I am No.1


Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Following the announcement of Ricciardo getting the second seat at Red Bull I thought it worth having a look back at teams were the status quo has been damaged by not having a clear 1-2. The ones that spring to mind for me are:

Alonso/Hamilton 2007 - McLaren should have walked to both titles with the best car on the grid, the fastest driver and (as we now know) a man destined to become one of the fastest drivers on the grid. Alonso managed a season, got the hump at not being No.1 and cleared off back to Flavio's tender embrace.

Prost/Senna - what can be said that hasn't already been said about this rivalry. The two drivers ended up not speaking and Prost left "his team" for Ferrari.

Mansell/Piquet - Nelson joined from Brabham not expecting Mansell to provide much of a challenge which was a massive underestimate on his part. Not giving Piquet the clear No.1 status ultimately lost Williams Honda engines.

Pironi/Villeneuve - A lack of clear leadership from the Ferrari team management robbed us of one of the greatest talents of a generation when Villeneuve went out on worn tyres at Zolder in 1982 and never came back, simply to beat Pironi's time and assert his position as No.1.

I'm sure there are lots more. What I can't think of is when two drivers of equal stature and talent have functioned well as team mates.
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Of course it might seem to us and to the wider public that not having a clear Numero Uno can damage a team's efforts to win the WDC but on the other hand it entirely depends on which set of priorities we attribute to teams. It's easy to forget that a team's main priority is to win the constructor's championship. Traditionally at Ferrari for example the constructor's championship has always been the main prize, even though it doesn't always look that way on the outside.

It's worth mentioning that in all the examples you mentioned FB each team listed won the constructor's title that year. Well, on the track anyway (as far as 2007 is concerned)....
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FB - Pironi/Villeneuve did not work, but Scheckter/Villeneuve most certainly did. Raikkonen was a dutiful number 2 when his title tilt expired in 2008.

It's not always bad!
But with Scheckter/Villeneuve Gilles was prepared to be the No.2 knowing his day would come. Kimi in 2008, think he had just lost the will hadn't he?
I would think the temperament of the individual comes to the fore. I believe Raikkonen is cool enough that if he gets beaten on track then he'll consider it a c'est la vie situation and just get on with it. That was certainly his attitude when asked about Red Bull and Vettel.

Don't think there's many in that mould though. Piquet, Prost, Alonso, Senna and Mansell certainly aren't..., Hamilton seemed to take it OK in 2011 all things considered!
The only successful pairing I can think of was Jim Clark/Graham Hill at Lotus in 1967 and (tragically shortened) 1968. But that was an entirely different era!
Well strictly speaking the ,most succesful pairing was Prost and Senna or Schumacher-Barichello (up to 2004) . More titles and wins, with the opposition being reduced to also-rans.
I mean, wins and titles are the thing that matter, right?
McLaren didn't do too badly in 1990 and 1991 when Senna had a more submissive team mate and I'm pretty sure the working environment was more harmonious. Obviously everything changed in '92 and '93 with the Williams car out classing the rest of the field, although Senna put the frighteners on Prost a few times in '93 and then forced Alain's second retirement when he refused to be paired with the Brazilian for a second time.
Jones / Reutemann at Williams in 1981.

According to his contract, Carlos should not have led Alan home at Jacarepagua 81. Jones never forgot and never forgave. They sparred later on that year at Dijon when Jones (who had been lapped in the pits) would not let Reutemann by him on the circuit. Carlos was swerving at the pit wall to try and get him out of the way.

It's probable that this inter-team battle cost one of them the title, as Piquet nicked it by a point.
That one did cross my mind KekeTheKing. I remember seeing Williams hanging out a Jones:Reut pit board in Brazil and Carlos not taking a blind bit of notice. Then they went to Argentina for the next race and all the other teams took great delight in winding the crowd up with Reut:Jones boards. It was really the end for both drivers as Alan retired at the end of the season (I won't mention his "comeback") and Carlos only made a couple of races in '82 before deciding he had had enough. Step up Derek Daly, there's a No.2 if ever there was one. In fact I'd venture that Derek should not really have made it beyond a No.3 driver.
I think it was Galahad who mentioned a while back that when Frank and Patrick were discussing the second seat for 1982, they eventually decided on "Derek". The problem was that one of them was referring to Derek Warwick, and the other one Daly. Well it didn't really matter as it worked out for Keke and the boys in 82 anyway. :D
I think the Alonso leaving McLaren was also as a result of the "e-mails" and the attempt at holding the team to ransom as it did his fall out with Hamilton. Seldom though, has a fall out between team mates been as visible as that displayed between the two at Hungary. It's an issue I think, that doesn't need dwelling on again.

