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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:50 am 
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the incubus wrote:
...Bottom line is this poll is a bit flawed for many reasons and the one thing I think we can all agree on is that they mucked up the top 3 spots which SHOULD consist of Prost, Schumacher and Senna ... to quote it all would make my post even longer


While personally I agree that the general strength in depth of the field is constantly improving, hence I agree that it is generally harder to stand out from the crowd, I do find this particular statement quite laughable. Not that that is your own personal opinion, that's entirely understandable and quite fair enough, but to disregard the fact that most people usually include 1 of, often both, Fangio and Clark in their top 3's, is quite a bit of an oversight.

Let's face it, although today there are certain factors making it harder to shine, there always have been such factors, what they actually are just changes over time. Through the 50's, 60's and 70's the most notable limiting factors were the unreliability of the cars; the unpredictability of new designs, with respect to them actually giving you more speed, seeing as there weren't any means of testing your theories until you'd built the car; and the little factor of serious injury and imminent death. Oh, the 2nd world war kinda got in Fangio's way a bit too.

Things like having fewer races wasn't really an overall benefit, okay it meant that teams had less time to catch up, but also that people had less chance to build a gap, ans that each result was proportionately more important to a season. To say that in the past too often drivers had such a massive car advantage so their achievements don't warrant consideration among the top 3, and then select Schumacher as your personal #1 smacks of hypocrisy (don't worry, I know not all of his achievements were down to that, there was also the cheating!).

To use an analogous example... Although Usain Bolt is clearly the fastest sprinter there has ever been (if you ignore some people who lived about 100,000 or so years ago, or when ever it was), very few people would ever dispute if you were to say that Jesse Owens is the greatest sprinter there has ever been. Even though back in the 30's the strength in depth of the sprinting community was pretty weak, whereas now to even be considered world class you need to be able to run sub 10 second 100m's all day long, let alone to be considered one of the greatest. It is harder now to stand out from the crowd, because the crowd is both far bigger and at a far higher overall standard, but it was harder to even be able to be in the crowd back then, fewer opportunities, worse training regimes, youth development programs and technologies etc.

In F1, it's the same, swings and, indeed, roundabouts. The greatest from any generation of any discipline can justifiably be reasoned to be the greatest ever, but they can only truly be judged in their own context, against their own generation, as each generation has both advantages and disadvantages compared to other generations.

Anyway, the base point I'm trying to say is that actually most F1 fans do not agree that the "top 3 spots should consist of Prost, Senna and Schumacher", maybe 1, maybe even 2 of them, but there's a reason most of these polls end up with Fangio and Clark up there too, because most F1 fans regognise that talent from earlier generations is just as legitimate as talent from the current crop and consider them to be 2 of the very best ever, and justifiably so. It's merely a poll of people's opinions, not a list of objective facts. But if most people thought as you suggest they do, then most of these polls would result in having those 3 sitting at the top.

I do also agree that people saying Senna would have won '94 is a nothing statement, although I think he probably would have, it is total speculation, and both Hill's talent and the quality of the Benetton are too often wildly underrated. Bit OT, but... It's amazing how Hill's career so mirrored his dad's, coming to the sport very late in life, having their team mate, team leader, the driver widely regarded among their peers as by far the best on the grid, die, and then they pretty much single handedly picked up the team and got them challenging for the title.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:01 am 
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Ok, one thing people overlook when speaking to he lore of Fangio. Yes the man was superior to most of his peers most of the time but in those days driving race cars was a gentleman's sport and although some were dead serious about it most were by far and away very old and did not train to be elite drivers their entire life so the few who really had a back for it really stood out ano their peers.

And in Clark's case, initially he and chapman suffered through reliability issues together but Wehn it was all worked out, Clark enjoyed a massive advantage in the inherent design aspects of his lotuses over the entire field. Add to that his supreme ability and the best driver of the day was almost unbeatable addin the the legend that precedes him. As well, much like Senna, his premature demise adds to his legend and thus the great driver is elevated to almost supreme status.

If you consider Michael Schumacher a cheater or the beneficiary of cheating by his teams, I wonder how you view Senna, a man people let by for fear he'd wreck them intentionally for having the audacity to reside right in his god given racing line. C'mon, quit Cher bickering and give the man the credit he is due. Ferrari wasn't diddly squat before he and the boys from Benetton and since all their departures their super status has been reduced to a subtle purr. People I think give too much credo to the engineering staff around him at McLaren but without him that group of personnel have but a single title without Michael so it speaks to how integral and how important he was in achieving all the successes at both Benetton and Ferrari and chalking it up to cheating is just sour grapes.

There were no special tires or rules to benefit Ferrari and Schumacher as some would have you believe. They see just a better team with the best engineers and driver whoopin everyone in dominating form. And before you jump down my throat, I know and acknowledge Michael had his faults but when you compare greatness comparative to their peers, no other driver was as far ahead of everyone for so long and none of them even come close. THAT is how I measure each driver and anyone who does so honestly and without bias or prejudice would conclude the same. Fangio and Clark were amazing in their eras but Prost raced on grids packed with hall of fame drivers his whole career and then came Senna and we had the two best going head to head for a decade along with drivers like Mansell, Piquet, Rosberg, and others and Schumacher coming in at the tail end to carry the sport into the next generation where he proceeded to hand out but whoopins and take names later against drivers that were thought to be elite with seeming ease consistently for over a decade. But I guess it was mostly due to luck or cheating.

In contrast drivers like Rindt who enjoyed all of a single season of superiority their entire careers and others who never did much winning at all as Gilles are still highly regarded when their achievements don't merit much praise. And please spare me the BS that the numbers don't tell the whole story because I am aware of that but in the end, every SERIOUS driver who has ever raced in F1 did so with the intent to win and were not content to simply go around a track for the fun of it, especially during the kills years. The point of partaking in competition is to win. My signature says the rest.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:06 am 
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toilet wrote:
I do also agree that people saying Senna would have won '94 is a nothing statement, although I think he probably would have, it is total speculation, and both Hill's talent and the quality of the Benetton are too often wildly underrated. Bit OT, but... It's amazing how Hill's career so mirrored his dad's, coming to the sport very late in life, having their team mate, team leader, the driver widely regarded among their peers as by far the best on the grid, die, and then they pretty much single handedly picked up the team and got them challenging for the title.

Isn't that contradicting yourself a bit there?

You make some interesting points but I don't see how you can say that "saying Senna would have won '94 is a nothing statement." Pretty much everything people write on here is largely speculation but that doesn't make it nothing. I'd take it with a pinch of salt if people state it as a foregone conclusion but it's not as though it's totally implausible.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:23 am 
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Zoue wrote:
toilet wrote:
I do also agree that people saying Senna would have won '94 is a nothing statement, although I think he probably would have, it is total speculation, and both Hill's talent and the quality of the Benetton are too often wildly underrated. Bit OT, but... It's amazing how Hill's career so mirrored his dad's, coming to the sport very late in life, having their team mate, team leader, the driver widely regarded among their peers as by far the best on the grid, die, and then they pretty much single handedly picked up the team and got them challenging for the title.

Isn't that contradicting yourself a bit there?

You make some interesting points but I don't see how you can say that "saying Senna would have won '94 is a nothing statement." Pretty much everything people write on here is largely speculation but that doesn't make it nothing. I'd take it with a pinch of salt if people state it as a foregone conclusion but it's not as though it's totally implausible.


Yep. Whether or not Senna would have won '94 though is quite irrelevant, not just because he is #1 anyway but because by then he had done more than enough to show everyone what a class he was. Equally my opinion of Schumacher wouldn't change if he had one less championship. The number of championships shouldn't have to matter. Moss didn't win any championships and Piquet Snr. won 3, yet Moss is miles ahead in the ranking. That doesn't mean the ranking is crap. Of course its based on opinion but as F1 fans we should be able to dig deep and not just rely on stats.

