Introducing F1 Fanatic’s Champion of Champions

Champion of champions

F1 Fanatic Champion of Champions

F1 Fanatic Champion of Champions

A new series beginning on January 1st at F1 Fanatic will bring a fresh approach to one of the sport’s most interesting and trickiest questions: who was the greatest champion of all time?

It’s often been said that it’s impossible to compare drivers from different eras.

Although it’s certainly not easy, I think it’s definitely worth applying the collective intelligence of the F1 Fanatic readership to the challenge. Here’s how we’re going to do it.

Starting tomorrow we’ll pit two F1 champions against each other every day in a poll to pick which driver goes through to the next round.

In order to help you assess the drivers their career statistics have been through the F1 Fanatic number-cruncher in an effort to make them easier to compare. Among the stats will be:

The titles they won – When and how many
Race wins – The percent of races started they won
Pole positions – As above, but with pole positions
Car failures – How often did their car let them down?
Points scored – Re-calculated using the current points system
Points scored per ‘available finish’ – How many points they scored in races where their car did not break down

There will also be biographical notes and supporting information on each of the drivers including the teams they drove for, their team mates and more.

There will be a new poll on the site every day throughout January. All the drivers have been seeded to keep the multiple title winners apart until the latter stages of the Champion of Champions.

The first round will have 16 pairs, round two will have eight, then there will be quarter-finals, semi-finals and grand final.

And by the end of all that pre-season testing for 2011 will be about to start!

Remember you need an F1 Fanatic account to vote in the Champion of Champions so make sure you’ve got one. You can register an account here or read more information here.

The 32 F1 drivers who are in the Champion of Champions are as follows:

Alain Prost, Alan Jones, Alberto Ascari, Ayrton Senna, Damon Hill, Denny Hulme, Emerson Fittipaldi, Fernando Alonso, Giuseppe Farina, Graham Hill, Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart, Jacques Villeneuve, James Hunt, Jenson Button, Jim Clark, Jochen Rindt, Jody Scheckter, John Surtees, Juan Manuel Fangio, Keke Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, Mario Andretti, Michael Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen, Mike Hawthorn, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Niki Lauda, Phil Hill and Sebastian Vettel.

Join us for round one of the Champion of Champions on New Year’s Day 2011.

Champion of Champions

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183 comments on Introducing F1 Fanatic’s Champion of Champions

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  1. Calum (@calum) said on 31st December 2010, 18:29

    Interesting, I’m gonna guess Jackie Stewart as Champion if Champions!!

    • Scribe (@scribe) said on 31st December 2010, 19:40

      I guess Senna but I’m voting Clark an Fangio ahead of him.

    • schooner said on 1st January 2011, 0:06

      Sir Jackie FTW!

      • Sush Meerkat said on 1st January 2011, 2:07

        Stirling Moss will win your hearts and minds with Crumpets.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 1st January 2011, 2:15

          David A likes The awkward moment when you tell a fan that Keith left Moss out because he was never an F1 champion.

          • Sush Meerkat said on 1st January 2011, 12:55

            Sush Meerkat apologises for drunken post forgetting that his hero was never a champion, also Sush meerkat enjoys speaking in the third person.
            :D

          • Greg Morland said on 4th January 2011, 15:15

            pick the odd man out

            Alain Prost, Alan Jones, Alberto Ascari, Ayrton Senna, Damon Hill, Denny Hulme, Emerson Fittipaldi, Fernando Alonso, Giuseppe Farina, Graham Hill, Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart, Jacques Villeneuve, James Hunt, Jenson Button, Jim Clark, Jochen Rindt, Jody Scheckter, John Surtees, Juan Manuel Fangio, Keke Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, Mario Andretti, Michael Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen, Mike Hawthorn, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Niki Lauda, Phil Hill and Sebastian Vettel.

  2. Calum, are you keen to put some $ on that?

  3. Sounds great, though I can’t see anyone other than Schumacher winning this.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 31st December 2010, 18:41

      If it’s purely on stats, but since people get to vote, there will be an element of popularity as well and I dare say there are more than a couple people out there (Todfod I’m looking at you) who have incredible disdain for Schumacher.

