Formula One's most overrated driver

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I would just like to make it clear that I didn't rate or like Jenson Button when he came in to F1 in 2000, it didn't take until 2006 for me to get on that band wagon.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
the trouble with the British media is when the last world champion goes they are hoping it won't be an agonising wait for the next one certainly as it was between Hunt and Mansell. When Hill retired , Coulthard was the only Brit who stood a chance of the title but for someone named Schumacher.

When Button came into F1 certainly it caused a lot of fanfare given it was rather unexpected and he was one of the youngest to enter F1 at 20. Given that it was a Brit it got people excited no doubt.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
I am remember a while back when Murray Walker named his Top 10 great drivers back in 1990 but off course this will have changed then but they were

G Villeneuve
Nelson Piquet
Prost
Senna
Stewart
Moss
Clark
Fangio
Brabham
Lauda

Everyone one of those were multiple world champions except Moss and Villeneuve

Not sure why people think Clark is overrated because that guy could drive anything and it went fast in the 60's and his pole record stood for over 20 years before Senna broke it.

He should have won more titles because was let down by his car

Villeneuve - his career was short but I don't think people appreciate just how bad Ferrari were in 1980 and 1981 and he annihilated his teammates - Scheckter and Pironi who were no slouch back then.

Those two wins in 1981 was in a car that had no right to win

He could have been 1979 World champion had he been more ruthless and selfish but was not which was lucky for Scheckter who became world champion

His debut in 1977 was in a 2 year old Mclaren where he kept pace with both Hunt and Mass in the other Mclarens which is what got him noticed at Ferrari.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
I think Villeneuve giving Scheckter the 1979 title is something of a myth that has grown up around Villeneuve to explain why he wasn't a world champion. After 5 races of a 15 race season, Giles had taken 2 wins and a 5th to Jody's two 2nds, a 5th and a 4th. Giles was 4 points ahead of Jody in the points standings.

Over the course of the whole season, Giles finished on the podium 7 times with 3 wins and 4 seconds while Jody finished on the podium 6 times with 3 wins and 3 seconds.

Finally, when both cars were classified, Giles was ahead of Jody on 6 occasions to 5 the other way around.

Can anyone look at those stats and say Giles gave Jody the title?

What clinched the title for Jody was bringing the car home in the points more often. As the old, old saying goes, to finish first, first you have to finish.

Giles was leading the Dutch GP until he was passed by Alan Jones after spinning on lap 47 and then suffering a left rear puncture a few laps later he returned to the track and drove the rest of the lap as fast as he could, causing a complete collapse of his left rear suspension.

Jody meanwhile had slipped to last place on lap 1 and worked his way all the way up to 2nd by the flag.

Giles set 6 fastest laps that season and 3 of those were in races where he didn't score points. 1 was the Dutch GP where we know about the DNF but the other two were in Spain and Belgium. In Spain he set the fastest lap of the race with 3 laps to go and in Belgium it was 7 laps to go, proving there was nothing wrong with the car, and yet on both occasions he finished 7th.

FB was spot on earlier in this thread. A swashbuckling driver who people loved for his gung-ho style but it was all or nothing and that doesn't win championships.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
cider_and_toast Scheckter said Villeneuve would try and win every lap not every race and was not a good winner. It was highlighting he was not ruthless enough I think it was Monza where Ferrari were 1-2 but Villeneuve could have overtaken Scheckter to become world champion but did not because he put the team first ahead of his own ambitions

Also it was the season of the very unpopular 8 out of 15 best scores with 4 from first 7 races and 4 from the the next 8 counting . It was dropped after 1 season. Had they done today's system then Scheckter would have still been world champ

That was the only season I would say Villeneuve had a true front running car apart from 1982
 
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cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
But it was Giles antics at the Dutch GP the previous race that lost him the title.

It doesn't matter what format the scoring was as all drivers had to follow the same rules.

