The worst driver in F1 History

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Baumgartner springs to mind - his first run his racing lines to each corner made it look like he was not ready for F1 and Brundle in the commentary was critical of him
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Luciano Burti - Button's old F3 rival, promoted to Jaguar because he was part of the Paul Stewart Racing Team and test driver as well Herbert retiring. His performances were not up to standard and he was sacked by Lauda in 2001 and went to Prost faring not much better. He was also overpaid because not only was he handsomely paid by his sponsors he was also paid by the team. One of the many messes that Ford made with Jaguar
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Basically over two threads, it would seem every single world champion is overrated and any driver who drove for a back marker and was just a bang average driver could be classified as being the worst.

I was actually hoping, between the overrated, underrated and worst driver threads, instead of naming every single F1 driver who ever jumped behind the wheel from 1950 until the present day, people would actually pick one and put up a case as to why that would be the person to fit that criteria.

While I guess many drivers could be considered over or underrated, in the worst driver thread the clue is in the title.

There can only be one, the most, the utterly, absolutely worst driver who actually attempted to have an F1 career rather than rock up for a race or two.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Criteria I would be looking for (not in order or ranked) would include:

1) Absolutely terrible in a demonstrably good car.

2) Even if the car is an absolute heap they are miles behind their team mates.

3) Multiple embarrassing incidents.

4) An appalling attitude with his or her team, the fans and fellow human beings.

5) No demonstrable race craft.

6) Spent more time watching mechanic trying to frantically reassemble their car than actually spent time on track.

7) Had all the mechanical sympathy of an elephant.

Any driver who can't tick at least 50 percent of thst list off, shouldn't even be considered for the worst ever list.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
cider_and_toast
I don't think you will find many rubbish drivers that belong to point 4 except Alonso in recent years although drivers like Wehrlein and Di Resta might be considered given the impression they give. They were certainly not the worst drivers again. We are not looking for a$$ holes again?

If the driver was absolutely terrible in a good car then the team loses out in the constructors but I can tell you the first Ferrari Eddie Irvine drove was an evil handling car but he did marginally better in the subsequent Ferarri's . The 1996 Ferrari version 1 was not great how Schumacher maintained pace with the WIlliams was some achievement

Surely having a rubbish No 2 driver does not help a team trying to win the constructors?
 
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Il_leone

Champion Elect
Basically over two threads, it would seem every single world champion is overrated and any driver who drove for a back marker and was just a bang average driver could be classified as being the worst.

I was actually hoping, between the overrated, underrated and worst driver threads, instead of naming every single F1 driver who ever jumped behind the wheel from 1950 until the present day, people would actually pick one and put up a case as to why that would be the person to fit that criteria.

While I guess many drivers could be considered over or underrated, in the worst driver thread the clue is in the title.

There can only be one, the most, the utterly, absolutely worst driver who actually attempted to have an F1 career rather than rock up for a race or two.


There was a story (scandal) in F1, I can't remember who but someone bought their way into F1 by buying a March chassis . They thought they had been sold a dud and took March to court that the chassis and equipment were duffed because he had failed to qualify for a grand prix. What he failed to realise it was his talent not the car which was the reason behind this. In order to prove this the same car was test driven by Ronnie Peterson who went 2 seconds a lap quicker than him. When he was rumbled he quietly retired from F1
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
I think I'll give a bloody big ignoring to a website thst ranks Fernando Alonso as better than Jim Clark FFS.

:facepalm:
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Eddie Irvine? Pastor Maldonado? Pedro Diniz?

Are we mistaking 'Worst F1 driver ever' for people we didn't like? How can either of those 3 be mention in the worst ever catogry?
 

Johnny Carwash

Champion Elect
Contributor
Pastor Maldonado could be one of the worst drivers to have won a race. I was thinking that maybe Antonio Pizzonia could be on the list of the worst drivers. If my memory serves me right he was Williams test driver in the early 00’s,and he lost his race seat half way through a season to Justin Wilson who replaced him at Jaguar.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
I will defend Pizzonia because Williams rated him and they could not understand how it did not work out at Jaguar. What did not help was Webber's attitude towards him was very hostile as well

When Pizzonia was asked to step in at Williams for the supposedly injured Heidfeld ( who had signed for BMW and as a result of the fall out between the Williams and BMW was pretty much replaced/ dropped). Pizzonia's teammate was Webber , he beat Webber first race and would have done so again in Spa on his way to a podium had he not retired late in the race
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
RasputinLives Both Irvine and Maldonado certainly would fit the descriptions on what could be classed as worst driver as cider_and_toast



Irvine - his care free attitude was perfect for Schumacher and Ferrari because he said he was signed as No 2 and that is what he accepted. He refused to discuss with the press about it and he did not seem to have the motivation to be world champion

It would have been interesting to see just what he could have done with Jordan because his qualifying was impressive and was rated as an "Outstanding talent"


Pedro Diniz scored as many points as the highly rated Mika Salo in 1998 but I guess he could not shake off the pay driver tag

----------------------

Paul Belmondo - remember him the son of Jean Paul Belmondo and was out of depth in F1 whilst driving for March. He had to retire from 1 race due to not being fit enough

A few amusing ones


Al Pease - apparently the only driver black flagged for being a menace on the track to the leaders whilst being lapped and going too slowly back in 1969

Channok Nissany - the story goes he saw F1 as a hobby and had his dream fulfilled landing a practice drive with Minardi at the age of 38! of all places in Hungary 2006. He was a massive 13 seconds slower and seriously struggled . Off course he was replaced next race
 
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RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Two Grand Prix winners do not fit the catogry of 'Worst F1 Driver Ever'. I'm really sorry you don't like them and maybe they aren't the best drivers but to class them above drivers that have been seconds off the pace of the whole field is frankly either spiteful or idiotic.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Maldonado and Irvine certainly not the worst driver ever but certainly amongst the worst drivers to have driven for top teams
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
cider_and_toast - the thread is splitting into either

- the no hopers - those that should have never set foot in F1 and are a sad indictment of the sport

-those that under performed badly given the competitive machinery despite winning and have been on the podium but less than they should have
 
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