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. rfs (@rfs) said on 1st January 2011, 0:09

    I think Alain Prost deserves more recognition as one of the all-time greats. He didn’t just win 4 championships. He was runner-up in 1983 by just 2 points, runner-up in 1984 by just half a point (!), runner-up in 1988 despite getting more points over the whole season than Senna, and runner-up in 1990 after Senna punted him off the road in Suzuka. One might argue that he should have been a 6-time champion, and with just a little more luck he could have been an 8-time champion!

  2. unoc said on 1st January 2011, 0:41

    3 predictions

    1) Schumacher will do well in stats & Vettel be much higher than he should be
    2) Voting will be for current drivers, senna, prost and a few older drivers who made a mark
    3) People will complain that it misses diagnoses the result as several stats have been left off.

    I would do the 3rd now… Such drivers as Hamilton will do much better (3 out of 4 years in championship contention, 1 win, 1 1 point off and 1 last race), while others like Brabham who actually put together his own team and had to deal with all of that will end up much lower. I am not saying Brabham = Hamilton or one is greater than the other, but the stats will show drivers who have almost always been in contention in far greater light than drivers who have had to work there way there.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st January 2011, 15:42

      I don’t agree – obviously I’ve had the benefit of seeing all the stats already but I think ones like the reliability really help add some perspective to this problem. We’ll see as it all unfolds.

  3. Felipe Bomeny (@portugoose) said on 1st January 2011, 0:41

    I think it was Piquet; he won two titles in the inferior Brabham and showed he could still win at Bennetton, and he offered great technical feedback. However, I greatly admire Clark and Senna, they were geniuses in their cars, too. But what made me choose Piquet was not his stats or my ethnicity (Brazilian), but rather, his ability to perform in an underpowered car, which reminds me of Kubica in today’s field.

  4. The idea is cool. The only problem I have is with the way you’ve set this up: the outcome will be decided by the matchups.

    For example, if you had Schumacher up against Senna in round 1, regardless of who goes through, a large proportion of us will feel that the driver we would have voted for, did not get a “proper shot” at it. I’m sure you will recognise this and therefore you won’t have that matchup in round one. But I would argue that in itself constitutes a “rigging the results” of sorts (that sounds harsh, I don’t mean it to come across as harsh).

    Even if you had the matchups decided in the fairest possible way I can think of (blind draws), how far certain drivers will progress will most definitely depend on which drivers they encounter as time goes on. Alonso is a world class driver. But if he comes up against Fangio in round 2, that won’t be reflected in his end-ranking. There aren’t a lot of drivers in this particular list that I don’t rate higher than Vettel*, but if he’s lucky, he could still end up in the quarter finals and end up 8th overall. Which, again, in this particular company does not in my opinion reflect his relative ability.

    It’s a cool mental exercise to try to come up with the best driver of all time, but the knockout tournament setup does not lend itself to this particular purpose. Unless you are going to commit the time it takes for each and every one of these drivers to go up against each and every other one of the drivers, tot up the results to eliminate half and then go on to the next round and do the same again. And again, until the end.

    *This is not necessarily his fault, it’s just hard to compare someone with only 4 seasons under his belt and judge him fairly against the people in this select company.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st January 2011, 15:43

      For example, if you had Schumacher up against Senna in round 1, regardless of who goes through, a large proportion of us will feel that the driver we would have voted for, did not get a “proper shot” at it. I’m sure you will recognise this and therefore you won’t have that matchup in round one. But I would argue that in itself constitutes a “rigging the results” of sorts (that sounds harsh, I don’t mean it to come across as harsh).

      That is an inevitable drawback of this kind of approach but I’ve tried to seed the first round match-ups (and potential subsequent pairings) carefully and fairly to prevent that happening.

  5. Senna was the people’s champion, so he will win this. Schumacher is statistically the greatest, and possibly always will be. Clark, Stewart and Lauda were all fantastic characters too and will be ranked highly.

  6. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 1st January 2011, 2:13

    That will be great.For quiet sometime I was way too bored since the teams went for the holidays.As the car launches won’t start before the middle of the month thanks Keith for providing us with something which not only will keep us busy but also will be interesting to find out what happen.

