What separates the excellent from the elite?

What separates the excellent from the elite?

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Discussion

hot metal

1,577 posts

165 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
Schermerhorn said:
I'd put my money on a fit athlete than a fat bloke to drive a car faster.
Moss ,Hawthorn & Collins were younger/fitter, different age with a different outlook, don`t think the gym was the order of the day then. WWII took Fangio`s & many others best years away from them, most were north of 40 in 1950, Fangio`s dominance never waned up to the end of his career. To dismiss him as a fat old man beggars belief, no excuse for ignorance of this kind. nono

Hungrymc

5,430 posts

109 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
Schermerhorn said:
I'd put my money on a fit athlete than a fat bloke to drive a car faster.
It was a different time and the value of physical (and mental) preparation was less well understood. We’ll never know who from the past would have flourished in a time of dieticians, sports psychologists and personal trainers vs who wouldn’t have the discipline to live the life this prep requires.

Perhaps that’s one of the markings of elite… to identify and buy into methods that move the game forward?

ettore

3,374 posts

224 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
hot metal said:
Moss ,Hawthorn & Collins were younger/fitter, different age with a different outlook, don`t think the gym was the order of the day then. WWII took Fangio`s & many others best years away from them, most were north of 40 in 1950, Fangio`s dominance never waned up to the end of his career. To dismiss him as a fat old man beggars belief, no excuse for ignorance of this kind. nono
Aye, trolling or tttery.

He wasn’t unfit either, nor particularly fat. Have a look at the conditions of most 50’s Grand Prix - longer and considerably (understatement!) more dangerous. Physical and, even more importantly, mental endurance key. Latter impossible without the former.

StevieBee

Original Poster:

10,363 posts

227 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
Nobody's mentioned tyres yet - or rather tyre management.

We think of this as a modern thing but has been an issue ever since, well, tyres were invented though has come into sharper focus in recent decades.

I think it was said of Clark that he'd come in after a race with tyres that looked unused. Prost was a tyre master, Hamilton certainly is.

I recall an articles in F! racing years back in which the author explained Schumacher's uncanny ability sense where the 'friction circle'. This, IIRC, is an area roughly the size of a lens cap on each tyre from which 70% of the grip comes from. It moves around constantly and he knew where it was and where it would go and adjust his style to suit.

Piginapoke

2,601 posts

157 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
LukeBrown66 said:
The elite manage to make what they do seem effortless and achieve it with little controversy.;

In my mind, Fangio, Ascari, Clark, Stewart, Prost, Lewis make winning easy.

Others get there through circumstance and raw talent like, vettel, Alonso, Rosberg, Piquet, Lauda, Emmo as their careers pitch a little up and down.

Finally there are the bullies like Hunt, Senna, Schumacher, maybe black Jack who through sheer will achieve their goals in whatever way they can.

I admire them all but the first group are the elite in my mind.
Worth pointing out that Prost was destroyed by Senna in their 2 years together.

Muzzer79

5,643 posts

159 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
Piginapoke said:
LukeBrown66 said:
The elite manage to make what they do seem effortless and achieve it with little controversy.;

In my mind, Fangio, Ascari, Clark, Stewart, Prost, Lewis make winning easy.

Others get there through circumstance and raw talent like, vettel, Alonso, Rosberg, Piquet, Lauda, Emmo as their careers pitch a little up and down.

Finally there are the bullies like Hunt, Senna, Schumacher, maybe black Jack who through sheer will achieve their goals in whatever way they can.

I admire them all but the first group are the elite in my mind.
Worth pointing out that Prost was destroyed by Senna in their 2 years together.
Which two years?

I ask because you can't be referring to 1988/1989, because that would be............wrong.

1988
Senna race wins 8
Senna podiums 11

Prost race wins 7
Prost podiums 14
WDC Senna

Prost was first or second in every race apart from the British GP, where he retired with handling problems and the Italian GP, where his engine failed.

1989
Senna race wins 6
Senna podiums 7

Prost race wins 4
Prost podiums 11
WDC Prost

Edited by Muzzer79 on Wednesday 24th November 10:17

swisstoni

11,867 posts

251 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
To answer the Op’s question, nobody really knows.
A lot of money is spent trying to find the Elite.
What they find is very good drivers.

The elite announce themselves when they are placed in the hottest of hot seats and have to deliver.

Many hot-shots have risen through lesser formulae only to fizzle out when they reach the top level.

cgt2

2,322 posts

160 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
Piginapoke said:
Worth pointing out that Prost was destroyed by Senna in their 2 years together.
Did you actually watch in 1988 and 1989? Yes he wasn't good in the wet but otherwise it was extremely close between them which made for fantastic seasons. In 1990 when maybe the Ferrari was slightly inferior Prost was much better in Mexico, France and Spain.

Senna had more pure speed in qualifying but Prost's ability to lap incredibly quickly in races often meant he came out on top.

LukeBrown66

1,448 posts

18 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
Lol the usual Senna fanboys you get everywhere. Gotta love em

They were pretty even actually and if you watch the races you will see that often Alain was quicker in the races, not always but a fair bit.

I am not saying he was quicker but to say Senna trounced him in 88 and 89 is pure rot, 88 I would say he was quicker most of the tine, but not in 89.