    • driftin said on 31st December 2010, 18:44

      Personally I don’t see anyone other than Senna winning.

      • Butterfly said on 31st December 2010, 19:05

        How about Alonso?

        • Scribe (@scribe) said on 31st December 2010, 19:37

          No driftins got it I reckon, Senna always wins these kind of things.

          Fernando looked at objectivley will go far but, fanboy interferance aside, not into the realm of the true all time legends. I think my top five would include Fangio, Schumacher, Prost, Senna and Clark. Alonso might just slip onto the rung below them. Pretty rareified air none the less. Of those 5 and between the rung below them where you’d have your Stewarts, Lauda’s possibly Alonso’s. I wouldn’t want to make judgements between them. Part of the magic is we can’t ever know.

          Look at Luizzi for instance, apparently the man was a god like karter, what if he’d been around in a much lower downforce era? Skill sets make certain drivers shine in different era’s. Although those that can drive anything faster than anybody else, something Clark was known for, tend to shine through.

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 31st December 2010, 19:46

            That looks like a pretty fair list to me. It’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out.

          • Mike said on 1st January 2011, 4:40

            I agree, Alonso I think would be highest rated driver running at the moment, but he is still in the middle of his career so he time to move up the order.

        • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 31st December 2010, 19:44

          I hope I’m not opening Pandora’s Box here, but surely 2009 alone would rule him out. The likes of Senna, Prost, Stewart, Schumacher, Clark, etc. never finished a season 9th in the championship when they were in the prime of their careers. He was on the podium a grand total of once. I know that was a dog of a car, but surely if he’s the wunderkind we’re all supposed to believe, he should be able to drive his way around a problem and make the car work for him. Schumacher always did when he was in his prime, and I’d be willing to bet that some of the other greats did as well. I suppose this will all be hotly debated in the coming days though.

          • Scribe (@scribe) said on 31st December 2010, 19:52

            Alonso? I don’t think so, apart from the fact that you’d have to be a total robot not to get dispiraited the second year you can’t challenge and the car is even worse. He put in some good drives and there are mitigaiting factors. Drivers make less of a differance these days, Schumachers sucsess in poor cars came down to them suiting his specific skill set, look how badly he’s done in a car that doesn’t. I think Alonso’s situation was fairly unique, an he’s proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s still got it.

            An again Hamilton looked simularly abject in the mp4-23, just shows what a bad car can do to talent these days.

            I’m not sure any of the drivers on this list got dumped in cars as bad as Alonso’s during the prime of their careers, possibly Schumi’s early Ferrari’s but his team mates prooved the allrightness of those rides.

          • I think if Alonso got the maximum out of his R29, he wouldn’t have finished much higher. The likes of Senna, Prost, Stewart, Schumacher, Clark etc. never had to drive such slow cars in the prime of their careers.

          • Mike said on 1st January 2011, 4:47

            I don’t agree, he had a dog of a car. No driver can do more than the car is capable of. For example, Hill’s performance in 97 is something I admire, despite his lacklustre results.

            Maybe you could argue that he wasn’t motivated in that car. But that’s just a reflection of his personality.

      • A Singh said on 31st December 2010, 19:41

        Agreed everyone just votes for Senna for these polls, though I won’t be

      • Ilanin said on 1st January 2011, 1:38

        It’s an internet poll. Look for 5,000,000 Raikonnen fans to show up and produce a “surprise” winner.

        • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 1st January 2011, 14:48

          Well, we could hope that the “register account to vote” measure stops that for a large part :)

        • Aditya S (@aditya-s) said on 9th January 2011, 4:49

          How about Hamilton fans?? Or Senna,Clark,Stewart,Alonso fans???(Not counting Schumacher as i dont think he is very popular). Dont they exist??? Why should Kimi be blamed for being popular??? There must be some reason for his popularity.

