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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:24 am 
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Would we view them differently if they had won a world title?

For different reasons, none of these did and you could argue two of them (Frentzen and Jean) never came close, but if Montoya would have won his last race in 2003 (which he was leading before his car failed him) and picked up just 1 point elsewhere, he would have been Champion.

Webber as well came very close in 2010.

Some guys who have won the Championship are frowned upon, Jaques Villenerve being the obvious choice, some believe he is unworthy of the title, I have heard the same said of Damon Hill (a hero of mine) But most who win it in this day and age usually get credit as a top 30 driver of all time on most critics list.

So for legacy purposes does winning a single Championship matter? Would we be hailing the guys I listed in the thread title in a more positive light if in the case of Webber and Juan a few results and a bit more luck went their way? Or if Frentzen and Jean would have gotten a drive with a top car at the peak of their powers and won a title?

Lets discuss.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:54 am 
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My view is that Alesi chose his path and he was never in with a shout really, i think he would have been very lucky to win a WDC, so no, i think of him as an also ran, never any more than a decent number 2 driver.
Montoya was good and he would have been a worthy champion in my book also i think he would have stayed in F1 longer, so yeah he was the real deal.
Webber needs a weaker and not quite so talented team mate, i think he's a good number 2 if he keeps his mouth in check, i just don't see him hacking it all season.
Frentzen i think was very very quick but i feel he didn't get the brakes and so settled for an easy life, he didn't appear to try in the DTM either, but i feel he could have beaten Schumacher whilst in the early F1 days in equal machinery, i really rated him!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:07 am 
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I miss Montoya dearly. He threw away his career by going back to the states, he was so much better and entertaining in F1.
I still hail him today even if he didn't win a Championship he was damn quick in cars that weren't necessarily as quick as you thought they were.
What I remember him most for is not taking sh*t from anyone.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:51 am 
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Winning a WDC gives you an opportunity to get a decent seat to win another. I love Webber but he's too good of a man to win a title. You need a ruthless edge. Willing to do whatever it takes. Does one title matter? It's a stat. Lewis and Button for example, they're okay but no legend. Same with Raikkonen. Good guys but not legends. I liked having Montoya around but he's not really that good. Alesi was good but as someone mentioned he chose his path. HH didn't make the most of his opportunities, simple as that.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:28 am 
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These are all very good drivers, very good drivers indeed who if had fate fallen a different way would have been world champions, maybe multiple world champions. But as history has shown, it takes more than good car skill to win a championship. It takes a car, a team, a ruthless edge, a complete work ethic and a good bit of luck.

Frentzen, talented, but did not have the backbone when under pressure from the likes of Head and Williams - lost chance right there, but was quick enough, no doubt.
Webber, very talented and quick, let's not forget he is winning against Vettel, if not beating him - give him another season to deliver, fingers crossed!!

Alesi, one of the most naturally gifted drivers of the generation, but never in the right car...if and it is a big IF he had signed for Williams, probably would have been 3x champion...yep, he was that quick and all his peers said so!!

Montoya, biggest F1 disappointment for me....oh if only he had reigned in his temperament, what could he have done. I used to love watching him make those CART rides dance...epic driver, with huge skills, but a work ethic that meant he fell back on natural skills...and that is not enough in F1...shame, real shame :(

Just my opinion of course...:D


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:45 am 
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All 4 were ('are' in the case of Webber) brilliant on their day but were too inconsistent or erratic to be world champion. I never really worked out if Frentzen was any good or not as his form fluctuated so much, not from race to race but from season to season. It's hard to believe that the driver who drove so well in the Jordan in 1999 is the same one who put in such insipid performances in the same team just 2 years later. He flopped so badly at Williams in 1997 but then gave Villeneuve a run for his money the year after.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:59 am 
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Webber no i don't see him as a wdc just not consistent enough, on the couple of circuits he likes he does well but others not so much not well rounded enough, jpm i did rate a bit erratic to begin with but he had a spark the first driver i remember since senna made me think wow he has something. HHF he seemed to fade too often, and alesi made all the wrong career choices seemed to go to teams at completely the wrong time.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:09 pm 
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I would have loved to have seen Webber win it in 2010. Alas, it wasn't to be.