Another famous lack of clear 1 - 2 status was between Fittipaldi and Peterson at Lotus in 73. Having won the title in 72 with his hapless team mate scoring no points at all, Fittipaldi was all set to win the title again in 73 however, Peterson was unwilling to play second fiddle and scored enough points to deny Fittipaldi the title but retain the constuctors title for Lotus. Before the end of the year Fittipaldi announced that he was off to drive for McLaren where he would take his second title.
One note on 2007 FB - McLaren was not all alone in front. Much like 2008 they traded off weekends with Ferrari to take turns being the fastest. Poles in 07 (9 Ferrari, 8 McLaren), Fastest Laps in 07 (12 Ferrari, 5 McLaren), Wins in 07 (9 Ferrari, 8 McLaren).

If they had held a car advantage like RBR since mid-2009, one of them would have won the title without a doubt.
Well strictly speaking the ,most succesful pairing was Prost and Senna or Schumacher-Barichello (up to 2004) . More titles and wins, with the opposition being reduced to also-rans.
I mean, wins and titles are the thing that matter, right?
In the end titles are what matters. But McLaren had the luck of having a dominant (and pretty reliable) car. If Prost would have stayed throughout 1990 till 1992 it´s pretty likely that at least in 1991 the title would have gone to Mansell.
Or if the McLaren had been less dominant (or for instance Honda had stayed with Williams instead of going to Lotus, because the Williams was probably a much better car than the Lotus. With the Honda engine I think it's likely it would have been able to be a lot closer to the McLarens' than Ferrari was).

So in fact it's probaly better to have a clear No.1 than two no. 1's taking points off each other.
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Scheckter and Villeneuve there was no clear No 1 but Gilles was the faster of the two but suffered some bad luck including that brilliant drive at Spa I think when he spun and charged all the way up to 3rd only to retire last lap or his 3 wheel bravery at Zandvoort

They got on well as teammates and Jody acknowledged Gilles probably was not ruthless enough and he benefitted from it along with the absurd scoring system they had of 8 from 15 races with 4 from first 7 and 4 from the last 8
Schumacher and Senna both have said two No 1 's in a team does not go in their responses to having Mansell and Warwick as teammates respectively

Would 1996 Williams team count because Damon Hill was not actually clear No 1 against Jacques Villeneuve?

Senna and Prost - both were way better than the rest of the competition in fairness in the car they had and Mclaren won both titles convincingly to be fair even though it was seriously intense..only Mansell and Berger offered occasional challenge when their car was up to it

Pironi / Villeneuve - that was more down to Pironi realised he simply was not as good as he thought and seizing an opportunity of a rare moment of glory in front of the home crowd

Reutemann/ Jones - JOnes thought he was undisputed No 1 until Carlos decided he wanted a "home " win in Brazil despite orders to move over. Then JOnes got his own back saying if its equal status then he too should get a spare car hence Williams bought 4 cars to the last race at the Glen for the championship decider
in the usual case of two No 1's it is clear it is going to guarantee the constructors title in the short term unless off course some political interference says otherwise but long term it damages the team relationship with sponsors and engine partners as Williams and Mclaren have found and will result in 1 driver leaving disgruntled

the 4 longest driver partnerships in F1

Barrichello and Schumacher 2000-2005

Coulthard and Hakkinen - 1996-2001

Alesi and Berger 1993-1997

Webber and Vettel - 2009-2013

Only Barrichello and Schumacher was there clear No1 and NO2 policy

Only Webber and Vettel pairing was intense because Mark would let himself be labelled No 2 driver and Seb showed his ruthlessness at times

Alesi and Berger - neither were fast enough to exert over the other consistently

Coulthard and Hakkinen - DC had the upper hand initially but Ron had a closer bond with Mika which demoralised DC
Interesting the perspective that DC was demoralized, I always thought of him as a nearly-man not dissimilar to Webber. Great on his day but prone to throwing it away when the chips really fell, such as driving into the pit wall at wherever-it-was while leading. That said, memory becomes selective as the years go by. :thinking:

If he was not ordered to let Mika through he would have won 3 races to Mika's nil in 1997

He never got repaid for his gentleman agreement to let Mika pass in 1998 and he seemed to get the brunt of Mclaren's woes
and he felt he was being treated as No2 by Ron
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