From Teflonso to Britney: Top ten F1 driver nicknames

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Britney, The Professor, Teflonso: What’s in a nickname?

Rather a lot, actually. F1 driver’s nicknames tend to tell us something about their skills, their physical appearance – or how often they get into trouble.

Here are ten memorable and revealing F1 driver nicknames.


The significant thing about this nickname for Juan Manuel Fangio is not just that it’s a mark of extremely high praise for the man who ruled F1 in the fifties.

This wasn’t just a term used by fans and pundits – this was how fellow drivers referred to their greatest rival. It shows the high regard the five-times champion was held in by his peers.

Can you imagine any of today’s drivers referring to the opposition in such terms?

The Professor

In an era of unpredictable fuel and tyre consumption, one man stood out as the best at playing the long game. Alain Prost was an expert at restraining the urge to drive at ten-tenths, preserving his car until the end of the race, and above all, making sure he did not run out of fuel.

This was easier said than done in the turbo era, when the maximum fuel limit was cut several times, forcing drivers to be ever more canny with their boost levels.

It made for a fascinating rivalry between himself and Ayrton Senna, master of the flying lap in qualifying.

Prost’s calculating style served him equally well outside of the cockpit. His astute political manoeuvrings landed him a seat in the best car in F1 in 1993 – with a veto preventing Senna joining him at the team.


Michael Schumacher, Benetton, 1994

Nicknames can be compliments or criticisms. This early appellation belonging to Michael Schumacher is clearly the latter.

But what’s particularly telling about the phrase is that it was applied by his own countrymen in his native tongue.

The word ‘schummel’ carries connotations of cheating and deviousness. It first appeared in German tabloid newspapers during the 1994 season, when Schumacher was repeatedly accused of bending or breaking the rules.

The charge sheet included the hidden ‘option 13’ menu on his Benetton, alleged to activate a banned launch control system; his disqualification at Silverstone and two-race ban; his team mate’s pit fire following the removal of a filter from Benetton’s refuelling rig; his disqualification at Spa on a technicality; and driving into Damon Hill to clinch the world championship at Adelaide.

It was with this cloud hanging over him that Schumacher eventually decided to leave Benetton and join Ferrari. But despite seven world championship titles and 91 wins, to some he is still Schummel-Schumi.


On similar lines to ‘Schummel-Schumi’, Fernando Alonso’s proximity to the two biggest F1 scandals of recent years has earned him the nickname ‘Teflonso’.

Polytetrafluoroethylene – better known as Teflon – is commonly used as a non-stick coating on kitchenware. It also has a rich tradition of being used to describe people tainted by allegations but never directly implicated in them.

One of its earliest uses was in reference to gangster John Gotti – the ‘Teflon Don’ – who escaped punishment in a series of trials in New York in the eighties.

In Alonso’s case it refers to his involvement in ‘Spygate’ in 2007, where emails revealed he discussed McLaren’s use of confidential Ferrari information, and ‘Crashgate’ in 2008, where his Renault team mate Nelson Piquet Jnr was ordered by his team to crash to help Alonso win.

It was after the latter that the name entered widespread use. BBC F1 commentator Martin Brundle used it during the 2009 Singapore Grand Prix after the real story behind the previous year’s race became public knowledge.

The charges may not have stuck, but the nickname has.

Il Leone

We’re back in the realm of more positive nicknames.

The quickest way for a new Ferrari driver to win over Italy’s passionate Tifosi is to win for them first time out.

That’s exactly what Nigel Mansell did for them against the odds at Brazil in 1989. In a year of McLaren domination, he added a second triumph at Hungary, racing through the field from 12th on the grid.

Though he only spent two years with the team his charging, battling style earned him the nickname ‘il leone’ – the lion.

Hunt the Shunt

Janes Hunt, McLaren, 1976

Many are the drivers who’ve earned a nickname for their propensity for crashing.

The shunt-prone Andrea de Cesaris was dubbed, somewhat predictably, ‘de Crasheris’ for his efforts.

A young Jody Scheckter earned the more obscure nickname ‘Fletcher’ following a series of crashes.

This is one for more literate F1 fans – Fletcher is the name of a bird in the book Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, who persistently tries to fly before he’s ready and keeps crashing as a result.

But the best example of its type has to be the short-but-sweet Hunt the Shunt. Like Scheckter, James Hunt overcame his crashing ways to claim a championship win in the seventies.

The Pampas Bull

A sub-species of nicknames are those which are more like titles, or something you might imagine being used to describe a wrestler.

