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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:52 am 
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The drivers of this era, the Hamiliton's, Alonso's and Vettel's have it very good indeed. They get to test their ability against a strong field of drivers. The cars they drive in do not reflect parity, however things could be a lot worse.

A brief look at the 2002 season confirms this. First lets compare drivers.

Elite Drivers

2012 - 3 vs 2002- 1

Lewis Schumi
Vettel
Alonso

Very good drivers

2012 - 2 vs 2002 - 2

Kimi (I could put him in elite) Juan
Jenson Kimi

Good drivers

2012 -10 vs 2002 - 6

Webber Rubens
Massa Couthard
Rosberg Ralf
Hulky Button
Perez Trulli
Pastor Gancarno
Schumi
Romain
Kobayshi
Paul

The field today for me is far better

Cars who are capable of winning Championships

2012 - 2/3 vs 2002- 1

Red Bull Ferrari
Ferrari
McLaren


Cars capable of winning multiple races

2012 - 3 vs 2002 - 1

Red Bull Ferrari
McLaren
Ferrari

Cars capable of winning races at some point

2012 - 7 vs 2002 - 3

Williams Ferrai
Ferrari Williams
Mercedes Mclaren
Mclaren
Lotus
Red Bull
Force India (Hulky could have won Brazil

More cars capable of winning and more drivers in decent cars.

F1 can change year for year, the next year after 2002 featured a better season. But the one after (2004) was just as bad, the one before (2001) was pretty dire also.

2011 was pretty bad in terms of competitiveness, but 2010 was top draw.

My point is despite 2011, we are in a bit of a golden period, better drivers and better cars. The gulf between the quality of drivers from 2012 to 2002 is mental in my view. Ferrari tyranny from 2001-2004 was bad for the sport, Red Bull dominating 2011 was bad but that was one year in the past 3.

Its great for us fans but also the drivers, I feel competing against more credible challengers in decent cars enhances legacy. Vettel as much as I may not rate him compared to Lewis and Alonso, has won two Championships (2010 and 2012) against a class of cars and drivers that are better for their time than Schumacher ever faced in my view.

So when we all moaning about Lewis vs Jenson or BBC losing coverage remember we are in a golden age. :thumbup:

Edit: Sorry about my opinion of stats being grouped together and hard to read, I cannot space them for some reason.

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Last edited by sennafan24 on Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:05 am, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:57 am 
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Although 2002 was hardly a mockery of a field when looking at the drivers, I also think this is a golden age of talent. It is exaggerated somewhat by the closer relative performance of the cars but nevertheless just look at the spread of how many drivers have won a championship or could, how many drivers have won a race or could, in comparison to past seasons, it is brilliant.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:39 am 
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I tend to agree that we're in a bit of a "golden age", especially when compared to the early part of the '00s. Even in 2011, the Red Bull of Vettel was not nearly as dominant in the individual races as Schumi's Ferrari was, though it was the case in the championship standings. There were about 6 races in 2011 where Vettel could have dozed off and still won, but he did have to fight for those wins in Spain, Monaco and to a lesser extent Belgium and Italy.

I do think the RRA and testing restrictions have some role in this, as the big teams are more prone to mistakes when they're unable to test their parts. Also, 2012 was an exception thanks to the teams struggling so much with the tyres. However, things do look promising given there are 4 teams with plenty of €€€€ to throw into the sport - Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren and Merceded, with Lotus a step behind. Even if teams like Williams, Sauber and Force India can develop something clever (such as exhaust-blown diffusers, say), the top teams cannot copy it within a few weeks due to the testing ban.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:08 pm 
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zoomsthru wrote:
Even if teams like Williams, Sauber and Force India can develop something clever (such as exhaust-blown diffusers, say), the top teams cannot copy it within a few weeks due to the testing ban.


This will be good for 2014 with the new regulations.

I think a mixed up grid every few years is good. As long as one team do not dominate like Ferrari did in 2001, 2002 and 2004, the golden age will continue with the talent we have now.

I am a Ferrari fan, but them facing no challenge in those years was bad for the sport.

I tend to think McLaren will always be quick enough to present some challenge to Red Bull, where as Ferrari will have the reliability and supreme driving of Alonso to challenge.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:35 pm 
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Good thread, so many great drivers right now and the competition is tighter than ever this year. Sure Vettel won 3 straight but it was 2 times where it was close rather than outright total dominance like Schumi. I think its not a matter of who wins every year just as long as we keep getting tight seasons and thrilling conclusions (2010 Abu Dhabi and Brazil 2012) 2 races that has never been thrilling as any race in 2000-2004.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:45 pm 
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Also bear in mind that 2002 Kimi and Jenson are not as good as the 2012 ones. Whats also notable is the quality of the pay drivers we now have. Where as in the past we had Mazzacane now we have Perez.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:54 pm 
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"The drivers of this era, the Hamiliton's, Alonso's and Vettel's have it very good indeed. They get to test their ability against a strong field of drivers".

Any ideas as to why the drivers during Schumi's era were so inferior compared to the current drivers? Or could it just be that the drivers were equally good, but the Ferrari in '02 and '04 was unbeatable in the right hands?

Its one of those odd things, Schumi was seen as an incredible talent when he started in F1 - but obviously it was 'cos there weren't any other good drivers on the grid.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:13 pm 
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LKS1 wrote:
"The drivers of this era, the Hamiliton's, Alonso's and Vettel's have it very good indeed. They get to test their ability against a strong field of drivers".

Any ideas as to why the drivers during Schumi's era were so inferior compared to the current drivers? Or could it just be that the drivers were equally good, but the Ferrari in '02 and '04 was unbeatable in the right hands?

Its one of those odd things, Schumi was seen as an incredible talent when he started in F1 - but obviously it was 'cos there weren't any other good drivers on the grid.


Well without Schumi we would probably have considered it a golden age of talent with Hakkinen, Coulthard and Barrichello all being champions. Its Schumacher that made the grid look ordinary.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:16 pm 
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LKS1 wrote:
"The drivers of this era, the Hamiliton's, Alonso's and Vettel's have it very good indeed. They get to test their ability against a strong field of drivers".

Any ideas as to why the drivers during Schumi's era were so inferior compared to the current drivers? Or could it just be that the drivers were equally good, but the Ferrari in '02 and '04 was unbeatable in the right hands?

Its one of those odd things, Schumi was seen as an incredible talent when he started in F1 - but obviously it was 'cos there weren't any other good drivers on the grid.


Schumi was an incredible talent, the best of his era.

As someone above said, Kimi and Jenson are better now than they were in 2002. Other than who was there for Schumi? There was Juan who was very good but that was it.

Couthard and Rubens do not compare to Alonso and Hammy.

I made the point in my initial post about now the cars are closer in competitiveness now, so I am not sure what point you are making.

I am not trying to discredit Schumi, if you look at my post I described him as a Elite Driver. I disagree that Schumi was just extra special though, once very good drivers had equal cars like in 2003 and Alonso in 2006 they could beat him or at least run him close.

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