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Damien_C
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F1 Greats

My F1 great is 76 World Champion James Hunt, he was a legend and in my eyes still is. He was mad never frightened to stand up for he beleived and raced every race as if it was his last and was the untimate fighter.

He also was a great sprotsman stoping and saving Niki Lauda from his burning Ferrari at the Nurburgring without a care for his own safety.

Aswell as all this he had a personalty which the F1 drivers of today are lacking majorly the only modern F1 driver that came anywhere close to him was Eddie Irvine.

I also like Gerhard Berger too another mad man behind the wheel.

I could go on for ever about him but I would only bore ye all.

So that is my great F1 driver what is yours?
 
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Re: F1 Greats

Ayrton Senna , the only man who could change F1's history in the last 10 years by denying Schumi's supremacy!
Then ,Nigel Mansell for his talent and attacking style. I also favoured Damon Hill for the short period in which he excelled at Williams. I think those were days when F1 really meant something !
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Re: F1 Greats

For me its James Hunt as well. He wasn't as smart or as calculating as Lauda or Prost but his 1976 season was the first F1 season I paid much attention to. Back then we could not get F1 on Irish TV so it was all on the radio news or in the car magazines I read about him.

Back then Lauda was winning all around him - I often wondered what would have happened if Lauda had not his accident - more than likely he would have beat Hunt.

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Re: F1 Greats

i agree with all the above and would like to include the flying finn..keke rosberg..in the same mould as hunt, liked his booze and birds...and a true gent

 
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Re: F1 Greats

Senna.
Remember that first lap at Donnington in the wet in '93?
Maybe not the most sporting of drivers, but the greatest.
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Re: F1 Greats

I agree with that totally, Senna could be a real prat - like when he rammed Prost (another great) off to take the title. But he was an incredible driver and racer. Schumacher is nothing by comparison.
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Re: F1 Greats

what about if we go a bit further back...Clark, Moss, Hill, Fangio, Surtees, Ascari...am i right in saying that surtees is the only person to win both F1 and bike championship

 
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Re: F1 Greats

Alain Prost for his smoothness - I remember watching Prost and Senna at the last GP at Kyalami - while Senna was really getting the car out of shape and appeared to be pushing 10/10ths all the time, Prost's drive seemed effortless, the car never seemed out of shape yet he was still incredibly quick. And this was after sitting out the entire previous season.
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Re: F1 Greats

Probably Senna for shear ability, but like Schumacher (Also one of the all time greats) he had a ruthless, quite unpleasant streak that you wouldn't see in others of his equal, for instance, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Juan Manual Fangio.

But there are so many others you really can't discount;
Gilles Villenueve, Ronnie Peterson, Jochen Rindt, Stirling Moss...... it goes on for ever, people like Nuvolari, if you want to go way back, or more up to date people like Prost and Mansell.

TBH I liked James Hunt, I liked his style, bare foot in the paddock and Girls in the hotel room and all that, but he wasn't on the same level as the others mentioned above for shear driving ability.

The argument will run and run as too was the greatest, it will never be answered though as all the drivers are or were products of their time.

The modern crop of drivers are probably no less talented, but the political climate tends to remove their character traits making them all seem boring.

Bit like the races really.......
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Re: F1 Greats

Nuvolari, Fangio, and more recently Emmerson Fittipaldi only 25 when he became world champion. The other wasn't known as "hunt the shunt" for nothing imo !
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alonso is now getting there..if he wins again he will be only the 7th driver to retain his title and the youngest to win a title in the first place

 
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Re: F1 Greats

Gilles Villeneuve.
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fantastic driver
 
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Re: F1 Greats

Apart from being a "true" Gentleman, Sir Jack Brabham is the only person to ever
1) Own an F1 team
2) Build his own car
3) Win the F1 championship....

all at the same time. (ie won the F1 championship as an owner-builder)

This in my opinion, makes him truely an F1 Great
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyQV
Nuvolari, Fangio, and more recently Emmerson Fittipaldi only 25 when he became world champion. The other wasn't known as "hunt the shunt" for nothing imo !
Although Nuvolari never actually raced in F1, he was one of the greatest of all times. Didn't even need a steering wheel to win!
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Re: F1 Greats

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFoot
Gilles Villeneuve.
Awesome. Drifting an F1 car at a rally car angle of attack...on purpose. Sorely missed.

