Your Alternative Champion
9th December 2011, 21:33 at 9:33 pm #130592
Often you get someone saying “X didn’t deserve to win that year, Y did” or whatever, so here’s a little game: who would be your alternative champion of years gone by? There are only two rules: you don’t have to change every year (in case you thought the winner deserved it) and you can’t bring people back from the dead or cure injuries (Rindt, Pironi, Senna, etc.). Here’s mine:
1986: Senna – practically dragged the Lotus into title contention
1987: Mansell – I don’t know if Nigel would have won had he not missed the final races, just a gut feeling
1988: Prost – scored more points but the quirky system made Senna champ
1989: Prost – after a psychologically difficult year, Prost responded to Senna and I don’t blame him for the Suzuka incident
1990: Prost – Alain brought the Scuderia into contention only for *that* incident to happen
1991: Senna – Mansell’s fightback was impressive but Senna capitalised on nearly every error and retirement
1992: Mansell – just had no contenders
1993: Senna – Prost cake-walked this championship but I think this was Senna’s best year in F1. He even led for the first three rounds!
1994: Schumacher – much as I would rather Damon won it, even with a suspect car I’ve always thought the points Schumacher lost from bans and DSQs evened the score out and whoever won, won
1995: Schumacher – a great year for MSC and Hill was nowhere
1996: Hill – from reading opinions on the internet over the years I came to remember this year as Hill trying to throw it away, but looking back over the races his shockers weren’t as frequent as I’d been led to believe. It was more than when they happened, Jacques was there to take full advantage.
1997: I’ll cop out and not call this one. JV made a mess of this year, but Schumacher was thrown out for the Jerez incident. I guess Villeneuve wins by default.
1998: Hakkinen – I thought this was Schumacher’s best year in F1, when talent and experience married together, but I’m loath to take a championship away from Mika, who really raised his game that year
1999: Frentzen – his emergence as a contender was wonderful. His retirement from the Nurburgring didn’t cost him on its own, but killed off his hopes
2000: Schumacher – had three DNFS in a row but still clawed it back
2001: Schumacher – Mika had a bad year and no-one rose to consistently challenge him
2002: Schumacher – would be interesting to hear a case for someone else!
2003: this is a tricky one that I honestly have no answer to. MSC won the most races but Kimi was consistent. JPM’s “I give up” attitude in the USGP wasn’t becoming of a championship contender but he had a good year too.
2004: Schumacher – didn’t watch this season but hard to see past Michael
2005: Kimi – I don’t usually buy into the “had more retirements” excuse but they were doubly costly in this era of F1
2006: Alonso – deserved it that year, as Keith said ‘one of the great championships’
2007: Hamilton – great rookie year
2008: Kubica – was in the hunt mostly because Massa, Hamilton and Kimi messed up, but then he didn’t
2009: Button – did the job when he had the car and most of the time when he didn’t
2010: Hamilton – felt he was the most consistent of the drivers that year, made the least mistakes apart from Button but had the measure of him in the majority of races
2011: Vettel (duh)
Feel free to go further back. I might do myself, but I’ve just started from this year and worked backwards as far as my knowledge stretches, without missing a year.9th December 2011, 21:37 at 9:37 pm #187408
The only ones I’ve really felt drove better than the champions were Massa 08 and Alonso 2010 but I’m biased. I love this idea for a thread but I can’t really change any even the two I’ve just mentioned because I think that a champion always deserves a title and it’s just too big an achievement to luck into but I do look forward to seeing what everyone else says :)9th December 2011, 21:37 at 9:37 pm #187409
I can honestly say that I agree with everything you say from 2000 onwards, so no need for me to post the same myself!9th December 2011, 21:39 at 9:39 pm #187410
The only one further back I can think of would be 1876, where, of course, Niki Lauda so nearly won it, and after his crash at Nurburg, mighty impressive. Not that I’d like to take it away from James Hunt, but I do think Lauda for 769th December 2011, 21:42 at 9:42 pm #187411
@thewittyweasel 1876? Lauda is older than I thought :O makes his titles much more of an achievement!9th December 2011, 21:54 at 9:54 pm #187412
@TheWittyWeasal oh yeah, I forgot about that. Lauda impressed me so much more than Hunt then.9th December 2011, 22:06 at 10:06 pm #187413
1990: Prost, big what if as ending the ferrari drought 10 yrs early may have delayed the revival under Todt
1997: Schmacher, he was utterly brilliant and nearly won the title in a car far inferior to JV’s
1999: Frentzen, agree with icthyes
2003: Montoya, it was his big chance and if it hadn’t been for the dodgey penalty in the US and the tyre rule change late season he probably would have won it
2005: Kimi, although Alonso fully deserved the title, 05 was a tale of what might have been for Kimi
2007: Alonso, came so close despite it seeming the whole world was against him at times, his performances throughout the year are too often misundestimated
2008: Massa, if the downpour had arrived only 30s later….
