Kimi R??ikk??nen vs Jackie Stewart

Champion of championsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Champion of Champions: Kimi R??ikk??nen vs Jackie Stewart

Kimi R??ikk??nen and Jackie Stewart’s F1 careers each lasted less than a decade. That’s not particularly long by the standards of today – consider that Rubens Barrichello is heading into his record-breaking 19th season.

But they both did a lot of winning in their nine-year stints in the top flight as the statistics below make clear.

An in addition to their championships both also finished as runner-up in two seasons. Stewart was second to Graham Hill in 1968 and Emerson Fittipaldi in 1972, his performance in the latter season dogged by a stomach ulcer.

R??ikk??nen was second to Michael Schumacher in 2003 and Fernando Alonso in 2005. In the latter year he was dogged by engine problems in his McLaren.

Arguably, both retired earlier than they might have done. Stewart decided early in 1973 it would be his last season, and he spurned big-money offers to come back.

R??ikk??nen was dropped by Ferrari at the end of 2009 and has not shown an interest in returning, happy instead to concentrate on rallying.

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.

Kimi R??ikk??nen Jackie Stewart
Kimi R??ikk??nen, Ferrari, 2009 Jackie Stewart, Matra, 1969
Titles 2007 1969, 1971, 1973
Second in title year/s Lewis Hamilton Jacky Ickx, Ronnie Peterson, Emerson Fittipaldi
Teams Sauber, McLaren, Ferrari BRM, Matra, Tyrrell
Notable team mates David Coulthard, Juan Pablo Montoya, Felipe Massa Graham Hill, Johnny Servoz-Gavin, Francois Cevert
Starts 156 99
Wins 18 (11.54%) 27 (27.27%)
Poles 16 (10.26%) 17 (17.17%)
Modern points per start1 9.60 11.20
% car failures2 19.23 32.32
Modern points per finish3 11.89 16.55
Notes Signed by McLaren after a single season with Sauber Finished his first six races in the points and won his eighth start
Championship runner-up in third season and again in 2005 Runner-up to Graham Hill in 1968 before winning three titles in five years
Won title in first season for Ferrari after stunning late-season turn-around Retired on the eve of what would have been his 100th start after team mate Cevert was killed
Bio Kimi R??ikk??nen Jackie Stewart

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

Round one

Which was the better world champion driver?

  • Kimi R??ikk??nen (24%)
  • Jackie Stewart (76%)

Total Voters: 685

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Images ?? Ferrari spa (R??ikk??nen), (Stewart)

117 comments on “Kimi R??ikk??nen vs Jackie Stewart”

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  1. This is too easy.

  2. As much as I love Kimi, Jackie is simply, in terms of as an ambassador for the sport, and his contribution, as well as race wins and outright dominance in his era, far superior

    1. completely agree. In terms of speed, the two are close. Possibly Kimi being ahead. In terms of what they did for the sport and results, there can only be one. Stewart easily.

      1. I voted Kimi, just because I know he can’t win. What I found interesting is that Kimis cars failed him 1/5 of the time. In the 70s/80s that was a usual number, but today it isn’t anymore. Especially when racing against a Schumacher in a car that didn’t fail him for 3 seasons (or so) in a row, Alonso whose Renault was flawless or Hamilton whose car let him down only 2,8% of the time (amazing how McLaren got good in this respect AFTER Kimi left them). Thats how you lose championships. Also I may remember that incorrectly, but a lot of the times the McLarens failed when he was in quite good positions. I’d say Kimi could have been 3 time WDC, but still, Stewart has to win this.

        1. well. That brings up the whole ‘is Kimi a car breaker’ argument – one that Vettel seems to fall foul of too.

          1. Possible. Another name that could come up on many of those occasions is Adrian Newey. Hakkinens cars failed a lot too and I wouldn’t really rate him as a car breaker. Raikkonen sure punished the cars a lot and, well .. when I look at Vettel, he sometimes looks like he intentionally drives the car to a point where it breaks yet sometimes he is very precise and smooth. Hard to tell, but usually I’d tend to say that the engineers should build a car that endures the drivers style (as long as its not the Hulkenberg chicane style, cause thats rubbish).

