Unpopular Opinions (2021)

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Exediron
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Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by Exediron »

I happened to be thinking of the older unpopular opinion threads:

2017 version
2019 version

I always enjoyed those. Some solid predictions also got surfaced (Verstappen as fastest driver in F1, Vettel not on Hamilton's level) that are pretty much commonly accepted now.

Two years have passed, and a lot has changed. So what are some unpopular opinions people are sitting on right now?

I'll get the ball rolling with this one, which was the motivation to resurrect this thread idea:

Goerge Russell is not that far ahead of Latifi, and if Russell is special than Latifi is a good F1 driver; if Latifi is bad, Russell is not a great talent.
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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by Delphic »

Here are mine.

- Max at 24 is faster than Lewis at 36. But IMO 2017 Lewis would have been leading this WDC and eventually wining it.
- The WDC winning driver would have done it because the team played a major role in it, rather than the driver willing the car using his talent (duh!...lol)
- Norris is the best young driver on the grid (may seem biased, but I genuinely feel that way).

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by F1Tyrant »

Lando Norris is not an elite level talent and hasn't made a big step forward. He has been flattered by Sainz leaving and Ricciardo having the worst season of his career.

Reverse grid sprint races will be the best thing to happen to F1 since the Q1/Q2/Q3 format was introduced in 2010.
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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by KingVoid »

I am quite proud of my prediction that Verstappen would beat Hamilton and Vettel in the same car, back in 2017. It was a very brave call at the time, which very good now.

On the other hand, my prediction that Vettel would beat Ricciardo in the beginning of 2019 is looking rather foolish now. I underrated Ricciardo because of what Verstappen did to him in 2018, ironic.

Always fun to read these threads back later in time.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by KingVoid »

Anyway, here are my newest predictions:

1. Looking at how Vettel vs Stroll and Raikkonen vs Giovinazzi have turned out, it’s quite possible that the 2018 Ferrari was even better than we think it was. It was a much better car relative to Mercedes, than the 2021 Red Bull.

2. Verstappen, Norris, Russell and Leclerc are the four fastest drivers on the grid right now. Russell will probably beat Hamilton next season, whose decline has been masked by Bottas. This is my riskiest prediction and I could be massively wrong.

3. In general, I think that 90s born drivers are just better than 80s born drivers. They began karting at a younger age, they all participate in some form of sim racing for fun. The 1997-1999 generation could be the most talented generation ever.

4. Mazepin is not actually as bad as people think. Instead, I believe that Mick Schumacher is in fact a very talented driver who has not been getting enough credit this season. Mick is not on the same level as the big four, but I suspect that he is easily as good as an in-form Gasly.

5. This moral outrage about racing in Saudi Arabia does not make any sense. We have been racing in Bahrain since 2004, a country that also practices Sharia law. 2004 was also the year we began racing in China, another country with a dodgy human rights record.
Last edited by KingVoid on Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by mikeyg123 »

I don't have a lot of very current ones...

Despite what's often said Red Bull do more for their young drivers than any other team.

Mercedes and Red Bull will not be the top 2 teams in 2022.

People let Liberty Media get away too easily with the claim "we race as one" yet actually race in Saudi Arabia. Same with some of the teams and who they happily take coin from.

Jean Todt has been a really poor FIA president.

F2 and especially F3 are totally unfit for purpose and block talented drivers paths to F1.

Vettel hasn't had any kind of renaissance. He's just got a weak team mate.

Russell will outqualify Hamilton next season.

Grosjean's crash in Bahrain was the best thing that could happen to him in terms of reputation.

More unreliability would be a good thing in F1.

Hamilton, whilst being an all time great, has very rarely been the best driver in F1 over his career.

There should be no safety car.


Edit - I'm copying mine from 2017 but I still stand by all of them and they're better than my current ones!

These are my 2017 ones -

Massa has never been more than an average F1 driver

Grosjean is highly overrated

Penalty's have been handed out for political reasons. Alonso in quali in Monza 2006 and Hamilton at Spa 2008 being examples.

Alonso is by far the best driver in F1 as of now - This is now not correct as of 2021 but I stand by it for 2017.

Rosberg did park at Monaco deliberately

I like Ron Dennis and always have

I don't rate Lauda in the top 10 of all time

F1 has damaged itself to much in the name of safety

The removal of gravel traps is the single worst thing that F1 has done to itself in the last 20 years

I like a lot of Tilke tracks

I don't find overtaking exciting in itself

I don't think the 2011 Red Bull had a big advantage and I don't believe the 2001 was the fastest car that season.

