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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:31 pm 
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This is an interesting discussion. Lot of different views and obvious choice of Favourite drivers as expected. There are 2 ways of rating the best drivers. 1. Statistically, like how the OP has done. 2. On the basis of how good a racer he is, statistics be damned. Like what POB has done. Unfortunately I wasnt born at the time, but from what I have read from a lot of different sources, you really required balls the size of continents to race in the 50s and 60s. Comparing the present, none of these drivers can hold a candle against the like of Moss, Nuvolari, Fangio, Hawthorne, Ascari and Carracciola. Many of them donot have any World Championship Points.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:37 pm 
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Race2win wrote:
This is an interesting discussion. Lot of different views and obvious choice of Favourite drivers as expected. There are 2 ways of rating the best drivers. 1. Statistically, like how the OP has done. 2. On the basis of how good a racer he is, statistics be damned. Like what POB has done. Unfortunately I wasnt born at the time, but from what I have read from a lot of different sources, you really required balls the size of continents to race in the 50s and 60s. Comparing the present, none of these drivers can hold a candle against the like of Moss, Nuvolari, Fangio, Hawthorne, Ascari and Carracciola. Many of them donot have any World Championship Points.


What makes you think that? Why do you dismiss that had they been born back then they would have raced as well in these dangerous conditions? Or the opposite, that the old drivers would be good nowadays?

You just don't know. We are not comparing the size of their private parts here...

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:42 pm 
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SchumieRules wrote:
morgana wrote:
Adaemus wrote:
To be fair the ranking above is just a ranking of the most successful drivers of all time, not necessarily the best.

I agree, your definition is a better fit to the formula used by the OP to elaborate his list. But it is an interesting exercise nonetheless.


I don't think that the formula is about success either. How can Coulthard (not a WDC winner) more successful than Button, a WDC winner?

Sorry, very late reply. What I mean is that the formula chosen by the OP focuses on the average number of top positions per race a driver had; a number which is a result of several factors, including driver's ability of course but also other factors such as the ability of his rivals or the car he drove, for example. If we define success as the achievement of good results, then the formula has a better fit to that concept than to the one of "best driver".

It is true that the WDC title is not included in the formula; you could claim that it should be added as an additional factor, apart from the number of first, second and third positions. But in my opinion, that would apply whether you are trying to define success or bestness based on results, and it does not invalidate Adaemus's point that the OP's formula is more closely related to the former than to the latter.




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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:01 pm 
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Realistically speaking the greatest driver has to be Schumacher...There were others who could have gone on and been indisputably the greatest(Senna, Clark) but we can only go by facts..The rest is speculation..For e.g. after Alonso won the 2006 title who would have thought he would still be stuck with 2 WDC's..Same goes for Lewis...Basically F1 is unpredictable and very complex sport....Senna could have gone on to win a few more or he may have never won another one...Same goes for Clark.
My List
1) Schumacher
2)Fangio
3)Senna
4)Prost
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:17 pm 
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Race2win: good to read your views. And that you admire drivers of earlier times when it was so dangerous.

Imo bravery and risk are not factors. F1 driving is positive and exciting. Drivers do not think of crashing any more than a businessman thinks of bankruptcy or a tennis player of hitting the ball outside the lines. All are aware to some extent of what can happen. But their primary focus is to win; a very strong force in the greatest drivers.

I think Fangio and Alonso have the same approach to driving. Of course it is far safer now, but if Hamilton or Vettel were racing in the fifties they would drive according to circumstances then; same for Ascari or Moss if they drove today. Imo all would be at the front whenever they raced.


That is why I could not name only one driver at the top.

I have analysed over 1100 races and the 2000-plus drivers since GP racing's beginning in 1894. The eventual method arrived at is complicated and uses several formulae for measurement and comparison. Because the car/team forms such a huge part of the performance package, the targets are moving each season. No single formula covers driver comparisons.

As Blinky rightly says, ranked lists of drivers are usually suspect; even those by 'experts and panels- of-experts'.

Most are era/personal-experience-biased.

Imagine if we saw today a ranked list of 'the one hundred best drivers' which had Senna and Schumacher ranked 63rd and 67th? This has occurred in more than one well-known expert's/panel's published list: they ranked the best drivers of the thirties, Caracciola and Chiron, in those low placings.

