F1 Myths

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
A few myths I think should be put to bed.

The deification of Ayrton Senna is completely at odds with who and what the man was as anyone who watched or has read about his career should know.

Alain Prost should have won more titles, particularly 1988 when Ayrton Senna was champion. No he shouldn't, the scoring system was clearly explained and set out at the beginning of the season. If Prost had wanted to win the title in 1988 he should have finished more races in higher positions.

Damon Hill only came close to the title in 1994 as Michael Schumacher was banned for two races - although it is true to say that it helped Hill, Damon still had to drive the car and win enough races to push Schumacher all the way to the final race in Adelaide.

Hill and Villeneuve only won titles because their car was better than anyone else's. Okay, the FW18 and 19 were certainly exceptional cars (as was Mansell's FW14B in 1992 or or Button's Brawn in 2009 or Vettel's RB7 in 2011) but the bloke sitting behind still had to pedal it pretty damn fast to become World Champion so please don't denigrate their achievements.

Michael Schumacher cheated his way to multiple World Championships. Schumacher perhaps pushed the limit of the rules at times but any suggestion that he cheated is simply juvenile. There have been occasions where Schumacher has cheated - driving into Villeneuve in 1997, parking his car at Monaco in 2006 for example - and on each occasion he has been punished.

Anyone else got some nonsense they would like to get off their chest?
 

Road of Bones

MTC Mole
Contributor
"my granny could have won in the 2009 Brawn" - no, she couldn't, and neither could you. It was Hill/Villeneuve (as FB says) over again: Button had to pedal it bloody hard to build his lead when he had a (slight) car advantage, and then drive incredibly skilfully thereafter to prevent anyone eroding his lead too much. It still infuriates me that certain folk refuse to give JB credit for his WDC - though I suspect that his 2011 performance has mitigated that somewhat.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Hill and Villeneuve only won titles because their car was better than anyone else's. Okay, the FW18 and 19 were certainly exceptional cars (as was Mansell's FW14B in 1992 or or Button's Brawn in 2009 or Vettel's RB7 in 2011) but the bloke sitting behind still had to pedal it pretty damn fast to become World Champion so please don't denigrate their achievements.

You seem to have misunderstood FB. When someone says Hill and Villeneuve only won titles because their car was the best is a statement that is not loaded to denigrating the fact those cars had to be pedalled pretty fast. What is been said is that the Williams' of those years were so good that an excellent motor racing driver (not any Tom, Dick or Rubens) would have a significant advantage over the course of the season in a quest for the title should he first defeat his team-mate.

To say that Hill and Villeneuve were not the best drivers in Formula One in 1996 and 1997 is not to denigrate the achievement to take the World Champion, but it is more disingenuous to claim that the driver that wins the Championship is automatically the best driver in Formula One regardless of a car advantage.

It is never easy to win a World Championship even in the best car; 50% of the drivers in the World Title winning car fail to win the Championship. But Villeneuve's title in 1997 was enabled (but not achieved) by the quality of the FW19; I doubt anybody thinks he'd have won the title had he been sitting in the other side of the garage to Michael Schumacher.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
FB-
I disagree with you about Prost. He should have won one more title--1984. He WOULD have been champion if Ickx hadn't thrown the red flag at Monaco, resulting in only half-points being awarded. A few laps delay is putting out the red flag would also probably resulted in Senna winning his first race. As it was, Prost had 7 wins to 5 for Lauda who won the title by 1/2 a point.
 

tooncheese

Hans Heyer
Contributor
I'm not convinced Senna would have won Monaco '84 if the full race was run. He would have been massively held up by Prost, and struggled to pass him. And don't forget Bellof who was lapping even faster than Senna and would surely have been close by had Senna not quickly passed Prost. Although Bellof was eventually disqualified anyway.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
The myth that Michael Andretti was unfit for Formula 1. Claims to that effect overlook a vast array of facts: Mosley forced a curtailment of testing AFTER Andretti had signed on, the McLaren he was driving was their first attempt at active suspension and was a failure, with Senna often spinning in the practices and races, along with Andretti, but the press failing to report that fact. That Andretti living in the US instead of moving to Europe meant he wasn't available to test, when the fact is that F1 test sessions have always been scheduled weeks or months in advance. Therefore, he would have easily been available if RD had wanted him to be. Instead, Ron gave all testing to Mika, depriving Michael of familiarization time. Then there is the fact that, even with all of that stackead against him, he still scored a podium in a fraction of the time required by such fan favourites as Brundle and Button.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
FB-
I disagree with you about Prost. He should have won one more title--1984. He WOULD have been champion if Ickx hadn't thrown the red flag at Monaco, resulting in only half-points being awarded. A few laps delay is putting out the red flag would also probably resulted in Senna winning his first race. As it was, Prost had 7 wins to 5 for Lauda who won the title by 1/2 a point.

