Jody Scheckter vs Fernando Alonso

Champion of Champions

Champion of Champions Round 1: Jody Scheckter vs Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso is already a two-times world champion; with better luck, Jody Scheckter might have been.

In his first full season with Tyrrell in 1974, Scheckter placed third in the championship, ten points behind winner Emerson Fittipaldi.

As Tyrrell went up a blind alley with the six-wheeled P34, Scheckter moved to new team Wolf for 1977. he nearly ‘did a Button’ in the championship after winning the first race of the year, but finished the year runner-up to Niki Lauda’s Ferrari.

Two years later Scheckter had a Ferrari of his own and although he and team mate Gilles Villeneuve were closely matched, Scheckter had the edge. Late in the season the team ordered Villeneuve to let Scheckter claim the title.

Had Alonso won this year’s world championship he would have emulated Scheckter by winning the title in his first season for Ferrari. But Alonso already has a pair of titles under his belt from his Renault days.

As well as finishing runner-up this year, he tied on points with second-placed Lewis Hamilton in 2007, a single point behind champion Kimi R??ikk??nen.

Which of these drivers should go through to the next round of the Champion of Champions? Vote for which you think was best below and explain who you voted for and why in the comments.

Jody Scheckter Fernando Alonso
Jody Scheckter, Nurburgring, 1975 Fernando Alonso, Interlagos, Renault, 2004
Titles 1979 2005, 2006
Second in title year/s Gilles Villeneuve Kimi R??ikk??nen, Michael Schumacher
Teams McLaren, Tyrrell, Wolf, Ferrari Minardi, Renault, McLaren, Ferrari
Notable team mates Patrick Depailler, Gilles Villeneuve Giancarlo Fisichella, Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa
Starts 112 158
Wins 10 (8.93%) 26 (16.46%)
Poles 3 (2.68%) 20 (12.66%)
Modern points per start1 8.00 10.58
% car failures2 18.75 10.76
Modern points per finish3 9.85 11.86
Notes Partial season as McLaren’s third driver in 1973 Debuted for Minardi in 2001 then spent a year testing for Renault before making race return
Spent three seasons with Tyrrell before giving Wolf a win in their first race in 1977 Back-to-back titles for Renault in 2005 and 2006
Won the 1979 title for Ferrari after Gilles Villeneuve was instructed not to pass him at Monza Formerly the youngest ever world champion
Bio Jody Scheckter Fernando Alonso

1 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of races they started
2 The percentage of races in which they were not classified due to a mechanical failure
3 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of starts in which they did not suffer a race-ending mechanical failure

Which was the better world champion driver?

  • Jody Scheckter (21%)
  • Fernando Alonso (79%)

Total Voters: 718

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Images ?? Ford (Scheckter), Renault/LAT (Alonso)

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145 comments on Jody Scheckter vs Fernando Alonso

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  1. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 2nd January 2011, 12:13

    Alonso has been more consistent than Jody. WDC in 2005 and 2006 – albeit Raikkonen in the McLaren and Schumacher in the Ferrari was faster for long periods respectively and arguably only lost the titles because of car failures.

    Anyway 2nd in 2007 and 2010. The second half of 2010 was simply marvelous with only one big mistake in 7-8 races. That’s 4 top two finishes in 6 years. Spectacular.

  2. Slr (@slr) said on 2nd January 2011, 12:37

    Alonso’s title win in 2006 in my opinion was one of the greatest championship triumphs ever. He gave himself a good lead early on, but then Ferrari caught up and I think Alonso did a great job dealing with the pressure from Schumacher.

    Scheckter’s stats in general are not as good as Alonso’s though he looked like a great driver. But these days everyone is talking about his team mate Villeneuve, though dare I say, his death is probably one of the reasons why.

    Scheckter was great, but he never took Formula One by storm like Alonso has done.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 2nd January 2011, 12:41

      Agree on 2006 – one of the best championship wins I’ve seen.

      • Soumya Banerjee said on 5th January 2011, 16:00

        What was so great about a lucky win resulting from an untimely engine failure? The only reason ALO won in 2005 and 2006 was because he had a more reliable car. Kimi and Michael,and Lewis in 2007 all outdrove him.

