Poll Best driver of the Decades

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
because as we now for numerous reason you cannot say who is the greatest driver in F1 because like stiring moss once said how do you compare a driver from the 50's who was front engined, steering wheel was just for turning, wheels that where same as you get on your normal sportscar & zero aerodynamics. to the hybrid mid engined, steering wheel like mission control & unfathomable specialist tyres. because 5 time world champion fangio might be dreadful in a hybrid & 6 time world champion lewis hamilton wouldnt be able to get the pace of masterati. so who do you think were the best driver of that decade. can be the most successful or best driver that outperformed the car

50's -
60's -
70's -
80's -
90's -
00's -
10's -
 

Greenlantern101

Super Hero And All Round Good Guy
Contributor
50's - Fangio
60's - Jim Clark
70's - Lauda or Stewart
80's - Senna
90's - Hakkinen
00's - Schumacher
10's - Hamilton
 
50s - Fangio (I would have put Alberto Ascari on a par with him but I have seen several interviews with Ferrari oldtimers like Franco Gozzi where they said that according to the mechanics he was the least talented of their drivers in that era, I think that often mechanics can spot talent better than others, so for that reason alone I am careful not to include Ascari in this list)
60s - Clark
70s - Villeneuve (up to May 1982)
80s - Piquet/Prost/Senna (Piquet undisputed #1 in the turbo era, Prost IMHO the best in pure driving terms in that era, Senna the best racer)
90s - Schumacher
00s - Alonso
10s - Hamilton/Vettel (both brilliant when things go their way but suffering when paired to a competitive team mate, Hamilton is great but I don't recall any driver having such an advantage over his competitors ever in terms of car, relationship with the team and butler team mate)
 

Dartman

Podium Finisher
Just to throw a spanner in the works,
Moss 50's
Clark
Pettersen/ Rindt
Mansell/ Prost
Schumacher
Button
Hamilton
It's not who won the most races but the one who performed the best despite the car.
 

Ruslan

Podium Finisher
Love lists....because they force you to focus your thinking....

50's - Fangio then Moss
60's - then Clark
70's - then Stewart thru 1973. After that....well it is between Fittipaldi/Lauda/Andretti/Villeneuve. I can make strong arguments in favor of any of these four and strong arguments against any of these four.
80's - then Piquet, then Prost/Senna. I do believe Prost and Senna were the two best drivers since Clark and probably have not been outdone since then.
90's - Schumarcher
00's - Alonso
10's - Hamilton
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
50’s Fangio - it can't really be any other name.

60’s Clark - Could do things in an F1 car few would ever be able to repeat.

70’s Lauda - This is the first of the tough decades. I feel sorry for Stewart who straddles the 60s and 70s. Fittipaldi should be right up there but spent 5 years driving appalling cars for his brother. Ronnie Peterson gets a notable mention as well. Overall all though it has to be Lauda.

80’s Senna / Prost - Sorry, its a cop out but they are inseparable. Prost the master tactician who lived by the maxim "win every race at the slowest speed necessary" but was still capable of amazing drives. Senna, the unbelievable talent who's ability often took cars beyond what they were capable of supposedly doing but often as a result would run out of talent.

90’s Hakkinen - A strange choice but I think he was the decades most consistent performer. Schumacher loses out because it was a decade of constant issues. Villeneuve and Hill had their moments but never the consistency. Hakkinen drove well for Lotus, dragged McLaren up from the depths (take note Fernando!!) and ultimately took 2 World titles.

00’s Schumacher - OK, so he had everything, car, package, team orders and helpful rule books but this was the decade of one man.