I myself don't agree 100% with it. I'd swap Prost and Clark, Alonso and Vettel, and I'd put Brabham higher (don't know where though). But I can also consider the counter arguments. There's nothing in the ranking that is absolutely unacceptable. I'd say overall its pretty good.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:22 am 
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the incubus wrote:
If you consider Michael Schumacher a cheater or the beneficiary of cheating by his teams, I wonder how you view Senna, a man people let by for fear he'd wreck them intentionally for having the audacity to reside right in his god given racing line. C'mon, quit Cher bickering and give the man the credit he is due. Ferrari wasn't diddly squat before he and the boys from Benetton and since all their departures their super status has been reduced to a subtle purr.
I wouldn't call the third best team diddly squat (though I admit I may miss part of what diddly squat means - my teachers never explained). Ferrari missed the world title(s) because of their politics more than because they were diddly squat. Remember a certain Alain Prost being dismissed? I do.

I'm surprised; how can you ask "if you consider Michael Schumacher a cheater or the beneficiary of cheating"? It was proven he was, on more than one occasion. He (together with Weber) used the fact that Benetton cheated to leave them early.
How do I view Senna (the second part of your surprising question)? Like the bully he was. As a consequence of that, I place Prost miles ahead of him. I do recognize that Senna remained, until the moment of his death, the fastest man in F1, and although Damon Hill may be right in thinking it was Senna who made an error that killed him, he was trying to stay ahead of an illegal car, which was going to be illegally refuelled.

My opinion of Schumacher is simple: had he relied on his immense talent, he could have been among the greatest ever. But we know he didn't and I can't understand why he is placed where he is, in that overview.

How you can say there were no special tyres for Schumacher in the Ferrari is mind-boggling. Do please explain how you reach that conclusion.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:48 am 
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Fiki wrote:
I wouldn't call the third best team diddly squat (though I admit I may miss part of what diddly squat means - my teachers never explained). Ferrari missed the world title(s) because of their politics more than because they were diddly squat. Remember a certain Alain Prost being dismissed? I do.

I'm surprised; how can you ask "if you consider Michael Schumacher a cheater or the beneficiary of cheating"? It was proven he was, on more than one occasion. He (together with Weber) used the fact that Benetton cheated to leave them early.
How do I view Senna (the second part of your surprising question)? Like the bully he was. As a consequence of that, I place Prost miles ahead of him. I do recognize that Senna remained, until the moment of his death, the fastest man in F1, and although Damon Hill may be right in thinking it was Senna who made an error that killed him, he was trying to stay ahead of an illegal car, which was going to be illegally refuelled.

My opinion of Schumacher is simple: had he relied on his immense talent, he could have been among the greatest ever. But we know he didn't and I can't understand why he is placed where he is, in that overview.

How you can say there were no special tyres for Schumacher in the Ferrari is mind-boggling. Do please explain how you reach that conclusion.


I still think the steering column broke.

As far as Senna being a bully, I disagree. Plus that is a character trait, it has not bearing on his racing ability. I could call Prost a scruffy raspberry or a moaner and that would have no bearing on his driving ability.

I do kinda of agree on your Schumacher point, we may never know how good/great he really was due to the advantages he had with him car and partner who could really challenge him.

I also agree the 1994 Bennaton was a bit of a joke.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:57 am 
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Senna number1? how predicatble; not something i come close to agreeing with personally, but there is totally a good argument.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:14 pm 
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Fiki wrote:
I'm surprised; how can you ask "if you consider Michael Schumacher a cheater or the beneficiary of cheating"? It was proven he was, on more than one occasion. He (together with Weber) used the fact that Benetton cheated to leave them early.


Used what? Benetton getting into trouble over the fuel filter really put Schumacher off re-signing. As much because he wasn't told as anything, and he didn't want to drive for a team where he was not apprised of things like that. I don't think it goes any further than that to be honest.

Fiki wrote:

How do I view Senna (the second part of your surprising question)? Like the bully he was. As a consequence of that, I place Prost miles ahead of him. I do recognize that Senna remained, until the moment of his death, the fastest man in F1, and although Damon Hill may be right in thinking it was Senna who made an error that killed him, he was trying to stay ahead of an illegal car, which was going to be illegally refuelled.


Personally if I ranked Prost ahead of Senna (I probably wouldn't, but perhaps I might), I would want it to be for a better reason than "not being a bully". Like, he was a better driver in the races or something like that. But I guess that's your call.

It is unknown if Benetton were running the fuel-filterless-rig at Imola. It may not have been introduced until later. Regardless, Schumacher had much less fuel in the car than Senna and was going for a three-stop strategy. This would allow him to push basically the whole race. Senna meanwhile was planning to make one less pitstop. Schumacher's stops would have been more or less determined by the time it took to put the tyres on.

This "trying to stay ahead of an illegal car" stuff really is fantasy.

Fiki wrote:

My opinion of Schumacher is simple: had he relied on his immense talent, he could have been among the greatest ever. But we know he didn't and I can't understand why he is placed where he is, in that overview.


Perhaps your opinion is too simple. What did he rely on, for his 7 WDCs and 91 wins and 66 poles, many many wet weather wins, if not his immense talent? First of all, you admit his immense talent exists. Lists like these are (at least in part) an attempt to ask how "immensely talented" these guys were, and then place these immense talents in a linear order. This of course is an impossible task. You can probably say that some guys have natural talent based upon success of their genetic relatives, if both of them have driven in F1 (Sennas), or better yet won races (Schumachers, Villeneuves), or better yet won championships (Hills).

In any case, he relied upon building a team around him of people he trusted and knew were competent, Brawn and Byrne and so forth. Byrne perhaps didn't reach the heights that Newey has, but he was more consistent.

The only reason you would not attract the best people to work with you would be if you wre (a) slow or (b) stupid.

None of the the drivers on this list are either of those, so I don't see how you could be holding this against Michael Schumacher.

Perhaps you think he teammates were too slow. Well, between them they have 55 wins.

I can only think it comes down to a few incidents where he blotted his copybook. Adelaide 94, Jerez 97, parking it at Monaco 06? Alonso and Senna and others have also had highly dubious incidents, some of them quite high profile. Although they don't tend to attract the "haters" that it seems only Schumi does.

Fiki wrote:

How you can say there were no special tyres for Schumacher in the Ferrari is mind-boggling. Do please explain how you reach that conclusion.


Yeah, because Schumacher was dead slow until Bridgestone began designing tyres to suit the Ferrari chassis. This era sort of ran from 2003 to 2006 more or less IIRC, I don't really see how it's relevant. It even backfired, actually, when Michelin gradually began to dominate.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:33 pm 
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flavio81 wrote:
Prost 5th - Senna 1st. WTF?



I am not sure what to make of that either. You would think by now, if not tied for the same place, they definitely shouldn't be 4 places apart. I mean, it denigrates Senna more than anything, implying their rivalry wasn't much to write home about.

While I understand these are just opinions, having Clark at 1, Fangio at 2, Senna at 3, Prost at 4, and Schumacher at 5 would be a amenable one. I also didn't get why Hakkinen was rated so low.

Strange indeed !

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:36 pm 
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In any case i think it's wrong (in my opinion) to mix drivers of different eras in the same ranking.

I'd say a more fair ranking would be something like this:

50s
60s
70s
80s
90s
00s

in which my personal ranking of the finest drivers in each era would be:

70s: Stewart, Lauda, Fittipaldi
80s: Prost, Senna, Piquet
90s: Schumacher
00s: Alonso

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:40 pm 
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Retro-Virus wrote:
flavio81 wrote:
Prost 5th - Senna 1st. WTF?



