Top ten… Weirdest F1 retirements

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Hamilton harpooned Raikkonen's Ferrari in the Montreal pits in 2008

Greg – better known as Ned Flanders in the comments – makes his debut as an F1 Fanatic guest writer by picking ten of the oddest causes of driver retirements.

Retiring from a motor race is often an unremarkable experience for an F1 driver. Although reliability has improved hugely in recent years, the sight of a smoking car pulling off the track remains a routine one for F1 viewers.

But occasionally a race ending incident occurs which is rather more noteworthy. Some you may be familiar with – Lewis Hamilton?óÔé¼Ôäós pit lane exploits, for example- and others you may never have heard of – how about the driver who was soaked by his cockpit fire extinguisher mid race?

This is a collection of the some of the most embarrassing, frustrating and downright bizarre race retirements ever recorded in F1.

Lack of motivation

Damon Hill, 1999 Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka

Damon Hill ended his Grand Prix career in the most ignominious style possible at his final race in Japan in 1999. On lap 22, while running in 17th place, Hill damaged his front wing in a spin and headed to the pits. But instead of waiting for a nose change, he stepped out of the otherwise undamaged car for the final time, despondently claiming ?óÔé¼?£there was no point in going on?óÔé¼Ôäó.

His team boss Eddie Jordan disagreed; the incident sparked a rift between the two which lasted for many years.

The extent of Hill?óÔé¼Ôäós disillusion with F1 had been long been apparent. By 1999, Hill was a shadow of the driver who had once challenged the likes of Prost and Schumacher, and while his team mate Heinz Harald Frentzen was challenging for the title Hill seldom progressed beyond the midfield.

At Suzuka, what was left of his already weak motivation finally disappeared. It was an unfortunate end to a remarkable F1 career.

Beached in the pit lane gravel trap

Lewis Hamilton, 2007 Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai

Another McLaren pit gamble didn't work out for Hamilton in 2007

Lewis Hamilton’s first Grand Prix retirement came in the most frustrating and embarrassing circumstances imaginable.

At the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix, while running on threadbare tyres as the team delayed a switch from wet to dry weather rubber, Hamilton?óÔé¼Ôäós McLaren understeered at snails pace into a tiny gravel trap in the pit lane entrance. He could have been forgiven for lamenting his luck – it was virtually the only gravel trap on a circuit surrounded by acres of tarmac run off.

After futile attempts first to accelerate out of the gravel and then to gain a push from the marshals, Hamilton conceded defeat and began the short walk of shame back to the McLaren garage. Little did he know that the points he had frittered away in the Shanghai pebbles would eventually cost him the championship.

Read more: 2007 Chinese Grand Prix review: Raikkonen win blows title race open

Crashing in the pits

Lewis Hamilton and Kimi R?â?ñikk?â?Ânen, 2008 Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal

Hamilton?óÔé¼Ôäós pit lane demons came back to haunt him in Canada barely six months later. A safety car period early in the Canadian Grand Prix encouraged most cars to dive into the pits, and from a seven second lead Hamilton found himself staring at the gearboxes of rivals Kimi R?â?ñikk?â?Ânen and Robert Kubica as he headed for the pit lane exit.

With hindsight he would have been better served observing the red light by the pit lane exit. He didn?óÔé¼Ôäót, and subsequently cannoned into the back of R?â?ñikk?â?Ânen?óÔé¼Ôäós Ferrari, putting both out on the spot. The lost win, and the likely six points he was denied by his ten place grid penalty for the following race in France, almost cost him the title for a second consecutive season.

Read more: Controversy as Lewis Hamilton hits Kimi R?â?ñikk?â?Ânen in pit lane

Stalling while waving to the crowd

Nigel Mansell, 1991 Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal

Nigel Mansell retired from the lead of the 1991 Canadian Grand Prix with less than half a lap to go – of this there is no doubt. What is less clear, however, is what caused his car to stop just a few hundred metres from the flag, gifting victory to his nemesis Nelson Piquet.

Mansell and his team claimed that the gearbox in his Williams had failed coming out of the hairpin for the final time, causing him to stop. What Mansell declined to acknowledge was that he had been seen waving to the Canadian fans in a premature celebration just moments before his car ground to a halt. Cynics suggested he had in fact allowed the revs from his Renault engine to drop too low, causing the engine to stall.

Mansell refuted the criticism, calling his detractors ?óÔé¼?£idiotic?óÔé¼Ôäó and ?óÔé¼?£pathetic?óÔé¼Ôäó, and blamed the press for the creating rumours. Was Mansell genuinely blameless or was it a desperate attempt to cover his blushes? You decide.

Running over a loose drain

Juan Pablo Montoya, 2005 Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai

A dislodged drain cover was responsible for Juan Pablo Montoya?óÔé¼Ôäós exit from the 2005 Chinese Grand Prix. Running slightly wide out of Turn 10, Montoya drove straight over the protruding metal grate, damaging his front right wheel beyond repair. The safety car was dispatched for several laps while marshals attempted to weld the grate shut. The incident effectively handed that year’s constructors’ championship to Renault.

Alarmingly, though, it was not the only time that the drainage had caused chaos at Shanghai. Just four months earlier, Australian V8 Supercar driver Mark Winterbottom came across a similarly dislodged drain cover which sliced through his car and could well have injured him. Thankfully, there have been no such incidents since.

Read more: 2005 Chinese Grand Prix Review

Burnt by the cockpit

Mark Webber, 2004 Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka

'Do I smell barbecue?'

Mark Webber is renowned for coping with tough conditions in an F1 cockpit – recall his performance at Fuji in 2007 despite vomiting in his helmet. But at the 2004 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, Webber was forced surrender to adversity, in this case an overheating cockpit.

The temperature of the driver?óÔé¼Ôäós seat inside the Jaguar had intensified throughout the race to the point where it was actually burning Webber. Though his mechanics attempted to cool him by throwing a bucket of water into the seat during a pit stop, the heat soon returned until the luckless Aussie finally decided he could take no more and withdrew. It had nevertheless been a valiant drive that typified Webber?óÔé¼Ôäós commitment, though presumably his rear end has never been quite the same.

Trapped nerve

Justin Wilson, 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang

The HANS device, which helps protect drivers from neck injuries in the event of a violent accident, met with some opposition when it was introduced in Formula One. And with some good reason, as there were a few major problems to iron out as Justin Wilson discovered.

Racing in only his second Grand Prix Wilson was forced to withdraw 41 laps into the race after losing all feeling in his arms.