10’s Hamilton - Between the 10's main duo of Vettel and Hamilton, Hamilton just comes out on top. He's driven and had to beat two world champion team mates who have pushed him far harder than drivers in a similar position. Sometimes he lost sometimes he won but ultimately, in the long term he came out on top.
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
feel sorry for Stewart who straddles the 60s and 70s.
looking at the older races that i didnt see live, it is hard to pick some drivers because not many are in like Hamilton the whole decade. some of thr greats are end of 1 & start of the other. you almost cant pick them
 

Dartman

Podium Finisher
I always discount Stewart, he was on par with Hill, and not a patch on Pettersen or Rindt when their cars were reliable, Pettersen was not a WDC purely as he was No2, Andretti stated that as part of his contract he was not going to set up a car for some kid to lap 2 secs faster than him after all that work. There were so many races where Pettersen just played with Andretti and it was so obvious he was so much quicker. Stewart in his later days controlled F1 with his rules regarding what he considered reckless driving, like no overtaking on the outside of a bend or curve, that meant if you shut the door early enough there was nowhere to overtake except the straight , with 98% of the cars with Coswort V8s there was no way past, it really got boring with long trains and waiting for a pit stop or breakdown.
 

Ruslan

Podium Finisher
...Pettersen was not a WDC purely as he was No2, Andretti stated that as part of his contract he was not going to set up a car for some kid to lap 2 secs faster than him after all that work. There were so many races where Pettersen just played with Andretti and it was so obvious he was so much quicker....
This is not the first time I have heard this claim, although I am not sure of the basis of it. If Peterson was faster than Andretti, then why did Andretti out qualify Peterson in 11 of the 14 races in 1978? Andretti's average qualifying position was 1.86, never qualified below 4th, and took 7 poles during those 14 races. Peterson's average qualifying position was 4.14, was 7th or higher in 13 of the 14 races, qualified below 4th in 6 of these races, and took 3 poles in those 14 races.
 
This is not the first time I have heard this claim, although I am not sure of the basis of it. If Peterson was faster than Andretti, then why did Andretti out qualify Peterson in 11 of the 14 races in 1978? Andretti's average qualifying position was 1.86, never qualified below 4th, and took 7 poles during those 14 races. Peterson's average qualifying position was 4.14, was 7th or higher in 13 of the 14 races, qualified below 4th in 6 of these races, and took 3 poles in those 14 races.
I might be wrong on this one but if I remember correctly Andretti always or nearly always had the Lotus 79 during the 1978 season whereas Peterson on a few occasions had to drive the Lotus 78.

Having said that I must confess that I don't rate Peterson any better than Andretti, I think that they were both amazing drivers. IMHO Andretti is one of the greats of the sport, in 1978 he was already a mature driver (for the day) and had seen a lot during all his previous years in racing and I assume that he was careful enough to try and get home safely. Peterson was in a different stage of his life and probably willing to take more risks (despite the fact that he did nothing wrong at Monza, he was just very very unlucky).

It's a bit like Prost, we all remember him for taking few risks and bringing the car home but before 1984 he was by no means a daredevil, the problem is that he was often the fastest but never won the WDC and he understood, during his time at McLAren with Lauda, that what matters is the end result, not the single race.
 
12th of May 2002
Personally I don't think that was is asked of good old Bottasany other Sunday is less demeaning than what Barrichello had to endure that day. Also I'd like to point of to the 2014 season when Rosberg was ordered to let his team mate pass him while they were supposed to be fighting for the WDC on equal terms, despite the fact that what Rosberg did at Spa was exactly the same as what Hamilton did at Budapest
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
The criteria you gave was "car, relationship with the team and butler team mate"

The 2002 Ferrari won all bar 2 races and Schumacher finished 1st or 2nd in every race bar 1 third. So, Car superiority - Yes

Schumacher had built Ferrari around him and the team was effectively his. So, relationship with the team - Yes

Just 4 races in to the season, with Schumacher already 21 points ahead in the title (when it was still only 10 for a win), his team mate, who had lead almost every lap of the race, was asked to move over "and reminded of his contract". So, butler team mate - Yes.

Has that helped to remember?
 
