Poll Greatest Champion of the 20th Century

Greatest Champion of the 20th Century

  • Giuseppe Farina

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Juan Manuel Fangio

    Votes: 5 11.9%
  • Alberto Ascari

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Mike Hawthorn

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Jack Brabham

    Votes: 1 2.4%
  • Phil Hill

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Graham Hill

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Jim Clark

    Votes: 9 21.4%
  • John Surtees

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Denny Hulme

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Jackie Stewart

    Votes: 6 14.3%
  • Jochen Rindt

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Emerson Fittipaldi

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Niki Lauda

    Votes: 1 2.4%
  • James Hunt

    Votes: 1 2.4%
  • Mario Andretti

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Jody Scheckter

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Alan Jones

    Votes: 1 2.4%
  • Nelson Piquet

    Votes: 1 2.4%
  • Keke Rosberg

    Votes: 2 4.8%
  • Alain Prost

    Votes: 2 4.8%
  • Ayrton Senna

    Votes: 11 26.2%
  • Nigel Mansell

    Votes: 1 2.4%
  • Michael Schumacher

    Votes: 1 2.4%
  • Damon Hill

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Jacques Villeneuve

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Mika Hakkinen

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Following on from yesterday, the 2nd Millennium has been and gone and a few half decent drivers won the F1 World Title. Who do you think was the best?

There are many multiple World Champions but, perhaps, one of the one hit wonders you feel should have won more titles and deserves your vote. There are many drivers from many different eras and I appreciate many of us will only have seen some of them on You Tube or read about them in books but opinion is opinion and yours is as valid as mine so feel free to justify your choice however Keke Rosberg bizarre.
Fangio. 5x world champion, with 4 different teams, where races were regularly longer than 2 hours, on the most demanding circuits, in cars which you had to manhandle around corners, requiring the utmost concentration, in one of the most dangerous eras of f1.
So many quality champions... so many cases that make themselves... but I will say Niki... to race again after that accident in the wild 70's... and to outfox Prost in 1984... makes him special imho...
Jim Clark for me. Didn't rely on politics, choosing his team-mate etc He just turned up, drove and won, and not just in F1 either. An incredible natural talent. Not to mention the era he drove in when drivers were regularly killed every other race (I have respect for all drivers of this era, 60s-70s).

A special mention should go to John Surtess, what he achieved will never be done again, unless Valentino jumps in a Ferrari, although I doubt he'd do much worse than Massa.
I never comment on drivers I never got to watch in action. Therefore I won't consider Fangio etc.

Of the drivers I have seen, Clark was by far the best. Made everything look effortless. Won against some of the all-time strongest fields, and in every type of car. Anyone who could win with the crapwagon Lotus 43 with the BRM H-16 had to be great!

Plus, having had the pleasure and honor of actually meeting him, I can say that he was one of the nicest people in motor racing, and seemed utterly devoid of ego.
I went with Prost, mainly because I think he deserves it but also because he often gets lost in the shadow of Senna. He had 5 other World Champions as his teammates and he beat every single one of them. 4 times champion and 4 times runner up, he dominated the era. It's not exciting or cult-inducing to drive smoothly and pick up points, but the results speak for themselves.
Fangio. He succeeded (and survived) an era where tragedy was all too common and he did it at an age other drivers are written off for being too old.
So many good champions... Clark, Senna, Prost, Fangio, Stewart, Lauda. If you go by ratio then Clark and Fangio have the best records I believe. However Stewart was brilliant on and off track when he did a lot to improve safety for the benefit of the whole sport. Then you have Senna and Prost who really shone in an era that was full of fantastic drivers but had questionable ethics. There's also the point that unlike the 21st centuary poll this poll spans 50 years of Formula 1 when the technology has changed drastically in each decade, this makes any comparison of the drivers really difficult to make because different generations have different chances and opportunities that previous generations simply didn't have.

For that reason I can't really vote, what is interesting to note from my selection of drivers is that each decade is covered by a driver... except the 90s. Each of these were brillirant for their own different reasons Fangio drove the big, heavy but powerful cars of the 1950s and put his life on the line each time he got in the car (as all of these drivers did (it was in the 90s in which safety has almost ruled out death). Clark could race the wheels off anything and I have no doubt that he would have won more than 2 titles. Stewart was a great champion, fanatastic both on and off the track. I also rate Lauda highly, not just for winning 3 titles but because he retired came back a few years later and beat a top notch (Alain Prost) team-mate to the title in 1984 by half a point. Then there's Senna and Prost, both were rated highly for different reasons. Senna for his undoubted speed (1.5s faster than Prost at Monaco '88) and talent in the wet, whereas Prost was renowned for his consistency and ability to look after the car.

One thing I dislike about these comparisons is the 'death' factor, I often find people rate the drivers who died racing higher than they would if they hadn't died behind the wheel. Anyway I won't be voting because a comparison of half a century of racing is impossible for me, but in each individual 'era' of racing these are the drivers I consider the best.
So many ifs and buts, I agree. Lauda would have been Champion in 76 without his horror crash, Clark and Rindt would almost certainly have won more titles if they hadn't died. Emmo would surely have won more titles if he hadn't gone mad and moved to the Copesucar team. Damon would surely have won back to back titles if Frank Williams hadn't gone mad.

It's great fun playing the "what if" game isn't it? Me, I'm going to vote for Prost as he was the complete driver both on and off the track and should have had won more than his four Championships without those pesky "what ifs".
My answer remains the same Schumacher. for what he did and what he went on to do. I do not believe you can vote on ifs and buts, only on results and facts and the fact is Schumacher has the best record of any driver that has ever lived...
Due to the length of the 20th Century and the fact I've only seen 1998 & 1999 it has to be Mika Hakkinen I have to go on what I've read and understood and studied.

On that basis, it has to be Jim Clark, who was peerless. He got reliable cars twice in his career and both times won the title. With maximum points.
But Bill Boddy I cannot unlearn what I know I cannot distinguish between what is and what was I am a very shallow person in this respect but if pushed I will have to concede and agree with teabagyokel that Jim Clark was peerless in his time but then so was Fangio and so were many others, but Schumacher is and probably will always will be the best of all time considering that F1 will probably not be around into the next century and maybe not even later than 2050 so I reckon his record is safe....
I've gone for JYS because he was in a competitive era but also his tireless work and professionalism in demanding to help improving the sports safety and as well seeing that F1 drivers deserved more for the risks they were taking behind the wheel

His record of 27 wins from 99 races compares well to both Clark 25 from 72 and Fangio 24 from 51.
Jackie Stewart for the reasons Il_leone says, and the fact that he could have achieved more but retired too early.

A clean champion, which can't be said for the majority.
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