As for the remaining three... I guess history will show them as race winners and that's it. Montoya wanted to get one over on Schumacher too many times, Alesi chose the wrong team after Tyrrell and Frentzen just didn't make the most of his opportunity at Williams (the reasons why are discussed on another thread I believe).

Funny how HHF's best chance of the title came in a Jordan rather than a Williams!

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:48 pm 
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I think Alesi was a bad donkey. Easily WDC potential, he was brilliant. You don't get an offer from both Williams and Ferrari after your rookie year unless you are pretty damn good.

Unfortunately, he chose Ferrari.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:58 pm 
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The answer to these threads is simple: If they'd have won a WDC they'd have to have been better drivers than they were, so of course we'd rate them higher.

Obviously there's some exceptions to the above rule, like Moss, Gurney and possibly Gilles. Alesi might be one of them. It's more than likely he'd have won at least 1 WDC if he'd have gone to Williams. Then again, probably a fair few drivers could've won the WDC with a car that dominant. Point is, Alesi showed great potential on various occasions with Tyrell and Ferrari and it is unfortunate that he wasn't rewarded with better luck or better cars.

Personally I think the other three had the potential to be WDCs, although I can't really work Montoya out. Was he as good as we all thought he was at Williams, and simply unable to settle in at McLaren? Or was he really overrated throughout his whole career and actually significantly inferior to the likes of Raikkonen/Alonso? Either way, he was unlucky that he was competing when the Schumacher/Ferrari combination was at it's best.

Frentzen showed some potential at privateer teams but when he arrived at a winning team, he got found out. As for Webber, he just hasn't put it together over a whole season. Really, 2010 has to go down as one of the all-time wasted opportunities considering his team-mate lost three possible wins to car failure, while his car was near bulletproof.

Edit/tl;dr: My main point is Alesi is different to the other three because he clearly showed the potential, but it's not necessarily his fault that he didn't make the most of it. The other three had their opportunities and didn't succeed.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:04 pm 
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Ofcourse they would have been regarded differently as most of them are regarded as very good drivers but a WDC is solid prove you are one of the best, for me it is anyway.

Webber: would certainly be seen as a match for Vettel, but the sensitivity towards his age would be highlighted every time Vettel beat him and Vettel would only be credited for beating an old hack. who knows, had he won in 2010 maybe he would have been the 3x WDC by now and not Vettel as a WDC does wonders for the confidence and puts the team firmly behind you.

Montoya: would be seen as one of teh fastest of his generation, or maybe given even similar praise as to what Lewis receives now as they strike very similar

Alesi: even without a WDC he is remembered as one of the best now given he had decent machinery and made better career calls i can see him going on a spree of at least 2 WDCs and being regarded as one of the best ever

HH: he was always seen as fast but not fast enough, would have probably earned a similar reputation to Jaques had he been a WDC, hard to see him as a multiple WDC though.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:41 pm 
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I still have the same respect for these guys. A WDC would've helped their career more than the public image


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:18 pm 
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benmc wrote:
The answer to these threads is simple: If they'd have won a WDC they'd have to have been better drivers than they were, so of course we'd rate them higher.

Obviously there's some exceptions to the above rule, like Moss, Gurney and possibly Gilles. Alesi might be one of them. It's more than likely he'd have won at least 1 WDC if he'd have gone to Williams. Then again, probably a fair few drivers could've won the WDC with a car that dominant. Point is, Alesi showed great potential on various occasions with Tyrell and Ferrari and it is unfortunate that he wasn't rewarded with better luck or better cars.