The injury was eventually attributed to an ill-fitted HANS device, which had been putting so much force on his shoulders that it caused a trapped nerve. Considering that racing in Malaysia is a major physical challenge at the best of times, Wilson did well to survive as many laps as he did

Pit lane crash

David Coulthard, 1995 Australian Grand Prix, Adelaide

David Coulthard?óÔé¼Ôäós race-ending accident at the 1995 Australian Grand Prix was not only highly embarrassing but costly. In his final race for Williams, Coulthard was comfortably leading as he entered the pits for his first stop. Yet he did not slow enough for the tight pit lane entrance and understeered on the dusty surface into the pit wall.

After the race, Coulthard desperately tried to pin the blame for the accident onto his Renault engine, claiming he had been ?óÔé¼?£driven towards the wall?óÔé¼Ôäó by the sudden acceleration of his Williams. But for all his denial?óÔé¼Ôäós the bottom line was that DC had thrown away a comfortable win with an amateurish mistake.

He wasn’t the only driver to be caught out by the slippery surface, though. Johnny Herbert abandoned an attempt to get into the pit lane and continued for another lap, while Roberto Moreno backed his Forti into the pit wall not far from where Coulthard crashed.

Crashing on purpose

Nelson Piquet Jnr, 2008 Singapore Grand Prix

Piquet's ability to crash an F1 car was never in doubt

Initially, Nelson Piquet Jnr’s race-ending accident at the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix seemed innocent enough. It appeared to be nothing more than another error by a much-maligned driver who was on his way out of F1. The rumours of the crash being part of a wider race fixing scandal were gradually extinguished, and the incident was soon forgotten.

Only in July of the following year did the shocking truth emerge. Piquet, it transpired, had been ordered by the Renault team management to crash his car in order to give his team mate Fernando Alonso an opportunity to win. Piquet did not dispute this request (undoubtedly influenced by the promise of a contract extension), backing his car into the wall at turn 17 just metres in front of a packed grandstand.

Never before in F1?óÔé¼Ôäós six decade history had a driver been forced by his own team to endanger his life (and the lives of spectators and marshals) by crashing intentionally. That the three known conspirators – Piquet Jnr, Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds – are no longer in F1 indicates that the sport is no longer prepared to tolerate such behaviour. However, the inability of the FIA to successfully punish the trio, allied to the suggestion that others had knowledge of the plan (including a certain Ferrari driver), means that it is not inconceivable that similar schemes could be devised in the future.

Spanners jammed under brake pedal

Johnny Herbert, 1998 Italian Grand Prix, Monza 1998

At the 1998 Italian Grand Prix at Monza Johnny Herbert experienced a situation Toyota owners across the world currently live in fear of. His Sauber’s brake pedal jammed as he approached the high speed Lesmo corner, causing his car to slide off into the gravel.

To the millions of fans world wide watching on television the spin appeared simply to be a driving error, yet the hapless Herbert was not to blame. Incredibly, a mechanic had mistakenly left a spanner in the cockpit before the GP, which had worked its way into the footwell and became lodged beneath the brake pedal. Herbert was predictably unimpressed, labelling the mechanic responsible ?óÔé¼?£stupid?óÔé¼Ôäó, and perhaps unsurprisingly he left the team just a few races later

Bonus blunders

It wasn’t easy to whittle this one down to a top ten. Here’s a few more that didn’t make the cut:

Running out of fuel
Jean Alesi, 1997 Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne

Jean Alesi is by no means the only driver to have run out of fuel in an F1 race, but ignoring his team’s instructions to pit for fuel was unprecedented. For several laps, his Benetton team desperately tried to remind the Frenchman that he needed to come back to the pits to refuel, yet he turned a blind eye to the pit boards and ignored all radio messages.

Inevitably, he coasted to a halt with an empty fuel tank on lap 35, leading ITV commentator Murray Walker to suggest that the Benetton mechanics would be ?óÔé¼Ôäóab-so-lute-ly furious!?óÔé¼Ôäó

Michael Schumacher’s safety car woes
Michael Schumacher, 2005 Chinese Grand Prix and 2004 Monaco Grand Prix

What is it with Shanghai and driver retirements? The 2005 Chinese Grand Prix capped arguably the worst season of Michael Schumacher?óÔé¼Ôäós career. On lap 23, Schumacher lost control of his car going into turn six and spun his car into the gravel and into retirement. The spin alone was unbefitting of a seven-times world champion; the fact that it had occurred under the safety car made it even more embarrassing.

It wasn?óÔé¼Ôäót his day. Less than two hours earlier, while heading to the grid, the German had drifted carelessly into the path of Christijan Albers?óÔé¼Ôäó quicker Minardi, causing a sizeable shunt which forced both men to start from the pit lane.

Schumacher?óÔé¼Ôäós mediocre run to 12th in his only previous Chinese GP was scarcely more impressive, leading many observers to suggest he had finally come across a bogey circuit. But Schumacher disproved this in some style in 2006, scoring his final win to date at the track.

It wasn’t his only altercation behind the safety car, however – in 2004 he emerged from the Monte-Carlo tunnel having crashed into the wall during a caution period.

Fire extinguisher explosion
Oliver Panis, 2004 British Grand Prix, Silverstone

Toyota?óÔé¼Ôäós hopes for success at the 2004 British Grand Prix were dampened quite literally when the fire extinguisher in Olivier Panis?óÔé¼Ôäó cockpit suddenly and inexplicably went off, filling the car with foam and blinding the driver.

Fortunately Panis managed to bring the car to a halt in the gravel without making contact with the barriers or another car, but his final race at Silverstone was over.

Over to you

The incidents above represent ten of the most bizarre reasons for retirements I could think of, I?óÔé¼Ôäóm sure there have been plenty more accidents or mechanical failures that I?óÔé¼Ôäóm unaware of that have been stranger still.

So this is where you come in. If you know of any other odd retirements worth mentioning, let us know in the comments below.

This is a guest article by Ned Flanders. Want to try your hand at writing a guest article? Got a great idea for a top ten? Get in touch here..

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205 comments on “Top ten… Weirdest F1 retirements”

  1. Imola 1995 – Nigel Mansell retires because he finds the car ‘undrivable’.

    1. imola 1991

      prost, spin and retirement on the formation lap. the videos on youtube

        1. This has happend many times in the past.
          In 1996 Andrea Montermini crashed his Forti on the formation lap coming out of the tunnel, and the team’s lack of a spare car meant the Italian was unable to start the wet race.

          Back then all the teams had a so called T-car (spare car).