In my blog this Driver Rating issue is discussed at some length.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:37 pm 
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My choice. He performed as good or better as other drivers that surely belong to the 'greatest of all times' list: Lauda, Prost, Mansell and K. Rosberg. And in the same car.

He also did other things worthy of a F1 'greatest', such as winning the race despite being lapped (more than once), winning a F1 championship with a car that wasn't even the 2nd best car, coming back after 1 year of retirement and blowing everyone away, breaking the records for most F1 wins, most F1 points and most F1 fastest laps; winning races with 4 different engine brands, 4 different teams, and in different engine/suspension eras.

Plus getting all kinds of praise and respect from fellow F1 drivers and commentators.

ALAIN "The professor"

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:12 pm 
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flavio81 wrote:
My choice. He performed as good or better as other drivers that surely belong to the 'greatest of all times' list: Lauda, Prost, Mansell and K. Rosberg. And in the same car.

He also did other things worthy of a F1 'greatest', such as winning the race despite being lapped (more than once), winning a F1 championship with a car that wasn't even the 2nd best car, coming back after 1 year of retirement and blowing everyone away, breaking the records for most F1 wins, most F1 points and most F1 fastest laps; winning races with 4 different engine brands, 4 different teams, and in different engine/suspension eras.

Plus getting all kinds of praise and respect from fellow F1 drivers and commentators.

ALAIN "The professor"

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Whilst he's gotten praise from F1 Drivers, most have said they think Senna was better. I feel Prost was superior and then Michael eclipsing him.
Sadly it's stinks that people are frowned upon if when asked who they feel is the best they can't say themselves because then people get upset and turned off to them and their greatness. It killed me when I saw Shumi name Senna when they asked him who he thought was the greatest ever. I don't think for a minute Michael feels anyone was ever better than him in any way.

Brian Regan says it best here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBMJQthXyck

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:14 pm 
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^ LOL

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:44 pm 
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Blinky McSquinty wrote:
And Jean Alesi isn't even on this list?

And how about Lee Wallard, the greatest Formula One driver of them all with a score of 0.5?


Nor is Dan Gurney....

That just doesn't work!
:lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:57 am 
Blake wrote:
Blinky McSquinty wrote:
And Jean Alesi isn't even on this list?

And how about Lee Wallard, the greatest Formula One driver of them all with a score of 0.5?


Nor is Dan Gurney....

That just doesn't work!
:lol:


According to the math put forward by the OP, Lee Wallard's score is 0.5, the highest. Or are we taking an objective formula and then rejecting some drivers just because they don't fit our personal subjective agendas?

According to the science, you accept any driver who competed in any Formula One World Championship races, slot in his 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes and number of races participated in, and apply them to the formula. If you accept the science, you have to accept the results, even though they may not be what you wish for.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:12 am 
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the incubus wrote:
Rubens did endure a good few seasons in uncompetitive or difficult cars but he was also in some great Ferraris and were it not for his Teammate, he'd likely have at least 2, if not more titles. In my view, whilst Schumi was the superior and lead driver, in those Ferrari years, there have been very few #2 drivers that were better than Rubens. In that stretch Rubens was driving with his hands tied and was rarely allowed to push to the limit which is sad for him. In 2009 it took him some time to come to terms with the Brawn but once he did he looked quite strong. Massa is another excellent driver who has suffered in that his teammates have all been top dogs at Ferrari but I feel he showed he is better than both Rubens and Button.

DC is ranked perhaps a bit too highly. He had some really solid McLarens at his disposal and he lacked the consistency which is in the end what cost him the most. On the rare occasion he was in the zone he was impressive but 13 wins from 267 races is not very good. He was good at developing cars to a point but never really got me excited. Button as well is a bit difficult to include on the list. shined brightly in the first half of 2009 and has certainly looked brilliant in McLaren at times but lacks consistency.


DC's win percentage from competing in so many races of course goes down, but he had 62 podiums, and his podium percentage was 25%.

Blinky McSquinty wrote:
Blake wrote:
Blinky McSquinty wrote:
And Jean Alesi isn't even on this list?

And how about Lee Wallard, the greatest Formula One driver of them all with a score of 0.5?


Nor is Dan Gurney....

That just doesn't work!
:lol:


According to the math put forward by the OP, Lee Wallard's score is 0.5, the highest. Or are we taking an objective formula and then rejecting some drivers just because they don't fit our personal subjective agendas?

