A Deserved Champion?


Race Winner
Galahad..........It's turning into a great championship I think we'd all agree on that. Whoever wins the title this year could well turn out to be the most deserving champion we've seen in years, simply because it may well be the most closely fought between the largest number of drivers in a very long time. :)
Kewee - not sure I like to characterise champions as "deserving", but I certainly agree with you, there will be little margin for driver or team errors if the competitive order remains as close and fluid as currently.
Galahad....I guess what I was referring to when I said deserving was that so far at least, no one driver has a distinct car advantage. I'm not meaning to demean Vettel in saying this but last year I felt for the first time in a long time the drivers championship was won by a car rather than the driver. In saying that, a driver still has to get the best from himself and his car to win, but that's certainly made much easier if your not having to mix it with even your nearest competition. I was more than a little disappointed in Red Bull last year. The FIA have made it clear for a number of years now they want to, and intend to give the sport greener credentials yet Red Bull went totally against the FIA's intentions, and designed a car that continued to burn fuel off throttle to create downforce. It was perfectly legal but went completely against the spirit of what the FIA had made clear they wished to achieve. The rest is history of course. The Red Bull was designed around this principle, the other teams had to try to adapt cars that were never intended to run with this technology hence Red Bull retained an advantage the others were never able to match, which is why I believe last years drivers championship was won by the car rather than the driver. I've said this before, and once again I won't name them, but I can think of two other drivers that I believe would beat Vettel more often than not in equal cars.
Sebastian Vettel 2011:

15 poles from 19 races
11 wins from 19 races
1 finish off the podium (4th in Germany)

Mark Webber 2011:

3 poles from 19 races
1 win from 19 races
9 other podium finishes

Must have been the car, can't have been anything to do with the man driving it...

Anyway, back on topic. It's been a topsy turvey season and long may it continue although getting pole and winning the race does appear to be coming back in fashion.
I'm very aware of the statistics FB, which I alluded to when I said a driver had to get the best from himself and his car to win. I'm also very aware that Webber never came to terms with the characteristics of last years car. It doesn't alter the fact that in the hands of a driver that suited the cars behavior Red Bull had a significant advantage. Your comment "Must have been the car, can't have been the man driving it". Why do you find sarcasm necessary when responding to me? I enjoy chatting with people on this site and sometimes things get a little heated but I always try to be polite. This was your first response to me on this topic, seems a shame to be sarcastic before a discussion has even had a chance to develop.
Firstly Kewee do you know a guy called Ray?

Secondly FB does sarcasm well and long may it continue.

Thirdly, like me, he's probably tired of hearing the same old "it was the car" argument from people especially when it all depends on which way a person is leaning. The car did indeed have something to do with it yes but I've seen supercars with none super drivers in them before and they don't get results like Seb did last year so when you talk about 'deserved' champions it kind of makes me shut down and roll my eyes. You could probaly go through every world-champion there has ever been and find some fault as to why they didn't deserve their title

I think what you're getting at is whoever wins the world championship in 2012 will have to be at the top of their game through consistancy because of the changing field. Some people would argue that consistant finishing doesn't mean the best driver and therefore they aren't the most deserving. I know what you mean though
The driver may be the biggest component in deciding the champion this year, but I think it far more likely to be the team that develops their car fastest and/or adapts it earliest to the Pirelli tyres.

Vettel had a car that had a small but consistent pace advantage last season, a car that also had a couple of notable minor weaknesses, and absolutely maximised his advantage, if not extended it. If Vettel had not been there, I think I'm right in saying one of the McLaren drivers would have taken the title rather than Webber, so I would still give the lion's share of credit to Sebastian.
My sarcasm, Kewee, was because all too often people belittle the achievement of drivers by saying "well, it must have been the car" and, frankly, it gets on my nerves. Not just with regard to Vettel but in relation to too many drivers. Had Felipe Massa won the title in 2008 everyone would have said "well, he had the best car". In 2009 everyone (myself included, which I now regret) looked at Jenson Button running away with the title and dismissed it as "well, the Brawn is simply the best car". Many dismiss Michael Schumacher's titles at Ferrari with a glib "well, of course, he had the best car".

