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One-hit wonders


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#1 Alan Baker

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 17:06

Or more accurately freak performances. Anyone care to come up with examples of drivers who did nothing for years, put in one excellent performance and then slid back into mediocrity? And give an explanation for it.
A couple of examples: Lodovico Scarfiotti in the 1966 Italian Grand Prix. I know he was an excellent sportscar driver, but he had done absolutely nothing in F1 prior to this race and certainly never looked like winning a Grand Prix again (there was the 1967 Syracuse GP but this was A/. a fixed result and B/. had an entry worse than my nephew's Scalextric). I always wondered if Ferrari had "accidentally" put a P4 crankshaft in the engine he used at Monza, giving him 4 litres to play with!
Secondly, Dickie Attwood's fighting second place at Monaco in 1968. Again no "previous" as the police might say and nothing much after either. Having said that, Attwood was something of a Monaco specialist having won the Junior race there in 1963 and qualified Parnell's old Lotus 25 sixth for the GP in 1965 (probably the best non works Lotus 25/33 grid placing anywhere, ever). Dickie also hauled his old nail ex-Tasman Lotus 49 to 4th place at Monaco in 1969 when standing in at GLTL for Rindt, in spite of the gear lever knob falling off. Take the kerbs, trees and armco away though, and he was nowhere in an F1 car.

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#2 Alan Lewis

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 17:24

Giancarlo Baghetti; winning his first three Formula 1 events, Syracuse, Naples and the Grand Prix de l'ACF and then....

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#3 Maldwyn

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 17:35

Not quite on the scale of those already mentioned but how about Jan Lammers grabbing 4th on the grid in the unfancied ATS at the 1980 USA West GP? I remember thinking 'where did that come from' seeing as he hadn't qualified for the first three races of the year, and he never approached the top 10 for the rest of his GP career.

#4 Bladrian

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 17:38

Originally posted by Alan Lewis
Giancarlo Baghetti; winning his first three Formula 1 events, Syracuse, Naples and the Grand Prix de l'ACF and then....

APL


I thought Baghetti only won one F1 event - his debut event at the French GP?

#5 Doug Nye

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 18:13

Bladrian - non-Championship F1 events at Syracuse and Naples - Formula 1 used to have a delightful life outside the mere World Championship series... :drunk:

DCN

#6 Pikachu Racing

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 18:21

There are plenty of them:

NASCAR:
Bobby Hillin Jr. - won Talledega and that pretty it for his career.
Derrick Cope - he wasn't good at all. Earnhardt handed him the Daytona 500 win. Whitcombe Racing can't run without Buddy Parrrot who left after 1990. Cope went downhill.
Lake Speed - won his only race with Hoosiers. Still kept his team motoring. He almost look like a winner with Bud Moore and Harry Melling cars.

CART:
Mark Blundell - he have decent journeyman career in F1, but in CART, he won two or three races. The next year, PacWest dropped dramatically from winning ways into midpack.

IRL:
Jim Gutherie - won Phoenix, gets injured the same year. He wasn't near the competitive level.

#7 Haddock

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 19:39

From more recent times

Stefano Modena putting the unfancied, and allegedly unwieldy Tyrrell-Honda second on the grid at Monaco in 1991. Neither he nor the car ever looked like doing that again, although a race of attrition allowed him to finish second in Canada that year.


Roberto Moreno outqualifying Mansell's Ferrari at Phoenix in, of all things, a Eurobrun. AN F1 cr barely worthy of the name.

#8 Zawed

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 20:10

Pete Gethin winning Monza in 1970?

More recently Aguri Suzuki: 3rd in Japan 1990, scored only two points in the next five years.
Ukyo Katayama...brilliant in 94, nowhere in 95, 96, 97.

#9 Gary C

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 20:23

'Pete Gethin winning Monza in 1970?'
er............................that would be 1971 then.

#10 Bladrian

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 20:23

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Bladrian - non-Championship F1 events at Syracuse and Naples - Formula 1 used to have a delightful life outside the mere World Championship series... :drunk:

DCN


Silly me ... I should have remembered. Those nights at the Kyalami Ranch, for instance. ;)

#11 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 21:37

Was there anything ever as out of place as Jo Bonnier winning at Zandvoort?

