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

  1. 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.

  2. andy c (@andy-c) said on 31st December 2010, 20:52

    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.

    Keith,
    Any chance of a

    • RIISE (@riise) said on 31st December 2010, 21:02

      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.

      • Scribe (@scribe) said on 1st January 2011, 14:51

        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.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 1st January 2011, 22:11

          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).

  3. andy c (@andy-c) said on 31st December 2010, 20:58

    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.

  4. kowalsky said on 31st December 2010, 21:05

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

  5. sennaboy3 said on 31st December 2010, 21:05

    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.

  6. schumacher will be always no.1

  7. Pedal to the Vettel (@pedal-to-the-vettel) said on 31st December 2010, 21:11

    Fangio pushed like a GOAT in his day, and over 8 years he took 5 WDC, 2x 2nd and 14th in his final year.

    He drove for Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Maserati and Mercedes and won with all of them. Nobody in his era dominated the field like he did until the likes of schumacher came along. Fangio could of been 10 times world champion if it wasn’t for WW2 robbing him of his youth.

    Fangio would be saying to schumacher that he hasn’t even got out of his shorts yet if he said old age was affecting his chances for the 8th…

    Hope for a good turnout and not just a mass vote for 1 driver.

    • RIISE (@riise) said on 31st December 2010, 22:28

      Bit different though isn’t it. You have to be at the peak of fitness nowadays which is tough at 40+…But Schumacher set new standards for fitness so I don’t think Fangio would be saying too much. At least he consistently beat Stirling, that in itself is enough to make him a legend.

      • Pedal to the Vettel (@pedal-to-the-vettel) said on 1st January 2011, 1:35

        Well fangio was in the army for god knows how many years maybe that’s what helped him stay on top in his era maybe? But he also continued after getting a broken neck and won 4 more world titles. But i believe Fangio was even fitter then schumacher regardless of the “new standards” schumacher opted for and what the world consider “fitter” then in the 50′s.

        Before F1, Fangio once traveled 5,868 (racing miles)in the “Gran Premio Internacial Del Norte” into multiple cities through Argentina and Peru and having to turn round and do it again, all in just 11 days. He had to go up mountains in a tuned up Chev coupe with heights up to 13,000 feet multiple times at Pulario, Villazon, Polcomayo and Potosi. These just wern’t normal roads but mountain passes with some sections a certain death if you messed up once and he still went on average 75mph.

        He also had no pitcrew to fix his car or change his tyres if he broke down in the middle of nowhere and towing was deemed cheating so no help there. After each sector he had to fix the car before sleeping if he had the chance. Fangio was regarded a hero after he won the series and can you blame them?

        So I just cant see “modern fitness” levels of schumacher help him one bit in that kind of series, that puts a stop regarding fangio’s fitness levels against the modern drivers.

        Don’t also forget Farina, Hawthorn and Ascari, they were also the other hotshots in the day with stirling trying to beat fangio and respect to stirling he was never a pushover.

        But the situation which defines fangio above the rest was that anybody who got close to how fast he drove, resulted in either a career ending injury or a likely death he was “The Master” for a reason.

        This isn’t an attack on you Riise since I know you know your F1 very well, but just a respectable debate on this post, because I’m sure you have good points to put across why my opinion is somewhat flawed in your eyes and so far it’s been a great chance to show you why fangio should be the GOAT in this poll.

        Respect Riise and a happy new year, i’ll stop waffling now because i’m tired and it’s late.

        • Mike said on 1st January 2011, 6:52

          I think your argument isn’t quite right. If your saying Fangio was physically fitter at his peak that Schumacher was, then I disagree. Simple because modern f1 requires so much more physical stamina. However, if your saying that he is able to cope with harsher environments better, then I could understand that.

          But really, because of the different time frames they lived in, it’s impossible to really compare them.

          • Pedal to the Vettel (@pedal-to-the-vettel) said on 1st January 2011, 13:56

            Within the situation of what both Schumacher and Fangio required for “fitness” i guess you can say schumacher had the sensible and practical way of training in modern day F1. While Fangio always had it in his mind that it would be nere on impossible yet he still went for it and won. Maybe because his mental strength was far greater than the rest of the drivers is what made him so great in that era and why his record stood until Schumi beat it.