According to the science, you accept any driver who competed in any Formula One World Championship races, slot in his 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes and number of races participated in, and apply them to the formula. If you accept the science, you have to accept the results, even though they may not be what you wish for.


According to what science? One is free to use whatever formula one likes. If you want to exclude drivers having less than 10 races, as seems perfectly reasonable to do, you are free to do so. I am struck dumb with amazement that you seem to think otherwise...


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:22 am 
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POBRatings wrote:
Imagine if we saw today a ranked list of 'the one hundred best drivers' which had Senna and Schumacher ranked 63rd and 67th? This has occurred in more than one well-known expert's/panel's published list: they ranked the best drivers of the thirties, Caracciola and Chiron, in those low placings.


That's just daft.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:59 am 
Eva09 wrote:
POBRatings wrote:
Imagine if we saw today a ranked list of 'the one hundred best drivers' which had Senna and Schumacher ranked 63rd and 67th? This has occurred in more than one well-known expert's/panel's published list: they ranked the best drivers of the thirties, Caracciola and Chiron, in those low placings.


That's just daft.


Or are we taking an objective formula and then rejecting some drivers just because they don't fit our personal subjective agendas?

OK, OK, I have to stop this before I pee my pants from laughter. I think you're completely missing the point. The OP put forth a very good theory, and I give it full marks. But in the end, due to our personal prejudices and desires, just about any statistic can be manipulated, and the end result is that determining the worth of drivers or ranking them comes down to personal interpretation.

The debate on "who's the best driver" can never be resolved, it's like asking what's the best color. Personally, I like blue.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:33 am 
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I've wondered if perhaps a formula could be devised that takes into account car performance by weighting driver race results based on WCC results. To go even further that could be done on a race by race basis depending on where a team sits in the WCC at the time.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:05 am 
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@Schumierules & POB: I understand what you trying to say. I dont mean performance wise drivers earlier were better than now or vice versa. POB you mentioned Bravery. Bravery is just a part of it. Motorsport is dangerous. They all drove/drive to the edge of the limet all the time. Only difference is today a driver is 99.9% sure he'll make it out alive, which is a good thing. I wouldnt want my fav drivers to die. But earlier they didnt have that luxury. Everyone counts only the World Championship points. Yet drivers like Tazio Nuvolari won not a single point. Why? Because WC didnt start until the 50s. Infact till the 60s classic sports car races carried more prestige than wins in WC. Also lets be honest the World Championship was way different then. I could on but I fear I would bore a lot of people on here. All I am saying is there is so much more to being considered the Best F1 driver than what a few statistics say. My list of favorite driver mentioned earlier still stays the same.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:24 am 
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Blinky McSquinty wrote:
Eva09 wrote:
POBRatings wrote:
Imagine if we saw today a ranked list of 'the one hundred best drivers' which had Senna and Schumacher ranked 63rd and 67th? This has occurred in more than one well-known expert's/panel's published list: they ranked the best drivers of the thirties, Caracciola and Chiron, in those low placings.


That's just daft.


Or are we taking an objective formula and then rejecting some drivers just because they don't fit our personal subjective agendas?

OK, OK, I have to stop this before I pee my pants from laughter. I think you're completely missing the point. The OP put forth a very good theory, and I give it full marks. But in the end, due to our personal prejudices and desires, just about any statistic can be manipulated, and the end result is that determining the worth of drivers or ranking them comes down to personal interpretation.

The debate on "who's the best driver" can never be resolved, it's like asking what's the best color. Personally, I like blue.

:thumbup: Agreed, except for the bit about the best color being blue. Oh, & the peeing in the pants bit as well :D


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:31 am 
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Race2win wrote:
@Schumierules & POB: I understand what you trying to say. I dont mean performance wise drivers earlier were better than now or vice versa. POB you mentioned Bravery. Bravery is just a part of it. Motorsport is dangerous. They all drove/drive to the edge of the limet all the time. Only difference is today a driver is 99.9% sure he'll make it out alive, which is a good thing. I wouldnt want my fav drivers to die. But earlier they didnt have that luxury. Everyone counts only the World Championship points. Yet drivers like Tazio Nuvolari won not a single point. Why? Because WC didnt start until the 50s. Infact till the 60s classic sports car races carried more prestige than wins in WC. Also lets be honest the World Championship was way different then. I could on but I fear I would bore a lot of people on here. All I am saying is there is so much more to being considered the Best F1 driver than what a few statistics say. My list of favorite driver mentioned earlier still stays the same.


