Who was the worst driver ever to win a World Championship?

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    I kind of disagree with Hulme: the man started out as a mechanic, slowly working his way up and he beat Jack Brabham in the end on raw pace. I definitely have a lot of respect for him, imo shouldn’t be named among the Rosbergs and Phil Hills of this world.



    @andae23 Keke Rosberg was actually an amazing driver. His sheer speed and skill at the 1983 Monaco GP were really apparent. So I don’t think he deserves to be named among the Phil Hills of the world.

    Phil Hill, however…



    So we all agree this will be an easy championship for Phil Hill :)



    Keke Rosberg seemed to be a bit of a street circuit specialist- winning 4 of his 5 races on them.

    He also beat Nigel Mansell in the 1985 Williams.

    I’ll have to go with Phil Hill. However it is a little sad in my opinion that none of us seem to be able to defend him in the way Hulme and Rosberg were defended.



    I actually don’t know that much about Phil Hill – he’s American, won three races and became World Champion in a Ferrari 156 ‘Sharknose’.



    I really cannot comment about Phil Hill, Denny Hulme, or Keke Rosberg as I’ve never watched their races.

    After reading this post, I was curious and I looked at Denny Hulme’s career and here are some interesting stats:
    – Out of 112 races, he won 8 races.
    – He podiumed in 33 of them.
    – Had 9 fastest laps.
    – Won GPs in 6 out of the 10 years he raced.
    – Is #34 on the list of drivers with most GPs won and competed in years when they had fewer races and more drivers. If you adjust for today’s, probably #20 or something.

    The fact that he had a single pole position is quite surprising.

    I know the stats don’t tell the whole story but with the exception of the poles, those stats put him on par or ahead of Mark Webber and Jenson Button.

    I guess the argument is that he won in a season that Jim Clark, Jack Brabham, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, Jochen Rindt and John Surtees competed. Maybe one of the other drivers deserved it more…

    I guess if we were asking “who is the least deserving WDC”, he would have been a better candidate.



    Sorry duplicate



    Jacques Villenueve



    @cristian What do you mean by ‘had to give points’? In the 5 races both drviers finished, Moss finished ahead 4 times, which is why I believed him to have performed better.



    Out of the collection of drivers we have im ruling a few out instantly.

    Keke Rosberg is in no way the worst title winner. His season was lucky with both Ferrari drivers failing to get through the season with accidents and Prost and Piquet always blowing up. He scored points in a Fittipaldi in 1980 then through 82-85 he was argubaly the fastest driver only getting the fastest car for the last few races of 1985 when he was leaving Williams.

    Button is not great and not as fast as Keke and did win the title because of the car but he’s been a front runner for almost a decade and not always in a car that deserved podium finishes

    Denny Hulme

    Beat Jack Brabham in his own team to win the title in 67 against the Clark and Hill Lotus dream team. Almost retained the title in 1968 with a outdated, unreliable and not particularly fast Mclaren but a suspension failure at the last race cost him a 2nd title. Mclaren would never have the fastest car till 1974 when Hulme had decieded he was retiring and past it and during 69-74 he had several dignified drives out driving the car to wins and podiums

    So that leaves 3 in this order

    1. Phil Hill
    Only once did he beat his team mate in the final points standings ina fair fight and that was 1960, His title win in 1961 was aidded by young team mate Von Trips dying in a crash at teh Italian Gp, Won by Hill. Despite a brilliant sports car record, especially at Le Mans he’d be my worst.

    Mike Hawthorn and Jaques Viillenuve, who looked a different driver after winning the title will follow him on the list. Hawthorn had several good years prior to winning the title but thats not enough to escape my list of the 3 worst champions



    Jenson Button….




    I’d be interested in the reasoning behind your nomination because he’s had many impressive seasons in the past IMO, and for example he outperformed his team-mates Trulli, Villeneuve, Sato, Barrichello (mostly) and Hamilton (in 2011).

    If it’s because his performance in the first half of 2012, that’s partly due to no fault of his own (he just weren’t able to get the car work for him; it’s not like he suddenly became the worst at setting his car up on the grid)



    @matt90 : Hawthorn, because of the scoring system at the time, had to give away about 5 points.



    I’d say Jacques Villeneuve is the weakest out of the 32 WDC’s. Although none of them strike me as particularly bad drivers; not even top candidates such as Hawthorne or (sadly) Rosberg.

    However, had Ferrari not forgotten Irvine’s wheel at Nurburgring 1999, the choice would have been obvious.



    @cristian It’s pointless to look at the effects of different point systems. With the new point system, Senna would be a two-time champion, and Prost a five-time champion. Reutemann would be a champion, and Jones would never have won the WDC.

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