When you look back over the list of Champions in F1 which one hasn't been driving "the best car"? Keke Rosberg in 1982 perhaps or Kimi in 2007? How do we define "the best car"? Why is it necessary to put down the achievements of the driver without whom the car would just sit there, impassive.

You suggested two other drivers on the grid would have beaten Vettel in the same car. Based on what factors? His own team mate couldn't get anywhere near him in the same car, a man who was in touching distance of the title in 2010. He didn't become a bad driver overnight but he couldn't adapt to the style of driving required for the Red Bull in 2011. What rationale are you using to presume the other two drivers woudl have been able to adapt in the way Vettel did? Perhaps they would have been as at sea as Webber was?

The guys that win the World title do so because of a huge number of factors: the car, their skill, occasional moments of luck, the organisation of their team, bloody hard work to get to where they are in the first place. Please feel free to add your own to this list but please don't dismiss what these men have achieved by simply claiming it all down to the car.

I'm more than happy to debate all of these points and more but maybe this is not for this thread. Please fell free to start one where we can debate this ad naseum although, like many things it would appear, we do come from very different perspectives.
FB, Rasputin and Galahad.......I'm back. Another ANZAC service has passed, always an emotional day for any Kiwi that has suffered loss. Most have from my generation. I've got relatives in War Cemeteries all over Europe.

I'll deal with the personal stuff first then touch on what I was saying because I think you may have misunderstood me.
Yes Rasputin, I do know a guy called Ray. I had no idea you knew him also. ROFL

Ok, first the personal stuff. I've always found the intention of sarcasm is to belittle the person it's aimed at which doesn't sit comfortably with me. It never has. This is a forum after all and the whole intention of any forum is to discuss topics with people of varying opinions. Directing sarcasm at someone tends to shut down any discussion. Why would the person that feels as though they've been belittled want to continue with the discussion. Maybe I'm being overly sensitive, thats just me, but when a staff member does this and then gets backed up with further sarcasm from the another staff member, I'm left feeling as though I was being singled out as fair game for belittlement. As a member that has put his hand in his pocket to support this site I felt this was poor to say the least, considering it was coming from two staff members and considering we're asked to exercise respect to keep this a pleasant community for members. I do my part. Ok, thats off my chest, back to my other comments.

My comments regarding Seb were in no way intended to demean his achievements. Unlike many I have the upmost respect for every driver on the grid, and that includes our Indian friend at the tail of the field. Every one of them has after all earned a super license and I'm prepared to give them time to gain experience while they settle into driving at the highest level before I criticize.
Anyone that's followed my postings should know, like most, I have my favorites but I never criticize drivers without clarifying my reasons and that doesn't mean I have any less respect for their considerable talent. When there's a coming together between two drivers, like everyone I'll have an opinion and will voice who's fault I feel it was. Once again that in no way is a criticism of them outright as drivers. I'll be clear about this, I've always believed the driver that wins the title will do so in a car thats at least the equal of others he's competing against. On a few occasions a driver has lifted himself and won the championship in a lesser car, but this is rare. More often than not the driver that takes the title is the best driver in the best car, which is why once again, the driver that wins will usually be driving for the team that also captures the constructors championship.
Just for the record, and I'm sure many will disagree, the champion I've always rated is Sir Jackie. All three of his titles came at a time in the sport when aerodynamics were far less important. Mechanical grip was very important which left the driver able to make a far greater contribution regarding set up and pure driving talent. The other factor during Sir Jackie's time was most, though not all the cars, were Cosworth powered. Quite simply, the playing field was probably at its most level during Sir Jackie's championship run.
Back to my comments regarding Seb. I've always believed that at any one time there's usually two, sometimes three, and if we're lucky as spectators occasionally four or even five drivers at the required level to fight for the title. Believe me I'll be singing the praises of whoever takes the championship this year, and that includes Vettel, why wouldn't I? My feelings last year were different though, which is what led to my comment in my last posting. Put less aggressively, there's no way I felt Vettel was 8 tenths better than at least three other drivers on the grid, especially during qualifying. Yes, he was undoubtably, more often than not, 8 tenths quicker I just don't believe he was 8 tenth better. The car certainly was, and 8 tenths is far greater than the norm in any given year, which is what led to my comment. Alonso in his interview a few months back alluded to the same when he compared Vettel with Hamilton. He may have been better keeping his mouth shut but he was just calling it as he saw it. Many others over here in McLarenland feel even more strongly than me. Just to be clear, my opinion only, Vettel is a great driver, but there are at least three others I would put at the same level, a couple I personally rate higher. That view is open to change as their careers continue and develop and may even change by the end of this year. Cheers to all. :cheers:
We all know Ray and you guys must be close because I only guessed due to your writing style.

