F1 has “best field ever” – Stewart

F1 Fanatic round-up

Posted on

| Written by

Jackie Stewart praises the current field of drivers as the best ever in F1.


Stewart: Current F1 field is best ever (Autosport)

“I don’t think Sebastian Vettel is any different from what Jim Clark was, or Graham Hill was, or Jack Brabham was, or people who have won the world championship more than once.”

Similar to what he told F1 Fanatic earlier this year: "Drivers of today are best since my day"

Comment of the day

Daniel asks an interesting question about how we should view Jean Todt’s work as FIA president:

How much influence does the FIA President have on the rules proposed? Maybe we are all influenced by the way Mosely ran things, but the President shouldn’t be heavily involved in that stuff surely? The President’s job should be to facilitate rule changes not to decide which ones to make.
Jean Todt

From the forum

With no place left for him at Virgin, where now for Lucas di Grassi?

Happy birthday!

All the best to JSC whose birthday is today!

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

67 comments on “F1 has “best field ever” – Stewart”

  1. Keith I asked yesterday with no reply. Will you please make it available for mobile users to opt out of the text only mobile version of the website? I hope I can get an answer today.

    1. Keith has mentioned in previous roundups that he would be reworking the mobile site in the off season. An option to view the full site and proper ordering of comments were two of the main features that people asked for in the forum thread on this topic: https://www.racefans.net/forum/topic.php?id=790

      There used to be an option to view the full site, but I doubt Keith will be adding that back in until he does a full overhaul of the mobile site, which hopefully will be soon!

    2. Yep the option to view the full site on mobile devices is part of the planned next version of the mobile site.

      1. On the archive link on the home page it says ‘go in back time.’

        1. I pointed that out abour 3 weeks ago.

          1. yeah I’ve done the same about 3 times since the site changed to its current format.

  2. See Sir Jackie Stewart is always giving Alonso praise and he is a 3 times world champion. So people quit the alonso bashing.

    1. Agreed, sort of. Alonso is one of the most revered drivers out there, and so he should be, nobody can question either of his 2 titles. Hamilton did surprise him, and a lot of people in 2007, but I think Alonso became a better driver as a result. There is no such thing as a perfect driver, and like everyone else, he is flawed. If he doesn’t get his way, he’ll throw his toys out of his pram and move to a different team, and expect to be the number one driver, if he acheives that status, fine. If not, then he’s not happy, and it reflects in his performances. Alonso is perhaps the most consistent driver in the field today. And that’s coming from a Hamilton/McLaren fan.

      1. I like Lewis Hamilton a lot I like Alonso as well but at the end of the day i’m a Mark Webber Fan.

    2. I certainly don’t bash Alonso because I think he’s a poor driver. He’s definitely top three and could well be the best. I bash him because I think he’s a detestable human being.

      1. Exactly my opinion as well. Except I think he’s top 2.

      2. I’ve heard of a few stories on what kind of person fernando alonso is. I once had a F1 conversation in a bank with a man who said he actually had a normal sit down chat with Alonso around his first Renault era. He said that he was a shy but funny sort of person and was quite laid back with his responses. Yet my brothering-laws father said Alonso was a very arrogant person to talk to when around the Monacco grand prix, refusing people to come within 2 meters of him just to say hi or get a autograph from him.

        I say meet the guy first before you make judgement, not just by watching the TV. We all know TV and journalists can and will spin anything to get more money.

        1. So I should only ever make judgements of people I’ve met personally? I’ve also never met Senna, Prost, Fangio, Lewis Hamilton, George W. Bush, Picasso, The Beatles, Leonardo Da Vinci, Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Adolf Hitler, Churchill, Mao, Pol Pot, Fred West, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela or that guy who stood in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square. But I have an opinion about all those people and I’m willing to bet that you do too.

      3. please enlighten me why alonso is a detastable human being compare to vettel , hamilton , webber or any other. do you know him personally? has he ever offended you directly? or any other reasons I would appreciate it so I can start bashing him too

  3. I was hoping you might have included this in today’s round-up, Keith:


    It’s the proposal for the Ukrainian Grand Prix. I posted it a few hours ago in yesterday’s round-up and it got a little coverage because it actually looks pretty good. It’s a Tilke circuit, but it’s a lot closer to Austin than Abu Dhabi. It’s also clearly shaped on the land he’s been given to work with, but it’s definitely in keeping with his ethos of more “on the edge” circuits. It looks like it’s going to be very fast – the Ukraine might be a bit of a random place to hold a Grand Prix, but some of these corners look absolutely fantastic.

