Niki Lauda – Recovered from a horrifying crash and being led the last rites to come back that season. Criticised by Old Man Ferrari for retiring from a sodden race that season but that will never take away from his bravery and his sheer ability to come back after a 3 year break to win a third WDC
Jackie Stewart – Bravery is required to race the cars of his era, but to stand up against fans, the governing body and some of your fellow drivers required bravery of a different sort. No-one has put as much back into the sport as this man.
David Coulthard – Despite having the measure of Hakkinen in 1997, never became the WDC that he arguably could have. A brilliant man, although as a driver relied too much on confidence
Damon Hill – Perhaps not the most talented or strong-willed driver to win the WDC, but certainly one of the biggest-hearted. An all-round decent guy who deserved his moments of glory. Defined by Hungary 1997.
Fernando Alonso – Vilified in the press but still proves himself to be a great driver on numerous occasions. Had things been different we could well be looking at a 4x WDC
Michael Schumacher – There is a reason why F1 is so popular in Germany. This is it.
Michael Schumacher – Adelaide 1994, Jerez 1997, Rascasse 2006 not to mention the subjugating of team-mates, etc. etc. etc.
Fernando Alonso – Scandal and controversy does seem to follow him wherever he goes. Co-incidence?
Rubens Barichello – perhaps sounded like a bit of a winer in recent seasons but like any wine has got steadily better and more palatable with age.
Nelsinho Piquet – OK under pressure etc but at the end of the day, endangered lives of others for the gain of the team.
Sebastian Vettel – As so eloquently put earlier “Whine whine whine, moan moan moan, grump grump grump”. Also his alarming tendency to turn right when there is a rival nearby is not particularly endearing…
Helmut Marko – Not as a driver but his politics as a team-member aren’t the best…