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Titles won through consistency - are they of lesser worth?


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#1 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 06:34

Well, we all know the epitomy of a worthy champion. The driver who wins all races from pole, dominating the field in such a clear-cut way that no one in their right mind could question the validity of the title. But not all championships are won that way, and sometimes you'll have a driver instead winning the title through a consistent run of strong finishes, but without those stand-out performances or perhaps even without a single race win.

 

Examples of this approach could be Keke Rosberg winning the 1982 F1 WDC, or Richard Burns winning the 2001 WRC - in both cases with just one win to their name through the entire campaign, but with consistently strong performances and few mistakes throughout the season.

 

What are your thoughts about this type of title wins? Are they inherently of lower worth than titles won by a dominating driver in a dominating car? Or is it just as impressive to consistently hammer away, making few mistakes along the way and snatching the title away from the grasp of a faster but perhaps more error-prone nemesis?


Edited by Rediscoveryx, 16 August 2022 - 06:34.


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#2 pacificquay

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 06:53

No.



#3 Collombin

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 07:03

It can work both ways - dominate too much and the car starts getting all the credit. And some of the better known "consistency" titles (eg Lauda 1977, Rosberg 1982) were won in cars that were nowhere near the class of the field.

I think championship titles should be seen for what they are, just an achievement, not a specific measure of greatness. Some are won by dominance, some by luck, many somewhere in between. That's the nature of the beast.

#4 masa90

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 07:10

No. Title is a title. Both of those wins for example are great work over a season.



#5 blackmme

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 07:12

I would say that Prost's 86 title was worth just as much as any other title, perhaps more.

 

Regards Mike 



#6 GregThomas

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 07:24

They'd better be worth the same. The only title I ever won was by consistency. I've always said i got it through a better attendance record - which is true. The runner up was away chasing the National title too often. A win's a win.



#7 Henri Greuter

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 07:27

Given all the odds he had against him in just about every aspect possible, I think Lauda's title of 1977 being one of the most heroic achievements ever.

yes, it lacks the heroics of 2000 and 2021 and the epic battles of those years.

But Lauda still won it against opponents who were there all season. And nobody forced Lotus and the other Cosworth top teams to try those new experimental, more powerful versions of the DFV that blew like handgranades.

 

Rosberg's '82 is of less signifcance to because all tragedy that befell Ferrari that year (and that was beyond their control) was the decisive factor for beating them.

 

No, I'm OK with consistency titles and in fact I still think one title ended up in the wrong hands because of consistency not being rewarded enough and driver error being forgiven too much.


Edited by Henri Greuter, 16 August 2022 - 07:28.


#8 FortiFord

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 07:29

They're all worth the same. 

 

From a drivers perspective, I do think that, for example, Schumacher's wins in 95 and 00 were far more impressive than 02 or 04. Even seeing him come close in 97 or 98 is what solidified him, in my mind, as an all time great. 



#9 Ben1445

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 07:46

Consistency is an essential component. I don't think you can win a title without it, since even a title won by only wins and DNFs requires consistently winning in order to score enough points. 

 

So put me in the no camp on this one. 

 

(also congrats Stoffel Vandoorne) 



#10 Gareth

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 07:47

It's a team sport. Even in years where 1 car dominates, you're seeing amazing human achievement IMO (just a lot of that achievement is from folks in a factory whose faces you don't get to see).

 

It all adds up together to make a winning package, and the worth is the same.

 

The ones where 2 or more cars are competitive, and it's very much a driver's battle, are more fun though, tbf ...



#11 Scotracer

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 07:59

Don't remind me of the 2001 WRC. It was very tough being a McRae fan.



#12 PayasYouRace

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 08:05

What I’ve always said about consistency: you’re still beating your opponents more often than they beat you, or by bigger margins than they beat you.

Especially when things get really competitive, being there or thereabouts week in week out is much more impressive than being win or bust.

#13 Victor

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 08:26

Winning all races from pole tends to mean you have the best car and a weak team mate / strong team orders.



#14 pacificquay

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 08:32

What I’ve always said about consistency: you’re still beating your opponents more often than they beat you, or by bigger margins than they beat you.

Especially when things get really competitive, being there or thereabouts week in week out is much more impressive than being win or bust.

Exactly this.

 

A championship isn’t raced against a theoretical maximum score, but against the other competitors.



#15 Collombin

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 08:49

What I’ve always said about consistency: you’re still beating your opponents more often than they beat you, or by bigger margins than they beat you


Not always though - 1984 for example.

#16 RedRabbit

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 09:26

Dominant cars are usually the thing that lowers the "worth" of the drivers championship.

In more recent times, a title won through consistency without any heroics or stand out performances would be Joan Mirs MotoGP championship in 2020.

He didn't do much that screamed potential champion before that, or anything since to cement any legacy.

#17 EightGear

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 09:32

I rate Ogiers 2017 & 18 WRC titles with Ford very highly because of his consistency in the not-fastest car.

