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It’s a Niki Lauda quote, no? I thought the older cars were simpler to drive than the new ones that have steering wheel full of buttons and other gimmicks. Of course, it’s simpler but it requires more skill than new cars. I still don’t think skill is needed to drive these new cars anymore. All the new racers came from daddy’s cash like Stroll, Ricciardo, Hamilton, Norris, and Gasly or because daddy’s cash and a father who raced in F1 like Verstappen.

The older cars were driven by real men who wouldn’t worry about their instagram likes and followers and post their brainwashed political/social stance. Back then, racers would put their life on the edge by driving a dangerous car because they had passion for it. If you took prime Senna, Moss, Mansell, or even Clark and put them in the new F1 cars you’d see them beat the new prime racers with enough practice. Same with NASCAR. Imagine putting a guy from the 1950s in his prime who raced those heavy big body stock cars with no LSDs, no power steering, and no ABS, and put him into the new light weight cars. Would annihilate the new racers easily. You can’t even differentiate driving styles of F1 racers anymore.

That being said, that goes for new road cars as well.
 

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racers can only driver the cars they are given. I would put money that almost all of the drivers on the F1 grid would be racing with leather helmets and no seatbelts if that was all that was available to them.

as and for the comment, the cars may be easier to drive these days but the ability to drive them to the limit still requires a level of skill that most of us will never come even close to possessing.
 

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I don’t think any of the new racers could race in the F1 cars from the 60s. All they do now is complain how their drinks are not ready and complaining about other racers tactics. You had folks in the 60s like Jim Clark who went racing in different motorsports at the same time. Not many racers could do that because even F1 racers are complaining about how there are too many races. They’d rather get sponsor money from adverising clothing lines, instagram and twatter followers, and pushing their political views as if we care. Only two people who I think would do okay would be Alonso and Raikkonen since they switched between different motorsports.
 

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You do realise that f1 drivers are typically locked out from other forms of motorsport because of their very expensive contracts, the teams can’t afford them to get wiped out doing a bit of rallying or some other thing. The fact that many f1 drivers go on to have very successful “second” driving careers after f1 rather disproves your point.
 

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Please. You even see some of the young racers driving regular cars, like in the Car Throttle video where Ricciardo and Hulkenberg were in Renault hatchbacks and Ricciardo was mis-shifting like a teen with a new car. There’s been a few racers who got into F1 having raced in other motorsports like Mario Andretti and Mark Donohue. And with contracts, that is part of the reason, but you are mistaken about the imaginary restrictions. They’re not restricted, they’re just too lazy to go racing in other forms of motorsports because they get huge paychecks in F1, so why bother? How come in smaller sports they sometimes partake in multiple different types, like Tanner Foust or Travis Pastrana? Smaller pay, and burning passion. Put any of the new F1 racers in the 70s/80s/90s F1 cars, and they won’t fair well. They all complain now that their drink modes aren’t on, so how’d you expect them to put on leather helmets and race a car with no traction control, no super duper grip or any of the new fancy gizmos they have now, and a crap ton of power? Answer is they wouldn’t. Even Hamilton had a hard time throwing Senna’s McLaren car. There’s no real skill or speciality anymore. F1 is not a motorsport anymore, it’s more of a business unfortunately.
 

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I'd like to point out that there are lots of restrictions, even personal restrictions that prevent drivers from doing other sports/activities.

I would also like to point out that Traction Control has been out of F1 since 2008. As for skill, the fact they spend 1000's of hours in sims, and make it look easy is testament to their skill. Tire managment, heat management, engine management during a race, understanding how far they can push the car within its limits, Oh and then there is all of the G-force they have to take.

There is also a physicality that comes into practice. F1 drivers will see an average HR or around the 160, with peaks over 200 and can regularly sit between the 170 and 190. Compare this to a NASCAR driver who sits somewhere around the 125-135 mark.
 

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To even get into F1 at its lowest levels you have to have started racing at a very young age, typically in carts, and them come up through the ranks doing well enough to get noticed by a team and will have gone through at least a couple of different race series generally. This is all public record and easily found with less than 10 mins of research. F1 contracts tend to be some of the most restrictive with Drivers lives being scheduled to within minutes typically in order to meet their promotional commitments to the team - one of the reasons Hamilton left McLaren for Mercedes was because he got more freedom at Merc.

How many hours do you think Senna had in that car compared to the tiny amount of time Lewis would have got not enough to be able to drive it like Senna did that is for sure, never mind the potential insurance implications of doing so... Top gear did a series of F1 drivers in a very crappy car doing a lap of their circuit, they smashed "normal" drivers times with ease.