I am not sure what to make of that either. You would think by now, if not tied for the same place, they definitely shouldn't be 4 places apart. I mean, it denigrates Senna more than anything, implying their rivalry wasn't much to write home about.


:thumbup: Good point. Ayrton had his goal set on beating Prost since 1984, when Prost was the established 'best driver' together with Piquet.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:40 pm 
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the incubus wrote:
In contrast drivers like Rindt who enjoyed all of a single season of superiority their entire careers and others who never did much winning at all as Gilles are still highly regarded when their achievements don't merit much praise. And please spare me the BS that the numbers don't tell the whole story because I am aware of that but in the end, every SERIOUS driver who has ever raced in F1 did so with the intent to win and were not content to simply go around a track for the fun of it, especially during the kills years. The point of partaking in competition is to win. My signature says the rest.


Why Hakkinen and Brabham are behind Villeneuve I don't know.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:46 pm 
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flavio81 wrote:
In any case i think it's wrong (in my opinion) to mix drivers of different eras in the same ranking.

I'd say a more fair ranking would be something like this:

50s
60s
70s
80s
90s
00s

in which my personal ranking of the finest drivers in each era would be:

70s: Stewart, Lauda, Fittipaldi
80s: Prost, Senna, Piquet
90s: Schumacher
00s: Alonso


00's I'd put Schumacher again. He won 5 WDC's during that time in the most dominant era ever seen in F1. Alonso would be my second choice, along with Kimi maybe

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:01 pm 
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Prost is actually one of the main reasons I rank Senna nuumber 1.

I know Schumi had Miki for a few years, but Ayrton had Prost to deal with in cars that were equal to his, Mansell in a faster car and Schumacher in a faster car in 1993. He did very well against all 3.

If I did not rate Prost, I would not be amazed for example that Ayrton despite losing due to his cars reliability in 1989, outraced Prost 9-1 in races where nothing went wrong.

When Schumacher had a Mansell-like rival come along like a Kimi or Juan, he had the better car a lot of the time. 2003 is the exception, and he was very fortune that year.

I do not think the list is that bad, the only thing I found offensive is that Vettel beats Alonso, sure its a opinion, but its one I have a hard time seeing.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:31 pm 
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flavio81 wrote:
Retro-Virus wrote:
flavio81 wrote:
Prost 5th - Senna 1st. WTF?



I am not sure what to make of that either. You would think by now, if not tied for the same place, they definitely shouldn't be 4 places apart. I mean, it denigrates Senna more than anything, implying their rivalry wasn't much to write home about.


:thumbup: Good point. Ayrton had his goal set on beating Prost since 1984, when Prost was the established 'best driver' together with Piquet.
That, particularly in 1984, rather loses sight of Niki Lauda's immense talent.

Having said that, Niki himself said that Prost could get more out of the car. Which, together with Senna saying Fangio achieved more than he did, means I can live with a list like this - even if I don't agree with every placing.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:35 pm 
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sennafan24 wrote:
Prost is actually one of the main reasons I rank Senna nuumber 1.

I know Schumi had Miki for a few years, but Ayrton had Prost to deal with in cars that were equal to his, Mansell in a faster car and Schumacher in a faster car in 1993. He did very well against all 3.

If I did not rate Prost, I would not be amazed for example that Ayrton despite losing due to his cars reliability in 1989, outraced Prost 9-1 in races where nothing went wrong.

When Schumacher had a Mansell-like rival come along like a Kimi or Juan, he had the better car a lot of the time. 2003 is the exception, and he was very fortune that year.

I do not think the list is that bad, the only thing I found offensive is that Vettel beats Alonso, sure its a opinion, but its one I have a hard time seeing.


I'm surprised you think Senna's 1993 McLaren was inferior to Schumacher's Benetton. True, the Benetton had the better Ford engine for the first 11 races of the season (McLaren secured parity from Spa onwards), but for the first five races of the season this was more than offset by McLaren having traction control and Benetton not having it (Benetton got it at Monaco). The impact of this was magnified by the fact that four of the first five races were wet (although admittedly it did not much impact the race in Kyalami).

The relative pace of the McLaren and Benetton once McLaren had got the updated Ford engine is better illustrated by Hakkinen's performance during the last three races of the season (since Andretti was a laughable barometer). In those three races Hakkinen outqualified Schumacher 2-1 including at Suzuka (the only time in his entire career Hakkinen outqualified Schumacher there). This suggests the McLaren from Spa to Adelaide was at least as quick as the Benetton and probably quicker.

So, in reality, the Benetton was probably only the quicker car from Monaco to Budapest. In those six races Schumacher outqualified Senna 5-1, was quicker than him on race pace in each event and beat him 3-0 in the races when both were classified.

It is therefore something of a myth that Senna beat Schumacher in an inferior car in 1993.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:47 pm 
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That still gives Schumi a handicap of 6 races of the season, yet Senna still managed to beat him overall. I get the Miki point, but I still feel the cars were at least on par. So it is not a myth really as Schumi had more of an advantage.

It is quite a boast for Senna's legacy that he managed to that. He also beat Damon Hill that year, he had the mega Williams Renault.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:56 pm 
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Waders wrote:
sennafan24 wrote:
Prost is actually one of the main reasons I rank Senna nuumber 1.

I know Schumi had Miki for a few years, but Ayrton had Prost to deal with in cars that were equal to his, Mansell in a faster car and Schumacher in a faster car in 1993. He did very well against all 3.

If I did not rate Prost, I would not be amazed for example that Ayrton despite losing due to his cars reliability in 1989, outraced Prost 9-1 in races where nothing went wrong.

When Schumacher had a Mansell-like rival come along like a Kimi or Juan, he had the better car a lot of the time. 2003 is the exception, and he was very fortune that year.

I do not think the list is that bad, the only thing I found offensive is that Vettel beats Alonso, sure its a opinion, but its one I have a hard time seeing.


I'm surprised you think Senna's 1993 McLaren was inferior to Schumacher's Benetton. True, the Benetton had the better Ford engine for the first 11 races of the season (McLaren secured parity from Spa onwards), but for the first five races of the season this was more than offset by McLaren having traction control and Benetton not having it (Benetton got it at Monaco). The impact of this was magnified by the fact that four of the first five races were wet (although admittedly it did not much impact the race in Kyalami).

The relative pace of the McLaren and Benetton once McLaren had got the updated Ford engine is better illustrated by Hakkinen's performance during the last three races of the season (since Andretti was a laughable barometer). In those three races Hakkinen outqualified Schumacher 2-1 including at Suzuka (the only time in his entire career Hakkinen outqualified Schumacher there). This suggests the McLaren from Spa to Adelaide was at least as quick as the Benetton and probably quicker.

So, in reality, the Benetton was probably only the quicker car from Monaco to Budapest. In those six races Schumacher outqualified Senna 5-1, was quicker than him on race pace in each event and beat him 3-0 in the races when both were classified.

It is therefore something of a myth that Senna beat Schumacher in an inferior car in 1993.

On the other hand, Michael never finished a race off the podium, suggesting that the car was quite quick all season, while Senna struggled at a few races. Schumacher also had a few retirements while in a podium position, some of which unforced which could simply be down to experience, while he managed 5 fastest laps throughout the season to Senna's one (and the latter was no slouch in that department). If he'd kept it on track in the races he spun off he probably would have finished ahead of Senna in the WDC. Overall, the Benetton looked quicker than the McLaren all year.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:08 pm 
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sennafan24 wrote:
That still gives Schumi a advantage for 6 races of the season, yet Senna still managed to beat him overall. I get the Miki point, but I still feel the cars were at least on par. So it is not a myth really as Schumi had more of an advantage.

It is quite a boast for Senna's legacy that he managed to that. He also beat Damon Hill that year, he had the mega Williams Renault.

