@raymondu999 Don’t worry, you’re not alone :) In terms of raw skill and car control, Gilles was simply unmatched. He always drove the car beyond the limit, and some of his best performances could never be matched (Jarama, Watkins Glen), even by the likes of Senna, Fangio, etc.
Monaco 1984: Senna comes 2nd in a Toleman, scything his way up the field and making awesome overtakes on no less than the likes of Niki Lauda. He was catching Prost by three seconds a lap before the race was stopped.
But that’s all very well known. What isn’t common knowledge to the same degree is that third place was taken by Stefan Bellof, driving a truck of a Tyrell. The car was eventually disqualified from the championship for technical illegality, but it was still a crap car. Anyways, Belloc was in third while Senna was taking insane chunks out of Prost’s lead. The crazy part: Bellof was catching Senna. This kid could have been something big. He still holds the lap record at the Nürburgring, despite his tragic death at Spa.
Monaco 1983: One year earlier, it was the reigning world champion who made a big impression. Keke Rosberg lined his normally aspirated Williams up 5th, ahead of several turbocharged cars. The race was started in partially wet conditions, but Rosberg started on the less than optimal slick tyres. He should have been dropped right from the beginning, but instead, he made his way up to the front, and utterly dominated.
In recent times, I think that all of the WDCs have had one or more races that really demonstrated their skill.
Schumacher: I’ll just leave this one out since I don’t know where to start.
Button: Canada 2011 was the greatest display of changing conditions mastery that I have ever seen on live television. Some might doubt Jenson’s skill (as I and many others did earlier this year), but that performance alone showed his abilities.
Hamilton: Silverstone 2008 and Fuji 2007 are great examples of his skill in wet conditions. In both he drove really cleanly, never making any major mistakes (unlike his rivals), and managed the situation perfectly all the way to the chequered flag.
Alonso: I can’t actually think of any performances by Alonso that were truly stunning. He’s more the type of driver who scores good results often, rather than amazing results every once in a while. Still, he did an awesome job in Japan 2005 by going from 16th to 3rd, as well as Hockenheim and Malaysia this year. He also took that victory at Fuji in 2008 in a car that was way off the pace.
Vettel: All of Vettel’s dominant wins have been impressive, but they don’t stand out. On the other hand, he’s had some victories that really show his calibre. Monza 2008 is quite obvious, regardless of how good the STR was that day, but I also really liked Spain 2011. During the pit stop phase he had to pass several cars in order to retain the lead, and he manoeuvered around them in spectacularly quick fashion.
Räikkönen: The first one chronologically would be Spa 2004. He got past Schumi coming into Eau Rouge, then did an incredible job at holding him off by strategically slowing him down during the safety car period. After that, it’s obviously Suzuka 2005. 17th to 1st, what more is there to say? In his title-winning year, I was most impressed with his drive in Fuji. Ferrari ridiculously put him on the wrong tyre, putting him at the very back. He fought all the way up to 3rd, with some incredible blind overtakes coming out of other cars’ spray. And he had an awesome fight with Kovalainen in the final corners, which I can’t seem to find anywhere on the internet.
Excuse the wall of text. I could have written way more, though. It’s just that it’s midnight and I wrote all of that on my phone :)