F1 Fanatic Champion of Champions

Introducing F1 Fanatic’s Champion of Champions

Champion of championsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

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

      1. miguelF1O (@)
        1st January 2011, 5:51

        Von tripps who died while leading the champ or jochen rindt the only champ after death

        1. Von Tripps isn’t on the list. He didn’t win the Championship afterall.

      2. Aditya S (@)
        9th January 2011, 4:45

        Fangio i think. He drove like a god winning titles with different teams.

    2. Sir Jackie FTW!

      1. Sush Meerkat
        1st January 2011, 2:07

        Stirling Moss will win your hearts and minds with Crumpets.

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

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

          2. 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?

    1. Sorry, I only bet in £. :P

      1. Anyone taking bets in &?’s

        1. No, but I will bet %@^%.

          1. Sush Meerkat
            1st January 2011, 2:07

            8 crumpets on Calum not taking $

            take your bets!

          2. I’ll bet my sandwich he does!

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

    1. 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.

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

      1. How about Alonso?

        1. 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.

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

          2. 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.

        2. 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.

          1. 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.

          2. 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.

          3. 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.

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

        1. With Keith’s objective stats that may not be the case though. We’ll see.

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

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

        2. Aditya S (@)
          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.

    3. 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 :)

      1. 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. 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.

    1. 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.


      1. Yeah I can’t wait to see how Fangio stacks up with all his stats adjusted to present day points tallies!

        1. I can’t see Fangio winning. Even after statistics comes into things, not many would have seen him win and therefore have a connection. People will still vote for others based upon their personal preference, not matter what the statistics say.

          1. Oh thats definatley true, but still, just reading about him makes spine tingle.

          2. Like he essentially missed a championship season due to a change in the championship Formula and broken neck (’52)?
            He also raced in Grands Prix before the F1 World Championship started in 1950. I wonder if those stats will be included.
            Back then there were also non-championship races in the season. Another potential source of confounding statistics!

          3. Nope it’s just going to be stats from the world championship.

          4. Aditya S (@)
            9th January 2011, 4:50

            I agree with you completely.

      2. Damn scribe you sound like me mother when she trys to wind me up supporting vettel lol.


    2. 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 (@)
    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. 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. only 1 champion lies in the range Q-Z in terms of first letter of their first name. (seb vettel)

    useless observation I know.

    1. 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.

      1. 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

        1. Damn, with all that time for statistics, you should be spending it on NFL instead! ;)

        2. lol thats great Mike, so i guess your 5 times more likely to win a world title with a name like Schumacher then a name like Raikkonen.

          good post mate.

          Be funny if Jenson is reading this and changes his last name to see if it works.

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

    1. That would be my guess, I hope fanboys don’t distort it horribly. I’d guess not though, probably be to difficult.

      1. The statistics Keith provides should help objectify it and prevent fanboy distortion of the polls. It will be based on polls though, so you never know, some people may just choose to ignore the stats.

  9. Considering percentages alone, Fangio will win this.

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

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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. 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!

    1. they’ve all made the expanded list of 64 on Page 2! not quite the same, i know…

  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)).

    1. Is the 2009 McLaren slow enough?

      1. It won two bloody races.

        1. Hamilton did yes.

          1. So by induction the car wasn’t a complete dog.

      2. The lotus, Force India, Torro Rosso, etc – are complete dogs. Cars where you have absolutely no chance to win no matter how much skill or talent a driver has.

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

    1. @ 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.

      1. 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.

        1. Contender for least well explained nomination of 2011 right above.

        2. Indeed. As Schumacher has demonstrated, he’s all about the car.

      2. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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. This. Sounds. Awesome.

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

  15. 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!

  16. While thinking who will go against who in the round one, I think the first round of voting should not involve drivers who raced against other too much.

    So, first order drivers by the year they won their first title. Four groups of eight drivers which are these.
    Group 1: Farina to Clark (5 drivers with multiple titles, 3 with only one)
    Group 2: Surtees to Andretti (3 multi, 5 single)
    Group 3: Scheckter to Schumacher (4 multi, 4 single)
    Group 4: D Hill to Vettel (2 multi, 6 single)

    Of course in the last group there are Hamilton, Button and Vettel who have one title to date, but I can easily see at least Hamilton and Vettel winning more titles in their career.

    But generally seeing drivers from group 1 to go against group 3, and drivers from group 2 against group 4. In the meantime, try to avoid big name pairs early on. Taking groups 1 and 3 as an example, no Fangio/Clark against Prost/Senna/Schumacher. Those five names are the ones who shouldn’t be eliminated early.

  17. My vote would go to Alain Prost. A fantastic driver who would have won far more championships if he’d arrived later in f1.

    I would pick ayrton, but I don’t think he ever appreciated safety in the sport (Alain saw far too many fatalities to be as blasé about crashing).

    You only have to see who he was racing against. I personally think Schumacher would never have been as successful had he come up against Alain, ayrton etc.

    Any chance of a

    1. Erm seriously? Michael a rookie, beat Senna at his peak numerous times so how do you work that out? I rate Prost higher than Senna since he should’ve had 6 titles, not 4, but Schumacher v Prost? in the 00’s Schumacher no doubt, at times he had to dig out some serious results and made it look easy the way he destroyed Barrichello, not to mention Williams and McLaren putting up a serious fight.

      But it will be decided in this I guess.

      1. Really, I mean really RIISE. Two of Schumacher titles came from absolutley dominant cars, one of his titles came from a distinctly dogy change of rules when Michelin where forced to change their tyres. I’m not saying he wasn’t great but arguing that Schueys dominance only from him is kinda silly. Especially considering the rubbish fight McLaren and Williams put up most of the time, the situation at Ferrari regarding his team-mates, an Ferrari’s dominance over the rest of the feild.

        We never got to see a proper fight between Senna and Schumacher, not really, not over a season, claiming Schuey had the edge over Senna is ridiculous.

        In the end, number of titles? Statistics statistics and damn lies, Prost may have just missed a few titles, but miss them he did, Senna didn’t get to reap the rewards of the next few years of Williams dominance, but hey.

        This poll is based on personal opinion in the end anyway so it only matter what we think when we cast our votes, not something to take toooo seriously.

        1. One of his titles came from a distinctly dogy change of rules when Michelin where forced to change their tyres.

          And how about the rules changes for the start of 2003? People absolutely love to forget this, and the role Schumacher played in getting his cars to be dominant.

          Especially considering the rubbish fight McLaren and Williams put up most of the time

          Hakkinen put up a good fight, but the other drivers failed to utilise the resources of their teams. Schumacher made them look rubbish, and as a result the likes of Coulthard, D. Hill, Villeneuve, Montoya and Ralf Schumacher are not multiple world champions like Schumacher and Hakkinen (or Alonso).

  18. Sorry Keith,
    I meant to say any chance of a greatest f1 driver never to reach the top (Tom pryce comes to mind) due to fatality etc.

    If anyone has not read the lost generation I can thoroughly recommend.

    1. It’s a very good book and I think you’re right, that’s definitely a topic for discussion one day.

  19. a dead champion will win it. But who? there are several. And some died going full throttle.

  20. perfect year to do this as there are exactly 32 Champions all time…would be interesting if you had to cut a champion or 2.

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