I think the best car fails to win the championships more often than we think. The difference a driver makes is often massively underrated.
Last edited by mikeyg123 on Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by JN23 »

Exediron wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:01 pm
Goerge Russell is not that far ahead of Latifi, and if Russell is special than Latifi is a good F1 driver; if Latifi is bad, Russell is not a great talent.
KingVoid wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:42 pm
2. Verstappen, Norris, Russell and Leclerc are the four fastest drivers on the grid right now. Russell will probably beat Hamilton next season, whose decline has been masked by Bottas. This is my riskiest prediction and I could be massively wrong.
Interesting to see how Russell's career pans out. Almost everything suggests he should be great but the one remaining doubt is how good Latifi is. Despite most seeming to rate him as one of the worst on the grid, that doesn't impact on Russell's reputation.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by JN23 »

KingVoid wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:42 pm
Anyway, here are my newest predictions:
1. Looking at how Vettel vs Stroll and Raikkonen vs Giovinazzi have turned out, it’s quite possible that the 2018 Ferrari was even better than we think it was. It was a much better car relative to Mercedes, than the 2021 Red Bull.
Does this also make you reassess 2017 or did Vettel just really drop off a cliff at some point?

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by IDFD »

KingVoid wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:38 pm
I am quite proud of my prediction that Verstappen would beat Hamilton and Vettel in the same car, back in 2017. It was a very brave call at the time, which very good now.

On the other hand, my prediction that Vettel would beat Ricciardo in the beginning of 2019 is looking rather foolish now. I underrated Ricciardo because of what Verstappen did to him in 2018, ironic.

Always fun to read these threads back later in time.
Verstappen beating Hamilton in a better car 4 years later in no way validates that 2017 statement.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by JN23 »

A few of mine:

- I like Toto Wolff (another current thread suggests he isn't particularly well liked)

- I don't get the appeal of Kimi, he often comes across rude to me and if many other drivers acted like him they would rightly be criticised.

- If we're going to have some sort of sprint race, I'm starting to come around to the idea of having a reverse grid. I find the current version pointless and it would be the same even if they extended the points.

- I'm yet to be convinced that Norris is as good as this season suggests.

- Whilst he deserves to a shot in F1, Mick Schumacher will remain in the sport for longer than he should because of his surname.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by JN23 »

mikeyg123 wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:47 pm
Mercedes and Red Bull will not be the top 2 teams in 2022.
By this one, do you mean neither of them will be in the top two or just one of them won't be in the top two?

With such a big regulation change I was surprised and disappointed to hear a few journalists (on The Race and BBC Chequered Flag podcasts I think) suggest that they think they will be the top two again.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by mikeyg123 »

JN23 wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:19 pm
mikeyg123 wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:47 pm
Mercedes and Red Bull will not be the top 2 teams in 2022.
By this one, do you mean neither of them will be in the top two or just one of them won't be in the top two?

With such a big regulation change I was surprised and disappointed to hear a few journalists (on The Race and BBC Chequered Flag podcasts I think) suggest that they think they will be the top two again.
I think one or both won't be among the regular contenders for wins after the regs change. The top teams almost never stay the top teams through a major regulation change.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by JN23 »

mikeyg123 wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:26 pm
JN23 wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:19 pm
mikeyg123 wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:47 pm
Mercedes and Red Bull will not be the top 2 teams in 2022.
By this one, do you mean neither of them will be in the top two or just one of them won't be in the top two?

With such a big regulation change I was surprised and disappointed to hear a few journalists (on The Race and BBC Chequered Flag podcasts I think) suggest that they think they will be the top two again.
I think one or both won't be among the regular contenders for wins after the regs change. The top teams almost never stay the top teams through a major regulation change.
Yep I think I agree. My biggest hope for next season is that there's another team other than Merc/RB/Ferrari capable of winning races regularly.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by pokerman »

KingVoid wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:38 pm
I am quite proud of my prediction that Verstappen would beat Hamilton and Vettel in the same car, back in 2017. It was a very brave call at the time, which very good now.

On the other hand, my prediction that Vettel would beat Ricciardo in the beginning of 2019 is looking rather foolish now. I underrated Ricciardo because of what Verstappen did to him in 2018, ironic.

