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F1 discussion

Top 10 non-championship-winning drivers

This topic contains 24 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Iestyn Davies Iestyn Davies 1 year, 4 months ago.

Viewing 10 posts - 16 through 25 (of 25 total)
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  • #238191
    Profile photo of Nick
    Nick
    Participant

    In no particular order. Somewhat colored by the amount of historical F1 articles I read.

    Stirling Moss
    Jackie Ickx
    Gilles Villeneuve
    Jean Alesi
    Ronnie Peterson
    Wolfgang von Trips
    Stefan Bellof
    Michele Alboreto
    Carlos Reutemann
    Didier Pironi

    I have to say I was originally inclined to add drivers like Massa, Fisichella and Barrichello on my list, but I think that’s a natural thing; you’re familiar with them and are more likely to think of them. To me, perhaps Barrichello is a guy who could have won a championship under different circumstances; but in the above men it’s simply clearer to me. Massa had his break in 2008/9 (accident aside, he was beating Raikkonen) and never really impressed before or after. In 2008 he did have a good season, but Spa helped his title bid massively, as well as Raikkonen (and Ferrari) simply falling off the wagon some races. But in contrast to Massa, I chose my top 10 by looking at how many seasons I thought they were competitive and could have raced for the championship.

    Actually looking at the wikipedia pages of some of my top 10 makes me wonder how modern F1 would be with an old retirement rate, or old seasons would have looked like with 9/10 cars actually finishing.

    #238192
    Profile photo of Nick
    Nick
    Participant

    But in contrast to Massa, I chose my top 10 by looking at how many seasons I thought they were competitive and could have raced for the championship.

    I can’t edit my post, but I missed that one in proofreading. In contrast to a driver like massa Massa, my top 10 picks are drivers who I thought were competitive (or would have been) for a lot of years.

    #238193
    Profile photo of Damo B
    Damo B
    Participant

    Drivers who win championships usually have the teams full resources for the most part of the season. After 3 or 4 races its almost always clear which driver will get the lions share of teams supports. Not many drivers, in my time of watching F1, have had to race not only the opposition, but also their own team mates the whole season. Seb did in his 1st WDC, he’s great, but can’t make this list. who else? How about Massa, who should be probably @5th -6th in this list. He raced Kimi all year, was leading a few times when engine failure ended his races, once less than a few laps from a certain victory, he needs the full amount of points available(10p) from the final race of season, just to be equal 1st, back when top 6 shared points eg 1st 10, 2nd 6, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 2 6th 1, & he chokes finishes 2nd? Hell no! Massa wins & is WDC elect, waiting 3/4’s of a lap for Lewis who’s in 7th place (or even lower) when suddenly a driver slows sharply (not 100%, but I think it was Ralph Schumacher) and Hamilton passes to claim the 1 point WDC lead. Although a great effort by McLaren & Lewis, Massa had more victories & had just 1 engine/car failure or these days Team Orders gone his way, He too would not be on this list Lewis would be. ik Lewis had that pit entry (the spin in sand trap) that year too. I just want to make this point to all the Massa bagging comments I read on here. Would u be bagging Lewis(who did have 1 in the team for over half season) if Ralph didn’t have the ‘tyre failure’ on that last lap?

    #238194
    Profile photo of Hotbottoms
    Hotbottoms
    Participant

    @dam351

    Would u be bagging Lewis(who did have 1 in the team for over half season) if Ralph didn’t have the ‘tyre failure’ on that last lap?

    It was Timo Glock and he didn’t have a tire failure, he opted to stay out with dry-weather tire when it started raining a couple of laps before the chequered flag, which is why Glock got ahead Hamilton in the first place.

    Lewis had that pit entry (the spin in sand trap) that year too.

    It was in 2007, not 2008.