          2. At Ferrari, in 2007, all went great. His second half was perfect. Kimi is fantastic. Car breaker, in these days? Maybe with tyres, but all the rest is controlled by computers, right?

          3. I wouldn’t attribute it to the drivers, but rather to the cars, or to be specific – Adrian Neway’s cars. They’re usually are equally fast and prone to mechanical failures.

    1. Are you mad? Stewart had less races and won more races, more championships and more modern points.

      1. Guilherme (@the_philosopher)
        22nd January 2011, 13:36

        And all that with more car failures too.

        Kimi is by far my favourite ever driver, but this is a no contest, Jackie is far superior.

      1. Kimi. Jackie looks too much like a rebel in that pic, and I’m a fan of the dark side.

        1. Haha, someone’s found a way of shutting him up though!

        2. You are right, Jackie looks like one of the bad guy from one of those mad max movies.

  3. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    22nd January 2011, 12:00

    Closer than I thought it would be, so far. Only one choice though. Kimi’s lacklustre final Ferrari years really do tarnish his image.

    1. Lacklustre? Ferrari sabotaging him makes him Lackluster?

      Good luck with Massa Ferrari, how many more years will it take to get another 30 second title?

      1. Why would Ferrari have tried to sabotage Kimi especially if he was their best driver?

        1. because they are in love with cheery boy Massa.

          1. I see a bunch of claims, but no hard proof. Like the last 20 times you posted about this.

          2. They weren’t so in love with him at Hockheinem. Winning means more.

          3. Honestly I don’t think they sabotaged him. I just think they preferred Massa (something which was most likely down to personalities) and Kimi was just down. When Massa was out they put all their efforts into Kimi and he cheered up again, once again showing that hes a world class driver. When he’s in the mood anyway.

          4. Why would they change development of the car to Massa’s style in 2008 when Kimi was leading the championship? why would Kimi take off the parts suited to Massa?

            why would massa get 2-4 laps less fuel in every qualifying?

            I’m guessin you’ve never watched the races or are a racist Massa fan against Kimi. its plain obvious.

          5. They changed the car development when Kimi started to fall behind in the championship. Massa prefers a lighter strategy, which enables him to qualify better, but hinders him for the race.

            Myself, Steph and Skett are not “racist” and we followed the 2008 season closely. Bottom line is that you’re wrong on this one (again).

          6. no. They changed the car after sepang, when Massa spun out again…Kimi complained in Spain, even though he won. You are wrong again, just look at Massa now without all the support…back to the 2nd rate driver he is…which is sad, that Kimi was faster than him even though he got sabotaged.

          7. There is no evidence that they began changing things that early. Besides, giving Massa extra assistance when he’s struggling is not the same thing as sabotaging Kimi Raikkonen. On that count, at the very minimum, you are wrong.

        2. actually there is, but you would have had to watch the races. But you obviously only concentrate on your golden boy Latinos, Alonso and Massa.

          Massa wasn’t struggling, he is just a bad driver in general…but Ferrari are in love with him so they completely changed it ignoring Kimi completely, therefore sabotage. What did it get them? a made up 30 second championship LOL. People say he lost the championship because of Singapore, how about his 5 spins 2 laps down at Silverstone? or the Sepang & Melbourne spinouts.

      2. Sabotage? Nonsense of the blatant Kimi-fanboy kind.

  4. Jackie, easily. Great in every sense of the word.

  5. Kimi?? People actually voted for Kimi in this…. :S
    In the first round I always voted for the guy that came out on top…except for the Kimi vs Vettel matchup, so I’m sure as hell not gonna vote for him now. It’s not that I think he isn’t a deserving champion, but against sir Jackie Steward…come on people

  6. Kimi Raikkonen.

    Stats don’t look good for kimi but you have to remember that Kimi was raching in the time of Michael Schumacher during his billionth WDC at ferrari, while Alonso was at his height at Renault. Then Lewis Hamilton at McLaren.

