Who deserved the drivers championships (last 20 seasons)

This topic contains 40 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by  Keith Campbell 3 years, 5 months ago.

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    In the “if Senna were alive” scenarios, I am surprised so many would put Schumacher down for the 95 title. If I recall correctly, the Williams that year was actually quite a good car, only Hill made far too many mistakes, and DC was not fully up to speed yet. With Senna behind the wheel, that car must surely have won the championship. About 1994 I am not so sure Senna would have won, as Schumacher was already two race wins up; also, we speak now as if we are sure that Schumacher’s car was illegal; are we? I think I used to read some Autosport at the time, but I don’t recall that much fuss about the supposed traction control.

    I am also surprised that many people put Alonso as the deserving winner of the 2010 championship. Sure, the last race in Abu Dhabi Ferrari messed up the strategy, but over the season I thought Vettel was a worthy champion. He had the best car (and anyway, does that make him less deserving? Otherwise we could nominate anyone as worthy champion), but he was also very unlucky with unreliability. Also, I’d like to point out that even if Vettel made errors in 2010, Alonso arguable made more (China jump start, Monaco FP3 crash, Silverstone drive-through for overtake on Kubica, and spinning out of the race in Spa).

    The only time I recall thinking that another guy should have won the championship was in ’05 with Raikkonen and Alonso. A couple of times Raikkonen retired from the lead, with Alonso behind him to pick up the win. Mind you, I wasn’t following F1 that closely back then.


    Theo Parkinson

    1994 Senna
    1995 Schumacher
    1996 Senna (then retires, I know it’s earlier than expected)
    1997 Hill (taking into account Villeneuve being a rookie this year instead)
    1998 Hakkinen
    1999 Schumacher
    2000 Schumacher
    2001 Schumacher
    2002 Schumacher
    2003 Raikkonen
    2004 Schumacher
    2005 Alonso
    2006 Schumacher
    2007 Hamilton
    2008 Kubica
    2009 Button
    2010 Hamilton (want to give it to Webber or Vettel though)
    2011 Vettel
    2012 Alonso
    2013 Vettel
    2014 Hamilton so far.



    I didn’t include deaths and accidents;

    79 – Gilles Villeneuve
    80 – Alan Jones
    81 – Carlos Reutemann
    82 – Renee Arnoux
    83 – Alain Prost
    84 – Alain Prost
    85 – Keke Rosberg
    86 – Nigel Mansell
    87 – Nigel Mansell
    88 – Alain Prost
    89 – Ayrton Senna
    90 – Ayrton Senna
    91 – Ayrton Senna
    92 – Nigel Mansell
    93 – Alain Prost
    94 – Damon Hill
    95 – Michael Schumacher
    96 – Damon Hill
    97 – Michael Schumacher
    98 – Mika Hakkinen
    99 – Mika Hakkinen
    00 – Michael Schumacher
    01 – Michael Schumacher
    02 – Michael Schumacher
    03 – Kimi Raikkonen
    04 – Michael Schumacher
    05 – Fernando Alonso
    06 – Fernando Alonso
    07 – Kimi Raikkonen
    08 – Felipe Massa
    09 – Jenson Button
    10 – Lewis Hamilton
    11 – Sebastian Vettel
    12 – Fernando Alonso
    13 – Sebastian Vettel
    14 – Lewis Hamilton (thus far)



    Might as well, a bit of harmless fun:
    Year Winner “Deserved it”

    1994 Michael Schumacher Damon Hill
    1995 Michael Schumacher Michael Schumacher
    1996 Damon Hill Damon Hill
    1997 Jacques Villeneuve Michael Schumacher
    1998 Mika Hakkinen Mika Hakkinen
    1999 Mika Hakkinen Mika Hakkinen
    2000 Michael Schumacher Michael Schumacher
    2001 Michael Schumacher Michael Schumacher
    2002 Michael Schumacher Michael Schumacher
    2003 Michael Schumacher Kimi Raikkonen
    2004 Michael Schumacher Michael Schumacher
    2005 Fernando Alonso Kimi Raikkonen
    2006 Fernando Alonso Fernando Alonso
    2007 Kimi Raikkonen Lewis Hamilton
    2008 Lewis Hamilton Lewis Hamilton
    2009 Jenson Button Jenson Button
    2010 Sebastian Vettel Fernando Alonso
    2011 Sebastian Vettel Sebastian Vettel
    2012 Sebastian Vettel Fernando Alonso
    2013 Sebastian Vettel Sebastian Vettel

    My version would leave the championship table for the last 20 seasons as follows:

    Revised number of championships under my system:

    1 Michael Schumacher – 6
    2. Fernando Alonso – 3
    3. Damon Hill – 2
    3. Mika Hakkinen – 2
    3. Kimi Raikkonen – 2
    3. Sebastian Vettel – 2
    3. Lewis Hamilton – 2
    8. Jenson Button – 1
    9. Jacques Villeneuve – 0



    1994- Damon Hill re: Shu’s take out. At least Senna and Prost “disguised” theirs a bit :)
    2010- Mark Webber- Korea cost him & I don’t want to hear about reliability issues from anyone else………….. I just wanted our Aussie to grab one (but our new one will!!!)
    2012- Alonso- Most will spout he is the best driver (I wont argue too much) but this year done by another great the car was the difference. The fact my hero’s nephew in Bruno didn’t fully take him out in Brazil on lap one with that contact is still quite amazing, but so was Seb’s come back drive (off the record, please).