#18 CSF

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 09:37

I'd suggest that all winners were the most consistent regardless of other factors. 



#19 Sterzo

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 09:54

A rare thread with near unanimity! A championship is an artificial construct, and by definition the result cannot be wrong. It's simply an expression of the criteria you set.



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#20 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 10:02

Dominant cars are usually the thing that lowers the "worth" of the drivers championship.

In more recent times, a title won through consistency without any heroics or stand out performances would be Joan Mirs MotoGP championship in 2020.

He didn't do much that screamed potential champion before that, or anything since to cement any legacy.

 

Yes, that's another good example.



#21 Radion

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 10:06

Kimi came very close to do this too in 2003. Only one victory at the beginning in Malaysia. From then, no victories but very consistant. Two points short...



#22 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 10:06

A rare thread with near unanimity! A championship is an artificial construct, and by definition the result cannot be wrong. It's simply an expression of the criteria you set.

 

Right, but it's also a construct that we perceive a champion as "the besy guy that year", and therefore the championship should ideally be constructed in a way that gives the title to whoever the "best" guy was. Of course, therein lies the difficulty of constructing a points system that balances points gained for a win to the runner-up etc in a way that's accepted as "fair". 

 

For instance; there are those that would argue that the driver who wins the most races is the one most deserved of a title (effectively doing away with points altogether).

 

Anyway; I'm a bit surprised that the comments have been so one-sided here, as I feel that it's often held against a driver when he wins a title through consistency rather than through outright pace. 



#23 Collombin

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 10:16

I'm a bit surprised that the comments have been so one-sided here, as I feel that it's often held against a driver when he wins a title through consistency rather than through outright pace.


Weird, isn't it? I think the grenade was well thrown, you must have just forgotten to take the pin out.

#24 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 10:37

Weird, isn't it? I think the grenade was well thrown, you must have just forgotten to take the pin out.

 

Yeah, I may have to edit the opening post to shoehorn Abu Dhabi '21 in there somehow...



#25 cpbell

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 10:49

No.

Agreed.



#26 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 11:03

I am surprised some feel that consistency is looked down upon over dominance. Both are equal in being Championships, were I to chose only over the other I would take consistency over dominance. 



#27 Dolph

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 11:05

What erks me in the wrong way is the current IndyCar points standings.

 

Will Power leads Scott Dixon 450 to 444

 

Power has beaten Dixon in 11 races out of 14. And has out podiumed him 7-3. And top 4-rs: 10-4. Yet, Dixon is right with him in the points.



#28 maximilian

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 11:24

Maybe there should be some kind of medals system?  Or some kind of "title playoffs" at the end of the season?   ;)



#29 maximilian

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 11:24

What erks me in the wrong way is the current IndyCar points standings.

 

Will Power leads Scott Dixon 450 to 444

 

Power has beaten Dixon in 11 races out of 14. And has out podiumed him 7-3. And top 4-rs: 10-4. Yet, Dixon is right with him in the points.

 

Agree, the current points system is probably the worst thing about IndyCar.



#30 Claudius

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 11:25

I don't know. It depends on what is considered consistency.

 

I'd rather have a driver that has 5-10 brilliant races and 2 mistakes than someone who has 0 mistakes but has pretty straightforward races.

I want to see drivers going to the limit and sometimes being over the limit. Not just another sunday drive.



#31 Anderis

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 11:30

This is a weirdly phrased question- for me any title is worth the same. We can discuss whether one title was more impressive than another but that's like arguing my thousand dollar is worth more than your thousand dollar. No they're both worth the same regardless how they were earned and if you want to discuss how they were earned, that would be another question.

 

The only exception is that when we find out years later that a title was won after blatant cheating. I would not see these titles worth the same but still I don't think I even have one real example of such thing so that's all hypothetical.


Edited by Anderis, 16 August 2022 - 11:32.


#32 prty

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 11:33

Only if you're a fan of the driver that lost it or dislike the driver that won it.



#33 prty

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 11:34

This is a weirdly phrased question- for me any title is worth the same.

This is not true at all. Any title can be legitimate, but a title won let's say with a 0.5 sec per lap car disadvantage is a lot worthier than a title won with a 1 sec per lap car advantage. I can't see how they both could be equally worthy.



#34 jimjimjeroo

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 11:42

look at 2007, three drivers could have won the WDC at the last race, between the 3 of them, 14 wins! 

 

all consistently 1/2/3



#35 Gravelngrass

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 11:54

Well, we all know the epitomy of a worthy champion. The driver who wins all races from pole, dominating the field in such a clear-cut way that no one in their right mind could question the validity of the title. But not all championships are won that way, and sometimes you'll have a driver instead winning the title through a consistent run of strong finishes, but without those stand-out performances or perhaps even without a single race win.

