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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:40 pm 
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I was thinking about Nelson Piquet's interview on the Brazilian podium where he mentioned how many championships he had lost to Alonso saying he knew his pain etc. But this made me think well how many times has an F1 driver lost the chance to win the F1 championship in the last race ( Still in contention mathematically until the last race). Some of the years are hard to work out because of the best results rule but I think i've conducted it correctly (open to changes though if i'm wrong!). :D

So from this I have found that
Drivers who had the opportunity to win the championship in the last race: x3
Schumacher: Schumi: 1997,1998, 2006,
Alonso: 2007, 2010, 2012

Drivers who had the opportunity to win the championship in the last race: x2
Stirling Moss: 1958,1959
Clark: 1964, 1962
Prost: 1983,1984
Hamilton: 2007, 2010.

Drivers who had the opportunity to win the championship in the last race: x1
Fangio: 1950
Luigi Fagioli: 1950
Alberto Ascari: 1951
Peter Colins: 1956
Tony Brooks: 1959
Von Trips: 1961 (If not dead)
Graham Hill: 1964
Jack Brabham: 1967
Jackie Stewart: 1968
Denny Hulme: 1968
Clay Regazzoni: 1974
Lauda: 1976
Jacques Laffite: 1981
Carlos Reutemann: 1981
Didier Pironi: 1982 (If he was able to race yes)
John Watson: 1982
Rene Arnoux: 1983
Nigel Mansell: 1986
Piquet: 1986
Damon Hill: 1994
Villeneuve: 1996
Irvine: 1999
Kimi: 2003
EDIT: Massa 2008 :blush:
Webber: 2010

Some notables:
I now understand why people rated Jim Clark so much, the fact he fought for 5 world championships in 7 years (1967 although was not in contention going into the last race)

Ascari had the opportunity to become the sports first Triple world champion had he won in 1951.

Schumacher is often slated by some claiming his championships weren't warranted but he has lost the championship to others on the final day 3 times perhaps indicating he is a true great.

Alonso has highlighted his ability to fight for the world championship by fighting for it in 5 of his 11 years (including uncompetitive or non championship car stints at Minardi, Renault (2003-2004)(2008-2009) and 2011 Ferrari.

Anyway comment or discuss if you find this interesting :nod:


Last edited by CalMac on Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:52 pm 
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Felipe Massa came closest of all, losing the championship in the last 2 turns of the last lap of the last race.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:55 pm 
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Ooops :blush:

how could i forget that?!
Zekenwolf wrote:
Felipe Massa came closest of all, losing the championship in the last 2 turns of the last lap of the last race.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:23 pm 
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It should also be pointed out that Piquet snr didn't loose any championships in the last race. It could be argued that he lost the '80 championship in the last 2 races combined and in '86 championship over the last 3 races. But other than that he won when he had the car to do it, so I can't see how he knows how he knows how Alonso feels!

It could also be argued that as Alonso has fought for the championship 5 times and only converted 2 shows he less ablity to cope with the pressure than Schumacher who fought for 10 and managed to convert 7. But these figures obviously don't look at mechanical failures or team errors. Hamilton should have been able to fight for this years had it not been for issues beyond his control. Or Mansell in '89, when he finished, he finished on the podium (he just didn't finish much!).

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:35 pm 
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It is interesting but like you mentioned so many factors contribute up to that point, for instance would Irvine been there had Schumacher not been injured etc, i do get the feeling Alonso fades slightly as the season drags on, i mean this year Massa seemed to hit his stride and looked more competitive than Alonso (at least in quali) now Massa did improve but at the start of the year Alonso seemed to be extracting everything out of the car at the end he didnt


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:48 pm 
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minchy wrote:
It should also be pointed out that Piquet snr didn't loose any championships in the last race. It could be argued that he lost the '80 championship in the last 2 races combined and in '86 championship over the last 3 races. But other than that he won when he had the car to do it, so I can't see how he knows how he knows how Alonso feels!

It could also be argued that as Alonso has fought for the championship 5 times and only converted 2 shows he less ablity to cope with the pressure than Schumacher who fought for 10 and managed to convert 7. But these figures obviously don't look at mechanical failures or team errors. Hamilton should have been able to fight for this years had it not been for issues beyond his control. Or Mansell in '89, when he finished, he finished on the podium (he just didn't finish much!).


This is what made me think!

