F1 greatest drivers (in drivers opinion)

settler

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Drivers vote Senna the greatest ever

Three-time world champion Ayrton Senna has been voted the greatest Formula 1 driver of all time by a unique poll of 217 of his fellow world championship drivers conducted by AUTOSPORT magazine.

Senna beat Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio to top spot in the unique poll, which is the most comprehensive survey of F1 drivers ever conducted.

The voters had a combined total of 9194 starts and 270 wins, and included starters from all but 10 world championship grands prix (the 11 world championship Indianapolis 500s were excluded from the poll).

Among the voters were Michael Schumacher, statistically the most successful F1 driver in history, Jose Froilan Gonzalez, the earliest surviving grand prix winner, Paul Pietsch, at 98 the oldest living driver, reigning world champion Jenson Button and much of the current F1 grid.

AUTOSPORT asked each voter to submit their top 10 'greatest' F1 drivers, and left the definition of 'greatest' open to interpretation.

"This is an amazing poll that has never been tried before," said AUTOSPORT editor Andrew van de Burgt. "Obviously, it has thrown up some interesting and unexpected results, but you can't argue with how the top 10 has worked out, or the integrity of the poll."


Full results:
http://f1greatestdrivers.autosport.com/
 

piercey

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Not surprised. Just think of all the yellow helmets that are floating around in open wheel racing; from karting all the way to F1.
 

justvisiting

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I'm surprised that no other current drivers are in there besides the WC's - Seb.

Also the fact that the current drivers rate jenson as the 5th in the field says something to solidify his WDC for me.
 

MadCow809

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Again. Another pointless poll.

You simply cannot compare drivers from different eras with different machinery. It just doesn't work.

Just because Senna lost his life in an F1 car, it doesn't automatically make him the greatest drivers. People are so shocked by his death that they forgot that he was an absolute a cunt of note. Other top F1 drivers were scared/uncomfortable to race with Senna, because they know that Senna is a childish sore-loser who would rather drive his opponent off the road than being overtaken. Even Jackie Stewart said that Senna was an immature kid who needs to grow up and respect other drivers on the grid.

Another thing is... Had it been Prost who binned it on the Tamburello corner, the title of "greatest" driver will most likely be his. IMO, it was the crash that made Senna a superstar amongst F1 racers, and that sort of gave him the title of "greatest" driver. Kind of like Kurt Cobain's death and Jim Clark & Villeneuve's crash etc..

Stats speak for themselves, Schumi is the real undisputed champion in terms of F1 records and achievements, the one and only true G.O.A.T
 
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justvisiting

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I agree to an extent, that sensationalism elicits a mental underlining of a person, but only for so long. They arent just gonna vote for him because he died. Its coming up to almost 2 decades ago now, I'm sure the majority* of them voted objectively. It's not like you can really compare schumacher to fangio or moss anyways; cars, driving, and conditions were so different from now.

I don't personally thing senna should be at the top from what few old races I've watched, but how would I know?

btw. these polls aren't pointless, they are for entertainment! enjoy it a little, its just for fun.
 
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Dogbert

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Hazardous

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Personally I give this poll more credit than most others because this time the voters are drivers who a) are people who have experience from this form of racing and b) a lot of them have raced against some of the people in the list. They actually know what they are talking about, unlike fans who have watched F1 from TV, read some of the history and maybe been to spectate a race or two (and yes, I do include myself in this category).

Obviously the point that it's impossible to compare drivers from different eras still stands and it's impossible to create find a quantifiable way to prove that Senna was greater than Schumacher, but as far as these polls go I think you can't get much more credible result than this. There are also some interesting names on interesting places, like Clark being ranked below Prost, Alonso being in top-10, Ronnie Petterson in the top 20, Bellof being down as far down as 35th and Jean Behra being in the top-40 in the first place.

Oh and MadCow, as far as stats go, remember that while Schuey has most championships, most wins and most pole positions, when comparing his stats to those of Fangio he has twice more full seasons and five times more starts(hell, Schumacher won almost twice as many races than Fangio started). If you calculate winning percentages Fangio trumps Schumacher on all those stats. Again, I'm not claiming one would be better than the other, just reminding that not all stats point towards Schumacher as the greatest ever.
 

