BuzzJack
Entertainment Discussion

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register | Help )

Latest Site News
3 Pages V  < 1 2 3  
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> My Top 50 Grand Prix Drivers
Track this topic - Email this topic - Print this topic - Download this topic - Subscribe to this forum
Severin
post Sunday, 02:32 PM
Post #41
Mansonette
******
Group: Members
Posts: 5,432
Member No.: 9,872
Joined: 3-November 09
   No Gallery Pics
 


32 – Jean Alesi



Career – 1989-2001
Teams – Tyrell, Ferrari, Benetton, Sauber, Prost, Jordan
WC Starts – 201
WC Wins – 1
WC Poles – 2
Best Finish – 4th (1996, 1997)


Jean Alesi may have been officially French, but his Italian heritage shone through. His years at Ferrari endeared him to the Tifosi so much that he was frequently compared to Gilles Villeneuve, both for his use of the iconic number 27 and for his aggressive driving style. He was among the most skilled wet weather drivers to ever grace the Grand Prix circus – producing lap times on slicks that were comparable to the best cars on the right tyres - and his passionate and somewhat mercurial personality made him one of the most exciting drivers to watch. Sadly for all his brilliance, he was cursed with terrible luck - every time he moved to a new team it was right at the moment they entered a decline or produced a terrible car, and, like Gerhard Berger, he had the misfortune of racing against Mansell, Senna, Prost and Schumacher, but never in equal machinery, and subsequently the fact he claimed only a single victory is one of F1’s great travesties.
His career began with Tyrell in ’89 and he immediately impressed, securing a 2nd year with the team. In the 1990 USA GP he memorably duelled with Senna’s superior McLaren-Honda, leading for 25 laps. A 2nd place at the next race in Monaco saw the entire paddock fighting to sign him – at one point Tyrrell, Williams and Ferrari all claimed to have won his signature for ’91. It soon became clear he had signed for Williams – a contract that would have put him in a seat alongside Mansell just in time for their peak era of 1992 – 1997. However, Alesi instead went with his heart and opted for Maranello and Ferrari, who paid substantial compensation to Williams.
The 1991 Ferrari was an awful car. It was unreliable and not particularly quick. Senior driver Alain Prost would go so far as to describe it as like driving a truck, and Jean could only finish 7th in the title hunt.
1992 and 1993 saw Alesi with almost no hope of winning a race, given the Williams superiority and Senna’s brilliance. However he chose to remain despite other offers.
For 1994 the car was more competitive but severely compromised by unreliability and Alesi would earn a reputation to rival Chris Amon – hugely gifted but robbed by mechanical failures and circumstance. – as on several occasion his car failed when in race winning situations.
1995 was a similar story, with a pair of potential wins taken from him by failures on the car. Then, for a brief moment fate smiled on him, it was his 31st birthday at the Canadian GP that year and he took his one and only victory. Even then, the car ran out of fuel at the finishing line. He continued to lead races that year only to be denied by the car, and most heartbreakingly lead the entire European GP, in the wet whilst on slicks, only to see low fuel, traffic, and Schumacher at his best, take the win in the final moments. To make matters worse he was informed that Schumacher would replace him at Ferrari for 1996.
Alesi switched to the previously strong Benetton team for ’96 and ’97 but the team had entered terminal decline and results became even harder to achieve. Despite flashes of his previous form, the pressure to deliver was affecting him. The highlight came at Monza when he put the car on pole sending a still adoring Tifosi into ecstasy, unusual as the Tifosi rarely cheer anyone not in a Ferrari. However, normality resumed on race day yet again, bad luck in the form of a poor pit stop cost him a possible win.
There followed 2 years in a very ordinary Sauber, a year with Prost and a final year with Jordan in 2001 – all teams that were far from their best – and by this time age had caught up with him as he was outpaced by younger talent. He did, however, last long enough to enter his 200th GP, a major accomplishment back then, and despite an offer from Arrows he chose to retire.
To this day he remains adored by Ferrari fans in a way that few since have managed. All Ferrari drivers are loved by the Tifosi in some way but Jean Alesi was and is so loved because he epitomised the passion, flair and excitement that they have always coveted in their drivers.

