and Andretti then. Hamilton's only sin , I suspect , is his number of wins and his outspokenness . 

 

I cannot argue against any of your points and I would not for a moment try to suggest that Hamilton is not the 'best' of the current era.  Clark in particular and also Fangio achieved vastly better results than contemporaries in similarly competitive cars, whereas Hamilton has, on occasion, struggled to dominate his team mates - viz Button, Rosberg and, so far this year, Russell.  What he has not yet demonstrated, in my view, is versatility, his career having been a rapid and well supported climb up the FIA formula ladder.  Put him in an Indicar on ovals, or a WEC car at Le Mans or, better still, a WRC car on a proper rally (if there are still any) and I might change my mind!



#11 davidbuckden

davidbuckden
  • Member

  • 66 posts
  • Joined: January 14

Posted 10 May 2022 - 11:52

I cannot argue against any of your points and I would not for a moment try to suggest that Hamilton is not the 'best' of the current era.  Clark in particular and also Fangio achieved vastly better results than contemporaries in similarly competitive cars, whereas Hamilton has, on occasion, struggled to dominate his team mates - viz Button, Rosberg and, so far this year, Russell.  What he has not yet demonstrated, in my view, is versatility, his career having been a rapid and well supported climb up the FIA formula ladder.  Put him in an Indicar on ovals, or a WEC car at Le Mans or, better still, a WRC car on a proper rally (if there are still any) and I might change my mind!

I too feel that Hamilton is 'shallow,' as suggested by your observation concerning exploits in cars other than Formula One machines, (almost always superior ones in Hamilton's case, at that.)  He was cossetted from the outset as Ron's 'political' project, and his current day petulance possibly stems from not having to experience character-building, early-career, back of the field running in things like Minardis.  I think genuine immersion in the sport's culture is an essential requirement for 'greatness,' and familiarity with its history should be a given.  What a contrast recently when Vettel demonstrated his by naming the champions, year by year, all the way back, whereas Hamilton in a Sky filler piece glibly acknowledged that he'd never heard of Ascari's excursion into the harbour!



#12 Charlieman

Charlieman
  • Member

  • 2,347 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 10 May 2022 - 12:50

I have always liked Sebastian Vettel. Too many silly track moments but a decent bloke and great driver all the same. He's a well mannered, well educated man. He is the German equivalent of an English public school boy -- a gentleman educated in the late 20th century. His historic knowledge is unsurprising nor surprising.

 

Lewis Hamilton comes from an entirely different background. He is a hot house plant product which is not something I like. I don't like the way that drivers on apprentice schemes are treated, but Hamilton has come through it. I like the romance of struggling in junior formulae using money earned on a building site to build a career, but all of that disappeared 30 years ago. Note of course that the people who supplied karts, tyres, engines and financial support during Hamilton's teen years weren't conducting a 'political' project. They were backing the sport with the hope that winning rubbed off on their business. 



#13 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Administrator

  • 39,060 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 10 May 2022 - 12:58

I too feel that Hamilton is 'shallow,' as suggested by your observation concerning exploits in cars other than Formula One machines, (almost always superior ones in Hamilton's case, at that.)

I think that's an unfair criticism to level at Lewis - or the vast majority of (comparatively) recent F1 drivers either - given that ever since the late 1970s there has been an established 'route to F1' - karting, national junior formula, international junior formula, F3000/F2/FWhatevertheywanttocallitthisyear. If it was good enough for (say) Alain Prost or Nigel Mansell, why should or would Hamilton be criticised for doing the same thing? It's not least because F1 teams and sponsors want exclusivity and more bang for their buck.

 

While we old'uns might prize the versatility of the likes of Graham Hill, Moss, Phil Hill, Fangio, Mario Andretti etc, that very versatility was partly out of financial necessity and is today very much the exception rather than the rule; the only one who comes to mind is Scott Dixon, who has successfully combined a stellar IndyCar career with racing sports cars at a top level (three Daytona overall wins and a class win) and even tackled Bathurst in 2020. Even so, he can only generally fit these things in before or after the IndyCar season.

