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Best driver to never get an F1 shot?


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#1 Tmeranda

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 18:53

I have a thread going on in the other section to see who people think is the best current open wheel driver not to have a full time F1 seat. Howeve I was thinking to also ask, "who do you think is the best driver to never get a shot at F1?"

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#2 f1steveuk

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 19:00

I could come up with a long long list, as could many others. But off the top of my head, Stephen South, Jason Watt, Archie Scott-Brown, oh I need a book.........

#3 canon1753

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 19:04

A J Foyt

Richard Petty

Don Branson

Rick Mears

#4 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 19:10

Originally posted by f1steveuk
I could come up with a long long list, as could many others. But off the top of my head, Stephen South, Jason Watt, Archie Scott-Brown, oh I need a book.........


:confused: Jason Watt? There's a substantial list of drivers just from F3000 id have put in F1 before him.

#5 D-Type

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 19:24

Archie Scott Brown drove for the Connaught works team in 1956 in non-championship races, including second place in the Daily Express International Trophy, and in the British GP . There were reportedly problems when they tried to enter him at Monza despite a very fast practice lap.

I don't think we should include A J Foyt and other US drivers who chose not to try a F1 car.

#6 Twin Window

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 19:28

I would love to have seen Simon Hadfield in a pukka F1 car. When I say that, I mean one from the 1970s - but sadly, he was simply born too late...

#7 f1steveuk

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 19:31

I was sort of going by a test or non championship didn't count!

I used to cover F3000 in Jason's era, and he was head and shoulders above his rivals, including 'quick Nick Heidfeld'. Gonzales Rodriguez was another who was better than given credit for.

#8 Disco Stu

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 19:41

Ask this question again in 10 years and Sebastien Bourdais may well head the list.

#9 David Beard

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 19:42

Originally posted by Twin Window
I would love to have seen Simon Hadfield in a pukka F1 car. When I say that, I mean one from the 1970s - but sadly, he was simply born too late...


The man can drive...what he does in a 70s F5000, and at the same time in an FF against the likes of Edwin Jowsey, proves the point. Or a Lotus 30. Or a Cobra. etc. etc. And he's a very pleasant anorak, bursting with enthusiasm for the history ....and can work a spanner. Pretty impressive all round, in my book.

#10 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 19:43

Originally posted by f1steveuk
and he was head and shoulders above his rivals, including 'quick Nick Heidfeld'.


When? For all his rating, he never really had anything that made you say "wow, look at that result"

#11 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 19:46

F1 have been around for too long to make a list I think. And there will likely not be any driver standing out as "The" one who missed.

Personally I do not know enough about drivers outside F1 in the 1950ies and 1960ies to have any idea, and I think that all who had what it took in the 1970ies did get the chance.

However with that statement I also completely ignore all the US drivers.

Were I personally to pick one driver, whom I really think could have been a good, and more than adequate F1 driver i would say:

Tom Kristensen

:cool:

#12 Vicuna

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 19:54

Originally posted by David Beard


The man can drive...what he does in a 70s F5000, and at the same time in an FF against the likes of Edwin Jowsey, proves the point. Or a Lotus 30. Or a Cobra. etc. etc. And he's a very pleasant anorak, bursting with enthusiasm for the history ....and can work a spanner. Pretty impressive all round, in my book.


And a pretty wife

#13 ensign14

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 20:00

I take it we're excluding all those American drivers like Foyt and Al Sr who were never really interested?

Jorg Muller always looked promising. And Andy Wallace should have had a shot, but practically every British F3 champ who was from the British Isles in the eighties and nineties probably deserved a shot and never got one (Burt was as fast as Coulthard in FFord, Jonny Kane, Hynes who beat Button...).

Then there's Eje Elgh and Maurizio Flammini. Given that every man and his dog from late 70s F2 seemed to have at least a one-off drive, whose girlfriend did they run over? Flammini I understand was a bit wild, but surely he was more worthy of an F1 go than many who did - Binder, Rebaque, Zunino, Bleekemolen, Heyer, Andersson, Kessel, Perkins...

And how good was Jean-Pierre Jaussaud? Renault must have thought highly of him as they teamed him with Pironi au Mans, so not a total no-hoper, but again when the likes of Mazet and Dolhem got F1 drives and did nothing with them how come he never even had a sniff?

#14 Mox

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 20:01

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld


When? For all his rating, he never really had anything that made you say "wow, look at that result"


If you saw his win at Spa in 99, you might have said "wow" a few times.

Jason was getting better and better, and was denied his chance by fate, not by bad decisions, and definately not from lack of skill.