    1. Austin was exactly what popped into my mind when I saw it. Long straights, a few twisty sections, etc. Looks interesting on paper.

      1. The funny thing is that I’ve seen people gush over it until they learn it’s a Tilke design, by which point they condemn it. I really like the first sector in particular; that third corner looks like an absolute monster. The back section looks like a combination of Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel and the Variante Ascari, which would aso be very good.

        1. The formula for a good track seems to be 1 shanghai standard back straight, one becketts-maggots combination, as close a Eau Rougue as can be obtained and an istubul turn 8. But then if it does the job then no one will complain if it is Tilke or not. Although the track does look promising.

        2. But we’ve still got the standard Tilke error of a tight hairpin leading onto the long (passing) straight into another tight hairpin. No overtaking there, then.

          1. The reason why it doesn’t work in Abu Dhabi is that there’s a hairpin left onto a long back straight, then another hairpin left and a sharp right-hander. That sharp right-hander means that the entire complex automatically favours the defending driver rather than the attacker. Slow corners followed by long straights and more slow corners can work – just look at Sepang.

        3. turn 1 looks very abu dhabi-ish.
          plus the last 3 or so corners look real awesome

    2. Some definately reminded me of Silverstone ones – namely the twisty Beckets secion and a section very much like Club. Which I guess is a good thing? :D

    3. Thank you, it was bugging me which track it reminded me of. and it does look pretty decent.

      I hope it’s meant to be run anti-clockwise. A “pure” hairpin for a first corner would be great, and it looks like it could provide a great first lap. The Esses section looks very well done too.

      1. Who knows, maybe Tilke has had a great idea for how to make good tracks and this makes them very different from his previous layouts?

    4. Well, it looks OK, but I’ve had quite enough of Tilkedrome after Tilkedrome popping up on the calendar.

      One or two is great, four or five is about acceptable, but when there are more Tilke designed circuits on the calendar than any other then it will be a disaster. And that point will be coming very soon…

      1. Yep. There shouldn’t be more than 4 to 5 dull races a year.. oops… I meant there shouldn’t be more than 4 to 5 tilkedromes a year.

      2. And that is coming from the guy who promoted a lot of interesting Tilke corners ;-)

        By the way, that article still makes a great read, so thanks again Ned!
        And to Keith for reminding the wonderfull guest articles again at this stage of the winter.

    5. That looks pretty interesting. But I really cannot imagine Ukraine pulling off a GP of its own.
      Russia is to close, and it has a lot more money available to it, as well as an olympic site asking for a long term use.
      Not to mention, that Ukraine is pretty much busy not to make a fool of itself with unfinished construction of both Stadiums and roads for the next European football championship it should host together with Poland very soon.

  4. Keith, any news on the Forum getting stuck in infinite loop upon loading?

    1. Is that still happening for you?

      1. Happens every now and then for me too. But much better then before lol. Now it’s at least tolerable haha

      2. Sometimes threads won’t open. If I see they aren’t, I refresh the page rapidly until it works, about 5 times. I noticed that using Internet Explorer 9 Beta it doesn’t happen (I’m using Google Chrome).

        1. I sometimes have the same problem, once every few days, and then no thread I try and open will load. Often refreshing helps, but not always. Sometimes it takes hours before I can look at the thread I want to.

          I’m using Chrome as well.

          1. Yep. Definitely has something to do with google chrome. It happens pretty often to me as well..

        2. Sounds like it might be a problem with a particular ad in a particular browser.

          If possible please leave details here including which ads you can see on the page which will allow us to check if there’s a problem with them:

          Forum technical problems

      3. Happens to me occasionally. Always seems to be in the middle of the night. It seems to be the ads trying to load. Is there anyway to put a timeout on the ads so they stop trying to load after a certain time?

      4. Yeah, it’s still happening almost every time I try to load the forum. Sometimes it takes two tries, sometimes three. Once in a while it loads on the first try.