 

I think genuine immersion in the sport's culture is an essential requirement for 'greatness,' and familiarity with its history should be a given.  What a contrast recently when Vettel demonstrated his by naming the champions, year by year, all the way back, whereas Hamilton in a Sky filler piece glibly acknowledged that he'd never heard of Ascari's excursion into the harbour!

ISTR Michael Schumacher demonstrating a similar level of ignorance when being asked about something in Ferrari's history. Details escape me though.

 

And if knowledge of the sport's history was a major criterion for greatness then Karun Chandhok would probably be a multiple World Champion.  ;)
 



#14 Tim Murray

Tim Murray
  • Moderator

  • 23,975 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 10 May 2022 - 13:08

Agreed absolutely.

ISTR Michael Schumacher demonstrating a similar level of ignorance when being asked about something in Ferrari's history. Details escape me though.


One example was at the post-race interviews after the 1998 French GP where he and Irvine had finished 1-2. He wondered whether it was the first-ever 1-2 for Ferrari.

#15 Collombin

Collombin
  • Member

  • 6,601 posts
  • Joined: March 05

Posted 10 May 2022 - 13:09

ISTR Michael Schumacher demonstrating a similar level of ignorance when being asked about something in Ferrari's history. Details escape me though


After the 1998 French GP Michael wondered whether Ferrari had ever had a 1-2 finish before.

It turns out that they had.

#16 Tim Murray

Tim Murray
  • Moderator

  • 23,975 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 10 May 2022 - 13:10

Snap!

#17 Charlieman

Charlieman
  • Member

  • 2,347 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 10 May 2022 - 14:03

I wonder how much racers in the 1970s or earlier knew about the history of the sport. They'd have grown up like me reading all of the books at the local library plus whatever I picked up in second hand shops or at flea markets. It was only when I earned good money as a bingo caller that I could really choose books.



#18 rl1856

rl1856
  • Member

  • 289 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 10 May 2022 - 14:38

US Baseball has a Hall of Fame.  One can argue with some of the inductees, and the criteria used by some judges.  However, there is broad agreement around the concept that most inductees should represent the greatest careers of their respective eras.  There is much discussion regarding longevity at the expense of performance peaks, meaning that a player who demonstrated outstanding performance for most of their career should receive more votes than a player who was mostly very good and enjoyed a few top 3 statistical seasons.    In that context, the top 3 seasons are viewed as outliers while an outstanding career represents long term impact on the sport.

 

While the purpose is US Baseball, the larger principals can be adapted to other sports.

 

Phil Hill was  WDC, and considered a top level driver for the 1st half of his GP career, while also achieving consistently very high results in sports cars for the length of his career.   He was not one of the all time greats, but his versatility means that he will still be discussed by those who study the history of the sport.  To summarize he was Very Good, but not GREAT.

 

Graham Hill won 2 WDC, Indy and LeMans.   Yet he was largely overshadowed by others during his career.   Is he one of the greats, or just one of the very goods.  I would vote for the later view.

 

Jim Clark is widely acknowledged as one of the greats and his focus was mostly on GP, in partnership with Lotus.  He won 2 WDC, and could have won 3 more during his short career.  He could drive the same car faster than another driver, and was successful in both low power, and high power environments.   He is in just about everyone's top 5.   His career largely personified GREAT.

 

Schumacher- definitely one of the greats.   Some have marked him down because the car he drove was demonstrably better than the competition (sound familiar.....), but consider his performance coming up the ranks and at Benneton.   His achievements at Ferrari were the direct result of the promise he exhibited prior to his arrival at Maranello.  He should be considered as one of the greats.



#19 Glengavel

Glengavel
  • Member

  • 1,169 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 10 May 2022 - 15:26

Schumacher's unsporting behaviour is not a mark of greatness.



Advertisement

#20 john aston

john aston
  • Member

  • 2,305 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 11 May 2022 - 06:26

It seems to me that in the eyes of some  Hamilton is guilty of living in the wrong decade . It's like criticising  Stewart for not having competed at Brooklands . In the Olden Tymes Grands Prix  were few, prize money was poor and contracts weren't very prescriptive . So of course a 60s driver raced where and when he could - to earn a crust and because he had time on his hands . We now have an absurd 20 odd GP a year - it's hardly Lewis' fault that times have changed . A bloody good job too in many respects, given the overt and entirely legal racism of the Sixties. 