            Maybe I was wrong in the sense saying Fangio was fitter then schumacher in both their “prime” but regarding the timeline maybe both would find it hard in the other persons shoes.

            But back to mentioning fangio:

            Fangio didn’t have the kind of safety net Schumacher had being able to crash and then walk away from it unhurt or with just a few sprains. Just check the crashes of modern era from 00-10 and estimate how many drivers would be actually dead or have career ending injuries if they drove like that in the 50′s. We wouldn’t be seeing Kubica, Webber, Hamilton, Schumacher, Massa, Kimi, Alonso etc… Just because they have that safety net to drive around like “amatures” and crash an expensive car. If it wasn’t for this the whole world champion hall of fame would be alot different then we know it.

            I know most people will say that’s not fair that f1 is safer, but yet people still consider guys from the 50′s to the 60′s couldn’t handle the speed of modern cars, treating them like their from the stone age…

  8. Calum (@calum) said on 31st December 2010, 21:28

    Surprised that Lauda has not appeard much in the discusiion – 3 titles and so close to a 4th after his near fatal accident?

    • RIISE (@riise) said on 31st December 2010, 22:30

      Yes but it could’ve easily have been 2 titles had he not beat Prost by half a point in ’84. do’t be so quick to dish out deserved titles without reviewing facts.

      • Calum (@calum) said on 31st December 2010, 22:33

        Touche my man, touche :)

      • sennaboy3 said on 31st December 2010, 23:02

        is it not deserved because he won by 1/2 a point? Lauda is highly underrated by “new” school fans. 1976, enough said…(& I’m a Hunt fan!)

        • RIISE (@riise) said on 31st December 2010, 23:22

          Well define “New school”? I’ve been watching F1 since ’87 but I have watched every race from 1980 from my Dads VHS tapes and no doubt Lauda was good, but ’84? Come on, Lauda knew he wasn’t as good as Prost so he sort of gained points when Prost (On more than one occasion) got hit by someone.

          But still each championship is deserved and Lauda is down as a great in my book. But Prost is better =)

          • Scribe (@scribe) said on 1st January 2011, 14:57

            Eh, if Lauda hadn’t stuck to a principle he’d have got Hunts title, Prost was better but Lauda was past it. Lauda is on the second tier of F1 greats in my veiw.

          • Scribe (@scribe) said on 1st January 2011, 15:00

            Ment to say, Lauda would have got Hunts title after missing two races! Pretty important huh? An he only lost by a point.

    • Lauda is probably not mentioned much because all he does is complain about modern Formula One.

  9. Argent (@argent) said on 31st December 2010, 21:41

    While I understand the reasoning, as it is a poll of the Champion of Champions, it still is sad to see the noticeable absence of Stirling Moss from this list. He most certainly was a noble, honorable character and as true of a sportsman as there has ever been.

    This will definitely be an interesting endeavor, and a great way to keep us all entertained during this long two month racing drought.

    • driftin said on 31st December 2010, 22:25

      Stirling Moss remains my all time favourite driver in the world, even without the championship trophy on his cabinet. Yep, I like him more than Senna. Brilliant driver and a true gentleman.

  10. schooner said on 31st December 2010, 21:47

    Stats aside, Stewart’s dominance during his short career, while competing in what was (in my mind, anyway) the most incredibly dangerous era of F1 racing, will forever get him my vote. That said (and we all have our favorites), it will be interesting to watch and see how this plays out.

  11. alexf1man said on 31st December 2010, 22:33

    Nice way to keep people visiting the website (and use the 31 non F1 days for a “compare the champions” page).

  12. sennaboy3 said on 31st December 2010, 22:54

    Expanding to 64, I reckon you’d have: (Who am I forgetting?)

