Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

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Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by crl on Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:00 am

This list was published in the magazine back in July. A ton of big names from all walks of racing on it (found it on another message board):

50. Valentino Rossi (ITA)
49. Bird Clemente (BRA)
48. Carlos Sainz (ESP)
47. Nicolas Minassian (FRA)
46. James Courtney (AUS)
45. Andy Wallace (GBR)
44. Alain Ferte (FRA)
43. Gary Hocking (GBR)
42. Christophe Bouchut (FRA)
41. Jean-Pierre Jaussaud (FRA)
40. Craig Lowndes (AUS)
39. Bertrand Fabi (CAN)
38. Andre Lotterer (GER)
37. Rickard Rydell (SWE)
36. Alain Menu (SUI)
35. Kenny Brack (SWE)
34. Nicolas Lapierre (FRA)
33. John Nielsen (DEN)
32. Jean-Luc Salomon (FRA)
31. Paul Warwick (GBR)
30. Jorg Muller (GER)
29. Gonzalo Rodriguez (URU)
28. Stephen South (GBR)
27. Satoshi Motoyama (JPN)
26. Jason Watt (DEN)
25. Tony Stewart (USA)
24. Paul Tracy (CAN)
23. Klaus Ludwig (GER)
22. Frank Matich (AUS)
21. Will Power (AUS)
20. Gerry Birrell (GBR)
19. Scott Dixon (NZL)
18. Adam Carroll (GBR)
17. Emmanuel Collard (FRA)
16. Al Unser Jr (USA)
15. Greg Moore (CAN)
14. Jamie Green (GBR)
13. Don Parker (GBR)
12. Dan Wheldon (GBR)
11. Gil de Ferran (BRA)
10. Laurent Aiello (FRA)
9. Walter Rohrl (GER)
8. Gary Paffett (GBR)
7. Parnelli Jones (USA)
6. Dave Coyne (GBR)
5. Rick Mears (USA)
4. AJ Foyt (USA)
3. Dario Franchitti (GBR)
2. Sebastien Loeb (FRA)
1. Tom Kristensen (DEN)

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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by PYLrulz on Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:36 am

Other than Tony Stewart, not one NASCAR or primarily NASCAR guy on that list.  I'm sure there are some guys in NASCAR that are worthy to be on the list if Tony Stewarts name is on here.
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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by crl on Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:48 am

I'd count Foyt, since he won 7 times in Cup.

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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by PYLrulz on Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:53 am

crl wrote:I'd count Foyt, since he won 7 times in Cup.
Foyt though is known for his time driving around Indy Cars, not NASCAR.

And if we really want to be technical about this list, Foyt DID drive in F1, since the Indy 500 was considered a F1 race (even if the cars were not F1 cars) from 1950-1960, and Foyt competed in the last 3 of those years.
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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by bigdc48 on Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:23 am

IMO, Jeff Gordon I think is worthy to be on the list. He ran midgets when he was younger and thought he was gonna be an IndyCar driver until NASCAR.
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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by Spannerhead29 (Nelson) on Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:48 am

PYLrulz wrote:Other than Tony Stewart, not one NASCAR or primarily NASCAR guy on that list.  I'm sure there are some guys in NASCAR that are worthy to be on the list if Tony Stewarts name is on here.
Jeff Gordon and Marcos Ambrose are two that could of made it. Jeff ran an Indycar test, but decided to go to stock cars instead, and Marcos raced in British Formula Ford against Jenson Button before moving back to Australia.
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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by BWardboy88 on Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:57 am

Three of these drivers on the list, Rickard Rydell, Alain Menu and Laurent Aiello all went on to become British Touring Car Champions.

Rydell - 1998
Menu - 1997, 2000
Aiello - 1999
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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by Spannerhead29 (Nelson) on Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:05 am

BWardboy88 wrote:Three of these drivers on the list, Rickard Rydell, Alain Menu and Laurent Aiello all went on to become British Touring Car Champions.