#21 kayemod

kayemod
  • Member

  • 9,443 posts
  • Joined: August 05

Posted 11 May 2022 - 08:23

I'm a little surprised that Sir Stirling hasn't featured more strongly in this discussion, but maybe his greatness is unquestioned, it certainly is by me. I was quite young and not terribly knowledgeable at the time, but having an enthusiastic father, I watched him race on UK circuits from much closer distances than it's possible to do today, and I've never seen anything to compare with his smoothness and car control, before or since.

 

Sportsmanship and general good behaviour is an important factor in true greatness, and some of the names so far put forward would fail badly on those aspects.



#22 AJCee

AJCee
  • Member

  • 213 posts
  • Joined: August 15

Posted 11 May 2022 - 11:53

The whole argument about “he only won because he had the best car” has always puzzled me. Motor races are not won on foot; you need a vehicle. It takes both elements. All the drivers want to be in the best car, all the teams want the best driver. It’s not unexpected that the best cars often pair with the best drivers. Would they win in a back of the field car? Most likely not, but they have the skills to gain access to the best car. So why make it harder for yourself?

Besides, there are enough examples of much touted drivers who arrive in top teams and fail to shine, clearly they had some ability to be noticed and clearly the best car is not enough.

#23 Steve99

Steve99
  • Member

  • 624 posts
  • Joined: December 11

Posted 11 May 2022 - 13:42

The whole argument about “he only won because he had the best car” has always puzzled me. 

 

Me also. I'd venture that every driver wants to have a car that is faster than the rest, qualifies easily on pole, and then just walks away with the race. 



#24 D-Type

D-Type
  • Member

  • 9,543 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 11 May 2022 - 19:06

The whole argument about “he only won because he had the best car”  ~

Exactly.  Team mangers and owners aren't stupid - they want the best drivers available in their cars.  Likewise drivers aren't stupid either - they want to drive the best car available.  It would be very surprising if we didn't see the best drivers in the best cars - unless someone made a poor judgement.

Of course loyalty comes into the equation somewhere.



#25 john aston

john aston
  • Member

  • 2,305 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 12 May 2022 - 06:17

And history has plenty of examples of good drivers in winning cars being blown away by their more talented teammates . Messrs D Walker, E Cheever, R Wisell , J Magnussen ,S Johansson were all good enough for F1 but not quite (or even nearly)  good enough to win. I know , I know , second driver in Lotus seat rarely  does well, Prost was favourite, X got better tyres/engines than Y but , to misquote Chaucer, 'quality will out '. And it never did.   .     



#26 blackmme

blackmme
  • Member

  • 873 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 17 May 2022 - 08:54

I too feel that Hamilton is 'shallow,' as suggested by your observation concerning exploits in cars other than Formula One machines, (almost always superior ones in Hamilton's case, at that.)  He was cossetted from the outset as Ron's 'political' project, and his current day petulance possibly stems from not having to experience character-building, early-career, back of the field running in things like Minardis.  I think genuine immersion in the sport's culture is an essential requirement for 'greatness,' and familiarity with its history should be a given.  What a contrast recently when Vettel demonstrated his by naming the champions, year by year, all the way back, whereas Hamilton in a Sky filler piece glibly acknowledged that he'd never heard of Ascari's excursion into the harbour!

 

So if I follow your argument David you are saying that a year in a Minardi somehow prevents a driver from demonstrating 'Petulant' behaviour later in their career?

I don't want point out the obvious but there does seem to be at least some evidence that this isn't the case.   ;)

 

Also could you expand on how McLaren supporting Lewis's junior career has a 'Political' aspect?

 

Regards Mike



#27 john aston

john aston
  • Member

  • 2,305 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 17 May 2022 - 09:59

And tell us why knowing who won the Long Beach GP 1978 , in which chassis number, is remotely important for a 2022 driver ? Old farts like me frown when the likes of Schumacher prove to be  not  quite up to speed on Ferrari history but  smile when Vettel shows some interest in the past, but that says far more about us than it does about the driver . If I were a team principal (another trigger word for geriatrics ) I'd value half  a second more speed than victory in a F1 general knowledge quiz. 

