Worst driver career decisions

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davidheath461
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Worst driver career decisions

Post by davidheath461 »

With the benefit of hindsight and in no particular order:

1. Villeneuve from Williams to BAR, 1999.

Williams had lost their competitiveness in 1998, but still remained the third best team. They were awaiting a new works deal with BMW, and once they got that they returned to the front. Villeneuve decided to join his personal manager, Pollock, at the new BAR team which inevitably had poor reliability to start with. By the time the team became competitive, his allies had left and Button was outperforming him. If he had stayed at Williams, he would have been fighting for wins by 2001 and even a world championship by 2003.

2. Alonso from Ferrari to Mclaren, 2015.

After 5 seasons of unfulfilled promises, Alonso lost faith with Ferrari's ability to produce a winning car. He decided to join Mclaren as they embarked on their works deal with Honda. Mclaren ended up slipping down to the back of the field/midfield whilst Ferrari have been fighting for race wins and look set to fight for the WDC this year.

3. Alesi from Tyrrell to Ferrari, 1991.

Alesi initially signed a contract for Williams but then ended up signing for Ferrari. Williams ended up being the dominant team of the decade, whilst Ferrari went through lots of internal struggles. Alesi would've been fighting for championships instead of the 1 win he got with Ferrari.

Feel free to add your picks.

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by sandman1347 »

The worst move of them all was Emerson Fittipaldi leaving McLaren to join his brother's team. He was the youngest ever champion at that point and a two time champ to boot and at the height of his prowess he basically banished himself to irrelevance.

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by Exediron »

If you're including missed opportunities, Alonso turning down Red Bull has to go pretty high on that list. If he'd been driving for RBR since 2008, he would probably be at a minimum a 4-time world champion now, with something in the 50s for wins.

Other than that...

Kovi deciding to step in to fill Kimi's seat in 2013 was a career-ending decision.
Arguably Schumacher's comeback was a terrible driver decision, as far as his legacy is concerned.

I assume this is intended to be about F1 only, otherwise I'd have a few more.
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by GingerFurball »

Ayrton Senna joining Williams.

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by pokerman »

GingerFurball wrote:Ayrton Senna joining Williams.
I don't think that's the gist of the thread, Senna went to a better car, what happened to Senna was a freak accident.
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by mikeyg123 »

Mr Heath. Congrats on a very interesting thread idea. I will have a think and contribute in the morning. Everyone, bait your breath.

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by Rockie »

Alonso to Renault in '08, it was the beginning of the end!

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by Lt. Drebin »

From the top of my head:

Reutemann to Lotus in 1979.
Andretti to Alfa Romeo in 1981.
Rosberg to Mclaren in 1986.
De Angelis and Patrese to Brabham in 1986.
Piquet to Lotus in 1988.
Capelli to Ferrari in 1992.
Mansell to Mclaren in 1995.
Badoer to Ferrari in 2009.
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by mikeyg123 »

Lt. Drebin wrote:From the top of my head:

Reutemann to Lotus in 1979.
Andretti to Alfa Romeo in 1981.
Rosberg to Mclaren in 1986.
De Angelis and Patrese to Brabham in 1986.
Piquet to Lotus in 1988.
Capelli to Ferrari in 1992.
Mansell to Mclaren in 1995.
Badoer to Ferrari in 2009.
I hate to be argumentative about something so subjective but i wouldn't class many of them as bad career decisions. More punts that were worth the risk or chances to good to turn down.