2010: Alonso, near perfect 2nd half of the yr could so easily have won him the crown. Although you could also make plausable couldda wouldda shouldda cases for hamilton and webber9th December 2011, 22:13 at 10:13 pm #187414
sbl on tourParticipant
1982, watson and mclaren should have one that given all what happened
1983, prost should have one that, the regie let him down badly
1999 irvine should have one that too, -ferrari, todt and herr schu screwed him, – no change there then
also the year mansell had the blow out, that was the blow dart that done him!9th December 2011, 22:28 at 10:28 pm #187415
I’m just going for random years
1982, I know you said we can’t cure injuries but i’m not good at following orders ;) I do think Pironi could of won it, was so close despite not finishing the season, could easily of picked up the win at Monaco in a crazy race.
1986, Mansell for me, if it werent for his puncture he’d of surely of won it
1987 Mansell again, he did have a tendancy to be a wuss in crashes, should of clinched that years title
1988 as @icthyes said Prost should of won it but the crrrrazy points system took it off him.
1989 Senna, if he hadnt been DSQ’d he’d of been champ.
1993 Senna again, drove well in a Mclaren that wasnt the best to several wins
2007 Alonso, despite the teams trouble drove well in a new team, clearly unfavoured later in the season.
2008 Massa, would of won if Ferrari werent battling with 2 drivers till near-ish the end and Singapore didnt help him
2010 Alonso. title contender in a new team again, if not for Petrov and Newey would of had another WDC9th December 2011, 23:29 at 11:29 pm #187416
1988 – A. Prost, really, he was better than Senna and was screwed by an outdated points system
1990 – A. Prost, that attempted murder by Senna shouldn’t have gone unpunished both from a juristical and a sportive viewpoint
1996 – J. Villeneuve, he just was a brilliant rookie, although admittedly because of the car, and I love it when rookies come in and do a brilliant job
1999 – H.-H. Frentzen, my fellow users said enough about that
2001 – R. Schumacher, because I want my favourite driver to be a world champion, yes, that is a sufficient reason, leave me alone.
2006 – M. Schumacher, that drive at Brazil alone really should have earnt him his title
2007 – Hamilton, see Villeneuve in 1996
2009 – Barrichello, once Brawn actually bothered to solve Rubens’ problems with the car, he was the superior driver to Button; as, for example, proven by the fact that Rubens outqualified Button10th December 2011, 0:34 at 12:34 am #187417
Great idea! :)
Although I had seen a handful of races from before 1996, that was when I started actively following F1, so that’s where I’ll start.
1996: Damon Hill – no change.
1997: Jacques Villeneuve – no change. Even though Schumacher arguably drove better than Villeneuve, he deserved to be kicked out for what happened at Jerez in the last race.
1998: Mika Häkkinen – no change.
1999: Eddie Irvine – changed from Mika Häkkinen. As much as I love Mika, and as well as Heinz-Harald Frentzen did in his Jordan, results from the British Grand Prix onwards (where Michael Schumacher broke his leg) show that Irvine picked up 48 points, compared to Häkkinen’s 36 and Frentzen’s 31. Irvine had a virtually impossible task in leading the team in Schumacher’s absence, but he took his chance to challenge for title and came very close.
2000: Michael Schumacher – no change.
2001: Michael Schumacher – no change.
2002: Michael Schumacher – no change (yawn).
2003: Michael Schumacher – no change. Kimi Räikkönen was only two points away, having had two more retirements, but he only won one race to Schumacher’s six. Montoya came close too.