The last word – ‘It wasn’t all frustration. I’ve had a lot of good times with Ferrari as well.’
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mack.
post Sunday, 03:17 PM
Post #42
It's the return of the Mack.
*******
Group: Moderator
Posts: 34,183
Member No.: 12,915
Joined: 1-February 11
   No Gallery Pics
 


If he only he had stayed at Williams who knows what career he could have had. That car in the Prost in 2000 that was awful. He did start the season in 2001 at Prost then he swapped seats to Jordan. His last race was quite a big crash with Raikkonen.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Severin
post Monday, 12:44 PM
Post #43
Mansonette
******
Group: Members
Posts: 5,432
Member No.: 9,872
Joined: 3-November 09
   No Gallery Pics
 


31 – Bernd Rosemeyer



Career – 1935-1938
Teams – Auto Union
WC Starts – N/A
WC Wins – N/A (3 European Championship + 8 Non Championship)
Poles – N/A
Best Finish – European Champion (1936)


One of the great pre-war drivers, whose exploits remain legendary, and whose fearlessness knew no bounds.
Rosemeyer began his racing career on two wheels and was known as a skilled mechanic before he made the transition to cars. He had pestered the Auto Union boss Walter Walb for months before finally being given his opportunity. On the day of his first drive he arrived in a suit. When questioned why he explained it was a special day and he felt he should dress appropriately!
The car in question was the revolutionary Auto Union Type B, as designed by Ferdinand Porsche. For the time it was incredibly powerful and notoriously difficult to drive. Unsurprisingly, Rosemeyer spun the car several times, but with no prior experience of cars he assumed this was the norm. After having learned to respect the machine he set about taming it and soon his lap times were comparable with established team leader Hans Stuck and he was offered a drive for the 1935 season. However, Walb considered Rosemeyer too inexperienced to tackle the daunting, high speed Avus circuit. The driver had other ideas and left multiple notes in his office asking ‘why is Rosemeyer not driving?’ Walb essentially considered them suicide notes but relented. Rosemeyer qualified 3rd but was forced to retire.
The next race was the Eifelrennen at the Nurburgring. All his teamamtes had issues and he was allowed to go on the attack against the superior Mercedes in the hands of the great Rudolf Carraciola. To everyone’s amazement he caught and passed Carraciola but he responded and won the race by nearly 2 seconds. The rest of the year would see equally impressive duels with the likes of Tazio Nuvolari and Achille Varzi. In Czechoslovkia he won his first Grand Prix finishing 6 full minutes ahead of Louis Chiron and Nuvolari.
In 1936, driving Auto Union’s Type C, he won the European Drivers Championship winning four of the five races. An accident prevented him from taking the lot.
1937 proved to be trickier as Mercedes produced the W125, a car largely funded by the Nazi party and with such a horsepower advantage that rules were put in place to limit it. Grand Prix cars would not match it for power until the early 80s! His final victory came at Donington where 50,000 fans turned out to see the legendary Silver Arrows of Auto Union and Mercedes utterly destroy all challengers as the German cars took the top 7 places. He did however, wind the Vanderbilt cup that year.
Prior to the 1938 season Rosemeyer and Carraciola faced off in a world land speed record attempt. It was to be held on the Darmstadt-Frankfurt autobahn. Earlier in the day Carraciola had set a top speed of 268mph.
Rosemeyer had been warned about high winds but went out again to try and improve his time. Traveling at over 270 mph a crosswind caught his car and caused the Auto Union to somersault flinging Rosemeyer to his death. Neubauer, Caracciola and von Brauchitsch, his Mercedes rivals, were stunned into silence and Germany had lost one of its greatest drivers.

The last word – ‘Bernd literally did not know fear, and sometimes that is not good. We actually feared for him in every race. Somehow I never thought a long life was on the cards for him. He was bound to get it sooner or later...’ – Rudolf Caracciola


This post has been edited by Severin: Monday, 12:46 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mack.
post Monday, 10:41 PM
Post #44
It's the return of the Mack.
*******
Group: Moderator
Posts: 34,183
Member No.: 12,915
Joined: 1-February 11
   No Gallery Pics
 


Another fascinating read there, Severin. In Bernd Rosemeyer. Fantastic thread this.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Severin
post Tuesday, 07:22 PM
Post #45
Mansonette
******
Group: Members
Posts: 5,432
Member No.: 9,872
Joined: 3-November 09
   No Gallery Pics
 