Schumi had a car advantage for more than 6 races. As mentioned above he was challenging for a podium at virtually every race and only didn't finish higher because of accidents or mechanical failures. I remember that season well and Senna did his reputation no harm at all with some of his performances. Some would even say that was one of his best ever years


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:16 pm 
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Eva09 wrote:
the incubus wrote:
In contrast drivers like Rindt who enjoyed all of a single season of superiority their entire careers and others who never did much winning at all as Gilles are still highly regarded when their achievements don't merit much praise. And please spare me the BS that the numbers don't tell the whole story because I am aware of that but in the end, every SERIOUS driver who has ever raced in F1 did so with the intent to win and were not content to simply go around a track for the fun of it, especially during the kills years. The point of partaking in competition is to win. My signature says the rest.


Why Hakkinen and Brabham are behind Villeneuve I don't know.

In regards to Hakkinen I feel he is a bit over rated. When he was on he was phenomenal, but until his last 2 seasons he rarely looked superb with any sort of consistency. As well, rain was his kryptonite for most of his career and it was rare to see him excel in wet conditions. Senna on the other hand was the rain master and when it rained it was obvious he would be tough to beat. Comparing Senna and Prost, they brought out the best in one another because of their intense rivalry and while Prost wanted to win the races, Senna saw Prost as the top driver in the sport and his main focus was to beat him, which usually meant winning himself.

Regarding Senna, I think being thought of as a bully says a whole lot about how other drivers yielded positions rather than be run into for doing what they were supposed to. And not to take anything away from Senna's immense talent, but that often gifted him positions and did no cost him valuable time, allowing him to creep closer to the leaders. With the talent and abilities he had, he should have (and there's no doubt he would have) made all those passes on merit rather than having the sea of cars before him part to let him by. To me, that's far worse than the 3 or 4 really bad marks on Michael's resume. Michael's dominance was everything to do with the exact same circumstances Senna, Prost, Clark, Alonso and now Vettel have enjoyed. They were ALL supreme talents who were in the right places at the right times, driving the best cars. This being the case everywhere they went, simply chalking it up to mere coincidence or claiming any of them enjoyed unfair advantages is preposterous.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:31 pm 
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Zoue wrote:
sennafan24 wrote:
That still gives Schumi a advantage for 6 races of the season, yet Senna still managed to beat him overall. I get the Miki point, but I still feel the cars were at least on par. So it is not a myth really as Schumi had more of an advantage.

It is quite a boast for Senna's legacy that he managed to that. He also beat Damon Hill that year, he had the mega Williams Renault.

Schumi had a car advantage for more than 6 races. As mentioned above he was challenging for a podium at virtually every race and only didn't finish higher because of accidents or mechanical failures. I remember that season well and Senna did his reputation no harm at all with some of his performances. Some would even say that was one of his best ever years

I agree

I was just pointing out to the poster above even with his view, Schumi still had a clear handicap of 6 races.

I further agree, most experts consider 1993 the year Senna proved himself as the man. Its close between that and 1989 for the year I consider to be Senna's best, and they were two years where he did not win the title!

1991 is close as well and he was of course excellent in 1988 and 1990. 1992 is the only year where I felt is a bit iffy, other than Monaco of course.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:19 pm 
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Zoue wrote:
Waders wrote:
sennafan24 wrote:
Prost is actually one of the main reasons I rank Senna nuumber 1.

I know Schumi had Miki for a few years, but Ayrton had Prost to deal with in cars that were equal to his, Mansell in a faster car and Schumacher in a faster car in 1993. He did very well against all 3.

If I did not rate Prost, I would not be amazed for example that Ayrton despite losing due to his cars reliability in 1989, outraced Prost 9-1 in races where nothing went wrong.

When Schumacher had a Mansell-like rival come along like a Kimi or Juan, he had the better car a lot of the time. 2003 is the exception, and he was very fortune that year.

I do not think the list is that bad, the only thing I found offensive is that Vettel beats Alonso, sure its a opinion, but its one I have a hard time seeing.


I'm surprised you think Senna's 1993 McLaren was inferior to Schumacher's Benetton. True, the Benetton had the better Ford engine for the first 11 races of the season (McLaren secured parity from Spa onwards), but for the first five races of the season this was more than offset by McLaren having traction control and Benetton not having it (Benetton got it at Monaco). The impact of this was magnified by the fact that four of the first five races were wet (although admittedly it did not much impact the race in Kyalami).

The relative pace of the McLaren and Benetton once McLaren had got the updated Ford engine is better illustrated by Hakkinen's performance during the last three races of the season (since Andretti was a laughable barometer). In those three races Hakkinen outqualified Schumacher 2-1 including at Suzuka (the only time in his entire career Hakkinen outqualified Schumacher there). This suggests the McLaren from Spa to Adelaide was at least as quick as the Benetton and probably quicker.

So, in reality, the Benetton was probably only the quicker car from Monaco to Budapest. In those six races Schumacher outqualified Senna 5-1, was quicker than him on race pace in each event and beat him 3-0 in the races when both were classified.

It is therefore something of a myth that Senna beat Schumacher in an inferior car in 1993.

On the other hand, Michael never finished a race off the podium, suggesting that the car was quite quick all season, while Senna struggled at a few races. Schumacher also had a few retirements while in a podium position, some of which unforced which could simply be down to experience, while he managed 5 fastest laps throughout the season to Senna's one (and the latter was no slouch in that department). If he'd kept it on track in the races he spun off he probably would have finished ahead of Senna in the WDC. Overall, the Benetton looked quicker than the McLaren all year.


Since you no doubt watched the 1993 season, you will remember that Schumacher, Senna, Hill and Prost were miles ahead of everyone else in terms of pace and therefore when any of them finished a race a race untroubled they were pretty much guaranteed a top four slot. Given that in those days retirements were more common than they are today there was good chance of finishing on the podium. Schumacher's finishing on the podium in every race he finished in 1993 was largely a consequence of this. True, Senna was classified off the podium four times but two of these were due to extraneous factors (in Britain he ran out fuel when third and was classified fifth and in Germany he had to fight from the back after a spin on the first lap and ended up fourth). Indeed, had he stopped twice rather than once in France he may have finished third rather than fourth there too. That Schumacher never finished off the podium was largely due to quirks of fate. Had he finished at Donnington he would unquestionably have been off the podium and had Prost not hit Fittipaldi he would also have been no better than fourth in Brazil. Hill's engine failure was the only thing that got him onto the podium in Spain and there is no guarantee he would have finished on the podium had he finished in either Japan or Australia. Had Senna retired at Magny Cours, Hockenheim and Spa rather than Imola, Montreal and the Hungaroring one could say 'Look, Senna finished every race he finished on the podium so his car must have been great'. The point would have been as spurious as the one you make.

Incidentally which races did Senna clearly struggle at? I cannot recall a single one where he was not at least the fourth quickest man on track.

As a matter of a fact, Senna was something of a 'slouch' in the fastest laps department - only 19 in his whole career (less than Gerhard Berger, among others). This was mainly because he tended to clear off into the distance in the early laps and then manage the car and tyres late in the race. Of course this did not apply in 1993. Nevertheless, fastest laps are not strictly determined by who has the quickest car (pole positions are a better measure of this). Clearly a quickish car is a necessity, but given the lack of refuelling in 1993 it was mainly determined by who had reason to go quickly towards the end of a race and had the fresh(ish) rubber required to do it. In the five races where Schumacher set fastest lap (Brazil, Spain, Canada, France, Germany) he had, on each occasion, fresher rubber than most of the front runners and/or was chasing positions he had a chance of obtaining whilst others were backing off to preserve their machinery. Getting fastest laps therefore does not give much indication of pace as it is often about circumstance (Prost got way more fastest laps than Senna over '88/'89, but most would argue that Senna was usually the quicker driver).

