Best F1 debut races

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Covalent
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Best F1 debut races

Post by Covalent »

List the most impressive debut races by drivers in F1 that you've witnessed.
What do you think next years rookies, which include at least Gutierrez, Bottas and Chilton, would have to do in Australia to make it on your list?
Last edited by Covalent on Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mds
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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by mds »

Race: Hamilton.
Qualifying: Schumacher at Spa '91 was mightily impressive.

Second part of your question:
Chilton: not coming in last would be decent, but I don't think the Marussia is the car to have when you're trying for "best debut race of all times" (and I don't think Chilton is up for it either).
Bottas: with the bar (for me) set by Hamilton (who finished ahead of Alonso), he would have to finish way in front of Maldonado.
Gutierrez: same as for Bottas, he would have to finish in front of Hulkenberg.

Any talk about results is too hard to say, given that we don't know how fast their cars will be - except for Marussia, it would really surprise me if they won't be any of the two bottom teams. They might catch Caterham though, what with their use of KERS this year.
Last edited by mds on Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by hittheapex »

In my viewing lifetime, Hamilton's race debut was the most impressive, the way he placed his car into Turn 1 was with the vision and confidence of someone who had been doing F1 starts for such a long time.

Pedro de la Rosa gets a mention for getting a point on debut in 1999 in an Arrows, as does Webber for doing the same in a Minardi, both good drives despite several retirements in the field. I'm not going to make any pronouncements on what the other rookies should do until we know the relative form of the teams.
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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by Lt. Drebin »

Both Villeneuves were quite impressive.
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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by BlackSG5 »

do you mean debut race by a driver? at the top of my head is kimi and lewis.

in early 2001 or late 2000 news broke out that a certain young finn with limited open wheel races was signed by peter sauber. i thought "great another inexperienced driver". it was after button's williams debut, to which i wasn't impressed. come the 1st race at melbourne i was astounded at his speed in qualifying and his racecraft belies his age and experience. it was in the era where points were awarded up to 6th place only and for him to score a point in his maiden race really won me over.

lewis also impressed me in melbourne 2007. i can't recall if he was out-qualified or out-qualified fernando, but first corner of opening lap, he really signaled his intention of not being fernando's.... ummm.... "understudy". lewis overtook the 2-time WDC in turn 1 and led him until the 2nd stop, which i suspect was engineered by the team at that time.

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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by Covalent »

BlackSG5 wrote:do you mean debut race by a driver? at the top of my head is kimi and lewis.


Ah, yes that's what I meant, should've made that a bit more clear.

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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by mikeyg123 »

Kimi was amazing considering his lack of experience at any level.
Villenueve is the one that really stands out for me though. Pole and he would have won had it not been for mechanical failure. Mark Webber finised 5th in a Minardi but that was due to attrition mainly. The other recent one I remember is Rosberg who got the fastest lap and points after spinning at the first corner.

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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by mds »

Villeneuve is an odd case: he has already a few seasons of racing at the very top under his belt, and he was the champion overthere.
That's why I take Hamilton over him. Hamilton was a "true" rookie.
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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by Covalent »

mds wrote:Race: Hamilton.
Qualifying: Schumacher at Spa '91 was mightily impressive.

Second part of your question:
Chilton: not coming in last would be decent, but I don't think the Marussia is the car to have when you're trying for "best debut race of all times" (and I don't think Chilton is up for it either).
Bottas: with the bar (for me) set by Hamilton (who finished ahead of Alonso), he would have to finish way in front of Maldonado.
Gutierrez: same as for Bottas, he would have to finish in front of Hulkenberg.

Any talk about results is too hard to say, given that we don't know how fast their cars will be - except for Marussia, it would really surprise me if they won't be any of the two bottom teams. They might catch Caterham though, what with their use of KERS this year.

Agree with your post but Hamilton didn't finish ahead of Alonso, if I understood you correctly.

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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by jono794 »

Webber's 5th on debut was certainly aided by attrition but he still led home Mika Salo in the shiny new factory Toyota. The one that sticks out for me is Perez in 2011. IIRC he was seventh on the road before the team was disqualified but managed to pull off a one stopper when most others took 3.
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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by mds »

Covalent wrote:
mds wrote:Race: Hamilton.
Qualifying: Schumacher at Spa '91 was mightily impressive.

Second part of your question:
Chilton: not coming in last would be decent, but I don't think the Marussia is the car to have when you're trying for "best debut race of all times" (and I don't think Chilton is up for it either).
Bottas: with the bar (for me) set by Hamilton (who finished ahead of Alonso), he would have to finish way in front of Maldonado.
Gutierrez: same as for Bottas, he would have to finish in front of Hulkenberg.