        • Soumya,

          Alonso won the title on both 2005 and 2006 with an inferior car. That does say something. Din’t you watch Imola 2005?

          Alonso stopped the Schumacher & Ferrari dominance and inaugurated a new phase in Formula 1. That in itself is a reason to place him among the greats. What was great about 2006 was that though Schumacher was much faster Alonso was close behind, never giving up. That’s how championships are won, at least in Formula 1.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 2nd January 2011, 14:42

      I agree with you on that 2006 championship. It had the mass damper stripped, the FIA rallying for Ferrari on several occasions and Alonso and the team knew he was going to McLaren in 2007 from even before the season started. He really did in for Schumi at Ferrari.

    • On Villeneuve – he had already become an iconic figure before his death. He was seen as the fastest natural driver on the grid.

    • DanielPT (@danielpt) said on 3rd January 2011, 11:40

      Agreed, that is why my vote goes to Alonso…

    • chemakal said on 6th January 2011, 22:49

      Totally agree. Great championship that year. My vote to Alonso for bringing down Schumacher’s and Ferrari’s reign in 05&06 with an inferior car and a FIA in love with the german.

  3. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 2nd January 2011, 12:39

    Just like the first one it’s a one way battle. I think things will heat up on round two as we don’t know who is pairing whom in the second round.

    • Scribe (@scribe) said on 2nd January 2011, 17:29

      I’d agree, Scheckter and Alonso can’t really be compared, I reckon Alonso will be remembered long after his era, Scheckter hasn’t really had a lasting impact.

      • woops, ment to say don’t really compare, Alonso just on another level.

        Not like with Farina where the war robbed him of his best years, so his true potential was hidden from us.

  4. TrueF1Grit (@truef1grit) said on 2nd January 2011, 12:40

    Despite the modern points per available finish I feel Alonso was up against it more. Schumacher titles before his own made it difficult to touch the first place finish he longed for before his titles/Renault career. Alonso did more with the cars he had. And yes, like Atticus said, 4 top 2’s in 6 years. But then again to compare that Hamilton’s been in contention into the last race for 3 out of the 4 years, with 2 of those years in a convincing position.

  5. Jonathan Wallcroft said on 2nd January 2011, 12:43

    Surely Yoong and Piquet count as notable team mates for Alonso. But seriously i’m gonna back Alonso it took Scheckter 5 years to win his first title by which point Alonso’d won two. Also in those days Alonso didn’t need someone to move over for him to win unlike Scheckter.

  6. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 2nd January 2011, 12:48

    Not so one-sided as the first one, but still there’s a firm favorite – Alonso.

  7. robk23 (@robk23) said on 2nd January 2011, 12:58

    I voted for Scheckter, purely because he’s not Alonso.

    • Racehound said on 2nd January 2011, 13:06

      wow….this is the kind of logic you should keep in football….F1 doesnt need this level of stupidity!!!

    • I don’t think that this is a popularity contest.

      • JustAnF1Fanatic (@justanf1fanatic) said on 2nd January 2011, 13:31

        i agree i personally dont like alonso. yet you cant deny that hes a great driver one of the best in his time. this is not who you like the most but who is the best champion, and alonso has a large edge of scheckter

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 2nd January 2011, 14:09

      This isn’t a popularity contest, it’s about who was the better driver.

      • robk23 (@robk23) said on 2nd January 2011, 14:24

        I can only think that Alonso won in 2005 because McLaren had an unreliable car and Ferrari didn’t have their best machine either. 2006 was better but drivers champions from the old days just seem a bit more special than Alonso’s championships.

        • Kimster said on 3rd January 2011, 9:48

          Ferrari didn’t win because the FIA gave Renault and McLaren (and the other Michelin cars) an advantage. Michelin already had a tyre that could last a whole race where Bridgestone had to start researching it just before the season started.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 3rd January 2011, 19:55

            Come on …Ferrari had bridgestone make tailor made tyres for their #1 driver. Please come up with a better excuse.

