Ayrton Senna vs Graham Hill

Champion of Champions

Champion of Champions: Ayrton Senna vs Graham Hill

Ayrton Senna and Graham Hill not only won the world championship on more than one occasion, they were also runner-up several times too.

Senna won the title three times and was runner-up twice, whereas Hill won the championship twice and placed second in three consecutive years, from 1963 to 1965.

But while Hill set a record for competing in 18 seasons – a record equalled last year by Rubens Barrichello – Senna’s was tragically curtailed when he was killed at Imola.

However the final years of Hill’s career came after he was badly injured in a crash at Watkins Glen in 1969. It clearly impaired his later performances and his days of driving for top teams like BRM and Lotus were soon over.

Both Senna and Hill also shared a team with another of the great drivers of their day.

Senna was partnered with Alain Prost at McLaren in 1988 and 1989, winning a title apiece. Hill joined Jim Clark at Lotus in 1967. That partnership was brought to an end by Clark’s untimely death in 1968.

In 1969 Hill won the Monaco Grand Prix for the fifth time – a record, until Senna scored his sixth Monaco victory in 1993.

Coincidentally, Senna’s final team mate was Graham’s son Damon – his opponent in the first round of Champion of Champions.

But which of these drivers should go through to the quarter-finals? Vote for which you think was best below and explain who you voted for and why in the comments.

Ayrton Senna Graham Hill
Ayrton Senna, Williams, 1994 Graham Hill
Titles 1988, 1990, 1991 1962, 1968
Second in title year/s Alain Prost, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart
Teams Toleman, Lotus, McLaren, Williams Lotus, BRM, Brabham, Embassy
Notable team mates Alain Prost, Gerhard Berger, Mika Hakkinen Richie Ginther, Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark
Starts 161 175
Wins 41 (25.47%) 14 (8.00%)
Poles 65 (40.37%) 13 (7.43%)
Modern points per start1 11.68 6.02
% car failures2 20.50 33.14
Modern points per finish3 14.70 9.00
Notes Won three titles in four years with McLaren Narrowly lost 1964 title to John Surtees after being hit by Lorenzo Bandini
Controversial clash with Prost sealed second title Won second title in 1968 following team mate Jim Clark’s death
Killed in third race for Williams in 1994 Died in a light aircraft accident shortly after concluding then-record 176-race career
Bio Ayrton Senna Graham Hill

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?

  • Ayrton Senna (89%)
  • Graham Hill (11%)

Total Voters: 538

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Images ?? Williams/Sutton (Senna), Brian Waddell (Hill)

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68 comments on Ayrton Senna vs Graham Hill

  1. rdenatale (@rdenatale) said on 23rd January 2011, 14:05

    I know that Senna is going to win this. But I voted for Hill for the same reasons I voted for Andretti vs. Stewart. The Triple Crown is important.

    • Chalky (@chalky) said on 24th January 2011, 8:39

      I also voted for Hill. Why? Well I believe that Senna won his titles with a superior performing car. He was up against Prost. Hill had Clark & Stewart. It was marginal but I would say Hill had the tougher opponents and tougher reliability to deal with.

      Hill and Senna were very similar. If you watched “Driven” as mentioned earlier you would have taken note to the way Graham prepared for the weekends, with notes about every setup. This matched with Ayrton’s knowledge of track and bumps that he would relay back in detail after a lap of the track.

      I admire both drivers and both are two of my favourites. It was a tough choice.

  2. Senna by a whisker. Hill was one of those all round kind of drivers, as shown in being the only Triple Crown holder in history, and that he went on (wrongly or rightly) for so long in an era when fate could have stepped in at any time. Ironic that Hill survived F1 for so long through its most dangerous days, when Senna was the last person to die in F1 when (at that time) it had never been safer, or so many believed, and was the last driver to die. Senna’s death, like Stewarts campaign in the 60’s/70’s has probably brought about as much of an impact on the way things are done in F1 from a saftey pospective as the impact his driving had on those that saw it.

    So on reflection, its Senna. But when he comes across some of the other drivers in the next/later round(s), I think il be casting my vote elsewhere.

  3. I predict Senna and either Schumacher or Clark in the final… That will be a toughie…

  4. infy (@infy) said on 23rd January 2011, 16:47

    Its going to be a final between MS and Senna XD

  5. Schumacher will not reach semi finals

  6. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 23rd January 2011, 18:26

    See my comment on the last Senna vote for my reasons in voting for another Hill.

  7. 0634 (@) said on 23rd January 2011, 20:26

    No competition. Senna is the man.

    • f1yankee said on 23rd January 2011, 23:12

      i disagree. between these 2, hill is “the man”. he is also the man, and occasionally the “man”.

  8. David B said on 24th January 2011, 8:39

    Graham Hill against…God!
    Senna gets mine.

  9. I’m not saying it’s unfair… I’ m saying Senna is a “monster” and round 3 will be much difficult.

  10. Pionir (@pionir) said on 24th January 2011, 13:28

    “Which was the better world champion driver?”

    Better in performances or better in etiquette?

    I’ve put Senna, but clearly (like Schuie) he gets deductions for bad track manners

  11. ukk (@ukk) said on 24th January 2011, 17:57

    A no-brainer. Senna is really impressive – just imagine: he won every 4th race (25%)! Wow! And 40% poles – that’s almost every other qualifying!

  12. Bellof (@bellof) said on 24th January 2011, 18:39

    Senna was sublime almost every time he sat in a car, can anyone out there recall any of G.Hill’s finest moments? Senna for the final against any of JMF, MS, JC or Prost.. Personally I think Fangio depending on the draw configuration, its all up to Keith!

    ‘On a given day… you can fly very high’ has anyone in F1 ever flew higher…

  13. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 25th January 2011, 8:00

    Champions of champions, Senna it is!

  14. TED BELL said on 25th January 2011, 20:11

    I have said it many times before I am not a Senna fan at all, but this comparison to Graham Hill is kind of a waste of time. Senna was great driver and he deserves to advance over Hill.

  15. Raikkonen_Biggest_Fan (@) said on 25th January 2011, 23:40

    Senna no doubt about it!

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