I understand, but when you are saying they wouldn't hold a candle... I just think that you have made your mind up on something that we wouldn't know. Yes today's drivers are many times more "protected" than the older ones. But similarly, the old ones had much less opposition than today's drivers. Plus the fact that today the cars are almost bulletproof, you cannot count on another driver's misfortune. The thing though, is that these are things that you can't quantify. You cannot measure bravery, you cannot measure luck, etc.

I agree with POB here, drivers don't get in the car thinking about failure/accidents and the rest. And don't think that just because today they are safer it means they are bulletproof; look at Massa, Kubica etc. Very very lucky to be around with us today

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:32 am 
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flavio81 wrote:
My choice. He performed as good or better as other drivers that surely belong to the 'greatest of all times' list: Lauda, Prost, Mansell and K. Rosberg. And in the same car.

He also did other things worthy of a F1 'greatest', such as winning the race despite being lapped (more than once), winning a F1 championship with a car that wasn't even the 2nd best car, coming back after 1 year of retirement and blowing everyone away, breaking the records for most F1 wins, most F1 points and most F1 fastest laps; winning races with 4 different engine brands, 4 different teams, and in different engine/suspension eras.

Plus getting all kinds of praise and respect from fellow F1 drivers and commentators.

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Don't you mean Senna?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:34 am 
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morgana wrote:
Sorry, very late reply. What I mean is that the formula chosen by the OP focuses on the average number of top positions per race a driver had; a number which is a result of several factors, including driver's ability of course but also other factors such as the ability of his rivals or the car he drove, for example. If we define success as the achievement of good results, then the formula has a better fit to that concept than to the one of "best driver".

It is true that the WDC title is not included in the formula; you could claim that it should be added as an additional factor, apart from the number of first, second and third positions. But in my opinion, that would apply whether you are trying to define success or bestness based on results, and it does not invalidate Adaemus's point that the OP's formula is more closely related to the former than to the latter.




Edited for clarity (I hope!)


Ok, thanks Morgana. I think I get what you mean.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:54 am 
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Blinky McSquinty wrote:
Blake wrote:
Blinky McSquinty wrote:
And Jean Alesi isn't even on this list?

And how about Lee Wallard, the greatest Formula One driver of them all with a score of 0.5?


Nor is Dan Gurney....

That just doesn't work!
:lol:


According to the math put forward by the OP, Lee Wallard's score is 0.5, the highest. Or are we taking an objective formula and then rejecting some drivers just because they don't fit our personal subjective agendas?

According to the science, you accept any driver who competed in any Formula One World Championship races, slot in his 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes and number of races participated in, and apply them to the formula. If you accept the science, you have to accept the results, even though they may not be what you wish for.

Absolutely not. You get rid of the bad data before making statistics. This is part of the science. Few Indy 500 drivers are not very relevant, they didn't even competed in other F1 events. Calling him best driver in F1 is nonsense. 10 races criteria or something like this if it's applied consistently is perfectly reasonable. You must get rid of the "noisy data", before extracting actual information from any data set.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:57 pm 
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Blinky McSquinty wrote:
Eva09 wrote:
POBRatings wrote:
Imagine if we saw today a ranked list of 'the one hundred best drivers' which had Senna and Schumacher ranked 63rd and 67th? This has occurred in more than one well-known expert's/panel's published list: they ranked the best drivers of the thirties, Caracciola and Chiron, in those low placings.


That's just daft.


Or are we taking an objective formula and then rejecting some drivers just because they don't fit our personal subjective agendas?

OK, OK, I have to stop this before I pee my pants from laughter. I think you're completely missing the point. The OP put forth a very good theory, and I give it full marks. But in the end, due to our personal prejudices and desires, just about any statistic can be manipulated, and the end result is that determining the worth of drivers or ranking them comes down to personal interpretation.

The debate on "who's the best driver" can never be resolved, it's like asking what's the best color. Personally, I like blue.


This isn't about "any statistic can be manipulated" or "due to our personal prejudices and desires blah blah blah personal interpretation of the theory".

