Who has been your favourite driver and why?..... NOT who was the best!

ramilas1

Podium Finisher
Picking the best F1 driver of all time would, unfortunately, descend into the attempted comparison of Fangio v Hill v Senna v Prost v Schumacher and all the other greats over the years ..... with even some of the current crop being touted, despite still having only dipped their toe into their career.
SO, I'm not interested in any of that on this thread.>:(

I'm interested in who was a favourite F1 driver, and why?

Like many F1 fans I started following a team rather than as a driver's "fan" and have kept that allegiance with the same team regardless of personnel changes and periods of despair at the anticipation of the next race result, while happily enjoying success when it came along.

I made this point in another thread earlier but admitted that one former driver was a favourite.

My choice of Eddie Irvine was greeted by amusement, or was it disbelief, or maybe even derision.:snigger:
Steady Eddie? Well Ramilas I hope you don't have his dress sense.
Oh. Can't think why anyone would want to support him, but each to their own I suppose.
Well, thanks for that guys ..... but here's a few reasons why I liked Eddie.

1993 - debuted at Suzuka and unlapped himself from Ayrton Senna because he fancied trying to chase Damon Hill for an extra place - eventually finished 6th for 1pt and got punched in the face by Senna for his audacity!

1999 - was unexpectedly promoted into the Ferrari No.1 position after Schumacher’s accident at Silverstone and just missed winning the World Drivers' Championship, 2pts off Häkkinen.

2002 - in his final F1 season, and 3rd at Jaguar, he scored his 2nd podium for the team (the only 2 they ever achieved) at Monza. It was a season dominated by Schumacher and a season when every step on every podium was taken by a driver from Ferrari, Williams or McLaren except that 3rd place in Italy.

Eddie was often a bit of a loose cannon on the track, although he matured enormously after he moved to Ferrari, and off the track he was always in demand from the media who knew he would ‘say it as he saw it’ rather than stick to the boring clichéd answers that so many others gave... and the way Eddie saw it was often unique!

Some may have termed him as a clown, a joker, a nuisance or even an idiot for his antics and lifestyle but there was a shrewd brain at work there as well - over the years he has built a sizeable portfolio of property and in 2011 was still in the top-10 UK&Ire Sunday Times sports-related Rich List with an estimated worth of £80m
….. so he’s Irish, just like me, but with about £79.75m more to put in his will - what’s not to like? :D

Right, over to you - pick one and tell us all why!
 

Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
..... take as long to think as you like, CTA isn't closing down anytime soon :)
I too would like some time to think. If we stick to your thread we'll be fine. I for one will be hitting the report button the moment anyone tries to turn this into an argument. We have a beautifully reasonable question that asks for a straightforward reply.

Therefore, for the sake of clarity and to nail my flag securely to the mast I hereby make this promise to the OP. When I post my choice I will not use said post as an opportunity to criticise the choices of others nor will I post a reply to the posts of others that could in any way be regarded as a criticism of others. Should I fail in this aspiration I should expect the appropriate rebuke and sanction as should any transgressor in this regard.

A very tidy way to start a thread, Ramillas :goodday::thumbsup:
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
The first F1 race i sat through and watched fully was Hungary 2006, and considering this was JB's first win it might make my driver choice look strange as it might have been normal to support him from then onwards. However from then to the end of the season I watched the races when I could (saw most of them). Then Melbourne '07 came along and I still didn't really support anyone so I decided who ever impressed me most that race I would support.
It only took the first corner for me to decide who I wanted to support, Hamilton was straight around the outside of both Alonso and Kubica. I just consider myself lucky that that wasn't a fluke and he drives with so much purpose and it's brilliant to watch. I was sulking for a couple of days after Brazil '07. Since the start of '07 the only races I've missed live are '07 European GP, '10 Monaco, '10 Belgium and '11 Australia.
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
ramilas1,

Respect for your spirited defence of Eddie!
He was never a favourite of mine, but I'll follow Fenderman's lead, having read his post in the nick of time (phew, that was a close one!) and won't use this as an opportunity to badmouth him. Whatever my opinion of Eddie, there's no doubting that he was a character, and a successful businessman to boot. Credit where it's due.

