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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:51 am 
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Who would you guys say is Williams' best ever driver, from 1996 onward?

I thought this question could be interesting because since 1996, Williams have had numerous very good drivers without a single tier 1 driver (IMO).

Damon Hill
David Coulthard
Jacques Villeneuve
Heinz-Harold Frentzen
Ralf Schumacher
Jenson Button
Juan Pablo Montoya
Mark Webber
Nick Heidfeld
Nico Rosberg
Rubens Barrichello
Nico Hulkenberg
Pastor Maldonado
Valtteri Bottas
Felipe Massa

That's the list of notable drivers who achieved at least a podium for Williams.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:53 am 
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No tier one drivers... but three world champions.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:39 am 
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Make that four.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:40 am 
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Prob Rosberg. His reputation seams to have been based on his rookie year, for most of his career. Lost to webber, did not have strong competition after that in Williams. And then beat schumacher, who was "past it", to what extent we will never know. I remember someone saying early in his career. That in qual he got the max out of the car, a testament that must in part be backed up as he out qual hamilton over a year and always pushed him hard the rest of the time.

Against Schumacher and Hamilton I doubt if anyone on that list would stack up as well against them.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:49 am 
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Rosberg. Then Hill and Button.

If we consider Hamilton tier 1, we have to value what Rosberg achieved as his team mate.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:25 am 
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Either Rosberg, Button or Hill probably. HHF was in my thoughts but he never really seemed to click at Williams.

Looking at that list, I think its clear the Williams have long been a facilitator for top talent rather than the final destination for it. Except for Hill, the other drivers I mentioned all went on to do better in other teams rather than with Williams, and thats a fairly common theme a lot of those names.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:20 pm 
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That's a tough call..

You'd have to say Rosberg as he's got a WDC.

But, I was always a fan of Montoya..

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:10 pm 
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Button


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:24 pm 
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I think on talent you'd have to say Montoya?
Then Button and Rosberg.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:15 pm 
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It's between Button and Rosberg, I'm edging towards Rosberg.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:16 pm 
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Maybe I'm out step here but I think Hill was at least as good as Rosberg.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:19 pm 
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Button for me is the all around best of the bunch with Rosberg being the fastest.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:28 pm 
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sandman1347 wrote:
Button for me is the all around best of the bunch with Rosberg being the fastest.

Yes that's what I had to weigh up and I always tend to favour who I think was the fastest.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:35 pm 
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I'd say Button or Rosberg - but I'm with yellowbin and mds in that I loved watching Montoya drive, he was much better than a lot of people give him credit for.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:43 pm 
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I'd say Rosberg, Button, with an honourary mention to Ralf Schumacher - that man was supremely fast on his day, but doomed to forever living under the shadow of his much more successful brother.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:45 pm 
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Waiting to see where the Hulk will end up in 3 years' time in people's estimations if Renault can give him a competitive car (capable of fighting the top 3, even if occassionally).


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:39 pm 
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I'd contest Barrichello & Montoya not Tier 1 drivers.
Barrichello in particular would have at least 2 WDC, possibly 3 were it not for being teamed up with Michael all those seasons.
Montoya was one of the top drivers while in F1.

What is missed here is how incredibly the ever consistent Williams team became since their era of dominance in the early 90's. Then had a resurgence for 2-3 seasons in the late mid 90's but since then lacked consistency. They had the ever ferocious BMW engines for a while and still struggled and that is indicative of the team falling short of the mark with their cars rather than all those drivers not being able to challenge at the front consistently. Today that trend continues, and although not that far off their team is so hit or miss, they look good in one race and will then be nowhere in the next several races.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:45 pm 
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Either Hill or Rosberg with honourable mention to Button and Montoya. Rosberg may have been a tad faster but Hill could really race well. Not really a bad driver amongst that lot though.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:53 pm 
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KingVoid wrote:
Who would you guys say is Williams' best ever driver, from 1996 onward?

I thought this question could be interesting because since 1996, Williams have had numerous very good drivers without a single tier 1 driver (IMO).

Damon Hill
David Coulthard
Jacques Villeneuve
Heinz-Harold Frentzen
Ralf Schumacher
Jenson Button
Juan Pablo Montoya
Mark Webber
Nick Heidfeld
Nico Rosberg
Rubens Barrichello
Nico Hulkenberg
Pastor Maldonado
Valtteri Bottas
Felipe Massa

That's the list of notable drivers who achieved at least a podium for Williams.


