Ranking Lance Stroll

Greetings followers of Sidepodcast ! Jordan F1 here with an interesting story on the current Canadian Driver at Williams. I was planning to get this done a while ago but a slight problem occurred here in Tundraland…Namely the local (ice) Hockey Team – the Montreal Canadiens entered the playoffs and currently split the series  2 games apiece in a best of seven series over the New York Rangers. I give everyone in the Sidepodcast Nation fair warning that should the Canadiens go into the final round, well, they would still be playing Hockey at the same time as the Canadian GP, so except traffic to be crazier than normal…

So after three races, just how good is Williams’ new Canadian Driver, Lance Stroll ? Well, I have decided to rate him against all the F1 results of all the Canadian F1 drivers to find out. And guess what? In terms of results he’s better than Jacques Villeneuve !!!

No, I am not talking about the 1997 Champion here but his uncle, Jacques-Joseph Villeneuve who in 1981, drove the Arrows A3 at the Canadian and Caesar’s Palace Grand Prix. He also drove a RAM-March 01 at the 1983 Canadian Grand Prix. Back in the early 80’s The qualifying sessions actually meant something. Sure, they where used to determine the starting gird, the fastest of the driver’s laps being used to set the grid, but with 30 cars competing for 24 gird spots, 6 cars would be given a DNQ. Villeneuve’s Arrows in qualifying at Canada ranked 28th place, 7.518 seconds off pole. It was the same result at Caesar’s Palace – 28th place, 5.001 seconds of pole, and DNQ’ed. The change to RAM in 1983 did not help, although the grid was enlarged to 26 slots, Villeneuve got 27th place, 6.404 seconds from pole. Uncle Jacques got a grand total of 3 DNQ’s.

I am going to introduce something I call the “Villeneuve Penalty” here to make my life a little bit easier. With the possible exception of Berg, all the drivers not in the Villeneuve family raced under the points going down to 6th place and only your top x results counted per season. What also sort of magnifies this problem is that most Canadian F1 drivers took part in the classic years from 1961 – 1974, so you can basically rattle off 3,4,5 or 6 Legends of F1 who’s car needs to break down before anyone else can pick up a point… What I am going to do is score the non-Villeneuves under the present scoring system just to see if anyone ended a race in positions 7 to 10. Also remember that the Canadian Grand Prix has been held at Multiple venues. It was originally at Mosport Park from 1961 to 1967, 1969, and from 1971-1977; Circuit Mont-Tremblant held the Grand Prix in 1968 and 1970, and Saltire’s favourite circuit Circuit Ile Notre-Dame currently holds it from 1971 (barring a painted on scroll at the start/finish line and a renaming of the course…)

Peter B. Ryan entered a privateer Lotus 18/21 for the 1961 GP and crossed the finish line in 9th place, some 4 laps done from race winner Innes Ireland. As a side note 7th place went to Jim Clark also 4 laps done to Ireland The result was good enough for 0 points back and tied in 18th place in the World Drivers Championship. But using present scoring regulations he would have 2 points.

In 1963 an all-Canadian F1 team was formed and called Stebro and raced at Watkins Glen with a Formula Junior car and a Ford engine. Development problems meant that only one car could race with a borrowed Ford engine thus the DNP to 2nd Driver Ernie de Vos, but Peter Broeker did take the only Stebro to a 7th place finish, all be it some 22 laps down. Under today’s present scoring system, it is questionable as to whether Broeker does get 6 points or a NC result. I gave him the points.

Al Pearce – Drove 47 laps to gain a Not classified rating in 1967, being some 43 laps down on winner Jack Braham. Apparently the battery was dead on the grid and his mechanics had to change the battery, which cost Al about 6 laps. Once he started the race, He spun on the part of the track that is furthest from the pits, and could not start the car as his battery was dead (of the engine was waterlogged) take your pick as there was heavy rain tht day. So he ran the lengh of the track to get a battery, runs back to his car, replaces the battery himself and rejoins the race some 43 laps down…Which is how you can get a “NC” rating and have other cars ahead of you retire.

His DNS happened at Tremblat, Where he was 15.8 seconds off pole and dead last. Al stripped his engine overnight, found a tool jammed in the engine, but the could not rebuild the engine in time for the race to begin.

Finally we come to his most famous incident he appears to be the only F1 driver who was actually disqualified from a race for driving to slow !! How slow is too slow, you ask> Well at the 69 Grand Prix, he was on his 22nd lap when he was disqualified, the problem was that the leaders were on their 46th lap. This breaks down to being some 20 seconds per lap down on the leaders, taking into account that his two pit stops up to that time took 15 minutes and 10 minutes a piece ! Worst of all, he was fighting all the cars that where trying to pass him, regardless of how many laps ahead they where…After a very questionable block nearly took Jackie Stewart out of the race, Ken Tyrrell launched a formal complaint and had Pearce disqualified.

Eppie Wietzes – Was driving a factory Lotus Ford 49 alongside Clark and Graham Hill in the ’67 Grand Prix and managed to get up lap 69 when he suffered ignition failure due to the torrential rain that was coming down. Oddly enough Clark himself suffered the same problem further up the track and retired 12th. Poor Wietzes got disqualified for trying to get outside help to fix his engine. He then took a Braham-Ford to Mosport in ’74. Sadly, on lap 33 he was the 2nd retirement of the day due to engine troubles.

