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

Damon, without a doubt, for all the reasons stated previously. You just got the impression he was a really nice bloke, worked hard and I can't imagine him even thinking about cheating in order to win.

I have to admit I also really used to enjoy watching Nige drive. He always gave it everything and you always felt there was a possibility that he'd win. Bit of a whinger perhaps, but judged on his driving, he was definitely a fave of mine.
I have three, hope this is allowed.

Kimi Raikkonen - In his Mclaren days i love Kimi, he was quick and had a sarcastic nature about him. When he said :censored: at the Brazilian GP at Schumacher's first retirement it didn't half make me giggle. His overtakes were up their with Hamiltons better one's too. Plus that year at the Malaysian GP where the heavens opened and the race was red flagged, he'd got out of his car and went to the pit garage got out of his overalls and into his shorts and t-shirt and flip flops and started eating Ice Cream, now that did crack me up. But his driving aswell made him a special character and one that i think F1 is missing these days.

Felipe Massa - In his early days he was a bit reckless and in a few accidents. But he turned that around in 2005, which earned him his seat at Ferrari in 2006. He's gone on to win 11 races and claim 15 pole positions at Ferrari. If there was anyone in 2008 i'd have rather seen Hamilton lose his title too it would be Massa, the way he took to losing the crown after thinking he'd won it was a sign of a first class gentleman and one that i admired alot more than i already did. I am so glad he recovered from his accident after 2009 and to see him back in an F1 car was amazing. I hope he gets a good drive somewhere else in F1 if he is to leave Ferrari at the end of night season.

Lewis Hamilton - Yep and obvious choice but i just think the lad oozes confidence. I'd followed Hamilton when he'd gone into GP2 and his overtakes at the Turkish GP in 2006 were awesome, he also overtook 2 drivers going into the Maggott and Becketts corner was class as in the GP2 season. In 2007 he produced some fantastic performances as a rookie and made a world class driver look ordinary at times. Even though he's been a bit of silly boy of late, Hamilton is and will always be a driver that will excite me and i for one hope his driving style doesn't change to much. For me i hope that he can win another world championship in the future as he's just a class driver.
My favourite was Ayrton Senna. His control and ability to do the unbelievable meant you always had to keep an eye on him in case you missed something astonishing. Not without his demons, but just an incredible talent. Still missed.
I can't really add anything else, apart from substituting 1994 for 1993 Chris1981 has pretty much written exactly what I would have.

But I did support Villeneuve, Montoya and Rosberg in between (Williams) however the only other driver apart from Hill to have affected my mood for days afterwards and made me cry is Hamilton.
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.

Opps! Sorry for jumping in ahead of you!

Its funny, I am kind of surprised, but not surprised that there seems to be lots others that have Damon high up on there list. Its nice to know that people dont always go for the outright speed/flair, and that hardwork and being nice is recognised by many people. Thats not to say, of course, that he isnt talented but I'm sure you guys know what I mean!
As I have only stated watching F1 since 2006 (I think), I would have to say that my favourite driver was (as is) Felipe Massa, simply because he seems like such a nice guy, he seems extremely unlucky (Singapore 08, Hungary 08 and 09, Germany 10) and ever since his debut for Ferrari, I have always supported him.

the way he took to losing the crown after thinking he'd won it was a sign of a first class gentleman

this shows how much of a fair sportsman he is.

I suppose one of the only true ways to determine if you are a fan of an F1 driver is if you feel nervous for them going into the first corner and in the pits, and always looking out for his name on the timing screen - for me, Felipe Massa is that f1 driver, that's why he is my favourite driver
I'm sorry folk's I've tried to narrow it down but can't so apologies for a long post and if you get bored and go off to read something else i won't hold it against anyone!

So, I'm not one for having favourites as such but, yes there are drivers who I think have demanded my admiration. Having watched motor racing sporadically in the 1960's, as my family were quite late in getting a TV, homegrown heroes were Hill and Clark . Only really appreciated Stirling Moss in later years when footage of his exploits made it onto videotape. Same goes for John Surtees whose racing I've only seen after the fact but championships on two wheels and four and his career since in that netherworld behind the scenes as statesman of motorsport - brilliant.