Again its just the ability to fight for the title in the last race, obviously there are other factors that influence it and others could be argued to have fought for a title yet not be in contention by the last race (e.g. Montoya 2003)

And about Alonso I'm not sure, I think 2010 he probably made more mistakes than he should but an argument could be made he never had the outright fastest car over a season

With regard to Alonso: (iMO)
2012 the Ferrari should have not been fighting for the title
2010 the Ferrari was sometimes slower than McLaren and usually Red Bull
2007 new team, new tyres, new teammate. I think the combination of all three built up and caused his average (for him) 2007 season and a highly competitive Ferrari.

But one could also argue that Alonso didn't deserve the two titles he got in 2005,2006 as they were pretty close. It would have been interesting to see how Alonso dealt with Schumi if his engine had not gone boom in Suzuka.

:)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:11 pm 
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minchy wrote:
It should also be pointed out that Piquet snr didn't loose any championships in the last race.

I think you're forgetting 1986.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:20 pm 
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Fiki wrote:
minchy wrote:
It should also be pointed out that Piquet snr didn't loose any championships in the last race.

I think you're forgetting 1986.



Correct, i'll add it now.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:29 pm 
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CalMac wrote:
Fiki wrote:
minchy wrote:
It should also be pointed out that Piquet snr didn't loose any championships in the last race.

I think you're forgetting 1986.



Correct, i'll add it now.

Sorry, you're right, I was just looking at the list in the OP and in '86 the only thing that came to mind was Mansell's blow out and Prost claiming the title from being 13 points down.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:41 pm 
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Also, under Bernie's medal system (and I think current points) Piquet would have a grand total of (drumroll) no WDCs. From 3 to 0 shows he consistently finished. If Seb and Alonso had 80s style reliability this year Kimi would have done a Piquet.

Not to take too much from Piquet and Lauda, but they were the masters of hanging back and scoring off others' misfortunes.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:51 pm 
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Prost also had a chance in the last race of 81 I believe. It was a slim chance but mathematically possible. He also in the championship fight in 82, 88, 90 although out of it by the last race.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:57 pm 
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scuderia_stevie wrote:

Not to take too much from Piquet and Lauda, but they were the masters of hanging back and scoring off others' misfortunes.



It wasn't so much a case of hanging back and scoring off others. It was a case of managing their equipment. Some guys drove it as hard as it would go. It would then break. Others drove slower so they had a better chance of finishing the race.

Being fast enough to be near but at the same time driving slow enough to protect the mechanicals was a skill in its self.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:14 pm 
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Johnston wrote:
scuderia_stevie wrote:

Not to take too much from Piquet and Lauda, but they were the masters of hanging back and scoring off others' misfortunes.



It wasn't so much a case of hanging back and scoring off others. It was a case of managing their equipment. Some guys drove it as hard as it would go. It would then break. Others drove slower so they had a better chance of finishing the race.

Being fast enough to be near but at the same time driving slow enough to protect the mechanicals was a skill in its self.

Almost like the tyre/fuel situation we find ourselves in currently.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:30 pm 
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In 84 Prost only lost by half a point in the last race.
He won the race but needed Lauda lower than 2nd.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:34 pm 
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minchy wrote:
Johnston wrote:
scuderia_stevie wrote:

Not to take too much from Piquet and Lauda, but they were the masters of hanging back and scoring off others' misfortunes.



It wasn't so much a case of hanging back and scoring off others. It was a case of managing their equipment. Some guys drove it as hard as it would go. It would then break. Others drove slower so they had a better chance of finishing the race.

Being fast enough to be near but at the same time driving slow enough to protect the mechanicals was a skill in its self.

Almost like the tyre/fuel situation we find ourselves in currently.



Yip only more extreme. Canny pit for a new engine :lol: :lol:

what was it Prost said. Something in the lines of Driving slow enough to win.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:58 pm 
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CalMac wrote:
Didier Pironi: 1982 (If he was alive yes)


Little correction. Pironi did not die in his crash at Hockenheim (though he did in a speedboat accident a few years later). He broke both his legs, preventing him from competing.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:02 pm 
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Johnston wrote:
minchy wrote:
Johnston wrote:
scuderia_stevie wrote:

Not to take too much from Piquet and Lauda, but they were the masters of hanging back and scoring off others' misfortunes.



It wasn't so much a case of hanging back and scoring off others. It was a case of managing their equipment. Some guys drove it as hard as it would go. It would then break. Others drove slower so they had a better chance of finishing the race.