Clearly you think current F1 drivers are pussies and I don't any kind of evidence or reasoning will convince you otherwise. I'll just reiterate my earlier point, they can only drive the cars they are given. If all that was available now was cars of the past then that is what they would be driving and still doing it better than the rest of us are capable of.
 

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Never really been into F1.
World Rally is where it's at for me.
Colin McRae, Richard Burns, Petter Solberg and Sebastien Loeb are just some of the names that grab my attention.
Superb drivers imho.
 

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I drove single seaters on track and a rally car during the 1970s. I preferred the latter as I liked the challenge of a non-repeating roite (but all thats changed in WRC now).
I do occasional Track days but am not keen on GP circuits because of the lack of sighting points in a broad landscape.
That said, I really enjoy the Nordschleife bit funnily enough my first hot lap is almost inevitably rhe fastest on each visit! (Over 200 laps under my belt now).
But I only have to watch one of those cockpit views of a F1 driver doing a pole qualifying lap to be totally in awe of their car control skills.
Yes they are different to the older cars but to win you have to "wring the car's neck" and require different skills to those older cars.
But being fastest with the equipment you are given is still what its all about...
 

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Please. You even see some of the young racers driving regular cars, like in the Car Throttle video where Ricciardo and Hulkenberg were in Renault hatchbacks and Ricciardo was mis-shifting like a teen with a new car. There’s been a few racers who got into F1 having raced in other motorsports like Mario Andretti and Mark Donohue. And with contracts, that is part of the reason, but you are mistaken about the imaginary restrictions. They’re not restricted, they’re just too lazy to go racing in other forms of motorsports because they get huge paychecks in F1, so why bother? How come in smaller sports they sometimes partake in multiple different types, like Tanner Foust or Travis Pastrana? Smaller pay, and burning passion. Put any of the new F1 racers in the 70s/80s/90s F1 cars, and they won’t fair well. They all complain now that their drink modes aren’t on, so how’d you expect them to put on leather helmets and race a car with no traction control, no super duper grip or any of the new fancy gizmos they have now, and a crap ton of power? Answer is they wouldn’t. Even Hamilton had a hard time throwing Senna’s McLaren car. There’s no real skill or speciality anymore. F1 is not a motorsport anymore, it’s more of a business unfortunately.
This is a pretty poor argument. You might as well say "a lorry driver would drive a lorry faster around a circuit than current Formula 1 drivers". The drivers merely train and prepare to drive the machines that are presented to them and within a few percentage it's a level playing field. None of us have any idea whether the drivers from decades ago would have the abilities to withstand the G forces and demands from the engineers for data etc more than likely they'd get blown away however I bet you my house the current drivers are physically in better shape to withstand heat, vibrations and general unpleasant driving conditions for longer than those from Jim Clark era

Sports in 2020 is full of data and pedants, so the drivers who best adopt to this environment are at the top.
 

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To even get into F1 at its lowest levels you have to have started racing at a very young age, typically in carts, and them come up through the ranks doing well enough to get noticed by a team and will have gone through at least a couple of different race series generally. This is all public record and easily found with less than 10 mins of research. F1 contracts tend to be some of the most restrictive with Drivers lives being scheduled to within minutes typically in order to meet their promotional commitments to the team - one of the reasons Hamilton left McLaren for Mercedes was because he got more freedom at Merc.
Don't forget daddy's cash:
Stroll: Report: Lance Stroll's father spent $80 million to get son Williams F1 seat
And how about Leclerc being raised in a wealthy family in Monaco getting into F1 easily? Verstappen because of his dad Joe? Gasly from help of his wealthy parents. Not saying that is bad, since parents love their kids. But the skill ain't there when I watch it. With all due respect to Bottas, how in the hell did he magically become a God of racing when he switched to Mercedes? It's the car now, and they are easier to drive. Times are quicker due to the improvements in aerodynamics and safety (well, a lot of V10s still hold records) and because the car is easier to drive.

How many hours do you think Senna had in that car compared to the tiny amount of time Lewis would have got not enough to be able to drive it like Senna did that is for sure, never mind the potential insurance implications of doing so... Top gear did a series of F1 drivers in a very crappy car doing a lap of their circuit, they smashed "normal" drivers times with ease.
Well, since I hear in the UK he is a racing God, how come the racing God wasn't able to adapt to Senna's F1 car so quickly? Surely, his ticket of getting in with help from his IT manager dad's money was a safe bet. Senna and Mansell would annihilate Lewis and his fellows on a race track with ease.