Alternatively he could have taken a point in France, finished ahead of Lauda in South Africa and Canada, or finished higher than 4th in Detroit. To single out one race is simple not sensible, the title is won and lost over the course of a season and the points system in place. Prost lost to Lauda fair and square.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
"Lewis Hamilton would have found a way past Schumacher" - Eddie Jordan lamenting Jenson Button's inability to pass Schumacher of all places - Barcelona 2010 unaware he had no telemetry reading

Cue Monza 2011 - Lewis Hamilton spent nearly half the race behind Michael Schumacher and Eddie Jordan starts criticising Mclaren for running a fat wing on the straights

"my granny could have won in the 2009 Brawn" - no, she couldn't, and neither could you. It was Hill/Villeneuve (as FB says) over again: Button had to pedal it bloody hard to build his lead when he had a (slight) car advantage, and then drive incredibly skilfully thereafter to prevent anyone eroding his lead too much. It still infuriates me that certain folk refuse to give JB credit for his WDC - though I suspect that his 2011 performance has mitigated that somewhat.


Villeneuve made a a real mess of his 97 title and almost threw it away getting himself disqualified in practice at Japan
Until Schumacher made that move Villeneuve was actually seen as the villian and Schumacher the hero in the title challenge simply because JV made so many mistakes that season and inherit some cheap wins to win the title it was truly undeserved

He also underlined how good Hill was along in developing the car - the words of Bernard Dudot " If Damon Hill was driving in a Williams he would be leading the world championship " a swipe at JV and Frentzen no less

Hill had it under control and really was let down by mechanical failure - wheel bearing and engine failure and some bad pit stops - Nurburgring and Spa and his only real mistake was whacking a tyre barrier at Monza when he lead.

I am in awe of all of them. Although I do still question exactly how many Schumie would have won :)
Murray Walker thinks Schumy could have won more if he stayed at Benetton or joined Williams instead of Ferrari
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
FB- I didn't say Lauda did'nt win "fair and Square" which would imply that I thought he cheated. But previous races at the Principality had continued under worse conditions (see J-P Beltoise' win in the BRM), and if Ickx had followed their example, the results would probably have been different.

I also have to add that I think "deifying" any athlete is ridiculous.
 

LifeW12

Podium Finisher
Fernando Alonso lost the 2010 championship because he didn't let Kubica straight pack through after passing him off circuit at Silverstone

The 1984 championship was lost by Prost being a pussy at Monaco if he'd gone a few more laps Senna would have passed him and then he would get 6 points for 2nd

Hill nearly won the championship in 1994 despite Schumacher only participating in 12 races, he actually only beat him once in an on track battle (excluding Schumacher being stuck in 5th gear at Barcelona and the saga at Spa and Silverstone)
 

Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
Hmm. All laudable arguments that demonstrate how difficult it is to separate myth from reality in F1 since so much appears to depend on one's perception of what happened. Rose tinted shades can make legends and myths out of just about any series of events. Methinks trying to nail myths is akin to trying to stab fog.

Nevertheless, I applaud everyone's efforts and look forward to reading more valiant attempts. Meanwhile, I would like to nail one myth before it starts: Fenderman has not deserted Clip. He's just having a rest. :):wave:
 

F1ang-o

Race Winner
Contributor
Many people have said that Timo Glock let Lewis Hamilton past, so that he was able to regain 5th position in the Brazil GP to win WDC 2008, thus robbing Massa of the win.
But Seb Vettel had been behind Lewis for quite a while, then in the last minutes of the race, .......Kubica who was a lap down, got past Lewis...who went wide to avoid him, this let Vettel past too, thus losing LH his vital 5th place.
Vettel & Kubica passed Glock.....& so did Lewis.
But only Lewis getting past Glock in those final moments of the race is ever mentioned.
 
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