The criteria you gave was "car, relationship with the team and butler team mate"

The 2002 Ferrari won all bar 2 races and Schumacher finished 1st or 2nd in every race bar 1 third. So, Car superiority - Yes

Schumacher had built Ferrari around him and the team was effectively his. So, relationship with the team - Yes

Just 4 races in to the season, with Schumacher already 21 points ahead in the title (when it was still only 10 for a win), his team mate, who had lead almost every lap of the race, was asked to move over "and reminded of his contract". So, butler team mate - Yes.

Has that helped to remember?
The 2002 Ferrari was the dominant car as McLaren was in the late 80s or Williams in 1992 or Red Bull ten years ago, etc, but neither Ferrari nor McLaren nor Williams nor Red Bull ever had, IMHO, the advantage that Mercedes had during the PU formula. And neither Ferrari, McLaren nor Williams wrote the rules

Regarding Barrichello, no one ever pretended that Barrichello was a challenger but he was never treated like Bottas. And Ferrari let Irvine have a go at the WDC (ok, Schumacher wasn't very helpful but that is another matter), Mercedes forced Rosberg to let Hamilton win in 2014, had Rosberg won the WDC in 2014 I persoanlly don't think that Hamilton would have had it so easy in the next few seasons. And that despite the fact that I believe that Hamilton is a much better driver than Rosberg
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Personally, i don’t like the arbitrary nature of decades...

1950-53 Ascari
1953-57 Fangio
1958-60 Moss
1962-1968 Clark
1969-1973 Stewart
1974
1975-1978 - Niki Lauda
1979-1982 - Villeneuve
1983-1986 Alain Prost
1987-1991 Ayrton Senna
1992 Nigel Mansell (he was truly awesome in the FW14B)
1993 Ayrton Senna
1994 -2006 Michael Schumacher
2007-2009 Lewis Hamilton
2010-2014 Vettel
2015-Present Hamilton
 
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cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
neither Ferrari nor McLaren nor Williams nor Red Bull ever had, IMHO, the advantage that Mercedes had during the PU formula. And neither Ferrari, McLaren nor Williams wrote the rules
Where's your evidence that Mercedes wrote the rules?

This article from 2011 seems to suggest the biggest influence on the 2014 hybrid era was Ferrari and Renault:

The switch to V6s was partly at the behest of Ferrari, who objected to the restriction to four cylinders.

The sport's longest-serving and most powerful team had objected because the restriction had no relevance to any of their road cars.

The debate was made more difficult because Renault made clear that it would consider quitting F1 unless the new rules were introduced - the French company is planning for three-quarters of its road-car engines to be small-capacity turbo-hybrids by 2015.
I suppose Ferrari invoked their rule veto that the FIA have admitted the team have. I wonder why the FIA haven't announced that Mercedes have something similar? Perhaps it's because they don't have one?

 

Dartman

Podium Finisher
Mercnedes may have jumped the gun developing the technology but the number of cylinders was a late descision pushed for by Ferrari, one assumes that if they were developing a V4 then another cylinder wasn't a problem and may have been an advantage. Whether Mercedes had inside knowledge is moot but a return to the turbo engine had been on the cards for a few years, Mercedes had the money to take the chance that it could be used either for F1 or endurance racing
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
I'd like to point of to the 2014 season when Rosberg was ordered to let his team mate pass him while they were supposed to be fighting for the WDC on equal terms, despite the fact that what Rosberg did at Spa was exactly the same as what Hamilton did at Budapest
if anything Rosberg should look in the mirror if he wants to blame anyone for that, because if any driver had qualified pole & his teammate was started from the pitlane (then for good measure had an off at turn 3, just to lose even more time) you shouldn't be in the same race. so what on earth is Rosberg doing being in the situation where that is possible & Hamilton is going to let his title rival go off in the distance. it not the same because Hamilton kept it safe & did take both out in desperation or more devious like Monaco 2016? when he deliberately outbraked himself to stuff Hamilton lap behind

& regardless if wrote the rules yes they had a huge advantage in 2014 that 3 of the titles taken care off. but the other 3 are just Mercedes are a very good team. Ferrari have had a engine on a par in 2017 & better engine also in my opinion better car since 2018.
 
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