My own favourites? I've been around a long time, so I have a few. But my main favourites were, and still are, Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart jointly (who'd have guessed, with a username like mine?), as they thrilled me with their consummate driving, their camaraderie in what was a lethal sport and with their very different but equally engaging and inspiring personalities, during my formative years as a motorsport fan.
I gave up a 20-a-day smoking habit in the early nineties, but have never been able to shake off my addiction to Formula One, which those two guys were largely responsible for creating.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I think it's pretty well known around here that the first driver I supported, and the only one I've ever felt a strong affinity with, is Alain Marie Pascual Prost.

I started following F1 in the early '80s, and saw my first Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in '82 (so by rights my hero should be Derek Warwick, I suppose...) and at that time there was something of a dearth of British talent - with apologies to John Watson, of course.

I think to my young mind a big part of it was the fact that, when it was running, Prost's yellow Renault was invariably at the head of the field, and so therefore he must be the best, right? Isn't the world a simpler place then... When commentators and journalists increasingly said the same thing that reinforced my own perceptions - it turned out he was the best after all (lucky me!)

As time went on, of course, I appreciated more the finer aspects of his character - his tireless work ethic, his slavish attention to detail, his desire to maximise every aspect of himself and his car. I particularly remember Mansell's off-hand comment about Prost being a chauffeur - 'wanting the car to do all the work'. To which Alain's response was, brilliantly, "Of course I want the car to do the work!"

I suppose it comes down to an aspect of my character - supporting the hard-working individual rather than the one who relies on naturally gifted talent mainly or solely. That's not to say Prost wasn't hugely gifted, of course. But many other drivers, perhaps more 'charismatic' ones, had as much talent, and achieved far less with it, because they couldn't match Alain's total dedication to the job of being a racing driver, in every facet.
 

ramilas1

Podium Finisher
Thanks guys, was probably expecting a few barbed retorts to my opinion, but hoped they would be of an amusing nature.

Debate of others' opinions is always welcome unless it descends into the
Yes he is
No he isn't
Yes he is variety ........ which I tend to either laugh at LOL or ignore :yawn:

My own favourites? I've been around a long time, so I have a few. But my main favourites were, and still are, Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart jointly.....
a couple of the great racers but were at the very end of their F1 careers when my own interest started in the early '70's.

I'm looking forward to seeing the varied choices from people in this respect as I reckon I could only pick somebody if I was watching them for a good part of their career
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Ramilas - I wasn't knocking your support of old Irvine just his dress sense!

I'm really going to have to think about this one before I give an answer. Although I will give honourable mention to Mr Ivan Cappelli his staying out on those hard tyres back in France in 1990 and very nearly holding off Prost for one of the biggest shock wins of all time.
 

Senna's_right_foot

Pole Sitter
Supporter
Jackie Stewart, because he was Scottish, although he did race way before I was born, and I followed Paul Stewart Racing in F3 so was delighted when Stewart GP entered F1 in the late 90's.

Ayrton Senna - the first GP I remember watching where I was aware that the race was part of a championship (i.e. i'd seen other races growing up but was never aware of the context of a World Championship until this race) was the 1992 Monaco GP and I remember screaming at the TV for Mansell to pass Senna. From the moment Senna crossed the line I supported Senna and McLaren, as I liked the look of the car.

Lewis Hamilton - The weekend of the Australian GP 2007 I had kidney stones and was content to watch the GP rerun later that day. However being unable to sleep, I got up at silly o'clock and watched the race, and was delighted that McLaren would again have 2 drivers able to be competitive. For me, I liked how Hamilton didn't behave like the new boy and was obviously someone who just wanted to race, something that was missing for a while since Hakkinen retired.
 

chris1981

Points Scorer
What a lovely thread. I started watching F1 in 1994 and for me Damon Hill was my favourite driver until he retired.

I remember the excitment of the Japanese GP that year in the rain with it coming down to the last lap on aggreate times. Then followed by the Australian GP and feeling gutted with what happened there.

1995 is best left forgotten lol

In 1996 there was the Murray "I've got to stop as I have a lump in my throat" was he won the championship. For me the "champion and a gentelman" tag line that got added summed it up for me.

Then of course there was being ditched by Williams and barely qualifying at the start of 1997. Then in Hungry - wow what a race and overtake on Schumacher.

