After the whole Vettel/Webber fiasco, I wanted to check if there were any gentleman champions in F1 history. Everyone keeps throwing out the canard that Schumi/Senna would've done and been totally unapologetic about it.
Senna, I've only seen on youtube over the past couple of years. But I have seen Schumi right from the Damon Hill/Villeneuve nonsense times and hence had the highest regard for Hakkinen rather than Schumi for his championships. Trevor Taylor, who raced alongside Clark says -
"To the extent that he became the guinea pig. Fanfare surrounded Clark’s drive in the 1962 Dutch GP, when he raced the new monocoque Lotus 25 for the first time. Clark led the first 11 laps, then dropped back to finish ninth after a clutch problem; Taylor finished a great second in the space-frame Lotus 24. Years later, Trev suggested that Jim would have won that race had he also started in a 24. “The 24 was a much better car than it looked alongside the 25, and Jim sometimes said that he might have won the championship in 1962 had he done more races with it. However, he appreciated that Chapman wanted to progress to the monocoque and went along with him. The last thing he would have done was protest.”
On dirty tactics -
Trevor didn’t attend many F1 races in retirement. It was enough for him to know that World Champions sometimes refused to race or ran into people they found in their way.
“Can you imagine what Jim would have thought about all that?”, Trevor asked incredulously after the 1997 Championship decider in Jerez. “I just count myself fortunate to have raced in the era I knew. I’m sure Jim would have felt likewise.”
And more -
Like the time Jim won the Belgian GP at Spa in torrential rain. 1965. He flew straight to Indianapolis, practised, then returned to Europe. Ferguson was in the seat next to him in the BOAC 707.
“It was the first time we’d had to talk about Spa, so I said, ‘That was great, wasn’t it?’ I mean, after all, he’d made the rest of the field look stupid.
“’Yeah,’ said Jim, still biting his nails. ‘But it was a bit tricky, you know. I was quite lucky, actually.’ He was biting away because I think we were waiting for some food or something. ‘How do you mean,’ I asked, because it was obvious that he was trying to tell me something.
“’Well,’ said Jim. ‘For three-quarters of the race the gear lever kept popping out and I was having to drive the thing one-handed. It was a very tiring race.’
“’That’s the trouble with you,’ I said. ‘No-one will ever know about that. In Fangio’s time, he used to tell a little story about how the car had fallen to pieces and how he’d only had three wheels – that sort of thing. ‘It wouldn’t half improve your image,’ I said, ‘if we could put out press releases about your problems.’
“’Oh no!’ said Jim. ‘Don’t do that. We don’t want to upset Colin. We could never do that.’”
Read more here - http://peterwindsor.com/2012/04/07/the…