          • David A said on 3rd January 2011, 21:50

            Bridgestone did really mess up their tyres for 2005, as they didn’t adapt well to the regulations that year stating that tyres had to last a full race distance.

      • Scalextric (@scalextric) said on 2nd January 2011, 17:33

        Better driver or better champion? There seems to be more that goes into winning championships than pure driving. There’s patience, consistency, ruthlessness, team politics. E.g., Button almost lost his massive lead in 2009 because he wilted under the pressure, some commentators asserted.

        So I’m voting for one of my least favorite F1 personalities (ALO) because he’s won in multiple ways. I remember Scheckter, but not as a dominant threat to win consistently.

      • Jay Menon said on 3rd January 2011, 1:07

        I agree with Keith 100%.

        This is not a popularity contest.

        Alonso is probably not one of the nicest guys on the grid, but he is undoubtedly on top of his game, his stats speak for themselves, no arguments there.

        These drivers are not on the F1 grid to make friends, they are there to win races and championships and its sad to say that in the current world of competitve sport, in order to be the best, you have to make some unpopular moves along the way.

        We will talk of Alonso v Hamilton and possibly v Vettel for years to come, just like how we still talk about Senna v Prost. It just shows that these drivers are up there with the greats.

        Alonso v Schekter…sorry Jody, Alonso takes the cake here.

        Keep in mind that Alonso is still the youngest double world champion ever!

        • Mike said on 3rd January 2011, 9:26

          I 100% agree, I personally can’t stand Alonso, He’s a dirty foul tempered arrogant person in my opinon.

          But I think he is clearly the greater of the two, When I can remember my password and be bothered to log in, I’m not going to vote for Alonso because I like him. Because I don’t. I’m going to vote for Alonso because I believe that he is the greater champion.

    • SVettel (@) said on 2nd January 2011, 18:00

      Agreed

  8. LHJBFTW (@lhjbftw) said on 2nd January 2011, 13:00

    Scheckter looked like he had more of a hard time getting to the top, he did well with Tyrrell and won with a 6 wheeled car. with wolf he had 8 different chaises in 2 seasons. And he beat Gilles Villeneuve which is a very impressive achievement. I know Alonso will win this so I voted for Scheckter because I don’t think he deserves to be beaten by miles which is what I suspect will happen.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 2nd January 2011, 15:14

      That is pretty good reasoning for going with Scheckter, I agree that it feels as if Alonso had it a bit easier getting to the top, and beating Villeneuve is indeed a very notable achievement.

      I have to say, it would be hard to swallow losing Alonso in the first round though. Sure in 2005 others lost a lot of points through unreliability, but still, Alonso was there to pick them up. 2006 – I didn’t watch a lot of that season at the time, but have seen most of the races since, and it was really a very good season for Alonso, as I saw others remark, he really beat Schumacher/Ferrari and they knew it. 2007 he was very fast as well, and would have taken that title, if it hadn’t been for Hamilton. 2008 he did well to get the most out of the car, even if we forget about Singapore, he still won a race and didn’t give up during the season. So I

      But maybe I just have more images of Alonso doing impressive things than I have for Scheckter.

      • Scribe (@scribe) said on 2nd January 2011, 17:31

        Alonso got to the top so quickly because of what he did in the Minardi, he drove that car so far beyond what it was capable of that he got major attention for it.

        He was lucky that the big team who sat up to take notice started challenging for championships two years after he got the drive.

        • Jay Menon said on 3rd January 2011, 0:58

          Scribe,

          Alonso didnt just end up at Renault and got handed a great car, he was testing for them since 02 and raced two seasons before getting the championship wining car unlike some of his contemporaries..its fair to say that he had a hand in developing the cars that won him the title.

          • Your point being?

            Didn’t say he didn’t help with development. Are you saying he single handedly took Renault too front running status? I hope not. All I’m saying is he picked the right team, he might have ended up at Toyota or something before Renault.

          • Jay Menon said on 3rd January 2011, 5:00

            There is no driver on the grid or in history that has taken a car single handedly to the front of the grid. This is a very subjective matter.

            Some would say that Michael Schumacher single handedly transformed Ferrari to World Champions from where they were in the 90s, obviously that cant be entirely true, because he was just a very important component in a team full of very talented people.