#12 ensign14

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 21:54

Originally posted by Pikachu Racing
.
Derrick Cope - he wasn't good at all. Earnhardt handed him the Daytona 500 win. Whitcombe Racing can't run without Buddy Parrrot who left after 1990. Cope went downhill.

Little bit harsh - the Whitcomb team was chrinically underfunded and nearly went bust in the off season before Daytona. And Derrike was running an unfathomable 2nd before Dale's puncture. And he won at Dover later in the season. Certainly not the greatest, but he certainly had his day.

Andre Boillot's 'C'est Pour La France!' effort at the Targa? in 1918ish.

Tony Dean's and John Cannon's 1 Can-Am win each.

How about Jerry Grant nearly winning at Indy in 1972? Think that was the only big run he had at the front in Champcars.

#13 dmj

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 23:21

Christian Lautenschlager? Well, he was more one-in-every-decade hit wonder, I must admit...

#14 Wolf

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 23:22

Alan, I hope Doug won't mind me recycling one of his quizz photos: but re. Attwood, I wouldn't call this mediocrity (and Doug said this was no fluke, that he did this lap after lap)*:

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* maybe mediocre results, but skill and precision? Methinks not.

#15 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 23:27

If Buford were around he'd surely post about Ray Harroun...

Came out of retirement to run the first Indy 500, won and went back into a permanent retirement.

#16 fines

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 02:42

Well, ensign14 beat me to André Boillot's Targa win...

About C. Lautenschlager, he did win two out of about five or six races he ever did, so that wasn't so bad! What about Paul Koechlin, winner of the first ever real Automobile race, after which he retired? Also 'Sabipa', what did he ever win other than that 1926 Italian GP? George Souders at Indy the following year?


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Mr. Bush and cohorts have done a lot of damage to the relationship with their European friends and allies, and it will take them a lot of effort to patch that up.
Yet they haven't even stopped damaging - Does it really take that long to wake up???

#17 maxie

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 02:49

Thierry Boutsen?

Mired in the midfield for a number of years, got a couple of wins for Williams in the late 80s', then into oblivion again?

#18 Wolf

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 03:25

Originally posted by fines
What about Paul Koechlin, winner of the first ever real Automobile race, after which he retired?


You mean, beneficiary of the first ever DQ? :p I've just started learning basics (borrowed Rennwagen von 1895 bis 1965 from a friend) about pre-war racing...

#19 fines

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 03:54

No, not really: Levassor wasn't DQed, he finished second. It was a crazy rule somehow, but it stipulated that no car with less than three seats could finish first.


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Mr. Bush and cohorts have done a lot of damage to the relationship with their European friends and allies, and it will take them a lot of effort to patch that up.
Yet they haven't even stopped damaging - Does it really take that long to wake up???

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#20 Wolf

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 04:18

Thanks for clarfying it, Michael! :)

#21 Pikachu Racing

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 05:07

Jeff Ward in the IRL. He had several near win opportunities in the no. 35 car around 98, 99, and 2001. His first (and hopefully his last) with Chip Ganassi netted him an overdue win but rest of his season was completely awful. This is a Ganassi team he's driving where they are used to running near or up the front in CART and NASCAR. Here he was lagging midpack around 5th-10th.

Kenny Irwin - a winner in the SuperTrucks yet driving for Robert Yates in NASCAR, he cracked the top 10 a few times. I think he shouldn't be rushed in quick. It took Kurt Busch to become first driver who graduated from SuperTrucks to win a NASCAR race.

#22 Bladrian

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 08:44

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Was there anything ever as out of place as Jo Bonnier winning at Zandvoort?


Well, close would be 'Seppi' at Brands Hatch, '68 I suppose. He was a damn good sports car driver, but not a world beater in an F1 car - even in the best.

#23 David Beard

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 09:14

Originally posted by Bladrian


Well, close would be 'Seppi' at Brands Hatch, '68 I suppose. He was a damn good sports car driver, but not a world beater in an F1 car - even in the best.


Seppi a one hit wonder?....forgotten Austria 71?

#24 Bladrian

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 09:27

Originally posted by David Beard


Seppi a one hit wonder?....forgotten Austria 71?


