Champion of Champions
Ayrton Senna and Jack Brabham each won three world championships – but these two drivers had very different careers.
One interesting similarity is they both won the championship and then lost it to their team mate the following year. Although it happened in rather different circumstances.
Brabham’s third championship in 1966 was remarkable because he won it at the wheel of a car he’d built himself. But the following year team mate Denny Hulme took the title off him, then left the team.
The tension between Senna and Alain Prost (a fellow Champion of Champions quarter-finalist) at McLaren was on a whole other level.
Senna won the championship in 1988 but the following year Prost beat Senna to the title. The championship was decided after Prost controversially collided with his team mate at Suzuka.
It’s hard to put Brabham’s achievement of winning the title with his own entry into perspective today, when even the smallest teams have hundreds of staff. Senna’s technical abilities have sometimes been underestimated but even so its difficult to compare any driver with Brabham on this benchmark.
Senna’s career came to an end far sooner than it should have. Although Brabham started fewer races his career stretched across 16 seasons; Senna was killed in his 11th.
The superstar status Senna had in the later years of his career was not something ‘black Jack’ would have envied – he was well-known for spurning the increased attention that inevitably accompanied his success.
The engineering wizard and the master of the pole position. These are two very different thrice-champions.
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.
|Ayrton Senna||Jack Brabham|
|Titles||1988, 1990, 1991||1959, 1960, 1966|
|Second in title year/s||Alain Prost, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell||Tony Brooks, Bruce McLaren, John Surtees|
|Teams||Toleman, Lotus, McLaren, Williams||Cooper, Brabham|
|Notable team mates||Alain Prost, Gerhard Berger, Mika Hakkinen||Bruce McLaren, Dan Gurney, Denny Hulme|
|Wins||41 (25.47%)||14 (11.38%)|
|Poles||65 (40.37%)||13 (10.57%)|
|Modern points per start1||11.68||7.63|
|% car failures2||20.50||34.96|
|Modern points per finish3||14.70||11.74|
|Notes||Won three titles in four years with McLaren||Back-to-back titles for Cooper in 1959 and 1960|
|Controversial clash with Prost sealed second title||Then became only driver to win a championship in his own car|
|Killed in third race for Williams in 1994||Runner-up in 1967 to team mate Denny Hulme|
|Bio||Ayrton Senna||Jack Brabham|
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?
- Ayrton Senna (83%)
- Jack Brabham (17%)
Total Voters: 524
Read the F1 Fanatic Champion of Champions introduction for more information and remember to check back tomorrow for the next round.
Have you voted in the previous rounds of Champion of Champions yet? Find them all here:
Champion of Champions
- Ayrton Senna voted Champion of Champions by F1 Fanatic readers
- Champion of Champions in stats
- Champion of Champions Final: Senna vs Schumacher
- Ayrton Senna vs Juan Manuel Fangio
- Michael Schumacher vs Alain Prost
- Ayrton Senna vs Jack Brabham
- Juan Manuel Fangio vs Jackie Stewart
- Alain Prost vs Niki Lauda
- Jim Clark vs Michael Schumacher
- Jack Brabham vs Lewis Hamilton
Images © Williams/Sutton (Senna), Peter Denton (Brabham)