What If…?

This topic contains 65 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by  Icthyes 6 years, 7 months ago.

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    I’ve had this idea for a while now, but when I saw the Scenarios thread I thought I’d been beaten to it!

    The basic premise is that somebody asks a “What If?” and the next person presents an alternate account, with some artistic licence but within the realms of possibility, then asks their own “What If?”. Here’s an example:

    What if Mark Webber hadn’t crashed in Korea?

    Webber inherits the lead after Vettel’s engine failure, but Alonso wins, leading Helmut Marko to openly criticise Webber and accuse him of not having the staying power to win a championship. Christian Horner, desperate for a world championship, pushes for Webber to be given #1 status but Marko intervenes, leading to bad blood in the team. Despite winning the next two races, Vettel loses out to Webber in the championship after a boring final race in which Webber finishes 5th and Alonso 4th. With all the bad blood at Red Bull, Webber announces he is retiring, only for Ferrari to pull of a coup in arranging a driver swap with Felipe Massa. Alonso has only praise for Webber, believing he can beat him, whereas Massa vents in an interview about receiving shabby treatment at Ferrari.

    Get the idea? So, to start it all off:

    What if…Ford hadn’t bought out Stewart Grand Prix and Jaguar Racing never existed?



    hmm thats a pretty tough one icthyes, mainly because I think my realistic answer is pretty boring: that stewart grand prix would have folded (as I never thought Jackie was in it for the long term).

    HOWEVER. I’ll do my best.

    I think that with Jackie Stewarts business ethic, he would have sealed another engine – possibly BMW as he was willing to give out more equity in the team. Barrichello was always going to leave, and instead a new German driver like Ralf Schumacher or Heidfeld would have come with the team. The team would have enjoyed moderate success until the engine came good, then allowed BMW to buy Jackie out. However, a clause in the contract would require all team members to wear tartan, especially on the podium.

    Sorry that is relatively boring :P

    WHAT IF…Schumacher’s accident at Silverstone in ’99 had been career ending?



    It may have been boring, but I think that’s a fair assessment of the Stewart situation! Like you said, Jackie never seemed to be in for the long haul (unlike team owners like Frank Williams, Peter Sauber or Eddie Jordan) so I think he was always happy to be the face of Ford’s de facto works outfit. The point being that it it wasn’t Ford who bought Stewart out, it would have been someone else like BMW, Toyota or Honda. Or Zoran Stefanovic! ;)

    As far as MSC is concerned, I think that he would have been far more generally liked and respected, that is to say he would have been “forgiven” for his 1994 and 1997 misdemeanors in much the same way that we turn a blind eye to Senna’s antics at Suzuka in 1990, and the already huge respect for his abilities would have grown. I’m not sure who Ferrari would have recruited to lead the team, perhaps it would have been Barichello and perhaps he would have won a WDC or two…but 5 on the trot, I seriously doubt it.

    WHAT IF…Didier Pironi hadn’t passed Gilles Villenueve to win the 1982 San Marino GP?



    if Didier Pironi had not cheated Villeneuve of victory in San Marino I believe Villeneuve would still have died in Belgium. I know people say his mood after Imola contributed to his death, but I’m not one of them. As for Pironi he would have been a far far more popular driver in the months before his accident, he would have been Villeneuve’s friend carrying the team after his tragic death, rather than being seen by many as the man who betrayed Villeneuve and contributed to his death. Neither drivers careers would have been dramatically altered by Imola not happening.

    But if you thought that Villeneuve would not have died if he’d won at Imola you could ask this question..

    What If …. Gilles Villeneuve hadn’t been killed at the 1982 Belgian grand prix?



    Fair point Ads21, I was going with the popular belief that the “betrayal” at Imola altered Villeneuve’s mood to the extent that it contributed to his death at Zolder, but I’m happy to hear other people’s thoughts on your WHAT IF…


    Prisoner Monkeys

    If Gilles Villeneuve had not been killed, he would have continued the way he had been. It is unlikely he ever would have been World Champion, and as the years passed by, he would slowly slip down the grid. Rather than end his career ingloriously, he would opt out of the sport while he was still in his prime. Jacques Villeneuve never would have felt the need to prove himself, and so would not have won the Indy 500. Rather, he would have dabbled in Indycar before being picked up by a smaller team like Jordan. Like his father before him, Jacques would never be a World Champion, but his popularity would cement Jordan’s future. Jordan would never become Midland, Spyker or Force India, but would instead take on a role similar to Williams as a well-respected privateer team.

    What if … Juan Pablo Montoya had never had his falling-out with Ron Dennis and instead signed on to stay with McLaren for 2007 and 2008?