 

As for Hamilton not experiencing character building experiences ....he may have jumped into F1  with a top team but who wouldn't have signed him after his GP2 performances ? I suggest that Hamilton's ethnicity (which was still attracting racist taunting in F1 ) and his budgetary and other struggles  in his karting days gave him more than enough 'character -building'... 

 

'Politics' -I wonder,  is that another way of suggesting  Hamilton's F1 opportunity was down to his race ? 

 

I suspect Hamilton will continue to attract spite and sniping unless or until he can reveal he is actually the secret love child of Stirling Moss .



#28 Charlieman

Charlieman
  • Member

  • 2,347 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 17 May 2022 - 10:44

Hamilton's performance in European F3 -- 75% or so of maximum points in 2005 -- was enough to justify a trial seat in F1. McLaren wisely sponsored him for a series in GP2 in 2006 to see how well he would cope.



#29 AJCee

AJCee
  • Member

  • 213 posts
  • Joined: August 15

Posted 17 May 2022 - 11:13

Which again shows how the progress ‘ladder’ has changed. In the 70s, 80s and 90s the very top drivers usually graduated to F1 straight from F3. Not a single World Drivers Champion in that time was an International F2/F3000 champion. Whereas GP2 subsequently did produce F1 Champions.
Interestingly, Max Verstappen took the ‘straight from F3’ route.

#30 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 6,417 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 17 May 2022 - 12:10

 

'Politics' -I wonder,  is that another way of suggesting  Hamilton's F1 opportunity was down to his race ? 

 

 

Er, did you mean to say "down to his (being a member of the human) race", or to a specific race he won? :confused:



#31 john aston

john aston
  • Member

  • 2,305 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 17 May 2022 - 14:43

Ethnicity if you prefer - be my guest.  



#32 Geoff E

Geoff E
  • Member

  • 1,483 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 18 May 2022 - 08:20

Ethnicity if you prefer - be my guest.  

 

The 2021 census for England and Wales had approximately 20 "ethnic groups".

 

Scotland and Northern Ireland had lots more.

 

https://www.ethnicit...e/ethnic-groups



#33 john aston

john aston
  • Member

  • 2,305 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 18 May 2022 - 09:44

Fine, yes indeed . But let's not mince words - there have been very few non white racing drivers competing in the higher echelons of the sport. Hamilton is as British as I am , but he has mixed racial heritage  and it seems to me that this fact alone has contributed to so  much of  the bile and spitefulness aimed at him . People sneer at his dress sense , his taste in music and his outspokenness on equalities, and in my view the underlying cause is simple, unalloyed and toxic racism  . I watched the compelling film about Willy T Ribbs , Uppity (and I don't and won't spell out the usual suffix ) and I see many echoes of his experience being repeated in Hamilton's . And it is bloody shameful.  


Edited by john aston, 18 May 2022 - 09:45.


#34 Steve99

Steve99
  • Member

  • 624 posts
  • Joined: December 11

Posted 18 May 2022 - 09:51

 And it is bloody shameful.  

 

I couldn't agree more. 



#35 blackmme

blackmme
  • Member

  • 873 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 18 May 2022 - 09:54

Fine, yes indeed . But let's not mince words - there have been very few non white racing drivers competing in the higher echelons of the sport. Hamilton is as British as I am , but he has mixed racial heritage  and it seems to me that this fact alone has contributed to so  much of  the bile and spitefulness aimed at him . People sneer at his dress sense , his taste in music and his outspokenness on equalities, and in my view the underlying cause is simple, unalloyed and toxic racism  . I watched the compelling film about Willy T Ribbs , Uppity (and I don't and won't spell out the usual suffix ) and I see many echoes of his experience being repeated in Hamilton's . And it is bloody shameful.  

 

Absolutely spot on John.

