A great drivers missing bits


Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Valued Member
I've carried this over from the Hamilton / Rosberg thread as I thought it would make for an interesting discussion. It was mentioned on there that it was felt Rosberg was a good driver but he was just missing a bit compared to his more successful team mate.

To that end then, have a think about other great drivers (they may have even won a World Championship in the case of a driver like Button) and what would you say were their missing bits that just held them back from being a great, great driver?

Having said that, even great, great drivers have had their flaws. Remember Prost's comment on Senna "The trouble is he thinks he can't kill himself" or words to that effect.

We're not talking about the average drivers here or those that just paddled around at the back of the grid who were obviously out of their deapth or just plain bad.

As an example, for me I though Damon Hill was a great driver but what he lacked was ruthlessness which was percieved as a bit of a weakness because he was too nice. A bit too much of the 'plucky Brit' syndrome.

So who else was missing what ??
Last edited:
Nigel was very well balanced, he had a chip on both shoulders. Interesting story on Our Nige from John Barnard, when he won the his first race in the Ferrari he was so relaxed he sang JB a song as he went down the back straight. I seem to recall he then went on to say how tough the race was in the interviews afterwards.
On the current grid, I've often thought Kimi is missing the appearance of caring about what he does. I expect he's very professional and does the job and it's hard to separate his public persona from how he works behind closed doors. Does he fully apply himself with the same intensity as some like Lauda did for example?
Rene Arnoux Arnoux. Here's one who had the speed in his day but his achille's heel was that his driving style was very demending on his tyres. He always ran out of rubber quicker than his team-mates.

jacques Laffite was always very aggressive during races but his qualifying was never any good.

Gerhard Berger's form wasn't consistant. He could be capable of blinding speed but not consistently so. He would sometimes out-qualify Senna at certain tracks and would go missing at some others.
Most not so great drivers missing bit is consistently quick cars and being in the right car, I can't think of any great driver since the 80's that was consistently in a slow car, there were plenty from the 50's to the 70's, but then you only had four wheels and an engine to make you good.
Nelson Piquet was three times World Champion but there was something missing in his character.
Carlos Reutemann lacked the mental stability to win the championship he deserved. Had 1981 bought and paid for, but couldn't hold it together in the head.
Greenlantern101 Kimi does have a personality, he just doesn't take it to work with him.
I think he does take it to work with him, and people are being a little unreasonable in their expectation that he be talkative and engaged with interviewers - the Finns are well known as people who, when they have nothing of value to say, would rather remain silent. Yes, it makes them appear sullen or taciturn to people from other cultures, but from the look of some of the pictures that seem more candid than staged, he has a personality that shines through when there's not some reporter or cameraman directly in his face and asking stupid questions.
Top Bottom