As for mistakes Schumacher was undoubtedly at fault at Donnington and Suzuka (though this is offset partly by Senna crashing into the back of Brundle at Monza). At most Schumacher lost 3 points at Donnington (he was never going to beat the three traction control-shod front runners that day) and 6 at Suzuka (unless you think he would have hunted down and beaten Senna in the wet that day had he continued). One can argue he made a mistake by trying to take Senna at Kyalami (although on that basis Senna made much the same mistake on the first lap at Hockenheim with Prost). Even if you argue that he should have been patient and he would have got Senna eventually for second that day that would only have given him a net gain against Senna of 8 points. Adding those totals together (and not taking account of any points lost by Senna through mistakes) gives 17 points net gain to Schumacher. Senna beat Schumacher in the championship by 21 points so driver error clearly was not a decisive factor. Schumacher's other retirements were all mechanical - hydraulics at Monaco, engine in Hungary, engine at Monza and engine at Adelaide.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:20 pm 
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the incubus wrote:
if I quote it all this will be even longer than it already unnecessarily is


I only mentioned the cheating as a slight joke, admittedly sarcasm doesn't transfer well to the medium of text.

However, he did cheat, and he benefited from others cheating, whether he was complicit or not (every single team cheats, always have, always will, not getting caught is part of the game), he did benefit from tyers designed specifically for him, he did benefit from having the most effective team around him, he did benefit from having neutered team mates, he did benefit from dodgy FIA decisions, he often benefited from less than difficult competition (either car or driver standards), and he did make many dodgy personal judgments (in a racing sense, by all accounts he's a lovely bloke in "real" life). But, although he did have these advantages and flaws, and although I do feel that his stats flatter him somewhat, personally I don't let that cloud my judgement of his abilities as a driver, nor any other drivers, as most end up having similar advantages and flaws at some point or another. Arguably he is the greatest ever, I just personally believe there have been 3 or 4 better.

The only thing I was taking issue with was your assertion that we would all agree that the top 3 should consist of Senna, Prost and Schumacher in one order or another, when clearly that isn't the case as most of these polls end up with either 1 of, or both of, Fangio and Clark in the top 3.

Your points about the validity of past greats' relative greatness, are somewhat lacking. "When you compare greatness comparative to their peers, no other driver was as far ahead of everyone for so long and none of them even come close " arguably both Fangio and Clark compare more than favorably. It's not Fangio's fault that WW2 put pay to any earlier F1 exploits, and it's not Clark's fault that he died in atrocious conditions, in a car that was handling awfully, in a lower category race he was largely obliged to take part in, something that throughout Schumacher's career F1 drivers were not allowed to do, yet while they did have the chance they were considered, by their peers, as far better than everyone else. Incidently, peers such as Ascari, Farina, Farina, Moss, Gonzalez, Colins, Brabham, Mclaren, Hill, Hill, Stewart, Gurney, Surtees, Bandini, Rindt, Hulme, to name a few. Admittedly there wasn't as much strength in depth, and there were some gentleman drivers, but they were hardly just racing against a bunch of numpties.

With regards to the lacking strength in depth, and the lacking youth driver development etc, I refer you back to the Jesse Owens example, objectively not even a world class sprinter these days, but entirely justifiably the greatest sprinter of all time.

Clearly you can choose your own favourite, but to disregard those from by gone eras for the reasons you suggest would be more than a touch silly (no disrespect intended).

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:31 pm 
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Waders wrote:

I'm surprised you think Senna's 1993 McLaren was inferior to Schumacher's Benetton. True, the Benetton had the better Ford engine for the first 11 races of the season (McLaren secured parity from Spa onwards), but for the first five races of the season this was more than offset by McLaren having traction control and Benetton not having it (Benetton got it at Monaco).


Don't forget that Schumacher had an electrical fire while leading at Monaco by a long way, something to do with the traction control, the active suspension - anyway the electronics!

This handed the victory to Senna of course. If this hadn't happened Schumacher would have had 62 points to Senna's 69. He would also have had six Monaco victories to Senna's five.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:35 pm 
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Waders wrote:
At most Schumacher lost 3 points at Donnington (he was never going to beat the three traction control-shod front runners that day)


Barrichello also had traction control. He finished 4th.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:37 pm 
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callMEcrazy wrote:
Zoue wrote:
toilet wrote:
I do also agree that people saying Senna would have won '94 is a nothing statement, although I think he probably would have, it is total speculation, and both Hill's talent and the quality of the Benetton are too often wildly underrated. Bit OT, but... It's amazing how Hill's career so mirrored his dad's, coming to the sport very late in life, having their team mate, team leader, the driver widely regarded among their peers as by far the best on the grid, die, and then they pretty much single handedly picked up the team and got them challenging for the title.

Isn't that contradicting yourself a bit there?

You make some interesting points but I don't see how you can say that "saying Senna would have won '94 is a nothing statement." Pretty much everything people write on here is largely speculation but that doesn't make it nothing. I'd take it with a pinch of salt if people state it as a foregone conclusion but it's not as though it's totally implausible.


Yep. Whether or not Senna would have won '94 though is quite irrelevant, not just because he is #1 anyway but because by then he had done more than enough to show everyone what a class he was. Equally my opinion of Schumacher wouldn't change if he had one less championship. The number of championships shouldn't have to matter. Moss didn't win any championships and Piquet Snr. won 3, yet Moss is miles ahead in the ranking. That doesn't mean the ranking is crap. Of course its based on opinion but as F1 fans we should be able to dig deep and not just rely on stats.

I myself don't agree 100% with it. I'd swap Prost and Clark, Alonso and Vettel, and I'd put Brabham higher (don't know where though). But I can also consider the counter arguments. There's nothing in the ranking that is absolutely unacceptable. I'd say overall its pretty good.


It's not really a contradiction, my statement was in response to, and agreement with, a post by "the incubus" in which he was criticizing others for saying "Senna should be #1 because he'd have gone on to win x, y and z", saying that it is mere speculation, didn't happen, so shouldn't really be used to justify people's rankings. He used the term a "nothing statement", I was just reusing the phrase.

All I was saying was that I do feel he probably would have won '94, but as that is just speculation, no one knows what would or would not have happened, I disregard that when thinking about who's better than who. It's a "nothing statement" in the same way as me saying "if my parents had of been running a cart track, like Schumacher's, then I'd have become an F1 driver and won 10 titles by now", it's possible, but they didn't run a cart track, so it's pointless to say, it was never going to happen.

I was not suggesting that if he'd lived and won '94, then Schumacher should be considered less of a driver.

I readily stated myself that all these things are just personal opinion, and that although personally I do not agree with the order of this poll, that I was not criticizing it in any way.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:44 pm 
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Zoue wrote:
sennafan24 wrote:
That still gives Schumi a advantage for 6 races of the season, yet Senna still managed to beat him overall. I get the Miki point, but I still feel the cars were at least on par. So it is not a myth really as Schumi had more of an advantage.

It is quite a boast for Senna's legacy that he managed to that. He also beat Damon Hill that year, he had the mega Williams Renault.

Schumi had a car advantage for more than 6 races.


Says who, you?

Despite Benetton having the better engine during the first five races of the season Senna enjoyed the advantage of traction control which Schumacher did not. It is debatable who gained most from this state of affairs, but given that three of the races (Brazil, Donnington, San Marino) were impacted by rain it can be argued that Senna benefited more since the traction control advantage was exaggerated under such conditions and a horsepower advantage negated. At Barcelona where historically a driver can make little difference to lap times and one therefore gets an idea of the respective competitiveness of cars Senna was a full eight tenths quicker than Schumacher in qualifying.