MadCow809

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Oh and MadCow, as far as stats go, remember that while Schuey has most championships, most wins and most pole positions, when comparing his stats to those of Fangio he has twice more full seasons and five times more starts(hell, Schumacher won almost twice as many races than Fangio started). If you calculate winning percentages Fangio trumps Schumacher on all those stats. Again, I'm not claiming one would be better than the other, just reminding that not all stats point towards Schumacher as the greatest ever.

I know what you are saying, which is why this poll is rather meaningless.
 

be-ach

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I know what you are saying, which is why this poll is rather meaningless.

Umm.. don't you think you might be reading a little to far into the polls meaning? I'm pretty sure it was just a bit of fun meant to crate discussion and debate, bot a be all end all "these are officially the greatest drivers" type thing.

Anyway, I was glad to see Gilles Villeneuve do so well. I think he had a WDC or two in him had he not been killed and as far as raw talent goes, a lot of drivers show him a ton of respect. Also I'll be honest, I think Jenson wouldn't be on this list at all had it been for this season. Lewis definitely deserves to be there considering how he's started his career, I think Seb is there because of how obviously talented he is and Fernando is a shoe in, as he was a double world champion with potential for more.
 

Necx0

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There were some interesting results (Lewis Hamilton above Jack Brabham???) but it made interesting reading. Very hard to split Fangio/Schuey/Senna. Which is your favourite depends on personal preference.

F1 didn't start until Fangio was 38/39. Imagine if he had of started at 23!! Senna was a flawed driver in many ways, but he was insanely amazingly fast. 65 poles from 161 starts against the likes of Prost, Mansell, Lauda, Rosberg, Piquet, Schumacher.
 

Sir Stiggington

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So the positions for drivers still in F1:

1. Alonso
2. Hamilton
3. Raikkonen (yeah I know not in F1 anymore)
4. Vettel
5. Button

Yeah I'd go with that...this list is pretty accurate...
 

ALXBWSCREW

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So the positions for drivers still in F1:

1. Alonso
2. Hamilton
3. Raikkonen (yeah I know not in F1 anymore)
4. Vettel
5. Button

Yeah I'd go with that...this list is pretty accurate...
The current F1 drivers top was rubbish IMO but even tough the rest of the poll was pointless it's a nice thing to do.
Of course, as the others said you can't compare other drivers from different eras and even if you do, what kind of statistics would you take: percents or overall stats?
 

Joc?

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Nakajima and Liuzzi are on the list.
Coulthard and Barrichello aren't.
 

Red_Bull

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I presume you mean Satoru Nakajima? Not that it makes much difference. And Liuzzi, who hasn't lived up to the hype generated from his F3000 days.

why???
 

Joc?

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I presume you mean Satoru Nakajima? Not that it makes much difference.

No. It's Kazuki. :|
But apparently, his father was among the voters. :lol:
 

Peter3hg

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How the hell did Rene Arnoux not make the list at all when people like Pedro Lamy and Liuzzi have?
 

MadCow809

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Steve Levin

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I once listened to an interview with John Watson. Watson, who had retired at the end of the 1983 season (after McLaren didn't renew his contract and he was unwilling to run for a second tier team), came back to sub for Niki Lauda in 1985 at Brands Hatch.

Watson described being passed by Senna at Druids, as "watching him go by, he [Senna] had the car just dancing, like raindrops pattering against the track, while at the same time managing the throttle to keep the car on boost, that was the moment that I realized I was, well and truly, retired from Formula 1."

Senna was just...magic.

Steve
 

GraemeH

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Again. Another pointless poll.

You simply cannot compare drivers from different eras with different machinery. It just doesn't work.

Just because Senna lost his life in an F1 car, it doesn't automatically make him the greatest drivers. People are so shocked by his death that they forgot that he was an absolute a cunt of note. Other top F1 drivers were scared/uncomfortable to race with Senna, because they know that Senna is a childish sore-loser who would rather drive his opponent off the road than being overtaken. Even Jackie Stewart said that Senna was an immature kid who needs to grow up and respect other drivers on the grid.

Another thing is... Had it been Prost who binned it on the Tamburello corner, the title of "greatest" driver will most likely be his. IMO, it was the crash that made Senna a superstar amongst F1 racers, and that sort of gave him the title of "greatest" driver. Kind of like Kurt Cobain's death and Jim Clark & Villeneuve's crash etc..

Stats speak for themselves, Schumi is the real undisputed champion in terms of F1 records and achievements, the one and only true G.O.A.T


I came in here to say pretty much that - I agree with every point. Schumacher is my most despised F1 driver of all time, but he's the greatest.
 
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