Any talk about results is too hard to say, given that we don't know how fast their cars will be - except for Marussia, it would really surprise me if they won't be any of the two bottom teams. They might catch Caterham though, what with their use of KERS this year.

Agree with your post but Hamilton didn't finish ahead of Alonso, if I understood you correctly.


That's true, mixed things up a bit. But it wouldn't change anything for my list, as I rate Alonso higher than Hulkenberg and Maldonado.
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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by Gimax »

I think it would be difficult to better Jackie Stewart's F1 debut at the 1964 Rand Grand Prix in South Africa, where he deputised for Jim Clark. The race was run in two heats: Jackie put his Lotus on pole for the first heat only for the car to fail on the line (broken drive shaft); but he won the second heat by a second from future BRM team-mate Graham Hill and set the fastest lap, more than 2.5 seconds faster than Lotus team-mate Mike Spence's fastest lap in the first heat.

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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by mac_d »

I'd have to say that if each of them is reasonably close to their team mates, that is a pretty good result for them.

If their team mates don't finish then it's hard to say. For all we know, the race pace of the Marussia could be amazing, and Chilton coming 20th may be a crap result but will look okay actually.

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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by ThreeEightOne »

Villeneuve '96
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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by r41 »

Jacques' first race was supposed to be epic, thank goodness it wasnt

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Re: Best F1 debut races

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Giancarlo Baghetti

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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by H-Holloway »

Mark Webber has got to be up there.

6th in a Miniardi in his home Grand Prix, destroyed his team mate.
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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by Siao7 »

Nino Farina?

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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by a.rellum »

Hamilton clearly.

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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by Johnston »

Eddie Irvine.
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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by Fat Albert »

Another vote for Baghetti, he didn't just win his first F1 race, he won his first THREE F1 races

In terms of debut performances, no one else is in the same ball park
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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by Siao7 »

Fat Albert wrote:Another vote for Baghetti, he didn't just win his first F1 race, he won his first THREE F1 races

In terms of debut performances, no one else is in the same ball park


Farina had almost the same, only he had 2/3 race wins, while he retired from a second place in Monaco.

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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by joshb »

Hamilton, Perez, J. Villeneuve, Webber stand out off the top of my head that I've seen.
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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by Covalent »

Fat Albert wrote:Another vote for Baghetti, he didn't just win his first F1 race, he won his first THREE F1 races

In terms of debut performances, no one else is in the same ball park

Way ahead of my time, but good pick nonetheless!

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Re: Best F1 debut races

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Fat Albert wrote:Another vote for Baghetti, he didn't just win his first F1 race, he won his first THREE F1 races

In terms of debut performances, no one else is in the same ball park

I was about to say you were exaggerating here but you are in fact dead right.

He won two non-championship races run to F1 regulations before winning his debut championship event.

And that may not be replicated for a very long time.
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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by Gimax »

SchumieRules wrote:
Fat Albert wrote:Another vote for Baghetti, he didn't just win his first F1 race, he won his first THREE F1 races

In terms of debut performances, no one else is in the same ball park


Farina had almost the same, only he had 2/3 race wins, while he retired from a second place in Monaco.

But Farina was driving in the first year of the F1 World Championship - so all the drivers were rookies!

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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by Siao7 »

Gimax wrote:
SchumieRules wrote:
Fat Albert wrote:Another vote for Baghetti, he didn't just win his first F1 race, he won his first THREE F1 races

In terms of debut performances, no one else is in the same ball park


Farina had almost the same, only he had 2/3 race wins, while he retired from a second place in Monaco.

But Farina was driving in the first year of the F1 World Championship - so all the drivers were rookies!


Funny that! All rookies, while in their 40's!

To be honest I can't agree that they were rookies, the races have been going on for years before that (from 1947 if I'm not mistaken), it's just that in 1950 it was sanctioned as the first F1 championship.

So either they were all rookies or none of them was!

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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by j man »

Aside from those already mentioned:

Kobayashi's debut was massively impressive, especially given the level of expectation on him that weekend.
Vettel finishing in the points at Indy 2007 was pretty good given that he was only 19 at the time (and looked about 12)

Though obviously Markus Winkelhock will always stick in my mind as the most extraordinary F1 debut of all time. Leading by half a minute after two laps in the worst car on the grid takes some beating!