Always fun to read these threads back later in time.
Max has never competed against either Hamilton or Vettel in the same car.
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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by KingVoid »

JN23 wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:04 pm
KingVoid wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:42 pm
Anyway, here are my newest predictions:
1. Looking at how Vettel vs Stroll and Raikkonen vs Giovinazzi have turned out, it’s quite possible that the 2018 Ferrari was even better than we think it was. It was a much better car relative to Mercedes, than the 2021 Red Bull.
Does this also make you reassess 2017 or did Vettel just really drop off a cliff at some point?
The problem with 2017 is that Raikkonen was truly nowhere compared to Bottas for large portions of that season. He finished 95 points adrift and finished behind 12-4 when both reached the checkered flag.

Bottas was only marginally better than Massa at Williams. If the 2017 Ferrari was truly better than the Mercedes, then there is absolutely no reason for Raikkonen to get tonked like that by Bottas.

In 2018 on the other hand, Raikkonen was equal to Bottas by every available metric. Points, qualifying, race pace, etc… which implies that the 2018 Ferrari was indeed the best car on the field, unlike 2017.

I suspect that 2017 is the last season we saw where Vettel drove at the level of an elite driver, since then he has fallen off a cliff.

Speaking of Vettel, there are arguably only four seasons where he drove at the level of the best driver in the sport (2011, 2013, 2015, arguably 2017). Outside of those four seasons, his career has been marked by inconsistency with sporadic moments of brilliance.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by F1Tyrant »

mikeyg123 wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:47 pm
Hamilton, whilst being an all time great, has very rarely been the best driver in F1 over his career.
I'll bite. I'd argue that while other drivers have been sporadically better, Hamilton's average performance is higher than most drivers over his career span.

Hamilton has strong claims to being the sport's best driver in 2007, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2018 but YMMV.
KingVoid wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:16 pm
Bottas was only marginally better than Massa at Williams. If the 2017 Ferrari was truly better than the Mercedes, then there is absolutely no reason for Raikkonen to get tonked like that by Bottas.
Your assumption that driver performance is a constant in a driver as fickle as Kimi Raikkonen is remarkable. Taking what we know purely about Vettel and Hamilton we can still draw the conclusion that the SF70H was the bette car.

Not to mention that several Ferrari engineers also feel that Vettel underperformed in what was a very drivable fast car unlike the diva that the W08 was. Of course, this is purely hearsay from a relative of an AS user so big pinch of salt needed.

EDIT: Mistake in my second paragraph. It is a second hand anonymous source.
Last edited by F1Tyrant on Thu Oct 28, 2021 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by KingVoid »

F1Tyrant wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:17 am
Your assumption that driver performance is a constant in a driver as fickle as Kimi Raikkonen is remarkable. Taking what we know purely about Vettel and Hamilton we can still draw the conclusion that the SF70H was the bette car.
I agree that Raikkonen is a very fickle driver, but at the same time, you don’t seem to entertain the idea that Vettel is also a very fickle driver, arguably even more fickle than Raikkonen is.

Vettel’s performance gap to Raikkonen was much bigger in 2017 than 2018, the question is whether it was because Raikkonen improved or Vettel declined. Nobody knows, but I suspect that Vettel declined.

SF70 suited his driving style perfectly, SF71 less so.
Not to mention that several Ferrari engineers also feel that Vettel underperformed in what was a very drivable fast car unlike the diva that the W08 was. Of course, this is purely hearsay from a relative of an AS user so big pinch of salt needed.
Marklar or Sennafan24? Either way, a healthy pinch of salt is needed. Both users are intelligent; but have made no secret of the fact that they admire Hamilton a lot, and are no fans of Vettel.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by Delphic »

Spoiler (click to show)
pokerman wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:49 pm
KingVoid wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:38 pm
I am quite proud of my prediction that Verstappen would beat Hamilton and Vettel in the same car, back in 2017. It was a very brave call at the time, which very good now.

On the other hand, my prediction that Vettel would beat Ricciardo in the beginning of 2019 is looking rather foolish now. I underrated Ricciardo because of what Verstappen did to him in 2018, ironic.

Always fun to read these threads back later in time.
Max has never competed against either Hamilton or Vettel in the same car.
Yeah. It is almost impossible to compare drivers by saying, “same car”, or “equal car” or “better car” as seen this season. There are too many variables to even come up with such conclusion, unless the 2 drivers that are being compared drive for the same team.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by mikeyg123 »

F1Tyrant wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:17 am
mikeyg123 wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:47 pm
Hamilton, whilst being an all time great, has very rarely been the best driver in F1 over his career.
I'll bite. I'd argue that while other drivers have been sporadically better, Hamilton's average performance is higher than most drivers over his career span.