    • Dianna said on 31st December 2010, 19:55

      Schumacher winning on this site would be an impossibility,too much hatred.He has my vote though.
      Guess what,this post will not be moderated :)

      • Dennoow said on 5th January 2011, 20:21

        I think Senna should win this as well! Alonso is great and all, possibly the best since Senna, but not quite as good. Senna is the most exciting to watch, incredible feel for the car. With Alonso it´s kind of like Prost, really calm and a true thinker. Senna was a thinker but he also drove a lot on natural instinct. I bet he wouldn´t have gotten stuck behind Petrov in Abu Dhabi. If it took too long he´d do a do or die action. He wouldn’t have been champion since he probably would have crashed out but it still makes him a more exciting driver to watch.

  4. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 31st December 2010, 18:39

    Great idea Keith! This’ll be a very entertaining way to pass the doldrums of the off season, and with the stats adjusted for present day it should actually give us as fair a comparison as we can make given the major changes the sport has been through from the time of Fangio to Vettel.

    • Scribe (@scribe) said on 31st December 2010, 19:39

      Errr, Fangio? Fangio Fangio Fangio. Fangio would have given him a hug, tucked him into bed with a glass of warm milk and preceeded to break his lap record at Suzuka in the saftey car.

      ;)

    • BasCB said on 1st January 2011, 15:12

      I agree with US Peter here Keith, great idea for the off season.

      It already got us betting and aruging etc. even before the first pairings are voted on. I hope F1Fanatic succeeds in making it an evened out comparison.

  5. DiamondEagle (@diamondeagle) said on 31st December 2010, 18:42

    Brilliant idea, though I do hope we don’t get to the ‘quarter finals’ and we already have to choose between Senna and say Prost or Stewart….

  6. driftin said on 31st December 2010, 18:43

    Personally I think the only thing that matters is not any of those stats which will be mentioned, but simply how good a driver they are no matter what car they had, and also possibly how much character / charisma they have off the track. Stats alone Schumacher is the champion of champions but there’s more to being a ‘great’ than simply numbers.

  7. sato113 (@sato113) said on 31st December 2010, 18:45

    only 1 champion lies in the range Q-Z in terms of first letter of their first name. (seb vettel)

    useless observation I know.

    • Enigma (@enigma) said on 31st December 2010, 18:51

      Have drivers with last name starting with S won the most titles? Haven’t counted but seems that way, given that Schumacher, Senna and Stewart won 13 – and there are also Schekter and Surtees winning one each.

      • Mike said on 1st January 2011, 5:22

        Actually there is two for V, Vettel and Villeneuve.
        I made up a tally,
        S is the most successful letter to have with 15, followed by H and F on 10 and 8 respectively.
        Interestingly, 5 drivers with S have won the world championship, but 8 H drivers have done it.
        Schumacher, may have skewed the results a bit with his 7. The forth most common letter P, is made up of just two drivers, Prost and Piquet.

        A 5
        B 4
        C 2
        F 8
        H 10
        J 1
        L 3
        M 1
        P 7
        R 3
        S 15
        V 2

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 4th January 2011, 22:00

        In terms of first names, the best one to have is a J name: Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, Jacques Villeneuve, James Hunt, Jochen Rindt, Jody Sheckter, Juan Manuel Fangio.

  8. Dan_the_McLaren_fan (@dan_the_mclaren_fan) said on 31st December 2010, 18:57

    I think it will be a close call between Fangio, Clark, Senna and Schumacher…

  9. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 31st December 2010, 19:16

    Considering percentages alone, Fangio will win this.

    • Scribe (@scribe) said on 31st December 2010, 19:42

      I think Clark and Stewart could get close on percentage terms. If you take out Schueys return his percentages are completley obcene.

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 31st December 2010, 19:57

        I think Schumacher was slightly ahead of Fangio for percentage of podium finishes before this season. Now he’s slightly behind. Schumacher still leads Fangio in percentage of points finishes, but of course points extended further back in the places through all of Schumacher’s career than they did in Fangio’s time.

        • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 31st December 2010, 20:00

          Oh, and Hamilton is right behind Fangio in percentage of points finishes. Alonso is a bit behind him, Prost a bit behind him, then Ascari, Vettel, Räikkönen, Montoya, Kubica, and Senna all in a row. Just shows that the points extending to more places in the modern era has skewed that particular statistic drastically in favor of modern drivers.