Its a shame the last couple of years fizzled out to nothing. I know he wasnt the best ever driver in terms or raw speed but I do think he was underrated in terms of developing a car.

Since Damon retired I followed ABS (anyone but Schumacher - never got over australia 94 lol) until Lewis arrived on the scene who has been a driver I do want to win.
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
I've whittled it down to two - Graham Hill and James Hunt. I suspect Hunt might raise some chuckles - but will mull over my options and let you now.
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
Another favourite of mine was Damon Hill. Partly due to the family connection, but also for the way he conducted himself on and off the track, and for the way he helped pick up the Williams team after the tragedy of Imola '94, when he was suddenly thrust from being Ayrton Senna's No. 2 driver to being the team leader. He was one who fell into the category of 'hard worker' that Galahad refers to, in many people's eyes; some (but not me) go so far as to give all the credit for his success to the car.

I was truly moved when he became champion in '96; like Murray Walker, I had a lump in my throat and a tear in the eye while watching the Japanese GP where he clinched his title. And one of the biggest cheers that I can remember at a grand Prix was when we were at Club Corner and saw him overtake a retiring Shinji Nakano, in a Prost, at Vale in the closing stages of the '97 British GP, to take the final points scoring (then sixth) place and his first points for Arrows.

Not only that, but my respect for him has increased still further with the stirling efforts he has made as president of the BRDC, playing a part in helping to save the British Grand Prix and realising the vision of making Silverstone what it is today.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
My F1 love has always been team based so pretty much anyone who climbed into a Lotus would have got a big thumbs up from me.

That said, that's one big cop out so I'll try and name a few that remain favourites.

Johnny Herbert. Tried really hard to do anything in a god awful Lotus and seemed to always be happy most of the time.

Rubens Barichello. A legend. (in my book anyway)

Damon Hill. I don't know, there was just something about the way that he took on the Williams team and did the bizz. It's just a crying shame he stuck around 1 season too long.

That's it really. When I started watching F1 in the mid-80's I was only around 10 years old so I didn't really support the drivers more the cars. Obviously I remember the likes of Lauda, Rosberg, Laffite, Arnoux etc but they didn't really have much impact on me. (Especially as they always seemed to spend most of the time beating those stunning black and gold cars).
 

ramilas1

Podium Finisher
Johnny Herbert. Tried really hard to do anything in a god awful Lotus and seemed to always be happy most of the time.
I watched a fair bit of Eurosport's build up to Le Mans recently and Johnny was involved a lot - still seems to be mostly happy all of the time, which I think is the same as you said :D ..... just the sort of guy you'd cheerfully invite as a dinner guest .....
NO STOP, that will have to be another thread ! !
 

gethinceri

Lance Stroll Fan. Alfa Romeo Fan.
Contributor
What a lovely thread. I started watching F1 in 1994 and for me Damon Hill was my favourite driver until he retired.

I remember the excitment of the Japanese GP that year in the rain with it coming down to the last lap on aggreate times. Then followed by the Australian GP and feeling gutted with what happened there.

1995 is best left forgotten lol

In 1996 there was the Murray "I've got to stop as I have a lump in my throat" was he won the championship. For me the "champion and a gentelman" tag line that got added summed it up for me.

Then of course there was being ditched by Williams and barely qualifying at the start of 1997. Then in Hungry - wow what a race and overtake on Schumacher.

Its a shame the last couple of years fizzled out to nothing. I know he wasnt the best ever driver in terms or raw speed but I do think he was underrated in terms of developing a car

Why oh why didn't I open this thread before you managed to jump the gun on me!!!!
I echo everything you said about this humble, hardworking and determined sportsman. A true champion, in more than just F1.
EDIT, a couple of additional points; I know there are loads of us - standing at Luffield/Woodcote for his first British GP in '92 he got a standing ovation for every lap - his fans never stopped this level of support at Silverstone (never saw him at Donny). Inadvertently causing him to fall off his scooter in the Paddock Club just before qualifying in '94 he found it funnier than me! Then he got pole, legend.
 
J

johnnoble1990

Guest
Lewis Hamilton. That first corner in Australia 2007. :o It turned my causal interest into an addiction. Before this my favourites were Hill, Hakkinen and Kimi (who i instantly hated after moving to Ferrari).
 
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