Clark was great but I was so young when he died my parents were surprised I even knew who he was.

Senna probably the ultimate but (much as I hate to say) Schumi will be similarly honoured in years to come but I don't think he has the style, charm or sportsmanship of the old greats. Lauda was a true star too.
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Re: F1 Greats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damien_C
My F1 great is 76 World Champion James Hunt, he was a legend and in my eyes still is. He was mad never frightened to stand up for he beleived and raced every race as if it was his last and was the untimate fighter.

He also was a great sprotsman stoping and saving Niki Lauda from his burning Ferrari at the Nurburgring without a care for his own safety.
Damien, I wouldn't disagree with your choices apart from Irvine (a legend in his own helmet ).

Just a point of order regarding Hunt in your tribute above. He was challenging Lauda for the title but he did not stop to help. It was 1976 (I think) at the Nurburgring. Lauda hit the banking just after Bergwerk and his car burst into flames after Lunger clipped his spinning car. First on the scene was Guy Edwards, a marshal and another driver stopped (Merzario?). The two drivers -with the benefit of Nomex protection waded in to pull Lauda from the fireball. Meanwhile several other drivers stopped to assist but it is generally Edwards who is remembered for the bravery on the day.


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Re: F1 Greats

...the old timer I most admire is of course Alberto Ascari who raced for Ferrari and Maserati in the 50's, he was killed at Monza on a section of track that was named after him after the accident, the Ascari Variante is a fast sweeping left-right-left that took his life. I can't remember the exact figures but he raced in over 50 GP's and he had a win in almost 50% of them, a great record.

My most admired modern day driver has to be Jean Alesi, in contrast he only won 1 GP from over 200 starts (95 Canadian GP) but what a driver to watch, always exciting and with a do or die attitude bordering on the point of being downright dangerous he always kept me on the edge of my seat. His record is nothing, he actually turned down a drive for the all conquering Williams team to join Ferrari which is where his heart always lay, sadly he joined them when they took a downturn in performance and reliability and F1 never got to see his true talents in my opinion.

They are my two All Time Greats.

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Re: F1 Greats

not sure if he's the greatest but if there is a F1 hall of fame Nicki Lauda will surely be in it. one of my earliest memory of F1 racing was watching him coming from way back on the grid to grab 2nd place and win the title by half a point. to make it more amazing he had just recovered from the injury after that horrific crash ....
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Re: F1 Greats

Nuvolari for me.

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Re: F1 Greats

Jim Clark - he could drive anything
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Re: F1 Greats

James Hunt stopped at the scene of Lauda's Nurburgring fiery accident, but it was Arturo Merzario who 'went in' and undid the Ferrari harness (which was a different pattern to all the others)
Lauda has to be in my top 5, but probably below Jacky Ickx and Clay Regazzoni. Shame the Formula 1 drivers since that time rarely drive anything else.
Anyone remember when Jim Clark, Graham Hill and a few more, raced in 3 races on the same day as the British GP? (and Sir John Whitmore beat both of them in an identical Lotus Cortina)
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Re: F1 Greats

Yes, I remember that was quite comon back then (driving saloons on the same day as a GP).

Didn't Jim Clark also turn his hand to a bit of works rallying (concurrent with his GP drives) in Triumph 2000 and Rover P6's or am I thinking of another great?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73GTVJim
Yes, I remember that was quite comon back then (driving saloons on the same day as a GP).

Didn't Jim Clark also turn his hand to a bit of works rallying (concurrent with his GP drives) in Triumph 2000 and Rover P6's or am I thinking of another great?
Not sure about that but he did race Lotus Cortina's and it was an F2 race that he was tragically killed in.
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Re: F1 Greats

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikebrown
...am i right in saying that surtees is the only person to win both F1 and bike championship


Yep.
Said hello to him over the paddock fence years ago at the Festival of Speed. The mechanics where trying to get an old (Honda I think) GP bike running for him to blast up the hill on. He was a real gent and a nutter up that hill, kinda been a fan of his since.
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