Simon, not trying to come off as offensive, but I actually looked this up before starting the debate here since I really believe in my argument. The best lap in the Liana with regular celebrities was made by Ellen Macarthur at 1:46.7. For the F1 leaderboard, this goes as follows:
1:42.2 – Daniel Ricciardo
1:42.9 – Lewis Hamilton
1:43.1 – Mark Webber
1:44.0 – Sebastian Vettel
1:44.3 – Rubens Barrichello
1:44.4 – Ben Collins (The Stig II; removed from the board)
1:44.6 – Nigel Mansell
1:44.7 – Lewis Hamilton
1:44.7 – Jenson Button
1:44.9 – Jenson Button
1.46.0 – Perry McCarthy (The Stig I; removed from the board)
1:46.1 – Kimi Räikkönen
1:46.3 – Damon Hill
1:47.1 – Mark Webber

(Wow, Masnell beat Hamilton, I predicted this) Not bad of Ellen, and she is a celebrity. Imagine throwing in a person who is actually a good driver, and not a celebrity, against them. We are comparing celebrities and racing drivers. Get in a person from gtr.co.uk on here and I would bet they would get somewhere between the 1:42 - 1:47 mark. Ellen is on par with Raikkonen, Hill, and Webber. Now tell me again how they "smash" regular drivers. They don't.

Now, to add more information to support my point take this video for example:
(A regular driver from Top Gear's celebrity segment getting familiar with an F1 car easily) Now tell me how it requires so much skills. It doesn't anymore. Just because Hammond drove Renault's F1 car and failed, doesn't mean regular people can't. I am certain so many folks on this forum would be able to drive the F1 cars very well.


Clearly you think current F1 drivers are pussies and I don't any kind of evidence or reasoning will convince you otherwise. I'll just reiterate my earlier point, they can only drive the cars they are given. If all that was available now was cars of the past then that is what they would be driving and still doing it better than the rest of us are capable of.
I said they're babies nowadays. Yes, folks like Clark and Senna would annihilate them. I guarantee a group from this forum would be able to top them. I would bet money on it. I would pay to watch it too. Just because mom and dad paid to get someone into carts doesn't make them magically better (ie. Stroll). You're born with it, like Senna and Clark, and even Schumacher.

There is also a physicality that comes into practice. F1 drivers will see an average HR or around the 160, with peaks over 200 and can regularly sit between the 170 and 190. Compare this to a NASCAR driver who sits somewhere around the 125-135 mark.
How about how Lewis Hamilton and Tony Stewart switched cars?:
Tony didn't seem to have troubles. Same with Andretti. Kimi Raikonnen had trouble with his Nascar stock car.

How about Jeff Gordon driving an F1 car?:
Not bad huh? Why? Because they're easy to drive.

The drivers merely train and prepare to drive the machines that are presented to them and within a few percentage it's a level playing field. None of us have any idea whether the drivers from decades ago would have the abilities to withstand the G forces and demands from the engineers for data etc more than likely they'd get blown away however I bet you my house the current drivers are physically in better shape to withstand heat, vibrations and general unpleasant driving conditions for longer than those from Jim Clark era

Sports in 2020 is full of data and pedants, so the drivers who best adopt to this environment are at the top.
Jim Clark era had fellows who skipped around the world in different areas to race in different motorsports. Have you seen the video of Clark in South Africa? Tell me more about how he could not withstand heat. Vibrations? You mean how underdeveloped the F1 cars were back in the day, yet they were able to sweep everyone off? No current F1 racer could handle those cars. If you lost speed, you would need to gain it back with work and not the super grip they have nowadays. There was also no safety, so they had to go through more mental obstacles. The new drivers are in better shape, but to call the old ones not as good drivers is an insult. I would love to see the analogy fitted with the NASCAR racers going into the old 50s stock cars. None of them would be able to compete at the level the older generation did, like the King Richard Petty. Man is in his 80s and tore the track of Goodwill a few years ago. You're born with the skill, and sadly I don't see any skill with the new F1 racers besides a small amount.

I see everyone disagreeing, yet not proving their points. I provided some links for you all to enjoy that proves my point. And I am surprised nobody mentioned anything about Tanner Foust or Travis Pastrana. There are so many real racers that have been overlooked in the past few decades who could annihilate them, but they never got in because of financial issues or because of no popularity.
 

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Some good points made there (on both sides of the debate) and I can see the differences of opinion. I think one thing we can all agree on is old or current, F1 or NASCAR, any of the best drivers would struggle in this race series:

261835


;)
 

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I wonder how much f1 you have actually watched? When you see the team asking for a driver to put in a lap time of x for y number of laps and you see the best drivers achieve that with stunning consistency, that is off the charts precision. The requirements from a few decades ago were very different.

the car makes a huge difference there is no question about that but that does not make them easy to drive and even less so when in the heat of a race, it is one thing to take a car around a circuit on your own for a few laps to doing 50+ in the heat of battle - that goes for any race formula.

i also won’t argue that money has its place in f1 and there are no doubt drivers that shouldn’t have been there, but again’t that goes for any level of racing you care to name (though not sure that applies to Verstappen)

to think that any track day warrior is going to hold their own against an F1 driver (or tbh almost all professional race drivers) you must be deluded.

have you ever driven a single seater of any form? when the aero is working it is really unlike driving a normal car at all just getting to understand that is tricky enough on its own.
 