Personally I think the other three had the potential to be WDCs, although I can't really work Montoya out. Was he as good as we all thought he was at Williams, and simply unable to settle in at McLaren? Or was he really overrated throughout his whole career and actually significantly inferior to the likes of Raikkonen/Alonso? Either way, he was unlucky that he was competing when the Schumacher/Ferrari combination was at it's best.

Frentzen showed some potential at privateer teams but when he arrived at a winning team, he got found out. As for Webber, he just hasn't put it together over a whole season. Really, 2010 has to go down as one of the all-time wasted opportunities considering his team-mate lost three possible wins to car failure, while his car was near bulletproof.

Edit/tl;dr: My main point is Alesi is different to the other three because he clearly showed the potential, but it's not necessarily his fault that he didn't make the most of it. The other three had their opportunities and didn't succeed.

Alesi was teamed up with Berger for 3/4 seasons and was no quicker, should Berger also be on the list, and lets not forget the two of them swapped cars with Schumacher and got found out somewhat.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:29 pm 
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IMO, none of those 4 are true WDC material although Webber came close in 2010.

Alesi and Montoya had dash and talent but to some extent the former made the latter seem more than it actually was. Especially with Jean Alesi.

Frentzen certainly had the talent but lacked the dash and determination that makes a champion.

Webber has plenty of dash and talent but in his case they don't seem to work always. Only occasionally does he display that spark to win but it does not remain for long and he goes back to being his usual disgruntled and dissipated self.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:48 pm 
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Webber reminds me of Berger and Barrichello a bit. A very dependable #2, who on his day can be the class of the field, but who is overshadowed by his truly great team mates.

Montoya did well at Williams, but his yardstick was Ralf Schumacher, so how good he actually was relative to the car is debatable. Did he actually extract everything out of that car, or like Villeneuve at Williams, was his talent the limiting factor?

Frentzen didn't have the mentality to be a top f1 driver. He only ever put in good performances for poor/mediocre teams. The early Saubers, and a Jordan that wasn't close to the Ferrari and McLaren in 1999. He got destroyed by Villeneuve at Williams, which might be partly down to Villeneuve just being quicker, but also partly down to Frentzen being a confidence driver like Trulli. When they are on it and feel loved, they'll do magic in a poor car, but when they are just another driver, they can't raise their game.

Alesi was certainly talented as a youngster, but pretty much all his potential seems to be based on him sticking one down the inside of Senna at Phoenix. Ballsy move, and leading a race is pretty good so early on, but Enrique Bernoldi made his Arrows incredibly wide at Monaco in 2001 and kept Coulthard behind him for a long time as well.
His only win came when Schumacher and Hill both had major problems in Canada. Had Schumacher not had a box full of neutrals, Alesi would have been disregarded as another Brundle.


Winning a WDC is not necessarily as important as your career as a whole, and having one title and a bunch of scrappy years either side doesn't make you better than someone like a Moss, or a Gurney, or even a Peterson or Ickx.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:52 pm 
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I've always been an Alesi fan,whether he won a championship wouldn't change my admiration for his driving,yes Schumacher was better in the Ferrari but by then Alesi and Berger had both been past their prime.Alesi in his first few seasons was monumental,its also one of the reasons for his popularity amongst many Formula 1 fans of that generation,who could forget Alesi against Senna in Phoenix or his madness at the Nurburgring in the wet on slicks or his amazing car control particularly in the wet,yeah like someone said he probably had more dash than talent but when he turned it on he was Almighty.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:07 pm 
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pokerman wrote:
benmc wrote:
The answer to these threads is simple: If they'd have won a WDC they'd have to have been better drivers than they were, so of course we'd rate them higher.

Obviously there's some exceptions to the above rule, like Moss, Gurney and possibly Gilles. Alesi might be one of them. It's more than likely he'd have won at least 1 WDC if he'd have gone to Williams. Then again, probably a fair few drivers could've won the WDC with a car that dominant. Point is, Alesi showed great potential on various occasions with Tyrell and Ferrari and it is unfortunate that he wasn't rewarded with better luck or better cars.