 

Regards Mike



#36 9203RW

9203RW
  • Member

  • 35 posts
  • Joined: April 21

Posted 18 May 2022 - 10:10

This thread started as a discussion of the distinction between 'best' and greatest' but seems to have morphed into an argument about the racism, both overt and covert, directed towards Lewis Hamilton.  I hope that my purely subjective opinion, expressed earlier on in this thread, that I did not consider Hamilton to be in the same category of greatness as Fangio, Clark and Andretti was not interpreted as being in any way connected with his ethnicity or, indeed, his extra-curricular interests.  I abhor all forms of prejudice and Hamilton has undoubtedly had to overcome these to a far greater degree than most, if not all, of his contemporaries.  Rightly or wrongly, I regard versatility (e.g. Alonso in the WEC, Mansell in Indycars) and ability consistently to get the better of those in equal machinery as being two of the hallmarks of greatness - though not, of course, sufficient on their own.  Hamilton is certainly the best of the current generation of Grand Prix drivers, but I still cannot put him in the same bracket as Fangio, Clark or Andretti.  Maybe it's because I'm getting old and looking backwards through rose tinted spectacles.


Edited by 9203RW, 18 May 2022 - 10:12.


#37 blackmme

blackmme
  • Member

  • 873 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 18 May 2022 - 10:23

  I hope that my purely subjective opinion, expressed earlier on in this thread, that I did not consider Hamilton to be in the same category of greatness as Fangio, Clark and Andretti was not interpreted as being in any way connected with his ethnicity or, indeed, his extra-curricular interests. 

 

Absolutely not from my perspective 9203RW, I completely respect (but do not entirely agree) both your opinion and the way your articulated it!

 

Regards Mike 



#38 Charlieman

Charlieman
  • Member

  • 2,347 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 18 May 2022 - 11:22

Rightly or wrongly, I regard versatility (e.g. Alonso in the WEC, Mansell in Indycars) and ability consistently to get the better of those in equal machinery as being two of the hallmarks of greatness - though not, of course, sufficient on their own. 

Very well argued. However the reality is that F1 drivers rarely compete in other categories because F1 -- races, simulator testing, sponsorship work -- takes up so much time. Quite a few drivers have had a (successful and profitable) post-F1 career in prototype sports car racing and other categories in the last 30 years. Fernando Alonso's case is unusual in that he participated whilst enduring a rubbish experience in F1 -- and perhaps that was what made it possible. McLaren were desperate to retain his services and gave him latitude.

 

What does it say in driver contracts? Following Robert Kubica's terrible rallying accident, team managers must have tightened up on non-F1 motorsport.

 

We haven't discussed driver ability to get himself into the right car sufficiently. Fangio managed it brilliantly, picking the right team, Ferrari, in 1956. Jim Clark drove lots of cars outside F1 but usually avoided lemons. Senna and Schumacher, not greats IMHO, scored great seats, won the loyalty of team staff but felt the need to play mind games with team mates.



#39 AJCee

AJCee
  • Member

  • 213 posts
  • Joined: August 15

Posted 18 May 2022 - 12:25

Charlieman puts it well. Since the mid 1980s, nearly 30 years ago now, F1 drivers are rarely if ever seen in touring cars or sportscars. Mansell had his Indycar chance through what could be called an ‘unintended career path event’. Likewise Raikkonen’s rallying.
Drivers’ contracts have got progressively more restrictive on outside activities since, for example, Patrick Depailler’s hang gliding escapade in addition to the previously mentioned corporate responsibilities.
If you are mega successful in F1 now, your opportunities for versatility are limited.
Perhaps only a Chevrolet Lacetti provides a yardstick?

Besides, with around 20 Grands Prix now, when would they have the time?

Edited by AJCee, 18 May 2022 - 13:55.


Advertisement

#40 doc knutsen

doc knutsen
  • Member

  • 697 posts
  • Joined: May 03

Posted 18 May 2022 - 14:56

Fine, yes indeed . But let's not mince words - there have been very few non white racing drivers competing in the higher echelons of the sport. Hamilton is as British as I am , but he has mixed racial heritage  and it seems to me that this fact alone has contributed to so  much of  the bile and spitefulness aimed at him . People sneer at his dress sense , his taste in music and his outspokenness on equalities, and in my view the underlying cause is simple, unalloyed and toxic racism  . I watched the compelling film about Willy T Ribbs , Uppity (and I don't and won't spell out the usual suffix ) and I see many echoes of his experience being repeated in Hamilton's . And it is bloody shameful.  