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by Ruste13 »

This where I think we will miss POB Ratings input...he would have been giving examples from 30, 40, and 50 years ago which was always great to read. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

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Ruste13 wrote:This where I think we will miss POB Ratings input...he would have been giving examples from 30, 40, and 50 years ago which was always great to read. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by Randine »

Webber to Williams in 2005.
He reportedly had an offer from Renault but chose to go to Williams.
The last Australian to win a world championship was Alan Jones with Williams and Webber thought he would love to do the same.
Williams haven't been close to winning a championship since. (Since last century too!)
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by jono794 »

Randine wrote:Webber to Williams in 2005.
He reportedly had an offer from Renault but chose to go to Williams.
The last Australian to win a world championship was Alan Jones with Williams and Webber thought he would love to do the same.
Williams haven't been close to winning a championship since. (Since last century too!)
Was that not also partly because Flavio didn't want Webber and Alonso in the same team, lest one drive down the value of the other? I want to visit the alternate universe where Webber and Alonso fought for the 05 championship at Renault. They wouldn't be such great mates these days I don't reckon.
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by mikeyg123 »

jono794 wrote:
Randine wrote:Webber to Williams in 2005.
He reportedly had an offer from Renault but chose to go to Williams.
The last Australian to win a world championship was Alan Jones with Williams and Webber thought he would love to do the same.
Williams haven't been close to winning a championship since. (Since last century too!)
Was that not also partly because Flavio didn't want Webber and Alonso in the same team, lest one drive down the value of the other? I want to visit the alternate universe where Webber and Alonso fought for the 05 championship at Renault. They wouldn't be such great mates these days I don't reckon.
It was Flavio that offered Webber the Renault drive. Webber chose Williams because they seemed like the better bet at the time.

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

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Timo Glock joining Virgin instead of Renault in 2010.

Mika Salo electing to drop out of F1 to join Toyota and test there new F1 car only to be dumped after one season.

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by MistaVega23 »

Hill to Arrows. Today that'll be like Hamilton winning the title, then moving to Sauber when Red Bull had offered him a drive.

Fisichella to Ferrari 2009 - after pole and a podium in Spa in the Force India, Fisi did only slightly better than the embarrassing Badoer. Although he stayed with Ferrari after that, his career could have gone on for at least a couple more seasons with the improving Force India.

I have to also mention Montoya at McLaren. I remember thinking at the time 'this doesn't fit' - it was the wrong move from day one.
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by TheGiantHogweed »

I'm not sure if this was Maldonado's decision as such as I think he got kicked out of Williams in 2013. But the way things went after that was extremely unlucky. Williams in 2013 was really bad and Lotus that year was very strong. He then was going to take a seat in Lotus the next year in 2014. Then, the team he'd just left had a massive leap from one of the worst performing teams to one that was getting on for the strongest. And while this happened, the Lotus team he had just joined was simply awful compared to how good they were year before.

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by Colesy917 »

Worst Driver Career Decisions: The Fernando Alonso Story
Raikkonen Bottas Ricciardo

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

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sandman1347 wrote:The worst move of them all was Emerson Fittipaldi leaving McLaren to join his brother's team. He was the youngest ever champion at that point and a two time champ to boot and at the height of his prowess he basically banished himself to irrelevance.
The Fittipaldi team had a rocky stint throughout but what really killed them was that for the 1979 season they spent USD 3 million in a car that turned out to be a complete failure and slower than their own car from the year before. The Fittipaldi F6 was designed by Ralph Bellamy, who had worked at Lotus, but, unbeknownst to everyone, he was nowhere near as good as his curriculum would suggest. The result was that the F6 was one of the worst cars in the history of F1. Among other flaws, it had zero torsional rigidity, which, in a period with increasing cornering speeds due to the development of the ground effect, spelt doom for the team.

Can't really blame Emmo for doing it, though. The time to take risks is when you're young. Besides, it led him to eventually joining Indycar and winning the Indy 500 twice and the CART championship once. He was also still competitive well into his 40s, and would've gone on to have longevity similar to the likes of AJ Foyt had it not been for his fateful accident at the US 500 in 1996... A real talent!

The Fittipaldi story is still better than the BAR story, though... BAR were really talking big going into the 1999 season. They had one of the top drivers at the time (Jacques Villeneuve) and outsourced the car's development to Reynard, which was the top chassis maker in CART at the time and had always won the first season they contested in every series they entered. As it turned out, and as demonstrated by numerous experienced teams that tried to make the move into F1 and failed (Coloni and Pacific being the best known examples), F1 was on a whole different level, and BAR remained terrible until David Richards took over the team.
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by nixxxon »

Alonso to McLaren, both times actually.