It's simple. You're compiling a list of the statistical achievements of formula one drivers. It's common sense to exclude someone who has only competed in 3 races and perhaps won 1 (this happened a couple of times with American drivers). Their sample size is too small.

You don't have to believe one driver is the best to do this. I don't.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:27 pm 
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schumilegend wrote:
Realistically speaking the greatest driver has to be Schumacher...There were others who could have gone on and been indisputably the greatest(Senna, Clark) but we can only go by facts..The rest is speculation..For e.g. after Alonso won the 2006 title who would have thought he would still be stuck with 2 WDC's..Same goes for Lewis...Basically F1 is unpredictable and very complex sport....Senna could have gone on to win a few more or he may have never won another one...Same goes for Clark.
My List
1) Schumacher
2)Fangio
3)Senna
4)Prost
5)Clark


Very accurate assessment of F1 drivers. The trick is to stay with or move to the best team, as Schumacher and Fangio did so well.

Or luckily? What if Byrne/Brawn/Todt had left Ferrari earlier? Or if Fangio's moves to other teams did not get the car when it was top? He could not have known beforehand how each model would perform against rivals? Except for Alfa Romeo 1950-51 and perhaps (?) Mercedes in 1954.

The most extreme example of a top driver in off-pace cars was Surtees: in his 13 year career, he only had two top cars and then only for six races! 1960 his debut part-season of 4, non-consecutive races, the Lotus-Climax 18; in 1966 for the first two races the Ferrari 312/66. The rest of the time has was in cars that were never in the top two or three.

Schumacher was shrewd enough to know that you needed the best team around you, and made it happen. He was a dedicated, gifted, hardworking and strong unofficial team-manager at Maranello.That is why he won so many races for so long. Imo it was not because he was measurably a better driver than the other greats.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:39 pm 
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He has very little time for your 'polls'

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:D :D

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:43 pm 
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POBRatings wrote:
schumilegend wrote:
Realistically speaking the greatest driver has to be Schumacher...There were others who could have gone on and been indisputably the greatest(Senna, Clark) but we can only go by facts..The rest is speculation..For e.g. after Alonso won the 2006 title who would have thought he would still be stuck with 2 WDC's..Same goes for Lewis...Basically F1 is unpredictable and very complex sport....Senna could have gone on to win a few more or he may have never won another one...Same goes for Clark.
My List
1) Schumacher
2)Fangio
3)Senna
4)Prost
5)Clark


Very accurate assessment of F1 drivers. The trick is to stay with or move to the best team, as Schumacher and Fangio did so well.

Or luckily? What if Byrne/Brawn/Todt had left Ferrari earlier? Or if Fangio's moves to other teams did not get the car when it was top? He could not have known beforehand how each model would perform against rivals? Except for Alfa Romeo 1950-51 and perhaps (?) Mercedes in 1954.

The most extreme example of a top driver in off-pace cars was Surtees: in his 13 year career, he only had two top cars and then only for six races! 1960 his debut part-season of 4, non-consecutive races, the Lotus-Climax 18; in 1966 for the first two races the Ferrari 312/66. The rest of the time has was in cars that were never in the top two or three.

Schumacher was shrewd enough to know that you needed the best team around you, and made it happen. He was a dedicated, gifted, hardworking and strong unofficial team-manager at Maranello.That is why he won so many races for so long. Imo it was not because he was measurably a better driver than the other greats.

I think choosing right teams is skill. Another thing is that Fanigo or Schumacher were wanted by most of teams, because they were excellent drivers and they worked hard for their reputation and position in F1 and teams. Schumacher was no one in 1991, but he impressed F1 bosses. I bet had Ferrari been failure after 1996, Schumacher would have easily found a seat in other top team.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:46 pm 
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flavio81 wrote:
My choice. He performed as good or better as other drivers that surely belong to the 'greatest of all times' list: Lauda, Prost, Mansell and K. Rosberg. And in the same car.

He also did other things worthy of a F1 'greatest', such as winning the race despite being lapped (more than once), winning a F1 championship with a car that wasn't even the 2nd best car, coming back after 1 year of retirement and blowing everyone away, breaking the records for most F1 wins, most F1 points and most F1 fastest laps; winning races with 4 different engine brands, 4 different teams, and in different engine/suspension eras.
While I share your choice of 'best F1 driver ever', at least of all the ones I have been lucky enough to see in action, I'm not sure I agree with winning the championship in 'a car that wasn't even the 2nd best car'.
Having said that, I think only Fangio and Clark could be on the same step as him, with Schumacher perhaps just below. (Too difficult to judge with all possible advantages in the business heaped upon him).