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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by ManicOversteer »

j man wrote:Aside from those already mentioned:

Kobayashi's debut was massively impressive, especially given the level of expectation on him that weekend.
Vettel finishing in the points at Indy 2007 was pretty good given that he was only 19 at the time (and looked about 12)

Though obviously Markus Winkelhock will always stick in my mind as the most extraordinary F1 debut of all time. Leading by half a minute after two laps in the worst car on the grid takes some beating!


:thumbup: I agree. Winkelhock was the one that stood out for me.
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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by lamo »

Hamilton, ironically Mclaren used team orders to put Alonso ahead. Hamilton was ahead on the road and crucially had more fuel than Alonso. Back in the era meant it was impossible for Alonso to overtake him.

But Mclaren pulled Lewis in thee laps early for his second stop to allow Alonso passed costing Lewis the WDC :lol:

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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by Saorsa »

Tough question, it's impossible for me to pick just one especially since I've been watching F1 for about 50 years.

Here's my top 3 in no particular order:
John Surtees
Jean Alesi
Gilles Villeneuve

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Re: Best F1 debut races

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Johnny Herbert. Finished 4th on his debut with feet he could barely feel the pedals with. He shouldn't have even been racing.
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Re: Best F1 debut races

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Carlos Reutemann. Argentina 1972. First Grand Prix qualified? Pole position.
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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by Lt. Drebin »

ManicOversteer wrote:
j man wrote:Aside from those already mentioned:

Kobayashi's debut was massively impressive, especially given the level of expectation on him that weekend.
Vettel finishing in the points at Indy 2007 was pretty good given that he was only 19 at the time (and looked about 12)

Though obviously Markus Winkelhock will always stick in my mind as the most extraordinary F1 debut of all time. Leading by half a minute after two laps in the worst car on the grid takes some beating!


:thumbup: I agree. Winkelhock was the one that stood out for me.

In some way, I am glad he never raced again, so that legend may live untarnished.
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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by POBRatings »

1968 US GP Watkins Glen: Mario Andretti gets pole ahead of Stewart, leads briefly until his Lotus car /clutch gives trouble.
1972 Argentine GP: Carlos Reutemann starts from pole and leads until his tyres go off.
2007 Australian GP: Lewis Hamilton starts fourth on grid and finishes third.

There have been earlier great debuts:
1950 Gonzalez starts Monaco on front row, runs second to Fangio's Alfa Romeo until his Maserati packs up.
1951 Swiss GP: Stirling Moss finishes eighth in a heavy, slow HWM (unsupercharged) against faster ,four car teams from Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and Talbot-Lago. It was raining heavily throughout the race.
1952 Swiss GP: Jean Behra finishes third in a Gordini against much faster Ferraris.
1952 Belgian GP: Mike Hawthorn finishes fourth in a Cooper-Bristol, against much faster Ferraris.

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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by Alienturnedhuman »

The two race debuts that stick in my mind are Webber and Villeneuve. Although neither went on to deliver the promise that you would expect of those who put in a great first race, and it can be argued it was down to circumstance (race had a high rate of attrition/already having a lot of experience and being in the fastest cars) it is those two races that I can remember the excitement for the individual performance.

I remember clearly watching as Hill's car turned orange from Villenueve's oil leak, and the excitement that surrounded Mark Webber! At his home race! Fifth Place! In a MINARDI!

If we were to measure who had the best debut season, then it is difficult to look past Hamilton, certainly for seasons I have watched in my lifetime. His first race was good, and I can remember discussing before Australia with another F1 fan who thought it would be 'nice' but unlikely for Hamilton to finish third in that race (ironically, in the same conversation we also commented how the only thing Mark Webber had ever done was finish fifth in a Minardi ;) ) however I don't remember much of the race itself.

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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by Lentulus »

Fat Albert wrote:Another vote for Baghetti, he didn't just win his first F1 race, he won his first THREE F1 races

In terms of debut performances, no one else is in the same ball park

While I vote Baghetti as the best F1 debut ever, his victory in that race (1961 French GP) was his only F1 World Championship victory.
His other two wins were non-championship races.

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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by Blinky McSquinty »

Baghetti is one of only three drivers to have won his first World Championship race, the other two being Nino Farina, who won the first World Championship race (the 1950 British Grand Prix) and Johnnie Parsons, who won the 1950 Indianapolis 500 (the Indianapolis 500 was part of the World Championship from 1950 to 1960).


Jacques Villeneuve came as close as it could get, only his car let him down when it developed an oil leak and he had to nurse his car to second.

On their debut races, Hamilton finished 3rd and was the first debut drive to finish on the podium since Villeneuve, and Raikkonen 6th.

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Re: Best F1 debut races

Post by aryaputhra »

Juan Pablo Montoya was impressive in his debut race.

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