Originally Posted by Ericglo
I applaud you for calling out Senna and to a lesser extent Schumi. I don't think it is recognized enough especially by the casual fans that Senna ushered in the age overaggressive driving. The "I will make the move and either you back off or we both wreck" was something I was disappointed to see come into F1. Of course, Schumi took it to new heights, but at least people realize it.
That being said, I might give Senna the award for best on any given day and Prost the best for a season. As for Clark or Fangio, they were both great at least from what I have read. I know Maurice Hamilton said that Clark was great, but it was with Colin and Lotus. I am not knocking Fangio, but did he really have that much competition.
Oh and since your Austrian, I guess you will give the Best player in F1 award to Berger.
Senna just enraged me - he had surreal skill, I saw him (on TV) lap the FIELD in the rain at, I'll say Portugal in maybe '85, so to pull the crap he did was just so disappointing. A lot of top competitors in various sports have more of a refusal to lose than a will to win - Michael Jordan was like that for instance. One thing he was known for was brake-checking at corner exit ... inexcusable. Then he would just shrug if asked about it.
Yeah, that let me through or we crash thing is just bush league, but the first top guy I remember using it a lot was Andretti. There was a famous incident where he tried it with someone, can't remember who, and the guy said okay, we crash
Andretti never took responsibility for it, and went so far as to rationalize it publicly by saying he had done the same thing with Lauda in an earlier race and it worked. Lauda was his excuse! Jerk ...
I got interested in F1 at a young age, and the local paper covered it, so I followed Clark in his last few years. To do what he did with the equipment and danger of the day means something to me. I saw Fangio drive the Mercedes at the inaugural Long Beach race. Anyone who can drive that well at that age must have been pretty good I figure
I was sitting on the front straight for the "race," about a third of the way down from the entry corner. He messed up his shifts the first lap, got a little better the next few, and by the third or fourth he was perfect from then on. I was 20, and just thrilled to be at my first (and still only) F1 race. I started to tear up as the laps wore on, it was so amazing to me to see these guys on a track in their original cars. Being a kid I was embarrassed to be crying in public like that, so I kind of sneaked a peak at the older guy, late 50s, Ferrari jacket, next to me and he was crying too
Pretty cool, little life lesson.
If the above wasn't clear, the inaugural Long Beach Grand Prix was a big deal obviously, and they had a "race" with a bunch of older F1 drivers, mostly in their original cars. It's where Gurney famously apologized to Fangio for passing him.
Originally Posted by oink
I got into F1 in the mid 1990s and didn't get a chance to see Senna race....
It seems odd to me that someone who was an amazing qualifier would find it good tactics
to knock another racer off the track (excluding the Prost incident).
A lot of his poles (I'm assuming, haven't looked it up) were in the Lotus, which used the Renault turbo, the best of the turbos IIRC. So you got Senna, with the best of the turbo motors. Mansell hated him I would say, and they had many 1st lap issues - rock, meet hard place. Didn't play well together at all. Once I thought Mansell might actually put him in the hospital after the race.