      1. This moment was terrible…
        As a Prost fan, I wanted to throw the TV out the window.

    2. hamilton on the back of raikkonen was one of the dirtiest things i´ve seen similar to schumacher stuff

      1. Idiotic? Undoubtedly. Intentionally depriving yourself of up to 16 points to take out a rival? I doubt it.

        1. That was clearly an accident. It was the middle of the championship he wouldn’t gain anything big by taking himself out as well

      2. You can’t seriously think that Hamilton did that on purpose?

        1. Some people are just haters, I can’t believe this comment either.

      3. bernification
        9th April 2010, 10:23

        Yeah, Hamilton had Rosberg at his back, the 2 formed a pact, if I fail to get him, you follow me up.
        Funny how no one remembers that Rosberg did the same thing, isn’t it.

      4. It is the most idiotic thing we have seen, but I don’t believe it was on purpose, his brain was just turned off.

        Paper Tiger:”Intentionally depriving yourself of up to 16 point” – 16 ponts!?! Come on, get real. Nobody knows how it would have ended, but I think Kimi or Kubica would have done it, not Lewis.

        1. No one ever mentions that Kimi couldn’t stop in time either, he had to pull to the side to avoid ?Kubica?

    3. It was Barcelona – Mansell’s last F1 race. He drove at Imola and finished out of the points.

  2. Nice article Ned… I liked it, well written :)

  3. Great article Ned, I enjoyed reading it. Keep it up.

  4. Rubel_Frm_BD
    7th April 2010, 9:41

    Very Good!!!!!!. Continue like this. But have to comment on hamilton, it seems to me that we can easily called him The Diseaster Man. He collied with more people than the number of his races. Hi hi ………….

    1. I am sure Webber can give him a run for his money.

    2. The haters just have to come crawling out. This was supposed to be a lighthearted post, about the weirdest F! moments, not a “bash a driver” fest.
      Do tell, exactly how many people has Hamilton collided with?
      Btw it is spelt “disaster”.

      1. kbdavies i do agree with your comment its silly when people take the opportunity to kick a man when down. btw great article ned :)

  5. Great article Ned, keep it up!

  6. Imola 2001.. Kimi’s steering wheel came off..
    Nurburgring 2005.. Kimi’s suspension exploded..
    He’s an unlucky guy isn’t he? :)
    Also JPM’s car was sliced through by the drain cover in China 2005 and he was lucky not to be injured..
    Gr8 article Ned :)

    1. IIRC it was Kimi’s tyre that blew in 2005… leading to a “minor” suspension damage :P

      But I agree, great article Ned :)

      1. It was suspension failure that ended Raikkonens race at Nurburgring 2005 but the damage was caused by the tyre.

        Raikkonen badly flat spotted his right front while lapping Villeneuve, in 2005 drivers were not allowed to change tyres so those tyres had to last the whole race, if memory serves you could only change a damaged tyre not the whole set and not during a regular fuel stop.

        The flat spot caused significant vibrations and on the last lap at turn one under braking the suspension broke, and he narrowly avoided taking out Button who he was just coming up to lap.

        1. That rule was ridiculous and dangerous, and possibily cost Raikkonnen the title that year.

          1. As I recall the rule applied to all the other drivers as well…

            I don’t think the rule itself was dangerous – how many other incidents like Raikkonen’s did we see?

          2. To add to Keith’s point, it was clear a few laps earlier that Kimi’s car was having problems because of the damaged tire.
            He would not have been penalised for entering the pits (and they could change the whole set, not just one tire – that would be even more dangerous). The thing is he would have lost the race to Alonso anyway, and so he and Dennis took a very gutsy decision to stay out.
            You’ve got to respect that.

        2. Actually, up until Räikkönen’s incident, it was not allowed at all to change tires, not even a damaged one. After Kimi’s incident they made a change to the rules, allowing a driver to change a damaged tire. Which is probably why we didn’t see more incidents like that for the rest of the season.

          1. A small adjustment to my previous comment after I’ve done some quick research. It was allowed to change punctured tires before the incident. After the incident it was also allowed to change a single tire per car if it was dangerously worn.

      2. Actually, he had flat-spotted the tire severely, causing tremendous vibration, which eventually caused the explosion of the upper suspension arm in a very high-speed section of the track. If you recall, it started deteriorating on the straight, and then it just “blew up” as soon as he touched the brakes.

  7. Sush Meerkat
    7th April 2010, 10:04

    This is a fond one for me, not because of the circumstances but because of Ted Kravitz’ commentary on the sonic signature of each passing car.

    If you guys can find a vid with Kravitz explain the flat spots i’d appreciate it, I found it proper funny.

    1. damonsmedley
      7th April 2010, 15:10

      I love it when I click these links and up pops one of the videos I have uploaded! :D

      1. @damonsmedley – LOL.. Its such a service you know! ;)

  8. Great article Ned.

    Webber vomitted in his helmet at Fuji 2007. Didn’t know that.

    Which was the event at which Anthony Davidson retired by running over a groundhog?

    1. You’re thinking of Montreal 2007, but Davidson pitted for a new front wing and finished the race.

      Alessandro Nannini’s Benetton also hit a groundhog at Montreal in 1990, although he was able to keep going he later crashed out at the hairpin.

      Neither groundhog fared well.

      1. I hope they manage to keep those pests under control for this year’s race! They are serously everywhere in that part of Montreal.

    2. Sumedh, search it on youtube, webber’s team radio is hilarious!

        1. tralfamadore
          7th April 2010, 17:15

          Mark, baby, stay cool

      1. Oh wow, awesome dedication by Mark Webber.

        Thanks TommyC

      2. Nelson Piquet did the same on his way to winning the title at the Las Vegas season finale in 1981.

        I didn’t see the race but my mother, who was eight months pregnant with me at the time, did!

        1. Mouse_Nightshirt
          7th April 2010, 14:29

          Has that x-ray vision served you well in life? ;)

        2. Really? Not widely reported…

          I do know that he passed out when he parked the car

          1. That vid shows just how a different a sport it was in those days… I love the guy’s completely calm tone as he says “Patrick Tambay finds himself without the front end of his car” as if it were an everyday occurrence!

        3. LOL … my wee brother does not even like F1 one and he phoned to suggest we go to this race!

          Was too deer.

          Brian (my brother) just wanted someone
          to go to Vegas.


      He had food poisoning but drove anyways but after throwing up over the radio the talking to his engineer whom tell him to box.

  9. Great article Ned, a like these light hearted takes on our great sport.

    How about Vettel and Webber, Fuji 2007?… Toro Rosso slams into the back of the Red Bull under the safety car when both in podium positions behind Hamilton.

    1. “How about Vettel and Webber, Fuji 2007?… Toro Rosso slams into the back of the Red Bull under the safety car when both in podium positions behind Hamilton.”

