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The 5 most hated Formula One drivers of all time

CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 23 Feb 2021
Feature

#3 Alain Prost

Alain Prost during practice for the Belgian Grand Prix, 1990: Getty Images
Alain Prost during practice for the Belgian Grand Prix, 1990: Getty Images

Alain Prost or 'The Professor', as he was known for his meticulous and no-compromise approach, sometimes invited the ire of his teams for his high standards. The charismatic Frenchman has won four championships but was also let go by teams on two occasions - Renault in 1983 and Ferrari in 1990 - after he criticized them.

However, the dislike for Prost really flared up following his rivalry with fan-favourite Ayrton Senna. The two came together in the 1989 season-finale in Suzuka, and the governing body, led by another Frenchman, Jean-Marie Balestre, decided to penalize Senna, thus awarding the championship to Prost.

A few years later, when Prost joined the dominant Williams outfit, he specifically had a clause included in his contract that prevented Senna from joining him as teammate.

Their bitter feud was captured in the 'Senna' documentary, which increased the criticism surrounding Prost's behavior.

#4. Andrea de Cesaris

Andrea de Cesaris during practice for the British Grand Prix, 1991. Photo: Getty Images
Andrea de Cesaris during practice for the British Grand Prix, 1991. Photo: Getty Images

Italian driver Andrea de Cesaris was a clumsy fellow who everyone loved to hate. However, he didn't need controversies for people to dislike him; his on-track misadventures were enough to earn him his badge of dishonor.

De Cesaris was famous for ruining others' races with his erroneous driving, earning him the nickname of 'Andrea de Crasheris'. Although his Marlboro funding kept him in Formula One for a long time, in 1985, he was sacked by Ligier for causing an accident during the Australian Grand Prix. Even after that, he continued in the sport till his eventual retirement in 1994.

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# Jacques Villeneuve

Jacques Villeneuve (C) of Canada sprays champagne after winning the Hungarian Grand Prix August 1997 with second-placed Damon Hill (L) and third-placed Johnny Herbert: Getty Images
Jacques Villeneuve (C) of Canada sprays champagne after winning the Hungarian Grand Prix August 1997 with second-placed Damon Hill (L) and third-placed Johnny Herbert: Getty Images

Jacques Villeneuve succeeded early on in his career and then slowly fizzled out. But his follow-up career as a Formula One pundit really hasn't sat well with fans, given his colorful comments and outrageous takes on the state of the sport.

While he speaks sensibly for the most part, occasionally, his hot takes seem completely unnecessary and made at others' expense.

His infamous comment about Williams driver Robert Kubica, where he said, "It is not good for the sport if anyone with a disability can participate. At least not in Formula 1, perhaps in other classes," was heavily panned.

That has clearly not deterred the Canadian, as he continues expressing his opinions freely, earning him both fans and haters alike.

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Published 23 Feb 2021, 13:11 IST
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