#15 Vicuna

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 20:14

NZ has some contenders - in no special order:

Jimmy Palmer
Johnny Mansel
Ross Jensen
Syd Jensen
Rollo Levis
Graeme Lawrence
Kenny Smith
Bryan Falloon
David Oxton
Steve Millen
Brett Riley
Dave McMillan
Bert Hawthorne
Greg Murphy
Craig Baird
George Lawton

Most, if not all, of the above actually proved themselves against current - rather than future - F1 drivers.

I've excluded Graham MacRae as he got 200 metres.

I always wanted Paul Radisich to be quicker but I think being a top tin-topper was his level. Nevertheless, he wouldn't have disgraced a F1 grid.

#16 Tmeranda

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 20:23

Originally posted by ensign14
I take it we're excluding all those American drivers like Foyt and Al Sr who were never really interested?
?


I asked Al. Sr. about this once, and he said he would have loved to give F1 a try, but he couldn't take the"pay cut." In those days Indy cars paid more, at least at his level, then did F1!

#17 Vicuna

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 20:31

We await a post from across the Tasman telling us of the deeds of Matich F and Allen N

#18 MCS

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 21:07

From Formula Two:

Tetsu Ikuzawa
Xavier Perrot
Brian Hart !

#19 Keir

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 21:23

Rick Mears had a Brabham test drive and declined the drive.

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#20 David M. Kane

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 21:53

So did Paul Tracey...

#21 Collombin

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 22:02

Originally posted by D-Type
I don't think we should include A J Foyt and other US drivers who chose not to try a F1 car.


Quite right. It reminds me of a pub discussion I had once about the greatest footballer never to win a full cap for England. The general consensus was Jimmy Greenhoff but I went for Pele.

Gerry Birrell is worth a mention I think, his time would have come.

#22 scheivlak

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 22:22

Tazio Nuvolari :kiss:


Apart from some usual American suspects, how about Ken Miles?

#23 scheivlak

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 22:30

Originally posted by f1steveuk

I used to cover F3000 in Jason's era, and he was head and shoulders above his rivals, including 'quick Nick Heidfeld'.

Head and shoulders? He was fast, but c'mon. I remember some brain fade moments as well.

#24 stevewf1

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 23:18

Originally posted by Keir
Rick Mears had a Brabham test drive and declined the drive.


Nigel Roebuck had a column about that. Do a search of Roebuck's archives. Mr. Mears was very impressive.

#25 Andretti Fan

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 23:41

Greg Moore.

#26 Michael Clark

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 00:40

Nuvolari - love it :up:

Greg Moore is a good one.

Regarding the Kiwi list and extending that to Australasians, I would have to say that Frank Matich has the best credentials when his performances are related to internationals here for the Tasman Series.

I make that comment more on what I've read of his time with Total Brabham rather than what I saw in F5000 by which time the international quality was much different.

#27 MichaelP

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 03:41

Originally posted by Keir
Rick Mears had a Brabham test drive and declined the drive.

He declined because Bernie wanted him to pay to race.

#28 Hieronymus

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 06:10

Originally posted by ensign14

And how good was Jean-Pierre Jaussaud? Renault must have thought highly of him as they teamed him with Pironi au Mans, so not a total no-hoper, but again when the likes of Mazet and Dolhem got F1 drives and did nothing with them how come he never even had a sniff?


Jaussaud surely is a driver that deserved a F1 drive. He was very good in F3 and F2...basically a winner in any form of racing. His racing CV is much more impressive that many other full-time F1 drivers from his era.

#29 mctshirt

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 06:25

Originally posted by Vicuna
NZ has some contenders - in no special order:

Jimmy Palmer
Johnny Mansel
Ross Jensen
Syd Jensen
Rollo Levis
Graeme Lawrence
Kenny Smith
Bryan Falloon
David Oxton
Steve Millen
Brett Riley
Dave McMillan
Bert Hawthorne
Greg Murphy
Craig Baird
George Lawton


You didn't include Ron Roycroft...I would have thought he might rate a mention from what I have read...am I wrong? I believe Roycroft fell in to the group of Australians and New Zealanders who chose family over chasing the dream in far off lands. How good was Bryan Faloon as he seems very highly regarded at the time and certainly rated better before his tragic end than his results perhaps suggest?

#30 ensign14

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 07:18

We seem to be falling into the trap of "naming any good driver who did not make F1"...so which one is the best? At least of those who would have considered F1 as the ultimate goal?

#31 petefenelon

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 07:57

In recent years, Bourdais stands out. OK, ChampCar isn't at the top of its game right now but he's convincingly beating Tracy who's been the benchmark there for a long time. I've long been a fan of Andy Priaulx, right back to his hillclimbing days, and think had he been 'caught' early enough he could've been a very useful F1 driver.

