Formula One's most overrated driver

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Right you lot, I'm starting this thread in Mod Chat orange. Why? Because this thread could quickly go off the rails if people start getting abusive.

Give your opinions freely but respect the different views others may hold. Just because they think your favourite driver is the most overrated they aren't having a personal attack at you.


So here's the question.......

Who do you think is the most overrated driver in F1 history and most importantly, why?

Over to you.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
There are a good number of candidates.

These drivers could have been very successful, but still have an over-inflated value of themselves (or from commentators). This is not my list, but these are drivers i’ve seen as overrated.
  • Fernando Alonso
  • Sebastian Vettel
  • Jean Alesi
  • Nigel Mansell
  • Ayrton Senna (I’m including Senna only because I’ve seen him listed many times as an overrated driver - whether I agree with them or not)
  • Juan Pablo Montoya
I wonder if Nelson Piquet should go on this list - I’m never sure if the crash in 1987 was what slowed him down, or whether he’d just benefited from a fantastic Brabham before.
 
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rufus_mcdufus

Champion Elect
Senna is one who springs to mind, but for me perhaps that's down to the fact I watched a lot more F1 (or rather a lot more was on TV) towards the end of his career when he wasn't necessarily consistently good or in the best car.

I've never really got the appeal of Nico Hülkenberg. He always seemed to have a lot of plaudits, despite never being lucky (or impressive?) enough to get in a top car - but I just never really saw why.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
  • Gilles Villeneuve - yes, he was very quick, with virtuoso car control, but the mythology only exists because of his death, at the wheel of a Ferrari, and fuelled since by journalists who were closer to him than to other, more private drivers. Reutemann and Scheckter were faster, Pironi and Prost were smarter, and even if he occasionally dragged terrible Ferraris to great results, he didn't score as many wins as he should have in the cars he drove that were good.

  • Nigel Mansell - I feel we've been over this many times. Full marks for effort. But in the pantheon of that generation, there were only two greats - Prost and Senna. Mansell belongs in a category with Berger and Alboreto - some talent, and some major flaws. Comprehensively outperformed by Elio de Angelis, his F1 career should have been over after Lotus at 31. While he was unfortunate in '86, that luck was more than repaid when he was rescued - again inexplicably - by Williams and was delivered Newey's masterpiece with gizmos that couldn't have suited his driving style more perfectly.

  • Sebastian Vettel - it's not that Seb isn't good, it's that his talent doesn't equate to the number of world championships he holds. Chief suspect in this theft of silverware is Mark Webber, who did a passable imitation of a competitive team mate for five seasons, until Daniel Ricciardo took his seat and showed his countryman up for what he was. Since then it's been all downhill as Vettel is exposed as a good, but not great F1 driver, struggling more with Kimi Raikkonen than he had any right to, especially in a dreadful 2016 campaign, and now being shown up for a second time by a near-rookie in Charles Leclerc, while becoming increasingly erratic in his on-track manners.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Mark Webber - good but not great. Would not have got the attention he got if he wasn't in the Flavio stable. Worst starter I've ever seen.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
There needs to be a distinction between poor/journeyman drivers and drivers who are held in high esteem erroneously.

I believe Webber and Coulthard fall into the former group - I don't recall either of them ever being touted as world class material.

And if they were, whoever did it should be slapped.
 

Johnny Carwash

Champion Elect
Contributor
It’s the media hype around Max Verstappen and the sycophant of a boss Christian Horner that makes him overrated. The constant banging on about how young he is and that he is somehow a driver that any teammate will loose to automatically. The way that he is held up as a World Championship in waiting but has never won a single seater World championship. He is just a petulant little oik who needs to be bought down a peg or two because he has this attitude that he is almost entitled to be World Champion.
Put him up against Lewis Hamilton for season and then he would probably crumple in a heap as he is neither consistent enough, or has the gumption to see the bigger picture of how to win a World Championship.Beating Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon doesn’t make you great.

