Juan Manuel Fangio vs Jackie Stewart

Champion of Champions

Champion of Champions: Juan Manuel Fangio vs Jackie Stewart

As well as being multiple champions, Juan Manuel Fangio and Jackie Stewart are both drivers whose successes were concentrated into a relatively brief period of time.

Between them they started less than half the number of races Rubens Barrichello has.

Fangio won four world titles on the trot from 1954-7. Factor out the 1952 season he lost to injury and he picked up all five of his titles within six years of competition.

Stewart won three titles in five years and might have had more: he missed the 1968 title by four points and in 1972 was hit by an illness which kept him out of the cockpit.

Both drivers also understood the importance of choosing the right time to stop. Fangio did not stay long after winning his fifth championship. Stewart planned to retire after the final race of 1973, an arrangement that was hastened by the death of his team mate Francois Cevert.

The Nurburgring was the scene of some of their greatest drives. In 1957 Fangio recovered a minute to catch and pass the Ferraris of Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins. He did so by daring to take the Nordschleife’s corners in one gear higher than he’d been using before.

The same daunting and dangerous circuit was the target of Stewart’s forward-thinking safety campaign. But he mastered it as a driver as well, winning there three times. In 1968, in pouring rain and thick fog, he came home four minutes ahead of second-placed Graham Hill.

Between them they won eight world championships and over a third of their 150 race starts.

But 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.

Juan Manuel Fangio Jackie Stewart
Juan Manuel Fangio, 1955 Jackie Stewart, Matra, 1969
Titles 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957 1969, 1971, 1973
Second in title year/s Alberto Ascari, Jose Froilan Gonzalez, Stirling Moss, Stirling Moss, Stirling Moss Jacky Ickx, Ronnie Peterson, Emerson Fittipaldi
Teams Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Mercedes, Ferrari BRM, Matra, Tyrrell
Notable team mates Giuseppe Farina, Peter Collins, Stirling Moss Graham Hill, Johnny Servoz-Gavin, Francois Cevert
Starts 51 99
Wins 24 (47.06%) 27 (27.27%)
Poles 29 (56.86%) 17 (17.17%)
Modern points per start1 17.12 11.20
% car failures2 17.65 32.32
Modern points per finish3 20.79 16.55
Notes Missed 1952 season due to injury Finished his first six races in the points and won his eighth start
Handed 1956 title by team mate Peter Collins Runner-up to Graham Hill in 1968 before winning three titles in five years
Record haul of five titles unequalled until 2002 Retired on the eve of what would have been his 100th start after team mate Cevert was killed
Bio Juan Manuel Fangio 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 two

Round one

Which was the better world champion driver?

  • Juan Manuel Fangio (65%)
  • Jackie Stewart (35%)

Total Voters: 586

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Images ?é?® Daimler, Pirelli (Fangio), Ford.com (Stewart)

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104 comments on Juan Manuel Fangio vs Jackie Stewart

  1. 5150 (@) said on 27th January 2011, 20:39

    I’m sure semi-finals will be :

    Prost vs Senna
    Fangio vs Schumacher

    Winners: Senna and Fangio

    Champion of champions: Senna

    One way or the other it will a tough call. I believe Schumacher doesn’t stand a chance against any of other three.

    Someone in Lauda vs Prost duel put it best: Prost was probably the most complete F1 driver ever.

    This is getting more and more interesting.
    Thanks Keith.

    • debaser91 said on 27th January 2011, 20:48

      If you look at the draw and the seedings it will be
      Schumacher vs Prost and
      Fangio vs Senna if Fangio and Senna win their respective rounds, so one of Fangio and Senna will go out in the semis.

  2. 5150 (@) said on 27th January 2011, 20:43

    Oh, I voted Fangio

  3. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 27th January 2011, 20:58

    Stewart, for three reasons.

    First of all, he was phenomenally talented and his stats aren’t the same as Fangio’s because he wasn’t always in the best car.

    Second of all, his abilities as a development driver were and still are immense. Not only was he instrumental in the dominance of the Tyrell 003 but he was also responsible for testing the Ford Mondeo, one of the most successful road cars ever.

    Thirdly, no man has done more to make F1 as safe as it is today. The long road from deaths every other weekend to 17 years since the last driver fatality in F1 has been paved in a very large part by Stewart himself. As a world champion he used his status to make sure that all but one of the world champions that followed were alive to see their achievement realised.

