Your questions: Most champions in a seasons and Massa’s team mates

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Michael Schumacher will race against three other champions next year
Michael Schumacher will race against three other champions next year

Time for another crop of questions sent to the F1 Fanatic inbox.

This week, as Michael Schumacher makes his F1 comeback along three other world champions, what’s the greatest number title-winners to race against each other?

See below for the answers to this and more questions.

Most F1 champions

Since I have a pretty shallow knowledge of F1 history, I’m curious if you know which season and/or race had the most F1 champions racing? By my count, we have four champions and 11 race winners now. That seems pretty competitive, but I’m curious how that compares to the past. Maybe a post on this one? Thanks.
Muckymuck

With the return of Schumacher next year we will have three active champions in Formula 1: the German seven-times champion, plus Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and defending title holder Jenson Button.

The last time F1 was so well-populated with former champions was 1999, when Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve were all on the grid.

It’s a shame Kimi R??ikk??nen has decided to go to the World Rally Championship, robbing us of a potential fifth world champion.

By my reckoning that would have equalled the most former world champions ever assembled on an F1 starting grid. There were five champions on the grid at the Mexican Grand Prix in 1970 – Jackie Stewart, Jack Brabham, Graham Hill, John Surtees and Denny Hulme. If you can find a past race with more champions in let us know in the comments.

But 15 years ago F1 was briefly bereft of former champions. The last time this happened was at the 1994 Portuguese Grand Prix, where none of the drivers on the grid had won a world championship.

As for the race which featured the most race-winners, I would venture the 1979 British Grand Prix as a starting point. Of the 26 drivers entered half had won a race previously. They were Emerson Fittipaldi, Mario Andretti, Carlos Reutemann, Niki Lauda, John Watson, Jody Scheckter, Gilles Villeneuve, Jochen Mass, Jacky Ickx, Jacques Laffite, Alan Jones, Clay Regazzoni and the winner of the previous race, Jean-Pierre Jabouille.

A further seven drivers on the grid that day would go on to win races: Didier Pironi, Nelson Piquet and Rene Arnoux in 1980, and Patrick Tambay, Elio de Angelis, Keke Rosberg and Ricardo Patrese in 1982.

If anyone can think of a race which featured more previous winners than the 13 at Silverstone in 1979, please let us know in the comments.

One more thing about champions…

Next year, Felipe Massa will be team mate to a world champion for the fourth time in a row (Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso).

Can you think of any other occasions this has happened in history?
Ed Greenhalgh

In a word, no! But if anyone else can beat that do post it in the comments…

Girls!

I just would like to ask you if you are looking for promotional girls for next season in Silverstone. Thanks.
Nika

Erm, I think you might have me confused with someone else…

Onboard cameras

Just a quick question about onboard cameras in F1. I did a little research and found out that all F1 cars are fitted with onboard cameras (whether that is true or not is what I wish to find out).

If this is true, why is it that FOM don’t show the footage from onboard cameras when they would solve “mysteries” as to what happened in various incidents otherwise not caught on film? An example could be Heikki Kovalainen’s crash in Malaysia this year. I only found out recently that Kovalainen actually made contact with the barrier after spinning off. If they had have shown it from Heikki’s car then we would have known.

Anyway it has been bothering me for ages and I just don’t understand. For all I know, only a couple of the cars could be fitted with onboard cameras.
Damon Smedley

Any relation to Rob there, Damon?

FOM don’t say much about the amount of footage they capture at race weekends and how much of it ends up being broadcast. But it’s clear from the amount of new material which crops up on the end-of-season DVD review that the live broadcast only accounts for a small portion of what gets shown.

As Damon points out, this is especially annoying when it comes to accidents or controversial incidents which could be better illuminated by extra camera angles. We were promised greater use of video technology to explain stewards’ decisions but we haven’t seen much of it so far.

Sponsorship

It used to be the big tobacco companies who were the major sponsors in F1, any fan of the sport can tell you about the John Player Special Lotus or the Marlboro livery McLaren used to have.

A couple of years back though that sort of sponsorship was banned so we had names like AT&T and Vodafone taking their place, and lately it’s been banks like ING and Santander that’s had the biggest marketing campaigns.

My question is that now that we have a financial crisis and the banks are doing everything to save money we probably won’t seem them sponsoring F1 teams for long so what type of industry do you think will fancy it’s chances next? Or rather if you were a Formula 1 team boss where would you look for money?
Michael

Thanks for that interesting and original question. With RBS and ING receiving government support it’s hardly surprising they’ve pulled their sponsorship of F1 teams as well as the big race-branding deals ING had been doing.

One of the growth areas for F1 sponsorship at the moment seems to be airlines. In recent years we’ve had Emirates sponsoring McLaren plus the arrivals of Kingfisher and Air Asia, and Virgin has an airline arm too.

If you can help expand the answers to these questions, please post in the comments.

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