A quick re-cap of the first batch -


50 - Rubens Barrichello (BRA)
49 - Elio De Angelis (ITA)
48 - Jacques Villenueve (CAN)
47 - Juan Pablo Montoya (COL)
46 - Stefan Bellof (GER)
45 - Jean Pierre Wimille (FRA)
44 - Clay Regazzoni (SUI)
43 - Carlos Reutemann (ARG)
42 - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS)
41 - Didier Pironi (FRA)

40 - Francois Cevert (FRA)
39 - John Surtees (GB)
38 - Giuseppe Farina (ITA)
37 - Keke Rosberg (FIN)
36 - Gerhard Berger (AUT)
35 - Dan Gurney (USA)
34 - Jose Froilan Gonzalez (ARG)
33 - Jenson Button (GB)
32 - Jean Alesi (FRA)
31 - Bernd Rosemeyer (GER)


I meant to say at the start the totals for the nationalities but forgot.
Therefore, in total, and including those already named there are -

3 x Argentina
2 x Australia
3 x Austria
4 x Brazil
2 x Canada
1 x Colombia
3 x Finland
5 x France
5 x Germany
6 x Italy
1 x Monaco
1 x Netherlands
1 x Sweden
1 x Switzerland
1 x Spain
9 x UK
2 x USA

You may be able to work out a fair few from that info.


This post has been edited by Severin: Tuesday, 07:24 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Severin
post Tuesday, 07:49 PM
Post #46
Mansonette
******
Group: Members
Posts: 5,432
Member No.: 9,872
Joined: 3-November 09
   No Gallery Pics
 


30 – Graham Hill



Career – 1958-1975
Teams – Lotus, BRM, Brabham, Hill
WC Starts – 176
WC Wins – 14 (+ 6 Non Championship Wins)
WC Poles – 13
Best Finish – World Champion (1962, 1968)


The former Royal Navy conscript and double World Champion came to represent the very definition of the British gentlemen racer and one that has become something of a stereotype in Hollywood movies with an English racing driver as a character.
As a man he was known for his dry sense of humour, his charm and his dashing appearance, qualities that made him something of a celebrity in an era where racing drivers hadn’t yet begun to embrace the media. He and Jackie Stewart formed something of a double act on UK TV for a while.
As a driver he had the reputation of being a hard worker, rather than a natural talent but he was more gifted than many gave him credit for and he remains to this day the only driver to complete the Triple Crown of Motorsport – Le Mans 24hrs, Indy 500 and Monaco GP (sometimes given as the F1 World title). He was the first World Champion who would have a child who would also win the title – son Damon. He only ever drove in British made cars and won the challenging Monaco GP 5 times – a record that would stand until Ayrton Senna claimed 6.
Hill didn’t pass his driving test until he was 24 years old, in 1953. Less than 12 months later he was a racing driver and by 1958 he had made his Grand Prix debut for Lotus but the team was yet to field a truly competitive car and after 2 years had moved to BRM but the team was then considered something of a joke. He finished in only 5 of the 16 races the team entered in 1960 and 1961, although he did claim a first podium at Zandvoort in 1960.
1962 would see Hill take 4 wins from 9 races and win his first World Championship in a year that would be a straight fight between him and Jim Clark. The Scotsman was leading the final race and in a title winning position when his Lotus developed an oil leak. Hill remained at BRM for another 4 years coming 2nd in the title race 3 times and 5th in his final year with the team.
In 1966 he became the second F1 driver in succession to win the Indy 500, his rookie year. He inherited the lead with a mere 10 laps to go after Jackie Stewart pulled off with an oil pressure problem and was surprised to hear he had won, believing Jim Clark was ahead of him. There remains some debate around the winner as some contend Clark had a lap miscounted and had actually won, but Hill was declared the winner and the result was never formally contested.
He returned to Lotus for 1967 but the team was in a period of upheaval that it only recovered from in 1968 as the sport endured a terrible year. Team mate and title favourite Jim Clark was killed after winning the opening round leaving Hill to battle upcoming Jackie Stewart for the championship. In the end Hill took his 2nd title.
In subsequent years Hill’s successes became fewer and spells with Brabham and his own team yielded little joy. In 1975, he finally saw the writing that had been on the wall for some time, when he failed to qualify at Monaco, a circuit of which he was the recognised king. He immediately retired to focus on running the team.
Tragically, the much loved Graham Hill, along with his 5 passengers, was killed whilst piloting his own light aircraft as he attempted to land in heavy fog outside of London in November of that year. The investigation suggested the likeliest cause was pilot error.
A corner is named in his honour at Brands Hatch - Graham Hill Bend


