Worst driver ever to win a championship?
- 24th July 2012, 15:29 at 3:29 pm #135238Delta Golf SierraParticipant
There’s a big difference between asking “Who is the least deserving champion?” and “Who is the worst driver to have won a championship?”.
The former only considers one season, and factors in luck, team strength, etc. The latter, which is the question of this thread, has to account for the driver’s entire career and his overall driving ability. So it’s difficult to judge any current drivers as they still have many years left to prove their ability. Senna may not have deserved to win in 1988, but he’s clearly nowhere close to being the worst driver to win a championship when you consider his overall body of work. It seems a bit presumptuous to say Button is the worst champion when he still has many years of driving left.
I think that title clearly belongs to Jacques Villeneuve. He never won a race after his championship, with only 4 podiums the rest of his career.24th July 2012, 16:23 at 4:23 pm #135239TayyibParticipant
Out of all the ones i have seen race live not just on classic gp’s it woyld be jenson button, but i have seen live mika hakinnen, vettel, lewis, micheal shcumacher and alonso. But i also think it is Jacques Villeneuve he probably dont hold a candle to his dad who would have won a world championship, if you go down the decades and look so in the 80’s there was Rosberg, Piquet, SENNA, And prost and in the 90’s there was schumi, mika, senna, prost, hill, mansell, and jackques he does stick out in my mind as the weakest of the last three decades.24th July 2012, 17:37 at 5:37 pm #135240Daniel BrownMember
The statistics speak for themselves. Vettel has never won, ever, without being on the front row and when he started second and went on to win, most of the time (i think the actual figure is around 70%) he moved from second to first because of driver or team error, or car failure, of the driver ahead. Only around 30% of those times did Vettel start second and pass for the lead. To say that Vettel is strong from whatever position he starts in is a fallacy. This season, including on Sunday in Hockenheim, he faltered because he had to race other drivers and did not start in clean air. He struggles with the pressure of racing with others; Canada 2011 he made a huge error under extreme pressure from Button and spun on the last lap; on Sunday he didn’t make a mistake but let his frustration at being outraced by Button get the better pf him. There are hard facts to prove that it is Red Bull’s off throttle blowing, giving him the fastest car by over 1s a lot of the time, gifting him almost certain pole positions at nearly every race. From pole, not having to race anybody in front of him, he was fine.
If the 2011 Red Bull had not quite been the fastest car, the outcome would probably have been much different. Adrian Newey gave him the car, the Red Bull pit wall gave him the strategy, all he had to do was drive. Vettel’s racecraft is I feel the weakest among the top 4-5 drivers in F1 at the moment, and in 2011 he was nearly always in clean air with a large time cushion, so he never needed to use his racecraft, making him seem much better than he actually is.
Alonso’s misfortune was Ferrari’s litany of mistakes throughout the season culminating with him being stuck behind Petrov in Abu Dhabi. If Petrov had not been in the way, he may have been able to make progress. In the last half of 2010 Alonso outclassed Vettel comprehensively. He fought like a lion to claw back an advantage to take into the final race, where he only had to finish low in the points to win. But more Ferrari errors meant he was stuck behind a slower car being driven by a driver who had no reason to hold back a championship contender for the entire race. Let’s just say that my thoughts and opinions about Petrov would get me kicked off this site, so I will not say. Put understated terms, I really do not like him at all. If it had not been for Petrov holding him up, Alonso could well be champion, and Vettel would have remained a nobody until 2011.24th July 2012, 18:52 at 6:52 pm #135241David-AParticipant
The statistics speak for themselves. Vettel has never won, ever, without being on the front row and when he started second and went on to win, most of the time (i think the actual figure is around 70%) he moved from second to first because of driver or team error, or car failure, of the driver ahead.
The statistics also speak for themselves when you consider that Vettel puts himself on pole position more often than other drivers. Only 4 drivers have started on pole a higher proportion of the time (Fangio, Ascari, Senna and Clark). And not many start from the front row as often. Beating the others on a Saturday afternoon automatically means you have less chances to win from behind. In fact, Senna never won from lower than 5th either.
He struggles with the pressure of racing with others; Canada 2011 he made a huge error under extreme pressure from Button and spun on the last lap; on Sunday he didn’t make a mistake but let his frustration at being outraced by Button get the better pf him. There are hard facts to prove that it is Red Bull’s off throttle blowing, giving him the fastest car by over 1s a lot of the time, gifting him almost certain pole positions at nearly every race. From pole, not having to race anybody in front of him, he was fine.
The argument that he can’t handle pressure is getting old. Canada 2011 is always dug up, yet he seemed to be fine at Bahrain 2012, and Spain 2011, where he had to defend from top rivals. And where are your “hard facts” to prove what you just said?24th July 2012, 19:14 at 7:14 pm #135242David-AParticipant
Alonso’s misfortune was Ferrari’s litany of mistakes throughout the season culminating with him being stuck behind Petrov in Abu Dhabi.
As you’ve been told, they don’t even compare to what happened with Vettel and Hamilton in 2010.
If Petrov had not been in the way, he may have been able to make progress.