Well said.



#41 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 6,417 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 18 May 2022 - 15:28

Understood. Any and all criticism of Sir Lewis Hamilton will automatically lead to accusations of racism, while insinuations that the same person is of a different race will not. Long live bigotry.



#42 AJCee

AJCee
  • Member

  • 213 posts
  • Joined: August 15

Posted 18 May 2022 - 15:43

Personally, unless what they do outside a racing car is illegal or immoral it is generally of little to no interest to me. (Although I like to smile at good works etc)

In days gone by, when there wasn’t an all enveloping 24/7 media space to be supplied with any old trivia, I had no idea what drivers got up to away from the track.

And I wasn’t bothered.

#43 PCC

PCC
  • Member

  • 932 posts
  • Joined: August 06

Posted 20 May 2022 - 14:29

Understood. Any and all criticism of Sir Lewis Hamilton will automatically lead to accusations of racism....

I really don't think that's what's at work in this thread. And as actual racists often hide behind that argument, I'd be very careful about invoking it.

 

I also think it's naive - or willfully blind - to deny the role that racism has played in Lewis's life, and the lives of countless others. I don't mean the mass shootings like the one that recently happened in Buffalo (and analogous events have occurred here in Canada). I mean the day-in-day-out, constant reminders of being 'different', and the too-frequent insinuation that this difference amounts to inferiority, or automatic unfitness for certain roles. The shooters are the 'hares' of racism. The insinuators are the 'tortoises'. They're almost invisible, but they have a huge cumulative impact.

 

These 'tortoises' are everywhere. Not just 'out there', but in here too. To be completely frank, I think a phrase like 'Ron's political project' strays into that territory. I once had a forum member refer disparagingly (in an e-mail) to 'darkie' footballers giving commentary on motor sport. I don't think these people are evil, but I think they hold a lot of unexamined (and maybe unconscious) assumptions about race that come out in a number of ways. 'Racism' includes overt, aggressive hatred of races - but that's far from all it includes.

 

I used to pride myself on being completely 'colourblind' when it came to race in my classroom. It gradually dawned on me that my students who were black, or Indigenous, Asian, or Muslim, or Jewish didn't have the luxury of being 'colourblind'. Every day, in dozens of small ways, they lived with constant reminders that they were different - and the frequently accompanying insinuation that they were consequently unworthy. For that reason, their experience of education is different from what mine was. Their experience of professional life will be too. It's important to be empathetic toward that, and not dismissive of the obstacles they face. We can't fix what we won't acknowledge.



#44 E1pix

E1pix
  • Member

  • 23,042 posts
  • Joined: January 11

Posted 20 May 2022 - 15:44

Lewis Hamilton is an international Hero that is largely overlooked by the very countrymen who should honor him. And I deeply and fervently wish he were ours.

Our primary mountaineering partner since 1980 is Black. A kinder, gentler, more-trustworthy soul has never existed. He would have died to save our falls, and especially my wife’s. In 1995, I secretly made him a banner stating “I did it!!!” — and unveiled it atop Sunlight Peak, when he became the first Black to summit all 55 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot mountains. We were all in tears, he had achieved something really, really special, and we were there with him every step of the way.

But since then, he has lost his way. That goal kept him going, then a divorce ensued, the climbs were mostly done, and he was back to being just another disrespected minority. Bad therapy and even-worse prescriptions find me leaving constant, mostly-unanswered messages, he is utterly lost and not likely to ever be found.

About every month, I Google his name with “obituary” behind it. Nobody should live this way, especially him. We’ve offered to take him traveling and hiking all summer, on our nickels we don’t really have, but I know he probably won’t. He’s years past simply being out of gas, and can’t risk even one more incident that takes him off a cliff. And every Godamned bit of this for being born Black.

White people started all of this, and it’s up to “us” to fix it. Victim blaming is just cruel and inhuman, and if there’s any prejudices in my soul, they’re almost entirely all against Whites. But just ask them, they know they’d do better. It’s hard to pick oneself up by their bootstraps when they can’t afford boots.