Formula One's most overrated driver

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
F1Brits_90 said:

"but as we now this topic is about his time in F1. we arent talking about motorsport which he did do very well in other categories particularly winning the indy 500 in 69 & winning class at le mans 26yrs later is impressive. but he got fortunate alot like button to be in ground effect lotus 78 & lotus 79. where nobody could touch them because they were only ones with ground effect. it would be like brawn the only ones with double diffuser for 18 months. its telling that mario andretti had 131 races but 11 of his 12 wins came within a 26 race period & only 1 came without the ground effect in 1971."

You are forgetting his win in the non-ground effect Lotus 77. Plus, Brabham had been running with ground-effect downforce, albeit non-skirted, since the BT44.

And, IMO, the advantage that Lotus enjoyed pales to insignificance compared to that of Mercedes since the beginning of the current formula.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
I think this thread clearly shows how they judge overrated drivers
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.

I think you forgot one simply lack of competition something aimed at Mick Doohan or Giacomo Agostini for winning many Motorcycling world titles
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
I will agree with RasputinLives on Webber I remember when he first came to F1 he was bit arrogant and mouthy certainly will not forget the way he bullied Pizzonia at Jaguar and then he thought he deserved to be with the big boys and thought he landed a dream drive at William's. His career was saved by Flavio by negotiating a discount engine deal with Red Bull if they took Webber so he can profit
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Montoya - believed his own hype too much and thought McLaren was gonna help him become champ but it really never got going . It was a spectacular fall from what he achieved with Williams
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
I think Brogan nailed it earlier in the thread when he tried to put a definition on "overrated"

Most of this thread so far has dissolved into "which world champion do I think least deserved his World title"

That isn't really saying they're overrated.

Overrated really is someone who flew into the sport being hailed as the next big thing and failed to live up to that expectation or, one that, while in the sport, had every opportunity because they were rated highly but failed to convert that into success.

Unless a driver is clearly only there to fund a team, all teams hire people who they think will do a job for the budget they have to employ them.

I doubt any team in F1 history has ever employed a driver with the words "well yes, he's shit, but he's cheap"

So all drivers must be rated at the time they're employed and it's inevitable that some will be overrated. Additionally the press have major hand in adding to thst level of expectation.

Colin Chapman told Mansell after his debut race thst he was a star. Peter Warr, who took over the team after Chapman passed away said Mansall wouldn't win a race as long as he had a hole in his arse.

I have to say, coming off the fence at long last, my entry into this list and one who absolutely meets the criteria I've laid out above is.....

Juan Pablo Montoya.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
A few seasons ago this guy was rated very highly and as a potential successor to Hamilton and even touted as a future star .... Kevin Magnussen but he has been stuck with Haas now and going nowhere so something is not right about him that big teams will not take a punt on him

I am going to name a few other non champs

Paul Di Resta - his reputation was based on beating Vettel and being backed by Mercedes and he thought he was a top driver

Jan Magnussen - remember when JYS called him 'the best natural talent since Senna' but never got going in F1 blaming limited testing
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
More recently, Stoffel Vandoorne, and Pascal Wehrlein, I think, fall into this category.

Vandoorne had been highly rated, but was destroyed by Alonso at McLaren. He is, also, unexplainably popular (always wins fanboost in Formula E).

Wehrlein had been rated as the next big thing, and expected to move to the main Mercedes team... but instead, he fell out of F1, and has emerged in Formula E
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
I think it was unfair to list Zanardi on the list because essentially he came back as a rookie being out of F1 for 5 years
Given Zanardi’s current condition, I would agree wholeheartedly - he was amazing in America - and his exploits since his accident at the Lausitzring in hand cycling have been inspirational.
 
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Il_leone

Champion Elect
I dare say Jarno Trulli once dubbed 'Trulli great' and a successor to Schumacher but was more famous for his train
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Mansell I think was like marmite you either love him or hate him. Peter Warr held Senna in much higher regard than Mansell for sure as did Ron Dennis who famously played a recording of all Mansell's accidents in F1 when he signed for William's. Mansell wears his heart on his sleeve it's probably why Colin Chapman and Frank Williams saw in him overriding all his faults
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
I'm going to defend Jacques Villeneuve here. His name has come up several times on this list.

He was a big star in America and the reigning Indy Car Champion when he arrived alongside Damon. People may not remember but this was probably when Indy Racing was globally at the peak of its popularity. Before it killed itself with the split in 1996.

So what did Villeneuve do when he arrived in F1? Stuck his car in pole and, but for an oil leak almost won his debut GP, ultimately finishing 2nd. He won his 4th ever GP and went on to win the title the following year. I think he did the job he was paid to do and fully lived up to the expectations place on him by his team.

Yes it all quickly went wrong with BAR but why has Villeneuve made it in the list when Emerson Fittipaldi, who's career followed almost exactly the same profile of World titles followed by joining a team built around him, doesn't get a mention?

Finally, Villeneuve has succeeded in a range of Motorsports including winning the Indy 500 and a 2nd at Le Mans.

Being a full time Charlie is different to being overrated.
 
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