In terms of their Williams performances I'd go with:

Hill - He outperformed DC and JV quite comprehensively and they were both talented and motivated young drivers. Class of the field in 96. Schumi maybe have aced Barca but Hill was awesome in the wet in Monaco (Schumi crashed on lap 1) and Brazil (He lapped Schumi).
Montoya - Should have been 2003 WDC IMO. He was the only contender with a competitive team mate and the stewards stitched him up in Indy.

Putting the rest in order (for Williams remember)
Rosberg
Villeneuve
Bottas
Ralf
Webber
Coulthard
Button
Pastor
Heidfeld
Hulk
Frentzen
Massa
Stroll
Rubens

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:04 pm 
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Banana Man wrote:
KingVoid wrote:
Who would you guys say is Williams' best ever driver, from 1996 onward?

I thought this question could be interesting because since 1996, Williams have had numerous very good drivers without a single tier 1 driver (IMO).

Damon Hill
David Coulthard
Jacques Villeneuve
Heinz-Harold Frentzen
Ralf Schumacher
Jenson Button
Juan Pablo Montoya
Mark Webber
Nick Heidfeld
Nico Rosberg
Rubens Barrichello
Nico Hulkenberg
Pastor Maldonado
Valtteri Bottas
Felipe Massa

That's the list of notable drivers who achieved at least a podium for Williams.


In terms of their Williams performances I'd go with:

Hill - He outperformed DC and JV quite comprehensively and they were both talented and motivated young drivers. Class of the field in 96. Schumi maybe have aced Barca but Hill was awesome in the wet in Monaco (Schumi crashed on lap 1) and Brazil (He lapped Schumi).
Montoya - Should have been 2003 WDC IMO. He was the only contender with a competitive team mate and the stewards stitched him up in Indy.

Putting the rest in order (for Williams remember)
Rosberg
Villeneuve
Bottas
Ralf
Webber
Coulthard
Button
Pastor
Heidfeld
Hulk
Frentzen
Massa
Stroll
Rubens


Why Rubens last? He beat both Hulk and Maldanado?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:11 pm 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
Banana Man wrote:
KingVoid wrote:
Who would you guys say is Williams' best ever driver, from 1996 onward?

I thought this question could be interesting because since 1996, Williams have had numerous very good drivers without a single tier 1 driver (IMO).

Damon Hill
David Coulthard
Jacques Villeneuve
Heinz-Harold Frentzen
Ralf Schumacher
Jenson Button
Juan Pablo Montoya
Mark Webber
Nick Heidfeld
Nico Rosberg
Rubens Barrichello
Nico Hulkenberg
Pastor Maldonado
Valtteri Bottas
Felipe Massa

That's the list of notable drivers who achieved at least a podium for Williams.


In terms of their Williams performances I'd go with:

Hill - He outperformed DC and JV quite comprehensively and they were both talented and motivated young drivers. Class of the field in 96. Schumi maybe have aced Barca but Hill was awesome in the wet in Monaco (Schumi crashed on lap 1) and Brazil (He lapped Schumi).
Montoya - Should have been 2003 WDC IMO. He was the only contender with a competitive team mate and the stewards stitched him up in Indy.

Putting the rest in order (for Williams remember)
Rosberg
Villeneuve
Bottas
Ralf
Webber
Coulthard
Button
Pastor
Heidfeld
Hulk
Frentzen
Massa
Stroll
Rubens


Why Rubens last? He beat both Hulk and Maldanado?


Fair point. Looking back at 2010, I'd forgotten he actually beat Hulk quite comfortably. Actually I'd rearrange the bottom as
Frentzen
Rubens
Massa
Hulk
Stroll

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:12 pm 
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In my view Williams have been shooting themselves in the foot with poor driver choices for years. This list contains most of the drivers who I feel had their careers flattered by driving strong machinery and were actually no better than most of the other drivers of their time: Hill, Villeneuve, Coulthard, R Schumacher, Massa and even Montoya who, although he could be mightily fast on a good day and was superb to watch, was much too erratic and inconsistent to be a world champion. On balance I think Williams had the best car in 2003 (although everyone's form fluctuated a lot from race to race) and a better driver line-up would have seen them take both titles.

However looking at the list it does appear that they have done quite well with spotting young talent. Button, Rosberg, Hulkenberg and Bottas all made their debuts with the team and I've always felt that Maldonado was much better than many gave him credit for. Although they were also responsible for bringing through Pizzonia and Nakajima.