Bill Brack raced in three Canadian Grand Prix in ’68. 69, and 72. In 1968 he drove as a third driver for Lotus. But on the 18th lap he suffered a halfshalf failure and retired. In 1968, he drove for BRM and needed to have been fast enough to complete just one more lap to gain a classification of a 8th place finish. As it was, completing only 80 of an 90 lap race meant that you did not race enough of a distance to earn points. Therefore he was classified with a NC rating. In 1972 he spun his BRM out of the race in his 20th lap.

John Cordts – Entered a Privateer Braham in the 1969 Canadian Grand Prix but had to retire his car after 10 laps due to an oil leak. He was running 16th at the time, however, he was the fourth retirement of the race. But hey, Denny Hulme only lasted 9 laps of that race…

George Eaton – Raced in two GP’s in 1969, ten in 1970, and in the 1971 Canadian GP., all with the works BRM team. At Mont-Tremblant he had his highest finish in any Grand Prix, a 10th place placed finish some 5 laps down, which under today’s F1 point system would have gained him 1 point. He also gained a 11th and 12th placed finishes in their P153 and a 15th place in a 1971 P160. His remaining results where a mixture of DNQ’s and retirements.

John Cannon – Had enough strong races in the 1971 F1 European Championship series, impressing the people at BRM enough to run at Wakins Glen that year, where he came in 14th place and some 3 laps down. Even more bad news for him was that he was second last of the cars still running at the end of the race. Well, at least he beat John Surtess, who was some 5 laps down., so there’s that….

Allen Berg – Ahhhh, the utter awesomeness that was the 1986 Osella F1 car !!! Tied 2oth place with 0 points for the season. Berg landed this spot in mid season as Christian Danner was sent of to replace Arrows driver who injured himself outside of F1.

Gilles Villeneuve – 6 wins, 2nd place in the World Driver’s Championship in 1979, Grand Prix and Ferrari Driver Legend., 101 officially recognized points, 107 actual points scored. Not to mention his never say die attitude of driving blind in the rain because the car’s nose is broken and his shoved upwards at Ille Notre-Dame, in 1981, (He got 3rd place in that one) or racing his car back to the pits on only three wheels because not only has the left rear tyre exploded just after the pit entrance but he managed to break the axle by the time he was able to return to the pits on the next lap. And then there is always Dijon ’79 Where I am still asking who won because the winner’s race was just as forgettable as the wheel-banging battle between Villeneuve and Arnoux.

Jacques Joseph Charles Villeneuve – Currently Canada’s only World Championship Driver with 11 wins under his belt. 235 points over his career, and has some highlights of his own. First off, he was one oil leak away from being only the 2nd F1 driver to ever win his debute F1 driver, The pass on Schumacher on the outside at the Parabolica curve in Estroil in 1996, and finally the dive on Schumacher at Jerez for the 1997 Championship. The bad news for Jacques, Jr. was he stuck around F1 too long in lousy cars…

So obviously Gilles Villeneuve and Jacques Villeneuves, (Jr) are Canada’s numbers 1 and 2 F1 drivers, and all things considered, I would say that is the proper ranking between the two of them, and using today’s race results rankings Broeker, Ryan and Eaton would follow for their 6, 2 and 1 point career point totals respectfully. Berg is next for hauling an Osella, of all things to a 12th place finish, then Cannon for completing his race in 14th.

For the bunch that have never finished a race yet, and sadly I have to include Stroll in this group, Uncle Jacques Villeneuve has to be the worst, as he never even crossed the start line of a race, followed by Pease for not even crossing the start line once, the disqualification, Brack for two retirements, and although though no fault in his own at Bahrain, Stroll is between Brack and Pease. Finally the best of the worst are Wietzes and Cordts. I refused to rate De Vos, as since he did not have a car and was not even able to Practice, he was a much as a spectator as those of us who paid admission to see a Canadian Grand Prix.

In table format, from best to worst, are Jordan F1’s rankings of all Canadian F1 drivers:

Rank Driver Team (s) Year (s) Active Races Decent Placements Points
1 Gilles Villeneuve McLaren, Ferrari 1977-1982 68 6 wins 101
2 Jacques (Jr) Villeneuve Various teams 1996-2006 165 11 wins 235
3 Peter Broeker Canadian Strebro Racing 1963 1 7th 0 (6 pts)
4 Peter Ryan J. Wheeler Autosport 1961 1 9th 0 (2 pts)
5 George Eaton BRM 1969-1971 13 10th, 11th, 12th, 15h 0 (1 pt)
6 Allen Berg Osella 1986 9 12th, 13th, 16th , NC 0 pts.
7 John Cannon BRM 1971 1 14th 0 pts
8 John Cordts Brabham 1969 1 Ret 0 pts.
9 Eppie Wietzes Lotus, Brabham 1967, 1974 2 DSQ, Ret 0 pts
10 Bill Brack Lotus/BRM 1968-1969,1972 3 2x Ret, 1 NC 0 pts.
11 Lance Stroll Williams Current 3 3x Ret 0 pts
12 Al Pease Eagle 1967-169 3 NC,DNS, DSQ 0 pts
13 Jacques Villeneuve Arrows / RAM 1981, 1983 3 3x DNS 0 pts
Ernie de Vos Canadian Stebro 1963 1 DNQ 0 pts

So there you go.  All 14 of Canada’s fourteen F1 drivers ranked in order from best to worst on the basis of their F1 results.  If you wish, you can make comments longer than 140 characters, I the meantime I bid you adieu and Go Habs Go !

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