I can't say Wirdheim or Jörg Müller ever seemed to be touched by greatness.

Agree with the general approval of Birrell, Jaussaud.

Thinking F5000, Tony Dean might's been useful (although I'm not sure he didn't do some non-championship races?).

It remains, though, a great pity that F1 cockpits were never a comfy fit for Gerald Dallas Royston Marshall, doesn't it?

#32 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 08:03

Originally posted by ensign14
We seem to be falling into the trap of "naming any good driver who did not make F1"...so which one is the best? At least of those who would have considered F1 as the ultimate goal?



I've always said, in the last 20 yrs, either John Nielsen or Tom Kristensen , the latter especially.



I can trot off a whole load of names like some have done here, if that's really the point of this thread, but it isn't.

#33 ian senior

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 08:09

Originally posted by petefenelon

Thinking F5000, Tony Dean might's been useful (although I'm not sure he didn't do some non-championship races?).

It remains, though, a great pity that F1 cockpits were never a comfy fit for Gerald Dallas Royston Marshall, doesn't it?


Yep, Dean did a bit of non-championship stuff, usually in something fairly useless. Given that he could drive most things with some competence, he could probably have made a good showing in a decent F1 car (and bringing some tobacco sponsorship with him.....).

Gerry in F1 - now wouldn't that have been marvellous?


Another name to think about - Richard Morgan.

#34 Vicuna

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 09:05

Originally posted by mctshirt


You didn't include Ron Roycroft...I would have thought he might rate a mention from what I have read...am I wrong? I believe Roycroft fell in to the group of Australians and New Zealanders who chose family over chasing the dream in far off lands. How good was Bryan Faloon as he seems very highly regarded at the time and certainly rated better before his tragic end than his results perhaps suggest?


Good point. I wasn't intending to capture every Kiwi - and given I've just read the bookI should have had him in my mind.

Bryan Faloon? Very good but always in crap cars so a bit hard to judge.

I say as good as Oxton who I rated.

#35 subh

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 09:16

I can’t see a reason to argue with those who suggested Rick Mears or Greg Moore, but it would also have been interesting to see how Anthony Reid would have fared in an F1 car.

#36 petefenelon

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 09:18

Originally posted by ian senior

Gerry in F1 - now wouldn't that have been marvellous?


Not sure it would've worked for the big guy in single-seaters, but Gerry in Can-Am would've been a bit awesome wouldn't it?;)

#37 petefenelon

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 09:22

Originally posted by subh
I can’t see a reason to argue with those who suggested Rick Mears or Greg Moore, but it would also have been interesting to see how Anthony Reid would have fared in an F1 car.


Interesting, Reid's always struck me as a very "technical" sort of driver who understands a lot about what the car's doing and why - I think would've been just right for 90s F1. Reid/Wallace would've been a heck of a lineup. And if we're thinking about quick sports car guys of that sort of vintage, James Weaver was pretty quick in F3 before he went and raced proper cars.;)

I shall put in a word for Rad Dougall here, because he was gobsmackingly quick in the first few F2 races of '79.

#38 Hieronymus

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 09:28

Originally posted by petefenelon

I shall put in a word for Rad Dougall here, because he was gobsmackingly quick in the first few F2 races of '79.


Rad was OK, but if I look at it from a patriotic point of view, I would like to think that Mike White also would have done well in F1. He blew away a world champion or three in his F3 days in the UK.

#39 subh

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 10:06

Having mentioned Reid, another thought is Laurent Aïello.

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#40 petefenelon

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 11:23

Originally posted by subh
Having mentioned Reid, another thought is Laurent Aïello.


Yvan Muller, too - very good in British F2 (although that makes him a bit of a big fish in a small pond, it did show that he could throw big single seaters around with aplomb). I think Yvan could've been a Jean Alesi sort of figure.;)

Mining that same British F3000/F2 seam:

Andrew Gilbert-Scott - did well enough in Japan to make me think he had what it took, but clearly lacked money and went into driver management!
Paolo Carcasci - seemed to be one of those "quick but sensible" drivers who was never going to set the world on fire but had talent and backing...
Paul Warwick - really was a bit special, his attitude and car control were out of the ordinary.
Peter Kox - a good sensible driver, didn't he get some testing miles (Jordan?)
Hilton Cowie (it's that man again!) - always thought he was quick enough to be worth it...
Gareth Rees - another guy who was around at the wrong time.

Of the International F3000 crowd....