Petrov had the right to be there, as did Kubica and Rosberg who were further up the road.
In the last half of 2010 Alonso outclassed Vettel comprehensively. He fought like a lion to claw back an advantage to take into the final race, where he only had to finish low in the points to win.
It’s actually pretty hard to say. Sure Alonso drove well, but Vettel won 3/4 final races and lost the other because of his Renault engine expiring with 10 laps to go in Korea.
Let’s just say that my thoughts and opinions about Petrov would get me kicked off this site, so I will not say. Put understated terms, I really do not like him at all. If it had not been for Petrov holding him up, Alonso could well be champion, and Vettel would have remained a nobody until 2011.
I know you’re upset about what happened, but it’s 2 seasons ago! GET OVER IT!24th July 2012, 21:14 at 9:14 pm #135243matt90Participant
“He struggles with the pressure of racing with others; Canada 2011 he made a huge error under extreme pressure from Button and spun on the last lap”
He didn’t spin, he just wet wide on a wet track. The apparently magical Alonso got caught out by backmarkers at the same circuit the previous year, losing two places as a result. Perhaps if he hadn’t been struggling with the pressure he might have won…
Not to mention as others have said, he took similar pressure brilliantly at other times. In 2010 Vettel had the benefit of the best car, but he also had the least reliable. Over the season it is difficult to separate Vettel Alonso and Hamilton as being the best when factoring in everything.
And holding a grudge that severe against Petrov only for that is as nonsensical as the crazy Massa fans who continued to blame Glock for ‘moving out of Hamilton’s way’ in Brazil 2008.24th July 2012, 22:21 at 10:21 pm #135244S.J.MParticipant
Not going to get involved with the Damon Hill argument, he deserved the title i believe.
I think it might be worth mentioning Mike Hawthorn. No disrespect to the man, but he wasn’t the best driver of 1958, he wasnt even the best British driver of the season, Tony Brooks and Peter Collins (who could have won in ’57) were much better drivers and Stirling Moss was better still. Hawthorn a single race in ’58 (3 career wins total) and was helped by Moss’s sportsmanship in defending his initial DSQ in Portuguese GP .24th July 2012, 22:34 at 10:34 pm #135245
I dont necessarily like Vettel that much but you have to admire his sort of tenacity on-track and his amazing ability to just pull out an inch-perfect lap. To say that he is the worst driver to win a WC is quite ridiculous. In 2010 he had bad reliability – Bahrain, Spain, Australia, Great Britain, South Korea – all misfortunes, punctures, component failures etc. He went into that season knowing that he had the fastest car and his first real opportunity to win a title, in a team which is fairly unforgiving on drivers who dont deliver. As people above ^^ have said, in the last four races knowing he was behind in the standings he went on to win 3 in dominant fashion, making no mistakes and losing the chance of victory in Korea after an engine failure. Its pretty impressive for, as young as a driver he is and the first time he’s been put in a true chance of winning the WC, to deliver in the last 4 races as he did. Just because Alonso is behind Petrov doesnt mean that Petrov should just role over to him. He has every right to maintain his position and defend. In fact, I really admired his ability to defend from a two time champion, in a far better car. ( I know Abu Dhabi is a tough place to overtake but still.)
As for 2011, yes he had by far the best car, but what more could he have done in that season? Breaking countless number of records, it was like seeing Schumacher so dominant in the years of 2000-2004. Do you say that he didnt deserve to win those titles, because he took pole and went on to win the majority of races in that season? Are you forgetting the pass Vettel made in Monza, on the grass? Or in spain where he had to pass 4 or 5 cars quickly and did so with ease within one lap? Vettel can race in my opinion, it’s just that he hasnt had the real chance to show everyone that he can.
Vettel is definately one of the best drivers on the grid. I mean, he has all of the attributes that show he is a true and worthy champion. By the way, all of this is coming from a Webber fanatic :) and I still admire Vettel for what he has done even though he has been quite controversial.25th July 2012, 2:57 at 2:57 am #135246
I think a large part of why people keep saying it’s all car is because of where his strengths and weaknesses are. Vettel is a very strong qualifier, and it’s easy for a lot of people to dismiss qualifying performances as a car-only affair when qualifying is much more driver-dependent than race pace.
Is overtaking his strong point? No, it isn’t. But can he overtake? Yes. He’s done a share of good overtakes, though you would never single him out as a master overtaker. Most of his overtaking has been done in corners and not on straights, and I put that down to the car. If you have a car that is slower than the car ahead in a straight line, the laws of physics dictate you will not catch the car ahead in a drag race. By extension, he then needs to make it up in the corners. You can’t overtake in fast corners, usually (due to dirty air) – so that leaves the slow bits, where IMO he has done a fair share, including some that the camera generally misses.