2004: Michael Schumacher – no change (yawn again).
2005: Kimi Räikkönen – changed from Fernando Alonso. Both drivers won six races, but Kimi’s problems, not of his own making, in both German races and San Marino cost him dearly. This was his best year, I feel.
2006: Fernando Alonso – no change.
2007: Lewis Hamilton – changed from Kimi Räikkönen. To perform as he did in his debut year was really special. Alonso and Räikkönen both drove well too, but if there had been harmony and a completely clean fight between the two McLaren drivers, I think Hamilton would have come out on top. I know some will disagree with me.
2008: Felipe Massa – changed from Lewis Hamilton. Massa had to fight back from two retirements in the first two races, and still came within a point – or one corner, if you prefer – of the title. To outperform his world champion team-mate so convincingly was impressive. At the time, I was delighted with Hamilton’s victory, but as he won in 2007 in my alternate universe, I wouldn’t feel too bad about him losing out in 2008.
2009: Jenson Button – no change. He didn’t win any races from the eighth round onwards, but the rest of the season was split between so many drivers: Vettel, Barrichello, Webber, Hamilton and Räikkönen, so I couldn’t pick any one of them as deserving it more.
2010: Mark Webber – changed from Sebastian Vettel. This was very tough. After a lot of thinking, I decided that both Webber and Fernando Alonso deserved it more than Vettel, but then I had to decide which of them deserved it more! Webber did really well to challenge for the title in a team which so clearly wanted Vettel to win it. The crash with Vettel at Turkey, for example, was pretty clearly Vettel’s fault, but the team refused to acknowledge that. Then there was the front wing incident in Britain. Despite that, he managed to take it down to the final race, and could have won with a different strategy. Though if his strategy had been different, so would Alonso’s, who had a near-perfect second half to the season with four wins and seven podiums from the last nine races. Alonso’s challenge fell apart because he couldn’t get past Petrov at Abu Dhabi, but knowing what he had to do and with nothing to lose, I think he should have taken more risks to make it happen.
2011: Sebastian Vettel – no change.10th December 2011, 2:16 at 2:16 am #187418
1956- Moss, maybe. He had an extra retirement, and took over team mates cars less than Fangio, but only finished 5 points off.
1958- Moss, definitely. 10 races- 4 wins, 1 2nd, 5 retirements, beating the eventual champion in 4 of the 5 races he finished and missing out by a single point at the end.
There’s a great Octane article looking at every year he competed in and looks at what might have been had everybody had perfect reliability… Potentially 3 championships in 56, 58 and 59.
1979- maybe Villeneuve
1988- not sure. Probably Prost though.
1989- Senna. Don’t know much about the season, but that DSQ looks ridiculous, and Senna beat Prost in almost every race they both finished.
1990- maybe Prost. That move was by Senna was stupid. That aside I don’t know enough about their relative performances that season.
1994- Hill. Schumacher’s car should probably have been illegal.
2003- Raikkonen. Looks to me like he was quite unlucky with reliability.
2005- Raikkonen. Alonso was a very worthy champion, but I was spurring Kimi on the whole way. It was the 1st season I watched from the 1st race and he just seemed more exciting. And Alonso inherited 2 wins from his poor reliability.
2010- possibly Hamilton. Alonso should have been excluded from the German GP and not been in such close contention. Vettel did great in the end, but his driving in Turkey and Belgium (admittedly to the detriment of himself as well as others) was a bit dodgy. He had bad reliability, but Hamilton had that as well, if not quite as badly. I think Hamilton did well in a worse car. Very close though.10th December 2011, 4:37 at 4:37 am #187419
1988 – Prost – for scoring more points
1993 – Senna – 5 wins in the 2nd best car
1997 – Schumacher – same as 1993
1999 – Frentzen – Irvine wasn’t screwed by the team @sblontour , he was just a tortoise. Hakkinen almost threw it away at Monza and Imola, so I believe Frentzen
2003 – Raikkonen – Far more impressive than Montoya, and only 2 points behind Schumacher
2010 – Close between Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton. Not Button for being too far back, and not Webber for squandering it mostly notably at Korea and Abu Dhabi.
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