I sure no one on here meant to belittle you Kewee so I'm sorry if you felt like that but did you consider that maybe in using the phrase 'deserved' champion it was felt you were belittle a drivers achievements. I take your point about how far in front Vettel was last season but it is just a personal view. I happen to think Vettel was on it last year and that a fair few of the other drivers you are refering too were considerably less than there best meaning with a good car the gap could be 8 tennths. It all comes down to speculation doesn't it and when you've had a season of posts about how its just the car and theories about magic buttons and favouritism I guess it gets a bit tiresome.

I'm not sure if you mean me by backed up by another staff member but as Brogan was arguing your side a little I think you must. Much to the relief of the people that run the site here I am not a staff member just a pain in the backside. You also talk about following your posting style but if you followed FB's posting style you'll see that poking fun humour is his style and you shouldn't be offended. Personally I like that the staff members have different views and can be equally involved in a debate as anyone. To me it shows the site is human and not run with an agenda. Oh and I shouldn't say this but Cook liking a post about not belittling people in posts really made me laugh.

Anyways to conclude I believe after 4 races their are still 8 drivers with the potential to win the World Championship - although I'm pretty sure by the time we get to Britian that'll be at least down to 4 and you're right Kewee in that it really is exciting and I hope the races match up but whoever wins the championship will be just as deserving as the one's that won in the last 61 years. You can only beat the competition put out in front of you.
Rasputin........Sorry, no I don't know Ray, I thought you were having a little joke so I was just having fun with you.
I was obviously completely misunderstood. Using the word "deserving" was in no way at all intended to be a dig at Vettel, just simply an observation that due to the cars being so close this year the driver that comes out on top will have to be damn near mistake free and be on top of his game to beat the others. I hope everyone will come to realize when I comment there's never some hidden meaning lurking just under the surface. I can assure you there never is so you can be assured that "deserving" referred only to this years result, whatever that may be. I'll make a couple of points that I'm sure you'll understand. I said in the posting that started this whole unfortunate issue, that if McLarens bad day was a one off due to the track and conditions, maybe Lotus's great day was also a one off for the same reasons. I personally don't think it was but it will be interesting to see if they can continue to run up front. The same logic applies to car advantages. The question of a car advantage and whether you feel that advantage is significant is really just a question of degrees. If we talk of Alonso being on the back foot due to a difficult car then it seems logical to me to acknowledge that to a degree another drivers success can be due to a car being a step above everyone else. There's no hidden agenda there just a simple statement.
As far as FB and humor goes, I've had fun with him in the past though I'm not even sure he had the chance to pick up on it. FB knows what hours I'm operating in over here and recently he said something I didn't agree with but instead of picking him up on it I sent him a sleepy face with the message, "you'll have to yell I'm asleep." :sleeping:. Unfortunately another moderator didn't see the humor and deleted it possibly before FB saw it. You know I have fun with smileys. Another night I had been on line till I was damn near asleep, then I woke up a hour or so later, opened my laptop and typed, Araaaah!!!! nightmare :shocked: :sleeping: then went back to bed. I had no idea what was being discussed at the time so my little man would have appeared out of nowhere. I'm on this site not only to discuss but also to have a bit of fun, I'm in the wrong time zone to be active after about midnight though, I assume about 11am over there taking daylight saving into consideration. Anyway Cheers Ras and thanks for the support. :)
Kewee - there wasn't a single occasion last season when Vettel was 0.8s faster than the next man in qualifying, and the average gap was 0.225s. That's a margin that can easily be lost by a driving error on a hot lap, going down a blind alley on set-up, or otherwise just not feeling 'in the mood' on a particular weekend. Vettel earned his place at Toro Rosso with his performances in the junior categories; he got his move to Red Bull on the basis of his results there, and retained his drive by consistently matching and often beating his team mate Webber. He also contributed to the development of the car though his apparently ferocious work rate.
Of course, not all championships are won by the fastest driver in the field. Probably in F1 history we may be talking about nearly 50% of seasons falling into this category. But there are lots of reasons why that is the case; sometimes the fastest driver drives brilliantly in a car that is just too slow to compete (Schumacher 1996), sometimes he lacks consistency and makes too many mistakes (Alonso 2007). Sometimes he wins despite having a bad year (Schumacher 2003). Whatever the quality of the machinery, Vettel had a remarkably consistent and error-free season in 2011. I'm not as certain as you that there are other drivers who could have done better, but irrespective of this, he deserves full credit for his achievement, comparable with any other champion.
Obviously you need to have two qualities in sufficient amounts to win an F1 championship: a good car and a good driver. No driver can win without a competitive car and no car can succeed without a sufficiently talented driver. It is never completely one or the other. All of us know this, so I think FB was being fairly condescending in saying 'can't have been anything to do with the man driving it.'