I guess I'm lucky the OP wasn't trying to ask for 'greatest' ever F1 driver. That's far too much into the realms of appreciation. Most successful ever is easy enough, but doesn't mean half as much as best ever.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:59 pm 
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dizlexik wrote:
POBRatings wrote:
schumilegend wrote:
Realistically speaking the greatest driver has to be Schumacher...There were others who could have gone on and been indisputably the greatest(Senna, Clark) but we can only go by facts..The rest is speculation..For e.g. after Alonso won the 2006 title who would have thought he would still be stuck with 2 WDC's..Same goes for Lewis...Basically F1 is unpredictable and very complex sport....Senna could have gone on to win a few more or he may have never won another one...Same goes for Clark.
My List
1) Schumacher
2)Fangio
3)Senna
4)Prost
5)Clark


Very accurate assessment of F1 drivers. The trick is to stay with or move to the best team, as Schumacher and Fangio did so well.

Or luckily? What if Byrne/Brawn/Todt had left Ferrari earlier? Or if Fangio's moves to other teams did not get the car when it was top? He could not have known beforehand how each model would perform against rivals? Except for Alfa Romeo 1950-51 and perhaps (?) Mercedes in 1954.

The most extreme example of a top driver in off-pace cars was Surtees: in his 13 year career, he only had two top cars and then only for six races! 1960 his debut part-season of 4, non-consecutive races, the Lotus-Climax 18; in 1966 for the first two races the Ferrari 312/66. The rest of the time has was in cars that were never in the top two or three.

Schumacher was shrewd enough to know that you needed the best team around you, and made it happen. He was a dedicated, gifted, hardworking and strong unofficial team-manager at Maranello.That is why he won so many races for so long. Imo it was not because he was measurably a better driver than the other greats.

I think choosing right teams is skill. Another thing is that Fanigo or Schumacher were wanted by most of teams, because they were excellent drivers and they worked hard for their reputation and position in F1 and teams. Schumacher was no one in 1991, but he impressed F1 bosses. I bet had Ferrari been failure after 1996, Schumacher would have easily found a seat in other top team.


Exactly, Schumacher was highly regarded enough for anyone to want to sign him. There is something similar with Hamilton at Mercedes, he is highly regarded enough that McLaren would surely welcome him back with open arms if it didn't work out.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:02 pm 
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POBRatings wrote:
Very accurate assessment of F1 drivers. The trick is to stay with or move to the best team, as Schumacher and Fangio did so well.

Or luckily? What if Byrne/Brawn/Todt had left Ferrari earlier? Or if Fangio's moves to other teams did not get the car when it was top? He could not have known beforehand how each model would perform against rivals? Except for Alfa Romeo 1950-51 and perhaps (?) Mercedes in 1954.

The most extreme example of a top driver in off-pace cars was Surtees: in his 13 year career, he only had two top cars and then only for six races! 1960 his debut part-season of 4, non-consecutive races, the Lotus-Climax 18; in 1966 for the first two races the Ferrari 312/66. The rest of the time has was in cars that were never in the top two or three.

Schumacher was shrewd enough to know that you needed the best team around you, and made it happen. He was a dedicated, gifted, hardworking and strong unofficial team-manager at Maranello.That is why he won so many races for so long. Imo it was not because he was measurably a better driver than the other greats.

Schumacher did not move to best team or car. Neither Benetton or Ferrari was best team/car when he moved to those teams. In fact Ferrari had failed to win WDC for 16 years running when Micheal joined. Chasing the best car was more of Senna's trademark...

Schumacher also won his titles against the cars of one of the best F1 designers ever, Newey in Williams and McLaren.

The following is a nice, short interview by Bryne that sheds light on the situation at Ferrari when he started working for them:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m16RZA8Fzvs


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:23 pm 
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PacificBeach wrote:
POBRatings wrote:
Very accurate assessment of F1 drivers. The trick is to stay with or move to the best team, as Schumacher and Fangio did so well.

Or luckily? What if Byrne/Brawn/Todt had left Ferrari earlier? Or if Fangio's moves to other teams did not get the car when it was top? He could not have known beforehand how each model would perform against rivals? Except for Alfa Romeo 1950-51 and perhaps (?) Mercedes in 1954.