Hamilton has strong claims to being the sport's best driver in 2007, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2018 but YMMV.
KingVoid wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:16 pm
Bottas was only marginally better than Massa at Williams. If the 2017 Ferrari was truly better than the Mercedes, then there is absolutely no reason for Raikkonen to get tonked like that by Bottas.
Your assumption that driver performance is a constant in a driver as fickle as Kimi Raikkonen is remarkable. Taking what we know purely about Vettel and Hamilton we can still draw the conclusion that the SF70H was the bette car.

Not to mention that several Ferrari engineers also feel that Vettel underperformed in what was a very drivable fast car unlike the diva that the W08 was. Of course, this is purely hearsay from a relative of an AS user so big pinch of salt needed.
I agree. Which is why he is still an all time great.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by Siao7 »

KingVoid wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:42 pm
5. This moral outrage about racing in Saudi Arabia does not make any sense. We have been racing in Bahrain since 2004, a country that also practices Sharia law. 2004 was also the year we began racing in China, another country with a dodgy human rights record.
I guess that it was just the one GP; this year we have 4 in that part of the world and F1 seems to be following the money. I vaguely remember people having objection even back in 2004, but it was tooted as the new Tilke track and the first one in the middle east, blah blah blah.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by Siao7 »

mikeyg123 wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:47 pm

Jean Todt has been a really poor FIA president.
I'd even dare say that I kind of miss Max.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by mikeyg123 »

Siao7 wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 7:36 am
mikeyg123 wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:47 pm

Jean Todt has been a really poor FIA president.
I'd even dare say that I kind of miss Max.
Max had his faults but at least he had the balls to keep the teams somewhat in line and punished rule breakers. You did genuinely believe under Max someone caught cheating would be punished to a degree they would think twice before doing so again. Under Todt they would either be let off with a shrug of the shoulders or a private agreement would be reached.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by F1Tyrant »

KingVoid wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:32 am
I agree that Raikkonen is a very fickle driver, but at the same time, you don’t seem to entertain the idea that Vettel is also a very fickle driver, arguably even more fickle than Raikkonen is.
Both drivers are fickle but they have different demands from a car handling characteristics. Raikkonen's pace difference between 2017 and 2018 can be explained just as easily by that as a big bump in competitiveness.

I think one can ask the legitimate question as to whether Vettel had access to truly elite pace on a Hamilton/Alonso/Verstappen level or enjoyed a high level of consistency from 2010-2013 and 2015-2017 and excellent cars.
KingVoid wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:32 am
Marklar or Sennafan24?
See my edit above.

EDIT: Derp, wrote 2010-2012 instead of 2010-2013.
Last edited by F1Tyrant on Thu Oct 28, 2021 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by Siao7 »

mikeyg123 wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 7:58 am
Siao7 wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 7:36 am
mikeyg123 wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:47 pm

Jean Todt has been a really poor FIA president.
I'd even dare say that I kind of miss Max.
Max had his faults but at least he had the balls to keep the teams somewhat in line and punished rule breakers. You did genuinely believe under Max someone caught cheating would be punished to a degree they would think twice before doing so again. Under Todt they would either be let off with a shrug of the shoulders or a private agreement would be reached.
Yeah, I kind of miss his "rule with an iron fist" approach. Teams will always try and break rules, but at least they knew that they would have big consequences with Max.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by wire2004 »

I dont thinkninever partook in one of these discussions over the years. So here is a few of mine.

Sebastian Vettel is is in the category of jacques Villeneuve esq level of world champion. Got lucky in 2010 and 2012 and only won because of having the most dominant car in 2011 and 2013. Furthermore. Vettel is not even in the top 20 of greatest formula 1 world champions.

Removing gravel traps was the worst thing to happen to f1.

With a couple of exceptions the current formula 1 grid is not on the same level as the grid from the late mid to late 90s.

Bernie was the single best thing to have happened to the sport and he is not given enough credit.

The fia. The stewards and the race director are at its worst level in living memory compared to the consistency that max Mosleys fia team had in the 90s.

Drivers now take too many liberties with track limits.

Michael masi is a punching bag for the teams to have wrapped round there fingers and does not have the balls to make the big decision.

Prost was in the wrong at suzuka 89. And senna was in the wrong at suzuka 90.

As it is fresh in the minds due to the schumi documentary. Michael did nothing wrong in adelaide 1994. Whereas in 97. He overstepped the mark.