The stocky frame of Jose Froilan Gonzalez, the first driver to win an F1 race for Ferrari, earned him the name ‘The Pampas Bull’. This was at least more complimentary than the name those closest to him used – El Cabezon, ‘Fat Head’.

Other examples of this type include The Monza Gorilla (Vittorio Brambilla) and The Abruzzi Robber (Luigi Fagioli).

The Rat

Niki Lauda

Not the most flattering of nicknames, but Niki Lauda was dubbed The Rat more for his appearance than his personality.

This was less to do with the damage his horrific crash of 1976 did to his face than the profile of his head and bucked teeth.

As he amassed wins and championships, so the name became more adulatory, progressing to ‘Super Rat’ and ‘King Rat’ before he retired at the end of 1985 with three titles and 25 wins under his belt.

Black Jack

Jack Brabham had a reputation for his uncompromising driving on the track.

But the nickname ‘Black Jack’ owed more to his personality – he had a reputation for not being very forthcoming.

Like Lauda, his appearance was also part of it – Brabham’s dark hair matching his quiet personality.


Nico "Britney" Rosberg's passport

And so it is today for Nico Rosberg.

His golden locks have led to him being dubbed ‘Britney’, in reference to Britney Spears, since his days as Mark Webber’s team mate at Williams.

Following last year’s season finale in Abu Dhabi Rosberg turned up at Dubai airport to discover someone had substituted the photograph in his passport for one of Britney Spears.

Who says modern F1 drivers don’t have a sense of humour?

Over to you

Which are your favourite F1 nicknames? What about the ones not in this list such as ‘Iceman’ Kimi Raikkonen and ‘Mike the Bike’ Hailwood?

Other names have been applied to more than one driver, like ‘The Flying Finn’ and ‘Rain-master’.

Which other drivers on the grid do you think deserve nicknames? Have your say in the comments.

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Image © Daimler, Ford, Ford, Patrick Tercier, via Twitpic

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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304 comments on “From Teflonso to Britney: Top ten F1 driver nicknames”

  1. They are cool but nothing come close to attitude & coldness to ICEMAN.

    1. Agree! I like how he calls his WRC team ICE 1.

    2. Iceman FTW!

    3. Proesterchen
      9th August 2011, 13:56

      “Iceman” always seemed contrived to me, given its ‘team boss trying to make the best of a driver that hates PR’-heritage.

    4. As someone who grew up in the era of Top Gun, it just brings to mind all the wrong, cheesy images to be intimidating X)

    5. The Rat and Britney are pretty funny, and I think that you have called it right when you said, ” nothing comes close to attitude & coldness to ICEMAN.”

      The man has no hesitation of calling it, as he feels it….below is a prime example!

    6. I think ICEMAN has more to do with where he’s from than his “perceived” attitude.

    7. “Kimi, what’s the 5th grid place like?”

      “It’s the 5th grid place.”

    8. The Sri Lankan
      9th August 2011, 22:01

      Christiano DaMatta – Christiano Da-matter?

      pretty sure Takuma Sato had something as well

    9. halifaxf1fan
      10th August 2011, 3:16

      ‘Iceman’ is easily the most recognizable F1 nickname in the past 10 years and should be on the list. Also I should mention ‘Jack Newtown’ or ‘JV’ for Jacques Villeneuve and ‘Le Petit Prince’ or just ‘Gilles’ for his father. And don’t forget the nickname for the barrier at turn 9 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, ‘The Wall of Champions’!

      1. halifaxf1fan
        10th August 2011, 3:24

        Of course I meant to say the ‘Wall of Champions’ is at the exit of turn 13!

    10. You need to update this page with a picture of the banned “Crash Verstappen” lollies and the court-case.

      1. I got a good nickname for jenson button and that is ‘twilight sparkle’ or if you call it ‘twilight button’

  2. Kimi: Iceman
    Kovalainen: Nice man

  3. Iceman all the way

    1. Also known as the Ice Cream Man… :D

  4. Finger Boy!

    1. Lol. I like finger boy, although people do refer to him as crash kid

      1. Lewis is mostly refereed to as Crash Kid.

        1. Never heard Lewis referred to as the crashkid, other than by Vettel fans trying to offload the name on another driver.

          1. Never heard Lewis referred to as the crashkid, other than by Vettel fans trying to offload the name on another driver.

            The problem being, that Vettel doesn’t deserve the name either. Whitmarsh only came up with it when he was butthurt about Button being taken out of one race.