Ok, ok - two swallows DOTH a summer make! :rotfl:

#25 fines

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 10:15

Originally posted by Bladrian


Ok, ok - two swallows DOTH a summer make! :rotfl:

Two? What about the 1964 and 1965 Mediterranean Grands Prix?;)


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Michael Ferner

Mr. Bush and cohorts have done a lot of damage to the relationship with their European friends and allies, and it will take them a lot of effort to patch things up.
Yet they haven't even stopped damaging - Does it really take that long to wake up???

#26 dbltop

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 10:24

How about Mark Donohue's third place at Mosport in 71? I bet that raised a few eyebrows in the paddock.

#27 Bladrian

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 10:41

Originally posted by fines

Two? What about the 1964 and 1965 Mediterranean Grands Prix?;)


As long as we're talking WC events here, I'll allow the Monaco Grands Prix - and even Jo Bonnier comes out ahead there - (another good sports car driver, but ... ) :lol:

#28 scheivlak

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 14:14

2 wins, 2 poles, four fastest laps, six times a top-3 finisher (in Monaco as well!) and five times on the front row, twenty times a points finisher, twenty times a top-6 qualifier (among them his last seven races in a row...) - the WDC results from a career with just two years as a works driver in F1.
Add to that his number of endurance wins -

Meet "One Hit Wonder" Jo Siffert .... :rolleyes:

#29 scheivlak

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 14:31

Originally posted by dbltop
How about Mark Donohue's third place at Mosport in 71? I bet that raised a few eyebrows in the paddock.


It was the time that there were very few drivers who drove F1 exclusively.
I think quite a few drivers, managers and journos had seen, met or raced him in CanAm, Endurance (the Sunoco 512!), Indy, whatever (remember the Questor GP in California early that year, where he battled F1). To them, it was just a confirmation I guess. Not what you call a one hit wonder!

#30 scheivlak

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 14:32

But how about John Love- almost winning the 1967 SA GP in 2.7 Cooper-Climax!

#31 Vitesse2

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 14:49

Originally posted by scheivlak
But how about John Love- almost winning the 1967 SA GP in 2.7 Cooper-Climax!


Err .... and about 50 South African races .....

#32 Don Capps

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 17:38

I thought Baghetti only won one F1 event - his debut event at the French GP?


Non-Championship F1 events at Syracuse and Naples - Formula 1 used to have a delightful life outside the mere World Championship series...


Well, close would be 'Seppi' at Brands Hatch, '68 I suppose. He was a damn good sports car driver, but not a world beater in an F1 car - even in the best.


Seppi a one hit wonder?....forgotten Austria 71?


Two? What about the 1964 and 1965 Mediterranean Grands Prix?;)


As long as we're talking WC events here, I'll allow the Monaco Grands Prix - and even Jo Bonnier comes out ahead there - (another good sports car driver, but ... )



2 wins, 2 poles, four fastest laps, six times a top-3 finisher (in Monaco as well!) and five times on the front row, twenty times a points finisher, twenty times a top-6 qualifier (among them his last seven races in a row...) - the WDC results from a career with just two years as a works driver in F1.
Add to that his number of endurance wins -

Meet "One Hit Wonder" Jo Siffert .... :rolleyes:


I think this might serve as an good of an example as any as to why I have come to f******g detest the current cult of the WDC and its near total subversion and altering of the past to exclude events that were outside the WDC but still GP events of some import and merit. I could go on but why simply get myself at a low hover for the sake of being at a low hover....


By the way, I simply disagree with the depiction of Seppi as just a spear-toter because he did not have a record similar to that of Clark or Stewart. In addition, I never cease to be amazed at how judgmental We are of drivers, often based solely on one aspect of their career.....

#33 Bladrian

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 18:19

:rotfl:

Wooaah, there, Colonel - put that slick into autorotate ...... sometimes the pot gets stirred just for the pleasure of stirring, you know? I was merely tugging at some handy extremities there - with a predilection for those with bells attached. :lol:


I'll go on record as saying that Seppi (and Jo Bonnier, for that matter - not to mention The Kansas City Flier and my own personal favourite, Jacky Ickx) shine brightly in the constellation of star drivers. So they didn't get the main chance at sparkling in the WDC firmament - so what? They were magic in the overall picture. Take our own Bobby Olthoff - I bet not many people here have heard of him - just a chicken farmer from South Africa - managed to drive a McLaren Formula car, coupla times.