    Stewart on the other hand had Ickx, Rindt (until he died), fittipaldi (probably missed a couple).

    While Stewart’s cohort was no doubt a big challenge, racing against and racing for Gran Prix’s against Michael Schumacher (most wins ever), Leiws Hamilton (just listen to his fan club), Alonso etc…

    So Kimi Raikkonen for me

    1. Yes, I’d say you missed “a couple”…Clark, Hill, Brabham, Hulme, Peterson……

      1. Indeed, to say that stewards competition was any less then Stewards it unfounded. In my oppinion, I’d ran Stewars oppostition above that of Raikonnen’s any day of the week, clark vs Schumacher? Clark! Alonso vs Hill? Hill! Alonso vs Brabham? Brabham! Even Hamilton vs Peterson is doubtfull to me, and Kimi actually defeated Hamilton!

        1. completely agree with this sentiment. Clark, Hill, Fittipaldi and Cervert, Peterson, Ickx, in my opinion, rank above Alonso, Schumacher and Montoya. Fairly easily in fact. 3 multiple world champions.

          The period when Raikkonen could have won championships was between 2003-2007. That was when he was consistent and good enough/in the right car. Possibly 2008 in that as well. It was the end of the Ferrari dominance, so really to state Schumacher has taking away all of his opportunities is quite false, he took away 2003 and 2004.

          1. I have to agree Stewart had very impressive opposition, and also that Stewart has to win this.

        2. Rose-tinted glasses effect.

          In 30 years, F1 may end up seeming stale to many long time fans and they will be pining for a return to how things were today. People like you will consider the likes of Alonso, Raikkonen, Schumacher, Hamilton to have had “better” competition than the guys fighting for the WDC in the future. I bet you.

          1. But I did go for Jackie.

          2. I don’t think its so much who the people are – because i’m not ranking Alonso to be worse or better than Clark for example, instead there were more drivers capable of getting a win. In Kimi’s era, it was very much himself, Schumacher, Alonso and occasionally Coulthard, Montoya, Ralf Schumacher and Montoya. There were more genuine championship contenders in Stewarts era, and more people able to consistently challenge for a win. I’m not rating either era as greater, instead just stating the numbers.

      2. …Gurney, McLaren, Surtees, Bandini, Cevert, Regazzoni, Andretti, Revson, Pace, Reutemann…the amount of top tier talent on the grid from ’65 to ’73 is staggering.

        1. Jeffrey Powell
          22nd January 2011, 16:16

          Yes, and I have to add probably the ‘quickest driver to not win a Grand Prix’ Mr. C Amon.I was a fan of Kimi because he seemed to be very quick especially at Spa and as a fan of WRC any Fin in F1 has always appealed.But I have to say it again this is a vote for who was the better World Champion Driver. Sorry Kimi but JYS IS UP THERE WITH THE GREATS.

      3. I think Clark was competition for Stewart as Senna was to Schumacher… right? Not too much time…
        People like to think the past was better than the present. Why??? It is the same in football…
        It is just different, guys!

        1. Schumacher is statistically the greatest driver ever (I don’t know like schumacher though), and with Ferrari they had most probably the most fearsome combo between 2000-2004 ever. THe F1 english speaking (mostly British) media seem to think that Hamilton is around about Senna. Senna most would say is the greatest (though once again I differ by prefering Prost). I wasn’t alive back in Stewart’s time, but in my mind while Hamilton is overrated, he is bloody fast, Alonso at Renault and Schumacher at Ferrari were Raikkonens competition and I think that they were indeed some of the hardest competition in f1 ever.

        2. I don’t see any comment on this particular thread that says the past was better.

          1. To quote melkurion:

            In my oppinion, I’d ran Stewars oppostition above that of Raikonnen’s any day of the week, clark vs Schumacher? Clark! Alonso vs Hill? Hill! Alonso vs Brabham? Brabham! Even Hamilton vs Peterson is doubtfull to me, and Kimi actually defeated Hamilton!