Examples of this approach could be Keke Rosberg winning the 1982 F1 WDC, or Richard Burns winning the 2001 WRC - in both cases with just one win to their name through the entire campaign, but with consistently strong performances and few mistakes throughout the season.

What are your thoughts about this type of title wins? Are they inherently of lower worth than titles won by a dominating driver in a dominating car? Or is it just as impressive to consistently hammer away, making few mistakes along the way and snatching the title away from the grasp of a faster but perhaps more error-prone nemesis?


If anything, I would question the value of titles won in a dominating car…

#36 Myrvold

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 12:00

Don't remind me of the 2001 WRC. It was very tough being a McRae fan.

 

The year no-one wanted to win the championship. I know the following scenario needs more than one "if", but it still illustrates how WRC was in 2001. With a dry Monte-Carlo, and a normal year for Gilles Panizzi, he would've been 4 points of the world championship.



#37 ArnageWRC

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 12:13

Don't remind me of the 2001 WRC. It was very tough being a McRae fan.

 

The Focus WRC/ Pirelli tyre combination on dry Tarmac was woeful.....for an excellent tarmac driver, he never scored a point. That's what cost him the title rather than a crash in a title decider. 



#38 Muppetmad

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 12:21

I can't be sad about 2001, and if I could turn back time, I would change nothing. Burns was a worthy champion, and it comforts me that he won a title before his cruel death.



#39 Myrvold

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 12:23

The Focus WRC/ Pirelli tyre combination on dry Tarmac was woeful.....for an excellent tarmac driver, he never scored a point. That's what cost him the title rather than a crash in a title decider. 

 

Pirelli on dry tarmac in rally. Don't even have to include the Focus there. It might've been worse than the Impreza, but in general, from 2001 and onwards, if it was tarmac and dry, Pirelli was not what you would want on your car.



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#40 PlatenGlass

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 12:38

Some championships are more impressive than others, but it's far too simplistic to just look at whether it was won through consistency or dominance. E.g. a driver winning through consistency might have had a slower car, so they still did everything they could.

#41 Afterburner

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 12:40

What erks me in the wrong way is the current IndyCar points standings.

Will Power leads Scott Dixon 450 to 444

Power has beaten Dixon in 11 races out of 14. And has out podiumed him 7-3. And top 4-rs: 10-4. Yet, Dixon is right with him in the points.

And on top of that, if Dixon had won the 500, that gap would be about 40 points in Dixon’s favor. :lol:

#42 Dolph

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 13:06

80, no?

#43 Claymore25

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 13:27

A Title is a title. All worth the same unless you cheat.



#44 Bleu

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 14:17

Kimi came very close to do this too in 2003. Only one victory at the beginning in Malaysia. From then, no victories but very consistant. Two points short...

 

Just swapping one of three races where Schumacher won and Kimi was 2nd would have been enough. In which case wins would have been 5-2 for Schumacher but Kimi would have been a champion by two points.



#45 Scaboo22

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 14:22

The driver who finished 1st is the World Champion regardless if they won 1 race or 15 (insert Will Buxton face). And they are just as deserving, because you can't compare a season to another. In THAT particular season they did the best job out of all other drivers. Nobody deserved it more. 



#46 Dolph

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 14:43

What if the driver who finished second missed scoring because an incident not caused by himself outside a racetrack?


Similar event that comes to mind - Loeb being crashed into on a public road between stages. Loeb still won the title, though.

#47 AustinF1

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 15:15

No.

This.



#48 Hrco42

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 21:53

Just swapping one of three races where Schumacher won and Kimi was 2nd would have been enough. In which case wins would have been 5-2 for Schumacher but Kimi would have been a champion by two points.


That's exactly what happened in MotoGP in 2006

#49 PlatenGlass

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 22:22

I think if Eddie Irvine had won the title in 1999, people would have something to say about this. I think outright competitiveness in individual races has some importance. It's fine if a driver who is slightly slower than someone else or has a slightly slower car wins the title with consistency, but people might find they have limits if this is taken far enough. I'm not sure who the "least competitve" driver/team to win the championship is but Irvine could have been a contender at least. But maybe going back to the worst car to win a championship thread, Rosberg/Williams would be a contender for this. At least in that case though, Rosberg was still considered a top driver, whereas Irvine's reputation isn't quite at that level.


Edited by PlatenGlass, 16 August 2022 - 22:22.


#50 Pacesetter

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 22:36

Title is a title.

 

Consistency is a key skill for a racing driver. Being the fastest guy ever but crashing every 2 races doesn't make you a good racing driver.

 

The only thing you could perhaps apply 'worth of the title' to is to what extent the driver had to go on the limit to win the title. Did he had to wring the neck race after race or could he by means of a dominant car and lesser teammate basically cruise at 98% race after race (thus never making it clear if he would have really been the best driver that year instead of just the quickest driver of the ones in the dominant car)


Edited by Pacesetter, 16 August 2022 - 22:37.