The car or the driver?

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
People belittle Vettels achievement by saying that their WDC was all down to the car.
On that basis Mansells WDC in 1992 was all down to the car.
Williams FW B.
In 1992, after further development work was done to the gearbox, traction control and the active suspension, the FW14B was the dominant car and Mansell wrapped up the championship with a then record 9 wins in a season, whilst Patrese scored a further win.
Damon Hill 1996.
The FW18s were driven by Damon Hill The car proved to be the most successful of the entire 1996 field; winning 12 of the 16 races during the season, with Hill winning 8 and Villeneuve winning 4
 

gethinceri

Lance Stroll Fan. Alfa Romeo Fan.
Contributor
Clearly not ranty enough.
The fact that there's a clear gap between drivers shows that it's not the car; see Vettel v Webber, Hill v Villeneuve, Button v Barrichello. There are exceptions, however; see Schumacher v Irvine, Schumacher v Barrichello, Schumacher v Verstappen, Schumacher v Massa.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
The last driver I can remember winning the title without the best car was Keke Rosberg back in 1982 and what strange season that was.
 

Wombcat

Podium Finisher
The last driver I can remember winning the title without the best car was Keke Rosberg back in 1982 and what strange season that was.
I'd say the last one was Prost in 1986. There's little doubt that the Williams was better than the McLaren.

I don't think there really was a best car in 1982. Maybe apart from the Ferrari, but they had little fortune with their drivers obviously.

Another year was 1983. IMO Piquet didn't have the best car. The Ferrari definitely was better, the Renault maybe.
 

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Contributor
Alonso won WDCs in 2005 and 2006, was one point behind in 2007, all in one of the top 2 cars of the season. Then he went to a poor quality Renault in which he was 5th in 2008 followed by 9th in 2009.

He then went to Ferrari, getting 2nd in a Ferrari in 2010 and fourth in 2011 in cars which were not the best but much better than the Renault.

This leads me to think that the car is more important than the driver.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
It's strange how when there is a massively dominant car only one drive seems able to take advantage of it though: Vettel last year, Button in 2009, Schumie in 2004 (although Barry Cello was rather "controlled"), Mansell in '92. The only year I can remember two drivers really being equal in a dominant car was 1988.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Well Red Bull's situation is simply down to the fact that either Mark isn't a great driver, or the car doesn't suit him at all.

Wasn't that the case in 2009 with Barrichello and the brake pads/discs?
After they were changed he was much better in the second half of the season and I think he actually out performed Button, didn't he?
 

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Contributor
Well Red Bull's situation is simply down to the fact that either Mark isn't a great driver, or the car doesn't suit him at all.

Wasn't that the case in 2009 with Barrichello and the brake pads/discs?
After they were changed he was much better in the second half of the season and I think he actually out performed Button, didn't he?

It wasn't just that Barrichello went quicker, it was also Button who was going slower due to the changes not suiting him.
 

gethinceri

Lance Stroll Fan. Alfa Romeo Fan.
Contributor
It's strange how when there is a massively dominant car only one drive seems able to take advantage of it though: Vettel last year, Button in 2009, Schumie in 2004 (although Barry Cello was rather "controlled"), Mansell in '92. The only year I can remember two drivers really being equal in a dominant car was 1988.
That was my point too.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
It's strange how when there is a massively dominant car only one drive seems able to take advantage of it though: Vettel last year, Button in 2009, Schumie in 2004 (although Barry Cello was rather "controlled"), Mansell in '92. The only year I can remember two drivers really being equal in a dominant car was 1988.
That was the original point of the thread.
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
The MP4-22 was definately the best car in 2007. Raikkonen managed to win the championship by the skin of his teeth in a car the while wasn't the fastest was never far off, and of course with the help of those 2 points from Massa. It also shows that while often one driver will capitalise on a dominant car that both drivers can be equally good, as both Hamilton and Alonso demonstrated finishing equal on points.

As for driver's champions winning in inferior machines there's Raikkonen, Hamilton and both nearly Alonso and Hamilton managed it in 2010 and all that is only in the last 5 years.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Cos I'm bored, here's a chart showing the % of races each driver has won since 1981 and what race they clinched the title at as a %.

Races wins & stuff.jpg
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
The car provides a large proportion of general competitiveness. The proof of this was in 2009, it's fair to say Hamilton and Alonso are two of the best drivers on the grid and are both world champions (in Alonsos case multi world champions) and for most of the season they were both struggling just to make the top 10 despite the fact Hamilton won the championship the previous year and Alonso was competing for race victories.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Patrese (1992) - 6 second places, one win
Villeneuve (1996) - 5 second places, 4 wins
Barrichello (2004) - 7 second places, 2 wins
Webber (2011) - 2 second places, one (gifted) win

Which of these is out of sync with the idea of a dominant car?

Mansell and Hill can both thank a dominant car - Mansell can thank an idiot team-mate too!
Schumi had a dominant car, but it can hardly be argued that mattered.
Vettel, not so much.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
Mark Webber was quick and in contention throughout 2010, in 2011 he was slow and out of contention. Whilst I cannot argue with the fact that Sebastian upped his game and took total possession of his faculties and abilities in 2011, I must contend that a 2010 Mark Webber would have made his teammate's life a lot harder. I have no explanation for why Mark turned into a journeyman other than his contract didn't inspire him.
 
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