Of the current grid.
Max is the best driver on the grid. But still needs to grow up and pick and choose his battles more.

Russell. Norris Leclerc sainz and schumacher will win a title. But max will win more.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by Siao7 »

wire2004 wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 9:54 am
And senna was in the wrong at suzuka 90.
This is an unpopular opinion???

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by F1Tyrant »

wire2004 wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 9:54 am
Michael did nothing wrong in adelaide 1994.
The FIA went to ridiculous lengths to help Hill stay in the WDC fight but two wrongs don't make a right. Schumacher knew exactly what he was doing.
wire2004 wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 9:54 am
Russell. Norris Leclerc sainz and schumacher will win a title.
Ballsy, I can perhap see 1/3 bolded drivers winning a solitary WDC but I think Sainz is a bottler and Schumacher hasn't proved anything yet (his junior record is okay but not spectacular).
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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by Invade »

F1Tyrant wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:17 am
mikeyg123 wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:47 pm
Hamilton, whilst being an all time great, has very rarely been the best driver in F1 over his career.
I'll bite. I'd argue that while other drivers have been sporadically better, Hamilton's average performance is higher than most drivers over his career span.

Hamilton has strong claims to being the sport's best driver in 2007, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2018 but YMMV.

And 2010, and 2019, and 2020. Hamilton has a good argument for so many years of his career. Actually his claim in 2010 is probably better than 2012, where perhaps he was just as good as Alonso - but 2012 is considered by many to be Alonso's finest season and the circumstance of his car and the title fight gives him more shine.

Also Alonso, while being underrated by a lot of newer fans I've noticed, is overrated by many others who are unable to shift their baseline based on I suppose mainly comparisons drawn between roughly 2010-2013. I doubt he was the best driver on the grid any more than Hamilton was at this point. Probably close between them.

In the end, I think Hamilton has often been the best driver on the grid. It's mainly been the Hamilton and Alonso show until Verstappen turned up and started challenging for that title from 2019 onwards.

Maybe Vettel squeezes in a year or two, though his stock has fallen dramatically and he's being subjected to (perhaps rather justified) revisionist history.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by mikeyg123 »

Invade wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 2:14 pm
F1Tyrant wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:17 am
mikeyg123 wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:47 pm
Hamilton, whilst being an all time great, has very rarely been the best driver in F1 over his career.
I'll bite. I'd argue that while other drivers have been sporadically better, Hamilton's average performance is higher than most drivers over his career span.

Hamilton has strong claims to being the sport's best driver in 2007, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2018 but YMMV.

And 2010, and 2019, and 2020. Hamilton has a good argument for so many years of his career. Actually his claim in 2010 is probably better than 2012, where perhaps he was just as good as Alonso - but 2012 is considered by many to be Alonso's finest season and the circumstance of his car and the title fight gives him more shine.

Also Alonso, while being underrated by a lot of newer fans I've noticed, is overrated by many others who are unable to shift their baseline based on I suppose mainly comparisons drawn between roughly 2010-2013. I doubt he was the best driver on the grid any more than Hamilton was at this point. Probably close between them.

In the end, I think Hamilton has often been the best driver on the grid. It's mainly been the Hamilton and Alonso show until Verstappen turned up and started challenging for that title from 2019 onwards.

Maybe Vettel squeezes in a year or two, though his stock has fallen dramatically and he's being subjected to (perhaps rather justified) revisionist history.
I think people are analysing this more than I did when I wrote it.

I guess what I mean is that if you'd asked me "who is the best driver in F1?" up to 2017 I would have said Alonso and from 2019 I would have said Verstappen. That only leaves Hamilton a two year window. Of course there were pockets of time in the other years where Hamilton was driving better than anyone just as I'm sure there are pockets of time in 2017/18 where other drivers were driving better than Hamilton.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by Invade »

mikeyg123 wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 2:29 pm
Invade wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 2:14 pm
F1Tyrant wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:17 am
mikeyg123 wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:47 pm
Hamilton, whilst being an all time great, has very rarely been the best driver in F1 over his career.
I'll bite. I'd argue that while other drivers have been sporadically better, Hamilton's average performance is higher than most drivers over his career span.

Hamilton has strong claims to being the sport's best driver in 2007, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2018 but YMMV.