Im glad I got that of my chest.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I'll say it, Mika Hakkinen. What a waste of space. Ron Dennis had to fix his first win. He was flattered by a very mediocre team mate and we saw his true colours when he sat and cried by the side of the track at Monza. "But what about that overtake at Spa?", I hear you shout. Meh, I've seen many do better they just aren't shown ad nauseam on TV. Oh, and he was/is as dull as ditchwater.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Kimi Räikkönen

A driver who won the WDC, under dubious circumstances, who couldn't even muster the enthusiasm of a smile afterwards.

A driver who willingly sat out for a season with full pay.

A driver who should have been kicked out of F1 many seasons ago.

Yeah, but what about all those so called "amusing" radio quotes?
**** off.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I have found the perfect answer this thread - List of Formula One World Drivers' Champions - Wikipedia

So please pick anyone from this list on the Wiki page and then add either:

"Yeah, but it's only because they had the fastest car"
"They were given preferential by the team/engine supplier/tyre manufacturer/FIA"
"It was only because their team mate was contracted to be a No.2"
"He always made sure he had slower team mates"
"Well, you know they cheated don't you"

You may choose more than one, of course.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
  • Nigel Mansell - I feel we've been over this many times. Full marks for effort. But in the pantheon of that generation, there were only two greats - Prost and Senna. Mansell belongs in a category with Berger and Alboreto - some talent, and some major flaws. Comprehensively outperformed by Elio de Angelis, his F1 career should have been over after Lotus at 31. While he was unfortunate in '86, that luck was more than repaid when he was rescued - again inexplicably - by Williams and was delivered Newey's masterpiece with gizmos that couldn't have suited his driving style more perfectly.

Bizarrely, I agree with everything that you wrote, but still disagree to some extent.

1992 was a year when you had to ask, could anyone else do the same in the FW14B as he did? We know that Prost couldn’t reproduce Mansell’s level in 1993 - even though the 15C was arguably a better car (and possibly had a greater level of dominance).

1990 is the year that I would say leads to Mansell being less than he could have been - he was willing to accept a payoff to allow Prost to be number 1.

All this being said, from 1980-84, there was never a real indication of what Mansell would become...

Nigel Mansell is a little like Frank Bruno... better than most, but never really on a level with Tyson... I would place Mansell well above Berger and Alboreto - but not on the same level head to head as Senna
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
Juan Pablo Montoya.

He came into F1 with a reputation as a no nonsense driver who was going to take the fight to Michael Schumacher. He was barely good enough to beat Ralf Schumacher.

yeah id agree on this one, because he came into F1. being fantastic in F3000 & indycar then in F1 2001 he was fantastic. shouldve won his in 3rd race which would made him quickest driver since the 50's to win a race & he did finish in 2/3rds of the races on the podium but yes he wasnt good enough because montoya only finished 6 GPs in 2001. & never reached them heights ever again. rode of the reputation of that Brazilian gp to this day
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  • i know some has mentioned Mansell obviously he was before my time but i feel i watched alot of his races, which i think is harsh on few on points. i think he was very good driver & got the most out of his talent for bad luck he wouldve been a double world champion beating Alain Prost & Nelson Piquet who would have 7 world titles between them. very well like in italy for his spell there. 1992 is forgotten at how dominant he was 14 poles out of 16, he won 9 out of 12 races he finished, never finished out of top 2 all season. then is 1 of the very few people who was successful in america won the indycar title in his rookie & only season. with mario andretti as his teammate & also how can he be overrated, when ive never heard anyone include him in the conversation of the greatest British drivers isnt even top 5, its always Hamilton, G Hill, Surtees, Stewart, Clark
  • Alonso - he has been a massive :censored: & i cant excuse all the rumoured behaviour weve heard down the years. i wont list it otherwise ill be here all night. but on the track he has been a quality driver but for sliding doors. he couldve been a 5 time world champion. he did end career of very highly stoffel vandoorne outqualifying him 26 consecutive times at McLaren, performed miracles partically 2012 at ferrari, but for his honda engine blowing up in closing laps (oh the irony) he wouldve won the indy 500 on debut having only raced on a oval for 3 weeks
 
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