When Schumacher got traction control at Monaco the balance shifted and Benetton's superior engine clearly made a difference (especially at power circuits like Silverstone an Hockenheim).

But at Spa McLaren began to get the same spec Ford engine as Benetton and Senna's performances improved markedly (he outqualified Schumacher in the last four races of 1993, whereas the score was 7-5 to Schumacher prior to then). Hakinnen also provides a barometer. Even when he enjoyed an undoubted car advantage over Schumacher in 1998 and 1999 he was unable to outqualify him at Suzuka. In 1993 he did so, and this was the only time he managed it in his entire career. What this said about the relative competitiveness about the Benetton and McLaren can easily be derived.

These facts suggest that the McLaren was more often than not a better car than the Benetton in 1993 (although I concede it's tight).

Incidentally this is not to denigrate Senna's performances in 1993. He undoubtedly excelled himself that season and besides the obvious performance at Donnington I was actually more impressed by his win in Adelaide - to beat the two Williams Renaults driven by Prost and Hill in a dry race when neither experienced problems was an astounding effort.

However, some of the misty eyed types who insist 'Senna nearly beat Prost in 1993' and that 'Senna stuffed Schumacher in inferior machinery in 1993' really do need to be called up on their interpretation of history sometimes.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:19 pm 
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Eva09 wrote:
Fiki wrote:
I'm surprised; how can you ask "if you consider Michael Schumacher a cheater or the beneficiary of cheating"? It was proven he was, on more than one occasion. He (together with Weber) used the fact that Benetton cheated to leave them early.


Used what? Benetton getting into trouble over the fuel filter really put Schumacher off re-signing. As much because he wasn't told as anything, and he didn't want to drive for a team where he was not apprised of things like that. I don't think it goes any further than that to be honest.
The fuel filter cheating didn't put Schumacher off re-signing; his contract ran till end of 1996. He broke his contract because he said his good name had been smeared by Benetton. After which he proceeded to do the same himself.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:47 pm 
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toilet wrote:
the incubus wrote:
if I quote it all this will be even longer than it already unnecessarily is


I only mentioned the cheating as a slight joke, admittedly sarcasm doesn't transfer well to the medium of text.

However, he did cheat, and he benefited from others cheating, whether he was complicit or not (every single team cheats, always have, always will, not getting caught is part of the game), he did benefit from tyers designed specifically for him, he did benefit from having the most effective team around him, he did benefit from having neutered team mates, he did benefit from dodgy FIA decisions, he often benefited from less than difficult competition (either car or driver standards), and he did make many dodgy personal judgments (in a racing sense, by all accounts he's a lovely bloke in "real" life). But, although he did have these advantages and flaws, and although I do feel that his stats flatter him somewhat, personally I don't let that cloud my judgement of his abilities as a driver, nor any other drivers, as most end up having similar advantages and flaws at some point or another. Arguably he is the greatest ever, I just personally believe there have been 3 or 4 better.

The only thing I was taking issue with was your assertion that we would all agree that the top 3 should consist of Senna, Prost and Schumacher in one order or another, when clearly that isn't the case as most of these polls end up with either 1 of, or both of, Fangio and Clark in the top 3.

Your points about the validity of past greats' relative greatness, are somewhat lacking. "When you compare greatness comparative to their peers, no other driver was as far ahead of everyone for so long and none of them even come close " arguably both Fangio and Clark compare more than favorably. It's not Fangio's fault that WW2 put pay to any earlier F1 exploits, and it's not Clark's fault that he died in atrocious conditions, in a car that was handling awfully, in a lower category race he was largely obliged to take part in, something that throughout Schumacher's career F1 drivers were not allowed to do, yet while they did have the chance they were considered, by their peers, as far better than everyone else. Incidently, peers such as Ascari, Farina, Farina, Moss, Gonzalez, Colins, Brabham, Mclaren, Hill, Hill, Stewart, Gurney, Surtees, Bandini, Rindt, Hulme, to name a few. Admittedly there wasn't as much strength in depth, and there were some gentleman drivers, but they were hardly just racing against a bunch of numpties.

With regards to the lacking strength in depth, and the lacking youth driver development etc, I refer you back to the Jesse Owens example, objectively not even a world class sprinter these days, but entirely justifiably the greatest sprinter of all time.

Clearly you can choose your own favourite, but to disregard those from by gone eras for the reasons you suggest would be more than a touch silly (no disrespect intended).

Excellent points but for one thing.

Never in Schumacher's career did his teammate have to submit his car to him and he always raced in his chassis, dawning his setup preferences which most drivers found to be extremely un-driveable. Fangio was the Michael Schumacher of his era, and yet that alone was not enough, teammates surrendered their cars to him if it was thought they were superior or in the event his own car would fail. It wasn't very often but it did happen and that should never have been allowed regardless of being standard practice of the day.


Senna was a bit of a hypocrite as well and him calling Prost a coward has to be one of the biggest piles of bologna I've ever heard and some of his own critiques can be categorized as whining, such as the one about the playing field not being fair with all the driver aides some drivers enjoyed. A bit hypocritical when contrary to popular belief, the car he was sitting in when he muttered those words had everyone of those systems under his chaps, only this time they were not the best and the advantage was not in his favor. He was just being his natural sore loser self and it was only fair when his team did a better job over everyone else and he enjoyed the advantages. That is something that always irked me about Senna. Why not just take it on the chin and accept that this year we didn't get it right but we will press on and work to improve for the rest of the year and carry it over to next year and get on with it? Nothing in F1 is a sure thing for long and eventually the best teams will have to endure rough times but the best teams always work through it to come out on top again and McLaren is one of those teams and Senna should have stuck it out rather than defect to Williams.

Call my a cynic but Senna would most likely be here with us today had he not left when the going got tough. After it was announced he would be going to Williams in 1993 it was evident (at least to me) that once the reality set in that he would be leaving McLaren for good, perhaps he left for the wrong reasons and it seemed like he was never fully at peace with the decision. Call me crazy but that's what I drew from him at that time. I just never dreamed I would rush home from winning my first racquetball tournament to watch such a tragedy unfold and ruin my day. Still is one of the saddest days of my life and I wish with all my heart it could be undone.

Either way, this thread has created an excellent debate to carry us to tomorrow's first practice!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:52 pm 
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Waders wrote:
Zoue wrote:
Waders wrote:
sennafan24 wrote:
Prost is actually one of the main reasons I rank Senna nuumber 1.

I know Schumi had Miki for a few years, but Ayrton had Prost to deal with in cars that were equal to his, Mansell in a faster car and Schumacher in a faster car in 1993. He did very well against all 3.

If I did not rate Prost, I would not be amazed for example that Ayrton despite losing due to his cars reliability in 1989, outraced Prost 9-1 in races where nothing went wrong.

When Schumacher had a Mansell-like rival come along like a Kimi or Juan, he had the better car a lot of the time. 2003 is the exception, and he was very fortune that year.

I do not think the list is that bad, the only thing I found offensive is that Vettel beats Alonso, sure its a opinion, but its one I have a hard time seeing.



I'm surprised you think Senna's 1993 McLaren was inferior to Schumacher's Benetton. True, the Benetton had the better Ford engine for the first 11 races of the season (McLaren secured parity from Spa onwards), but for the first five races of the season this was more than offset by McLaren having traction control and Benetton not having it (Benetton got it at Monaco). The impact of this was magnified by the fact that four of the first five races were wet (although admittedly it did not much impact the race in Kyalami).

The relative pace of the McLaren and Benetton once McLaren had got the updated Ford engine is better illustrated by Hakkinen's performance during the last three races of the season (since Andretti was a laughable barometer). In those three races Hakkinen outqualified Schumacher 2-1 including at Suzuka (the only time in his entire career Hakkinen outqualified Schumacher there). This suggests the McLaren from Spa to Adelaide was at least as quick as the Benetton and probably quicker.