And 2010, and 2019, and 2020. Hamilton has a good argument for so many years of his career. Actually his claim in 2010 is probably better than 2012, where perhaps he was just as good as Alonso - but 2012 is considered by many to be Alonso's finest season and the circumstance of his car and the title fight gives him more shine.

Also Alonso, while being underrated by a lot of newer fans I've noticed, is overrated by many others who are unable to shift their baseline based on I suppose mainly comparisons drawn between roughly 2010-2013. I doubt he was the best driver on the grid any more than Hamilton was at this point. Probably close between them.

In the end, I think Hamilton has often been the best driver on the grid. It's mainly been the Hamilton and Alonso show until Verstappen turned up and started challenging for that title from 2019 onwards.

Maybe Vettel squeezes in a year or two, though his stock has fallen dramatically and he's being subjected to (perhaps rather justified) revisionist history.
I think people are analysing this more than I did when I wrote it.

I guess what I mean is that if you'd asked me "who is the best driver in F1?" up to 2017 I would have said Alonso and from 2019 I would have said Verstappen. That only leaves Hamilton a two year window. Of course there were pockets of time in the other years where Hamilton was driving better than anyone just as I'm sure there are pockets of time in 2017/18 where other drivers were driving better than Hamilton.
I'm talking seasons not pockets - long, extensive periods of time. It's a bit obvious to say there were drivers driving better than Hamilton in pockets during 2017/18 otherwise there would be some strange view in which the best driver of the year was the best driver of every single race in a season, or that only they were capable of maintaining smaller patches or stretches of 3-4 race form in which only they were the best. So it's merely a fundamental difference in opinion, as being arguably or even probably the best for many seasons makes a driver the best in the sport for a pretty darn long time, in that person's view. Hamilton has possibly been "year-end #1", so to speak, 4+ times. There'd be good arguments for considerably higher than 4. Anyone who achieves that sort of success in a sport is considered the best for an impressive duration.

For you I'm guessing it's a case of Alonso hung onto a mantle you feel he deserved through comparisons before Hamilton was a Merc lad, in which Hamilton had to win forever for you to feel like perhaps he had finally become the best (which is fair enough I'm not saying you should change your opinion)... AND also a case of then vaulting Verstappen beyond Hamilton extremely early (2019) before he's even won a title, say.

In my view, Hamilton contested Alonso enough over the years that neither were able to definitively establish superiority over peers in the manner Schumacher did, and then also Vettel disturbs that hierarchy depending on one's views of his stretch of dominance and his 2011 and 2013 seasons. Some like 2015 for Vettel as well. I seem to recall some even liking 2017. These days he gets hammered and not many seem to think he was ever really on the level of the likes of Alonso or Hamilton.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by mikeyg123 »

Invade wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 3:30 pm
mikeyg123 wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 2:29 pm
Invade wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 2:14 pm
F1Tyrant wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:17 am
mikeyg123 wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:47 pm
Hamilton, whilst being an all time great, has very rarely been the best driver in F1 over his career.
I'll bite. I'd argue that while other drivers have been sporadically better, Hamilton's average performance is higher than most drivers over his career span.

Hamilton has strong claims to being the sport's best driver in 2007, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2018 but YMMV.

And 2010, and 2019, and 2020. Hamilton has a good argument for so many years of his career. Actually his claim in 2010 is probably better than 2012, where perhaps he was just as good as Alonso - but 2012 is considered by many to be Alonso's finest season and the circumstance of his car and the title fight gives him more shine.

Also Alonso, while being underrated by a lot of newer fans I've noticed, is overrated by many others who are unable to shift their baseline based on I suppose mainly comparisons drawn between roughly 2010-2013. I doubt he was the best driver on the grid any more than Hamilton was at this point. Probably close between them.

In the end, I think Hamilton has often been the best driver on the grid. It's mainly been the Hamilton and Alonso show until Verstappen turned up and started challenging for that title from 2019 onwards.

Maybe Vettel squeezes in a year or two, though his stock has fallen dramatically and he's being subjected to (perhaps rather justified) revisionist history.
I think people are analysing this more than I did when I wrote it.

