een talks formula one
I haven’t posted in a while, but I decided to do something interesting out of the blue. Here I will be posting a list of the coolest world champions in descending order, from 10 to 1. If you disagree then you are wrong.
10. Ayrton Senna
Using a pic with Gerhard Berger says it all, for me. Apart from being the epitome of why so many people love driving and racing, the guy was a joker. Winning in the wet with style, sticking it to Balestre and calling a conspiracy because he gave no fucks. Senna was the man. Extra points because he is arguably the greatest F1 driver of all time.

I haven’t posted in a while, but I decided to do something interesting out of the blue. Here I will be posting a list of the coolest world champions in descending order, from 10 to 1. If you disagree then you are wrong.

10. Ayrton Senna

Using a pic with Gerhard Berger says it all, for me. Apart from being the epitome of why so many people love driving and racing, the guy was a joker. Winning in the wet with style, sticking it to Balestre and calling a conspiracy because he gave no fucks. Senna was the man. Extra points because he is arguably the greatest F1 driver of all time.

Austria’s finest, 1993.

Austria’s finest, 1993.

Gerhard Berger takes Benetton’s last ever victory, Germany 1997.

Gerhard Berger takes Benetton’s last ever victory, Germany 1997.

Gerhard Berger takes Benetton’s first ever victory, Mexico 1986.

Gerhard Berger takes Benetton’s first ever victory, Mexico 1986.

To celebrate 1000 posts, I’m going to do a “Top Ten Favourite Drivers” list. I would just like to point out this is “favourite” not “best”, because we all know who the best drivers are. In no particular order. Here goes, in no particular order:

Francois Cevert. The handsome Parisian with eyes you could fall into was talented and earmarked to be successor to triple world champ Sir Jackie Stewart but unfortunately lost his life at Watkins Glen at what was to be JYS’ last Grand Prix, retiring immediately and not taking part in the race on Sunday. Hands down the most handsome man to have driven a Formula One car.

Gerhard Berger. The last man to be signed personally by Enzo Ferrari, the first and last man to take victories for Benetton Grand Prix, the original prankster of the Formula One paddock, and owner of the most stylish mullet in Formula One history. Favourite moments tied between that 1-2 at Monza in 1988 and that last victory at Hockenheim in 1997.

Felipe Massa. I give him a lot of stick recently, but the flood of emotions seeing him on the podium again brought back a lot of very fond memories. For three straight years he OWNED the Brazilian Grand Prix, and although it is my most heart wrenching Formula Moment watching him win the race but lose the title in 2008, and it is one that will stick with me for a long. He is Ferrari’s new guy, even if he isn’t the fasted. Like Michele and Clay and Jean and Gilles, he captured the passion and love for racing that is Ferrari and being beaten by three of the best drivers of the post-Senna era is nothing to be ashamed of.

Clay Regazzoni. Longtime Ferrari driver of the 70’s, Clay and his moustache always stood out for me. Team mate for Niki Lauda during the Championship years, Clay  was also the first winner in a long line of great drivers for the Williams team. He would have his career ended after hitting an abadoned car at the USGP West at Long Beach 1980. Only his F1 career, that is, as he would go on to continue racing after being paralysed from the waste down. He had a custom Ferrari Daytona made for him that he could operate without the use of feet and fought for his right for a racing license and the acceptance of disable racers.

Mika Hakkinen. Spa 2000, nuff said.

Nigel Mansell. Il Leone. Our Nige. I’ve written at length about him before I think, and we all know who he is. Perhaps not quite as quick or naturally talented as Prost and Senna, he made up for it and then some. He earned his drive with Lotus, fighting tooth and nail, and again for his drive with Williams, and deservedly won a title in 1992 after many years of struggled. Should have stayed away from McLaren in 1995 though. Plus, dat moustache. Oh, and the reason why I like him? The way he drove. Oh buddy.

Jean Alesi. French-Sicilian and drove for Ferrari with his heart on his sleeve. The way he drove, the way he would lean his head into the corner, the tears when he won his sole race at Montreal, the tears after his car gave way after walking on water and leading by a country mile at Monza a year later. Was cursed to be at Ferrari during one of their worst periods since the 1980 season, but he chose the seat with his heart and not his head, turning down Williams which opened the door for Nigel Mansell. Imagining Jean Alesi winning a title for Williams feel weird, because although Williams has all that history, it just feels wrong separating Jean from Ferrari. Like Gilles and Clay before him and Felipe after, he was Ferrari.

Fangio. As far as I’m concerned, the greatest driver to have ever driven in Formula One. The Pelé or Johnny Unitas of Formula One, he wasn’t the first but oh boy is he the most well remembered. What he did at Nurburgring to clinch his final title is the stuff of legends. To come back from near death in 1952 to be the only man that didn’t drive a Ferrari to win in 1953, he then dominated three straight German Grand Prix in a row, won four straight championships (only matched by one man), and did it all while nearly twice the age of some of his closest competitors. The first great of Formula One and the finest.