And also, Alonso rejecting a Red Bull offer in 2008 to return back to Renault, however that was a logical move since Red Bull were just a midfield team at the time and Renault was an official works team that won the WDC two years ago

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by Zoue »

nixxxon wrote:Alonso to McLaren, both times actually.

And also, Alonso rejecting a Red Bull offer in 2008 to return back to Renault, however that was a logical move since Red Bull were just a midfield team at the time and Renault was an official works team that won the WDC two years ago
Actually, I'd say the first move was a pretty good one, considering they were the joint best car with the Ferrari that year. That he messed it up afterwards doesn't make the original decision poor

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by pokerman »

Randine wrote:Webber to Williams in 2005.
He reportedly had an offer from Renault but chose to go to Williams.
The last Australian to win a world championship was Alan Jones with Williams and Webber thought he would love to do the same.
Williams haven't been close to winning a championship since. (Since last century too!)
Webber would have been teamed against Alonso though with the result that he may have got found out much earlier in his F1 career then he did?
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by pokerman »

MistaVega23 wrote:Hill to Arrows. Today that'll be like Hamilton winning the title, then moving to Sauber when Red Bull had offered him a drive.

Fisichella to Ferrari 2009 - after pole and a podium in Spa in the Force India, Fisi did only slightly better than the embarrassing Badoer. Although he stayed with Ferrari after that, his career could have gone on for at least a couple more seasons with the improving Force India.

I have to also mention Montoya at McLaren. I remember thinking at the time 'this doesn't fit' - it was the wrong move from day one.
Hill didn't have much choice because he had been sacked by Williams and Arrows were the ones offering him the most money.
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by pokerman »

TheGiantHogweed wrote:I'm not sure if this was Maldonado's decision as such as I think he got kicked out of Williams in 2013. But the way things went after that was extremely unlucky. Williams in 2013 was really bad and Lotus that year was very strong. He then was going to take a seat in Lotus the next year in 2014. Then, the team he'd just left had a massive leap from one of the worst performing teams to one that was getting on for the strongest. And while this happened, the Lotus team he had just joined was simply awful compared to how good they were year before.
It was Maldonado's decision to leave Williams.
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

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pokerman wrote:Webber would have been teamed against Alonso though with the result that he may have got found out much earlier in his F1 career then he did?
Webber would not have had a problem having Alonso as teammate. They're good friends.

At the time, however, Webber was a force in qualifying. I think he'd have fared batter against Alonso than Fisichella did.
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by nixxxon »

Zoue wrote:
nixxxon wrote:Alonso to McLaren, both times actually.

And also, Alonso rejecting a Red Bull offer in 2008 to return back to Renault, however that was a logical move since Red Bull were just a midfield team at the time and Renault was an official works team that won the WDC two years ago
Actually, I'd say the first move was a pretty good one, considering they were the joint best car with the Ferrari that year. That he messed it up afterwards doesn't make the original decision poor
He helped McLaren with his input from Renault. They would not have been as quick
He ended up with Hamilton as team mate in Ron Dennis+Hamilton's team.
Ron Dennis himself admitted that Hamilton played a huge part in the 2007 feud, so enough of blaming only Alonso for it

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by Zoue »

nixxxon wrote:
Zoue wrote:
nixxxon wrote:Alonso to McLaren, both times actually.