          2. Lewis is known as Pinocchio (The wooden doll, whose nose grew if he told a lie) since the Lygate affair….

          3. vodka an orange
            10th August 2011, 17:27

            in the last 2 years Hammy has crashed far more than Vettel! Hammy has incidents nearly every race, whist Vettel has had an almost perfect season so far! And have you forgotten the gravel trap in the China pitlane and that sublime rear-ender on Raikkonen in Canada? Priceless! #;0

        2. Also Baby Hammy for haters.

          1. Ditto with what Ral said.

            Crash kid is Vettels. Hamilton may have gone out twice (monza and singapore) by touching another or hitting respectively but thats nothing compared to Turkey, Great Britain and Belgium plus a few others.

            Vettel tends to get
            Crash kid
            Wunderkid/Ze Wunderkid – more sarcastic than anything when I’ve heard it
            Finger boy
            and The Gimp – occasionally at other places

            Also Keith, your there are a few big ones that could be noted

            The flying finns – Hakkinen and Raikkonen
            Silver Arrows – admittedly a team but still a nickname
            Rain Master – Schumacher

            + several Brundle-isms
            etc…. i.e. notable that Kobayashis name tends to be played with a bit to describe him in the same way as a nickname

            Jeremy Clarkson on TopGear keeps ponouncing Barricello as Barri-chello (the cello being as you said the word cello as in the stringed instrument rather than the more popular ‘kello’ pronounciation).

            And then the Brazilian drivers Rubino Nelsinho are used by same instead of their English counterparts.

            Schumi – Schumacher!!! Most obvious but forogtten from your list

          2. forogtten from your list

            Didn’t make it past the second one, eh?

          3. Didn’t Martin Whitmarsh call Vettel ‘crash kid’ after Spa last year?

            And Vettel’s been doing alright since then…

          4. Vettel – crash kid? that doesn’t really make sense. He doesn’t crash that often….I’m not a big Vettel fan, but making fun of him for crashing is stupid….I would say, if you had to make fun of him, it would be that he’s not very aggressive and isn’t that good at passing. He seems to really only win when he’s out front. But crashing…. really…. that’s reaching.

          5. have to agree with @unocv12 Hakkinen Raikkonen-Flying Finn, and obvious one Schumacher-Rainmaster

          6. Yeap, Keith is correct, it was given to Vettel for one incident by Whitmarsh and ever since then have come back to bite Whitmarsh, (marshwit)

          7. Make that CryBaby

        3. I think a better one for Lewis is Ramilton!

          1. streetfightingman
            9th August 2011, 22:06

            Haha that’s a good one!

          2. I like this.

          3. Nah, Slamilton is where it’s at :P

        4. Martin Whitmarsh called Vettel the ‘crash kid’ on the BBC, after taking out Button at last year’s Spa. Vettel laughed ans said’ well that’s one more title for my collection’

        5. I liked “crane boy”, but it didn’t stick.

          Alonso is called by his haters in Spain “Frenando”(“Braking”) Alonso.

        6. while jenson button was mostly referred as twilight sparkle due to them driving/running so soft

      2. I heard Vettel is aptly known amongst fellow drivers as ‘Princess Petal’.

        1. …and of course you also have the chassis nicknames, ie kinky kylie, kate’s dirty sister etc

          Where do you reckon Princess Petal comes from?

          1. Apparently he is also known as ‘schoolboy’. This is from Joe Saward after Spa last year:

            And, oh dear, oh dear, what can the blinkered (or one-eyed) fans of Mr Vettel make of his schoolboy like performance… Small wonder this is his nickname in the Press Office. Well, I have heard some others this year, by The Schoolboy dates back a year or two to when he almost was a schoolboy in racing overalls. I have heard one or two folk refer to him as Princess Petal, but I think this is really too harsh. Like all racing drivers, he just wants things done his own way…

          2. Indeed it was a schoolboy performance. But Saward has surely been eating his own words since then.

          3. Proesterchen
            11th August 2011, 0:18

            You have to remember Joe’s loyalties, what with the crying about the lack of team orders in Webber’s favor at RBR and everything.