      I thought webbers comment in the paddock after that was gold! i assume it’s on youtube

      1. That was because the conditions behind the safety car were horrible and Hamilton was screwing around…not Vettel’s fault.

        1. some peoples take on this is that it wasn’t just Vettel he was cussing but Hamilton as well for Hamiltons erratic (more then normal) behavior behind the safety car. You can see it in part of the video he speeds up almost like he is to pass the safety car and slows way down. Webber referes to kidS and they in the “interview”

  10. 2005 Australian GP – BAR withdraw Jenson Button and Takuma Sato on the last lap of the race to exploit a loophole allowing them to fit fresh Honda engines for the next race in Malaysia. It did them little good – both cars retired with blown engines on lap 2.

    1995 Italian GP – Ferrari are running first and second at Monza when Gerhard Berger (running second) retires with broken front suspension after being hit by the on-board camera that had fallen off Jean Alesi’s car. Alesi subsequently retired with a wheel bearing failure.

    1987 Austalian GP – After 31 laps Stefano Modena pulls his Brabham into the pits and retires a healthy car. He was too tired to continue.

    1982 British GP – Derek Warwick’s retirement on lap 40 after running in second place is blamed by Toleman on a halfshaft failure. In reality, the car had started the race on low fuel to impress the sponsors.

    1. Gerhard Berger (running second) retires with broken front suspension after being hit by the on-board camera that had fallen off Jean Alesi’s car.

      Thankfully it didn’t hit Alesi’s helmet. They weren’t as strong back then as the one Massa had last year.

  11. Alonso’s wheel came off after pitting for new tires during the 2009 Hungarian GP.

    1. Yes, that was a good one. Didn’t the FIA give Renault a ban which was then overturned for that incident? And wasn’t Alonso leading the race?

  12. I remember Patrese (Williams) with active suspension system off at Monza.
    The car was incredibly at wrong ground height, really dangerous. ’91 or ’92…?

    1. Unlikely to have been ’91, Williams didn’t run active suspension continuously until ’92.

  13. How about Alex Caffi’s retirement from the 1989 USA Grand Prix in Phoenix? Caffi, a pre-qualifier in the first half of the season was running in a remarkable 5th place, after earlier being in 2nd place before a tyre stop, was crashed out of the race on lap 52 of 75 by none other than his own team mate Andrea de Crasheris ….. er ….de Cesaris. The notorious Andrea simply drove Caffi into the wall while passing him. What made it more unbelievable was that de Cesaris claimed he didn’t even see his team mate there.

    Another would be the great Ayrton Senna. After having dominated the 1988 Monaco GP almost from the 1st session of practice, was some 50+ seconds in front of McLaren team mate Alain Prost on lap 66 of 78 when he was advised by the team to ease off the pace as he was in no realistic danger of losing. He did so and lost concentration crashing into the barriers out of Portiers, losing a most deserving win to Prost. He disappeared into the depths of Monaco and McLaren didn’t even hear from him until the next day.

    1. Senna again at Monza ’88, the only race McLaren did not win that season.

      Taken out by Mansells stand in (he had a virus I think) Jean Louis Schlesser as Senna was trying to lap him and not being patient enough to wait until after the chicane.

      Beached embarrasingly on the kerbing, as the Ferraris went through for a one-two in front of the histerical Tifosi.

      1. I forgot about that one. Mansell was out with Chickenpox. Senna was running low on fuel and took the 1st chicane as if Schlesser wasn’t even there. He put himself under pressure by using too much fuel in the 1st half of the race to stay ahead of Prost. He had to seriously back off later in the race and let the Ferrari’s of Berger and Alboreto back to within 5 seconds and closing. Schlesser tried to give Senna room, slid under brakes when offline, caught it, turned in and found Senna taking the normal racing line. The collision caused Schlesser to be the most loved Frenchman in Italy during 1988.

        1. theRoswellite
          7th April 2010, 20:04

          @ Peter…nice description, isn’t there a little plaque, with Schlesser’s name, on the underside of the far right guardrail…hard to read.

          No one could concentrate like Senna, but then again on rare occasions he just seemed to remove himself from the reality of the moment.

  14. Great post Ned! Haha I remember Alesi running out of fuel ’ab-so-lute-ly furious!’ :D Classic Murray

  15. ‘Hamilton’s pit lane demons came back to haunt him in Canada barely six months later’

    Shouldn’t that be 18 months later?

    1. Nevermind…my brain isn’t in gear yet…

    1. That wasn’t during a race though…

    2. That wasn’t in a race, right?

  16. Another DC moment, while in the lead on the parade lap he spins off and retires. After a red flag he was lucky to get back into pole for the restart.

  17. Great article Ned. In fact so great I thought Keith was writing until I scrolled to the comments section. Keep it up.

  18. I missed as a dutch guy the accident in the pit lane with Jos Verstappen. with I thought it was his benneton he had to get out quick because of all the flames. I don’t know which race is was btw

    1. The pit lane fire for Verstappen was when he drove for Benetton at the 1994 German GP at Hockenheim. During the investigation it was found that Benetton had removed a filter from the refuelling rig, but escaped any punishment.

  19. keepF1technical
    7th April 2010, 10:48

    wheel nuts and pit trolley problems are too common to be considered ‘odd’ but there have been humurous examples. do i recall mansell leaving his pit box with only three wheels once?

    Also, who lost their complete rear wing assembly a few years ago? That certainly made the car look odd.

    1. I seem to remember a wheel coming off of Mansell’s car after a pit stop before he had rejoined the track, I can’t remember when but it would probably be in 1991 or 1992 with Williams.

      1. Portugal 1991 – Mansell was black flagged.

        Mansell also received a black flag in Portugal two years before when he overshot his pit and reversed instead of letting the mechanics pull him back. The black flag was shown but Mansell was too busy chasing down Senna (so he said) and the two crashed when Nigel tried to pass.

    2. Did you mean Ralph Firman in his Jordan who looses his rear wing?

      Here is a link:

      1. Here is a clip where you can see the crash at the real speed

        1. That’s near enough the same place Massa crashed. Firman is going a fair bit faster too.

          Both men are very lucky.

          1. Yes same place and both lucky. Neither incident was during the race. I believe this is how Baumgartner got his first race drive too, I’m surprised there weren’t any conspiracy theories about this.

    3. Drivers lose their rear wings all the time… I think they actually replaced Ralf Schumacher’s rear wing after he took out his team mate Juan Montoya at one US GP. It wasn’t Montoya’s fault either. Monty needed a new front wing.
      There was one Champ Car race where they managed to replace a driver’s rear wing under safety car without going a lap down. They just started the repairs, when the SC go close they sent him out again to catch it, then repeated it 2 or 3 times until it was replaced.

