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. 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…

    1. And no other world champion has done extensive charity work?

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

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

    1. Exactly my thoughts, andyC!

  4. Dianne,

    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.

    1. 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.

  5. Hamilton, Raikkonen, Alonso and Schumacher….

  6. And before anyone mentions it, I didn’t think Gilles won a wdc :-) he was just a great driver.

    1. It shouldn’t matter. He was a champion.

  7. A nice way to spend the break, of course we all know that it’s just for fun as there is no reasonable way to really compare drivers from different eras, driving different cars. Every statistics one can come up with will necessarily be faulty as a benchmark for one reason or another.

    Now judging from the make-up of readership, most readers have Uncle Xmas, Santa Claus, St. Nicolas, Dyadya Moroz or some other equivalent entity. How about next Xmas we all collectively wish for a time machine and a replicator? Then we could pull those champions (and almost champions) to our time, put them all into Alfa Romeo 158’s and let them race on a couple of interesting racetracks. Then we would put all of them into Lotus 49, McLaren M23, Lotus 79, Williams FW07B,… That would be the dream season.

  8. Attention, sarcasm ahead!

    I bet Hamilton will win this with all you British people here!!!111!

    Sorry, had to be said:P. In all seriousness though, my vote goes to Fangio. Winning 5 world championships in a gas tank with an engine bolted to it is just an achievement that no one will ever do again.

  9. andy c has it spot on. Keith is there any way to add in an additional weighting – who they beat in their world championship year(s)? So a driver who won a WDC in a team with another WDC would score higher than one who beat a dedicated number 2…

  10. @scalextric:
    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!

    Its ok that u mention ’52 but then u have to mention ’56 also ;)
    He wasn’t going to be WDC that year but got the title handed to him on a golden plate by his teammate

    1. Peter collins gave the title out of sportsmanship to fangio and not team orders before anybody gets any ideas. Fangio’s car broke with a broken steering arm in the final race at Monza, and was in the posistion to win the world title anyway before it happened.

      His teammate Peter Collins decided to forfeit his lead and chance to become the first British world champion because he wanted to beat Fangio fair and square and not by pure luck.

      Fangio was very very grateful for this gesture and the reason why he got this response from the younger drivers, was because he was highly respected in many reasons.

      1. I never said it was teamorders but without that Fangio was only a 4 time champion. And Collins was stupid to give it away because he said he’ll be WDC later. Only thing he forgot was that in those days it was performance before safety, and that killed him 2 years later without ever coming close the being WDC again.

        1. The sentance was aimed at the other readers mate not you “before anybody gets any ideas.”

          Why was he stupid? in those days world titles meant nothing to what they are nowadays it was all about winning the grand prix’s. The WDC trophy in those days was just a end of year award for the best driver and Collins considerd himself lesser than Fangio.

          You have to understand there was a far different mentality back in those days and nothing like today.

  11. Suggestion: Try to put some videos as well.

  12. Car Failures – I imagine Kimi Raikkonen will be quite high up on this list ;)

    1. Later on in the series I’ll compile all the stats together so you can compare all 32 drivers directly.

  13. I don’t think the current points should be used for each driver. Instead points should be scaled as a percentage of those available each race.

    I say this because potentially you drive differently depending upon how your efforts are rewarded. This is especially true for the drivers who could get a bonus point for fastest lap, or for the drivers who drove with the 2008 points system where there was little difference between winning and finishing second compared to other systems. Also, drivers who were running 7th when the points only went down to 6th would often push beyond the limit trying to get the last point, if you reward the top 10 in that situation it’s not a fair comparison.

    If you scale as a percentage of points available then each driver is rewarded in the same ratio as they would have been at the time. I think that’s a fairer comparison.

    1. You can take this a step further and do % of points available in a season and a career, which I think would be a good measure.

      I’m not so sure about taking reliability into account. It could work out well, though in the early championships cars broke down a lot but a driver who was mechanically sympathetic could make a bigger difference.