Being fast enough to be near but at the same time driving slow enough to protect the mechanicals was a skill in its self.

Almost like the tyre/fuel situation we find ourselves in currently.



Yip only more extreme. Canny pit for a new engine :lol: :lol:

what was it Prost said. Something in the lines of Driving slow enough to win.

Thought that was Villeneuve? Could be wrong though, think it was someone from the in the early 80's!

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:42 pm 
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Your list is missing Wolfgang von Trips 1961.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:01 am 
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I think it was Fangio who said that the best way to win was a the lowest possible speed.
I think Prost said something like, we cannot be slowing down to make the racing interesting.
Purely from memory so likely to be wrong.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:33 pm 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
Prost also had a chance in the last race of 81 I believe. It was a slim chance but mathematically possible. He also in the championship fight in 82, 88, 90 although out of it by the last race.


No, he was 13 point behind going into the last race at Caeser's Palace, out of it after he retired from the penultimate race in Montreal.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:21 pm 
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The_Iceman wrote:
CalMac wrote:
Didier Pironi: 1982 (If he was alive yes)


Little correction. Pironi did not die in his crash at Hockenheim (though he did in a speedboat accident a few years later). He broke both his legs, preventing him from competing.


Again updated :) apologies.

Crangiopharengoma wrote:
Your list is missing Wolfgang von Trips 1961.


Added. If he was alive then yes he would have had an mathematical chance of winning the title :)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:32 pm 
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Very interesting analysis! Good stats: shows how much we forget.

Imo Clark was fortunate that his driver-equal, John Surtees was hobbled from 1961 to 1965 by off-pace cars; only in two races early 1966 did John S have a top-car, the Ferrari 312/66 at Monaco and Spa, before he was 'retrenched' by Ferrari. The only other time Surtees had a top car was in his first three races as a rookie in 1960: he finished second in the second race , the British GP, and in the third in Portugal was leading Moss in a same-car Lotus when he slid off ( on tramlines/from fuel causing his foot to slip off the pedal).

This does not detract from Clark as a great driver.

However the competiton is as strong a factor in F1 success as one's own car; the other factor is one's team-mate; Clark never had one within 0.5 sec/lap of him. Same with Fangio: the opposition and the team -mate have a huge influence on results. Schumacher, like Clark, never had a fast enough team-mate. The only time Fangio had a fast team-mate was in 1955 with Moss, but Stirling was young, too respectful, and still a couple of tenths off-pace.

When Prost or Senna had strong team-mates (each other!) they did not dominate, but virtually shared the wins. All dominant driver performances are mostly due to a superior car, weaker team-mates and weaker rival packages.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:41 pm 
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So many drivers losing the championship in the last race or even, as one poster pointed out, on the last few lap as in Brazil 2008, is why I do not get excited by the WDC. Too much reliance on the arbitrary points systems; sometimes the wrong driver wins.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:34 pm 
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POBRatings wrote:
Very interesting analysis! Good stats: shows how much we forget.

Imo Clark was fortunate that his driver-equal, John Surtees was hobbled from 1961 to 1965 by off-pace cars; only in two races early 1966 did John S have a top-car, the Ferrari 312/66 at Monaco and Spa, before he was 'retrenched' by Ferrari. The only other time Surtees had a top car was in his first three races as a rookie in 1960: he finished second in the second race , the British GP, and in the third in Portugal was leading Moss in a same-car Lotus when he slid off ( on tramlines/from fuel causing his foot to slip off the pedal).

This does not detract from Clark as a great driver.

However the competiton is as strong a factor in F1 success as one's own car; the other factor is one's team-mate; Clark never had one within 0.5 sec/lap of him. Same with Fangio: the opposition and the team -mate have a huge influence on results. Schumacher, like Clark, never had a fast enough team-mate. The only time Fangio had a fast team-mate was in 1955 with Moss, but Stirling was young, too respectful, and still a couple of tenths off-pace.

When Prost or Senna had strong team-mates (each other!) they did not dominate, but virtually shared the wins. All dominant driver performances are mostly due to a superior car, weaker team-mates and weaker rival packages.


Could in not be argued that this in itself proves how exceptionally quick these drivers where rather than just having weak team mates?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:09 pm 
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Many interesting pointers here but the absolute nearest miss has to be Massa in 2008. Ferrari were even celeberating for God's sake!

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