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One Lap -- which driver--your life depends on it.

Discussion in 'F1' started by Drive550PFB, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. 05011994

    05011994 Formula 3
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    I think you are correct on this one. Prost really did hand it to him during their year at Ferrari and Patrick Head was quoted as saying the 1992 Williams was 2 seconds a lap faster than any other car in the field. Patrese had seen better days at that point in his career and Nigel could easily dispatch him. With Prost in the same car and the rest of the field narrowing the performance gap that Williams enjoyed, this would be a more elegant way to move on. Nigel was a fighter and a fast driver when he had a competitive car, but I do not think he was at the same level as Prost and Senna, closer to the level of Nelson Piquet.

    My list:

    Senna and Clark
     
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  3. TifosiUSA

    TifosiUSA F1 Veteran

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    His career didn't amount to squat in the grand scheme of things yet he is considered an all-time great by many. Great driver, unquestionably. But he was reckless and mistake-prone and it ended up costing him his life. RIP.

    By the way, "Santander's money" had absolutely zip, zero zilch to do with Kimi leaving Ferrari. Kimi leaving had everything to do with getting his ass handed to him by Massa and Ferrari realized they needed to move quick to attract a real team leader like Alonso.
     
  4. RP

    RP F1 World Champ

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    #78 RP, Aug 2, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
    Not Gilles, he would be too scary. He was incredible fast, but being the best ever means living to look back at your accomplishments. He took chances that killed him, and a few others along the way. You calculate the extreme, and if you are great, you pull it off. If you are reckless, you end. He ended, why people think he was the best ever is just amazing. Fast, colorful, absolutely, reckless, absolutely. So many more, Prost, Mansell, Schumacher, Moss, Clark, Lauda, Stewart, SENNA, etc, were better than Gilles. I would even stick my neck out and state that Cevert was better than Gilles. It was predicted that he would be the next WDC after Jackie.

    Senna did not die because he was reckless, something else went wrong that we may never truly understand, yet he was FAST, and colorful. And he did not kill spectators.

    Probably Schumacher to answer the question in this thread.
     
  5. Drive550PFB

    Drive550PFB Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Another half inch lower and Massa could have been killed. It was a freak accident.

    I think we understand it. One of the suspension arms broke free from the front right wheel and got jammed between the wall and Senna's helmet. Because of its position, it went through the visor into his right eye and then into his brain. Had the suspension arm hit his helmet an inch higher, it could have glanced off, instead of penetrating.

    If you watch the movie, THOSE GUYS HAD BALLS. Those cars were so raw, but they drove them to the max.
     
  6. Fast_ian

    Fast_ian Two Time F1 World Champ

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    True. But you've got to be lucky to be handed a dominant car. [Nothing wrong with that, just the way it goes sometimes.] I still maintain at least half the grid would have done the same in that car.

    As for Damon; Another "wrong guy in the right place" IMO.

    Both got lucky, neither of 'em are among the greats IMESHO ;)

    Cheers,
    Ian
     
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  8. TifosiUSA

    TifosiUSA F1 Veteran

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    Mansell also should have won the 1986 title, beating Prost, Piquet, Senna, etc.

    That car wasn't dominant and he was robbed when his tire let go. He has 31 wins, I consider him a top-25 great, maybe even top 20.
     
  9. Fast_ian

    Fast_ian Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Unfortunately not. He wandered by me a few times, but I can't claim we ever met.

    I used to have some great 35mm slides of both him & Niki from Brands, but they went AWOL long ago - Still kicking myself about those :(

    Cheers,
    Ian
     
  10. ferraridude615

    ferraridude615 F1 Veteran

    May 4, 2006
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    Schumacher or Kimi.

    Coincidentally, Kimi is 3rd all-time in fastest laps (37) compared to Fernando's 19.
     
  11. TifosiUSA

    TifosiUSA F1 Veteran

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    He would always piss me off in 08...languishing around in 4th or something and BOOM puts in a flyer at the end of the race to take fastest lap.
     
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  13. furoni

    furoni F1 World Champ

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    Sorry but Gilles was not a "mistake-prone"...if you take the time to watch races from 78 to 83, you will see Piquet, Prost, Jones crashing as many times as he did....i can remenber a few times when any of the 3 i just mentioned where leading races and crashed more than once...thing is, back in those days, cars where very unreliable (Ferraris above all others), and very difficult to drive so drivers made a lot more mistakes....Drivers where not so prepared as they are not, and not as fit, and wing-cars from 81 and 82 where probably the most phisical cars ever. I remenber watching patrese driving like a dumb coackroach in Brazil, spinning and getting off the track because he was fainting in the heat, and Piquet being held in the podium!!! Most of Gilles accidents where because something broke, not by his fault, like for example Monaco 78 or Argentina 80 or Imola 80. And in 80 and 81, Gilles had to drive the worst chassis in the grid, and still, he was able to pull 2 victoris in 81 and lead a race in 80!!! IT will be the day when i see any other driver achive the same with such poor machinery.
     