Into the '70's it was the likes of Jackie Stewart, Ronnie Peterson and James Hunt caught my eye but I only really got fixated with F1 when watching the epic battles in the 1980's enjoined by Mansell, Pique, Prost, Senna and Patrese, et al. I have to admit to Mansell being top of my list back then. Damon Hill picked up his mantle after that in my opinion for the same reasons others have stated already and again his post racer career continues to garner my admiration.

I always liked Michele Alboretto (don't know why) and Jean Alesi (again, not sure why). I would have to say that my two favourite (and I use the term loosely) drivers in the last decade of the 20th century were Damon Hill, not just because he was a desrving F1 champion but because he worked hard to get the best results Arrows and Jordan ever achieved (honourable mention for Fisi for his podiums and Brazil GP win for Jordan) and then of course Rubens Barrichello because I liked, and still do like the way he drives through thick and thin (and he is still very fast).

Always respected Mika, Kimi, Fernando and Felipe but no, I had no favourite as such until 2007. For me Lewis Hamilton rescued F1 as a Sunday afternoon pastime for me. I had gotten bored with it. Right now he's top of my list if I really had to chose a favourite. I personally believe his racecraft is stunning and up there with the best and I make no apology for feeling that way.

Having said all that, for me, three people have stood out over the years who caught my eye when they were in karts and/or lower formulae. Jenson Button, always liked his smooth style, Lewis Hamilton as I've said, but also a young man who was last racing open wheelers in International Formula 3000 at the same time as Juan Pablo Montoya. I refer to a guy who I think would have been great to watch in F1, Danish racer Jason Watt. He was a joy to watch, very smooth - not as eye catching as a rather flambouyant Montoya who tended to steal the show with "spectacular car control" but that smoothness was deceptive dare I say Prost-like. Following a ski-mobile accident he went into racing secially adapted touring cars with some success. Not sure what he's doing right now but hope he's still doing good things.

Bet you thought I'd finished!

My ultimate respect though goes to a guy who, whilst his F1 career wasn't too great, was a great champion and a model character if ever there was one. Alex Zanardi. Multiple Champ Cars champion who virtually gets cut in half and returns to race touring cars. You couldn't make that up.

That's why I don't really have a favourite. They're all heroes, some maybe more than others, but even the ones I don't like as personalities I've just got to respect.

That's all folk's.
For sheer bouncebackability you have to take your hat off to Button, after Hamilton mania in 2007 and 2008 he was discarded by the British media as a 1 win wonder in a rubbish Honda team. At one point he was even without a team when Honda shut its doors, to be a world champion 9 months later was a remarkable achievement and now drives toe to toe with the biggest names in F1 in one of the biggest teams (after proving all the sceptics wrong by joining Mclaren in the first place)
Although I've been a Piquet (Sr) and then Schumacher supporter since I started watching F1 in '89, I've never been happier than when the underdog has had a moment in the sun. So Pierluigi Martini's qualifying exploits on those famous hand-grooved slicks in late '89, Ukyo Katayama's heroics in the 1994 Tyrrell, Olivier Panis's 1996 Monaco win, the Stewart double-podium at the Nurburgring, and Gregor Foitek almost scraping a point at the 1990 Monaco GP - these are the things I look back upon and smile about...

In terms of entertainment value, though, my favourite drivers to watch over the years were Takuma Sato and Jean Alesi
Well, back in '98 or was it '99 a question that still puzzles me :thinking:

Anyway one of those years...but in the '99 Melbourne grand prix I found myself supporting Ferrari and Michael Schumacher, I don't know why, I must have been watching in '98 even before the race started I remember hoping that a Ferrari won and that the McLaren's would have a bad race. I loved everything about Ferrari, from their roadcars to the F1 cars, I don't know why :dunno: might have been the red colour?

To cut a long story short, I supported every Ferrari driver since then, Eddie Irvine, Mika Salo, Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Massa, and Michael Schumacher. Why Schumacher you say? It wasn't because he won all the time, it was because he managed to get that Ferrari in '99 to fight with the McLaren's which were you have to say faster than the Ferrari but less reliabile, the man had awesome determination, then he broke his leg at Silverstone...that was a sad day for me, after that there was one Ferrari driver that could still fight for the title then, so I backed him all the away!! I liked Irvine when he went to Jaguar aswell, always found him funny (might have something to do with his accent).

