Top Five Worst F1 Champions

17 08 2010

Jon was reminiscing about F1 in the 1990s and thinking about the man who appears as number one on my list, so he was thinking about who the world champions who had the most disappointing post-championship careers. I’m only going to look at single title winners, so we’ll start with Jon’s first thought.

1. Jacques Villeneuve

Son of Ferrari legend (and one of the greatest drivers never to win the title), Gilles Villeneuve, Jacques only took up karting at 15 after spending his youth on the ski-slopes. At the age of only 24 he won the last IndyCar World Series and Indy 500 before Tony George created the schism in American single-seaters. Frank Williams and Patrick Head then snapped him up and took him to F1 for 1996, with Jacques living up to his hype so much that he almost won his first race at the Australian GP, but a broken oil pipe meant he had to lift off to make the finish. Winning four races and finishing second in your first season isn’t too shabby, but Jacques went on to win the following year’s championship against the resurgent Schumacher and Ferrari. 1997 was the peak, but he reached the trough fairly quickly. He blamed his poor performances in 1998 on the engine, the car, and the tyres, so he moved on to the new BAR team for 1999. The team was to be built around him and they claimed they could win their first race… they failed to score a point all year long. He stayed at the team for four years, underwhelming the world as he went until he was dropped before the 2003 Japanese GP due to being consistently outscored by teammate Jenson Button (being dropped for Takuma Sato has to hurt). Without a seat for 2004 he sat out most of the season before taking Jarno Trulli’s vacant Renault seat for the final three races, but his failure to score – or even drive consistently – meant he missed out on the opportunity to drive a double title winning car the next year. He moved on to Sauber for 2005, staying on when BMW took over in 2006 before quitting when threatened with a shootout for his seat against Robert Kubica. Outside of F1 he sucked at NASCAR and released an album of crappy love songs. So long Jacques, stop trying to get back into F1, we don’t want you.

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Top Five: Worst UK Eurovision Entries

14 08 2009

Here we have the last of my Eurovision troika; the five worst entries sent by the UK. Between 1957 and 1998, the UK finished outside the top 10 only twice, since the UK has only finished inside the top 10 twice, and that’s why the majority of these songs are recent entries. Not the first one though…

1. Cliff Richard – Power to All Our Friends

In 1968, Richard lost by a point in an allegedly rigged vote, in 1973 he came back and lost again. This entry came third, despite featuring the laziest rhyming I’ve ever heard, a bewildering set of dance moves, and a faux-Bee Gee on backing vocals. Really I’ve put it in at number one because I just hate Cliff Richard, but it’s my list, so I can.

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Top Five: Worst Musical Collaborations

13 08 2009

At the request of Kyra, we have the five worst musical collaborations I could think of.

1. Gwyneth Paltrow & Huey Lewis – Cruisin’

At number one (108 places higher than it charted in the US Hot 100), comes this duet for Paltrow’s 2000 film, “Duets”. We can (almost) forgive Gwyneth for being a deluded actress embarking on a musical career, but what were you thinking Huey?!

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Top Five: Worst F1 Circuits

12 08 2009

After last week’s classic F1 circuits, we have the dregs, those that were/are just plain crap.

1. Dallas

Look at how exciting a track it is… yeah. Holding just one race; the 1984 Dallas Grand Prix, the track was uninspiring at best, but it had a bigger problem. Scheduled in the height of summer, the heat became a major issue, and the question was what would break first; the cars, drivers, or the track? The track did, with the surface breaking up after only a few laps of free practice. After qualifying and a 50-lap Can-Am support race on the Saturday. Sunday’s free practice was abandoned, and the race start was brought forward to 11am to avoid the worst of the heat, but the track was only repaired at 10.30. It didn’t help, the track temperature hit around 66º Celsius, and the track soon broke up again. There were only eight finishers in a field of 25, many spun off due to the track surface… I say finishers, but Nigel Mansell collapsed after having to push his Lotus over the line for sixth place. US build quality at its best.

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Top Five: F1 Pit Stop Failures

8 08 2009

This time it’s Mozza’s request, and he wants my top five pit stop cock ups, so here they are.

1. Eddie Irvine – 1999 European GP

Going into this race the title was on a knife-edge, with Mika Häkkinen and Eddie Irvine tied at the top of the table, with Heinz-Harald Frentzen and David Coulthard only 10 and 12 points behind respectively. With unpredictable weather common at the Nürburgring, nobody was surprised when it started raining. Häkkinen pitted for wet tyres, which turned out to be the wrong decision. Irvine, who qualified ninth was now in a position to take advantage and score some vital points, he chose correctly to pit for dry tyres, but his team-mate Mika Salo pitting unexpectedly with a broken front wing the lap before unsettled the Ferrari crew. Irvine lost 28 seconds as the team failed to have the right-rear tyre ready for him (2.10 and 6.20 in the video). Irvine finished just outside the points in seventh, and ultimately lost the title by just two points, making this failure number one (you finally won Eddie!).

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Top Five: Worst Eurovision Entries

7 08 2009

Last week we had the best, now we have the worst. However you will see no UK entries on this list, not because they don’t deserve to be on this list, simply because they deserve a list of their own, so that’ll appear next Friday. Now because I need to whittle it down to five, the song has to have appeared in the final, so Dustin the Turkey gets a reprieve, he’s lucky.

1. Les Humphries Singers – Sing Sang Song

Miraculously winning 12 points and coming 15th out of 18 in 1976, this German entry mainly consists of four ugly men and two women repeating the title for three minutes (skip 1min into the video for the start of the song). Every now and again there is a plea for global unity and how it can be achieved; by singing Sing Sang Song. I suppose that would work, we’d unite to hunt down Les Humphries Singers.

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Top Five: F1 Failures

30 07 2009

As BMW have now decided to pull out of F1 after essentially failing to meet they’re own targets, I’ve decided to go for my top five F1 team failures, so here they are.

1. Life

Purchasing a single chassis from the aborted FIRST project from 1989, Life attempted to show off their W12 engine. This wasn’t a great idea as it had around 150-200bhp less than its competitors. This combined with the fact it was the heaviest car in the field meant that it had the pace of an F3 car, although they weren’t to know as it hadn’t been tested when they arrived at the first race. The team failed to pre-qualify for all 14 GPs they attempted to race in. Gary Brabham was signed to race, but left after two race weekends after the car blew up after 400m, because the striking Italian mechanics didn’t put any oil in the car. For the last two pre-qualifying attempts, they used a Judd V8, the car was still crap… and ugly as sin.

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