    I didn’t have time for the 20 years but that said I don’t think any F1 driver DESERVES a title ever- right man, right machinery (aka team) and right year!



    @adrianmorse Even if the 1994 Benetton was illegal, it passed the tests at the time. There have been cases before and since where cars were not entirely in the regulations and still won races counting towards the championship and people make little of it now.

    As for 1995, let’s not forget Hill and Schumacher tangled a couple of times as well, mostly with Schumacher in front. With the way overtaking was in 1995, had they not gone off in those instances, Schumacher was likely to have scored more than those 9 wins and perhaps even reeled in the championship sooner. DC’s problem wasn’t speed, it was being a vastly inexperienced driver in a car that wasn’t the dreamy Williamses of 1996 or 1997; his incidents at Imola, Monza and Adelaide cost Williams a lot of points. Odds are, both Senna and Hill would have still made a fair share of errors in 1995, while Schumacher and Benetton had a really good season regardless of Williams’ fortunes. Maybe Senna could have hold him off longer, but I think Schumacher and Benetton would have taken 1995 regardless.

    Alonso in 2010 isn’t really supported by any evidence for me, I think Hamilton and Button probably made the least mistakes out of the 5 title contenders during the season, but simply came up short. Webber is a driver I love, but do not consider WDC material (especially since he was past his peak) and personally I found Vettel more impressive in 2009 than in 2010, as his 2010 mistakes felt a bit more as submitting to pressure. I still do not understand how he managed to end up in the side of Button at Spa that year, that was a huge driver error.

    Also, has anyone looked at the tags for this thread?


    Again, I’m surprised to see Button put away and giving Hamilton 2012? At least show respect for Alonso, he battled until the end of that season. And Button is as deserving of his title (in a rocketship) as Hamilton if he gets this yeas’s title in HIS rocketship, as Schumi 2002, Vettel 2013, Mansell 92.. I mean, the combo “supercar / good or super driver” is not unfair. If you are a solid team, if you build a rocketship, who would you hire (money out of the equation please)? Maldonado or Bottas? Vettel or Massa? Button or Kovalainen? I mention Massa and Kovalainen because these guys had their shot at solid, big teams, and (at least Massa post crash) have not been able to at least shine more. You see races when Hamilton or Alonso abandoned but their teammates didn’t take the team forward to get a victory. Button had the car, “tough luck” for his not-fans. He deserved his title.



    I think, in the past 20 years, most of the champions are deserved. I won’t say anything about machinery limits, because that way, Heikki Kovalainen must have been a deserved champion in 2011!!!

    If it is just down to the sporting aspect, however, only the close to-the-wire championships that were decided in the final round will have any changes for me. So, in that case..

    1994: Michael Schumacher
    1996: Jacques Villeneuve
    1997: Michael Schumacher
    1998: Mika Hakkinen
    1999: Mika Hakkinen (Schumacher if the Silverstone accident hadn’t occurred)
    2000: Michael Schumacher
    2003: Kimi Raikkonen, though it’s very close between him, Montoya and Schumacher.
    2006: Fernando Alonso
    2007: Lewis Hamilton: close call between him, Kimi and Alonso, but for a rookie driver to challenge for the championship and be faultless for the best part of a year was awe-inspiring, even if there were some advantages he had over Alonso, like Bridgestones, knowing the team etc.
    2008: Lewis Hamilton: again, tough call, but I guess in a season full of mistakes, the deserved champion will be the one who made less mistakes, therefore Hamilton. I would’ve liked to give Kubica, but BMW failed to keep up development and it’s difficult to judge where they would’ve ended up.
    2010: Lewis Hamilton. Like 2008, it’s got to go to the driver who made the least mistakes.
    2012: Fernando Alonso.



    @npf1, I remember the 1995 season as being interesting for the close racing between Schumacher and Hill, even if the championship standings and the statistics suggest a Schumacher walk-over. So I jogged my memory a little with the help op Wikipedia, and found at least one statistic that suggests that the FW17B was very competitive: Coulthard and Hill combined had 13 poles, Schumacher only 4. The Williams was a bit unreliable, though, with quite a few gearbox failures, and it also retired from the lead twice.