Michel Ferté - much better than his brother in single seaters...
Marc Goossens - A good development driver, certainly better than a lot of people who got race seats with pots of money...
Thierry Tassin - always seemed to be 'there or thereabouts' in F2 and early F3000...
Ross Cheever - maybe better than Eddie? -- went off to be the big fish for Reynard in the small Japanese pond, so hard to judge his ultimate level.
Jordi Gené - I thought he was very good, would've been lead driver for the Bravo project IIRC?
Gil de Ferran - really should have been in F1 from the mid 90s, he was very fast, polished and intelligent behind the wheel.
Ollie Gavin - came close with Pacific, but enjoying himself with Corvettes these days. Spectacular when he's "on it".
Kenny Bräck - like de Ferran, went to the States when F1 didn't happen for him.

#41 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 12:42

Originally posted by David Beard
So why do we consistently talk so much more about the drivers, even the eighty percenters, than we do about the machines and the people who designed them?


Maybe it's because, without a driver, a machine is just that. A machine. A worthless piece of junk. No different to, say, a fridge freezer, or a TV. Just a car. I could design the best looking & greatest race car in the world, but without someone to drive it, my chances of doing well/being remembered/etc. are f***ed.



Besides, at the moment, there are precious few quality threads on drivers on here. It seems more machine based recently. :yawn:

#42 Vitesse2

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 13:46

Originally posted by Vicuna
We await a post from across the Tasman telling us of the deeds of Matich F and Allen N

Where is Ray, anyway? He hasn't posted for nearly 3 weeks and his post count is stuck on 29999!

#43 SEdward

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 14:26

Stephen South did get an F1 shot with Mclaren at Long Beach. He DNQ'd, lost the drive with Toleman since he had reneged on his agreement with them to drive for Mclaren and his career when down the dustpipe.

What a waste!

Back to the title of the thread, I think that there are dozens or even hundreds of meritorious candidates who never got a chance to drive in F1, from all over the world and in any era.

My list would have a definite 1970s slant:
Gianfranco Brancatelli
Maurizio Flammini
Eje Elgh
Richard Morgan
Michel Leclerc
Denis Dayan
Sebastien Bourdais
Tiff Needell
and many more...

Edward

#44 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 14:40

Originally posted by SEdward
Back to the title of the thread, I think that there are dozens or even hundreds of meritorious candidates who never got a chance to drive in F1.

My list would have a definite 1970s slant:
Gianfranco Brancatelli
Michel Leclerc
Tiff Needell



:confused: :confused: :confused:
All of them did have F1 chances. Two started, the other was a non-qualifier. Arguably, not as much chance as they should've done, but all were there nonetheless.

#45 Tmeranda

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 14:59

anyone mention Archie Scott-Brown?

#46 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 15:04

Has anyone flat out turned down F1, not beacuse of ride, not because of money, just didnt feel bothered?

AJ Allmendinger in CART/ChampCar/Whatever has always said he has no interest in F1, but then again there's little interest from F1 in him.

#47 Jerry Lee

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 15:17

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
Has anyone flat out turned down F1, not beacuse of ride, not because of money, just didnt feel bothered?

AJ Allmendinger in CART/ChampCar/Whatever has always said he has no interest in F1, but then again there's little interest from F1 in him.


I can't remember for sure, but didn't Bobby Unser say he had no interest in F1?

#48 Ruairidh

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 15:17

Originally posted by Richie Jenkins



All of them did have F1 chances. Two started, the other was a non-qualifier. Arguably, not as much chance as they should've done, but all were there nonetheless.


And so far it does seem that this is true for the European brigade. It could be there is a different story regarding the Americans and Antipodean folks.

And I have to say that, apart from the likes of Archie Scott-Brown or where the driver died too early e.g. Gerry Birrell, I'm not sure any of the named Euro drivers struck me at the time as being top drawer.....

Maybe the European driver market has been pretty efficient over the years?

#49 MCS

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 15:28

Originally posted by SEdward

Denis Dayan

and many more...

Edward


What about Jean-Luc Saloman, then?

And, in any case, hadn't he signed a contract with Lotus before his untimely death?

#50 f1steveuk

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 15:30

Originally posted by scheivlak

Head and shoulders? He was fast, but c'mon. I remember some brain fade moments as well.


Don't they all!!! I grant you, from stat sheets, and the TV coverage, I see where your coming from, but standin by the side of the track and watching a listening, Jason "had it". I was present the first time Alonso drove an F1, it was the same feeling watching him then, and previously in F3000, where you could say his results weren't "stellar". My other F3000 choice, Gonzalez Rodriguez, didn't look much result wise, nor to watch on the box, doesn't mean I don't think he should have had an F1 shot, I just don't think the paddock could have coped with him!!!