          2. He’s comparing drivers Stewart raced against to drivers Raikkonen raced against, and he apparently thinks that those who raced against Stewart were better than those who raced against Raikkonen. He’s making an informed judgement on the abilities certain drivers…no “rose colored glasses” (that seems to be your label for anyone with an opinion different to yours) and no blanket assertion that “the past” was better.

          3. How do you know it was informed and not rose intinted? I atleast gave reasons to back up my reasoning (schumacher and his statistics, Alonso at Renault and Hamilton and the response of media worldwide about his abilities), melkurion simply stated two names and said one was btter than the other. How is that well informed.

            Logical pots
            kenny vs unoc? unoc!

            See, now my post is well informed too!

          4. I didn’t see anything in melkurion’s post that was well informed. Just a list of current drivers being said to be inferior to drivers of the past, with no reasoning behind it.

            And I pointed out the rose-tinted effect because I although sw6569 is correct that, there were more “competition” for wins and championships in Stewart’s day, that doesn’t mean that the drivers were all better than those competing in the current day. Just more evenly matched in terms of ability. The English Football League is usually very close since there is more “competition” than there is in the English Premier League. But because more teams can win League 1, does that mean that they are better than Premiership teams? How do you and melkurion know that current drivers weren’t just great enough to make a very talented field of F1 drivers look ordinary?

        3. unoc, what are you nattering on about??? I made no comment about your last post. Re melkurion, I count seven drivers compared and his observations are astute, which indicates to me that they are informed ones. And what in the world is a “logical pots”.

          1. I count seven drivers compared and his observations are astute, which indicates to me that they are informed ones.

            Anyone can post “Driver X vs Driver Y? Driver Y!”, without anything to explain those choices.

          2. Logical poSt. I accidentally typed ts rather than ST.

            As David A is saying, you seem to be believing that melkurion’s

            observations are astute

            Yet what he said was
            A vs B? B!
            C vs D? D!

            That doesn’t sound astute to me. Astute would include very good and thought out reasoning. I dont’ care if his post is not astute, but he didn’t actually make any point other than his thoughts.

            Saying Alono vs Fisi? Fisi! is just as reasoned and thought out as what he said. You would disagree with what I just said wouldn’t you? And that proves that what I said was just an opinion (not mine btw) not an

            astute post.

  7. I don’t agree that this one is too easy!

    I chose Mr Stewart – you could argue both ways on which is the most deserving champion on the track but Jackie has given F1 so much more than Kimi – One example of this is the safety improvements he doggedly brought to the sport.

    I could go on but i won’t…

  8. Kimi was certainly a talented F1 pilot, but he falls WAY short of Stewart by any possible measure.

  9. Just on their driving and on track exploits then it is Stewart but you could make an argument for Raikkonen I suppose, however if you factor in everything else Sir Jackie had done for Formula 1 it really is no contest.

  10. This is an easy for me. Stewart was a great champion, formed a great relationship with the team, had good pace and was a very smart and smooth racer. His win in the wet at Nurburgring in 68 made everyone else look like rookies at the time and none of Kimi’s performances (even Suzuka 05) can match that. If it was just about raw speed then Kimi would probably have a good chance. I like Kimi but I just had to vote for Jackie.

  11. Bigbadderboom
    22nd January 2011, 12:54

    Certainly an easier choice! Kimis last season left me wandering about his desire and calibre. Compare that to the charasmatic and more succesful JS and there is only one winner

  12. Sir Jackie’s contribution to the sport, like Sir Jack Brabham’s, goes way beyond his superb record and 3 titles… not contest.

  13. Starting to feel like this whole “game” is set up. Of course, Senna, Prost, Fangio will never go out before the finals unless they’re put up togheter in the first rounds..

    1. Offcourse it is, Keith already said he had “seeds”that wouldn’t go against eachotheruntill the later rounds, he just hasn’t made them public. But the pattern is obvious, teh first 2 winners from round 1 face eachother in round 2, first 2 winners from round 2 face in round 3 etc….