    • Kenny (@kenny) said on 28th January 2011, 8:03

      I really hate to give Bernie and Max credit for anyhting, but…credit where credit is due: the safety drive was spearheaded by Stewart, Ecclestone, and Mosely. True, no one has done more than Jackie, but at least two others have done as much.

  4. DeadManWoking (@deadmanwoking) said on 27th January 2011, 21:47

    in 1972 was hit by an illness which kept him out of the cockpit

    Stewart only missed 1 race in 1972, the Belgian GP at Spa, and ended the season 16 points behind Fittipaldi (9 points for a win then). Fangio missed the entire 1952 season.

  5. Willis (@willis) said on 27th January 2011, 22:06

    Fangio was in a differnt era of racing, the cars were no where near as powerful. Its inevitable Senna will win though, don’t see how personally. I find the whole ‘paradox’ of Senna that Brundle spoke of during the top gear feature was precisely why Senna is over rated. He resorted to driving other drivers off the track if he deemed it necessary. Thats not brilliance thats plain stupidity.

    • kowalsky (@kowalsky) said on 27th January 2011, 22:33

      were you following f1 when he was driving, because as far as i can see you have been manipulated.
      Senna only pushed one driver out of the road during his career. Prost at suzuka. And he was pressured into it.
      Don’t put senna into schumi’s club. He was decent, but was forced to take matters into his own hands, because balestre robbed him one title in 89, and was trying to do it again in 1990.

  6. Malcolm (@malcolm) said on 27th January 2011, 22:59

    At this stage Keith…..please now don’t compare Senna and Fangio.

  7. RoboCAT (@robocat) said on 28th January 2011, 1:03

    Wow, this is really hard to choose. I voted for Fangio, just.

  8. scratt (@scratt) said on 28th January 2011, 4:28

    Fangio. Never been a fan of Stewart.

    Plus, even my Mum has heard of Fangio.
    It’s the nickname she uses for me when I drive too fast, even today in my 40’s!

  9. mrgrieves (@mrgrieves) said on 28th January 2011, 5:42

    Stewart has this easily for me! Was the top driver of the 70’s and in my opinion through the 60’s as well. Almost winning the title in the cars he had during the 60’s, compaired to his teamates is amazing. Shame he seems to be on his way though out

  10. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 28th January 2011, 8:54

    The hardest thing about the champion of champions is the different eras they drove in. Many different aspects of the sport come in to consideration, contracts and cars are just part of it. Stewart was involved in a difficult and evolving time for grand prix racing, therefore he wins my vote.

  11. Sasquatsch (@sasquatsch) said on 28th January 2011, 11:44

    Fangio!

    According to the stats, relatively speaking the best driver there was. And beating the likes of Farina, Ascari, Moss, Hawthorn and Collins is no little feat either. Besides, always having a competitive car is a quality for the best drivers as well, since it is a combination of car and driver that gets the results.

    Although Stewart also belongs to the best there are (just as some others in this competition), with some impressing results as well as races, he just hasn’t (imho) the edge over Fangio.

    Of course it is all subjective and based on hearsay since I haven’t seen both of them actually race. But that’s what this competition is about.

  12. kosmic said on 28th January 2011, 12:12

    all this talk of car hopping being a down fall of fangio’s must hold schumacher and his development and commitment to ferrari a high chance of winning the champion of champions? i think this to be a talent of fangio’s, would you have chosen a drive that would leave you with a slimmer chance of winning a title? racers/champions are there to win the title. Whilst i agree jackie has done alot for the sport in making it safer etc this is a poll for the champion of champions not for who has done the most for the sport, i dont believe this should be taken in to account when voting. Sorry Jackie fans my vote is for Fangio hands down

    • Dougie (@f1droid) said on 28th January 2011, 13:22

      Define “champion of champions” and I think you’ll find many different interpretations.

      If it’s all to do with statistics and WDCs/races/poles/fastest laps etc won there is no need for a vote, just give it to Schumacher, job done.

      But, fortunately, that is not all this is about.

  13. McLarenFanJamm (@mclarenfanjamm) said on 28th January 2011, 12:35

    Keith, you are a very very cruel man.

  14. tescoru (@tescoru) said on 28th January 2011, 13:53

    Stewart for his safety campaigns

  15. jacques said on 28th January 2011, 21:01

    It looks like most people are just voting for the numbers of world championships and not only this time. This competition is therefore useless.

    I wonder how so many of you can actually compare the two drivers. The average age must be around 65 here.

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