I don’t want too call my choices worst drivers. I think I’ll use luckiest to find themselves the drives that they had. My two choices would be Phil Hill and Damon Hill.
Phil Hill would not have won the 1961 championship if either his car was not so dominant or if Ferrari had had an actually someone like Sterling Moss, Jack Brabham, Graham Hill, etc. on their team. The same would go for Wolfgang von Trips had he won the championship rather than tragically dying at Monza. Again I don’t want to call either of them “worst” because I believe both Phil Hill and von Trips were accomplished sportscar drivers. I just don’t think they were of the extra high caliber or perhaps type of talent usually needed for winning a championship if F1.
I definitely don’t think Damon Hill was the best World Champion ever. I think he was a very fast driver in terms of a hot lap, but I don’t really think he had the racecraft. Furthermore, I think the steely nerves one needs while being under pressure in a race, either to keep the lead or pass for the lead, just was not something that came naturally to him. He really had to work hard at it to become consistent and even still I don’t he ever really completely gained the consistency. I don’t think anyone can use 1994 to gauge his talent because of all the “goings-ons” surrounding Benetton. Four of the races Damon Hill won, Schumacher was either disqualified or missing. I therefore think that that famous moment in Adelaide creating the 1 point championship was rather artificial in terms of how close the championship should have been. Additionally, I would not quote Suzuka 1994 as a great race. Considering it was determined on aggregate times it seems rather silly that it would be called Damon Hill’s best race considering the kinds of races people usually quote as the best races of world champions. I think 1995 is the best season to gauge Damon Hill’s worth. He was soundly beaten by Schumacher even though Hill had what was widely considered the superior car. When he finally won the world championship in 1996, he had one of the most dominant cars of the decade, and even still his rookie team mate Villeneuve pushed him hard to the championship.
To speak to Jenson Button, I was skeptical of his worth as a champion during 2009, but I think his performances so far in 2010 have definitely showed his talent and perhaps his own particular racing genius in judging conditions and saving tires that make him a worthy world champion.