And also, Alonso rejecting a Red Bull offer in 2008 to return back to Renault, however that was a logical move since Red Bull were just a midfield team at the time and Renault was an official works team that won the WDC two years ago
Actually, I'd say the first move was a pretty good one, considering they were the joint best car with the Ferrari that year. That he messed it up afterwards doesn't make the original decision poor
He helped McLaren with his input from Renault. They would not have been as quick
He ended up with Hamilton as team mate in Ron Dennis+Hamilton's team.
Ron Dennis himself admitted that Hamilton played a huge part in the 2007 feud, so enough of blaming only Alonso for it
Oh I'm quite confident it wasn't only Alonso, not by a long shot. Hamilton is at least equally to blame for what happened that year. But that doesn't mean Alonso handled it well and if there is any truth at all to the story that Alonso tried to blackmail Ron then frankly he can't blame anyone but himself for how it turned out. Point was only that the decision to move there wasn't a bad one, but how that year was handled (including by him).

Sceptical about your first point. The McLaren was a fast car, with or without Alonso. Don't believe he somehow helped develop it to any significant extent

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

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Zoue wrote:
nixxxon wrote:
Zoue wrote:
nixxxon wrote:Alonso to McLaren, both times actually.

And also, Alonso rejecting a Red Bull offer in 2008 to return back to Renault, however that was a logical move since Red Bull were just a midfield team at the time and Renault was an official works team that won the WDC two years ago
Actually, I'd say the first move was a pretty good one, considering they were the joint best car with the Ferrari that year. That he messed it up afterwards doesn't make the original decision poor
He helped McLaren with his input from Renault. They would not have been as quick
He ended up with Hamilton as team mate in Ron Dennis+Hamilton's team.
Ron Dennis himself admitted that Hamilton played a huge part in the 2007 feud, so enough of blaming only Alonso for it
Oh I'm quite confident it wasn't only Alonso, not by a long shot. Hamilton is at least equally to blame for what happened that year. But that doesn't mean Alonso handled it well and if there is any truth at all to the story that Alonso tried to blackmail Ron then frankly he can't blame anyone but himself for how it turned out. Point was only that the decision to move there wasn't a bad one, but how that year was handled (including by him).

Sceptical about your first point. The McLaren was a fast car, with or without Alonso. Don't believe he somehow helped develop it to any significant extent
There were so many talks about it. It is the formerly famous "7 tenths". I completely believe it, coming from the team that won the WDC+WCC two times in a row, he had to knew a thing or two that others didint, there must have been some tips and tricks brought from Renault to a McLaren that struggled in 2006.
If Alonso had stayed at Renault in 2007, probably Ferrari would've walked both championships and Renault/McLaren would've battled for 2nd, with, maybe... De La Rosa as McLaren's number 2.
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

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Pole2Win wrote:
pokerman wrote:Webber would have been teamed against Alonso though with the result that he may have got found out much earlier in his F1 career then he did?
Webber would not have had a problem having Alonso as teammate. They're good friends.

At the time, however, Webber was a force in qualifying. I think he'd have fared batter against Alonso than Fisichella did.
Webber was still a force in qualifying when he was teamed up with Vettel and being good friends has no affect on the relative performance of the drivers, Fisichella was considered to be one of the very best drivers in F1 before he was teamed up with Alonso.
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by Herb Tarlik »

sandman1347 wrote:The worst move of them all was Emerson Fittipaldi leaving McLaren to join his brother's team. He was the youngest ever champion at that point and a two time champ to boot and at the height of his prowess he basically banished himself to irrelevance.
Well noted. Surely a top contender for the worst driver decision.

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by pokerman »

nixxxon wrote:
Zoue wrote:
nixxxon wrote:Alonso to McLaren, both times actually.

And also, Alonso rejecting a Red Bull offer in 2008 to return back to Renault, however that was a logical move since Red Bull were just a midfield team at the time and Renault was an official works team that won the WDC two years ago
Actually, I'd say the first move was a pretty good one, considering they were the joint best car with the Ferrari that year. That he messed it up afterwards doesn't make the original decision poor
He helped McLaren with his input from Renault. They would not have been as quick
He ended up with Hamilton as team mate in Ron Dennis+Hamilton's team.
Ron Dennis himself admitted that Hamilton played a huge part in the 2007 feud, so enough of blaming only Alonso for it
Yes Hamilton played a part in that he refused to be a #2 driver, and what is this performance he brought to McLaren, the infamous 6 tenths?