The most extreme example of a top driver in off-pace cars was Surtees: in his 13 year career, he only had two top cars and then only for six races! 1960 his debut part-season of 4, non-consecutive races, the Lotus-Climax 18; in 1966 for the first two races the Ferrari 312/66. The rest of the time has was in cars that were never in the top two or three.

Schumacher was shrewd enough to know that you needed the best team around you, and made it happen. He was a dedicated, gifted, hardworking and strong unofficial team-manager at Maranello.That is why he won so many races for so long. Imo it was not because he was measurably a better driver than the other greats.

Schumacher did not move to best team or car. Neither Benetton or Ferrari was best team/car when he moved to those teams. In fact Ferrari had failed to win WDC for 16 years running when Micheal joined. Chasing the best car was more of Senna's trademark...

Schumacher also won his titles against the cars of one of the best F1 designers ever, Newey in Williams and McLaren.

The following is a nice, short interview by Bryne that sheds light on the situation at Ferrari when he started working for them:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m16RZA8Fzvs


In all fairness Ferrari was not that bad a car, they were race winners and frequent podium occupants in 1994/1995 just before Schumacher joined

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:29 pm 
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Seanie wrote:
He has very little time for your 'polls'

Image

:D :D


That picture makes it look like he's got very little time to get to the toilet.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:16 pm 
dizlexik wrote:
10 races criteria or something like this if it's applied consistently is perfectly reasonable. You must get rid of the "noisy data", before extracting actual information from any data set.


The 1951 Formula One season comprised just 8 races. I believe 12.5% is not noisy data. Jimmy Clark competed in just 5 Indy 500's, winning once. Since it's under the "10" cutoff point, I guess we can casually dismiss that too? Dan Gurney and LeMans? We can throw that out too. Shame about Maria Teresa de Filippis, she only made 3 starts.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:39 pm 
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Race2win wrote:
@Schumierules & POB: I understand what you trying to say. I dont mean performance wise drivers earlier were better than now or vice versa. POB you mentioned Bravery. Bravery is just a part of it. Motorsport is dangerous. They all drove/drive to the edge of the limet all the time. Only difference is today a driver is 99.9% sure he'll make it out alive, which is a good thing. I wouldnt want my fav drivers to die. But earlier they didnt have that luxury. Everyone counts only the World Championship points. Yet drivers like Tazio Nuvolari won not a single point. Why? Because WC didnt start until the 50s. Infact till the 60s classic sports car races carried more prestige than wins in WC. Also lets be honest the World Championship was way different then. I could on but I fear I would bore a lot of people on here. All I am saying is there is so much more to being considered the Best F1 driver than what a few statistics say. My list of favorite driver mentioned earlier still stays the same.


Your posts are not boring anyone, as you can see from the responses! Very interesting topic and always topical. Even though there may be no definitive answer.

Your stated basis for calculating and rating the drivers is entirely valid as are your tabled results. A lot of time to do this.

What turned me away from results-based analysis was the problem of measuring/comparing drivers due to the disparity in cars. Always the problem in F1. Moss and Surtees probably being the most glaring examples of top-raters in off-pace cars. And Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneueve possibly being the clearest examples of off-pace drivers in top-rate cars.

The more seasons a driver has in top-rate cars the better are his stats. Fangio, Schumacher and Clark (and Damon Hill) had the highest percentage of their races in top-rate cars. The three (Fangio, Clark, Schumacher) also lacked that other factor that significantly affects results: a top-rate team-mate without team orders. Neither Senna nor Prost could dominate when paired; imo if Fangio had Ascari, Clark had Surtees and Schumacher had Hakkinen/Raikkonen/Alonso as team-mates (without team orders), their stats would not be nearly as healthy as they are. Same goes for Ascari in 1952-3 when his stats soared; he was clearly faster than his team-mates in the top car.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:00 pm 
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Seanie wrote:
He has very little time for your 'polls'

Image

:D :D

Its either that or hes saying "Your forgeting Im a good Driver too"

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:32 pm 
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Blinky McSquinty wrote:
dizlexik wrote:
10 races criteria or something like this if it's applied consistently is perfectly reasonable. You must get rid of the "noisy data", before extracting actual information from any data set.