  5. I agree with Jackie, the only thing that is missing from the grid have to be Kimi but other then that we have all. They just need to improve the quality of the race (more overtaking) & for a miracle need to have a trouble (controversy) free season.

  6. If Kimi were still in F1, the 2011 grid would have every championship winner since the year 2000. Of course, 99’s winner Hakkinen wouldn’t return, but if DC had hung around a few more years the grid would be even more impressive.

    1. Impressive for their age!

      I think DC left when his time had come. And I look forward to seeing some nice rally driving from Kimi in the years to come. Wouldn’t it be great if he could become the first guy to win bot the F1 and the WRC championship in a year or 2!

  7. Tilke is frowned upon due to the recent tracks he has worked on providing little overtaking opportunities. This seems to be on the mend though, that could be due to public backlash and re-thinking or maybe it’s because he has fresh layouts to work with and no restrictions. In regards to all these champions being on the grid, it’s great for F1, but what does the future hold? If the ban on testing continues, money replaces talent, Nico Hulkenberg and Frank Williams could confirm that.

    1. In regards to all these champions being on the grid, it’s great for F1, but what does the future hold?

      More of the same (unless they get bored) as they are young.

  8. The President’s job should be to facilitate rule changes not to decide which ones to make.

    While that may be true, the team orders ban was as good as gone when Todt gave that interview just a short while back about not being against orders, just against lying about them, and how Austria 2002 was all Barrichello’s fault for not having moved over quickly enough.

    Keith, might I suggest an article on the FIA council members and what their qualifications are? Todt may well not be the Mosley puppet many of us (including me) thought he would be, but the way in which his campaign was run and how he was elected makes it pretty clear that the FIA council is more political than sporting and I’m pretty sure that its membership reflects that. I think that Todt has free reign to bring in the changes he wants.

    1. I agree that it maybe should be the case a president doesn’t decide on the rules, and even that Todt seemed to take steps to distance himself from direct involvement/meddling with F1. I also agree that the way Mosley ran the FIA that clearly wasn’t the case, and that Todt showed that it still isn’t the case when he talked about the team orders and indeed about Barrichello, letting old sour grapes from a previous career influence what the FIA said about F1.

      Keith, that would be a very interesting article to read if you manage to get enough information for it. I wonder how difficult it would be though to get people to be open about FIA …

      1. I think it would be pretty hard to find any real qualification between the WMSC members.

        There is the arabian ex rallye driver, but apart from that it is more a position of buying the right suppport to get to be head of the local organisation.

  9. Personally I always vote on the actual question: do I approve of the way Todt is handling his job? And I still disapproved. Todt should be standing up for purer racing, helping the small teams and ensuring F1 is as fair and sporting as possible. Not only has he not spoken out against the changes, he’s been an ardent supporter of at least one. That’s a pretty bad way to act as President, I think, people keep saying he’s better than Mosley, well actively overseeing F1 turn into something he wants to be was exactly Mosley’s style. And Todt has yet to anything as good for F1 and motoring as Mosley’s safety campaign.

  10. but the President shouldn’t be heavily involved in that stuff surely?

    If you look at the FIA as a normal company, the president indeed shouldn’t be heavily involved. However, as I’ve commented at the approval poll, he should be involved, when things go wrong. Then a president (CEO) should step in and say: ‘Hey I think the people stewarding need some reminder as to what is actually in the rules and how to police them’ – to name just one example.

    Furthermore, I think a FIA president is more like the president of a country: a political figure, who must indeed be heavily involved with important things like rulechanges (laws). Not with all the details, but just like a ‘normal’president.

    1. Good to see I’ve sparked some debate. I agree with you basic stance here. The president should have some sway with the overall direction. I just felt like the way the opinion poll was set up out we were voting on whether we liked the 107% rule or not, etc.

      I feel like the President should mostly be in the background, but then step in and say, ‘hold on this is elite motorsport, your rear-wing rule is not in keeping with that.’ In other words, yeah, he’s only going to step in on the big issues, the details and smaller changes are going to be left up to the committees within each motor racing class.

      First COTD btw, woo!