But take a careful look at what he achieved during his entire career, and a picture emerges of a driver who really was way up there. And there's a lot of them.

And you're right, Don. The real picture regarding the world's great drivers and their history has been subverted by the media machine. I detest it, as well.

#34 William Hunt

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 19:54

Originally posted by maxie
Thierry Boutsen?

Mired in the midfield for a number of years, got a couple of wins for Williams in the late 80s', then into oblivion again?


Boutsen doesn't belong in this list, he already had numerous podium places in the Benetton and superb results in the Arrows (a 2nd place in '85), he should have stopped his career a year earlier though. He looked silly in the Jordan compared to Barrichello.

Jo Bonnier certainly doesn't belong in this list either.

#35 William Hunt

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 19:57

If one driver fits this list it would be JOHNNY SERVOZ-GAVIN (FRA). He was very talented but somehow was mentally not strong enough, and he scored a 2nd place (at Monaco I believe).

Servoz-Gavin is a driver who could have had a decent career.

#36 byrkus

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 20:42

Not exactly 'nostalgia'; but couldn't Olivier Panis fit into the list? He won -more or less luckily- Monaco GP, scored two or three lucky other podiums, but otherwise, no big results from him.

But don't get me wrong, I have big respect fpr him. All his f1 career he's driving some underdog cars (with possible exception of 1997 Prost), and in those he had quite decent results. But his win in Monaco was something, that could be considered as 'one hit wonder'.

#37 Alan Lewis

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 20:58

Originally posted by William Hunt
If one driver fits this list it would be JOHNNY SERVOZ-GAVIN (FRA). He was very talented but somehow was mentally not strong enough, and he scored a 2nd place (at Monaco I believe).

Servoz-Gavin is a driver who could have had a decent career.


Wasn't Servoz-Gavin's career also ended prematurely by an eye injury of some sort? I don't recall the full details - if I ever knew them in the first place - but I seem to remember that he kept it quiet at the time and it only came out later. I'm certainly not saying that was the only reason he never shone, but it just rang a bell when his name was mentioned.

APL

#38 scheivlak

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 21:18

Originally posted by Vitesse2

Err .... and about 50 South African races .....


Touché ! :blush:

#39 Chris Townsend

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 21:50

In defence of John Cannon and his solitary Can Am win...

You can hardly say Cannon did nothing after Laguna Seca in '68, and it was a masterpiece of driving 'nous' that got him
the win at that race.

If you wanted to win in Can Am from '67 onwards you either had a works McLaren or Roger Penske's Porsche.
Cannon won with a two year old car [McLaren M1B] because he read the weather conditions better than anyone
else and bought a set of Firestone intermediates that no one else wanted. It wasn't that everyone else fell off
[which covers Tony Dean's Can Am win] or that he had a better car [Baghetti with a V6 Ferrari against a bunch of
Climax 4s at Siracusa] or that he perhaps had a bigger engine [Scarfiotti], Cannon beat people fair and square with
an old car set up for a wet race.

He went on to be the best North American driver in FA [won championship 1970] and was the real competition to Hobbs
and Gethin when they went over. Cannon also proved to be no slouch in a season of F2 in 1971, racing on circuits he
didn't know, and it was a shame that in the mid-70s he ended up running a rather tired March in F5000. In a Lola T330
or 332 he'd have been a match for anyone. Cannon was a man who had his career constantly frustrated by a lack of
money and decent cars, and consistently ran, and won, against the odds.

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#40 ensign14

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 22:11

Yes, was not knocking John Cannon, for once the race went to the smartest. Just that he had the one opportunity in a world class field and took it.

I'll take the opportunity to add the team of Davis/Pucci, who nailed the Targa in a boycott year.

#41 dmj

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 22:42

I strongly disagree mention of Mark Donohue here. I think he was a WDC material, if he decided to push F1 career... Weren't there some races of champions in diverse disciplines in early '70s, where he used to beat likes of Fittipaldi and some more respected drivers? In 911s, IIRC...

#42 Mischa Bijenhof

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 23:01

How about George Follmer finishing third in the 1973 Spanish Grand Prix? Here's a guy who certainly had the talent to be a winner (as he proved in CanAm), but only had one season in Formula 1. Maybe he was a little rough on his machinery, but a decent car could have made him a true star in Grand Prix racing.