I guess what I mean is that if you'd asked me "who is the best driver in F1?" up to 2017 I would have said Alonso and from 2019 I would have said Verstappen. That only leaves Hamilton a two year window. Of course there were pockets of time in the other years where Hamilton was driving better than anyone just as I'm sure there are pockets of time in 2017/18 where other drivers were driving better than Hamilton.
I'm talking seasons not pockets - long, extensive periods of time. It's a bit obvious to say there were drivers driving better than Hamilton in pockets during 2017/18 otherwise there would be some strange view in which the best driver of the year was the best driver of every single race in a season, or that only they were capable of maintaining smaller patches or stretches of 3-4 race form in which only they were the best. So it's merely a fundamental difference in opinion, as being arguably or even probably the best for many seasons makes a driver the best in the sport for a pretty darn long time, in that person's view. Hamilton has possibly been "year-end #1", so to speak, 4+ times. There'd be good arguments for considerably higher than 4. Anyone who achieves that sort of success in a sport is considered the best for an impressive duration.

For you I'm guessing it's a case of Alonso hung onto a mantle you feel he deserved through comparisons before Hamilton was a Merc lad, in which Hamilton had to win forever for you to feel like perhaps he had finally become the best (which is fair enough I'm not saying you should change your opinion)... AND also a case of then vaulting Verstappen beyond Hamilton extremely early (2019) before he's even won a title, say.

In my view, Hamilton contested Alonso enough over the years that neither were able to definitively establish superiority over peers in the manner Schumacher did, and then also Vettel disturbs that hierarchy depending on one's views of his stretch of dominance and his 2011 and 2013 seasons. Some like 2015 for Vettel as well. I seem to recall some even liking 2017. These days he gets hammered and not many seem to think he was ever really on the level of the likes of Alonso or Hamilton.
The problem is we have absolutely know way of knowing how good Hamilton was between 2014-16. Because outside of Rosberg he had no competition. That's why I kind of have to cling on to Alonso being the best driver through that period because he was before 2014 and we weren't really able to learn anything about Hamilton until 2017.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by Johnson »

Hamilton was not the only driver in the Mercedes, Nico Rosberg was in the other car and was in his 11th season by the end of 2016. We do know something about him.

That argument is like saying, it's hard to tell how good Prost and Senna were in 1988 because they had no competition.

You are judged, almost exclusively on how you fair against your team mate and how good your team mate is perceived to be. That's exactly why Alonso's reputation is so high because he destroyed Fisichella, Massa, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Piquet between 2005-2014.

It's also why Verstappen is rated so highly now as he is destroying anybody else in the seat and faired very well against a highly rated Ricciardo when he was still a teenager.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by j man »

Alonso always was a better driver than Hamilton. Perhaps not right now but he is in his 40s, had a break from the sport and seems more pre-occupied these days with highlighting the absurdity of some of the stewarding.

Drivers' competitiveness fluctuates a lot as they drive different cars that suit them to differing degrees. Vettel is the prime example. I do think he was as good as was generally believed in 2010-13 and deserved those 4 titles, but he since proven himself to be a bit of a one-trick pony. The very best drivers like Alonso and Hamilton are fast in whatever car they drive and sustain their competitiveness across a long period and multiple sets of regulations. Something Verstappen still has to prove I think, not that I think he can't.

I like Dan Ticktum and would like to see him in F1 (not that I expect it to happen). He's more than talented enough and would inject some much-needed personality onto the grid.

Ferrari pulling out of F1 would have little to no impact on the sport commercially.

Monza is a rubbish race track. It does belong on the calendar for its historic value and very strong attendance but it's one of my least favourite races.


A few others that I wrote in previous years and will still stand by:

The end of the 2007 season was fixed to prevent either McLaren driver from winning the title after Spygate. What happened with Hamilton in those last two races has never sat right with me.

The Monaco Grand Prix should be scrapped (according to the recently-released F1 Fan Survey, this is most definitely an unpopular opinion).

Michael Schumacher deserved the 1994 title.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by mikeyg123 »

Johnson wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 4:07 pm
Hamilton was not the only driver in the Mercedes, Nico Rosberg was in the other car and was in his 11th season by the end of 2016. We do know something about him.

That argument is like saying, it's hard to tell how good Prost and Senna were in 1988 because they had no competition.

You are judged, almost exclusively on how you fair against your team mate and how good your team mate is perceived to be. That's exactly why Alonso's reputation is so high because he destroyed Fisichella, Massa, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Piquet between 2005-2014.

