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Who is the best driver?

Formula One
by jayzeejz (U13254910) 11 October 2010
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One of the things I enjoy most about the 606 forums are the fanboys and WUMS, who will fiercely defend their man, and attack his closest rival.

Reading the comments on Andrew Benson's blogs can give great examples of this. The Lewis fanboys get insulted if Lewis isn't portrayed as been the greatest racer ever, the Alonso fanboys think that itís terrible the BBC only ever talks about McLaren.

This means asking who the best driver of 2010 (so far) a particularly entertaining topic.

Iíll start my arguments in WDC order. DNFs include results where driver was classified but did not finish.

Mark Webber Ė 4 wins, 9 podiums, 1 DNF, lowest finish 9th. Has had his most impressive season in F1. In my mind his greatest drive is still his debut race. Fellow Australian Paul Stoddart gave Webber his F1 shot, and straight away he paid him back by getting 5th place (and 2 points for Minardi) in his debut GP at Melbourne. Itís surprising that it has taken him so long to find himself in title contending race seat.
The only negative side to his season, in my opinion, is being outshone by his team mate in qualifying. So considering heís leading the WDC he hasnít done bad for a number 2 driver.

Fernando Alonso Ė 4 wins, 8 podiums, 2 DNFs, lowest finish 8th. Was favourite before the season started, but despite a Ferrari 1-2 in the opening race, many felt he was lucky with Vettelís spark plug issue. It quickly became clear that the Red Bulls had better pace. His first half of the season was riddled with errors, and it largely appeared that he was overdriving the car. It wasnít the cool headed Alonso that had twice won the WDC. Ever since Ferrari added the new aero package at Silverstone he has been getting back to his best.
The man himself has claimed not to be the fastest driver (which you can easily argue against, even if his title winning Renault was light years ahead of his title challengers), but he has claimed to be the most consistent (which again, given some of his errors this season you can also argue against). But heís come back to the boil at the right time.

Sebastian Vettel Ė 3 wins, 8 podiums, 2 DNFs, lowest finish 15th. Despite blowing everyone away in qualifying, he has let himself down in the races, failing to convert his poles into wins on too many occasions. A combination of bad luck and errors may eventually cost him the title. His clash with Webber in Turkey, along with the front wing debacle, lost him many fans he gained when he won the Italian GP in 2008 in a Torro Rosso. Started to lose his head in mid-season, but after Ferrariís recent success he looks to have been brought back down to Earth. The smiling, easy-going Vettel that won so many fans seems to have come back.

Lewis Hamilton Ė 3 wins in 2010, 7 podiums, 4 DNFs, lowest finish 6th. As good a season as any for Lewis Hamilton. When he entered F1, he already had the pace and racing ability, and he was learnt and tweaked his style as he has gone along. Perhaps his most notable improvement has been in his maturity out of the car, and certain character building (see Lewisí interview with the BBC from the Japanese Grand Prix) events over the past few seasons. Has seen his fair share of controversy, but after a poor start last season and struggling to do the best with a bad car, knuckled down and gave McLaren momentum going into this season. There is a feeling he gets more out of the car than anyone. He has generally outqualified his world champion teammate, and a couple of aggressive overtakes may cost him a shot at the title this year.
As an F1 fan I believe the sport needs people like Hamilton (and Vettel) who are willing to risk their race to go for a move when the chance presents itself.

Jenson Button Ė 2 wins, 6 podiums, 2 DNF, lowest finish 8th. Was widely expected to be annihilated by Hamilton this season, but has held his own. His 2 wins have come from a mixture of fortune and good tactical calls. The McLaren seems to suit both driversí styles. May have an opportunity with new tyres coming into F1 next season, as tyre wear hasnít had a huge impact this season. He excels at certain circuits and is poor at others, much like Massa.

Other drivers worth a mention Ė Robert Kubica has again shown that he has the potential to be a champion. He has destroyed his team mate this season, and dragged the Renault up the grid with some great race performances. Nico Rosberg has dominated his 7 times WDC teammate this season. Could be a rusty ageing Schuey, or he could be the real deal. Hopefully the Mercedes will be good enough for these 2 to compete next season (Although despite it being the team that delivered a World Championship car, we mustnít forget itís the same team who produced years of terrible Hondas). Kamui Kobayashi showed at the Japanese GP why he is an exciting prospect. Would be great for F1 to have a top Asian GP driver . . . continued below

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posted Oct 14, 2010

Actually, a driver's character - both ability to keep calm under pressure and deal with disappointments can be quite important, as it can affect how they drive.

Also, although not relevant to their success, I think a driver's personality is quite important as far as "greatness" is concerned.