  20. Great article, I love this historical stuff.

  21. Schumacher’s car blew up on the formation lap at Magny Cours 96,

    I remember it because of the reaction from Murry, Hilarious.

      1. Mouse_Nightshirt
        7th April 2010, 14:40

        Great clip, especially because you get to see Hakkinen in the Mercedes “bengined” McLaren! Gotta love Murray’s gaffes.

      2. And at the end: “Mika Hakkinen in the Mercedes-Bengined McLaren…” Classic Murray!

        1. Oops, sorry Mouse Nightshirt, I’d gone away and come back to this page which I’d opened a couple of hours ago, so your post wasn’t there – my bad!

  22. Nigel Mansell lost the 1987 Hungarian GP when a wheel nut fell off while he was heading for victory on lap 70 of 76, gifting his ‘beloved’ Williams team mate Nelson Piquet 9 points. Sad thing about it was that during that time, most teams didn’t use retaining clips to help secure the nuts as it was time they felt they couldn’t afford to lose in the pits. From the next race (1987 Austrian GP) until present times, Williams use retaining clips on their wheel nuts.

  23. I remember Alguersuari missing his pit entry in the Abu Dhabi GP last year and then running out of fuel.

    1. Yeah that was a weird one, and the details haven’t come out because Vettel had to do an unscheduled pitstop at the same time… Alguersuari almost messed it up for him.
      I believe it turned out that Alguersuari’s problem wasn’t fuel, but something they couldn’t fix in the pits anyway.

  24. “It wasn’t his only altercation behind the safety car, however – in 2004 he emerged from the Monte-Carlo tunnel having crashed into the wall during a caution period.”

    That was when he braketested Montoya right? That was a hilarious incident too yes.

    I think they even changed the SC rules to try and end Schumacher’s antics behind it.

    1. Umm, no. He was not brake testing Montoya. He was warming his brakes and tires and Montoya was following too closely and did not react quick enough and ran into the back of Michael. Even Trulli who was behind Montoya said that he was following Michael too closely and he knew there was going to be an accident. He also said that you are to give plenty of room to the guy in front of you. And the Fia did not change the rules because of Michael’s antics which were not existent. Everyone was braking to warm their brakes and tires. Only Montoya did not have any common sense to give enough room.

    1. How could anyone overtake in those days. Those cars looked to have taken up 8/10ths of the track.

    2. naah, just race situations.

      What chicanes did they have at those times!


    3. “This could be the high point of Salazar’s career… so let’s see it again!” Love it!

      1. love the dry sarcastic commentry.

        1. That commentary by Clive James is just gold, almost as good as the visuals!

  25. Taki Inoue, Hungary 1995.

    It’s not the retirement itself which was weird, but rather the aftermath.

    Unfortunately, it wasn’t the first time that had happened to him that year. It also happened during practice in Monaco.

  26. Congratulations on the article Ned!

    How about Mansell ending his 1984 Dallas GP by fainting while trying to push his out of fuel Lotus to the finish…

  27. I realise its not F1, but Bruno Senna hitting a stray dog that ran onto the Istanbul circuit in GP2 in 2008 comes to mind..

    The hit –

    The reaction –

    1. Carlos Sainz and the sheep crash in NZ 97 also comes to mind. Driving in rallies really means tough conditions ( i.e. sun)

      minute 5:00

      After that the intercooler breaks, car loses power, the breaks fail, etc.
      No points and Carlos loses the championship.

  28. Magny-Cours 1996: Pole sitter Michael Schumacher blows up his engine during the parade lap.

  29. Nice article, top tens always provide plenty of debate.

    With Hamilton taking out Raikkonen in the pitlane at Canada 2008, Rosberg also seemed to miss the red light and went into the back of Hamilton, but Rosberg was able to pit again for a new nose and finish the race.

    Regarding Damon Hill, I think the main reason given for his disillusionment with F1 was that he never got to grips with grooved tyres.

    1. Mouse_Nightshirt
      7th April 2010, 14:47

      “Never got to grips with grooved tyres” is a funny enough sentence as it is!

  30. And how about Schumacher running at the back of Coulthard from the lead in Spa 98 which robbed him of 10 points and lost him the title to Mikka.

    The best season I ever watched was 1998.

    And in Japan 98, Hill got his back at Schumacher by keeping him behind for 12 laps although not in the title hunt. Schumacher stalled at 13:13 and had to start from the back of the grid instead of pole and when managed to reach 4th (2nd effectively as he was behind his teammate Irvine, and his brother Ralf who were waiting to jump out of his way), he got a puncture :)

    I even remember Ferrari spending 35 million to prepare for that single Japanese race in 1988 but still luck intervened.

    1. He got to third in Japan, behind Irvine and Hakkinen.

  31. A wet Imola in 1991. Prost’s Ferrari arrived backwards at Rivazza on the warm-up lap, and slid out of the race before it had even begun. Can’t have helped the mood in the place! It’s at 2m30 here:

    David Coulthard almost matched this at Monza (’94?) when he crashed on the parade lap. But he got lucky, the race was stopped and he was allowed back in…

  32. How about the 1991 San Marino GP, where Prost spun off and stalled on the warm-up lap!

  33. I think Herbert said it was a pair of pliers.. or was that a different incident?
    Patrese driving the Brabham in the 80s.. retired in Brazil from exhaustion and after going down the circuit the wrong way! :)

  34. Great article too!!

  35. “How about Vettel and Webber, Fuji 2007?… Toro Rosso slams into the back of the Red Bull under the safety car when both in podium positions behind Hamilton.”

    I thought webbers comment after getting out of the car was gold!! i assume it’s on youtube

  36. Schumi_the_greatest
    7th April 2010, 12:31

    @ TOM – that was monza 95! but he was able to take the restart after a 1st lap crash i believe in pole

  37. 2006 Hungary – Alonso lost his wheel nut;
    2006 Suzuka – Schumacher’s engine blew up in penultimate gp and cost him the title;
    And I can’t remember(I was about 10 years old) in which race, it was 2000 or 2001 that Hakkinen stopped a few hundred metres till the finish while leading the race over second placed Schumacher. Does anyone remember that?

    1. Spain. Can’r remember the year, what was the last one for Mika? 2001?

      1. Yep, it was 2001.

    2. 2008 Hungary – Massa also blew engine on penultimate lap.
      Indirectly one of the things that lost him the championship

  38. What about Kimi having to retire due to his kers overheating between his legs! I clearly remember him coming in to the pit with the fire extinguisher going off in the cockpit…

    Also Damon hill having to retire after being purposefully taken out my Schumacher.