The 1951 Formula One season comprised just 8 races. I believe 12.5% is not noisy data. Jimmy Clark competed in just 5 Indy 500's, winning once. Since it's under the "10" cutoff point, I guess we can casually dismiss that too? Dan Gurney and LeMans? We can throw that out too. Shame about Maria Teresa de Filippis, she only made 3 starts.

They aren't fair comparison. F1 is not Le Mans. Le Mans is one event per year, F1 was always at least 6-7 races a year. Jim Clark competed in many F1 races. We are trying to find best F1 driver ever. Not the best one race wonder. If you don't think it's reasonable to exclude driver that raced, you do it wrong. I know you are very reasonable and with a lot of knowledge of motorsport. I respect you on this forum, I usually don't question your opinions, because I know you know stuff better than me, but your view on science is wrong. Maybe OP didn't word his/her criteria clearly, but he is right to do it that way. Science also get rid of a lot of data for similar reasons. Data without such a processing is useless. It's still data and raw data tells you nothing. You must understand the data. Science needs to extract information from data and this is when we create information. This is what science says about data!

Beside that I don't think OP did it on purpose to exclude certain drivers, he did it to get better information from data and it's clearly not against science.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:42 pm 
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Kushal Msc-3 wrote:
Can't compare drivers of different eras.

If I had to name one: MS! :smug:



T H I S

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:48 pm 
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Best at what? Driving quickly? Winning races? Winning championships? Entertaining? Staying in the sport?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:15 pm 
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Blinky McSquinty wrote:
Most times I casually dismiss any attempt to rank drivers with distain, but Beleriand_K, this is an interesting piece of work. My single recommendation is to calculate for each season, and throw out the worst half, since some drivers suffered spending a few years in poorly ranked teams. I can think of certain drivers who spent a high percentage of their career in top teams, while others spent many years in teams that definitely were not competitive.


Good point.

You could meticulously go through each race and remove the DNF's that were not the drivers fault, i.e. someone crashing into them etc.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:29 am 
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Well, if i don't get wrong, the best driver is the one that, given similar machinery will win all others mostly of the times.
The trouble becomes from the fact that along a racing life, drivers reach a cenit and slips down from this point. Every candidate to "all time best" was (or will) overcomed with regularity by someonr that´s usually rated like worse driver. That as a rule it happens at begining or end of his carrer.
To do most complicated, some drivers have a small presence, with his cenit maybe centred in a single perfect race.
Can a driver be rated by a single race?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:01 am 
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Damoclesfall makes good points about driver rating.

Between Schumacher and Senna two interesting views (quoted from 2012-2013):
Bernie Eccelestone reckoned Senna would be better due to his intense focus.
Pat Symonds (Schumacher's engineer at Benetton) reckoned Schumacher would be better due to his huge work ethic and application.

Would have been great to have seen them in same-team/cars? Somehow don't think it would have been cosy. They would have made the Mansell-Piquet, Senna-Prost, Jones-Reutemann and Graham Hill-Rindt pairings look tame.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:22 am 
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ashley313 wrote:
Best at what? Driving quickly? Winning races? Winning championships? Entertaining? Staying in the sport?


Good question, to define what we are discussing or using to measure drivers.

I'd go for 'winning races' as the best measure of a driver's ability. To me this also means fastest. The fastest drivers are almost always the most reliable and mechanically-sensitive too.

The WDC is not always a reliable measure of inter-driver skills; it is a measure of who scores the most ponts within the system.

Several WDCs went to highest points scorers (Prost/McLaren in 1986 when Mansell/Williams was clearly the fastest/best package, Lauda in 1984 when Prost was the best/fastest; Hawthorn/Ferrari in 1958 when Moss/Vanwall was easily the best package) rather than to fastest/best drivers.

Some WDC's were won by off-pace drivers in top-cars (1996 and 1997).

Other WDC's were won by others' misfortune (Hunt in 1976 when Lauda was way ahead before his Nurburg crash; Brabham in 1959 and 1960, by Moss's 5 gearbox failures in 1959 and Spa crash in 1960; Alonso in 2005 due to Raikkonen's four grid penalties).

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:08 pm 
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POBRatings wrote:
And Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneueve possibly being the clearest examples of off-pace drivers in top-rate cars.


DH an "off-pace" driver? I always thought DH was a perfectly fine driver and a worthy champion.


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