As for their best driver from the past 20 years, I'd say Rosberg. I also have to give an honourable mention to Heidfeld who I believe to be one of the most underrated drivers in F1 history.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:33 pm 
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it can only be between Damon and jv. both secured the drivers championship for the team. out of the 2. I would say Damon. only because jv let schumacher in to fight for a title he shouldn't of been allowed to involved with. such was the pace of Williams in 97.

the title says best Williams driver. not be at Williams driver who went on to success in another team.

also. David coulthard is excluded because he left Williams after the 1995 season to join McLaren.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:36 pm 
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Rosberg, Villeneuve, Montoya - then Button.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:50 pm 
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Montoya, JV, then Hill for me. Montoya was a beast, and I believe one of the best drivers on the grid when he first entered F1.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:05 pm 
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j man wrote:
In my view Williams have been shooting themselves in the foot with poor driver choices for years. This list contains most of the drivers who I feel had their careers flattered by driving strong machinery and were actually no better than most of the other drivers of their time: Hill, Villeneuve, Coulthard, R Schumacher, Massa and even Montoya who, although he could be mightily fast on a good day and was superb to watch, was much too erratic and inconsistent to be a world champion. On balance I think Williams had the best car in 2003 (although everyone's form fluctuated a lot from race to race) and a better driver line-up would have seen them take both titles.

However looking at the list it does appear that they have done quite well with spotting young talent. Button, Rosberg, Hulkenberg and Bottas all made their debuts with the team and I've always felt that Maldonado was much better than many gave him credit for. Although they were also responsible for bringing through Pizzonia and Nakajima.

As for their best driver from the past 20 years, I'd say Rosberg. I also have to give an honourable mention to Heidfeld who I believe to be one of the most underrated drivers in F1 history.


If it wasn’t for technical DNF in Austria and Japan, coupled with a bogus stewards decision and dodgy Michelin’s in Indy, Montoya would have been on the podium for the last 11 races of 2003. His car let him down more often than he let the team down.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:27 am 
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Whilst they were actually at Williams it is probably Hill, but Rosberg and Button went on afterwards to reach at least as high or higher levels than Hill. But Hill is definitely under rated.

Barrichello was also very good before joining Williams, peak Barrichello peak Schumacher about 2-3 times per season on merit and was within 0.2-0.3 of his at least half the time.

I used to rate Montoya a bit higher than I do now, I think those cars flattered him and Ralf a bit in hindsight.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:04 am 
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I know he had a rough trot in Williams, but I rate Zanardi as well. What he did in Champcar was legendary.



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:03 am 
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As a Canadian I have to speak up for Villeneuve. Yes, his personality sucks, but as a driver for Williams 1996, 1997, and 1998 he was very impressive.

In his very first race he qualified on pole and would have won but for car reliability issues. Having won 4 races in his debut season, Villeneuve took the record for most wins in his first championship season. He also became the first driver in Formula One history to finish second in his first championship season. Both records were later equaled by Lewis Hamilton in 2007.

In his second year he was in a death match with Schumacher, and emerged WDC. The 1998 car had the flaccid Mecachrome engine, and his performance dropped drastically.

In 1999 he chased the money trail and left Williams, forever dooming him as an unpopular character and leaving a very short legacy of success.

But his first two years in Williams were spectacular.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:59 am 
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I think Montoya and Villeneuve could have done much better than they did and stayed in F1 much longer but they didn't seem to have it in their heads.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:06 pm 
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wire2004 wrote:
it can only be between Damon and jv. both secured the drivers championship for the team. out of the 2. I would say Damon. only because jv let schumacher in to fight for a title he shouldn't of been allowed to involved with. such was the pace of Williams in 97.


They both secured the championship for the team beacause they hapened to be driving for the team in 96-97 - the last years when Williams had clearly the best car on the grid.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:48 pm 
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davidheath461 wrote:
wire2004 wrote:
it can only be between Damon and jv. both secured the drivers championship for the team. out of the 2. I would say Damon. only because jv let schumacher in to fight for a title he shouldn't of been allowed to involved with. such was the pace of Williams in 97.


They both secured the championship for the team beacause they hapened to be driving for the team in 96-97 - the last years when Williams had clearly the best car on the grid.


Indeed and JV's start at Williams was a little underwhelming. If Hill didn't blow up in Monaco it would have read 7-1 in wins after the first 9 races. It was still 6-1 anyway, with Hill out qualifying him in the 0.7-1.2 second range on 4 or 5 occasions.

JV did improve as the year went on though but he won 4 races in a car that should have won every race and just when his team mate had an off day or bad start, baring maybe his Portugal victory.

He won the European GP when Hill out qualified him by 0.8 but made a shocking start and fell way back and had a scruffy race coming back through

Silverstone, same again. Hill made a bad start and then had a car failure.

