Worst driver ever to win a championship?
11th June 2010, 11:03 at 11:03 am #135192
Before on the old forum I started a similar topic and I think I approached it in quite an obnoxious way. I was quite annoyed at Button and the lack of ‘show’ but since then my views have changed quite a lot. Whoever ends up with the most points deserves it. Button may not have been the most exciting, perhaps Barrichello had those brake issues (he should have worked around it though) but Jense got the points when he needed them and by the end of the season -by half way even- RBR had the better car. Button didn’t make half the mistakes his opponents did meaning that they didn’t deserve it. However, I do think there were few who could have challeneged champions in the past and been at their level but didn’t end up delivering the title which is a shame and just my opinion anyway.
As for the worst champion I don’t know. I was never a big fan of Hill. Good on him for getting the job done and all but he faffed about a bit. I’ve started to appreciate Jacques more even if I’ll never be a fan. Hawthorn was meant to be a ‘lucky’ champion but I don’t agree. I think he was often overshadowed but he was better than people gave him credit for and he didn’t shy away from a fight with the best on his day.11th June 2010, 11:53 at 11:53 am #135193
I agree with the nominations for Hill, Villeneuve and Button. If we’re going into moral high ground etc, then yes, there are some of Schumacher’s 7 titles that he arguably shouldn’t have won.
I’m not going to be able to argue my case ’cause it was before I was born, I’m not aware of the circumstances so do correct me if I’m wrong, but could Keke Rosberg be thrown into the mix? Didn’t he only win a single race in his championship year, but still won through consistent points scoring and his rivals’ failure to provide a consistent challenge? (Reminiscent of Button last year incidentally?) Anyone who remembers that year able to pass judgement?11th June 2010, 12:47 at 12:47 pm #135194
1982 was such a rollercoaster of a year that I think most drivers were probably happy that it was just over, and with 11 different race winners and no-one winning more than two races consistancy was the key. Ferrari probably had the best car and Villeneuve or Pironi would probably have won it were it not for their horrid accidents. Brabham reintroduced refuelling and often led races as a result but their BMW turbo engines weren’t reliable enough. Renault also had a very fast but unrealiable car and Prost and Arnoux squabbling didn’t help the cause. McLaren had a decentish year but neither Watson nor Lauda were consistant enough whereas Rosberg was.
Hawthorn was meant to be a ‘lucky’ champion but I don’t agree. I think he was often overshadowed but he was better than people gave him credit for and he didn’t shy away from a fight with the best on his day.
I agree. The 50′s were so far removed from the sport as it is today it’s hardly recognisable as the same series. Moss fought to get a disqualification on Hawthorn overturned which effectively lost him the championship. Also remember in 1956 Peter Collins had the championship won, but gave his car to Fangio cos he felt ‘he deserved it’.
At this point I’d like to quote the great Murray Walker: “It’s not enough to be lucky, you’ve got to be good.”11th June 2010, 21:14 at 9:14 pm #135195
I would have to agree with Damon Hill or Villeneuve, I think Jenson is better than them. When I think about it I cant think of any drivers in the 70s or 80s that didn’t deserve the championship, even though reliability was so bad back then, and the talent pool was somewhat shallower than today.12th June 2010, 9:23 at 9:23 am #135196
In 1982, had Gilles Villeneuve or Didier Pironi actually been around for the entire season, one of the two of them would have won the title, not Keke Rosberg. The Ferrari 126C2 was clearly the class of the field(not to disparage the class of the drivers either).
Outside of this, however, considering that Keke Rosberg was up against the turbo might of Ferrari and Renault (having only a normally aspirated Ford DFV himself) he was able to score one win, five other podiums and four more points scoring finishes. Other than his three retirements and one disqualification, he only missed the points once. The next highest non-turbo driver in the championship, John Watson, scored two wins and three other podiums (so the same total of Podiums as Rosberg) but missed the points three times and retired four times. Again, considering the fact that the Renault either blew up or won, if Ferrari didn’t win, and Ferrari didn’t have a consistent driver lineup, I’d say Rosberg is a deserving champion based on what he was able to do with a underpowered car.