Alesi was teamed up with Berger for 3/4 seasons and was no quicker, should Berger also be on the list, and lets not forget the two of them swapped cars with Schumacher and got found out somewhat.


You aren't wrong, but maybe Alesi could've gotten the chance to develop into a great all-round driver if he'd have joined Williams. Look at Button for example, who showed strong potential at Williams but had to wait almost a decade for a car that could win consistently, at which point he just couldn't overcome his weaknesses. There are many drivers who got strong cars early on (Hamilton & Vettel are current examples) who showed weaknesses but were in the best position possible to improve.

Benetton wasn't as big an opportunity as you might think given that Brawn and Byrne had left with Schumacher. They were never in position to challenge Williams.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:15 pm 
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I think...

If Montoya was in a time where the Wiliams wasn't on the back foot or the Macca so fragile . Basically if it was in any other era other than where Ferrari had no equal he would have had a WDC.

If Alesi took Williams over the lure of Ferrari he would have been a 2x WDC. At least.

Frentzen probably the least likely of either to get the WDC. Not because of lack of speed but because he seems to have needed a certain sort of environment to get their mentally.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:14 pm 
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REPLICATE wrote:
I miss Montoya dearly. He threw away his career by going back to the states, he was so much better and entertaining in F1.
I still hail him today even if he didn't win a Championship he was damn quick in cars that weren't necessarily as quick as you thought they were.
What I remember him most for is not taking sh*t from anyone.
http://youtu.be/eqr9U4u2j7w


:thumbup:

Anyone know who would have partnered Alesi at Williams when he turned them down.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:28 pm 
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Patrese I think. '91 or '92 it was.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:47 pm 
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Johnston wrote:
Patrese I think. '91 or '92 it was.

Nah more likely to have been Alesi and Mansell IMO. Patrese would have been shunted aside. Williams would have wanted Mansell's experiance to foil Alesi's lack of experiance. Wasn't it Newey who wanted Mansell in 91 anyway?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:51 pm 
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Mansell having Jean would have made 1992 a million times more exciting.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:20 pm 
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Laura23 wrote:
Johnston wrote:
Patrese I think. '91 or '92 it was.

Nah more likely to have been Alesi and Mansell IMO. Patrese would have been shunted aside. Williams would have wanted Mansell's experiance to foil Alesi's lack of experiance. Wasn't it Newey who wanted Mansell in 91 anyway?



Nah it was Franks Mrs that talked Frank into it because she thought Mansell was a nice man :lol: :lol:

If I have my timelines right. Patrese was in the seat contract signed and Alesi was offered the one Mansell got. Mansell being retired when the seat was originally going. He was then talked out of retirement and the rest is history as they say.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:31 pm 
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I still reckon it would have been Alesi and Mansell. A Patrese/Alesi line up would have been weak for Williams and Newey has always had a say in who the drivers of his cars are. He liked Mansell as well.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:06 pm 
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Without reading a single word of the initial post, Montoya is a name that doesn't belong with the rest of them. Webber is perhaps a bit better than the other two but it is questionable given that he was allowed to stay on with teams when his results are in line with those of the other 2 who's careers in comparison were cut relatively short. One has to wonder what might have been had they been given the chance (a REAL chance) on a top team with no restrictions and no obstacles to work through.

In contrast, Montoya wasn't looking to be given the chance and was certainly NEVER going to be a lapdog TO ANYONE. He was there to run his career his way and unfortunately all the BS and politics surrounding the sport got to the point he could no longer be bothered, especially when he was such a big draw here in the states and he said screw it and went to NASCRAP for the big bucks where he has failed to match his past performances. The guy's talents lie in Open-Wheel and that's where he really shines. I feel he was the best driver to come to the sport since Schumacher up until Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel. Really miss having him on the grid.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:16 pm 
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Laura23 wrote:
I still reckon it would have been Alesi and Mansell. A Patrese/Alesi line up would have been weak for Williams and Newey has always had a say in who the drivers of his cars are. He liked Mansell as well.



