Between the Monaco Grand Prix of 1963 and the Canadian Grand Prix of 1976, a New Zealander by the name of Chris Amon was at the sharp end of the Formula One Grid. During this time he had at least five instances where he could have and indeed should have won a Grand Prix.
In 1968 he was on pole for three out of four of the initial races of the season only to retire from them all, and led in Canada only for the inevitable to happen.
His reputation for bad luck was such that fellow driver Mario Andretti once famously joked that "if he became an undertaker, people would stop dying".
Now back into the current F1 grid we seem to have another very fast and yet unlucky Antipodean, Mark Webber.
Now, I do not use statistics much, as I believe that they can be twisted to show anything, but the few that I have looked at show an uncanny resemblance!
Points Finishes as % to starts: Amon 26.85 Webber 29.31
Retirements as % to starts: Amon 41.67 Webber 40.01
Number of Retirements: Amon 45 Webber 46
Average points per race: Amon 0.83 Webber 0.84
Now as you possibly know, I'm a fully paid up Webber fan and always will be, but I'm now getting the growing feeling that he may end up as another Amon. That is; a Driver with more than enough skill to win many Grand Prix, but for whom Lady Luck will never smile kindly upon.
I prey upon bended knee that Adrian Newey designs a winning car next year, and that no rookies get too close behind a safety car, or no Trams get too close to his gearbox (!), or no engine lets go after qualifying well up the grid, or no 30 pence wiring loom fails and sets light to his car whilst closing on the leaders ..... I could go on....
They may both be from a similar part of the world, but I dearly hope that's where the similarity ends!
Mark Webber. Grand Prix Winner. Please let it happen!!
Just a footnote to all those who say he can't race as well as he qualifies .. just watch the opening laps of the Chinese Grand Prix!