Beyond his championship year he won Monaco in 1983, again with a Ford DFV, when the only three championship contenders in 1983 were Brabham, Renault and Ferrari, all with Turbos. Between the three teams they won 12 of the 15 rounds. In 1984 Rosberg won one race, his team-mate won none, and Rosberg’s Williams was sixth best on the grid by constructors points. In 1985, Rosberg tied his team mate Nigel Mansell with two wins a piece, and outscored Mansell by nine points. 1986 is the only year Rosberg can be brought to account for, having no wins to his team-mate Prost’s four, and scoring 50 points less than Prost. However, Rosberg had eight retirements, hence, his suffered poor reliability. Additionly, though not to make excuses, the only team-mate that has ever beaten Prost on sheer pace was Ayrton Senna , and that’s saying something for the abilities of Alain Prost.12th June 2010, 9:23 at 9:23 am #135197
I wouldn’t say I could name a “Worst driver ever to win a championship”, but there have been years when I’ve felt that, someone else deserved to be world champion more than the actual winner.
I felt that in 2008, Massa deserved to be world champion more than Hamilton. In 2008 most of Massa’s problems were down to bad luck. As for Hamilton, most of his problems were down to his own clumsy mistakes.12th June 2010, 9:27 at 9:27 am #135198
Massa spun five times in the 2008 British Grand Prix in the wet. I’m definitely don’t think Hamilton convincingly won the 2008 championship, but I don’t think I drive as inconsistent as Massa would’ve have deserved it much either had he won. I say that acknowledging that Massa had more wins than Hamilton in 2008 as well.12th June 2010, 9:34 at 9:34 am #135199
Remember Massa’s engine failure in Hungary, or the with the fuel rig in Singapore, and in Canada where he pitted and was sent away because the mechanics wern’t ready for him. Massa did have some rotten luck in ’08.
As for Hamilton, well he had those terrible races in Bahrain, France and Japan. And in Canada, that incident was 110% Hamilton’s fault.12th June 2010, 9:42 at 9:42 am #135200
I can’t over the fact that an F1 driver, racing for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, spun fives times in a race because it was wet. SLR, you may well be right about Massa, but I just can’t get over that.12th June 2010, 11:02 at 11:02 am #135201
Exactly and in the same race where Hamilton won by over a minute. Plus, slr, you seem to be forgetting all the questionable decisions LH was on the end of.
As for worst driver I can’t say I’m too fussed that Raikkonen won in 07, even if he wasn’t the best driver that year, as I think he deserved a title after various issues in previous years, so things evened out. As for JB, it seems pretty clear cut; after he lost his performance advantage he didn’t win another race all year and was only on the podium twice more. Also only being born in 1990, I struggle to remember Hill and Villeneuve’s title years. Hakkinen winning his titles is about as far back as I can remember. So yeah, out of all the seasons that I’ve watched my vote is for Button.12th June 2010, 11:03 at 11:03 am #135202
It dkidn’t spin 5 times in the race just because it was wet though. The car had issues in the wet and Ferrari didn’t have the best strategy that weekened either. Yes, he spun and made a mess of the race himself but he’s shown he can drive in thwe wet such as Nurburgring 07. I think most wet weather driving is actually down to the car, Hamilton’s made mistakes in the wet and Vettel’s been annonoymous in wet races this year I think. Massa perhaps suffers more in the wet compared to some other drivers and clearly his teammate outperformed him that weekend, it was a mistakle but just to say it was because it was wet I don’t think is fair. I think both Hamilton and Massa would have been deserving. Massa still made mistakes at Aus and Mal for example but he did have more “luck” issues than hamilton. Although I believe that drivers have to make their own luck.
Speaking of rating champions (slightly off-topic so if you want to ignopre me feel free) I’ve always wondered what people would have thought of Moss had he won the title. He seems beloved for being a gentleman and fine racer but mostly because he is acknowledged by many as the best never to win.12th June 2010, 11:19 at 11:19 am #135203
Well I certainly agree that drivers have to make their own luck. As for Moss I think that opinion would have stood and he would have been considered a worthy champion had he won a title. Dan mentioned 1958 and if he hadn’t gotten Mike Hawthorn’s penalty overturned he would have won then (although if it hadn’t been for the best results rule Hawthorn would have won anyway, but those were the rules at the time so…).12th June 2010, 22:43 at 10:43 pm #135204
Damon Hill for me!12th June 2010, 23:26 at 11:26 pm #135205
I want to say Prost in 1986, he’s not the worst but I feel he didnt deserve the title that year, either Mansell or Piquet but no matter how many times I watch the review video Mansells tyre always blows :p
Other than that who ever is top of the table when the last race has been won is a worthy champion, if he wasnt then he wouldn’t of been on top be it Button last year or Rosberg in ’8213th June 2010, 6:04 at 6:04 am #135206
This is easy – Keke Rosberg
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