Remember at that time Newey was only just in Williams. The '91 car being his first. And one of his reasons for leaving was that he didn't get a say in drivers. I don't think it was until about '94 he and Williams had a "deal" that he would be consulted. If your interested Newey talks about it in the Williams book and then of course Frank not sticking to his word.

Just found this

http://www.williamsdb.com/cgi-bin/willi ... 0Questions

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3) Why is there a Ferrari in the Williams Grand Prix Collection?

Jean Alesi burst onto the grand Prix scene with Tyrell in 1989 and a full season in 1990 put Alesi on the top teams shopping lists. Williams, for once, were quick off the mark and signed Alesi up early in 1990. Unfortunately Alesi also signed for Ferrari. Alesi decided that he wanted to go to Ferrari and so he had to get out of his contract with Williams. A deal was negotiated involving money and Alain Prosts' 1990 Ferrari going to Williams, the intention being to strip it down to see what made it tick. Unfortunately, Patrick Head, commented, it was a complete waste of time - they should have asked for an extra £1m instead. And so a Ferrari is in the Williams Grand prix collection, Alesi meanwhile maybe wishes that he had gone to Williams instead of the car!

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:26 pm 
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the incubus wrote:
Without reading a single word of the initial post, Montoya is a name that doesn't belong with the rest of them. Webber is perhaps a bit better than the other two but it is questionable given that he was allowed to stay on with teams when his results are in line with those of the other 2 who's careers in comparison were cut relatively short. One has to wonder what might have been had they been given the chance (a REAL chance) on a top team with no restrictions and no obstacles to work through.

In contrast, Montoya wasn't looking to be given the chance and was certainly NEVER going to be a lapdog TO ANYONE. He was there to run his career his way and unfortunately all the BS and politics surrounding the sport got to the point he could no longer be bothered, especially when he was such a big draw here in the states and he said screw it and went to NASCRAP for the big bucks where he has failed to match his past performances. The guy's talents lie in Open-Wheel and that's where he really shines. I feel he was the best driver to come to the sport since Schumacher up until Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel. Really miss having him on the grid.


I agree Montoya is the stand-out of the 4, but its a debatable point to some as people really rate Alesi. Juan only belongs with the other 3 as he like them is mentioned as a guy who had the tools if circumstances were different to win a world title.

I actually think Montoya came closest out of the 4 as well in 2003.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:12 am 
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Montoya, Webber, Frentzen and Alesi.

Similar level of talent to Jenson Button or Barrichello if he had been the 2009 World Champion. So I guess a championship changes quite a lot.

But any of those guys in the 2009 Brawn at near their peak and they would win the title.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:14 am 
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Does anybody know why Patrick Head deemed receiving the 1990 Ferrari a complete waste of time? Did Ferrari delay its delivery or send a show car or something?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:22 am 
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lamo wrote:
Does anybody know why Patrick Head deemed receiving the 1990 Ferrari a complete waste of time? Did Ferrari delay its delivery or send a show car or something?


http://www.williamsdb.com/cgi-bin/williamsdb/page.pl?page=info/faq&title=Frequently%20Asked%20Questions
Jean Alesi burst onto the grand Prix scene with Tyrell in 1989 and a full season in 1990 put Alesi on the top teams shopping lists. Williams, for once, were quick off the mark and signed Alesi up early in 1990. Unfortunately Alesi also signed for Ferrari. Alesi decided that he wanted to go to Ferrari and so he had to get out of his contract with Williams. A deal was negotiated involving money and Alain Prosts' 1990 Ferrari going to Williams, the intention being to strip it down to see what made it tick. Unfortunately, Patrick Head, commented, it was a complete waste of time - they should have asked for an extra £1m instead. And so a Ferrari is in the Williams Grand prix collection, Alesi meanwhile maybe wishes that he had gone to Williams instead of the car!
I would imagine that if (*if*) there was anything which Patrick Head found even remotely interesting they would have removed it from the car before shipping it to Williams.


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