  14. I think of a list of the masters of each era roughly. I have heard this list mentioned by experts and there is quite a consensus on it so here we go.

    Fangio, Moss, Clark, Stewart, Lauda, Prost, Senna, Schumacher.

    And since 2005 there’s clearly another ‘era’ of drivers so we could come up with a last name – Raikkonen, Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel maybe. In that particular order.

    But I think only time will tell who will this last name be.

    The greatest? I don’t know I’m curious about the pairings.

    1. I’m hoping people vote for who they actually think is the best, and that it doesn’t turn into a popularity contest (or in Schumacher’s case an unpopularity contest).

  15. It’s a shame Moss only managed four 2nd and three 3rd places in the World Drivers’ Championship in a seven year span so he’s not eligible to contest…

    1. I know, but that’s the way it is. As someone suggested earlier perhaps we can do a “best non-champion” version later.

      1. Perhaps. Or we could name the contest as a “best of the best” thingy thus eliminating the champion criteria. But then again it would be much more subjective.

        Anyway I won’t pick Moss out as the best so for me it doesn’t matter. I’d choose from Fangio, Clark, and Senna.

  16. We Want Turbos
    1st January 2011, 13:52

    @ David A – sorry using mobile site. Hill was not in the same class as Drivers from the generation previos, 2000 was the only year that Hakinnen/Schumacher really had the machinery to challenge each other. 2001 mclaren was fast but too fragile!! 2003 there was a clear car advantage, the championship was close but whilst Ferrari didn’t have the same advantage as in 2002 they still had a clear advantage. There is no doubting Schumachers class and he is rightly compared to Senna Prost Fangio but I feel of the 4, based on 1994, 1997, 2006 and 2010 he is 4th of the 4.

    1. Actually, many considered Williams to be the best overall package of 2003, after the sweeping regulation changes designed to help the others catch up to Ferrari.

      Both Mclaren and Williams had the car to fight Schumacher for wins in 2001, but none of the drivers had the consistency of the 7 time champ.

      In 1994 he won the title despite having 4 less rounds than his rivals to score.

      In 1997 he did a stupid thing at Jerez, but then again, who else could have come so close to the title in such a slow car compared to the FW19?

      And if being beaten by Alonso in 2006 can be used against Schumacher, then Prost being beaten by Senna in 1988 and 1990 an be used against Prost. And every other occasion that any driver didn’t win the title.

  17. Polls like this cant work in my opinion, its a case of listing them by their eras.

    Fangio was the best of the 50’s, Clark of the 60’s, Stewart of the 70’s (although Lauda runs it close) and only a fool would attempt at splitting Prost & Senna for the 80s (but then theirs Piquet!!!) etc

    On the whole, id vote for Clark. his record as statistics is just incredible. And he raced his whole career at Lotus in cars that would let him down when he least needed it (around 23 retirements in total). 25 wins in 73 races having 33 Pole Positions & with 32 podiums. Incredibly, he only finished 2nd on 1 occasion. So when the car didnt let him down he finished with some points or the win itself.

  18. How about “Gilles” instead of “Jacques”?

  19. There are drivers, who have not been champions, but were better then some of those mentioned… Stirling Moss, Gilles Villeneuve, Ronnie Peterson, Jacky Ickx or even Rene Arnoux can be seriously compared… Especially Fittipaldi, Button, J Villeneuve, Surtees, Hawthorn or Hulme are overated… Just look at how “many” laps they led in races (f1stats)… Most of the time they were just benefitors from other drivers technical issues, so not really WCs for me…

    My top 10 is:

    01. Alberto Ascari
    02. Juan Manuel Fangio
    03. Jim Clark
    04. Ayrton Senna
    05. Michael Schumacher
    06. Stirling Moss
    07. Jackie Stewart
    08. Alain Prost
    09. Niki Lauda
    10. Nigel Mansell

    I am looking at drivers abilities, not luck involved in results…

  20. schumi schumi schumi schumi

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