So, in reality, the Benetton was probably only the quicker car from Monaco to Budapest. In those six races Schumacher outqualified Senna 5-1, was quicker than him on race pace in each event and beat him 3-0 in the races when both were classified.

It is therefore something of a myth that Senna beat Schumacher in an inferior car in 1993.

On the other hand, Michael never finished a race off the podium, suggesting that the car was quite quick all season, while Senna struggled at a few races. Schumacher also had a few retirements while in a podium position, some of which unforced which could simply be down to experience, while he managed 5 fastest laps throughout the season to Senna's one (and the latter was no slouch in that department). If he'd kept it on track in the races he spun off he probably would have finished ahead of Senna in the WDC. Overall, the Benetton looked quicker than the McLaren all year.


Since you no doubt watched the 1993 season, you will remember that Schumacher, Senna, Hill and Prost were miles ahead of everyone else in terms of pace and therefore when any of them finished a race a race untroubled they were pretty much guaranteed a top four slot. Given that in those days retirements were more common than they are today there was good chance of finishing on the podium. Schumacher's finishing on the podium in every race he finished in 1993 was largely a consequence of this. True, Senna was classified off the podium four times but two of these were due to extraneous factors (in Britain he ran out fuel when third and was classified fifth and in Germany he had to fight from the back after a spin on the first lap and ended up fourth). Indeed, had he stopped twice rather than once in France he may have finished third rather than fourth there too. That Schumacher never finished off the podium was largely due to quirks of fate. Had he finished at Donnington he would unquestionably have been off the podium and had Prost not hit Fittipaldi he would also have been no better than fourth in Brazil. Hill's engine failure was the only thing that got him onto the podium in Spain and there is no guarantee he would have finished on the podium had he finished in either Japan or Australia. Had Senna retired at Magny Cours, Hockenheim and Spa rather than Imola, Montreal and the Hungaroring one could say 'Look, Senna finished every race he finished on the podium so his car must have been great'. The point would have been as spurious as the one you make.

Incidentally which races did Senna clearly struggle at? I cannot recall a single one where he was not at least the fourth quickest man on track.

As a matter of a fact, Senna was something of a 'slouch' in the fastest laps department - only 19 in his whole career (less than Gerhard Berger, among others). This was mainly because he tended to clear off into the distance in the early laps and then manage the car and tyres late in the race. Of course this did not apply in 1993. Nevertheless, fastest laps are not strictly determined by who has the quickest car (pole positions are a better measure of this). Clearly a quickish car is a necessity, but given the lack of refuelling in 1993 it was mainly determined by who had reason to go quickly towards the end of a race and had the fresh(ish) rubber required to do it. In the five races where Schumacher set fastest lap (Brazil, Spain, Canada, France, Germany) he had, on each occasion, fresher rubber than most of the front runners and/or was chasing positions he had a chance of obtaining whilst others were backing off to preserve their machinery. Getting fastest laps therefore does not give much indication of pace as it is often about circumstance (Prost got way more fastest laps than Senna over '88/'89, but most would argue that Senna was usually the quicker driver).

As for mistakes Schumacher was undoubtedly at fault at Donnington and Suzuka (though this is offset partly by Senna crashing into the back of Brundle at Monza). At most Schumacher lost 3 points at Donnington (he was never going to beat the three traction control-shod front runners that day) and 6 at Suzuka (unless you think he would have hunted down and beaten Senna in the wet that day had he continued). One can argue he made a mistake by trying to take Senna at Kyalami (although on that basis Senna made much the same mistake on the first lap at Hockenheim with Prost). Even if you argue that he should have been patient and he would have got Senna eventually for second that day that would only have given him a net gain against Senna of 8 points. Adding those totals together (and not taking account of any points lost by Senna through mistakes) gives 17 points net gain to Schumacher. Senna beat Schumacher in the championship by 21 points so driver error clearly was not a decisive factor. Schumacher's other retirements were all mechanical - hydraulics at Monaco, engine in Hungary, engine at Monza and engine at Adelaide.

I did watch the 1993 season, thanks. I remember it as the season where I really came to admire Senna for his driving skills; I had not been a particular fan prior to that.

You've said it yourself: the Benetton had a far superior engine to the McLaren and was clearly the quicker car. I'm not sure the traction control offered as much advantage as you claim in the first four races of the season, apart from perhaps at Donnington. Having said that, Michael spun off because he elected to stay out when the others pitted after the weather changed - that was more driver error than lack of driver aids. At the time he was leading so again the lack of traction control didn't hamper him. In South Africa - the first race of the season - Schumacher was clearly faster than Senna and spun off when they touched while trying to overtake. Again, the traction control offered no advantage that day.

Schumacher had seven retirements in the season and in every one of those apart from the last two of the season he was in a podium position, if not leading the race, at the time he retired. In Japan he was in a 5th place battle when he retired early in the race and in Australia his engine expired when in 4th on lap 20. There was no reason to believe he wouldn't be challenging for podiums if he had lasted the race, given his pace. Contrast this with Senna, who could do no better than 4th in France, Germany and Belgium, and 5th in GB. He simply didn't have the machinery to consistently challenge.

I'm not too bothered about the points situation. For me it's not about which driver should have been ahead in the WDC. But there is little doubt in my mind that Senna's machinery was not as good as Schumacher's for much of the season. And that's not to take anything away from Schumacher's year; just to recognise that Senna drove his socks off to put the car where he did.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:58 pm 
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Personally I consider these lists irrelevant because they make no real difference, irrational because of their disregard or acknowledgement of stats whenever convenient (Senna ahead of Fangio, Prost and Schumacher despite having less titles but Vettel ahead of Alonso for having achieved as much or more in less time) and finally incongruous because they contradict the concepts of GP wins, pole positions and WDCs which are the ultimate goal of any driver worth his salt. I’m pretty sure that Senna, Fangio and Schumacher to name but a few didn’t give a damn about BBC’s greatest drivers ranking throughout their careers.

IMO these lists are just an attempt of creating a ranking different from the statistical rankings but the problem though is that there’s no way of determining the quality of drivers without using the points, wins, pole positions and titles. Anything derived by ignoring those stats is pure speculation.

However, once people acknowledge the last fact (it’s all speculation), these lists are informative and interesting and as long as they’re not taken too seriously they’re rather harmless.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:39 am 
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Number 8 - Sebastian Vettel
Number 9 - Niki Lauda
Number 10 - Fernando Alonso

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:44 pm 
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the incubus wrote:
lots of good stuff, I just don't want to take up too much space


Indeed, the only reason Moss never won a title was because he twice gave up his car for his team mate, whilst actually being in a title winning position himself. However, he was not obliged to do so, merely he did not think that to win the title because of his team mates misfortune would be a worthy way of winning, or, more pointedly, very gentlemanly thing to do. Extraordinary, to say the least.

I do agree that i find it a bit odd that they use to do this, but times change, and yes sometimes Fangio took his teammates' cars, but usually he was already far ahead of them. In the modern era not only is that against the rules, but it wouldn't be practical, as you allude to, driver set ups are so varying, and unless you're the same size as your team mate you wouldn't actually fit in their car anyway. However, if you ignore for the moment the physical improbability of it, if it hadn't have been against the rules there would have been many occasions when Schumacher's team mates had to turn their car over to him, and he would not have shirked at taking their cars.

I do not consider achievements of past drivers as lesser because sometimes they did things in their team mates' cars if their's had broken, that was part of the game back then, just as I do not consider the achievements of drivers in the modern era as being of a lesser standard merely because they face a far lesser risk of imminent injury or death, thus making prolonged careers, and pushing to the absolute limits far more reasonable achievements, that's just part of the game now.

