The nearly champions

This topic contains 28 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  Cristian 6 years, 2 months ago.

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    What about Jacky Ickx. With his 3x 4th places in the WDC (68/71/72) and 2nd twice (69/70) and lets be honest, who here would have wanted to be Ickx in 1970 trying to win the WDC after Rindt had dided?. This is a time when Jochen Rindt found his winning ways and Jackie Stewart/Emerson Fittipaldi were sweeping up everything else.



    There’s a difference between people who had a chance to become champion, but didn’t take it, such as:

    Stirling Moss (1955-1961)

    Juan Pablo Montoya (2003)

    Ralf Schumacher (2001,2003)

    Felipe Massa (2007,2008)

    Rubens Barrichello (2003,2004,2009)

    Others simply never had the chance to be champion, such as Jean Alesi.

    As it’s been pointed out, 2003 was his best chance, when the Williams was finally equal or faster than the Ferrari. But Ralf didn’t come close, and Juan did better, but couldn’t get past Barrichello without spinning him off.

    Williams was definately the best car in 2003, otherwise Schumacher and Raikkonen would’ve beat Montoya comfortably. Ralf was a championship contender after france, but only scored 5 points in the last 6 GP’s (LOL).



    To be fair, I wouldn’t say that Moss or Massa ‘didn’t take’ their chance to be champions.


    sbl on tour

    1982- john watson, came close, deserved that more than rosberg

    1999- eddie irvine, would have won it if he hadnt off been screwed by todt/schu/monte

    “stand up for the ulstremen”



    1999- eddie irvine, would have won it if he hadnt off been screwed by todt/schu/monte

    Oh, yes, screwed over by Schumacher slowing down and letting him win the Malaysian Grand Prix.



    Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Karl Wendlinger. Every time these names came up in the early/mid 90s, we were reminded that they were driving for the Mercedes junior team and were faster than Michael Schumacher. Wendlinger never really got the chance. HHF didn’t feel comfortable at Williams and was in the championship fight in 1999 (like many others) just because of Hkkinen’s misfortunes.



    Honestly, I wouldn’t like Irvine to have been a world champion. When Schumacher fought for the championship in 1997 & 1998 and won 3 races in 1996, where was Eddie? He won 0 zero races in those three years. Yes, in 1999 he was definetely better, but I wouldn’t rank him as high as Hakkinen, who then took the title.


    sbl on tour

    irvine,for what its worth , I dont think he would have been a good champion either , but he still got scewed by the ferrari heirarchy

    and david, schu might very well slowed down , but that was only a part of it!



    1999- eddie irvine, would have won it if he hadnt off been screwed by todt/schu/monte

    He was useless. No idea what you are referring to. The guy even had to be let passed Mika Salo, that’s the lowest of low.


    sbl on tour

    well tommy I wouldnt say that to his face, also its not often I defend Irvine, but yer a tad harsh



    For 1996 Ferrari chose Irvine over Barrichello – a great mistake, as then in 2000 they got Barrichello. But Irvine was seen as a potential star of the future, and, despite being lucky to get there, nearly won the 1999 drivers’ title.


    James Brickles

    I think Martin Brundle is someone who could’ve been a world champion. When he came onto the scene in 1984, he was pretty damn quick, nearly won the Detroit race before Tyrrell were found to be cheating that year. Since then, he never really got a competitive car…

    …until 1992 when he joined Benetton in 1992. He did and did pretty well against Schumacher, very consistent pairing with the team scoring points in every race. He was very close to joining Williams for the next season but Damon Hill was chosen instead. Brundle deserved at least a few wins in his career.


    Ned Flanders

    Irvine wasn’t the greatest of drivers, but to be fair to him in 1999 he really made the most of his opportunity. He was gifted two wins, but he also earned his victories in Melbourne and Austria.

    I assume what sbl is referring to is the way Schumacher (allegedly) chose not to challenge Hakkinen for the win at Suzuka, so Irvine couldn’t win the championship and thus allowing Schumacher to break Ferrari’s championship duck the following season.



    Peter Collins donated his car to Fangio and lost the title to him just because of that. Some people say it was a great gesture, I say it was dumb.

    Wolfgang von Trips died at the race he was supposed to win the championship.

    Stirling Moss, as you already said, was runner-up 4 timnes in a row – that has to say something!

    Jacques Laffite got to the last race in the title race with his Ligier in 1981.

    Clay Regazzoni had his chance in 1974.

    I agree about Nick Heidfeld – with a different career, he might have won a championship

    I mostly agree about Eddie, but you are a bit harsh. He wasn’t worse than Barrichello, he just was driving a Ferrari that wasn’t as good as the Brazilian’s.

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