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Who’s your favourite German F1 driver?
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Who’s your favourite German F1 driver?
Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Jul 2010   |  6:30 pm GMT  |  131 comments

This weekend’s German Grand Prix will be a home Grand Prix for no fewer than six drivers, by some margin the largest contingent from any country in the 24 man F1 field. Three of them are in the top eight cars on the grid.

Eddie Irvine said at the weekend in a radio show I did with him that he thinks six – basically a quarter of the field – is too many and the quota should be reduced. He had his tongue in his cheek at the time.

The reason for the high number is of course the interest in the sport in Germany thanks to Michael Schumacher’s dominance of the sport in the 1990s and 2000s. This drew many German companies into the sport, like Deutsche Post and DHL and it got kids interested in karting, which inevitably leads to a new wave of F1 drivers. The same will happen soon in Spain.

So who do you rate among the Germans in F1 today?


Michael Schumacher
The pioneer who started the German wave in F1, Seven times world champion and 91 times a Grand Prix winner, he dominated F1 in his prime and is now on a comeback. Rather like Lance Armstrong in cycling, he didn’t come back to make up the numbers, but he is struggling to be competitive this year and is being left behind by his team mate. He said today that he is here to win another title and that is his objective for 2011. He will be hoping he gets better results before bowing out again than the great American cyclist.


Sebastian Vettel
The young pretender, just 23 years of age, many believe he is a champion in the making. Has enjoyed backing from Austrian energy drinks company Red Bull for many years. He has a lot of talent and has five poles this season, but has shown some signs of pressure in races in recent weeks, not least thanks to his team mate. Has won seven of the 53 races he has started and has been on pole for 10 of them.


Nico Rosberg
Now in his fifth season Nico is no longer a kid and is a mature Grand Prix driver. His performances this season underline this. He continues to improve and has had his strongest season so far at the wheel of the Mercedes. No win so far, but three podiums this season and generally in the top six in qualifying.


Adrian Sutil
Another German who is having an eye catching season. Sutil has a reputations as a crasher, but this year he has got his head down in a good car and has racked up 35 points to sit 10th in the championship. He is the best placed driver not driving for a top team.


Timo Glock
Driving for new team Virgin Racing is a bit of a comedown for him after racing at the sharp(er) end with Toyota, where he was fighting for podiums at times last season, but he deserves credit for getting on with it and for quietly dealing with the unreliability problems. He seems to be going quite strongly this season and has generally been faster than team mate Lucas di Grassi. He’s a very solid and reliable driver, unspectacular out of the cockpit, but a good racer, as he proved in his intense battles with Hamilton in GP2.

All photos Darren Heath


Nico Hulkenberg
Has disappointed so far this season, after coming into F1 with a strong reputation from winning the GP2 championship last season. He has outqualified Rubens Barrichello three times in 10 events, which isn’t too bad, but he’s only finished ahead of him twice and has just 2 points to his name. Needs to take advantage of the improved Williams in the next few races to secure his position as a Grand Prix driver.

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1

Stefan Bellof. I can’t believe you’ve neglected him! Obviously, I have a slight bias, as he’s my favourite driver, but seriously. To be Schumi’s idol, and to fly from last to third in Monaco in the rain, you can’t be ordinary. I miss his smile. 🙁

2

Nico Rosberg is a good driver and he also seems to be a very honest and nice person. As already mentioned above, he is a very consistent driver. That will pay off, one day he will be number one!

3

Schumi forever! 😀

4

Michael Schumacher forever. He had to have a bad season else none of the F1 fans would be able to enjoy the 8th title when it comes in 2011. Go Schumi 🙂

5

No matter how bad he performs this year – yet again, compared to what we’re used to -, Michael Schumacher is an all-time favorite..

Then comes Vettel because he really is talented and although some amateurish mistakes and bad manners ruined his reputation, i believe he has that champion potential.

And then comes Hulkenberg. Although he has been a little shy up to now, his day will come, surely.

6

Can I get a nod for Bernd Maylander?

While tongue is still in cheek, has Seb been trying to put Mark in the wall because he (Seb) is the new Britney?

And for something serious, James are you aware of any similar polls on other sites? I am keen to know how other-than-english native speaking fans are trending.

7

Glock of course! One of the really racy drivers in F1, although one hasn’t really seen to much of him this season with Virgin. But I consider him one of the best for his racing skills

8

Rosberg is very underrated – he is a very consistent driver, as he proved in the Williams last year with several 4th and 5th place finishes and with Mercedes with a couple of podiums. Schumacher was ominous in his first career with 91 wins; same cannot be said now as the car is quite poor and doesn’t look as sharp as he did then.

Glock as well – he did well last year in the Toyota, though the car was good enough on some tracks to fight for podiums.

9

Well I never thought I would say this (been a Mclaren fan all my days)

.

.

.

Schumi

This year, for the first time ever I have actually wanted him to win. You have to admire him for coming back. I felt sorry for him when he retired actually becuase he was so clearly pushed out at Ferrari.

However, as long as there is no in season testing Schumi will struggle. He was a pioneer in the amount of testing work he put in, especially tire testing (remember Bridgestone effectiely taylor made tyres for Ferrari a few years back) and this is what gave him the edge. This could be solved though he just needs to work out how to make the tyres work. What is more worrying is his lack of racecraft and inconsistant pace. That was another of his trademarks. the ability to nail laps consequtivly at exacltly the same time, and his shrewd race craft (some may say dirty tactics)

However one cannot deny the man is a legend of the sport, lets hope he gets the fairytail ending.

p.s.