      I feel like I should have looked here before continuing the line of questioning on the other thread. (doh)

  11. Anyone else seen the Team Lotus livery competition winner’s entry?


    1. It’s been known for a while now. But they’re not using it – they’re sticking with the green, white and yellow.

      1. I know they aren’t using it.

        Weird, I haven’t seen this on any of the F1 news site I visit, including here…

        1. It was on Autosport a while ago.

          1. Well, apologises for posting it then?

        2. I posted the winners design link last week, and it was some guy from this website that designed it – bet he’s ‘rather annoyed’ that it won’t be raced however!!

          1. I would think Bahar and Lopez should be annoyed, as they will not be able to race a livery as beautifull as that :-D

    2. now i understand why tony is so adamant about the team lotus thing, it helps him to get better deal from sponsors…

  12. There are reports coming out of Spain that Santander has bought a 40% stake in Hispania and will tough it out for a season before getting Ferrari engines in 2012.

    These claims are intentionally false. Today is December 28th, or the Feast of the Holy Innocents in Spain and Latin America. It’s a festival that is celebrated not unlike April Fool’s Day. I’d never heard of it until this time last year when a whole heap of Spanish newspapers reported something massive about Alonso and Ferrari (I can’t remember what, exactly). A lot of people believed it because they hadn’t had massive exposure to the holiday.

    The story behind it dates back to biblical times. King Herod knew that a child would be born in his kingdom who would one day rise up to become King of the Jews. Once he had confirmation that the child – Jesus – was born (I think the three wise men told him on their way back home), he issued an order that said all of the newly-born children within his realm were to be killed. They were completely innocent; Herod feared ony one of them, but had all of them killed to preserve his power. Grisly stuff, but the idea is that on December 28 (a few days after Christmas – accepted as the date Jesus Christ was born – and thus coinciding with herod’s decree) people take advantage of the innocence of the others by playing pranks on them to show them how innocent they really are. The problem is that it’s not widely-celebrated outside Spain and Latin America, so a lot of other-language sources picked up last year’s story and ran it because every major Spanish tabloid ran it (it would appear they conspired together). I just thought I might give everyone a heads-up.

    1. It’s confirmed by the website that it is a hoax.


    2. I think last years hoax was Nelson Piquet getting a drive (not sure with which team).

      1. Probably USF1, in which case they may really have been desperate enough to employ him if they didn’t run out of cash :P

        1. I think it was with Campos GP, as they were in as deep trouble as USF1 at this stage in the year.

    3. We don’t actually celebrate that day here in Belgium, but in my region it’s called “crazy children’s day”. I didn’t actually know it was a big thing in Spain and Latin America, I always thought my parents made it up when I was little :D

  13. Wow. News has gotten so slow journos are now reporting on other Journos opinions.


    Dammit Keith, Write something! make it up if you have to!
    Others do it!!

  14. only a thought to Jackies view, I fully respect his opinion, but I have to say it’s a bit strange to state what he did, as there hasn’t been so many paydrivers on the grid for years, but maybe for one and a half decade. the top drivers of course are classic as in each era, but I’m personally not over the moon about the rest.
    considering Jackies era, the sport was relatively cheaper, and enthusiastic folks could buy themselves into a team much easier than today, so I can understand his point of view.
    but, without mentioning names, I was very upset this year, that deep pockets forced talent and experience on the sidelines, and this is the most tremendous impact of this kind I’ve ever seen in F1…

  15. Stewart is right in the sense that we are lucky to be in a “Golden era” of f1 champions and even more so that all the world champions except schumi are under the age of 31. That means we could see Rosberg, Webber, Kubica Hulkenberg in 2-5 years win a world title each and give us 6-8 different world champions on the field and still get another 10 years out of them.

    It would be nice though to have Kimi back, sadly I don’t think he wants the stress from the media ever again.

    1. I really doubt most of the current drivers will have the staying power of Schumi or Barrichello. Don’t forget that 2011 will be Button’s 12th season, Alonso and Webber’s 10th full season. It’s more likely to expect another 10 years from Rosberg, Vettel, Hamilton and Kubica.

      But I’m quite happy that the current grid is as closely matched as it is. This is certainly a new Golden Era.

      1. meh true about the amount of seasons, but we can only watch lol.

Comments are closed.