It's also why Verstappen is rated so highly now as he is destroying anybody else in the seat and faired very well against a highly rated Ricciardo when he was still a teenager.
Rosberg is almost an odd case though, in that the only driver he can be fairly benchmarked against (as in a known quantity) is Hamilton.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by Delphic »

Invade wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 3:30 pm

it's a case of Alonso hung onto a mantle you feel he deserved through comparisons before Hamilton was a Merc lad, in which Hamilton had to win forever for you to feel like perhaps he had finally become the best (which is fair enough I'm not saying you should change your opinion)... AND also a case of then vaulting Verstappen beyond Hamilton extremely early (2019) before he's even won a title, say.
(Not calling out mikey or anyone in particular) but I find this very very strange. On one hand many F1 fans waited, needed more evidence (even 3 WDC were not enough) to finally call Hamilton as one of the great drivers, but at the same time to them Max had achieved that status as early as his 2nd/ 3rd year without even winning any major title!

Max is good. One of the few naturally fast drivers we have in F1, but to me its too early to put him on the same pedestal as Lewis. Can he get there? Why not? Is he there yet? No.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by Exediron »

wire2004 wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 9:54 am
With a couple of exceptions the current formula 1 grid is not on the same level as the grid from the late mid to late 90s.
Kudos for hitting something right on target for this thread, because I have a feeling that this is a very unpopular opinion! I tend to think the late 1990s was one of the weakest eras in F1 history, so I certainly don't agree.
wire2004 wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 9:54 am
Sebastian Vettel is is in the category of jacques Villeneuve esq level of world champion. Got lucky in 2010 and 2012 and only won because of having the most dominant car in 2011 and 2013. Furthermore. Vettel is not even in the top 20 of greatest formula 1 world champions.
This one, however, I absolutely agree with. I was calling Vettel a 4-time Jacques Villeneuveas early as 2014!
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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by Tufty »

j man wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 5:51 pm
I like Dan Ticktum and would like to see him in F1 (not that I expect it to happen). He's more than talented enough and would inject some much-needed personality onto the grid.
If Mazepin's off-season behaviour was unpalatable to most fans, I can't see many taking to Ticktum given his inclination to turn his car into a weapon if he feels hard done by.
Anyone in or near North Wales interested in an RC car racing tournament?

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by mikeyg123 »

Tufty wrote:
Fri Oct 29, 2021 9:27 am
j man wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 5:51 pm
I like Dan Ticktum and would like to see him in F1 (not that I expect it to happen). He's more than talented enough and would inject some much-needed personality onto the grid.
If Mazepin's off-season behaviour was unpalatable to most fans, I can't see many taking to Ticktum given his inclination to turn his car into a weapon if he feels hard done by.
And yet, Vettel still remains popular... I no the incident was less severe but was also a lot more high profile and Vettel had far less provocation.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by Siao7 »

mikeyg123 wrote:
Fri Oct 29, 2021 10:49 am
Tufty wrote:
Fri Oct 29, 2021 9:27 am
j man wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 5:51 pm
I like Dan Ticktum and would like to see him in F1 (not that I expect it to happen). He's more than talented enough and would inject some much-needed personality onto the grid.
If Mazepin's off-season behaviour was unpalatable to most fans, I can't see many taking to Ticktum given his inclination to turn his car into a weapon if he feels hard done by.
And yet, Vettel still remains popular... I no the incident was less severe but was also a lot more high profile and Vettel had far less provocation.
Yeah, but Vettel didn't hunt down Hamilton, overtaking under yellows to ram into another car. It's not even in the same ballpark.

Ticktum can't keep his mouth shut either, which doesn't do him any favours. I mean, he got dropped by 2 F1 teams, and he hasn't even been in F1 yet...

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Re: Unpopular Opinions (2021)

Post by Johnson »

Exediron wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 8:27 pm
wire2004 wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 9:54 am
With a couple of exceptions the current formula 1 grid is not on the same level as the grid from the late mid to late 90s.
Kudos for hitting something right on target for this thread, because I have a feeling that this is a very unpopular opinion! I tend to think the late 1990s was one of the weakest eras in F1 history, so I certainly don't agree.
wire2004 wrote:
Thu Oct 28, 2021 9:54 am
Sebastian Vettel is is in the category of jacques Villeneuve esq level of world champion. Got lucky in 2010 and 2012 and only won because of having the most dominant car in 2011 and 2013. Furthermore. Vettel is not even in the top 20 of greatest formula 1 world champions.
This one, however, I absolutely agree with. I was calling Vettel a 4-time Jacques Villeneuveas early as 2014!
Between the time Schumacher debuted (1991) and Alonso (2001) there was a huge gulf in talent. Maybe you could argue Button (2000) or Barrichello (1993) as good talents, but that still leaves 1993-2000.

Everybody that came into the sport or was already in it got destroyed by one of the early 2000 drivers.

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