Over the years, drivers have come so close to the biggest reward in the world of Formula one (World champion), only for it to be taken away with reliability problems. Now I’ve been watching F1 since 2003, but I’m very aware of the six years previous, so I’ll only be going through the years from 1997-2010.
Believe it or not, Michael Schumacher actually would have gone to the final round in Jerez with a seven point lead meaning he never would have needed to crash into Jacques after the Canadian and past him. Michael instead would have let him go and took it easy to the checkered flag. The reason for this is because Villeneuve (the actual winner), would never have won two of his seven wins he achieved in 97. Mika Häkkinen and Damon Hill were both running well for wins (Spanish & Hungarian GP’s) until their cars cut out and when they failed, Villeneuve was their to pick up all ten points. If Mika and Damon didn’t have their reliability problems, Villeneuve wouldn’t have won these two races and probably wouldn’t have won the title
(Actual champion: Villeneuve) – (Should have: Schumacher)
1998 and 1999
In both these years it was Mika who won fairly, even having a few reliability problems along the way. Getting rid of everyone’s issues in these years and Mika still would have won the title (more comfortably as well). During these two seasons Mika drover for McLaren and managed to hold of two big Ferrari names of Michael Schumacher (in 1998) and then Eddie Ervine (in 1999). At the time, it seemed as if Michael would have gone on to take the title in 1999, however a huge crash in the British Grand Prix, left him with a broken foot and was forced to miss six races.
(Actual Winners: Häkkinen) – ( Should haves: Häkkinen)
The 2000 F1 season finished with Schumacher finally getting the title with Ferrari, whilst the two McLaren’s were left to settle with second and third. The top four ended the season with an average of three retirements with the most going to the actual winner, so I think we can safely say that the German deserved this title.(Actual Winner: Schumacher) – (Should have – Schumacher)
This is the year many remember as the year were Scotland’s David Coulthard should have been crowned world champion. He led so many races, only for his McLaren MP4-16 to keep failing on him. If we look at the final standings, Schumacher won by a very comfortable 58 points, but this in an unfair reflection on what actually happened that year. Coulthard was leading four races before his McLaren failed on him (which was 40pts gone, plus the 5pts Schumi gained thanks to David retiring), he also had races were it looked as if he would get on the podium, but finished the race either out of the points or down in fifth and sixth. Without all these failures for DC, he would have won the championship by a single point.
(Actual Winner: Schumacher) – (Should have – Coulthard)
Now this is an easy one. Schumacher took his fifth title and his third consecutive with Ferrari. The German finished 67 points ahead of his team mate in second place. So because of this, it’s funny to think Ferrari asked their second driver to let Schumacher past once because they were worried their number one could miss out on the title. Eight points were gained for Schumi over his team mate out of all of this, but even if the lead had been eight points less, Michael still would have won it comfortably. The reason Michael was so far ahead was because he was just clearly the fastest driver, in the fastest car. He picked up eleven wins in this year out of a possible seventeen. The unluckiest guy this season for reliability problems was Kimi Raikkonen who retired ten times over the course of the season with eight of them coming from reliability problems. The fin finished down in sixth in the final standings.
(Actual Winner: Schumacher) – (Should have – Schumacher)
While Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher had won the 2002 championship by 67 points from his team-mate Rubens Barrichello, the 2003 season was much closer with eight different drivers winning at some point during 2003’s 16 race calendar. There is no doubt who would have been champion in 2003, and in only his third season it would have been McLarens Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn led the championship from rounds two to seven, but Michael Schumacher soon got past him after he managed to get the best from his Ferrari. Kimi stayed close to Schumacher though throughout the season and the battle went down to the last race, Schumacher went on the clinch the title by just two points. The only reliability issues between the top three this season had ended in retirement, nothing went wrong on Michael’s car in 2003 whilst Montoya (third place driver) had two retirement issues. It was the European Grand Prix and Raikkonen was dominating, holding a huge lead after just lap ten, but then his Mercedes engine went bang on him and he was forced to retire, without this and Kimi would have been world champion.
(Actual Winner: Schumacher) – (Should have – Raikkonen)
Once again Reliability issue’s hit Kimi, who suffered a horrible year taking just one win thanks to his failing Mercedes engines. Meanwhile, Michael was going on to win nearly every race he went to and ended the championship as winner with a huge 34 point lead over his team mate. The Ferrari was the fastest car yet again as Michael took his seventh world title.
(Actual Winner: Schumacher) – (Should have – Schumacher)
Everything changed in 2005, with Schumacher now battling for fifth places and not the wins he was so used to in previous years. A young Spaniard with the name of Fernando Alonso stepped up this season to take the championship off the German. However once again it was Raikkonen, who really should have won it. He led two races only for his engine to go burst and for his tire to fail on him on the last lap of a race. Raikkonen was also leading the German GP later on in the year, and same story… Kimi retired thanks to his horrific McLaren. Getting rid off these gremlins and Kimi would have taken his second title; instead after 2005 he was still looking for this prize.
(Actual Winner: Alonso) – (Should have – Raikkonen)
Schumacher was back and it was a battle between Fernando and Michael. Seeing as both drivers had their fair share of bad luck, it’s only fair Alonso ended up with the title.
(Actual Winner: Alonso) – (Should have – Alonso)
What a year! The top three (Raikkonen, Hamilton & Alonso) ended the season separated by just a single point. It was Kimi who came out on top and derservingly. Three times during the season he suffered real bad luck, whilst McLaren had no problems at all. Kimi was the champion and he should have got it anyway. It was only fair Kimi won 2007 after the poor luck of 2003 and 2005.
(Actual Winner: Raikkonen) – (Should have – Raikkonen)
It was the year it all came down to the last corner on the last lap in the last race of the season. Lewis Hamilton was taking on Felipe Massa for the title and whilst Massa was up in first doing his job, Hamilton was down in sixth and it looked as if the title would go away from him again. However a struggling Glock went very slow on the last lap, and Hamilton caught him up and got passed him. Hamilton got the title, but did he deserve it? Answer is No. Massa had poor luck picking up nothing in the first two races whilst an engine failure at the Hungarian Grand Prix with three laps to go whilst leading, which has gone on to loose him the title.
(Actual Winner: Hamilton) – (Should have – Massa)
Vettel had a few problems, but he still wouldn’t have caught Button. Jenson was supreme and two words… “No change”.
(Actual Winner: Button) – (Should have – Button)
One more thing. If Vettel goes on to loose the title this year by only a few points we’ll be blaming the cars reliability at the start of this season!