Hungary he won, I do not remember how but Hill out qualified him and finished 0.7 beind in the race. I assume track position was king this race.

Portugal he won from pole at least but again Hill dropped way back at the start.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:15 pm 
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Hungary was because of a poor start by Hill - he got passed by JV and Alesi and spent the first half of the race stuck behind Alesi. By the end of the race he was right behind JV.

Portugal - JV won from 2nd. It was actually JV who had the terrible start.

As you say - Portugal is the only race where he beat Hill in a straight fight.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:39 pm 
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davidheath461 wrote:
They both secured the championship for the team beacause they hapened to be driving for the team in 96-97 - the last years when Williams had clearly the best car on the grid.


Plug in any driver, team name, and year and that statement would be valid.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:13 pm 
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davidheath461 wrote:
Hungary was because of a poor start by Hill - he got passed by JV and Alesi and spent the first half of the race stuck behind Alesi. By the end of the race he was right behind JV.

Portugal - JV won from 2nd. It was actually JV who had the terrible start.

As you say - Portugal is the only race where he beat Hill in a straight fight.


Think Hill had a clutch problem in Portugal didn't he? JV was winning anyway but Damon couldn't challenge him because of car issues.

Hill should have had another 20 points from Monaco and Italy where he had car problems and those stupid tyre stacks. He could probably have recovered to second in Silverstone without the wheel nut and lost a win in Nurburg and podium at Spa because of pit errors I think.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:21 pm 
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Blinky McSquinty wrote:
davidheath461 wrote:
They both secured the championship for the team beacause they hapened to be driving for the team in 96-97 - the last years when Williams had clearly the best car on the grid.


Plug in any driver, team name, and year and that statement would be valid.

That's not true at all. There have been numerous times where the champion has not been in the best car.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:00 pm 
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Button for me overall.

Montoya and Rosberg were likely quicker over a lap but I think they've got more chinks in the armour than he does.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:25 pm 
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sandman1347 wrote:
Blinky McSquinty wrote:
davidheath461 wrote:
They both secured the championship for the team beacause they hapened to be driving for the team in 96-97 - the last years when Williams had clearly the best car on the grid.

Plug in any driver, team name, and year and that statement would be valid.

That's not true at all. There have been numerous times where the champion has not been in the best car.

I think numerous would be pushing it, but it's happened. Maybe 10-20% of the time.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:35 am 
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Exediron wrote:
sandman1347 wrote:
Blinky McSquinty wrote:
davidheath461 wrote:
They both secured the championship for the team beacause they hapened to be driving for the team in 96-97 - the last years when Williams had clearly the best car on the grid.

Plug in any driver, team name, and year and that statement would be valid.

That's not true at all. There have been numerous times where the champion has not been in the best car.

I think numerous would be pushing it, but it's happened. Maybe 10-20% of the time.


I thin it happens a lot more than people think - Ok maybe not recently because of Merc and Red Bull, but I think people always make an assumption that the car that gets the best results is the best car.

The car that takes the championships is very often going to be seen as the best car just because it is the car that took the championships.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:43 am 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
I thin it happens a lot more than people think - Ok maybe not recently because of Merc and Red Bull, but I think people always make an assumption that the car that gets the best results is the best car.

The car that takes the championships is very often going to be seen as the best car just because it is the car that took the championships.

I agree that it happens more than people think, especially if they think it never happens. For what it's worth, here is my own opinion on modern F1 cars (since 1990, to pick an arbitrary cutoff)

2016-2010 the best car won all these years
(2009) somewhat controversially, I think the Red Bull may actually have been the best car over the course of the whole year
(2008) as mentioned above, I believe the Ferrari was the best car
2007-2006 the best car won, in my opinion
(2005) this depends on your definition of best - the quickest car did not win
2004 the best car won
(2003) I think there's a good argument that Michael's car was not the best this year, and he made the difference
2002-1996 the best car won every one of these years
(1995) the Benetton was not the best car, and possibly not even second best
(1994) less clear cut to me - the Benetton may have been the best car
1993-1992 the best car definitely won
(1991) I think the Williams may have been better, but really more a case of equal cars
(1990) there's reason to think the Ferrari might have been the better car, and should have won the championship

So out of 27 years, that's 2 where I think the best car definitely did not win the WDC, and another 6 where I can see a case for the best car not winning.

Note that as it stands now, I would put 2017 in the orange category. If Ferrari wins a majority of the remaining races, I might even see putting it in the red.

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