  14. TifosiUSA

    TifosiUSA F1 Veteran

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    #86 TifosiUSA, Aug 3, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
    If you say so, but history says otherwise. Even his staunchest supporters cite his recklessness and errors to go along with his incredible speed. I'll agree that he didn't have the best equipment, but it was far from crap most years, as his teammates Scheckter (won WDC) and Pironi (would have easily won WDC without getting injured) proved.
     
  15. Peter Tabmow

    Peter Tabmow Formula Junior

    Nov 10, 2010
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    Tony Brooks: as fast as anyone, and perhaps the safest ever -- you did say my life depends on it, right?
     
  16. furoni

    furoni F1 World Champ

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    If Pironi would, imagine the guy that gave him more than a second in every qualifying that year!!!
     
  17. furoni

    furoni F1 World Champ

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    78, the car was ok, but he was a rookie and most of g.p he was trying new michelins, many time, Reuteman had d8iferent tyres and that made all the diference..by the end of the year though, Gilles was already the quicher of the 2
    79, good car, very reliable but not the fastest one....in the first half of the season, Ligiers where better and in the second williams where a lot quicker. Gilles was the only one to fight agains Jones in the second half...Gilles lost the title due to more unreliability of his T4 than Jody´s and team orders.
    80..worst car Ferrari ever had in f.1, 81 worst chassis in the entyre field (don´t take it form me, it was Gordon Murray and Harvey Postlewait who said it)..82...i think we all know what happened.
     
  18. snakeseare

    snakeseare Karting

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    Stefan Bellof was catching Senna at Monaco in 1984 when the race was stopped. He at least deserves a mention in this thread.
     
  19. Isobel

    Isobel F1 Veteran
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    Hahaha. Sure he would....;)

    Using the same logic, GV would have won over Dids. Had he not snookered Gilles in San Marino, Villeneuve would have had a points lead over him at Spa....

    More food for thought re the fastest lap....

    http://en.espnf1.com/f1/motorsport/story/6630.html
     
  20. Fast_ian

    Fast_ian Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Dayum girl! ;)

    I don't often find myself shedding a tear, but that was a pretty good summary of why I did (again)...... I'm gonna get the book tomorrow. :)

    Journo's, mechanics, track workers (to a lesser degree), like to "ignore" the show. Ayrton & Jimmy were about the only others that consistently got the same kind of attention - Even from the most jaded.

    The only other thing I saw that maybe came close was Jackie Ickz, 917, Brands.

    Back then, we like to think they didn't stop F1 races, and they *certainly* never stopped 1000KM races...... This one got stopped.

    Just ahead of the red, he was lapping, consistently, 20 seconds quicker than anyone else.

    It fishtailed from the exit of Paddock & down the hill. Made the other guys look like <need appropriate metaphor here>........ ;)

    Cheers,
    Ian
     
  21. nerofer

    nerofer F1 World Champ

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    Ian,

    Slight mistake here in the car/driver combination: Jacky Ickx never drove the Porsche 917; but the later models: 936 and 956. At the time of the 917, Jacky was driving for Ferrari (512 S).
    He certainly could have the touch of genius sometimes; his drive in 1977 during the 24h du Mans, when he was chasing the Renault from 41th to victory was something unbelievable under slight rain. He drove two full relays one after the other, 4 hours at the wheel, in the night, shattering his own lap record at each lap, and was driving so beautifully that the whole Renault team, which he was chasing even if it was a long shot, was on the pit wall each lap just to admire his driving.
    But in his younger days he was not an easy man; a bit "aloof" as you say in English. He his now much easier: like a fine wine, he has aged very well.

    Best
     
  22. nerofer

    nerofer F1 World Champ

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    Glad you said it, Peter! I have mentioned Tony Brooks already: the "Unknown Genius", probably even "faster than anyone".
    As quoted by Nigel Roebuck in "Chasing the Title", Mario Andretti, when questionned by Rick Mears' wife who wanted to know more about Brooks, whith whom she had shared dinner, said simply: "That man? he is the best of the best of the best"
     
  23. Hakan458

    Hakan458 Formula Junior

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    Kimi, from current drivers.
     
  24. Fast_ian

    Fast_ian Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Hmmph! :) Thanks for the correction. I suspect I'm guilty of;

    - The rose tinteds
    - A failing memory

    I can't find the race reports now. For sure it was him, and I don't think it was a 512 - I was pretty young (probably single figures!), but I like to think even I'd have remembered if it were! ;)

    Cheers,
    Ian
     
  25. furoni

    furoni F1 World Champ

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    That sums it up very well Isobel, but if needed i could put here a lot of people who know a lot more about the subject than me and who share our opinion.
     