    My favourite though was in GP2(i think) Two team mates starting on the front row, the race starts they both accelerate and then both turn in on each other and then crash barely 20-30m from the start line.

    1. And of course, Monza 1995, where Hill got his own back!

      Kimi pulled off in practice with the KERS problems.

      1. Dont forget Silverstone 1995 where once again Hill ran into the back of Michael. And in 1997 were Hill ran into the back of another driver. Hill has a habit of doing that.

    2. You’re thinking of the French GP2 race in 2007 – Timo Glock and Andy Zuber crashed into one another at the start.

    3. Yep, that was Glock and Zuber at Magny-Cours, I think it must have been 2007 but not too sure.

  39. No, no , no! Totally disagree. Formula1 is 60 years old, these wre top10 weirdest retirements only from last 20 years. I was hoping for more…

  40. Great selection Ned. I’m glad pictures of the 2007 and 2008 cars were included, we should all be reminded of how ugly aero-dominated cars become ;-)

    I would also include in the list Didier Pironi, Andrea de Cesaris, and Derek Daly, who all retired from the lead of the 1982 Monaco Grand Prix shortly after having been given it by someone else’s misfortunes (ironically the first to lose the lead, Nelson Piquet, didn’t retire and came back to win the race after everyone who’d passed him failed before the line!).

    1. It was Patrese who won – here’s the video of the last laps. Extraordinary.

      1. Yeh, I got confused because there were both in a Brabham (though using different engines, I’ve just found out).

        Even worse is I had the commentary in my head and still wrote “Piquet”!

    2. I think that’s a very bizarre race finish, but no retirements were weird, so it doesn’t count. Thanks for reminding us though! Patrese did win 5 other races after that, but that was his first win!

  41. It was Patrese, actually. He crossed the line and didn’t even know he was the winner.
    I remember that everytime the TV director searched for the new leader he found a slowing and retiring car…

  42. Ooooh, so that’s why Panis retired at Silverstone in 2004. I have a photo of that, as I was sitting just after Stowe, where his car came to a halt in front of us.


    Video of Coulthard’s crash. Worth watching just to hear the commentator (John Watson) going nuts.

  44. Nice article, Ned. Good reading!

    1. I didn’t see the stalled car until Raikkonen crashed into it. So I don’t know how he would have seen it.

    2. Hardly embarrassing, he was completely unsighted and very lucky it wasn’t much worse accident

    3. Agree, that was pretty weird. He did have a waving yellow to warn him too.

  45. Good job Ned. You’ve clearly done well just by the amoutn of comments. Love the writing style as well which at times was quite humorous as the examples (some are very well remembered).
    Love these guest articles Keith. Of course yours are superb but they are refreshing.
    Not the weirdest retirement but the reactions after were hilarious was when Piquet and Salzaar came together.

    1. ‘And take that! My goodness!’

      I love Murray Walker. A shame he doesn’t appear to be on the BBC team this year.


    Not a retirement, but hiedfeld hitting the wall in the BMW Pit Lane park in germany, it makes me lol.

    When i went to the one at the trafford centre, the guy, who ever it was who was doing the driving then lost the back end and very very nearly went backwards into the armco barrier.

  47. 2006 – Australia – Montoya going wide over the curb at the last corner, and even though he managed to keep the car on the track, it automatically shutdown itself (not sure if it was a bug or a feature): . Michael Schumacher also retired after a crash at the same corner.
    Montoya also had a spin during the formation lap of this race, but was allowed to retake his position after Fisichella had stalled on the grid, forcing another formation lap:
    Button also retired from this race in a spectacular manner, when his engine blew up in the last corner of the race while in 5th position. He then deliberately stopped the car, giving up a points finish, to not be penalized in the next race for an engine change:

    1. Yes the Montoya 2006 Aus retirement was weird, I believe the car went into some sort of protection program, I don’t think the real reason ever came out. The official reason for retirement was “Electrical” ( ). I’d put it down to lack of motivation.

  48. 2005 – Belgium – Montoya retired from second place with 4 laps to go, having been hit by Antonio Pizzonia, who was trying to unlap himself after pitting for dry tires on the drying track:

    2006 – Spain – Montoya retired after losing control and getting stuck on a curb: . Was it a driver error or did his traction control fail?

    1. If we are talking about a retirement due to a collision with a back marker, the first that springs to my mind is Montoya again, this time at the 2001 Brazilian GP, when he looked set to win in only his third race in F1.

      Montoya was comfortably leading after earlier making a great overtake on Michael Schumacher, but as he was lapping Verstappen the Arrows went into the back of Montoya’s Williams taking them both out.

      This was one of the incidents which led Williams to put the message ‘Keep Your Distance’ on the back of their rear wing during practice at a later GP.

  49. One thing I remember as an odd retirement is Gerhard Berger’s crash coming out of the pit lane after a tyre change at Estoril 1993. His car careened left and across the track right at pitlane exit, crashing and ending his race. As far as I recall, some sort of active suspension malfunction was at least rumoured to be the cause at the time.

    1. The active suspension reset itself over a bump in the pitlane.

      1. Did the system get fooled into thinking it was on another part of the circuit?

  50. Boston F1 Fan
    7th April 2010, 15:40

    – I believe that Jenson Button also ran out of fuel at the end of the 2008 Brazilian GP.

  51. Didn’t the Schumacher Monaco tunnel incident also involve Montoya? He was warming his tires in a dramatic stop-start fashion and Montoya ran into him.

    Montoya features in a lot of these. For this subgenre lets add him getting hit from behind by Verstappen in Brazil after lapping the Dutchman.

  52. Younger Hamilton
    7th April 2010, 16:19

    what about Alonso’s Monaco 04 crash,tried to lap the Williams of ralf schumacher in the tunnel went around the outside of him,and the outside part of the tunnel was very dirty.Alonso then had overtsteer and went into the barriers after put his middle finger to Ralf when Ralf went passed.

    Anyone wants to see the video there’s the link below:

    1. That one’s a classic. Still, just an inexperienced move by Alonso, nobody tries overtaking in the tunnel at Monaco.

      1. I’m pretty sure you’re not allowed to overtake in the tunnel because of the changing light conditions.

  53. What about Lauda retiring at Fuji 1976 because it was too dangerous ?

  54. inc0mmunicado
    7th April 2010, 17:02

    How about ’09 Australia? Vettel and Kubica collide while in podium positions. But they keep going. In the ensuing race between them, they both go off again two corners later, separately. Safety car comes out–Vettel tries driving on 3 wheels with the 4th parked on his nose for three laps but then gives up. He cries like a baby over the radio and Kubica claims he could have beat Button to the win!

  55. 2006 Australia – Montoya runs over the kerb, slides heavily and the system switches the engine off.

