Debate: Schumacher vs Montoya vs Villeneuve

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Three of F1’s most well-known drivers left the sport last year – Michael Schumacher, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve.

But if you could bring one of them back, which one would you pick – the multiple champion, the irrepressible firebrand or the fallen hero?

The argument for bringing Schumacher back is simple – he’s the most successful Grand Prix driver ever and in his scintillating final race at Interlagos last year he proved he had lost none of his verve.

So much of Jacques Villeneuve’s career was wasted at BAR that it’s hard to remember his golden days of 1996/7 – but I’d have that earlier Villeneuve back in a flash.

My number one choice would be Juan Pablo Montoya. He quit too soon, and I genuinely believe that future generations of F1 cars without traction control and, hopefully soon, less downforce, would reward his aggressive style. Plus, he was a sublime overtaker, and utterly unpredictable.

Which of the three would you like to see return?

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Tags: f1 / formula one / formula 1 / grand prix / motor sport

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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18 comments on “Debate: Schumacher vs Montoya vs Villeneuve”

  1. As they are, I guess I would have to go for Montoya. It is amazing how quickly F1 forgets its heroes however. Time marches on and, within a few races we have new characters coming to the fore…

  2. Same here,I would like to see JPM return as well mainly for the aggression and his moves in places one would usually think that overtaking is not possible.Oh and who can forget the team-mate wars.

  3. Montoya would be my bet. Schumi is happy retired, and Villeneuve seems to lack the fire more often. But JPM should show more fire in his drive, like he is now in NASCAR.

  4. I’ll make it unanimous, J-PM gets my vote also. Schumacher’s time had run and JV …. well, he was just a one year flash in the pan with a good contract!

  5. Always liked Montoya and his overtakes on Schumacher. I thought Villeneuve was an okay person until he slated all those drivers. Now I absolutely hate him. As for Schumacher, he will always be a legend for long, but Montoya gets my ultimate vote.

  6. That does it – let’s get up a petition!

  7. I’ll go against the grain and go for Schumacher!

    Since JPM and Villeneuve left F1, I’ve not once given them a second though, never wished they had come back – but if MS decided to come back for whatever reason then I think that would bring more pleasure and excitement to F1’s followers.

    There’s a but though, I’m enjoying the fact that at each GP so far this year we’ve not been sure of who was going to win, that could change if MS came back in a Ferrari so I think that if he comes back then he is forced to drive a Super Aguri!

  8. Definately Schumacher then JPM and not JV (never really performed in a crap car)

  9. So that’s 5 for JPM, 2 for MS, and zilch for JV. Yipes. A World Champion, zip votes. But hey, his music isn’t half bad. Hahaha!

  10. Nathan Jones
    15th May 2007, 8:29

    Schumacher, although a great driver, never had equal machinery with his teammate!
    JV lacks the true fire he had when he came to F1.
    my vote is for JPM as with no TC etc from next year, he will be the guy to watch, more so for his sliding than results, plus he is the best overtaker in F1 for some time!
    i’ll never forget watching him in Champcar coming out of a right hander turning left!

  11. I was glad to see the back of MS as he was turning people off the sport, everyone thought F1 was a boring parade of cars with MS in the lead – so don’t have him back. JV was hopeless in his time with BAT, prima donna or what! which leave JPM and he proved he is foolish by leaving F1! So the answer is none of them! LEWIS! LEWIS! LEWIS!

  12. Yes, Yes – BAT BAR Whatever! He is still a prat

  13. Instead of restricting myself to this list, I would like to bring back Senna. In the BMW to boot, that would be something.

    His untimely demise made it easy for Schumacher to dominate with virtually no competition.

  14. Hey Anish i have to admit im in agreement with you Senna was my ultimate hero but then things changed for the worse unfortunately and along came Schumi the worlds best… so i’d definately wish him back into F1, so much so that ive not even bought my F1 ticket to the British Grand prix this year.
    He’s rumoured to be going to Silverstone in June for the ferrari days ;) though xxxx

  15. I believe schumacher retired the greatest, so there’s no need for him back. Villeneuve, well, he is a fallen hero. I used to love those days when he was in a Williams, but BAR and Renault did not help him. So for that reason, it’s going to be Montoya, Michael Schumacher’s ‘Archenemy’.

  16. I think that JPM was the man. MS Is the ‘King’ if you thing about his Records, also a good option; Jacques.. hummm.. I dont think so.
    I remember the time when in the track were. Kimmi, Michael, Juan Pablo and Fernando.
    Really Cool, But Now, the F1 is in another Generation.

    So Sad. Im From Bogota (Same city than JPM), And now im boring when I look at him sometimes in NASCAR.

    Miguel Angel

  17. Montoya hands down.

  18. Isn’t it ironic to look through old articles? :)

    Something tells me that if Schumi returns, he won’t be as good, Villenueve looks like he could be a team owner instead of a driver, as for JPM? Well I never liked him much, so I don’t care, but I’d like to see him race against someone like Raikkonen in NASCAR… That’d be quite interesting

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