Barrichello came to Ferrari loved his first win! But he's one Ferrari driver that during at Ferrari I started not to like, and don't like him much either.

When Massa first joined Ferrari, I was thinking "god what are these guys doing!" he was wild, his first few races at Ferrari proved it, but then he did something that only a few can do...and that was to prove me wrong :p just gained a lot of respect for this guy from late 2006 onwards, and 2008, man when he lost the he did, not only was I raging, but I was close to tears, but the way he took that defeat made me realise what a guy he was!

Well back to Schumacher, he was the main man I supported, when he retired, I didn't have a replacement. But I supported both Ferrari drivers...Raikkonen in the 2007 just had something about him that I started to like him straightaway, I thought I wouldn't find a driver that would I would have the same respect as Schumacher, but this guy does! His cool calm approach, felt sorry for him in 2005, and now looking back in 2003 aswell. The guy just drives the car fast as he can, he gets around all his problems. Then he left Ferrari and Alonso came in a year early with Santander, after that I have not liked Ferrari, well let's say I am not that passionate about them like I was, as from 2008 onwards, they became....dunno...different.

Now, I am don't back a driver fully, still support Massa and Schumacher but not madly....

This might be longer than Fenderman's post, but someone has to give him a run for his money :p
Throughout F1 there have been many, I'm big Clark/Stewart fan. I prefer Clark because Stewart sometimes seems rather...calculated. I'm not taking anything away from him, but simply mean that Clark comes across so plainly honest and simple in this humble manner. I can't quite comprehend how with his talent he wasn't big headed. I would be.

You can't not love James Hunt, nobody has filled the role of playboy racer like him. Totally unique.

Senna = Passion

Hamilton for reigniting my own passion for the sport.

Last, but certainly not least is one of the most intelligent, charming and admirable gents ever to grace the Formula One paddock. He was born in Mönchengladbach, Germany. On May 10, 1977, and began racing karts at the age of 11 in 1988. In 1994 he moved into the German Formula Ford series, gaining widespread attention by winning 8 of the 9 races to take the title that season. In 1995 he won the German International Formula Ford 1800 Championship, and came second in the Zetec Cup. This led to a drive in the German Formula Three championship for 1996, where he finished third overall, after taking 3 wins. He entered the end of the season Macau Grand Prix and won the first heat of the race, attracting the attention of compatriot Norbert Haug, who later signed him up for the West Competition team.

He currently races for the Lotus Renault Formula One team. I man of his talent should have had a racing seat with an established team but so fickle are the decisions of F1 politics that this adonis of a man had to wait for God to intervene and injure his friend Robert Kubica to get a seat. Many saw Robert as a title contender in the right car, but Heidfeld had beaten him in 2 of the 3 seasons they raced in equal machinery. He would currently hold a solid place in the standings had a freak accident after a bumping of nose against a suddenly slowing Kamui Kobayashi caused his front wing to come loose and launch him off the track and into retirement. He DNF'd with his own classy style as he seemed to handbrake spin the car to a hault safely off track.

He conducts himself with a divine class on and off the circuit and is within the top five drivers on the grid today, which is why they call him Quick Nick. He also holds the record (I think) of the most consecutive finishes. Unfortunately he also holds the record of most second places without a win. At the start of 2007 he arrived with a fine beard on his fine jaw, and finished a respectable fifth in the driver's standings. Beaten only by the dominant Ferraris and Mclarens. Some would fear to fill the seat that already saw one driver injured off track, but Heidfeld has no fear of God. He'll fight God.

Other contributors: Sly
"He DNF'd with his own classy style as he seemed to handbrake spin the car to a hault safely off track." - think that's stolen from me :whistle:
Michael Schumacher - Mostly for the respect of his racing records, the most notable is (estimate) 60 odd poles and 91 odd Grand Prix wins, suggests a driver that didn't need the luxury of pole position to win a race but could come from positions down the grid and win.

Currently, Fernando Alonso mostly from the respect of beating a Michael Schumacher in his prime and if I were to describe him using some Top Gun prose; "ice man it is how he drives" calculated and without mistake (in general)
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