I agree - but I still reckon that's only half of it.
Your definition of "luck" is the part I would allocate to the main heading "skill & experience". The part I meant was where the majority of mechanical and pit errors were suffered by their teammate, the safety car supported their pit stop strategy, gambles pay off, back markers are encountrered on the right part of the circuit... the list is endless, but that kind of luck seems to come in phases, so everyone can get a bit of the cherry, but to be WDC you need to have had at least your fair share during the season.
I seem to remember even the commentators used to describe Michael Schumacher as the luckiest driver in F1, no-one meant it as a criticism of his skills, but it involve regular benefitting from luck - the vast majority of which would have been completely outside the control of any teammate, team strategist, mechanic or official...
Fair point. In that respect there is an element of luck in motorsport but anticipation plays a big part also. Mark Webber has just been to NZ to see the opening round of the FIM World Speedway Grand Prix. He loves Midget racing which unfortunately you don't get in Britain. Sadly there were no Midgets during his visit so he missed out there. We're very lucky in NZ. Every year from Boxing Day through to the last week of the New Year the best Midget drivers from the States and Australia arrive here for five meetings against our best drivers. We're fortunate to have a young Kiwi who's currently considered the best in the world. To bring you up to speed on understanding what a Midget is, it is a small front engined single seater, designed to turn left, powered by what is essentially half a NASCAR engine. Very quick, very sophisticated, and very expensive, able to lap a quarter mile packed clay oval in under 14sec's. The reason this is relevant, these drivers throw these cars from half way down the straight at a gap they anticipate will open by the time they arrive on the scene. It's wonderful to watch, 90% of the time they get it right. Luck? A little but more a case of skill and anticipation. They do get it wrong on occasion. Our young Kiwi damn near cleared a thirty odd foot safety fence a couple of times last year when he rode a wheel. A barrel role at that speed nearly put him on the terraces. Believe me these are not dirt track jalopies, they truly are very sophisticated race cars and the last intention is to get one rolling. They're caged to protect the driver so when something goes wrong it goes wrong in the biggest way imaginable. Google in Chilli Bowl and enjoy watching them on a small indoor track at Tulsa. The best in the world arrive there every year for a week long meet. Many of the best from NASCAR turn up. They cut their teeth racing Midgets and love to return to their roots each year. Lots on Utube, some of the films crap, somes very good if you hunt it out. Another one to google, Michael Pickens. I'm pretty sure there's some great footage of him racing in Australia, (and crashing heavily if my memory serves me well) Cheers.
Something to add Geoff, Yes there is some great footage on Michael Pickens if you google his name. Don't be confused by the dopey Aussie's, they call Midgets Speedcars. Stupid name, they're Midgets in NZ and America.