And you would think Senna was some kind of demi god the way some people talk about him, but he made far more mistakes than Alain in terms of stupid moves, only really settling down when Alain was gone and Mansell was his rival in 91.

Alain let himself down in the wet and with his inability to qualify well, but Ayrton let himself down by his obsession with Prost and his stupid moves at times.

Bo_apex

1,531 posts

190 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
LukeBrown66 said:
Lol the usual Senna fanboys you get everywhere. Gotta love em
Hamilton is a Senna fanboy wink



HustleRussell

20,512 posts

132 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
Also, you're comparing peak Senna to late Prost.

cgt2

2,322 posts

160 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
I have to think the person who made that comment never actually watched those seasons. Seems to be a trend on PH...

Both drivers were incredible in different ways and it was a magical time in F1.

hot metal

1,577 posts

165 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
Senna very fast

Prost better racecraft, 51 wins for a reason ,not a big fan of either though.

Senna`s self belief & entitlement probably mirrored by Max .

MustangGT

9,195 posts

252 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
hot metal said:
Senna very fast

Prost better racecraft, 51 wins for a reason ,not a big fan of either though.

Senna`s self belief & entitlement probably mirrored by Max .
Seems incredible to think that Alain with 51 wins, lying 4th in the all time table, only has half the number of wins that Lewis has managed.

cgt2

2,322 posts

160 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
MustangGT said:
Seems incredible to think that Alain with 51 wins, lying 4th in the all time table, only has half the number of wins that Lewis has managed.
Far fewer races then, 16 a season

Schermerhorn

4,159 posts

161 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
ettore said:
hot metal said:
Moss ,Hawthorn & Collins were younger/fitter, different age with a different outlook, don`t think the gym was the order of the day then. WWII took Fangio`s & many others best years away from them, most were north of 40 in 1950, Fangio`s dominance never waned up to the end of his career. To dismiss him as a fat old man beggars belief, no excuse for ignorance of this kind. nono
Aye, trolling or tttery.

He wasn’t unfit either, nor particularly fat. Have a look at the conditions of most 50’s Grand Prix - longer and considerably (understatement!) more dangerous. Physical and, even more importantly, mental endurance key. Latter impossible without the former.
Not trolling here.

However, you have to understand that athletes get better over time. They get stronger, fitter, have more endurance and pass more stress-tests that guys over 7 decades ago couldn't even imagine, let alone do. Sure, Fangio was mentally tough but so were a lot of the drivers of that period and they still couldn't compete against him.

Would Rocky Marciano even be vaguely competitive today at a HW? Heck, he'd probably get smashed by a Light Heavyweight like Artur Beterbiev.

I'm not trying to mock the drivers of yesterday or insult your favourite drivers. They were good for their time but they've had their day. Today's drivers/athletes are much better all around.

A Fangio today would probably be a great endurance car/ LeMans driver. As an F1 driver, he wouldn't be as good as these guys who have been doing it since the age of 4.

"Natural talent" only gets you so far.

Just my opinion.

cgt2

2,322 posts

160 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
Froilan Gonzalez made Fangio look like Ally McBeal


DodgyGeezer

28,909 posts

162 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
Schermerhorn said:
Not trolling here.

However, you have to understand that athletes get better over time. They get stronger, fitter, have more endurance and pass more stress-tests that guys over 7 decades ago couldn't even imagine, let alone do. Sure, Fangio was mentally tough but so were a lot of the drivers of that period and they still couldn't compete against him.

Would Rocky Marciano even be vaguely competitive today at a HW? Heck, he'd probably get smashed by a Light Heavyweight like Artur Beterbiev.

I'm not trying to mock the drivers of yesterday or insult your favourite drivers. They were good for their time but they've had their day. Today's drivers/athletes are much better all around.

A Fangio today would probably be a great endurance car/ LeMans driver. As an F1 driver, he wouldn't be as good as these guys who have been doing it since the age of 4.

"Natural talent" only gets you so far.

Just my opinion.
I will admit that I'd love to see Hamilton in an old F1 car for a full race distance (as it was back then). As an aside a lot of the old uns would have gone through WW2 - mental toughness beyond what most of today's pampered stars have.... (not to mention seeing friends/rivals die during races)

Edited by DodgyGeezer on Wednesday 24th November 16:17

hot metal

1,577 posts

165 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
DodgyGeezer said:
I will admit that I'd love to see Hamilton in an old F1 car for a full race distance (as it was back then). As an aside a lot of the old uns would have gone through WW2 - mental toughness beyond what most of today's pampered stars have.... (not to mention seeing friends/rivals die during races)

Edited by DodgyGeezer on Wednesday 24th November 16:17
Drivers have developed along with the cars over the decades, as expected.

Wonder who would win an arm wrestling competition, Fangio or Hamilton ??

Bo_apex

1,531 posts

190 months

Wednesday 24th November
quotequote all
cgt2 said:
MustangGT said:
Seems incredible to think that Alain with 51 wins, lying 4th in the all time table, only has half the number of wins that Lewis has managed.
Far fewer races then, 16 a season
All conquering Mercedes team with its unprecedented reliability has also been a major factor.