    2. This is a “head-to-head, knockout” competition and is not meant to establish a reader ranking of WDC drivers from 1 to 32. As I offered in another thread, no matter how the brackets are set up or how the drivers are seeded, there will always be those who just don’t agree. The goal is to see which WDC is left standing – as voted on by the registered readers. So far, the highest registered number of votes is 795 – and they are making the decisions as far as I can see.

  14. This is barely a contest. Stewart obviously the better champ on every front. As a driver, as a person, as a true fighter for safety measures, and he won 2 titles more than Kimi did. One of the true caracters that made this sport what it is.

    In comparison, Kimi looks like just another champ.

  15. cant stand jackie stewart so its kimi for me

    1. that’s a surprise.!!! You are entitled to have that opinion. But can you elaborate, and tell me what are the things that you don’t like about him? It must be more than one to just vote for kimi, with the huge diference in numbers, and risks he took to get those numbers.

      1. He refuses to accept the opinions of other pundits and commentators, has a level of arrogance which i think is unjustified and somewhat unessecary despite his impressive record and just comes across as a not very nice bloke

        I also hold him almost entirely responsible for costing silverstone the british grand prix, were it not for a very unfortunately timed credit crunch we would not be looking at a hugely impressive redevelopment of the track but instead be visiting donnington for the foreseeable future.

        Kimi was a fantastic racer, he was ridiculously fast and was let down by some really unreliable mclarens on more than one occasion which could have given him far more success than we are judging him on here. Admittedly at the end he had lost interest and as a ferrari fan he couldnt stay on.

        But i cant bring myself to vote for Jackie Stewart.

        1. like i said. Everybody is entitled to have an opinion.

          1. totally agree

  16. I’ll take the guy who mae the best of his talent as opposed to the guy who got out the car for an Ice-cream.

    Sir Jackie it is

    1. Seriously, why does this keep being brought up? It was a shock-journalist picture with no meaning.

      His car was out of action. Did not work. Could not move. Was not drivable. Not going to move an inch by its intended means of propulsion. Kaput. Un-fixable within time to go back out on track again before the race would finish. Was never going to be able to participate in the rest of the race.

      Do I need to come up with a different way to try to explain this point? That part of his job was done for the day. No more driving was to take place for him in that particular race. Over. Done with. Just waiting for the post-race analysis with his engineers.

  17. i was surprised kimi passed the first cut agaist vettel, but he is a cult driver for the younger generation. I can understand that, with a little effort.
    But he is now against f1 royalty. A driver that did everything that’s possible in the sport, with pace and grace.
    He saved lives, with the work he did on safety. He was a pioneer in that aspect of racing.
    And some of his victories are part of the sport’s folklore.
    He is my number six of all times as a pilot, number one as a motorsports figure.

    1. I think thats a slightly harsh description of Kimi, but certainly a really apt one for Jackie. F1 royalty, I like it

  18. JamesC1991 (@)
    22nd January 2011, 13:51

    Jackie wins this one without a doubt and gets my vote
    Kimi can’t get close on this one :(

  19. To use one of Kimi’s most frequent phrases, “For sure” it has to be Sir jackie.

    1. that’s more like massa’s. May be he copied it from kimi when they were at ferrari.

    2. Was just watching this great video of McLaren’s 1975 season.

      You get shambolic old style race starts, chaotic marshalling in the rain, a bit of famous Bernie’s ordering about, some race mechanics bending steering arms back with brute force

      … the highlight has to be 9minutes in when Emerson goes “for sure” crazy, with two of them in 10 seconds.

      Some classic 35year-old vintage “for sures”, a treat, and perhaps a clue as to where young Felipe picked them up from.

      1. cheers for this link, hadn’t seen that before. Really scary stuff – puts the (lack of) safety into perspective again when you have marshals waving yellow flags in the middle of the circuit

      2. Noooo….why did you have to post this video…? It’s 4 am, I just got home, I’m drunk, I sent a girl home because I need sleep, I decided to check internet for a few minutes saw this link, now I’m 8 minutes into it, and I can’t stop watching it!!!!!

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