            Same can be said about Alonso. He was in a team with the right people and he would have been an important component in the development of the car. So yes, Alonso and everyone in that team developed the car to a Championship winning one.

            When you say he “picked”, what do you mean by that? I dont think he had a parade of race seats to pick from at the time, he was driving for Minardi, and with Flavio as his manager, the move was only natural. He never got handed a car that could win races from day one, he worked at it with the team and eventually got his first win at the Hungararing in 03.

  9. Simon Duck (@simon-duck) said on 2nd January 2011, 13:03

    I had to go for Alonso. Even if you don’t like the guy, I don’t think you can deny he is one of the best (IMO the best) on the field at the moment. I like the match-up as they have both used tea orders to win, hopefully taking away the bias, or so you thought :p

  10. Alonso. Scheckter was a very good driver but not one of the greatest ever. Alonso might very well be one someday.

  11. Daniel said on 2nd January 2011, 13:23

    I expected this to be closer than the vote is indicating, in only because Schekter beat Villenuve in the same car. However, whenever you see one of these types of ‘all-time best’ things the moderns always do better than I expect.

  12. Its harder then it looks, despite Jody’s 1 WDC to Nandos 2, im trying to judge (all of these polls) evenly due to the varying rules/standards of the day, not to mention i wasnt born when Scheckter was driving.

    So, from the statistics… ive gone for Alonso. Ive considered them all and he nudges it. But credit to Scheckter, he won a title in the decade of Lauda, Hunt, Peterson and Villeneuve which is a great achievement in itself.

    Keith (or someone please), didnt drivers of the 70s have to discount 2 race (points) results from their final standings, has this been included in Jody’s Points/modern points stats that you’ve included??

    • Daniel said on 2nd January 2011, 13:47

      I don’t think it has. Keith states in the introductory article that he has used the modern points system.

      I agree with you that this changes things a little. If you can only improve your points tally by winning, then why not try that impossible move? Because someone might not take that into account in an ‘all-time best driver’ poll 40 years later isn’t an idea that crosses your mind.

      In the early days of the championship you also got a bonus point for fastest lap.

      Some seasons there were far fewer people to beat.

      In the days of 10-6-4-3-2-1 you would probably be more aggressive at the pointy end than in the days of 10-8-6-4-3-2-1 too, just applying modern points doesn’t take these things into account.

      This is why I thought that what would be better was a percentage of points possible. If you do this per race and per season you get a better picture. Though you’d probably also want to include the mean of points possible too for reference.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 2nd January 2011, 14:10

      Yep, all points have been calculated using the modern points system – that includes ignoring all the ’11 best scores count’ stuff from earlier seasons.

  13. sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 2nd January 2011, 13:39

    There are two quotations in the original text that have made me chose Alonso very easily.

    “Won the 1979 title for Ferrari after Gilles Villeneuve was instructed not to pass him at Monza”

    and

    “Late in the season the team ordered Villeneuve to let Scheckter claim the title.”

    Now we all know that Alonso is the current number 1 at Ferrari, but I think its also widely thought that Alonso is also better than Massa (and indeed all of his prior teammates). Scheckter hasn’t managed to shake off any ‘Gilles would have won the title if…’ criticisms, but no one at all thinks that Fisichella would have won the title in 05 and 06. Alonso dominated his team mate and the sport in his title winning years and is still a major player. I dislike him intensely, but Alonso gets it in this round convincingly.

  14. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 2nd January 2011, 13:45

    Jody Scheckter is an incredibly underrated WDC. As Keith said, he was a match for Gilles Vileneuve in the same car, and yet the driver we all idolise and talk about is GV…that’s being very unfair to Jody. He overcame a reputation as a crasher early on in his career to become a WDC against greats that included Villenueve, Jones and Andretti. That has to count for something.

    I wouldn’t say he is better than Alonso, but I voted for Jody because he was more than a match for some of F1’s all time legends.

  15. Marco said on 2nd January 2011, 14:00

    What is the key in choosing the drivers couples, if I may ask? Why directly Scheckter with Alonso?

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