Our biggest blunders

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Sir,

With regards to the ‘Greatest Grand Prix drivers of all time’ series, the story has exceptional entertainment value because for years I kept a similar list. Unfortunately, your ranking is too opinionated. The story conveys the impression that you not only judge performances in Grandes Epreuves but also look at minor Grands Prix and voiturette events and that would be wrong: There is no clear-cut measure by which you judge drivers’ performances. The way you placed most drivers makes me shake my head in disbelief. Here are the biggest blunders.

Vincenzo Lancia, No 78. Out of 18 races, he won two minor events. I wonder if you gave him credit for these. His five starts in GP and Gordon Bennett races resulted in an eighth, a fifth and three retirements. He should be placed lower, maybe trade places with Hans Stuck Sr. who is, by the way, 33rd on my list.

Fernand Charron, No 71. You wrote incorrectly that he raced until 1902. His career ended without success in the 1903 Paris-Madrid event after having raced regularly for six years. His great days were, however, in 1898 and ’99; that was before your judgement time which starts at the year 1900. Therefore he should be placed much lower.

Jules Goux in place 70? Forgotten now, he was probably one of the 20 greatest. You showed him in a Lion Peugeot voiturette. It makes me wonder if you looked at performances other than only in GP racing. It would be more fitting to portray him in one of his victorious GP cars since he won three out of 13 Grandes Epreuves he contested. That you place Masetti and Segrave above this driver makes no sense at all.

Robert Benoist in 69th? His accomplishments are ignored now but you put him 40 places down.

Giulio Masetti, No 68. Double winner of the Targa Florio, which never had GP status. Therefore performances in non GPs should be ignored and this places Masetti in a much lower position.

Peter Collins, in place 67? He is 35 on my list.

Hermann Lang at No 65? Lang won two out of 20 GPs and is 30th on my list.

Jack Brabham, No 62? Black Jack is 26th on my list. Must I say more?

Henry Segrave, at 61, with one victory is better than Jack Brabham with 14 wins! Nevertheless, I find this story entertaining. However, I’d appreciate a more explicit explanation of your criteria.

I am, yours, etc. Hans Etzrodt, Honolulu, Hawaii

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