    #238195
    Profile photo of Nick
    Nick
    Participant

    @dam351

    Lewis has since won races and fought for the championship the year before he won (2007), in 2010 and he would have been much closer in a more reliable car and a more stable team than the 2012 McLaren. Massa, on the other hand, never seemed close to competing for the WDC in 2007, his 2009 was compromised by a poor Ferrari and his injury, in 2010 he never competed for the WDC and only once for a win (how we feel about that move is not relevant here) and in 2011 and 2012 he was nowhere near Alonso, nor the top 3 of the WDC.

    I would not be ‘bagging’ on Hamilton, as he has been competitive over multiple years for the WDC and has not been 112, 274 or 159 points behind the WDC the past three years. Hamilton’s numbers are much closer, especially for 2010: 16, 165 and 91. The figures for Lewis’ 2012 is influenced by multiple DNFs from promising positions. You’d say 50 from the two DNFs in the lead alone, but that would have influenced Vettel’s points as well.

    Lewis has been able to fight for the WDC, according to my definition in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012. With Massa, those figures stop at 2008. Accepting a number two role in 2007 and 2010-beyond is his own doing.

    #238196
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    This list could go forever!!
    Just a few:
    Sir Stirling Moss in No.1 spot for me, and he did give the chane away (to Hawthron I think??) so he should top the list. I almost wish Mansell never won 1992 so the “best Brit never to win” battle continued.

    Being an Aussie and 2010 so close Mark Webber of course! Korea still pains me. Still in a bit of shock from yesterday, even though it was expected, but a good call from Mark, we Aussies are very proud of his achievements and I wish him all the best.

    Gerhard Berger- I have said before this poor buggar was born at the wrong time. I still cant believe he didnt sneak one!

    Too many more to name. F1 is funny- some drivers get in, win one and fade away. Others like Rubens, Rene Arnoux or even Andrea De Cesaris seemed to be around for a long time and could not get one! Actually I dont think Andrea even got a win LOL!!

    #238198
    Profile photo of Kingshark
    Kingshark
    Participant

    @npf1

    Massa, on the other hand, never seemed close to competing for the WDC in 2007.

    False. Massa was equally fast or faster than Raikkonen in 2007, don’t let the final points tally fool you. Massa was leading Raikkonen in the championship throughout the majority of the season, despite having more bad luck. It wasn’t until Felipe’s suspension failure in Monza when the team sided with Kimi, who became their best bet to beat McLaren, only because he was luckier.

    I’m personally rather tiresome of the Massa-bashing on this site, because of his poor performances today, people are dismissing the fact that he was ever a good driver, which is pure ignorance. Schumacher suffered the same unjust treatment during his comeback. As I have said before, simply because Felipe has been performing poorly today, does not take anything away from the fact that in 2007-2008, he was a superior driver to Raikkonen, and likely close to being an equal of Lewis and Fernando.

    @magnificent-geoffrey

    Massa has spent so many years with Formula 1′s most powerful team after not really having any standout giant-killing drives at Sauber to suggest he was a future world champion and only came close to winning the title once in 2008. And a big part of him being in contention in the first place was because of a series of really dodgy stewarding decisions that gifted him more points than he probably deserved.

    I’m sorry, but that’s pure ignorance. How many points did poor Lewis lose because of dodgy steward decisions? At best, 4 in Belgium and 2 in Japan. Massa lost 10 points in Hungary and 10 points in Singapore because of accidents that were totally out of his control.

    While Hamilton also had some bad luck, the majority of points he lost were his own mistakes, most notably Canada and France. For granted, Lewis deserved the ’08 WDC, but IMO had Felipe won it, he would have deserved it more.

    To put a long story short, in my opinion Felipe Massa in his prime is a definite deserving candidate as best driver to have never won a WDC.

    #238199
    Profile photo of Nick
    Nick
    Participant

    @kingshark

    False. Massa was equally fast or faster than Raikkonen in 2007, don’t let the final points tally fool you. Massa was leading Raikkonen in the championship throughout the majority of the season, despite having more bad luck. It wasn’t until Felipe’s suspension failure in Monza when the team sided with Kimi, who became their best bet to beat McLaren, only because he was luckier.

