With the most recent World Champion having decided to hang up his helmet at the end of his championship season, and former World Champion Jenson Button sitting out the new year in his role as McLaren Ambassador, we thought it was a good time to ask you guys who you think was the ultimate World Champion since Grand Prix racing became a thing all the way back in 1950. The goal of every young racing driver is no doubt to become a Formula One World Champion in their careers, but due to the difficult nature of the sport very few drivers have the opportunity to achieve that ambition. Those that do can rightly hold their head up high as one of the elite drivers of their generation. Securing a World Championship at Formula One level is the ultimate achievement, the pinnacle of an athlete’s career and a feeling that is no doubt unsurpassed in the sporting world. As the years have brought different and unique challenges to the drivers competing in Formula One competition, so the skill sets of those drivers have had to adapt. The very first World Champion Giuseppe Farina will have had to deal with the ever present threat of serious injury piloted his Alfa Romeo around often ridiculously dangerous venues in exotic locations around the world, against a backdrop of cavalier attitudes to safety of both drivers and spectators alike, utilizing just his brute strength and force of will to weave his reluctant machine around the tracks of the period. Compare this the environment faced just 33 years later by the tough Brazilian Nelson Piquet in his turbo Brabham BMW Grand Prix car, dealing with brutal horsepower delivered to his wide Goodyear slick tyres as the drivers of the era dealt with monumental power outputs, long turbo lag delays and undercarriage 'ground effect' cars that literally glued the car to the circuit to help achieve never before seen speeds in corners of circuits still deemed spectacularly unsafe by the standards of today. Couple this together with new frontiers of technology being pushed further forward with each passing race, occasionally to disastrous failures, and the arenas in which Piquet and Farina fought are very different, but equally difficult in different ways. Fast forward another 30 years and we now have what in effect are incredibly high tech, super precise and ultra-developed technical marvels that race each other up to 21 teams through the course of a year. Modern Formula One reaches out further around the world than it ever has, runs for longer than in the history of the sport and is the most professionally organized in its history of competition. Whereas Farina and to a lesser extent Piquet raced for themselves and their small team of enthusiastic engineers, today's drivers have to shoulder the burden of literally hundreds of millions of dollars investment and teams containing sometime 300 - 400 staff all working towards producing two cars on track for 21 races a year. With such colossal financial investment, and telemetry and TV coverage meaning a driver now has nowhere to hide on track or from his teammate, the challenge of modern day Grand Prix racing has evolved considerably from those early tentative years. The question is, in your opinion dear reader, which driver do you think overcame the hurdles of his era in the most impressive way, to be crowned your ultimate champion of champions? Does the pioneering bravery and sheer talent of a Fangio or Ascari outweigh the deftness of touch possessed by someone like Jim Clark, or does the sheer determination, drive and hunger of an Aryton Senna overcome the respect and skills displayed by Jacques Villeneuve to secure his title in just his second season of Grand Prix racing? Does the mechanically brilliant skills of Michael Schumacher mean more than Sebastian Vettel's four World Championships, and where does Lewis Hamilton rank amongst the all-time greats? It will be an interesting read to find out what you all think. I'll leave it open a couple of weeks or so and post the results towards the end of January. Think hard and vote wise! If you have a burning desire to keep abreast of the latest Formula One news and chat while we await the season to gear up in earnest, get yourself over to the Formula One sub forum and join in the chat with your fellow F1 fans. Who did you vote for and why? Do you think anyone who didn't secure a World Championship should be crowned the ultimate Grand Prix champion? Let us know in the comments section below!