Rydell - 1998
Menu - 1997, 2000
Aiello - 1999
Add two V8 Supercar champions to that list.

James Courtney - 2010
Craig Lowndes - 1996, 1998, 1999.
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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by Ben Atkins on Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:39 am

Dario at #3? Ahead of AJ Foyt and Rick Mears??? o_O

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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by Milan655 on Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:38 am

I have this edition of Autosport on the iPad, so if wanted I can upload screenshots of these pages.
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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by Mother of Invention on Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:28 pm

bigdc48 wrote:IMO, Jeff Gordon I think is worthy to be on the list. He ran midgets when he was younger and thought he was gonna be an IndyCar driver until NASCAR.
Jeff I think is, Tony isn't

Jeff came was in Open-Wheel development when it was still just one series that ran roadies along with ovals. Tony was in it when it was a development series for Ovals only.
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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by crl on Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:30 pm

Milan655 wrote:I have this edition of Autosport on the iPad, so if wanted I can upload screenshots of these pages.
Yes, please.

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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by TheFallenHaveRisen on Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:33 pm

I think Richard Petty should be somewhere on that list, even if it is like 50th. I know he didn't drive on road courses often, but the fact of the matter is he had talent. Earnhardt should have made it too, he understood aerodynamics before they really became a thing in NASCAR
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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by Spannerhead29 (Nelson) on Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:36 pm

TheFallenHaveRisen wrote:I think Richard Petty should be somewhere on that list, even if it is like 50th.  I know he didn't drive on road courses often, but the fact of the matter is he had talent.  Earnhardt should have made it too, he understood aerodynamics before they really became a thing in NASCAR
This list is for drivers that may have had a chance of being in Formula One. I highly doubt Petty nor Earnhardt ever had thoughts of attempting to get into Formula One.
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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by f1fan12 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:11 pm

Dan Wheldon had a ride with BMW offered to him after he won the championship. Dario is WAY too high, I am already sick of his cousin in F1 now, just imagine both of them. I believe Paul Tracy also had an offer with Larousse back in like 94'. I know he tested with Benetton. I think Gil De Ferran also had a test with an F1 team as well. But I am not sure.
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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by Milan655 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:47 pm

crl wrote:
Milan655 wrote:I have this edition of Autosport on the iPad, so if wanted I can upload screenshots of these pages.
Yes, please.
I have this also in paper, so I will scan the pages tomorrow evening.

f1fan12 wrote:Dan Wheldon had a ride with BMW offered to him after he won the championship. Dario is WAY too high, I am already sick of his cousin in F1 now, just imagine both of them. I believe Paul Tracy also had an offer with Larousse back in like 94'. I know he tested with Benetton. I think Gil De Ferran also had a test with an F1 team as well. But I am not sure.
The list is (from the looks of it) based on how close they came to reaching Formula 1. Overall, it doesn't look like it's particularly ordered in any way.
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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by Mother of Invention on Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:32 pm

Didn't Rick Mears run a couple of F1 races? Or am I thinking of Danny Sullivan
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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by f1fan12 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:34 pm

Mother of Invention wrote:Didn't Rick Mears run a couple of F1 races? Or am I thinking of Danny Sullivan
I am pretty sure Sullivan did...
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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by RACECAR on Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:39 pm

PYLrulz wrote:Other than Tony Stewart, not one NASCAR or primarily NASCAR guy on that list.  I'm sure there are some guys in NASCAR that are worthy to be on the list if Tony Stewarts name is on here.
Not many of them have Stewart's skill in more then just a Cup car and the lower rank sprint/late models, not out of the present bunch anyway. Closest I can even think of is Jeff Gordon really.

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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by Cynon on Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:18 am

Foyt and Mears should be #1 and #2. Foyt did technically start a few Formula 1 races, but all of those were the Indianapolis 500, so I would say he doesn't count. If Foyt does count, there's a TON more drivers from his era that Autosport missed... you know, like Bobby Unser, Big Al Unser, Gordon Johncock, Rodger Ward, etcetera.