The last word – ‘I am an artist, the track is my canvas and the car is my brush’ – Graham Hill
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Severin
post Tuesday, 08:06 PM
Post #47
Mansonette
******
Group: Members
Posts: 5,432
Member No.: 9,872
Joined: 3-November 09
   No Gallery Pics
 


29 – Max Verstappen



Career – 2015-Current
Teams – Toro Rosso, Red Bull
WC Starts – 102
WC Wins – 2
WC Poles – 8
Best Finish – 3rd (2019)

Coming (perhaps) surprisingly high in the all time countdown is Max Verstappen, a driver who in just a few more years may well feature much higher if he can sustain his current levels of performance. Many (myself included) consider him the best driver on the grid right now but one who is yet to be given a car that can consistently challenge at the front.
His quality has dramatically improved over time as well. His early races in Toro Rosso began in 2015 and whilst they showed plenty of promise it wasn’t obvious if he could make the step up to the front but he continue to show huge potential and the big break came in 2016 when the mistake prone Daniil Kvyat was demoted from Red Bull, leading to the young Dutchman taking his place. Verstappen seized his chance and promptly, although somewhat fortuitously, won the following race in Spain to become the youngest ever F1 winner.
However, as the season progressed he gained a reputation as tough competitor with a dangerously aggressive driving style and for making a number of errors. His driving was considered so borderline that the FIA, following a 2016 Belgian GP block on Kimi Raikkonen, outlawed drivers moving under braking. He would win a further 2 races in 2017 and continue to drive on the boundary of fair and reasonable behaviour. A notable incident came at Azerbaijan when he and team mate Daniel Ricciardo, embroiled in a race long duel, managed to take each other out. Both drivers were considered at fault but Verstappen’s defending was again brought in to question. Then at Monaco in 2018 a turning point came. Red Bull were in a great position to lock out the front row and dominate the race until Verstappen clipped the barrier and destroyed the car, enough that he would start from the back of the grid. He was once again criticised by the team bosses but something changed in his mindset and the unforced errors began to recede from his performances. He won 2 more races in 2018 and 2019 saw him finish 3rd in the championship with 3 wins. He ended the season above both Ferrari drivers and only behind the Mercedes pair of Hamilton and Bottas, whose car was utterly dominant for the first half of the year. He had established himself as the most exciting driver on the grid and a future championship feels inevitable. If the 2020 Red Bull is good from the season opener it could be his year. Even if not, we can expect him to be a major presence in the sport for many years.


The last word - 'The only place that matters is first' - Max Verstappen
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mack.
post Tuesday, 10:10 PM
Post #48
It's the return of the Mack.
*******
Group: Moderator
Posts: 34,183
Member No.: 12,915
Joined: 1-February 11
   No Gallery Pics
 


Graham Hill don't feel in my view he gets enough recognition for the career in Formula One.

Max Verstappen, I'll be amazed if he doesn't win a world title, he is one of the.most exciting drivers I've seen since Hamilton came on his debut season. Him and one Charles Leclerc could be a one almighty rivalry for years to come.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Severin
post 7 hours ago
Post #49
Mansonette
******
Group: Members
Posts: 5,432
Member No.: 9,872
Joined: 3-November 09
   No Gallery Pics
 


QUOTE(Mack. @ May 26 2020, 11:10 PM) *
Graham Hill don't feel in my view he gets enough recognition for the career in Formula One.

Absolutely. He is always overshadowed by Clark & Stewart but he was great in his own right too. Anyone who can rule Monaco in the way he did has real talent and the triple crown is unique for a reason, all three races are hard to win
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post


3 Pages V  < 1 2 3
Reply to this topicStart new topic

2 User(s) are reading this topic (2 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:


 

Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 28th May 2020 - 01:14 AM