    Ned Flanders

    Icthyes, this is a fantastic idea :)

    I don’t think Montoya ever had a two year contract on the table, the fact that McLaren wouldn’t commit to him for more than a season was part of the reason for him leaving. But anyway…

    There would have been no room at the inn for Lewis Hamilton. He would’ve been McLaren tester in 2007 and for 2008 he would have been placed at the McLaren backed Prodrive team (which we all know never actually materialised, but it did in this alternative universe!).

    Then, after some impressive drives to score points for the new team, he would’ve been promoted to the McLaren team for 2009 where he would be partnered by Fernando Alonso, who had added a third championship to his trophy cabinet in 2007. But the new McLaren was a dog and the McLaren management, content with their established team leader Fernando Alonso, put the blame squarely on their new rookie driver and force him out. Hamilton moves to Ferrari where he enjoys a long and successful career against his McLaren nemesis Alonso.

    That is a very interesting “what if?” so if anyone else wants to come up with something, go ahead. But my scenario is:

    Ayrton Senna, distraught at the death of his colleague Roland Ratzenberger the previous day, pulls out of the 1994 San Marino GP. What happens next?



    From what I have read I imagine that Senna would have campaigned hard for improved driver safety in F1 and, after winning a closely faught WDC in 94 and being bored by the fact that he no longer had Alain Prost to compete against, would have retired. He probably would have married Adriane Galisteu and continued his charity work in Brazil. To continue the what if, Bruno Senna would have not been forced to put his own racing dreams on hold and, with mentoring from his uncle would have moved swiftly through the junior ranks and would have made his way into either a McLaren or a Honda F1 drive around 2007/2008.


    Prisoner Monkeys

    A heartbroken Senna is never quite the same again. After refusing to race at Imola and taking some time off, he returns to the cockpit in time for the Canadian Grand Prix – but his heart isn’t in it. The fire is gone. Senna spends the rest of the season struggling with his feelings for the sport, which severely affects his on-track performances. He eventually wins a race late in the season, like Portugal, but the act of winning no longer brings him any joy. He retires on the spot, with David Couthard seeing out the season.

    What if … Max Mosley was never elected president of the FIA? Rather than take over from Balestre, he successfully makes a move into national politics despite the unpopular connotations of the Mosley name. Instead, someone else – like Michel Boeri (who was originally tipped for the position) – repalces Balestre.



    Michel Boeri, after becoming elected FIA president and the soon-to-be-abolished FISA took a fairly hands-off role with F1, preferring to push the profile of the WRC which was beginning to peak in popularity with the emergence of young charger Colin McRae and his rivalry with Sainz and Makkinen. After Imola, he pushed for the sport to be safer, inviting Jackie Stewart in to act as safety consultant and promoter. F1 continues as it did normally for a few seasons with the exception that no-one attends Ratzenberger’s funeral sadly. In the late 1990’s Bernie Eccelstone purchased a 10-year lease for the commercial rights of Formula 1 on the strict conditions that it could not be sold on. Bernie makes the same amount of money as he always does except CVC cast their greedy little eyes elsewhere and eventually they obtain the rights for ALMS. Bernie is still keen to move F1 into new places, but the existing tracks are generally retained on the calendar resulting in a 20-race season as early as 2001. The continued hosting of the French GP is helped by improved infrastructure and becomes one of the best-attended on the calendar, rivalling that of Silverstone and Spa. The increased French interest meant that Champ Car Champ, Sebastian Bourdais gets his chance in reigning WCC’s Renault and he thrives, winning a few races and pushing Renault into third in 2008. Following the accident of Felipe Massa, Bourdais ends up in the Ferrari and impresses, retaining his seat alongside Fernando Alonso (his former team mate at Renault) for 2010. Felipe Massa and BobbyS move to Renault and he thrives as the No1 in a smaller team. Robert Kubica moves to WDC for 2011 as he cannot get a No1 seat for that year and doesn’t have his crash….

    Meanwhile in Britain, Mosely returned to politics with the Conservative party. Frustrated by lack of opportunities at high-level party politics he broke off to set up his own party, the UDRE (United Democratic Republic of Europe), advocating a pro-European, anti-immigration (from outwith Europe) stance. Following minor success in by-elections, eating into the minority government of Major. Following Labour’s landslide in 1997, Mosley was invited to join the Tory party in a very public display by new leader William Hague. Which Mosely turned down. In the intervening years, Mosley realised that his party was unlikely to extend past his holding of 15 seats, mainly in the south of England. Under Ian Duncan-Smith, and pushed for by Kenneth Clark and Michael Portillo, the UDRE merged into the Conservative party. Mosley was appointed Shadow Justice secretary and at this point started making his play for power. Mosely is elected leader of the Tory Party, furthering polarising opinion of them as the “Nasty Party”. Mosley however with his silver tongue wins over the electorate and the Conservatives celebrate a landslide in 2010. No Coalition. No Nick Clegg.