In 2011, Vettel could have stopped turning up after the Singapore Grand Prix and he still would have taken the title. If he had made so many mistakes in the RB7 that he had only just won the championship (i.e.. 2010) that would have made him less deserving than if he had maximised the dominance of the car and romped away with the championship (which he did).

Comparing Vettel's 2010 and 2011 seasons is a good way of understanding what I think Kewee meant by 'deserving'. In the former, he made some mistakes, didn't dominate his teammate as much, and only narrowly won the championship in a car we can unanimously agree was the fastest on the grid. In 2011, in a car which was probably slightly more dominant, he made barely any mistakes, dominated his teammate and cleaned up the championship. So although he won both, his 2011 championship was more deserving because HE drove better. You can't blame a driver for getting himself into the fastest car on the grid, but you can still judge them on how well they perform in that car. If the RB6 had been the same pace as the Ferrari in 2010, Vettel would not have won the championship.

This season, there is no dominant car, so we know that whomever takes the championship will have come very close to maximising the equipment they've been given. That is why they will be very deserving.

For those with a problem with my posting style, perhaps this will help. Ironic, without a doubt. Sarcastic, probably. Condescending, never my intention. My gander was raised by the suggestion that a driver undeserving of a Championship because of the equipment at his disposal. The point of my original post was to point out that, in the same equipment, one driver excelled whilst the other was adequate. This suggests to me that as good as the car was the bloke pedalling it had a pretty big influence on the results that car achieved and that should not be undermined or put down.

I should also like to point out that although I have responsibilities as a moderator I am also a fan who holds opinions and (I hope) contributes toward the discussion. If anyone has a problem with anything anyone posts, whether they be a moderator or not, they are at liberty to report it. I've had posts deleted as I've overstepped the mark on occasions butI fail to see what me being a moderator has to do with having an opinion
gdeacon7 I'm not sure that I agree. After all, even if a driver didn't maximise his chances but still wins the championship he still drove better than the other title contenders. You could say that he has fought harder for it, in the end. In my opinion Vettel "deserved" the 2011 title as much as he deserved the 2010 title, and whoever wins it this year deserves it just as much as Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton et al.
FB, I've got nothing against sarcasm (though I find it difficult to communicate via words without getting misconstrued, see above), I just didn't like the way you oversimplified Kewee's point about the car having some but not all of the influence over winning a championship.

As for the topic at hand, 'deserving' is not a binary state. There are degrees to which drivers deserve the championships they win, but none of them are undeserving. I don't think anyone can fault Vettel's 2011 season. At the standard he drove last year, he would be in with a good shot of winning this year's championship in a Red Bull, McLaren, Lotus or Mercedes. But this year's field is much more even, closer to a spec series and better for us to gauge who has got what it takes. And for all the excessive talk about Vettel struggling to defend hit title, the guy is narrowly leading the championship.
Top Bottom