Even though I did not master it, Sonic 1 is probably one of the hardest challenges for those who are new to the game. Of course, this is an old game. However, if you did not master Sonic 1 (Genesis), you are still considered a "Sonic Neophyte". But, there's hope. And it may require studying the levels.
Go to this page, and Study the Sonic 1 Maps, especially the Special Stage maps. Once, you've done that test your skills by using an emulator like Kega Fusion or Gens with a clean Sonic 1 rom. When you have completed the game or made progress (I.e. collected all emeralds, or made it to at least Labyrinth Zone). Post your progress with a screenshot. And be sure to exchange tips. Use screenshots to clarify your tips. Modify them with telestration diagrams if you want to. Who knows, I might learn something from you.
Oh, all Sonic 1 veterans are permitted to share their experiences, playing this game, as well as their own tips.
LET'S DO IT TO IT, CADETS!