Kimi R?‚?Ůikk?‚?¬nen vs Jackie Stewart

Champion of champions

Champion of Champions: Kimi R?‚?Ůikk?‚?¬nen vs Jackie Stewart

Kimi R?‚?Ůikk?‚?¬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?‚?Ůikk?‚?¬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?‚?Ůikk?‚?¬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?‚?Ůikk?‚?¬nen Jackie Stewart
Kimi R?‚?Ůikk?‚?¬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?‚?Ůikk?‚?¬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?‚?Ůikk?‚?¬nen (24%)
  • Jackie Stewart (76%)

Total Voters: 685

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Images ?ť?ģ Ferrari spa (R?‚?Ůikk?‚?¬nen), Ford.com (Stewart)

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117 comments on Kimi R?‚?Ůikk?‚?¬nen vs Jackie Stewart

  1. Michael Griffin said on 22nd January 2011, 17:05

    JYS, no problem.

    Kimi poorly defended his title which just settles it here.

  2. Malcolm (@malcolm) said on 22nd January 2011, 17:31

    I’m still a fan of Kimi, but he wasn’t in the same class as Stewart. Jackie’s win at the fog laden 14 mile Nurburgring in 1968, and beating his competitors by over 4 minutes, has to go down as one of the top drives in the history of F1.

    I will have to admit though that, Kimi’s drive at Suzuka in 2005 wasn’t too shabby.

  3. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 22nd January 2011, 17:50

    I voted for Kimi, because he was my favourite driver in F1 ever.

  4. debaser91 said on 22nd January 2011, 17:51

    Kimi Raikkonen is probably my favourite driver from the last 10 years of formula one, but Jackie Stewart undoubtedly wins this round. As has been mentioned he raced and beat the best in a very dangerous era of the sport, without even mentioning his enormous importance as a figure and ambassador of the sport off the track.

  5. mrgrieves (@mrgrieves) said on 22nd January 2011, 18:07

    Kimi deserved a title as one of the best drivers since the 80’s hayday of stars. For the vote however Jackie Stewart was the star of the 70’s in my view and his record right from the start of his carear is incredible. Always a front runner even with the brand new Tyrell team in 1970

  6. Marco said on 22nd January 2011, 18:08

    Not too much to think about here, really… :D
    Jackie gets my “invisible vote”… R√§ikkonen doesn t belong to top 20 or even 30 in my opinion… He drove 8 years for 2 top teams and the result was one lucky title with a “little help” of teammate Massa, who showed in 2008 and 2009 he is a not worser driver at all… I still can t get how R√§ikkonen passed duel with Vettel, who is a much likeable guy and more complete as R√§ikkonen ever was…

    • debaser91 said on 22nd January 2011, 19:14

      I’m not sure complete is a word I would use to describe Vettel at the moment. He is very fast, excellent at leading a race from the front, but if and when the Red Bull is not a rocket ship in qualifying it will be interesting to see if he is able to show good racecraft too.

      More complete than Raikkonen? I’m afraid I don’t see it at the moment, but Vettel has all the potential to be a great of the sport if he makes full use of his talent. Despite how quick Raikkonen was/is I couldn’t say he achieved what he should have done in terms of championships with his raw speed.

      • Marco said on 22nd January 2011, 19:51

        People, who worked with Vettel said he is very intelligent and very interested in things around himself, almost analytic… Same as Schumacher was… I never heard that being said about R√§ikkonen…

        • debaser91 said on 22nd January 2011, 20:04

          I’m not really sure what your point is.Do you mean as in feedback to the mechanics as how to improve the car, because otherwise I’m not sure how relevant that is.

          My only complaint of Vettel at the moment is that when he is not in the lead and he has to overtake he has made several errors and shown himself to be impulsive and slightly reckless. And if you say Raikkonen’s championship was lucky, you could also extend that to Vettel’s, lucky that his car was so dominant that he could make so many errors and still come out on top!

          • Marco said on 22nd January 2011, 21:24

            Yes, feedback, but also showing interest in details… There was an article some time ago, where was written, that Vettel very often makes som notices about what he consider as important and what he may use in the future…
            R√§ikkonen just sat in a car, drove a qualifying or race and bye, bye without showing any further interest in analysing why he didn t win, what was the problem, how the problem can be solved and so on… So, then it is not surprising he finished his Formula One bussiness with just one title, which even wouldn t be without
            2 additional points of Massa, who was in the lead…
            I don t know, if you understood, because English is not my native language, but this is my opinion on R√§ikkonen, who btw. also crashed to Sutil in Monaco…

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 23rd January 2011, 4:06

            I heard that his Mclaren mechanics did appreciate his level of input. His image of lazyness is only one that is attached to him because of his laid-back style, like with Berbatov in football.