Cannot belive I just wrote that about the man who from 5-15 years ago I shouted and cursed at down the TV every weekend….

10

Two names missing .. First Manfred Winklehock … Remember him in that ATS monster in the 80’s …..
And probably the closest in talent to schumi … Stefan Bellof… If he had not crashed in Spa who knows what he would have achieved? The guy was awesome.

11

Michael…despite knowing that he may be past his prime.

12

How anyone can even countenance voting for such a nauseating, over-rated child as Vettel is beyond me.

Of course drivers like he, Button and ‘Lewis’ are easy characters for the ill-informed masses, led by their poster-boy – Jake Humphreys to follow.

13

Nick Heidfeld.

14

I just needed to point this out, and I guess the best way for someone important to see it is here.

How often has a Hispania car been in the top 6 at the speed trap? Because looking at the live timing, Yamamoto is up there – or at least that’s what my understanding of the timing screen is saying…

15

Can’t be right surely? Unless they are running with a very low wing set-up?

16

I have always been a fan of Rosberg ever since he got that fastest lap on his debut race in Bahrain in 2006.

It frustrates me a little when people say he is not quite quick enough. The guy had some brilliant races for Williams (when you analyse them), but because it was only for a P4 or P5 they do not get the visibility they deserve.

He is currently destroying Michael Schumacher for heaven’s sake and people question his speed? I don’t get it?

17

James, are you planning to write on MS this weekend : specifically, do you think his latest stuff about winning the title next year is a pre-emptive strike against the possibility of being given his P45 at the end of this one – or even earlier ?

18

Glock! He showed us what he could do in GP2 where he was dicing with Hamilton immediately after going in, and comprehensively trashed his teammate Ernesto Viso, who was considered one of the best there. I don’t think he’s been given the car to prove himself.

19

its can only be schumi even though he is not having a great season ,,,,i always say vettel dont have fan and he will be losing the few 576 he do have all over germany because of unequal treatement by redbulll and vettel seem to like and enjoy that …we like true racer vett is good but can be stupid sometimesss

20

Young Rudi Carracciola is making a bit of a name for himself in these new-fangled Alfa Romeos…

But seriously, has to be Michael Schumacher. I have unabashed love for the guy. Just a titan, and a way more humble and pleasant individual that a superficial evaluation suggests. We tend to reflect mostly on the alleged tedium of his all-conquering years, without recalling the repeated seasons of utter pathos when he was trying to win in an inferior Ferrari, to drag the Scuderia back to its glory years after 2 decades of failure, only to be denied often in the very last race of each season…

I think of the Japanese Grand Prix of 1998 when he let slip that his granny had dreamt that he’d take the title that weekend, and he was clinging to this as his talisman. Then his car let him down on the grid, and despite his valiant fight back through the field he had to retire. Or the time he broke down during the press conference with his brother and Hakkinen at the mention of him having eclipsed Senna’s record that day. I mean seriously, can you watch that clip on YouTube without feeling emotional? Or watching him crane his head out of the cockpit at Ralf’s still body during Indianapolis when the safety crew were taking an age to reach the stricken car, and the field was having to drive slowly past… Or the morning he and Ralf had to line up line astern hours after their mother had died, and he won before flying back to the funeral…

Or, or, or…

See, people think of him as some kind of Teutonic racing terminator; humourless, charmless, ruthless… but I review his career and see a hugely talented guy, yet not the MOST talented, working to refine his gifts amid various emotional events that he had to battle to subdue. I don’t see these moments of human drama when I think of Mika’s career (apart from the tears in the bushes one time) or Coulthard’s, or Webber’s, or Alonso’s even (apart from a few tantrums…)

This is why I’ll always love Michael – his career wasn’t that of a robot cruising to collect the wins. It was a drama, a novel, a technicolour widescreen movie.

I’m just praying for a happy ending.

21

I agree with both of u but no matter what happens in his second career he will be remebered as the king because he is one
of those guys that come along once in a lifetime. And he is probably the most misunderstood driver. If any of those haters read JAs book they will have a different opinion.

22

One could’nt have said it better.

Michael was matchless in his prime and there is every likelihood that he will regain the eminence of his glory years before 2012.

23

Who else but Schumacher

He’s a winner and a champion, and more than anyone else he always finds a way to win. As for people labelling him a cheat (Ian), well that just stinks and it is all just conjecture, jealousy and hypocrisy. Let’s just see who have really cheated: Renault, McClaren and Hamilton(Aus 09)and Senna.

24

There’s only one choice : Schumacher.

It’s been tough going this year but I’m still keeping the faith.

25

I was interested in your reference to a new crop of Spanish drivers coming through, no doubt thanks to Fernando Alonso. Don’t you think the success of Hamilton and Button, two world champions, might have a similar impact for Britain? There are already some promising young drivers coming along.

26

Yes. Should be some strong runners five years from now

27

I don’t mind Nico but voted for Sutil. He has really started to mature as a driver.

As an aside, James could you please remove the most annoying digit in F1 from your header, it’s a bit stomach churning.

28

But it’s part of the package, sorry the digit stays!

29

Its not the digit he *wanted to hold up anyway.

30

Asking who’s your favourite German driver is like asking if you would prefer a tooth extracted or a fingernail torn out!

31

Glock. He’s a nice bloke, his Twitter feed is superb and I think he’s quite a good driver.

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