This 6 tenths that many Alonso stalwarts thought he would take with him when he went back to Renault to make them a top team again but which never happened.
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by pokerman »

nixxxon wrote:
Zoue wrote:
nixxxon wrote:
Zoue wrote:
nixxxon wrote:Alonso to McLaren, both times actually.

And also, Alonso rejecting a Red Bull offer in 2008 to return back to Renault, however that was a logical move since Red Bull were just a midfield team at the time and Renault was an official works team that won the WDC two years ago
Actually, I'd say the first move was a pretty good one, considering they were the joint best car with the Ferrari that year. That he messed it up afterwards doesn't make the original decision poor
He helped McLaren with his input from Renault. They would not have been as quick
He ended up with Hamilton as team mate in Ron Dennis+Hamilton's team.
Ron Dennis himself admitted that Hamilton played a huge part in the 2007 feud, so enough of blaming only Alonso for it
Oh I'm quite confident it wasn't only Alonso, not by a long shot. Hamilton is at least equally to blame for what happened that year. But that doesn't mean Alonso handled it well and if there is any truth at all to the story that Alonso tried to blackmail Ron then frankly he can't blame anyone but himself for how it turned out. Point was only that the decision to move there wasn't a bad one, but how that year was handled (including by him).

Sceptical about your first point. The McLaren was a fast car, with or without Alonso. Don't believe he somehow helped develop it to any significant extent
There were so many talks about it. It is the formerly famous "7 tenths". I completely believe it, coming from the team that won the WDC+WCC two times in a row, he had to knew a thing or two that others didint, there must have been some tips and tricks brought from Renault to a McLaren that struggled in 2006.
If Alonso had stayed at Renault in 2007, probably Ferrari would've walked both championships and Renault/McLaren would've battled for 2nd, with, maybe... De La Rosa as McLaren's number 2.
It makes you wonder that if he had so much to bring from Renault and then why did Renault themselves only perform as a midfield team in 2007?
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by TheGiantHogweed »

pokerman wrote:
TheGiantHogweed wrote:I'm not sure if this was Maldonado's decision as such as I think he got kicked out of Williams in 2013. But the way things went after that was extremely unlucky. Williams in 2013 was really bad and Lotus that year was very strong. He then was going to take a seat in Lotus the next year in 2014. Then, the team he'd just left had a massive leap from one of the worst performing teams to one that was getting on for the strongest. And while this happened, the Lotus team he had just joined was simply awful compared to how good they were year before.
It was Maldonado's decision to leave Williams.
So that did indeed seem to be a very bad decision as he could have probably had 1 or 2 podiums in 2014 if he had stayed.

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by davidheath461 »

pokerman wrote:
MistaVega23 wrote:Hill to Arrows. Today that'll be like Hamilton winning the title, then moving to Sauber when Red Bull had offered him a drive.

Fisichella to Ferrari 2009 - after pole and a podium in Spa in the Force India, Fisi did only slightly better than the embarrassing Badoer. Although he stayed with Ferrari after that, his career could have gone on for at least a couple more seasons with the improving Force India.

I have to also mention Montoya at McLaren. I remember thinking at the time 'this doesn't fit' - it was the wrong move from day one.
Hill didn't have much choice because he had been sacked by Williams and Arrows were the ones offering him the most money.
He could have joined Benetton or Jordan though?

Another poor decision by Hill was not taking the Mclaren offer in 1998. I know it was only a pay as you go offer, but he would have had the best car...

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by davidheath461 »

nixxxon wrote:Alonso to McLaren, both times actually.

And also, Alonso rejecting a Red Bull offer in 2008 to return back to Renault, however that was a logical move since Red Bull were just a midfield team at the time and Renault was an official works team that won the WDC two years ago
Alonso also rejected Honda in 2008. I agree that these decisions are more forgivable since no one would've predicted the pecking order after the 2009 regulation changes. Alonso could just have easily ended up without a drive in 2009 had he gone to Honda.