    Sorry rather long, thanks for reading!

    What if…. Jim Clark hadn’t decided to compete in an F2 race in Hockenhiem?



    Clark looses out at the BOAC 1000k with the car conking out soon after the 2nd hour and is unable to be Fixed. In F1 he goes through the season in the best car of his Career, the 49 and winning 6 of the following races (7 inc S.Africa) runs away with the WDC after Hill and Stewart have a run of badluck at the tail end of the season. Much to Chapmans annoyance but with his eventual support, Clark announces his intention to retire from Motor Racing. Chapman looks at his options and descides and convinces Jochen Rindt that he is the man to replace Clark and shows him plans for the 1970 Challenger that will win him the Title.

    Clark, out of F1 opts not to go into business with Chapman and prefering to return to his farming routes and lives his life out in happyness, finding the love of his life and settles down for the next 11 years. Soon after BBC comes calling showing Jim their plans for a Show in which F1 is shown to TV audiences and wanting him to co-commentate with Murray Walker. Clark accepts and for the next 20 years build up a partnership that works and wins the pair praise and a new kind of fandom. Clark turs down continuous advances by Colin Chapman to help develop his roadcars, explaining that he has an obligation to the BBC and that his days of being payed to drive a car is over, Chapman accepts his friends wishes. Sadly in 1982 Jim is lead pullbearer at Chapmans Funeral, they had remained close friends. Clark retires from Commentating in 1990 quoting the travelling around the world as the main reason and his longing to have a quiet life of what remains and returns to The Border Counties to live out his days. He does attend Goodwood Festival of Speed and his declared the greatest living WDC by users on wellknown blog, F1fanatic.co.uk in a recent poll.

    Ok… What if the Fisa/Foca battle never happened.


    Prisoner Monkeys

    Racing would have continued as usual, but Bernie Ecclestone would have remained in control of Brabham. Piquet and Rosberg would not have been disqualified from Brazil 1982, and the anomalies in their cars would not be discovered until as late as Dijon and Monza. Damningly, the parts would have been stamped as being manufactured in March of that year. Both Brabham and Williams would have been banned from the sport for one year, and their 1982 results would have been scratched (much as the FIA did to McLaren). None of the other teams would have complained about the disqualifications, because the illegal parts would have seen Brabham and Williams dominate. And with Didier Pironi injured in Germany, John Watson would have become the 1982 World Champion.

    What if … Nelson Piquet had never come forward over his role in the Singapore incident and Flavio Briatore again tried to fix races in 2009 and 2010?


    Red Andy

    Nelson Piquet, turfed out of Renault in mid-2009, is picked up by HRT for 2010 and spends an unfulfilling year at the back of the grid. Renault scale back their factory involvement in F1 due to the financial crisis but don’t pull out entirely, meaning that the team is able to recruit Robert Kubica and Timo Glock for the 2010 season. Glock leaves under a cloud at the end of 2010 after a poor season, complaining of unequal treatment within the team and revealing to the world that Briatore asked him to crash at Monaco in order to help Kubica win the race, which he refused to do. In light of this revelation questions are raised about Singapore 2008; the FIA investigate and find Flavio Briatore, Pat Symonds and Nelson Piquet guilty of race-fixing, chucking all three out of the sport.

    What if … McLaren had never been caught stealing information from Ferrari in 2007?



    Mclaren retain constructors points and with this extra momentum, take both championships, but the drivers with Fernando Alonso. Alonso doesn’t opt out and retains on with Hamilton as his team mate. 2008 becomes the rough ride of 2007 for Mclaren, Alonso consistently places behind Hamilton, with Raikkonen, who, yet to win a championship is the Mclaren’s nearest rival. Raikkonen takes the 2008 world championship and Hamilton is left without one. A similar tale in 2009 as what actually occurred, minus the Hamilton win. Fernando Alonso moves to Ferrari in 2010 following Raikkonens retirement, With similar results through the season.

    What if … Massa stopped before hitting the barrier at the Hungagoring in 2009?


    Prisoner Monkeys

    The result would have been the same. Massa’s injury was a result of the spring from Barrichello’s car hitting him, not from the impact of the car hitting the barrier.

    Maybe you should have another go.

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