Can he defend from a quicker car? I’d say yes. He proved it in Barcelona 2011, Bahrain 2012, Silverstone 2011. He wasn’t too bad at holding off the early charge of Schumacher in Hockenheim 2012 either. (The Merc was probably not quicker than the Red Bull, but it was in Sectors 1 and 2)
Can he save tyres? Boy can he – 60 laps on Pirellis in Monaco 2011? Not an easy feat. Especially when the famously-soft-on-tyres Ferrari of Alonso was waning on traction after some 25-30 laps.25th July 2012, 11:28 at 11:28 am #135247Daniel BrownMember
I accept all of the above points. They are all valid arguments to some degree. I come across strangely because I bear grudges very easily, its just how I am i guess. People around me know not to pee me off.
Regarding Petrov, what reason did he have to defend from a so-much faster car for literally 75% of the race? It just seems so utterly pointless. I am over it, but I will never forget. I hope Alonso one day gets the opportunity to screw him over big time in whatever way possible, on or off track.
Regarding Brazil 2008…dont get me started. I could rant for hours. Worst race of my life. I never, ever want to see it again, its best forgotten. My feelings about Petrov are mild compared to my views on Hamilton, but again we wont get into that. It wasnt Glock’s fault in the sense that it wasn’t deliberate to gift Hamilton the title, but I am very pleased indeed he will never be in the top or midfield again so he cant pull another stunt like that. I lay equal blame for Massa’s loss in 2008 with Alonso, whose cheating team rigged the race in Singapore in Alonso’s favour and in doing so cost Massa valuable points. Massa’s engine failure in Hungary didnt help either; I hope the team members responsible for that felt the full force of one of LDM’s boots as they got kicked out of the door.
Vettel….The ethos of my point really is that anybody can win given the best car. If you’re really good (Alonso..) you can even win in the 2nd or even 3rd best car. Im pretty confident Vettel does not possess the skill set required to do what Alonso is doing at the moment. He does just fine when Red Bull are introducing their new rule bending innovations to give him an advantage in qualifying, because they know as well as anyone else he likes it easy, to win from pole.
Vettel in the fastest car = win.
Vettel in this years Ferrari = would probably be doing a bit better than Massa, but nowhere near Alonso.
Alonso in the 2nd/3rd fastest car = Win.
Alonso in the fastest car = everyone else might as well not bother.
I think the driver ‘rankings’ based on aggregate of skills in F1 in 2012, right now, are:
Schumacher is so far down the list because he’s not who he used to be. If this was 2004 or whatever, he would doubtless be the top.
Looking ahead, i hope that following the let downs of 2006, 2008 and 2010 this year isnt going to be the 4th championship near miss. There seems to be a pattern…2005 = awful 2006 = near miss 2007…excellent…(the exception to the rule) 2008 = near miss 2009 =utterly woeful 2010 = near miss 2011 = terrible 2012…seems to be going ok so far..until…
You get my drift by now I assume.25th July 2012, 11:37 at 11:37 am #135248duncanmonzaParticipant
So Vettel is the worst driver to win a championship, yet you rate him above Hamilton, Raikkonen and Button?26th July 2012, 2:13 at 2:13 am #135249
@scuderiaferrarifanatic they’re all trying to prove they’re the best. Alonso was indeed quicker than Petrov at the time. But he wanted the result. And if you put yourself in his position – why would you cede position? Can we agree on this so far?
Perez had 3 DRS attempts on Alonso in Malaysia this year, and was 8 tenths quicker. To quote you,
what reason did he have to defend from a so-much faster car…?
Also, while I don’t deny the 2011 RB7 was, over the course of 2011, the quickest car, there were races when it wasn’t. There were races when the McLaren was quicker – and Vettel still won those. Don’t let getting a pole position fool you into thinking that it’s the fastest car. Heck, look back at 2012 Bahrain. The Lotus was quicker in the first 3 stints, but Vettel still held Raikkonen off – despite the non-DRS’d Vettel and the DRS’d Raikkonen (at the time of the overtake) having something like 22kph on Vettel.
Also, 2008 Monza. While the Toro Rosso wasn’t a dog that race, it wasn’t the quickest either, more like maybe 3rd or 4th quickest.26th July 2012, 9:12 at 9:12 am #135250
but I am very pleased indeed he will never be in the top or midfield again so he cant pull another stunt like that.
I cant believe you would say that. Timo Glock is by far the most under-rated driver in F1 in my opinion. He does not deserve to be in a team like Marussia. In 2009 he showed that he can deliver results in a midfield team. He got two podiums in that year and no DNF’s. He deserves to be in a team like Williams or Torro Rosso instead of some other drivers who have already had a chance to prove themselves.
And how exactly is it a “stunt”? You are bearing a grudge against a driver whose team kept him out on dry tyres and took a gamble. Blame Toyota for losing your precious Ferrari the championship. Its a shame you are bearing a grudge against him as all he has ever done, like all F1 drivers, is completely dedicate their lives towards getting into the sport, remaining fit, training etc.
The words “Vettel” and “worst” should not be in the same sentence. Your list above ^^ says that Vettel is the second best driver on the grid in 2012, yet you say that he was the worst driver to have ever won a championship. Makes no sense…………26th July 2012, 9:37 at 9:37 am #135251
@ShaneB457 I beg to differ. Vettel could perhaps form “Vettel” and “worst nightmare?” :P26th July 2012, 10:36 at 10:36 am #135252
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