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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by davidheath461 »

Zoue wrote:
nixxxon wrote:
Zoue wrote:
nixxxon wrote:Alonso to McLaren, both times actually.

And also, Alonso rejecting a Red Bull offer in 2008 to return back to Renault, however that was a logical move since Red Bull were just a midfield team at the time and Renault was an official works team that won the WDC two years ago
Actually, I'd say the first move was a pretty good one, considering they were the joint best car with the Ferrari that year. That he messed it up afterwards doesn't make the original decision poor
He helped McLaren with his input from Renault. They would not have been as quick
He ended up with Hamilton as team mate in Ron Dennis+Hamilton's team.
Ron Dennis himself admitted that Hamilton played a huge part in the 2007 feud, so enough of blaming only Alonso for it
Oh I'm quite confident it wasn't only Alonso, not by a long shot. Hamilton is at least equally to blame for what happened that year. But that doesn't mean Alonso handled it well and if there is any truth at all to the story that Alonso tried to blackmail Ron then frankly he can't blame anyone but himself for how it turned out. Point was only that the decision to move there wasn't a bad one, but how that year was handled (including by him).

Sceptical about your first point. The McLaren was a fast car, with or without Alonso. Don't believe he somehow helped develop it to any significant extent
I think Newey predicted that Mclaren would be alot more competitive on the Bridgestone tyres.

And also agree that the move looked great initially. He moved to a team with a fast car, and left a team that had fallen back.

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Lotus49
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by Lotus49 »

davidheath461 wrote:
nixxxon wrote:Alonso to McLaren, both times actually.

And also, Alonso rejecting a Red Bull offer in 2008 to return back to Renault, however that was a logical move since Red Bull were just a midfield team at the time and Renault was an official works team that won the WDC two years ago
Alonso also rejected Honda in 2008. I agree that these decisions are more forgivable since no one would've predicted the pecking order after the 2009 regulation changes. Alonso could just have easily ended up without a drive in 2009 had he gone to Honda.
I think they're also more forgivable because it was an open secret he was talking to Ferrari throughout 2008 and that's where he wanted to go. By the end of the year Gazzetta were saying it was already signed and sealed.
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Lt. Drebin
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by Lt. Drebin »

mikeyg123 wrote:
Lt. Drebin wrote:From the top of my head:

Reutemann to Lotus in 1979.
Andretti to Alfa Romeo in 1981.
Rosberg to Mclaren in 1986.
De Angelis and Patrese to Brabham in 1986.
Piquet to Lotus in 1988.
Capelli to Ferrari in 1992.
Mansell to Mclaren in 1995.
Badoer to Ferrari in 2009.
I hate to be argumentative about something so subjective but i wouldn't class many of them as bad career decisions. More punts that were worth the risk or chances to good to turn down.
We didn't got any guidelines by the OP as to who qualifies and who not and what are the rules of the topic.
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pokerman
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Re: Worst driver career decisions

Post by pokerman »

davidheath461 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
MistaVega23 wrote:Hill to Arrows. Today that'll be like Hamilton winning the title, then moving to Sauber when Red Bull had offered him a drive.

Fisichella to Ferrari 2009 - after pole and a podium in Spa in the Force India, Fisi did only slightly better than the embarrassing Badoer. Although he stayed with Ferrari after that, his career could have gone on for at least a couple more seasons with the improving Force India.

I have to also mention Montoya at McLaren. I remember thinking at the time 'this doesn't fit' - it was the wrong move from day one.
Hill didn't have much choice because he had been sacked by Williams and Arrows were the ones offering him the most money.
He could have joined Benetton or Jordan though?

Another poor decision by Hill was not taking the Mclaren offer in 1998. I know it was only a pay as you go offer, but he would have had the best car...
I think his main goal was to cash in on his title, you have to remember he wasn't that young, he was not far off 40, so he needed to secure his financial future.
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