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Old 2 Nov 2005, 22:54 (Ref:1450923)   #14
Dixie Flatline
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Dixie Flatline should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Originally Posted by BootsOntheSide
Gilles was not really 1982 title favourite when Zolder happened, but 1983 could have been his year, as Ferrari did win the Constructors' title with a lineup that was thoeretically only moderately good, and 1985 seems quite possible as well - the team may not have faded away with Gilles helping out on the development side, but it's purely theoretical. If Scheckter had been faster in 1980, he may not have retired, so Pironi may not have joined the team, so Gilles would not have pushed so hard at Zolder.......

As for Mansell, he seemed to have inferior reliability irrespective of anything else. less than Piquet, Patrese, de Angelis and Prost. Less in turbos, less in NAs, less with ground effects, less with semi-automatic gearboxes, and so on. If he had learnt to work around that, he may not have been as fast as he intermittantly was. It may be that if he had won a title by the end of 1990, he would have stuck to his word and retired. Who might have landed in that dominant 1992 Williams then? Or would Patrese have become perhaps the most mediocre World Champion ever?

Senna probably would have won a further world championship without Imola. He was a long way behind in 1994, but the car was getting better and Benetton surely feared him more than Hill. 1995 should have been easy, but I think that may have been the point at which Ayrton retired. On the other hand, perhaps none of the JV debates would have happened (in the f1 forum at least) if he had continued and JV had never got into F1?
I think JV would have found his way into Formula One at some stage. As I recall, the Big E was very keen on having a North American get into Formula One and succeed (Andretti was a complete failure in the McLaren) and with a surname like "Villeneuve", it was very attractive from a marketing standpoint. Leaving aside debates as to whether he merits a seat in 2006, up until 1998 (and possibly 1999, but the BAR's complete lack of reliability that year made it too difficult for JV to demonstrate his talents), JV was a very talented driver and would have merited a seat on his own. There was an interview with JV I heard earlier this year (in May, I believe) which was recorded in February 2005, where JV briefly mentioned that in 1995, Ferrari were very interested in hiring JV, but JV had his sights set on Williams, so didn't really entertain the offer from Ferrari.

I don't know whether I recall my Formula One history all too well, but I thought that Alan Jones was in contention to win the WDC in 1981 until his teammate disobeyed "team orders" and won the race, instead of moving over for Jones.

The interesting thing about 1979 was that while Sheckter won the WDC, wasn't it Jones who won the most races and Gilles led the most laps? This was a trivia question I posed earlier this year, but I don't actually recall whether this is the correct answer!
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