    2001 Japan – Eddie Irvine pitted, but the fuel rig was not working so he didn’t get any fuel. He drove another lap around the circuit but the problem was still there so he retired from the race. When his team-mate de la Rosa pitted some laps later, the problem had disappeared.

    1. I commented on the 2006 Australia incident above. I believe the engine actually went into “preservation” mode, very poor performance, so Monty found it didn’t accelerate very well, assumed it was broken and retired immediately. He could have just pressed a few buttons to fix it too.
      Monty had an extremely poor attitude at that stage.

  56. 1992 Portugal – JJ Lehto was driving on the main straight while a driveshaft from Riccardo Patrese’s car (he had that huge crash with Berger) went through the floor and hit him between the legs.

  57. This isn’t F1, but there was a WTCC race last year where someone crashed heavily into the safety car. Does anyone remember which race that was or who was it that crashed?

    1. For some reason i think that was Pau, no idea about the driver

    2. Aha found it, Pau last year, Engstler was the driver. Heres the video:

      1. Ooh, safety car fail.

  58. Paul Gilbert
    7th April 2010, 18:38

    France 2007 – Christijan Albers left the pits with the fuel hose still attached, and was forced to retire shortly after rejoining the track.

  59. tralfamadore
    7th April 2010, 18:47

    This was not a retirement, but the Felipe Massa (Mafia sleeps) incident with the fuel hose at Singapore 2008 was pretty bizarre and cost him the championship. He had a comfy lead but came out last and yet had a drive through penalty, and finished 13th, far from the points. As everybody knows, Lewis Hamilton (The woman is ill) won the championship by a single point.

    1. Yes and Felipe blames the deliberate crash by Piquet for this, which in turn he blames (or blamed) Alonso for!

  60. Not strictly retirements, but some slightly bizzare non-starters,

    1962 South African GP – Sam Tingle in the Lotus-Climax was withdrawn because he ‘Competing Elsewhere’

    Monaco 1963 Lorenzo Bandini’s BRM was repossessed, and,

    Lella Lombardi’s Brabham-Ford was seized by Police before the 76 German GP

    1. Paul Gilbert
      7th April 2010, 22:21

      Another bizarre DNS was that of Otto Stuppacher in Italy 1976, when he was unable to start the race due to the fact that he had already returned home (he had initially failed to qualify, but 3 drivers were demoted to the back of the grid, thus allowing Stuppacher back into the race).

  61. Not F1, and probably fake, but this one always made me laugh hysterically:

    (May not be appropriate for younger viewers, by the way; I can’t say why because it would ruin it)

  62. Fisi in SMR 2005?

  63. Nice article Ned, um… Greg (blimey, never gonna get used to that). One of the weirdest for me was Schumacher at Silverstone in 1994. Black flags in F1 are a rare beast indeed, but Michael’s was a particularly odd one as he finished the race regardless. A very racy Michael had, persumably trying to get inside pole sitter Hill’s head, decided to overtake Damon on the parade lap, let the Williams driver back through, only to do the same again. Grid formed up normally, and following one aborted start, finally got under way with Hill holding Schumacher until lap 13 when the race stewards issued Schumacher a 5 second stop/go penalty for overtaking on the formation lap (remember, this was no accident, he did it twice). Schumacher ignored the stop/go while Benetton protested the matter until the stewards having finally had enough of descension issued Schumi with the black flag. Benetton assuming that honouring the original stop/go might be enough to allow them to ignore the black flag(!) brought Michael in for the 5 second stop, then sent him back out again. He may have been 2nd over the finish line, but he had definately had his race ended by an (ignored) black flag.

    He received a subsequent 2 race ban for ignoring the flag, but would go on to secure his first WDC crown in that year.

  64. You forgot one in 2006 in Japan where one of the midland drivers cant remember who, was braking for the last corner (the very one senna crashed prost in) and his car “exploded for no reason due to the cornering forces” the back of the car litterly blew to pieces as though some one had smashed into it and carbon fibre was flyin everywher…. I dunno i thought that was really bizzare

    1. Here it is:

      You’re right, really bizzare.

      1. Meh, just a half-shaft failure.

  65. John A Campbell
    7th April 2010, 20:36

    Monza 2000 – a young Jenson Button almost crashes under safety car conditions before succeeding on the restart!

  66. Paul Gilbert
    7th April 2010, 22:22

    Going back somewhat, in the 1969 Canadian GP, Al Pease was black-flagged for going too slow.

  67. Roger Carballo AKA Architrion
    7th April 2010, 22:25

    A brilliant article. Fantastic. Absolutely. As simple as that.

  68. Not weird, but rather sad. I am only posting this as of course this is the 42nd anniversary of the death of the greatest of them all.

    As a Canadian of Scots parents, and with nought but Scots neighbours, I was naturally inculcated from a very young age of the heroics of Scots sportsmen.

    As a wee boy, I used to zoom about the area in a peddle car that was BRG with the name ‘Clark’ on the side, and a wee shifter connected to a battery that made ‘zoom’ noises whenever I shifted.

    Me and my wee Jimmy Clark Lotus should blast up and down the sidewalks of Toronto, re-inforcing my Scottish pedigree until the day that my true (Canadian) hero, Gilles Villeneuve, brought pride
    and a national awareness to all of us New Canadians that were somewhere in the ether. That is, neither accepted by our parents, or other Brits, nor Canucks of longer standing.

    As young as I was, I still remember hearing the news of the death of Jim Clark (Having just returned from Scotland) and am still saddened on this day every year.


  69. i really enjoyed this article !!! congratulations!

  70. Crikey. Webber drives into one British driver and suddenly he has a history of driving into people. I think it’s more the other way around, from memory. Rubens Barrichello’s repeated assaults on him last year spring to mind.

  71. Whoops. Forgot the point of the article. I recall Coulthard flinging the car off the track during the formataion lap at Monza in 95, the year Frank Williams and Patrick Head treaded Hill and DC like ‘new bugs in school’ as the late, great Russell Bulgin put it.

    Raikkonnen (can never spell that right) retired from a race last year (Malaysia?) after the KERS tried to set him on fire (or was that in an earlier session?)

    This one isn’t a retirement, but in 94, Hill’s front suspension wasn’t properly connected to the front of the car and promptly fell off, rather comically, as he exited the pits, the wishbones and struts and things flailing about as the front wheels develeoped rather a lot of positive camber, shall we say. I think that was at Silverstone?

    I have a vague memory of Rubens Barrichello not pressing the right button or something at Ferrari and blowing something up, but that may have something to do with my natural dislike of him.

