F1 greatest drivers (in drivers opinion)

MadCow809

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As for what ESPNSTI said: its impossible to form an unbiased view of a driver's skill if you just see him on TV. Without actually witnessing them in action, you're not going to truly see what's what.

Well fortunately, I have about 5 versions of 80~90s F1 in writing which I can compare in detail. Various different autobiography and F1 books have put the 80s into different perspective for me. I did not formulate my views of F1 drivers simply from TV coverage and press materials. I think Lauda, Mansell, Hill and Prost's statements & autobiography are a lot more credible than some TV coverage or internet polls.

All I'm saying is that it's no co-incidence that Senna's dangerous driving is mentioned in every top driver's autobiography, just like his enormous driving talent and mental attitude.

:blink: Is there something you want to tell us?

As for the debate, I do think it's pointless, as both were ridiculous in their on track behaviour, and both ridiculously quick. I just see Senna as the greatest because he won 3 championships while up against 2 or 3 other greats, while when Schumacher won in 2000-2004 he was arguably up against none.

Senna's dominance in a McLaren is no different than Mansell's dominance in the superior Williams, nor Schumacher's Ferrari. It doesn't matter if you are up against more rivals, as long as you have the superior equipment.

So what if Senna had won the championship while up against more competitors? Piquet and Mansell struggled with their equipments and wasn't much of a threat to the superior McLaren-Honda. It was more like an one-on-one match with Prost, then later with Mansell. Schumacher created his own perfect environment at Ferrari, some might say (Damon Hill for example) that Schumacher isn't a true champion because he eliminated his team-mate and competitors by strategy. But I disagree, in my opinion, Schumacher's dominance at Ferrari is due to his hard work and dedication, you gotta remember that Ferrari was a terrible team in the mid 90s. Schumacher made it all happen with the team, and you can't take that away from him by saying that he had no direct competitor to compete with.
 
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I saw Prost and Senna live in action at Spa does that count? :mrgreen:
Damn, now I'm all nostalgic and stuff. :)
 

Sir Stiggington

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"Drivers vote Senna the greatest ever"....

No, I meant it sounded like you were one :p

And MadCow, I'm sure you're very well informed, but the drivers themselves probably have more of an idea what they're talking about as they can actually relate to driving the car.
 

Steve Levin

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Wasn't there also a race when Prost (I think) was leading in heavy rain after Senna messed up and went off; the race was almost over and Prost had a substantial lead, so Senna started knocking off fastest laps on every. single. lap. which irritated the hell out of Prost and he got careless and crashed. No one could touch Senna in the wet.

That sounds a lot like Estoril in 1985 -- Senna's first win. I don't remember now if Prost was leading, but I do recall that he spun off in the torrential downpour.

Perhaps the sad footnote to Estoril was Bellof's first "official" points finish (after the Tyrell ballast fiasco of 1984 which took away his 4th at Monaco). Bellof would score points only once more, in a spectacular drive on the streets of Detroit, before being killed in a Porsche 956 at Spa.

edit: now that I'm re-reading your description I don't think that fits Estorial at all, as I don't recall Senna going off during the drive. But Prost was never great in the wet, period, and somehow, to me, that sums up the crux of Prost -- he never truly shined except when he had the best equipment. He was very good in okay equipment...but he never got that little 'extra' out of it.

Steve
 
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vikiradTG2007

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That sounds a lot like Estoril in 1985 -- Senna's first win. I don't remember now if Prost was leading, but I do recall that he spun off in the torrential downpour.

Perhaps the sad footnote to Estoril was Bellof's first "official" points finish (after the Tyrell ballast fiasco of 1984 which took away his 4th at Monaco). Bellof would score points only once more, in a spectacular drive on the streets of Detroit, before being killed in a Porsche 956 at Spa.

Steve

No, Estoril '85 was a Grand Slam for Senna. Nobody but him led that race. Prost spun off in the spray behind the other Lotus (Elio's) down the start-finish straight.