          • Burnout said on 1st January 2011, 13:10

            But if all finishes are normalized to 2010 points, that might take care of skewing. However modern F1 cars are extremely reliable, so current drivers will have fewer mechanical DNFs than earlier drivers.

  10. Chalky (@chalky) said on 31st December 2010, 19:46

    I’m looking forward to this.
    Normally I would be Clark \ Stewart, but it’ll be interesting to see fresh views and go from there.

  11. Ooh this sounds like a good bit of fun :) I bet Senna wins though. It does sadden me how some of the greats Gilles, Alesi, Cevert never got a title so we can’t stick them in too but nevermind!

  12. % of race wins is a little unfair. These days drivers are bread into the sport and start in top ranking teams (Lewis for example). In the past drivers would begin in a manadri and spend 3 seasons fighting to get into a position to win races. I can see Lewis winning that field easily, considering he moved into McLaren simply due to his connections within that team. He never spent a year in a slow car (no, not even the title losing McLaren’s classify as slow (enough)).

  13. RIISE (@riise) said on 31st December 2010, 20:08

    It will be between Schumacher and Senna. With Schumacher destroying him in every sense.

    • Dianna said on 31st December 2010, 22:39

      @ RIISE. Do you remember seeing Senna in the Williams on the day he died before the race?

      No one ever seems to mention this,but I would like to hear of others who noticed that Senna had the look of complete fear in his eyes as he was getting ready for the race.He just wasn’t with it,it wasn’t his usual persona.I will never forget his look,I knew he would drive his last race.

      At that point,Senna knew 100% that this young driver called Michael Schumacher was going to destroy him – he knew that his passion was about to be extinguished.So VERY sad.

      The same is true of all great Champions,there will always be the next Champion waiting in line.If Ayrton was Michael now,he would not be able to take the criticism in the way Schumacher is,simply because Schumacher is more detached from himself,he has the same burning passion, but it is more controlled.The passion controlled Senna,with Schumacher it is the other way around.

      Michael Schumacher to me will always be the greatest of them all – he faces adversity full on,and then, he climbs over it.

      He will be on the podium again,and he knows it.

      • karl said on 1st January 2011, 3:06

        the post for dianna is an early contender for silliest comment of 2011…..some of the worst dribble I have seen in a long time on this site.

        fangio,senna,prost, schumacher…..in that order.

      • RBAlonso said on 1st January 2011, 22:26

        I’m sorry Dianna but this should not be allowed. If someone who has a casual or passing interest in the sport read your comment then their view would be unfairly distorted. We all know what happened on the Saturday of the race and that memory would linger with all the drivers the next day.

        The fact remains that Senna qualified on pole for the first 3 Grand Prix of the 1994 season, and in a difficult and unstable car at that. In Brazil Senna led up until the pit stop, and lost the lead only to the fuel rig controversy. In Aida Senna was out at Turn 1 and he led the first seven laps of the San Marino GP.

        I feel that this information is well known and whilst Senna had his flaws, so did Schumacher. I fancy that this poll will be won by Senna but the winner will surely be worthy if the poll is not distorted by bias.

        • Steve said on 2nd January 2011, 8:40

          While Senna was good (a Legend because he is dead), Shumi is better on paper.

          No point going “if he had carried on, blah blah”. Survival is/was part of the sport.

          • RBAlonso said on 2nd January 2011, 14:13

            I completely agree with you Steve on both points. I am a Senna fan and as a result felt that Dianna’s comment implied Senna would have retired after the race and was different on the day of the race because of a fear of Schumacher, even the most ardent Schumacher fan can not believe that to be the case.

  14. Simon Duck (@simon-duck) said on 31st December 2010, 20:09

    This. Sounds. Awesome.

    Great idea and cannot wait until tomorrow to get it started. This sorts my January internet out :)

  15. Dan Newton said on 31st December 2010, 20:39

    Right now I’m promising myself to be as fair as possible. Faced with the questions it may not be so easy. It’ll be interesting to find out how it goes..

    And what a great way to get us through January!

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