    I know Massa led Raikkonen for a long time in 2007, much like Hamilton led the WDC at certain points with a comfortable lead. But from 2004 to 2006 I thought Massa was talented, but also unstable. In 2007, he was fast, but Raikkonen seemed much more confident and secure. It wasn’t until the final races I considered Hamilton a real contender as well. Massa was fast, no doubt, but I don’t think he was on Raikkonen’s level yet, luck or no luck. In 2008 and 2009, to me, Massa did have the upper hand over Raikkonen, and was one of the best drivers around. Sure, he made some mistakes in 2008, but he seemed much more stable, confident and consistent than ever before.

    I’m personally rather tiresome of the Massa-bashing on this site, because of his poor performances today, people are dismissing the fact that he was ever a good driver, which is pure ignorance. Schumacher suffered the same unjust treatment during his comeback. As I have said before, simply because Felipe has been performing poorly today, does not take anything away from the fact that in 2007-2008, he was a superior driver to Raikkonen, and likely close to being an equal of Lewis and Fernando.

    I can only speak for myself, but Massa had much, much less historical performance to back him up than Schumacher. Even if Hamliton was running circles around Rosberg now, Schumacher still has a lot of records backing his ability up, and the memories of the races and championships he could have won. Massa only came to his prime form for about a year and a half and to me, it’s simply harder to uphold those 1.5 years to 4 years of coming into form and now 4 seasons of occasionally showing his true form, but having a lot of mistakes which seems to be a result from a lack of confidence or other mental issues. To me, he was one of the best drivers of 2007/8/9, but how I percieve him is also largely influenced by his current performances, which is why I personally think he isn’t up to the level of my top 10 drivers in this list.

    I do think it’s weird so many people attribute his current form either to the accident alone, or Ferrari’s driver role system alone. 2010 was his best season after his accident, and he had his spirit broken at Hockenheim that year. In my view, he never truely recovered from that.

    #238200
    Profile photo of S.J.M
    S.J.M
    Participant

    R. Peterson
    J. Ickx
    G. Villeneuve
    T. Brooks
    P. Collins
    S. Moss
    D. Coulthard
    C. Reutemann
    G. Berger
    Chris Amon – he never won a race but he was a top top driver and if his luck was any better, who knows.

    #238201
    Profile photo of Iestyn Davies
    Iestyn Davies
    Participant

    Moss
    Villeneuve
    Peterson
    Reutemann
    Ickx
    Cevert
    Montoya
    Barrichello


    Gonzalez
    Brooks
    Regazzoni
    Arnoux/Laffite
    Patrese
    Coulthard
    Massa (pre-09/10 incs)
    Kubica (pre-11 crash)

    While being British and usually lightly supporting the British marques (although I have a Minardi cap!), I actually agreed with Ferrari over the 2008 Spa race – Hamilton gave the position back but was still in position to pounce and nudge/break Raikkonen’s front wing on La Source’s apex by going fully for the exit. Add to that, Crashgate 2008, and the resulting bungled SC pitstop, and Massa/Ferrari are as unlucky in 2008 as McLaren as a team were in 2007 (should have had DWC – Alonso (I disagreed with Hungary Q penalty) and CWC IMO). I think Raikkonen would have won 2008 if the team didn’t swing towards Massa half way through, and Kubica should have had a shot but BMW decided to quit the championship running after winning a race (which was lucky itself somewhat) for KERS development.

    Top 8 – Clear in my mind. Bottom 8 – Also deserving, a ‘next rung’ if you like. I’d probably add Brooks/Arnoux/Kubica and Massa to the top 8 to make 10. I would probably have Bruce McLaren, Elio de Angelis, Patrick Tambay/Gerhard Berger/Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg, and leave space for those who never got a consistent chance but had immense talent (Bellof? Numerous other fatalities) to make a full grid of non-DWC winning drivers.

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