Rick Mears was MILES better than Kristensen and Loeb. For the second half of his career he had permanent damage to his feet... he was offered a seat in F1 at Brabham in 1984 but since he was told to bring money he told them to piss off.

Given that it's Autosport, this list doesn't really surprise me. No NASCAR drivers (they're way slow on NASCAR news anyways) other than Stewart, and lots of obscure British drivers who didn't do much of anything in their whole careers (Dave Coyne) on this list.

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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by crl on Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:21 am

Mother of Invention wrote:Didn't Rick Mears run a couple of F1 races? Or am I thinking of Danny Sullivan
Sullivan raced the 1983 season for Tyrrell. He had one points-paying finish (5th in Monaco). He's probably one of the few drivers on F1 Rejects who actually scored points in F1 (if he'd finished one position higher, he wouldn't have a profile on there).

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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by tommykl on Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:46 am

Cynon wrote:Foyt and Mears should be #1 and #2. Foyt did technically start a few Formula 1 races, but all of those were the Indianapolis 500, so I would say he doesn't count. If Foyt does count, there's a TON more drivers from his era that Autosport missed... you know, like Bobby Unser, Big Al Unser, Gordon Johncock, Rodger Ward, etcetera.

Rick Mears was MILES better than Kristensen and Loeb. For the second half of his career he had permanent damage to his feet... he was offered a seat in F1 at Brabham in 1984 but since he was told to bring money he told them to piss off.

Given that it's Autosport, this list doesn't really surprise me. No NASCAR drivers (they're way slow on NASCAR news anyways) other than Stewart, and lots of obscure British drivers who didn't do much of anything in their whole careers (Dave Coyne) on this list.
I don't know enough about CART, USAC and AAA to say anything about Rick Mears' talent, but I agree with your comment, especially about Dave Coyne (the other random British drivers were still reasonably talented and close to F1, while Coyne only won the FFord Festival).

The only wrong thing I saw was your mention of Rodger Ward, who wouldn't be on the list anyway, considering that he actually did start the US Grand Prix twice (in 1959 and 1963).

Also, Stephen South shouldn't be on the list, not for a lack of talent, but because he actually did reach F1, as a replacement for Prost for a race in 1980. Nice researching there, Autosport...

crl wrote:
Mother of Invention wrote:Didn't Rick Mears run a couple of F1 races? Or am I thinking of Danny Sullivan
Sullivan raced the 1983 season for Tyrrell. He had one points-paying finish (5th in Monaco). He's probably one of the few drivers on F1 Rejects who actually scored points in F1 (if he'd finished one position higher, he wouldn't have a profile on there).
I can confirm Sullivan's less-than-stellar record in Formula One, but as a member over at F1Rejects, he's not "one of the few". In fact, profiled drivers who scored points include Barbazza, Borgudd, Dalmas (in a way), Gartner (in a way), Ghinzani, Grouillard, Lederle, Ligier, Nakano, Pizzonia, Thompson and Zanardi. Not as much as I would have thought, but still...
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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by Milan655 on Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:20 pm

Tommy, Autosport acknowledged that Stephen South replaced Prost for the 1980 US West GP however included him as he failed to qualify the car.
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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by tommykl on Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:03 pm

Milan655 wrote:Tommy, Autosport acknowledged that Stephen South replaced Prost for the 1980 US West GP however included him as he failed to qualify the car.
In that case, you could add guys like Gary Brabham, Dave Kennedy, Vincenzo Sospiri or Joachim Winkelhock...
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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by Milan655 on Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:19 pm

Why so much hate for the article? scratch They have varied the drivers and it's not entirely possible to be included every good driver in existence?
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Re: Autosport's list of the 50 greatest drivers who never got into F1

Post by Ben Atkins on Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:20 pm

Milan655 wrote:Why so much hate for the article? scratch They have varied the drivers and it's not entirely possible to be included every good driver in existence?
Not hate as much as us disagreeing...

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