    My earlier point, though, was that this speed was not consistently transformed into wins and points by the Williams drivers. I was a fan of Hill, but he was never in the same league as Senna or Schumacher, and he was having a very scrappy season, not entirely dissimilar to Hamilton’s tribulations in 2011. In addition to running into the back of Schumacher during the British and Italian GPs, he also spun out of the Canadian GP, the European GP, the Japanese GP, and the German Grand Prix (from the lead). Schumacher, I felt, was delivering a 2012-Alonso-like performance, always getting the maximum from slightly inferior equipment. With Schumacher’s only competition the Williams pair, this meant he usually won. With Senna in the Williams, however, I think the statistics of that season would have been completely different.


    Keith Campbell

    The “if Senna lived” scenarios were a bit of an unintended consequence of this thread, i had actually meant to mention things like that but doesn’t matter much. I just wanted to see what people’s views were on the championships, particularly those i haven’t followed too closely (2010 onwards are the only ones where i’ve watched religiously despite following on and off since early 90s).

    @omarr-pepper I’m not too surprised some haven’t picked Button for 2009, Vettel probably in with a good shout and some of the drivers in lesser cars (Alonso/Hamilton) i’m sure were very good but had little chance to show it. I’m also not shocked that Hamilton has some votes for 2012, he was excellent and it was probably his best season imo, just masked by McLaren’s operational errors and reliability costing him over 100 points. This is just an opinion thread so would be boring if everyone agreed ;)

    @npf1 this is my first thread so i left the ‘Tag’s field blank, is that an issue?



    @keithedin Odd, when I made that post, there were some nonsensical terms in the tags box.. Now there’s nothing.

    I think people are just having a bit of fun with the Senna lives bit, especially considering the current week.



    Looking back on this thread I’m gobsmacked some people have picked Alonso over Kimi in 2005. I mean how did Raikonnen not deserve the title that year?


    Iestyn Davies

    @adrianmorse That’s an interesting detail, and as I only saw mid-96 onwards, I don’t know much before that in live detail. They could easily be swapped, with Schumi winning 94 and Senna 95. It’s interesting to see the parallels between Schumacher and Hamilton in this respect – Michael would have had 1 title for a while, until huge success with Ferrari, while being hailed as the best driver on the grid since a legend retired.

    Hamilton arrived after Schumi’s retirement, won a title, and is now likely to have a long period of success with Mercedes after similar sentiments were expressed about him. Vettel would be a combination of Hakkinen/Williams in this analogy – so strong.. then unlikely to have success again! But I can’t see that last part happening.. even if it takes Red Bull a few years to get on top again. A resurgence with a new engine, like Williams-BMW?

    @omarr-pepper On Button.. he still had to beat Barrichello (admittedly in his late-30s), who could’ve won those races and been a solid 1x WDC in the win standings (approaching 20 wins). As it is, Button won a chunk of them and with his wins now at McLaren is solidly in the ‘1x WDC category’ with almost a season of wins total. I would say multi-champions generally need more than 20 wins, or a full season of dominance (half of all races over two seasons).

    Maybe the level has risen recently, but Button stands up OK against many other 1x WDCs. Massa as well is almost in that 1x WDC ballpark, and Rosberg may end up there eventually. Coulthard sums it up best by saying you can win on some days, or over some periods, but WDCs have that greater consistency, all the time – a bit like Barrichello having such a long career, but Schumi did too and overall would be ahead in almost every year with the same car.

    @npf1 It’s always on my mind.. especially this week.. and look at what’s going on in Brazil right now.. Senna could really have helped with the growing pains that country is now having.

    @kingshark Rosberg in 1985 is something I have to take a look at!


    Iestyn Davies

    @kingshark Would Prost 1st, Senna 2nd, Rosberg 3rd, Alboreto 4th and de Angelis 5th, followed by Piquet and Mansell be a fair assessment of 1985?

    I’ve always wondered how Bellof would have gone in the Ferrari had he lived.. would he have taken the same career trajectory that Stefan Johansson then took? Ferrari – McLaren.. then Williams where Boutsen/Patrese ended up, before the dominance started under Mansell and Prost? It would be hard to see him not scoring a few wins at least with this top machinery. How come Ferrari picked up Johansson? Stop gap? And why was Arnoux let go…



    @fastiesty In 1985;

    Brazil – Rosberg retires from the lead due a turbo failure.
    San Marino – Rosberg looked good for the win before a brake failure.
    Silverstone – Rosberg loses another win due exhaust failure.
    Nurburgring – Rosberg retires from the lead due another brake failure.
    Austria – Rosberg loses 2nd place due oil pressure.
    Zandvoort – Rosberg missses out on one more win because of an engine failure.
    Monza – Rosberg loses on another win due to an engine failure again.
    Brands Hatch – Senna crashes Rosberg out and loses yet another win.

    So I do believe that Keke deserved the 1985 championships (just my humble opinion).

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