    1. Kimi was in Malaysia, but it was in practice when the KERs over heated and set the fire extinguisher off….. I think

      Or was it china? I think Malaysia though because when he was off eating his ice cream i remember hearing that the car had been put up on jacks with kers problems thats why he got the ice cream.

    2. There was another hilarious incident when Hill’s suspension failed in 1994, I just can’t remember which race.
      OK I’m trolling with this one.

  72. What about Massa retiring from Singapore 2008 after his team ordered him to leave the pits with the fuel rig stil attached… it wasn’t the only case, but the only I can remember when you couldn’t blame the driver…

    What about Vestappen’s Benneton catching fire during refuelling in Belgium 1994?

    What about Montoya being taken out while leading Brazil 2001 by a lapped Vestappen?

    1. tralfamadore
      8th April 2010, 17:54

      Yup, I commented on this one before, but it was not a retirement, Felipe baby stayed cool and finished 13th (he was 1st when he pitted). Instead of the lollipop the Ferrari team had a traffic light and it went green while the hose was still attached (human mistake I believe). Anyway, it was clearly not Felipe’s fault but he got a totally undeserved drive thru.

  73. What about Massa retiring from Singapore 2008 after his team ordered him to leave the pits with the fuel rig stil attached?… it wasn’t the only case, but the only I can remember when you couldn’t blame the driver…

    What about Vestappen’s Benneton catching fire during refuelling in Belgium 1994?

    What about Montoya being taken out while leading Brazil 2001 by a lapped Vestappen?

  74. Nice work Ned Flanders, but I think you may have missed Jenson Button Australia 2006 when his engine caught fire on the last lap on the penultimate corner & he failed to finish the race by meters!

    1. Yes nice work. Fun to read all the replies to that is the outcome of a great article that inspired..

      Button’s retirement Sounds like a great separate top 10. Top 10 almost race wins/finishes.

      Numerous already been mentioned in these replies. Button in 06 as you said, Massa in 08 in Hungary and many others close but not close enough all from wins.

      Drawing a blank right now but who was it that lifted of through first corner and down the straight already celebrating just to be passed. Gah. Going drive me nuts worse yet I ran across the video on youtube just a week or two ago.

  75. One I vaguely remember was in 1996 with Schumacher at Monte Carlo when a planetary gear (or alike) fell off his Ferrari.
    Was pretty unusual, even for that unreliable F1 car, to see that hardware falling off and trailing behind his car.
    (only from memory.. couldn’t find a video of it)

  76. Didn’t someone once try & push their car over the finishing line? Or am I confusing that with Talledega Nights?

    1. You’re probably thinking of Nigel Mansell in Dallas in 1984.

      Jack Brabham also pushed his Cooper over the line to finish sixth at Monaco in 1957.

  77. I can’t believe Mansell is only listed once! He was the embarrassment king of the late 80s/early 90s.

    One could easily remember Estoril 1989, when he used the reverse gear in the pit lane even though one of the mechanics desperately waved him not to. Not satisfied, the “Lion” took Senna out of the race after being already disqualified.

    Another classic Mansell move was in Japan 1990, when he broke his gearbox while getting out of the pits.

    Speaking about Senna, his crash at Monaco in 1988 was pathetic. His accident in Italy the same year was awful as well.

    1. tralfamadore
      8th April 2010, 18:08

      This thread was hugely entertaining. My suggestion for a next one (Keith please take note): Ten funniest/weirdest team radio sound bits ever.
      My personal favorite: Sepang 2009, the white visor/Felipe baby thing (it was my ringtone for most of last year). Christine Blachford made a song (lullaby?) on that, most of you will probably have heard it before, but it’s worth remembering, totally hilarious.

  78. The aforementioned Button at Australia 2006 never fails to amaze – – pretty much sums up Honda’s time in F1!

    Didn’t Webber retire from Singapore 08 because of static from a passing underground tram? Thats one of the oddest I’ve heard.

  79. Alain Prost at the 1986 German Grand Prix.Prost ran out of fuel on the finishing straight.He got out and tried to push it to the finish but he didn’t reach it.YouTube clip below(Sorry it’s in French)

  80. Everyone missed when that moron Montoya crashed into the rear of Schumacher in the tunnel under the safety car at Monaco. It ended Schumacher’s thus far perfect season and showed that Montoya wasn’t exactly the prodigy that everyone claimed him to be. That was one of the more stupid retirements, if not unusual. He never should have been that close. They were half a lap from the safety car pulling off the track, but Juan couldn’t settle himself to not antagonize Schumacher. I believe he was also a lap down, but I’m not certain. Stupid on so many levels regardless.

  81. Crashing in the say: “The lost win, and the likely six points he was denied by his ten place grid penalty for the following race in France, almost cost him the title for a second consecutive season.”

    Lewis was fuelled lighter then Raikkonen at the start of the race to get grid position and during the mentioned pit stop, Raikkonen turned out to be ahead of Lewis so i doubt Lewis could have won that race…as based on the earlier fuel loads Raikkonen had both the pace and strategy to take the win.

    1. Hamilton was quickest all weekend, and while it can only be a matter of opinion about what would have happened, I think Hamilton had a good chance of winning the race if he had not crashed into Raikkonen in the pits.

      Montreal is a circuit where it is possible to overtake so losing track position wouldn’t have been the problem it is at other circuits.

  82. Thanks Greg and commenters for a very enjoyable post.

    What about Top Ten Pit Crew Bloopers? (We’ve already had quite a few.)

    One of my favourites was Ferrari mechanics arguing while their driver waited patiently for tyres (can’t remember the details).

    1. Nurburging 1999. The one Murray Walker called “a major malmisorganisation failure”.

  83. As for Michael carelessly swerving in front of a Minardi during the grid formation of China 2005. He was swerving left and right warming his tires and the Minardi came flying in and hit Michael’s left rear quarter. This incident led Michael to spin out behind the safety car becuause he had to switch to the spare care which had used tires. By the time the safety car came out, his tires were shot. Then while behind the safety car, another car braked hard and so did Michael to avoid an accident and since his tires were sot, he spun out.

  84. Not really a retirement as such, but in Practise 2 of the Singapore GP 2009, Romain Grosjean crashed at exactly the place where Piquet’s planned crash happened in 2008! One of the funniest, most coincidental crashes in F1 ever, Got to be!

  85. lol I enjoyed this read…

  86. Wow Hamilton would be on here.

  87. Monaco 2005 If I recall correctly was not MSC’s fault. Montoya hit him in the tunnel, ruining his chances to equal Senna’s wins at the principality. Rumor has it Monti did it on purpose (he was one lap behind Schumi) so the Schum wouldn’t break another of Juan’s hero records.

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