            Mentioning Brazil 2007 isn’t the best thing to do with all those accusations that flew around about Red Bull not treating their drivers equally (although I still believe Webber was far too inconsistent to win the title).

            And the Sutil crash wasn’t reckless at all- he wasn’t taking any additional risk, but he got 2 of his tyres off the dry line and that caused his car to lose control. Kimi has enough overtakes to redeem that error anyway. Vettel swerved all over the place in the rain at Spa in an attempt to faze Button and turned into his teammate when it was clear he clearly wasn’t fully ahead in Istanbul.

  7. Damon said on 22nd January 2011, 18:19

    Kimi didn’t seem the so called fastest driver in f1 when he partnered massa.

    • kowalsky said on 23rd January 2011, 7:24

      agree. And when he partenered montoya in 2005, the colombian was a match most of the time, even having to hand him a victory at spa, because he had a better chance at the title.
      The perception fans have on kimi is based on the fact that they like him a lot, due to several facts outside his results.
      And i have to tell you i liked his ways too.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 23rd January 2011, 16:40

        Kimi was actually faster throughout the Turkish and Belgian weekends, Montoya just needed to be there to take second…which he didn’t.

        But indeed, Raikkonen is likeable, which didn’t stop me voting for Stewart.

  8. IceBlue said on 22nd January 2011, 20:12

    If Kimi wasn’t a privileged alcoholic playboy, and had been a totally focused professional driver like Jackie Stewart, he could’ve done much better even if he hadn’t been in a first class team.

  9. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 22nd January 2011, 21:20

    No contest. Sir Jackie,

  10. Bartholomew said on 22nd January 2011, 21:38

    I loved Jackie Stewart¬īs helmet.
    A strong graphic design that was distinctive from the distance.

  11. debaser91 said on 22nd January 2011, 21:50

    Fair enough Marco. Raikkonen is a bit of an strange driver, which is why people have such different opinions of him. Personally his whole outlook of purely focusing on the business of purely driving the car as quickly as possible rather than other details is what makes me a fan of him, whilst others don’t like him as they feel he is not committed or bothered. You’re right in that I can’t see him sticking around too long after a GP analysing the race :)

  12. Mr. T (@mr-t) said on 23rd January 2011, 1:03

    Kimi, for his ruthless and selfish pursuit of speed, money and fun.

  13. Ral (@ral) said on 23rd January 2011, 1:32

    Voted for Kimi, but like others, only because he can’t win this anyway and I am an admitted fan. But I don’t really think he should win this. Talent-wise, he might perhaps outclass Stewart and the man himself has been quoted as saying Kimi was the fastest on the track at one point during Kimi’s McLaren stint.

    But Stewart has been a much better ambassador for the sport, even after having retired and has done so much to push safety issues that, while Kimi probably bemoaned the resulting regulations, he was also “born into” as an F1 driver and therefore for the largest part must have taken for granted. And that’s not even going into the numbers, which very much favour Stewart.

  14. kowalsky said on 23rd January 2011, 7:18

    let’s remember two races they did in germany. jackie won at the old ring in 68, what everybody considered his best race. He kept the car in one piece in horrible weather conditions. On the other hand, people tend to blame mclaren for lack of reliability. But in 2005 when he was at the nurbugring in the las laps of the race being chased by alonso, he wasn’t smooth at all, when it was desperatly needed, and that finaly cost him the suspension failure.
    And now the kimi fans are going to get very upset, because like i said before, he is a cult driver for the fans that started watching f1 in the early 2000’s.
    He was fast and cool, but he didn’t used his talent to the maximun for lack of focus, steward on the other hand did.

    • debaser91 said on 23rd January 2011, 9:37

      To call Raikkonen a cult driver is maybe a bit harsh. When I think of recent drivers of that ilk someone like Takuma Sato fits the bill, or maybe Kobayashi at the moment. Someone who is fun to watch on the track but at the end of the day is not considered top draw.
      Raikkonen for all his flaws (and he has a few I admit) was one of the best performers of the last decade, although as I said earlier he is nowhere near a greater champion than Jackie Stewart.

  15. karasuma (@karasuma) said on 23rd January 2011, 8:44

    I voted for Kimi for one reason for me is The Best

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