Who is the luckiest driver?

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
I was having a think earlier today about who was the luckiest driver in F1. Now, this doesn't relate to luck in terms of 50/50 moves, or any contract shenanigans, but instead, the driver who has experienced the fewest retirements through unreliability.

Intuitively, it seems that at the moment, the title belongs to Lewis Hamilton - who in his 86 races has only experienced 3 retirements through unreliability of the car - in his 52nd, 57th and 64th races (Abu Dhabi 2009, Spain 2010 and Hungary 2010). - so that averages out at 1 car-related retirement every 29 races. This really is astonishing, considering that prior to 2007, McLaren produced a car that was legendary for its unreliability, and that unreliability probably cost Raikkonen the 2005 crown...

So, is there anyone who is even luckier than Hamilton? This may come down to subjective decisions as well as sheer numbers of retirements! One name that does come to mind is Felipe Massa, and Schumacher (pre 2010) must rank in there somewhere as well!
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Mechanical reliability =/= luck though.

What about being on a flying lap in qualifying and the session being red flagged?
Or the pit crew not being able to get enough fuel in?
Or sending the car out too late?
Or not fitting a wheel correctly?
Getting a puncture from a kerb which 23 other drivers have driven over without issue?
Hitting two cars in a race and taking them both out but being able to continue and win?
Going wheel to wheel with someone and your suspension breaking and not theirs?

I'm, afraid I can't agree that Hamilton is the luckiest driver in F1, not by a long way.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
I agree Bro - I was just trying to come up with a word for it, and "luck" was the best that came to mind!

Thanks Foaad - i'd completely forgotten about that one - edited now for accuracy
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
I've noted this before, but this is a perfect thread to note it again.

Sebastian Vettel is the luckiest driver in the history of the sport.

He got to cut his teeth with little to no pressure in a Red Bull with a Ferrari engine.

He then moved into the big team when the regulations forced Toro Rosso to design their own car. And after the double diffuser row was sorted out, Newey clearly found the sweet spot with the RB5.

So after half of his 2nd season, Vettel has been seated in the best car on the grid for his entire career.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
And anyway, is it luck that cars retire? Wasn't Raikkonen famed for his car breaking because he drove in such a way to break cars?
I agree - but I was groping around for the right word - and luck was the one that came to mind..... Perhaps if anyone could provide a better word? I suppose mechanically sympathetic might be the right word - but even that doesn't quite seem right, as teams can have sudden upswings in reliability for other reasons....
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I would just call it mechanical reliability, which is basically what the opening post is about.

Of course, that doesn't mean the most reliable car in the world can't be forced to break by certain drivers who put them under undue stress and strain.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
I would just call it mechanical reliability, which is basically what the opening post is about.

Of course, that doesn't mean the most reliable car in the world can't be forced to break by certain drivers who put them under undue stress and strain.
... and similarly the most unreliable car in the world can be nursed to the finish by other drivers.....
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Of course, that doesn't mean the most reliable car in the world can't be forced to break by certain drivers who put them under undue stress and strain.
On one hand we have Heidfeld and on the other, de Cesaris!
 
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