Villeneuve had a full tilt at the 1979 title but he frequently out drove himself where as Scheckter, perhaps learning from his more petulant persona earlier in his career, drove well enough to take the title.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
But he was 10 seconds quicker than anyone else in free practice in the wet at Watkins Glen. And everyone jizzed in their pants at Hamilton being 1 second ahead in the wet in Austria last weekend. Woop de ****ing do!
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
But he was 10 seconds quicker than anyone else in free practice in the wet at Watkins Glen. And everyone jizzed in their pants at Hamilton being 1 second ahead in the wet in Austria last weekend. Woop de ****ing do!
And, I mean, look at Jackie Stewart... finishing the 1968 German Grand Prix 4 minutes ahead of anyone else; that would have been equivalent to lapping the entire field 3 times at the Red Bull Ring...
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
There was an interesting piece on Thought for the Day this morning with the chap speaking complaining about the over use of the word unprecidented. And he is quite right. There is rarely an event for which there is not a precident but it's easy for journalists and commentators to use this sort of hyperbole to generate a reaction. But then the lazy use of the English language is, literally, making William Shakespeare spin in his grave (sic)
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
True FB, it's no different to the well known fact in football that the record books only began in 1993 with the advent of the Premier League.

I can understand why Sky keep up the myth because after all, they invented modern football however, the BBC and ITV have no histerical, woops I mean historical ties to the Premier League and yet they insist on talking about "best manager in Premier League history" "best player in premier leagues history" "the first player to do that since the advent of the premier league" and blah blah blah blah blah.

Now that almost all sport rests in the hands of Pay Per View sales, the commentators and pundits aren't selling you the sporting achievement, they are tyring to sell you a TV product so even when it's absolutely shit, its still the best race ever.
 

Il_leone

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.
In response to Piquet his reputation somewhat leaned on superior equipment especially when he had the BMW turbo in his Brabham. People still credit Gordon Murray from taking his philosophy on the BT55/BT55B and converting into the all conquering McLaren Honda as it were.

Back to Piquet his crash changed his approach to a more cunning and crafty approach but also playing mind games including verbal insults
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
  • 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.
Villeneuve only really had two seasons with the best car or a competitive car - essentially just over a season because he was killed early in 82. He thrashed Pironi in 81 in an awful car . This only drove determination even more to be France's 1st world champion using a cold calculating approach that led to the infamous Imola incident. It messed Gilles no doubt that might have contributed to his death.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
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.
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Nico Hulkenberg back in 2009 was dubbed the "Next Big Thing".

What has blighted his career is he has lost drives because he does not come with money mainly to Maldonado and Perez who got the drives he deserves at William's, Lotus and McLaren Its a mystery how he has never finished on the podium

He was mighty in the Sauber in 2013 and rumours were he signed a Ferrari contract for 2014 but Alonso apparently vetoed him so Ferrari signed Raikkonen when Alonso started to express his displeasure about the team and not being fully committed so it seems .

If only he had finished on the podium or even won at Interlagos his career might have been different. He certainly would have done a much better job than Maldonado did at both William's and Lotus.

Hulkenberg and Grosjean his junior rival both suffer from the fact they were next set of juniors after Hamilton, and Vettel graduating to F1 with their paths to the front blocked invariably by the instant success of these drivers who were also up against the now established racers Button,Alonso , Raikkonen and lucky for him-Webber
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
If only he had finished on the podium or even won at Interlagos his career might have been different. He certainly would have done a much better job than Maldonado did at both William's and Lotus.
... and Maldonado won a race in 2012 in a Williams... Just imagine what Hulkenberg could have done!
 

Titch

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
My votes go to Jaques Villeneuve , Ralph Schumacher, Coulthard, Hill junior, Raikkonen, Hakkinon.
I’d best stop, I could go on.
 

Tuscan1969

Points Scorer
MS has vastly inflated stats due to Punting Hill off in Australia, dubious launch control on his Renault and a huge spell at Ferrari where no real completion existed.... He was good, possibly even great but just how good is hard to weigh up when there was so much stacked in his favour.

Similarly Vettel is hard to judge as his run of 4 had little real opposition for a fair part but his post Red Bull record is so poor....is it just that he was on fire for 4 years but could not sustain it?
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Stefano Modena springs to mind because he had a stellar junior record but failed in F1
I was just about to post this, having had a look through some of the teams and drivers for the worst thread. He came in to F1 with a huge fanfare and failed miserably.
 
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