    Michele Alboreto (W:5, P:23)
    Jean Alesi (W:1, P:32)
    Chris Amon (W:0, P 11)
    Lorenzo Bandini (W:1, P:8)
    Rubens Barrichello (W:11, P:68)
    Gerhard Berger (W:10, P:48)
    Tony Brooks: (W:6, P:10)
    Francois Cevert (W:1, P:13)
    Peter Collins: (W:3, P:9)
    David Coulthard (W:13, P:62)
    Piers Courage (W:2, P:20)
    Patrick Depailler (W:2, P:19)
    José Froilán González (W:2, P:15)
    Dan Gurney (W:4, P:19)
    Jacky Ickx (W:8, P:25)
    Jacques Laffite (W:6, P:32)
    Felipe Massa (W:11, P:33)
    Bruce McLaren (W:4, P:27)
    Juan Pablo Montoya (W:7, P:30)
    Sterling Moss: (W:16, P:24)
    Riccardo Patrese (W:6, P:37)
    Ronnie Peterson (W:10, P:26)
    Clay Regazzoni (W:5, P:28)
    Carlos Reutemann (W:12, P:45)
    Peter Revson (W:2, P:8)
    Pedro Rodríguez (W:2, P:7)
    Jo Siffert (W:2, P:6)
    Wolfgang von Trips (W:2, P:6)
    Maurice Trintignant (W:2, P:10)
    Gilles Villeneuve (W:6, P:13)
    Mark Webber (W:6, P:20)
    John Watson (W:5, P:20)

    LAST 5 IN: Amon, Alboreto, Watson, Barrichello, Siffert

    LAST 5 OUT:
    René Arnoux (W:7, P:22)
    Patrick Tambay (W:2, P:11)
    Thierry Boutsen (W:3, P:15)
    Didier Peroni (W:3, P:13)
    Richie Ginther (W:1, P:14)

  13. Argent (@argent) said on 31st December 2010, 23:14

    Hi Keith,

    Out of curiosity, are you also going to adjust the re-calculated total points scored to account for the number of races in each season? This could have a significant effect on the end result by either adding bias toward dominant seasons with lower number of races, or by favoring the race rich past several years when comparing fairly average seasons from earlier.

    For example, consider the 1969 season of Jackie Stewart where he utterly dominated the competition scoring 63 points, and his 2010 adjusted points would total 180. However, there were only 11 races that year, so if Stewart’s score is race adjusted to 19 races then his point total balloons 311 points. When compared to Vettel’s 256 points accrued during his campaign in 2010 Stewart looks as though he would make statistical mincemeat of Vettel.

    I think doing this is a bit of a double edged sword, because while it can give much better context to compare two drivers from different eras, it also does introduce a great level of assumption for the seasons with very few races.

  14. We Want Turbos said on 31st December 2010, 23:41

    Hunt the Shunt. For sheer enjoyment! Schumis stats are incredible but in each of his championship winning years the other teams where either several steps behind or had inferior drivers in the cars!!!

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 1st January 2011, 1:38

      Not really. It was only in 2002 and 2004 where you could say he had a clear car advantage. And 1994 if you want to include that.

      And if you consider the likes of D. Hill, Hakkinen, Montoya, Raikkonen, Coulthard or Button (who have 89 race wins, 5 titles and 6 runners up spots between them) inferior then what does that say about Schumacher’s quality?

      • Scribe (@scribe) said on 1st January 2011, 15:03

        Weal, I’ve always though 2003 was tainted by the Michelin tyre buisness. An 1994, he kinda cheated. Dude deliberatley took out his rival, an whatever he says, he subsequent actions kinda point to him taking Damon out.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 1st January 2011, 15:19

          2003 saw the other teams catch up because the rules were changed to end Ferrari’s dominance. You know it, and let’s face it, Raikkonen and Montoya simply didn’t do enough to beat MSC and his six victories to the title.

          Perhaps MSC did take Hill out, but Hill misjudged his overtake (unlike Villeneuve in 1997) and failed to win the championship despite having 4 extra rounds to score points.

  15. sennaboy3 said on 31st December 2010, 23:47

    Sorry…Courage’s stats are wrong & he should be removed from the list, being replaced by…Peroni, Ginther or Arnoux.

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