  26. furoni

    furoni F1 World Champ

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    Various driver quotes and excerpts from book's.
    Well worth a read if you liked Gilles.




    Nigel Roebuck's wonderful Grand Prix Greats (1986), Patrick Stephens Ltd, Wellingborough

    Qualifying in the rain at the 1979 US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, New York

    A friend of mine in America sent me a cassette a while ago. On it is the sound of a lone racing car, unmistakably a Ferrari flat-12, and its clearly audible all the way round the lap. There is a lot of wheelspin - you can hear the revs abruptly scream out of every turn - and then the volume builds until the car swishes by in a welter of spray. He taped it during the first afternoon of practice at Watkins Glen in 1979, when conditions were as bad as I have ever seen at a race circuit. In places the track was flooded, and only eight drivers ventured out. One of those was Scheckter, who was fastest behind team mate Villeneuve. Eleven seconds behind ...The tape is of course Gilles, and it revived memories of a day when we forgot the wintry rain until he came in, the Ferrari breathless and steaming. In the pits the other drivers, aghast, had giggled nervously every time he skittered by at 160 mph. "Why do we bother? He's different from the rest of us," Jacques Laffite said. "On another level ..."
    "I scared myself rigid that day", Jody remembered. "I thought I had to be quickest. Then I saw Gilles's time and - I still don't really understand how it was possible. Eleven seconds !" "Motor racing was a romantic thing for him, you see." Scheckter went on. "We were close friends, doing the same job for the same team, but we had completely opposite attitudes to it. My preoccupation was keeping myself alive, but Gilles had to be the fastest on every lap - even in testing. He was the fastest racing driver the world has ever seen. If he could come back and live his life again, I think he would do exactly the same - and with the same love."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1981 French Grand Prix Qualifying at Dijon:

    During practice at Dijon in 1981, Gilles crashed at the Courbe de Pouas, an undulating, flat-in-fourth right hander, with no run-off worth mentioning. During the lunch break I found him dabbing a cut on his jaw: "Bloody catch pole cracked my helmet and broke the visor ..."
    "You overdid it ?" I asked. "Just ran out of road?" "No, no," he grinned. "I ran out of lock! "The car is really bad through there - an adventure every time. Go and have a look this afternoon and you'll see what I mean." I did. I watched the Cosworth- engined Williams and Brabhams droning through on their rails, and waited. At its clipping point, at the top of a rise, the Ferrari was already sideways, its driver winding on opposite lock. As it came past me, plunging downhill now, the tail stayed out of line, further and further, and still Gilles had his foot hard down. As he reached the bottom of the dip, I knew the position was hopeless, for now it was virtually broadside, full lock on, Villeneuve's head pointing up the road, out of the side of the cockpit.
    Somehow, though, the Ferrari did not spin, finally snapping back into line as it grazed the catch fencing, then rocketing away up the hill. For more
    than a hundred yards, I swear it, the car was sideways at 130 mph. "That's genius," said David Hobbs, watching with me. "Are you seriously telling me he's won two Grand Prix in that?"

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    from "Villeneuve: The Life of a Legendary
    Racing Driver", Gerald Donaldson (1989),
    Motor Racing Publications, Croydon, UK




    Jacques Laffite quote:

    "I know that no human being can do a miracle. Nobody commands magical properties, but Gilles made you wonder. He was that quick."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Frank Williams quote:

    "I was very proud of Alan that day. We had the best car at the time, without a doubt, and the only driver on the track we feared was that little French Canadian ..."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Niki Lauda quote:

    "Gilles was the perfect racing driver who knew where to take which advantage where ..." "Villeneuve had the best talent of all of us. Whatever car that you put him in he would have been quick."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Didier Pironi quote:

    "When I joined Ferrari the whole team was so devoted to Gilles. I mean he was not just the top driver, he was much more than that. He had a small family there. ... he made me fit right in and I felt at home right away
    overnight and Gilles made no distinctions either ...I was expecting to be put in my place, I was not number one. I was number two. He treated me like an equal all the way."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Jackie Stewart quote:

    "Oh, I think he's superb, and I believe he'll get better and better. At the moment he still makes mistakes, misses the odd apex, gets up on a curb, uses a little too much road on the way out sometimes, but i'm being hypercritical here. His level of natural talent is phenomenal - there's real genius in his car control."



    Walter Wolf quote:

    "[Gilles] is a super, super, super talented driver with the ability which happen very seldom. A man gets so much ability, so much feeling for a car".