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to think that any track day warrior is going to hold their own against an F1 driver (or tbh almost all professional race drivers) you must be deluded.
Different times. I'm sorry, I just can't see Hamilton or Vettel beating the likes of Clark or even Fangio if they went back in time to their time period. I can't, really. Even in the 90s, I can't see any of the new racers being a threat to the 90s racers. They would get utterly decimated even with practice, just go and compare them. Sure the current times they make are blistering fast, but it's not hard to man-handle a computer now. If they had the same way they picked drivers as they did back in the 50s/60s/70s/80s/90s, I don't see how they would survive in those said time periods. Really. I can't even tell the current driver's style apart. They all look the same with the occasional Ricciardo nosedives and Verstappen's twitchy overtakes with extreme grip. It's boring.

That being said, yes I believe a group from this forum could defeat an F1 racer. I would bet money on it.
 

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if you had a time machine and took any current F1 driver back to race against Clark or Fangio in theirs cars then yes Clark or Fangio would win. If you bought those guys forward and put them in a current f1 car they would lose. You can't directly compare because technology isn't comparable, the driver requirements are not comparable better or worse is a meaningless term it is just different. Same with any sport you care to mention, what matters the most to success in any sport (or any aspect of life I guess) is focus, determination and desire to win and harnessing of any natural ability. Put side by side do you think Hamilton is any less driven than Fangio was? Take James hunt, out drinking, heavy smoker - never impacted his capability to race, can you imagine him lasting a race distance with fitness like that in a modern car, never mind being a world champion.

Given sufficient time to get to grips with the cars either way I think the top F1 drivers of either era would be comparable, as I said initially drivers can only drive the cars they have available to them.

I think you need to elaborate on your last statement, in what circumstances do you think that could happen?
 

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I certainly don't buy into the rhetoric that F1 is the pinnacle of motor racing because that is a non substantiated claim. It's just another highly specialised branch of motorsport and there's a chance if the cars behaved completely differently then another set of humans with different peaks in skill sets would rise to the top nevermind comparing across 5 decades.
 

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if you had a time machine and took any current F1 driver back to race against Clark or Fangio in theirs cars then yes Clark or Fangio would win.
Exactly.

If you bought those guys forward and put them in a current f1 car they would lose. You can't directly compare because technology isn't comparable, the driver requirements are not comparable better or worse is a meaningless term it is just different.
I wouldn't say that. The new F1 cars have so much advantages that the older cars never had. And like you mentioned with James Hunt, many of the racers weren't in good condition and still gave everyone a good run. They never had trainings, cold chambers, or vehicle simulators to help them win. Look at Raikonnen (last real racer in F1) beating the socks off the younger racers with no simulator, no warmed up tires, etc. Older generations are much more tougher and had balls of steel handling their machines as opposed to to the new racers who would probably die in the first lap in a 50s/60s/70s/80s/90s race.

Same with any sport you care to mention, what matters the most to success in any sport (or any aspect of life I guess) is focus, determination and desire to win and harnessing of any natural ability. Put side by side do you think Hamilton is any less driven than Fangio was? Take James hunt, out drinking, heavy smoker - never impacted his capability to race, can you imagine him lasting a race distance with fitness like that in a modern car, never mind being a world champion.
There were more races back then and were long and conditions weren't favorable. Only new track I see that is horrible is the Malaysian one where it gets very hot. However, you might have forgotten how many racers back then raced in places like South Africa where temperatures rose to 40 degrees Celsius, without any drink mechanisms or air conditioning in the quarters! Plus, they drove their cars with the thought in their head that it could possibly be their last race. You don't see that anymore with new F1 racers. Yes, if we took that James Hunt in a time machine to go to this time period, he would probably beat the new racers. They were able to control their cars in a fashion without any of the technological advances we see now (aero, downforce, DRS). Old school rules.

I think you need to elaborate on your last statement, in what circumstances do you think that could happen?
It would never happen because of money, time, and because nobody gives a d*mn about anyone anymore. See how the F1 racers treat their fans as opposed to celebrities? Not the same as it used to be. Hypothetically speaking, there might be a handful on here who have the capacity and knowledge to beat an F1 driver. I guarantee it. Put them alongside someone like George Russel or Antonio Giovinazzi or any new racer in that matter and I guarantee there is a high possibility of one of those F1 racers falling victim.
 
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