    Can’t wait for it to start.

  7. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st January 2011, 4:36

    Pardon me if this is a silly question, but how are we going to go about pairing them up? What if Alonso has to compete with drivers like Button, who had an extended run to the crown and thus naturally giving him the advatnage, whilst Schumacher had to contend with the likes of Stewart and Senna.

    It’s a bit like the World Cup: a lot of the final result is dictated by who plays who early on.

    • Formula None said on 1st January 2011, 9:50

      Maybe the top 16 (or 8) could be seeded, like the World Cup or Wimbledon.

    • SundarF1 (@sundarf1) said on 1st January 2011, 13:11

      I think that will make it easier to judge. Since the drivers belong to the same era, the safety, car design and track variables are removed. So what if Alonso or Hamilton get an extended run? If they are not worthy they will be beaten in the forthcoming rounds. Of course, we could face a Senna Vs Schumacher, or Clark Vs Stewart too early into the poll as well. But then these men competed against one another on the track, so why not in a poll? I feel it will be better to judge the best of the respective eras, and then sort it out among those winners.

  8. attarda (@attarda) said on 1st January 2011, 7:03

    Senna will be on pole for this one again!!!!!

  9. Accidental Mick said on 1st January 2011, 8:57

    Keuth, I would relly like to paticipate in this. Please, please with sugar on it, sort out my corrupted password.

    How about John Surtees – the only person ever to be both bike and F1 world champions.

  10. SundarF1 (@sundarf1) said on 1st January 2011, 10:02

    Great idea Keith. Excellent way to spend the rest of the month. I do share some of the apprehensions regarding ‘driver pairing’ and Senna’s popularity. We do not yet know who’s going to win this one, but whoever the winner is, I’d like to compare him to some of the legends that didn’t win a championship. I’m thinking of people like Gilles Villeneuve and Sir Stirling Moss.

    I believe Gilles Villeneuve is the greatest F1 driver ever to have lived, and would put Sir Stirling Moss ahead of the likes of Schumacher and Prost. I’m sure there were many more giga-talented drivers who were denied the glory they deserved by various external factors. It would be interesting to compare those against a few of the finalists in this poll.

  11. Ayrton Senna was the best of the best…his legacy still stands his passion for this sport was tremendous and most of all SENNA was very humanitarian you have to be born in his time to understood why hi is THE CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS.
    for all of you which didn’t know i cut this part from wikipedia

    …After Senna’s death it was discovered that he had donated millions of dollars of his personal fortune (estimated at $400 million at the time of his death)[84] to children’s charities, a fact that during his life he had kept secret. His foundation in Brazil, Instituto Ayrton Senna, has invested nearly US$80 million over the last twelve years in social programs and actions in partnership with schools, government, NGOs, and the private sector aimed at offering children and teenagers from low-income backgrounds the skills and opportunities they need to develop to their full potential as persons, citizens and future professionals…

  12. Crispin said on 1st January 2011, 11:23

    Definately Jimmy Clark. The best there will ever be!!

  13. andyC said on 1st January 2011, 11:38

    My vote goes to Gilles Villeneuve as I care about racing in stead of comparing driver stats.

  14. andy c (@) said on 1st January 2011, 12:11


    Ayrton looked not himself at imola as he’d just seen ratzenberger killed and Rubens have an enormous shunt. But how ironic that Alain spent quite some time with him at imola. Two great champions.

    It had nothing to do with Schumacher, who in my view is flattered by the number if wdcs he won. He is an excellent driver, but just see who Prost, senna, Stewart were driving against and beating.

    Clark and villenueve were two of the very best.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 1st January 2011, 16:39

      just see who Prost, senna, Stewart were driving against and beating.

      Schuamcher had great drivers to beat, and often did it by making his opposition look silly. Prost and Senna were great, but weren’t individually able to stand out in the way Schumacher often did.

  15. himmatsj (@himmatsj) said on 1st January 2011, 12:12

    Hamilton, Raikkonen, Alonso and Schumacher….

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