And Bellof was a wasted talent. Given time to settle down and mature, he could have been a multiple race-winner. Sources say he had signed a deal to race for Ferrari in '86.
 

Necx0

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Senna's dominance in a McLaren is no different than Mansell's dominance in the superior Williams, nor Schumacher's Ferrari. It doesn't matter if you are up against more rivals, as long as you have the superior equipment.

This I have to take issue with. Ayrton never had a truly dominant car in the F2004/FW14B mould, except maybe 1988 and then he had Prost in the other seat.

The season that sums up Ayrton is 1993. McLaren with a piece of shit unreliable peugot lump, and he drags 5 wins out of it. No-one else at that time could have done that.

Schumacher did something comparable with the 1997 Ferrari though.
 

vikiradTG2007

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The season that sums up Ayrton is 1993. McLaren with a piece of shit unreliable peugot underpowered and non-works Ford lump, and he drags 5 wins out of it. No-one else at that time could have done that.

FTFY. :) The Peugeot engine came to Macca in '94, in '93 it was still running around in the back of the 905.
 

Red_Bull

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McLaren actually got the upgrade at Silverstone to match the spec that Benetton were recieving. An interesting side note, McLaren actually secured works Renault engines (via Ligier) for 1993 but Elf vetoed the deal because Ron Dennis refused to terminate his contract with Shell.
 

Sir Stiggington

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This I have to take issue with. Ayrton never had a truly dominant car in the F2004/FW14B mould, except maybe 1988 and then he had Prost in the other seat.

The season that sums up Ayrton is 1993. McLaren with a piece of shit unreliable peugot lump, and he drags 5 wins out of it. No-one else at that time could have done that.

This. I think the most important thing there is that Prost was in the other seat when the car was dominant...
 

Necx0

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Yeh sorry got mixed up. Meant Ford, which wasn't that much of a piece of shit, but far from the dominant Honda force.
 

justvisiting

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Since we are on the topic of Schumacher as a driver, and other drivers opinions. What do you think about Eddie Irvine's comments about Michael?
if he's head-to-head with someone like Lewis Hamilton, Lewis isn't going to back off and Michael will have to because he's 41 years of age. The young guy will have the psychological advantage. I don't believe Michael is as fast as he was maybe seven years ago; when he was at Benetton and Ferrari his speed was quite sensational and he gradually probably lost a bit of that, so he's not at the peak of his game but there's no doubt that he's still good enough to win races - he's such an immense talent."
-f1.gpupdate

Would you say its true?
 

MadCow809

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Eddir Irvine: if he's head-to-head with someone like Lewis Hamilton, Lewis isn't going to back off and Michael will have to because he's 41 years of age. The young guy will have the psychological advantage. I don't believe Michael is as fast as he was maybe seven years ago; when he was at Benetton and Ferrari his speed was quite sensational and he gradually probably lost a bit of that, so he's not at the peak of his game but there's no doubt that he's still good enough to win races - he's such an immense talent."

It's some what true, but I suspect with the amount of maturity and racing experience that Schumacher has got, he can use all that to his advantage, instead of jumping into a melee battle with the young pretenders.

But yes, I do agree that young aggressive driver like hamilton or other new rookie drivers will not back off in a wheel to wheel situation with Schumacher. The important question is, how will Schumacher respond? Will he be the same ruthless Schumacher we've seen in the past? Is he taking a different approach? I think he hasn't lost any bit of his raw talent, but what about physical and mental strength? I'm not questioning his raw speed/talent, but his determination. I hope he is mentally (and physically) ready for this super challenge. It's going to be tough, perhaps the toughest season in his whole F1 career. And even though he has worked with Ross Brawn in the past, is it still a big step into the unknown for Schumi. But hey, at least the upside is that he doesn't have to race Kimi, the fastest F1 driver who gave Schumi a hard time in '03 and '05.

Finally, if Mansell can win a WDC at the age of 39, I'm sure Schumi can do it at 41.
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