Formula One's most overrated driver

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Well on that criteria then I'm going to chuck David Coulthard back in there then. He came in and was meant to be the next great British driver, the succsor to Mansell and Hill. Did not work out like that.
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
with so many world champions being mentioned i got sidetracked & thought we could only do world champions

Sebastian Bourdais - comes to mind for me i had been watching him in F3000 where he won the title, then america for 5 years where he dominated champ car, you are talking Schumacher/Ferrari Vettel/Red Bull Hamilton/Mercedes type dominance. in 2003 rookie year he stuck it on pole in 3 of his 1st 5 races winning 2 of them & but for unreliability wouldve won it. then won it 2004 2005 2006 & 2007. 28 wins & 37 podiums of the 57 races. i thought it was a potential world champion in the making

then he scored points in 4 times in 27 races thrashed by vettel & dumped mid season for algurasuari
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Bourdais - well he was in Renault ( & Flavs ) stable for a while then quit because he was down Flav's pecking order

In 2008 he was unlucky at Spa , Monza and Fuji so I would not say he was overrated

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.
It was more JVs attitude in my opinion that brings him down - he was protected by Craig Pollock at BAR and that is where all his problems began he would not listen or quite hard on the engineers. Zonta's F1 career never got going and partly that was down the environment JV and Pollock built at BAR. The last straw was when they nearly hit each other at Hockenheim but Zonta was treated as the fall guy. When Panis joined all the mechanics loved Oliver because he did not have an ego problem and was willing to work with them. When Richards replaced Pollock at the request of Honda and BAT that was the start of the end for JV .. he did not help himself by refusing a pay cut to help the team as well. His comebacks at Renault, Sauber and BMW did not do anything for him
 
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cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Yes but, as I said, being an ass hole and being overrated are two different things.

I don't think JV was overrated but after 1997 he did himself no favours in the way the rest of his F1 career played out. In many respects, because of his attitude I actually think he's slightly underrated.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Yeah Geth, you said all of the Fittipaldis were overrated except Emmo.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
I think there are plenty of ass holes that have been touted as overrated on this thread. The fact that some of these ass holes failed to back up their reputation because they rated themselves as amongst the best and demanded money to reflect it but failed to back up sums up why they were considered as overrated. Now the ones I can think of here

Webber
Wehrlein
Vettel
JV
Ralf Schumacher

I was go as far and say what was the most memorable drive by JV in a non Williams car and am struggling to come up with one even his two BAR podiums were quickly forgotten. There was a time in 2000-2002 both Mclaren and Renault wanted him

I am trying to defend Emmo because he was naive to think at 26 years old he could achieve anything but he did win world titles with 2 different teams and was a smart driver when not having the ultimate pace but making sure he finishes . He also left Lotus because he knew with Peterson as his teammate he could not be champ because it was said he was good at setting up the car but it also meant he was setting up the car for Ronnie to improve and beat him
 
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Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Bruno Senna seems a good example of a driver for whom expectations were too high, but is not overrated in retrospect.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
I met Bruno Senna once. Nice man. Crap driver though. He did a stint in Formula E and didn't shine either. During his stint there he got to crash two cars per race.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I don't believe anyone has yet mentioned Jean Alesi. He doesn't get on the asshole scale for me but for someone who after winning the F3000 title took over from Michele Alboreto at Tyrrell and then was snapped up by Ferrari his career proceeded to go down the bog through a combination of hubris and a simple lack of race craft.

Really liked him, love listening to home being interviewed, much overrated compared to his peer group.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
I met Bruno Senna once. Nice man. Crap driver though. He did a stint in Formula E and didn't shine either. During his stint there he got to crash two cars per race.
I see Mick Schumacher suffering the same problem that Bruno had to contend with by trying to push him into F1 asap namely Ferrari will want the glory in that until they realise he is not in the big boys league or even world class material
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
FB Alesi is an enigma given the ridiculousness of signing 3 contracts and have to get the contracts board and Ferrari to bail him out. It does amaze his get only managed to win 1 race. He went to Ferrari at the wrong time and the swap to Benetton supposedly would make him multi race winner and potential world champion material. It was a mystery but he did come close to winning on many other occasions. I heard a story that when he retired with brake failure in Monza 95 when he could have won, after the race he gave his brother the fright of his life driving back in his Ferrari doing reportedly 163mph. The police stopped and saw who he was and did nothing.

I would not say his spell destroyed or ended his career like many others but if only he went to Williams instead. He said Benetton were not the team they claim to be as in a front running championship team with the facilities and set up to back it . They were chances to win races but he retired out of Monaco and blew it in Argentina by stalling in the pits just as the perfect strategy was applied. His career went downhill when Flav castigated him for crashing at Suzuka at the start costing Benetton 2nd place in the constructors this seems odd given he scored more than double the points Berger had. Things did not go well from then as the testing for 97 was circulating with rumours Brundle was going to replace him. Then off course on top of being outshone by a seriously quick Williams using the same engine the infamous running out of fuel failing to hear the radio prompted Flav's infamous words that he was going to shoot with fake bullets then real ones.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Watching Rush just to relive that intensity between Lauda and Hunt.

If Niki did not pull in he would have been 3 x World champ then who knows what he might have achieved
 
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Il_leone

Champion Elect
I am going to defend Button because he supposedly benefitted from a loophole in the rules for his world title . Usually the team that dominates or wins exploit and interpret the rules better than the opposition and in most cases the driver wins the title -why do you think Adrian Newey is the best designer and Ross Brawn probably the best technical director? It's no coincidence the teams they have worked for have ended up successful? The team with additional influence is Ferrari because they have a right to veto pretty much everything that would leave them 2nd best

I am sure Button is not the only driver mentioned here benefitting from a loophole in the regulations.

Also I have never seen so much anti Button posts between 2006-2010 when Hamilton emerged it was absolutely ridiculous probably most will end up trolled now . Button took a pay cut and earned less at McLaren than Hamilton because he was motivated by proving he was amongst the best and for a while he was. He is the last McLaren driver to finish top 3 in the championship and did it in a year beating 1 Red Bull , both Ferrari's and Hamilton and quite rightly was voted 2nd best driver that season. Back then he was at his peak so he deserves more respect certainly higher than Raikkonen
 
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