Q&A; Turn-off for Ascari
Sunday 15 June 1997
A. Excluding deaths, retirements, injuries and the occasional change of sport (Nigel Mansell), there has only been one season in which the champion has failed to pick up a single point. This was the case of Alberto Ascari in 1954.
In a similar scenario to Damon Hill, Ascari switched from his championship- winning Ferrari to the Lancia team, with whom he managed to retire from every race. A few months ago that may have sounded incredible, but suddenly it seems a realistic possibility for one driver. Of course, it should be noted that 40 years ago a season consisted of considerably fewer races.
In recent years, perhaps the worst defence of a title was that of Jody Scheckter, who in 1980 finished 11th in the drivers' championship without a win to his name and managed to bring home his Ferrari in last place in the final race of the season. All this can be added to the fact that Scheckter did not have the apparently traumatising experience of changing teams.
Only one other world champion has not figured in the season's top 10. In 1982, Nelson Piquet achieved one win as his best result in the Brabham- Ford. Other disappointing seasons as world champion include Mario Andretti (1979, Lotus-Ford), who finished 10th without a win, Niki Lauda (1985, McLaren-Porsche) 10th, one win; less disappointingly Phil Hill (1982, Ferrari) sixth, no wins, and once again Piquet, who in 1988 matched Phil Hill's record after switching from the highly successful Williams team to Lotus.
Only one other driver has not managed to win in his season as champion. John Surtees in a Ferrari did slightly better than his luckless companions by coming fifth in 1965.
However, on rare occasions, winning has not been important. In 1958 and 1982, Mike Hawthorn (Ferrari) and Keke Rosberg (Williams-Ford) respectively won the championship with a single victory each. - Alex Brown, Witney
Q. Your article on Arthur Wharton, the country's first black professional footballer, prompted me to wonder who was the first black footballer to represent England at any level. I was told it was a player called Alexander, who ran out for England Schoolboys in 1969. Does anyone know his first name, where he was from, or what happened to him? - Geoff Woad, London NW6
If you know the answers to any of these questions or have a sporting question of your own, write to Q&A, Sports Desk, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Fax: 0171-293 2894
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo could return against Manchester United - but it won't be like previous reunions
Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder set to force through move to Louis van Gaal's Red Devils - reports
Calum Chambers joins Arsenal: New £16m signing put through Arsenal initiation as he sings The Kooks in front of team-mates
Manchester United transfer news: Mats Hummels, Daley Blind and Thomas Vermaelen on radar as Louis van Gaal reveals he still wants to sign defender
New Liverpool signing Dejan Lovren forced to train with the under-21s after US visa mix-up
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...