Personally I recognise, and agree with your criticisms of Senna, but again, virtually all of them can be leveled at Schumacher, and thus cannot be used as an argument for one being a better driver than the other. As I've said, personally I don't acknowledge such things in my judgments of a driver's ability, perhaps in my judgement of whether I like them or not as a driver (not whether or not I like them as a person). But most of the greats have at some point or another, and to a lesser or greater extent, exhibited such narcissistic, self righteous blinkeredness (if that's not too many words slapped together).

As regards the jumping ship, people often argue that the knowing when to switch teams is another sign of a great driver, lets face it, McLaren had a rough 5 years thereafter. You could also argue that Schumacher did a worse thing. Okay he moved to a team only about the 3rd or 4th best on the grid, but he took his multi-championship winning team with him, and turned Ferrari back into winners, whilst relegating his old team back to 3rd or 4th best, until they'd rebuilt by the early 2000's. If he and the team had have stayed, it's entirely probable that Benetton would have had the success that Ferrari then enjoyed (obviously that's as "nothing" a statement as the Senna '94 thing, just speculation, but seeing as it was this team that was at Ferrari, it's a fair bet).

So, what did he do it for? A new challenge? Hmm, not much of a "new" challenge if you're pretty much just taking your currently, clearly dominant, team of people off to somewhere where they'd have an even bigger budget to play with. So he did it for more money, personally? You could argue that there's precious little else it could have been. At least Senna's decision was for more success, and probably money too. But again, I don't hold this potential viewpoint against Schumacher's clear skill, he's certainly been one of the all time greatest.

I'm just going to paraphrase this bit of your post - "Fangio was the Michael Schumacher of his era, and yet that alone was not enough, teammates surrendered their cars to him if it was thought they were superior or in the event his own car would fail. It wasn't very often but it did happen and that should never have been allowed regardless of being standard practice of the day."

You could quite easily say "Schumacher was the Fangio of his era, and yet that alone was not enough, teammates surrendered their positions, their leads, their certain victories to him if it was thought they were superior and that in the event Schumacher couldn't beat them by himself. It wasn't very often, but it did happen and that should never have been allowed regardless of being standard practice."

As I've said before, it's all swings and roundabouts, each era has both advantages and disadvantages over every other era. The drivers of each era can only truly be judged in context, against their competition, in that way the greatest stand out, thereafter it is all personal opinion as to which of the various greats are the greatest of all. But, although I have my own personal viewpoint, honestly, all of them are entirely justifiable as being top of the pile in my opinion.

Like you say, good debate though, and finally, considering the seemingly ever increasing banality of the forum, but finally, Austin!

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:14 pm 
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ashyxt wrote:
Number 8 - Sebastian Vettel
Number 9 - Niki Lauda
Number 10 - Fernando Alonso

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


Why?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:15 pm 
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Greg92 wrote:
Personally I consider these lists irrelevant because they make no real difference, irrational because of their disregard or acknowledgement of stats whenever convenient (Senna ahead of Fangio, Prost and Schumacher despite having less titles but Vettel ahead of Alonso for having achieved as much or more in less time) and finally incongruous because they contradict the concepts of GP wins, pole positions and WDCs which are the ultimate goal of any driver worth his salt. I’m pretty sure that Senna, Fangio and Schumacher to name but a few didn’t give a damn about BBC’s greatest drivers ranking throughout their careers.

IMO these lists are just an attempt of creating a ranking different from the statistical rankings but the problem though is that there’s no way of determining the quality of drivers without using the points, wins, pole positions and titles. Anything derived by ignoring those stats is pure speculation.

However, once people acknowledge the last fact (it’s all speculation), these lists are informative and interesting and as long as they’re not taken too seriously they’re rather harmless.


I know what you mean: "Stats don't tell the whole story... but we do".


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:47 am 
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Eva09 wrote:
Greg92 wrote:
...

I know what you mean: "Stats don't tell the whole story... but we do".


For the life of me i can't remember who said what I'm about to quote, if I remember I'll edit this (edit - Aaron Levinstein), but someone quoted it in another topic quite a while back, and it is an important thing to remember if having that there discussion...

"Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is tantalising, what they conceal is vital".

Basically it is a fact that statistics can be incredibly useful, particularly if your question is incredibly narrow, like "who set the fastest time in qualifying for the '78 Monaco GP?", yet that if your question is at all broader, like "who performed best during the qualifying session for the '78 Monaco GP", let alone if the question is even broader still, such as "who was the greatest F1 driver ever?", then they never tell the entire story.

Obviously answers to such, broader, questions can never be considered to be objective facts in any way shape or form. They are merely opinions. And some would do well to remember that the BBC never implied that this list was anything other than that. However, when you gather opinions from a broad pool informed of people, you could justifiably state that as this is their general consensus, that it is quite likely to actually be correct.

Just a quick, often used, example to illustrate the point. I'd be willing to bet that any F1 fan who knows anything about the sport would agree that Moss was a better driver than either Hunt, or Damon Hill (incidentally 2 drivers who I feel are massively underrated). Yet the bare statistics would tell you otherwise, they both won the title, Moss didn't. It's only when you set the statistics aside that you realise that he pulled over whilst in a title winning position, to allow his teammate to take his car, and therefore also the title, and that for the 2nd half of his career he refused to race for anything other than British teams, at a time before the garagistes were actually very good. Moss was a beast of a driver, I doubt that more than a couple of drivers from the entire history of F1 would have ever been able to match the record that he set for the Mille Miglia.

Anyway, just pointing out that the whole "Stats don't tell the whole story... but we do", does actually hold quite a lot of water in most scenarios.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:44 pm 
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It's also a crying shame that we will never find out what would have happened if Jim Clark had not died at Hockenheim in 1968. He was, without a doubt, the best driver of his era. Ask Sir Jackie Stewart.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:49 pm 
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toilet wrote:
Eva09 wrote:
Greg92 wrote:
...

I know what you mean: "Stats don't tell the whole story... but we do".


For the life of me i can't remember who said what I'm about to quote, if I remember I'll edit this (edit - Aaron Levinstein), but someone quoted it in another topic quite a while back, and it is an important thing to remember if having that there discussion...

"Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is tantalising, what they conceal is vital".

Basically it is a fact that statistics can be incredibly useful, particularly if your question is incredibly narrow, like "who set the fastest time in qualifying for the '78 Monaco GP?", yet that if your question is at all broader, like "who performed best during the qualifying session for the '78 Monaco GP", let alone if the question is even broader still, such as "who was the greatest F1 driver ever?", then they never tell the entire story.

Obviously answers to such, broader, questions can never be considered to be objective facts in any way shape or form. They are merely opinions. And some would do well to remember that the BBC never implied that this list was anything other than that. However, when you gather opinions from a broad pool informed of people, you could justifiably state that as this is their general consensus, that it is quite likely to actually be correct.

Just a quick, often used, example to illustrate the point. I'd be willing to bet that any F1 fan who knows anything about the sport would agree that Moss was a better driver than either Hunt, or Damon Hill (incidentally 2 drivers who I feel are massively underrated). Yet the bare statistics would tell you otherwise, they both won the title, Moss didn't. It's only when you set the statistics aside that you realise that he pulled over whilst in a title winning position, to allow his teammate to take his car, and therefore also the title, and that for the 2nd half of his career he refused to race for anything other than British teams, at a time before the garagistes were actually very good. Moss was a beast of a driver, I doubt that more than a couple of drivers from the entire history of F1 would have ever been able to match the record that he set for the Mille Miglia.

Anyway, just pointing out that the whole "Stats don't tell the whole story... but we do", does actually hold quite a lot of water in most scenarios.


Three cheers for Stirling Moss. :nod:


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