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Enzo Ferrari Quote:

    " ...and when they presented me with this tiny Canadian, this miniscule bundle of nerves, I instantly recognized in him the physique of the great Nuvolari and I said to myself, `let's give him a try."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Rene Arnoux Quote:

    "It was terrible when Gilles died. I cried that day and the next one, too, even though I had to race ...and I remember the feeling that we were all starting equal, from now on. Villeneuve was gone. We all knew he had a
    talent beyond our reach."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Alain Prost Quote:

    " ...with me and my competitors it's battle for pole position as that's important but with Gilles you will see a battle for everything ...[including] 10th place ..."
    "He made the fastest start of anybody here. I thought he must know a trick ...all season he had quicker starts, no one could compare"

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Juan Manuel Fangio Quote:

    "He will remain as a member of the family of the truly great drivers in auto racing history. Mr Enzo Ferrari, who is an authority on these matters, has compared Villeneuve to Tazio Nuvolari. Nuvolari in my younger days was the great idol. All drivers wanted to equal the great Nuvolari. They struggled to match but could only imitate him. To be compared to Nuvolari is to receive the highest praise. Villeneuve did not race to finish, he did not race for points. He raced to win. Although small in stature he was a giant."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Keke Rosberg Quote:

    "To Gilles, racing truly was a sport, which is why he would never chop you. Something like that he'd look on with contempt. You didn't have to be a good driver to do that, let alone a great one. Anyone could do that.
    Gilles was the hardest ******* I ever raced against, but completely fair. If you'd beaten him to a corner, he accepted it and gave you room. Then he'd be right back at you at the next one! Sure, he took unbelievable risks - but only with himself - and that's why I get ****ed off now when people compare Senna with him. Gilles was a giant of a driver, yes, but he was also a great man."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Nelson Piquet:

    He´s somewhat crazy but surely a phenomenon.

    Nelson Piquet:

    If Gilles doesn´t do it nobody else will.

    Nelson Piquet:

    I think he had a helmet to small for his head, so when he put the helmet on, he starts to do crazy things.

    Gordon Murray :
    "Villeneuve was absolutely brilliant because that chassis is evil. He was under pressure the whole time in a difficult car, and he never made a mistake that I saw. It's the most impressive win for a long time."

    and with all this ilustrious people i rest my case
     
  27. Craigy

    Craigy Formula 3

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    #99 Craigy, Aug 4, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
    Lewis Hamilton.

    Possibly Fernando, maybe Kimi.

    Jenson and Seb require a a near-perfect setup to make their miracles happen. Both Alonso and Lewis can jump in a car and drive it beyond its designed potential.

    Even if they weren't dead, none of the old guys could jump in a car and set a fastest, or really even a quick lap in a modern car. Even Schumi is simply getting too old, although still very talented, and is only able to keep up because he still competes and knows the technology. Aside from rose-colored glasses, a past hero is held at his peak career performance while the current drivers are thought of as they exist today. And even then, drivers of the past drove a different formula which render them irrelevant, and are about as comparable as Jeff Gordon, Rick Mears or even John Force.
     
  28. 4rePhill

    4rePhill F1 Veteran

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    Someone needs to re-read the original post in this thread!:

    It's not about who was the best driver ever, it's about who you would rely on to set the best lap time.


    I assume you are referring to the 1977 Japanese Grand Prix where a group of spectators were watching in a prohibited area?
    That being the case - it was a prohibited area for a reason - there was a high risk of a car going off in that area (which is exactly what happened!).
    If you're in an area that you shouldn't be in because there's a high risk of injury/death, you cannot blame others for any consequences!


    They may have been better drivers overall, but would they necessarily have been faster over a single lap? (As this thread asks).

    Suzuka 1990: Senna deliberately rams Prost off the track into turn 1 in a pre-meditated attack, putting both drivers at risk of serious injury, because he is upset that the Pole position was not on his preferred side of the track!

    Don't try and tell Me that Senna wasn't reckless!

    That's a Cheap shot!

    Gilles did not deliberately put those spectators at risk.
    He did not deliberately drive into them!
    They were in a high risk area where they should never have been!
    All Gilles was doing was his job, trying to overtake another car on track. It's not as though he was deliberately trying to ram Ronnie Peterson’s Tyrrell off the track! (like a certain Brazilian driver did with Prost!)


    Finally you grasp the concept of the thread!




    For Me, it's got to be Gilles!

    He may not end up being the fastest on the day, an error on his part may cost Me My life under the circumstances of this thread, but I'd die knowing that whatever car he was driving, He would have driven the living crap out of it to try and do the fastest lap possible and I'd die with a smile on My face just hoping he had a fun lap! :)


    GILLES VILLENEUVE: TOO YOUNG TO DIE - TOO FAST TO LIVE!
     

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