Champions' Fatigue


Valued Member
In 1980, Gilles Villeneuve scored 6 points and his defending champion team-mate, Jody Scheckter, only the 2. Their glorified table was 10th in the Championship.

This made Lotus' woes the previous year seem minor since they could at least finish fourth.

Drivers champion Nelson Piquet didn't score till summer in 1984 and Jacques Villeneuve and Williams took up residency in midfield in 1998.

Ferrari's early adoption in 1961 was unmatched by continuing form a year later; losing Stewart killed Matra's 1970 just as losing Fangio had stymied Maserati in 1958. Alonso and Renault, Schumacher and Benetton, Fittipaldi and Lotus - examples abound.

These are but mere examples of how Champions can fall over the winter. Rule changes can challenge hegemony, or the natural loss of advantage of Brawn's double diffuser, for example.

Chasing the wrong new ideas was Chapman's folly in the 70s, while losing a top driver is equally bad.

It will be of no comfort to Red Bull that so many have been there before, but if we do see a season without a challenging champion, it won't be unprecedented.
But siffert_fan the evidence suggests that a good percentage of Red Bull's problems are car induced. Today Vettel stopped after 40 laps running.

"After getting out of the car, he took a fire extinguisher from the nearest marshal and put out a small fire at the back of the car."

That could be either car or engine but "small" sounds like the car.

Quote from the BBC web site
The thought of Red Bull in the wilderness is so extraordinary that I can hardly entertain the idea. :ermmm:

Sure, it looks bleak now, but Button and others have said that RBR already have a downforce advantage, and when they get a chance to exploit it they'll certainly be in the mix, if not out front again.

I do love this thread though!:D
Hey for once Newey has been outsmarted and Red Bull haven't used their resources wisely despite spending the most !

I guess Damon Hill does not qualify in champions fatigue section


Ferrari of 1979 was a great car but Williams by end of the season was the best car if I remember according to stats.. were it not for the unpopular 8 out of 15 races count who knows if the outcome would have been different


To call it champions fatigue the winning team would seriously have to lose a lot of pace like Mclaren did in 2009 caught out by the regulations and ditto with Ferrari 2005 or they kept blaming Bridgestone but in fact the Ferrari was a poor car that year


It is wrong to put Williams and Villeneuve in the same bracket because they had lost factory Renault engines
Titch I believe that teabagyokel is talking about the teams as champions rather than individual drivers, but I stand to be corrected if I'm wrong..

I have always stated that no team can stay at the top for a prolonged period of time, no team ever has and no team ever will, which is why I get so frustrated by the nonsense talked about McLarens slump and people trying to blame a single person i.e Whitmarsh in that case I wonder who will take the fall for RedBull, Horner, Newey, the tea lady, the sweeper upper or someone else? I think people forget that a team succeed as a team and they fail as a team each member has a part to play in both cases...
Last edited:
Formula one has basically been dominated by the same 5 teams (in their different forms) since the 80's and all go through peaks and slumps.

Ferrari, Mclaren, Williams, Tyrell/BAR/Honda/Brawn/Mercedes and the team from Enstone.

Brabham and Lotus died a death come the 80's and only the Enstone team managed to crack the front until the Red Bull interloper came along in 2010.

Jordan/Force India have always nipped at the front teams heels but never quite got to championship level.

The 'mix up' of this year could very well be seen as a return to the status quo by the teams at the front. If its a duel between Mclaren, Williams and Ferrari then thats just how F1 has always been for me.

I'm not counting the Red Bull beast as dead yet though.
Top Bottom