Site Selection

Race fans with a fondness for statistical analysis should have a field day at this site. Its creator, a Russian racing enthusiast, has come up with a complicated mathematical formula involving lots of variables and superscripts to rank Formula 1 drivers from 1950 to 2001. His Number One driver is Alain Prost, a selection I can live with. Fangio is 2nd — another reasonable choice. Nelson Piquet finishes 3rd. Questionable, I would have thought, but not completely off the wall. Schumacher is 4th and Senna 5th. Again, not out of the realm of possibility. Then the wheels come off. How can Graham Hill be 6th while Jim Clark is 21st? And what kind of system rates Riccardo Patrese 8th-best of all time and Carlos Reutemann 9th? (Hell, they weren’t always the best driver in their own teams.) Some other egregious anomalies: Thierry Boutsen is 26th while Ronnie Peterson is 27th. Mario Andretti is 35th. Stirling Moss is 36th! Alberto Ascari (55th) is outranked by Jo Bonnier (52nd), while Gilles Villeneuve (63rd) barely outpaces Marc Surer (64th). Calls to mind the old saw about there being lies, damned lies and statistics.

In honor of Michael Schumacher clinching his record-tying fifth World Championship, we bring you the Je Deteste Schumi website, hosted by a Frenchman who, well, detests the world’s highest-paid athlete. The site seeks to answer the question (translated from the French): “Why is he dork?” If you want to see all of the low points in Schumacher’s career amassed in one spot, this is the site for you. A particularly nice touch for Schumacher-haters are greeting cards featuring Schumacher wrecks, spins and other miscues.

The Simon Lewis Transport Bookshop is a wonderful British emporium of all things racing, many of them at bargain-basement prices. If your travels aren’t going to take you to Gloucester-shire any time soon, you might want to check out this website. Along with the usual suspects — books, posters, programs and so on — the site features goodies such as obscure autographs (Luca Badoer for L10) and race car components (a Jordan-Peugeot F1 wheel nut for L30.) We’re particularly impressed by the vast collection of photographs. The quality varies widely, but the prices can’t be beat.