CTAs Most Underrated F1 driver of all time: Nominations

Juan Montoya for me, while his one and a half years at McLaren were pretty much a disaster (although he was a tad unlucky in 2005 with a few DNFs, story of McLarens year) his prime years in F1 came right in the prime of the Schumacher/Ferrari domination era and 7 wins doesn't really do him justice for someone who attacked Schumacher from as early as his second race and had Indy and Japan 2003 gone better, he could have walked away as Champion, while there are a lot of different reasons, it is a testament to him, that after his last win for Williams at Brazil in 2004, it wasn't until last year that they were back on the top step of the podium
Edmund Irvine for me, was as quick as any of them but sold his soul for cash and Mr Schumacher. Could have/should have been WDC for Ferrari before The Baron .
Jean Alesi deserves a big shout.

Also would like to see Giancarlo Fisichella In there. Due to the fact he drove the neck of some cars that didn't warrant some points positions that he got them.
Riccardo Zonta comes to mind..F3000 champ and GT champion before F1..highly rated by Mercedes and Mclaren

Two disastrous years in F1 having joined BAR due to sponsors insistence wanting a South American driver. Another victim of the Pollock- Villeneuve regime. A tangle with Villeneuve in Hockenheim 2000 finished his career off then and a few outings with Jordan and Toyota did not bring much either

A driver whose ascendancy was destroyed by his first two years in F1
Olivier Panis - Spent his entire F1 career driving some of the most unreliable cars on the grid. Driving the Ligier/Prost, He was often in points paying positions when the powerful but fragile Peugeot engine would dump its oil or blow plumes of smoke. Sadly we will never know what he might have done with a great car.
I agree Panis

He did not look great until Prost took over the team and went with Bridgeston tyres for 1997. The car looked quick to trouble the front runners and his momentum was halted by the big crash at Montreal

Sadly upon his return in 1998 Prost team began a phase of decline

He was welcomed with open arms at BAR by the engineers due to his approachable manner unlike the arrogant and hard nosed Villeneuve

Toyota saw his potential as well to hire him but there were not a competitive outfit then
Eugenio Castellotti - a wealthy Milanese but not a pay driver. In 1955, his debut season in F1, he finished second for Lancia at Monaco and took pole position at the old Spa ahead of the dominant Mercedes W196 of Fangio and Moss. In the championship he ended up best-of-the-rest in third overall behind the aforementioned duo.

The following year he won the Mille Miglia road race for Ferrari and was runner-up in the French GP, obeying a team order to hold station behind Peter Collins (who, over the course of the season, he outqualified).

He was killed in an accident at a private test session in March 1957, at the age of only 26.
If you could roll back the years and think of past drivers through the ages and transpose them into current F1 rgs, then I think we'd find history's heavier drivers would suddenly appear monstrously underrated.

This is something that's always been bugging me. It's only been 15 years or so since they started weighing driver + car during weight verifications. They used to measure the car's weight alone. This meant the heavier drivers were at a natural disadvantage compared to their feather-weight colleagues.

It varies according to track but an excess weight of 10 kilograms will cost you roughly 3 tenths per lap. Someone like Gerhard Berger who was about 6"2 was a good 15 kg heavier than Senna and Prost. It makes you think doesn't it?

I wonder how different would the list of WDC' s look if the driver and car reg had been in place since the start of F1?...
Mansell wasn't actually among the heavier at the time he was competing in F1 full time. Muscle weigh more than fat and Nigel was one of those drivers in the 1980-82 wing-car period who'd frequently pass out at the end of races. Both he and Piquet would. Neither of these two ever had much of a reputation for being all that keen on physical training, unlike Prost or Schumacher.

I was actually thinking of writing a "weight-adjusted" article but I've no idea where I would get the info about how much each driver weighed during each season, or come to think of it what weight the cars were seeing as though back in the day most of the grid struggled to get anywhere near down to the minimum weight allowed.

The 1989 Brazilian GP was the only time I ever saw drivers' weight being measured and published, with some surprising results. Derek Warwick for example was the heaviest despite his modest height.
I think in the days before power steering, a certain amount of strength was required to fight the car that is not a factor now. You might need to consider that too Incubus !
Yes, and I'll also get their body fat index, resting pulse at every race and a comprehensive list of second cousins in order to establish a genetic profile-adjusted list of what the list of world champions might have looked like had they all been born equal. :dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:
Derek Warwick's diminuitive stature is an unnecessary factor, he always looked like he'd just scoffed all the doughnuts.

You're doing a bit of a disservice to Nige because he would fight until his last breath

Mansell passed out because the heat knocked him out in Detroit 1984 - that was not because he was unfit

The other time was in 1988 Hungary GP when he actually had chicken pox and the racing made it worse and he was spent

The problem with Nigel was his driving style - it was aggressive and looked like he put in more effort than either Senna or Prost did

Mansell passed out because the heat knocked him out in Detroit 1984 - that was not because he was unfit


Are you saying the ability to withstand heat is totally unrelated to fitness levels?
And you sure you don't mean Dallas rather than Detroit 1984?

In any case I wasn't even thinking of that race, and I didn't necessarily mean passing out in a strictly literal sense either but I certainly remember Nigel looking the worse for wear in a pool of sweat immediately after races, or needing help to extract himself from the cockpit on multiple occasions in the eighties as did a few of his colleagues.

The late seventies sort of marked the beginning of the period when G-forces started to become truly impressive and I think technology was progressing quicker than drivers' fitness regime, or lack of it. I think a lot of the drivers were unprepared for the rapid increase in cornering speeds that took place in that period. Piquet openly admitted to a total absence of any kind of physical trainig. It wasn't until years later that driver began having personal trainers and gradually took up the sort of intensive regime we have today.
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Piquet I remember suffered from dehydration Brazil 1982 or 1983

Senna twice in 1991 and 1992 as well

Mansell nearly collapses from driving the neck out of the Williams to pass Senna at Monaco 1992 - I remember JYS saying he should not show how tired he was despite the effort put in as it was a sign of weakness
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