#43 MPea3

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 00:36

Originally posted by Ray Bell
If Buford were around he'd surely post about Ray Harroun...

Came out of retirement to run the first Indy 500, won and went back into a permanent retirement.


i'm no buford, but i can add this about harroun. his indy 500 victory wasn't even his first at indianapolis. on may 29, 1910, he won the 200 mile wheeler-schebler trophy race at IMS at an average apeed of 72.0 mph. on may 7 of that same year, he won the 200 mile race at the atlanta 2 mile autodrome at an average speed of 66.0 mph, and just a few weeks before that (april 13) won the 100 mile race at the playa del rey 1 mile motordrome in los angeles at an average apeed of 78.8 mph. apparently in addition to being a good engineer, mr harroun was a pretty decent race car driver as well.

#44 p de vos

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 07:54

Could not help but notice the number of times Monaco was mentioned in this thread. Even Phoenix once (Moreno.)

I've always held a street circuit like these to be a particularly demanding form of the art - if playing F1 computer games prove anything, it bears this out. At other virtual circuits there is time to look at the virtual pit signals, but at virtual Monaco I often find it takes so much attention to keep the car on the virtual racing line, that one tends to miss the virtual position etc. info, lap after virtual lap.

Has there been a thread about the special skills needed to be good on circuits like these, and examples of drivers shining here, more so than elsewhere? I think Servoz-Gavin is an obvious mention here, along with some others already named in this thread.

#45 dbltop

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 09:32

I totally agree that Mark Donohue was WDC material, in fact I would rate him as one of US's best ever. If he and Penske had gone to F1 fulltime sooner, together they would have won many many races. Unfortunately it was not to be :( . So I guess it is more unfinished business than one hit wonder.

#46 bill moffat

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 10:55

Originally posted by Alan Lewis


Wasn't Servoz-Gavin's career also ended prematurely by an eye injury of some sort? I don't recall the full details - if I ever knew them in the first place - but I seem to remember that he kept it quiet at the time and it only came out later. I'm certainly not saying that was the only reason he never shone, but it just rang a bell when his name was mentioned.

APL


Yes JS-G , like Helmut Marko , had an F1 career terminated through an eye injury. JS-G injured his eye during an off-roading ( ie non-F1) accident and I believe it was his self-perceived concerns regarding his eyesight that culminated in his retirement.

Georges Francis S-G (where did the "Johnny" come from ?) always seemed to be an enigmatic personality. I think he went on to have a career as a solo yachtsman ..is this right ?

#47 Ed Kooij

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 11:38

some names from recent history spring to mind:

Johnny Herbert's wins. Although not fair to judge any driver by his results while partnering MS, the wins in 1995 were lucky at best, and his win in 1998? 1999? was close to a miracle. Outpaced all season by Barrichello, but scoring Stewart's only win...

Although I love Alesi for his style and passion, I think he qualifies when it comes to winning...

did anyone already mention Martini's qualifying performance for the 1990 US GP? Drove a last year's chassis to front row, in a year when his average qualifying performance without that result was 14.something-or-other.

#48 petefenelon

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 12:13

Originally posted by bill moffat


Georges Francis S-G (where did the "Johnny" come from ?) always seemed to be an enigmatic personality. I think he went on to have a career as a solo yachtsman ..is this right ?


I believe he did, yes - and survived quite a nasty fire on his boat.

pete

#49 ensign14

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 17:39

I keep thinking of ones as I go. Earl Ross - NASCAR Rookie of the Year in c 1974, and a race winner to boot, but never got another shot at the big time.

Other one-time winners who seemed to miss out undeservedly on a better chance include Sam McQuagg and Lennie Pond.

#50 petefenelon

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 18:26

Originally posted by Ed Kooij
some names from recent history spring to mind:
did anyone already mention Martini's qualifying performance for the 1990 US GP? Drove a last year's chassis to front row, in a year when his average qualifying performance without that result was 14.something-or-other.


Ahhh, that M189 on Pirelli gumballs. A lovely little car. I'm hoping Minardi can occasionally equal that kind of performance again now -- if they can actually find any tyres to race on. :(


pete