I wouldn't support a driver who was a sore loser, rude, always whining / blaming everyone but themselves, or resorted to dirty tactics.

Besides, the the main problem I'm having is trying to incorporate their career points without badly skewing the results. winkeye

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posted Oct 14, 2010

Why bother.

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posted Oct 14, 2010

I think dyrewolfs idea is very creative. Sounds like something I would try to come up with when plotting how to beat the bookies on the gee gee's.

The only problem with systems like that is they are subjective to their very core. For example, you have to come up with a rating for what you think a drivers skill is, thats very subjective indeed, and thats just one facet of it, each component of the system is as subjective as the next or last (apart from things like career points which are documented fact and not subject to opinion). It just means that any answer the system spits out is still going to be based on opinion if components of your system are made up of subjective opinion.

In other words, a great idea almost impossible to execute properly (unless you cut out the subjective stuff and stick with documented facts only).

If parts of that did'nt make sense, its cos I sometimes dont make much sense!

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posted Oct 14, 2010

The best driver in Motorsport is Sebastien Loeb. If you factor in guts, bravery, knowledge, experience, determination,and amazing car handling skills on all kinds of surfaces, all coupled to a calm collected personality and very professional outlook, you have the best all round driver there is. There's more to highly competitive driving than Formula 1, although obviously, most of these drivers are none to shabby either.

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posted Oct 14, 2010

Hamalo Webvet (U14549631)

Quite right, but please forgive us people, posting in the Formula 1 sub section of the Motor Sport board,of the site, for talking about Formula 1 drivers.

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posted Oct 14, 2010

biggrin I did include F1 drivers, as they're really not THAT bad, Aloony.

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posted Oct 14, 2010

Outstanding drivers:

Hamilton, Alonso and Kubica.

Best of the rest drivers:

Button, Vettel, Rosberg - there again, put some of the other drivers in a top car and I'd be surprised if they didn't perform on a similar level.

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posted Oct 14, 2010

Kubica gets too much credit. He is destroying Petrov, yes, but this is no great feat since Petrov is a rookie and obviously underperforming besides. Kubica's only other teammate has been Heidfeld. Heidfeld beat Kubica in the standings in 2007 and 2009. In 2009 Heidfeld outperformed Kubica at Spa, Monaco, and Suzuka, the supposed "driver tracks".

It seems that in F1 the best thing for a driver's reputation is to be paired with an underperforming teammate.

Heidfeld has been unlucky to have been paired with some of the fastest drivers around. And even though he beat Raikkonen, Massa, and Kubica, those drivers went to top teams while Heidfeld was perpetually midfield.

My point isn't that Heidfeld is a godly driver but that most people's driver rankings are illogical.

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comment by Koenig (U7493994)

posted Oct 14, 2010

Here is how I have been ranking them all along using ONLY statistics of F1 career race wins to races entered plus ratio of F1 career podium finishes (2nd & 3rd place only) to races entered without any other subjective weighting system.

This is how they rank based on the latest data as of 10, Oct 2010:

Schmuacher 0.579
Hamilton 0.500
Alonso 0.391
Vettel 0.288
Massa 0.244
Barichello 0.224
Kubica 0.164
Button 0.160
Webber 0.122

Based on this, there is only 1 driver in the history of F1 who has done better than Schumacher and that is Fangio. Bearing in mind he entered only 51 races. Ascari comes very close.

Ranking stays pretty much same if the podium to races entered ratio is not included. One can be more creative and include the crashes into the equation!

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posted Oct 15, 2010

You can't use races started:races won ratio because stats don't tell the whole picture!

M Schumacher has a record of 1 win every 2.91 starts.
Fangio has a record of 1 win every 2 starts.
Ascari has a record of 1 win every 2.46 starts.
Stewart has a record of 1 win every 2.30 starts.
But Senna has a record of 1 win every 3.92 starts!! And Villeneuve has a record of around 1 win in 11!!

But those latter two are up there as two of the most talented F1 drivers ever.

Of course winning races is the ultimate goal at the end of the day, but greatness is defined in many ways, just as talent is.

The main consensus is that Kubica is one of the best drivers on the grid not just this year, but the 4 years he has been around as an F1 driver. There is no doubting his talent. But does he have the same drive, commitment and ruthlessness that Schumacher, Alonso and Hamilton have shown to win world championships. (Well, just the one so far for Lewis!)? I certainly think and hope that he does and that either Renault produce a far better car next season or that Robert move to perhaps Ferrari or Red Bull to have the best shot of winning a championship, even though he did come close in 2008!

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