Thought I would revive this old thread and throw a real unusual nomination in.
His name never even crops up when people talk about the best F1 drivers, probably lucky to make most peoples top 20.
He won the same number of championships as Senna, Lauda, & Stewart, one more than Hill, Ascari, Clark & Alonso yet doesnt get mentioned in the same breath.
Won his first GP in the 50's and his last in the wings and slicks era of the 70's just shy of his 44th birthday. On pure driving ability he has to be up there with the best the fact he isnt makes him under rated.
underrated drivers. ill will probally repeat a few after reading the 5 pages
Jenson Button - world champion, 2nd in 2011 when vettel was on different planet, 1 of greatest wet weather drivers, great strategist. only him & rosberg have beaten hamilton over the season which considering that can be poisoned chalice. is impressive
Seb Buemi - WEC champion, Le Mans champ, (could be 2x in few months) Formula E champion with 3 2nds, think he beat his F1 teammate in every year, only forced out because bottleneck of young drivers instead of the current drought. if i was Horner i wouldve had Buemi in that 2nd seat
Nico Hulkenburg - for me 1 of the most unlucky drivers on the grid & unwanted tag of greatest driver never to be on the podium. consistent, quick, beat decent teammates, shouldve won the 2012 brazilian gp. how he hasnt been picked up by main 3 team baffles me. because he is that good
Eric Van de Poel is an interesting pick as your first choice Publius Cornelius Scipio - I know the name but know him as a F1 back marker sometimes none qualifier but know him as nothing else. Be interested to hear the argument for him being under-rated as I really have no knowledge of him.
Jenson Button isn't and never was a wet weather driver, great strategist, yes, but his greatest skill was in being able to keep slicks up to temperature in less than optimum conditions, I suspect that was more his smooth driving style that enabled him to feel the grip rather than chucking the car about and seeing what happened. His style was very Jim Clark, the difference was Clark could drive anything, but Button was a F1 driver, he could have been a great had he done some saloon and sports cars and got the hang of driving drunken trolley buses.
i dont understand how Jenson Button cant be classed as a great wet weather driver. if you exclude 6 of them dry dominant 7 races in 2009 where brawn were untouchable because of the double diffuser. 7 of the remaining 9 races JB won was in a race where they were wet conditions dry to wet, wet to dry or fully wet hungary 2006 Malaysia 2009 Australia & China 2010 Hungary 2011, China & Brazil 2012. that's no fluke he was consistently good
He like all the greats had a knack for when to be on the right tyre at the right time. so much so team principals used to basically tell drivers when button pits we pit. & i love you how you can just disregard keeping the right tyre in the right temperature window.
In real wet conditions Hamilton was much faster than Button as were others, but Button was supreme in the very damp as he could use dry tyres (Slicks) far better than anyone, when he changed to drys even those that followed him were left wondering how he could do it, often those that changed to drys on the same lap fell off the circuit. You really need to check which tyres he was on as generally he could stay out longer and faster on drys, when he went to full wet he was generally slower, no much but enough.
Dartman you see your confusing speed with success. Doesn't matter how fast you are in the rain if you don't win the race does it? So Jenson Button is a great wet weather driver because he has both the skill and the mindset to get a win in the wet.