Michael. When I was a little kid playing in the sand pit, five or six years old, every single car that had a 1 on its side was Michael Schumacher. He was my idol. All my friends cared about video games and football or whatever it was, all I cared about was Michael Schumacher. I hated McLaren, and Mercedes, and Williams, and DC and Mika and JV and Damo, and anything that wasn’t Michael and Ferrari. I have vivid memories of all these races, the elation of Hungary 1998, the devastating emptiness of Silverstone 1999, the amazing feeling when it all finally happened at Suzuka in 2000. All these strong memories tied to Ferrari and Michael. That final victory at Monza, oh boy, that one will stick with me a long time.

Sir Jack Brabham. Australia’s greatest ever driver, a national living treasure, the only man to win a World Championship as a driver and constructor. A true gentleman, only the second driver to win more than two titles, only the third to win more than one, and in a select club with Niki Lauda, JYS, Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet of triple world champions (to be joined by Alonso soon -_O ). He is just one of the finest to have ever raced and as an Australian who is rarely ever patriotic, this is one of the proudest things I feel my country has done, creating this man and unleashing him onto motorsport, with two of his sons going on to win at Le Mans. Sir Jack, my favourite ever Formula One driver.

As always, photos courtesy of the Cahier Archive.

Gerhard Berger for Benetton, 1996 San Marino Grand Prix.

Gerhard Berger for Benetton, 1996 San Marino Grand Prix.

If there is a god, he is probably a Ferrari fan.
On September 11, 1988, just under a month after the death of the mythical figure of Enzo Ferrari, or il commendatore, at the Scuderia’s home town of Marenello, some 200 kilometres away at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza during the 1988 Italian Grand Prix, a miracle happened.
First, the all-conquering Honda engine in Alain Prost’s McLaren gave way after just 34 laps - unheard of in the nearly perfectly reliable Honda turbo. Then, with only two laps to go, a miscommunication between Prost’s team mate Ayrton Senna and Williams fill-in Jean-Louis Schlesser lead to a collision when the Brazilian was putting a lap over the Frenchman.
This lead the Ferraris of Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto running first and second, much to the delight of the tifosi. They finished this way, with race winner Berger dedicating it to the man who gave his name and nearly 70 years of his life to motor racing. This would be the only time that season that a McLaren would not win a race.

If there is a god, he is probably a Ferrari fan.

On September 11, 1988, just under a month after the death of the mythical figure of Enzo Ferrari, or il commendatore, at the Scuderia’s home town of Marenello, some 200 kilometres away at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza during the 1988 Italian Grand Prix, a miracle happened.

First, the all-conquering Honda engine in Alain Prost’s McLaren gave way after just 34 laps - unheard of in the nearly perfectly reliable Honda turbo. Then, with only two laps to go, a miscommunication between Prost’s team mate Ayrton Senna and Williams fill-in Jean-Louis Schlesser lead to a collision when the Brazilian was putting a lap over the Frenchman.

This lead the Ferraris of Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto running first and second, much to the delight of the tifosi. They finished this way, with race winner Berger dedicating it to the man who gave his name and nearly 70 years of his life to motor racing. This would be the only time that season that a McLaren would not win a race.

f1pictures:

1997

Jerez, season round up.
Back row: Johnny Herbert, Nortbeto Fontano, Olivier Panis, Shinji Nakano, Giancarlo Fisichella (current Ferrari test driver),  Ralf Schumacher.
Middle row: Jos Verstappen, Mika Salo, Pedroa Diniz, Damon Hill, Jan Mangussen, Rubens Barrichello, Ukyo Katayama, Tarso Marques.
Front row: G-man, Jean, Heinz Harold Frentzen, Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher, Eddie Irvine, Mika Hakkinen, David Couthard.
The only man here still racing in Formula One is Michael. There are eleven world championships present in this photo.

f1pictures:

1997

Jerez, season round up.

Back row: Johnny Herbert, Nortbeto Fontano, Olivier Panis, Shinji Nakano, Giancarlo Fisichella (current Ferrari test driver),  Ralf Schumacher.

Middle row: Jos Verstappen, Mika Salo, Pedroa Diniz, Damon Hill, Jan Mangussen, Rubens Barrichello, Ukyo Katayama, Tarso Marques.

Front row: G-man, Jean, Heinz Harold Frentzen, Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher, Eddie Irvine, Mika Hakkinen, David Couthard.

The only man here still racing in Formula One is Michael. There are eleven world championships present in this photo.

Gerhard going for a stroll at Spielberg, 1987.

Gerhard going for a stroll at Spielberg, 1987.

Gerhard Berger leads Michele Alboreto to a Ferrari 1-2 at Monza in 1988. The tifosi would have to wait until 1996 for another Scuderia victory at the legendary Italian circuit, and until 1998 for another 1-2, both victories being scored by Michael Schumacher who would go on to win at Monza another 3 times for Ferrari.

Gerhard Berger leads Michele Alboreto to a Ferrari 1-2 at Monza in 1988. The tifosi would have to wait until 1996 for another Scuderia victory at the legendary Italian circuit, and until 1998 for another 1-2, both victories being scored by Michael Schumacher who would go on to win at Monza another 3 times for Ferrari.