        2. And let’s not forget Ecclestone and Briatore’s as-yet-unexplained moniker for Hamilton; Jumbo.

          1. I have heard Vettel referred to as Justin Beiber on more than one occaison (ok, I might have started that nickname myself) ;P

    2. How about “The proctologist”

  5. Gotta be Giovanni Lavaggi – also known as Johnny Carwash! :D

    1. I’ve never heard that one before! Where did that come from?

      1. It’s a literal translation of his name.

        1. oh my goodness. That is now #1 in my book of best driver nicknames XD

      2. Tommy explained it pretty well, I think. :) Here’s a video of Johnny Carwash in action:

        1. Beat me to it Journeyman!

          Yeah I wrote about the reasoning just below this comment. His name translated into English was “John Washing”

          1. I think whoever was commentating alongside Murray Walker in 1995 coined the name. I definately remember the British commentators talking about it though, or maybe it was in an Autosport from around then.

  6. Ayrton ‘Magic’ Senna seems missing :)

    1. Lots of them missing.. Iceman for Kimi, Flying Finn for Hakkinnen.

      Rocket Rosset was one of my favourites as well.

      1. The “Flying Finn” was also used for Keke Rosberg and JJ Lehto, so not really a Hakkinen-specific nickname.

        1. mika was called the flying finn more because of his big accident than anything else

          1. Wasn’t it for this famous picture taken at Adelaide the year before his accident?


          2. Yep, I think you’re right, Keith.

            I guess I was confused because they were both in Australia.

      2. “Lots of them missing.. Iceman for Kimi, Flying Finn for Hakkinnen.”

        Do you people even read the articles before you comment?

        Nothing is cooler than “Iceman” or “Maestro”

      3. No one has mentioned this one yet Pedro de la rossa – The Spanish Sensation.

    2. or ‘Magic’ Alonso is a popular one.

      1. or just Nando, because it sounds like Nando’s and he pronounces Chicane like Chicken (France 2008)!

        Made this one up a while back and I still use it :-)

        1. love it

      2. In Spain, Alonso “haters” (a.k.a “anti-alonsistas”) usually call him Lloronso mixing his name with “Lrorar” which means crying… it’s like Crying (Baby) Alonso for his multiple excuses after bad racing days.

        1. Also Lauda is known as “The Phoenix” since his incident in the Ring in 1976.

        2. Sorry but Lloronso is more appropiate to Massa. xD

        3. No antialonsos here but you, hill&pollas. Always ‘dando la nota’. Tontoloscojones-amargao-envidioso, as any good antialonso.

    3. How about
      Look-how-bad-you-are ->Luca Badoer.
      Rain Master – Schumi

      1. Sorry Kimster – Kimi

  7. rethymnoracer
    9th August 2011, 12:54

    Christian Danner used to be called Christmas Dinner by his mechanics. Made me laugh when I heard that.

  8. I was watching Spa 1995 on YouTube yesterday and I found it funny that they called a backmarker ‘Johnny Carwash.’

    At first I thought it was because the commentators had forgotten his name but in fact it was the nickname of Giovanni Lavaggi.

    Apparently his name translated into English from Italian was ‘John Washing’ which led people in the paddock to start calling him ‘Johnny Carwash.’

    It really took off after US chat show host David Letterman brought it to the publics attention and from then on the US commentators called him his nickname in almost every race.

    1. Beat ya to it, Tommy (see above). Still, I agree it’s the best nickname EVER, though. :D

  9. “crash-kid” my favourite of the current bunch. even if it’s not that common.

    Also, have we dropped “quick-nick” yet? seing as he’s going slowly…

    1. He was the only one referring to himself as “Quick” ;)

  10. Ronnie Peterson – SuperSwede.

  11. I just refer to Alonso as “Frenando”, which is italian for “Braking” and/or “Slow down”. I often couple it with his last name, it sounds really good and almost undistinguishable.

    Yes, he’s far from my favourite driver.

    1. You don`t know a word of italian, neither spanish. Fernando Alonso is an Spaniard, he is not an italian. Stop please saying nonsenses.

  12. Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell were sometimes known as the Brundell Brothers during their time together at Brabham and Ligier.

  13. I use to refer to Alonso as “Fernando El Sonso” – Sonso being an adjective in Portugues for that kind of person that does nasty/underhanded things knowing all too well how bad they are but that fakes ignorance.

    1. “fakes ignorance” reminded me of Germany’10 press conference. Vettel saved him though, its like what happened in Monaco’15, “I’m happy” lol
      The whole bit on Alonso is very humorously written. I liked it. Esp. this bit:
      “Polytetrafluoroethylene – better known as Teflon – is commonly used as a non-stick coating on kitchenware. It also has a rich tradition of being used to describe people tainted by allegations but never directly implicated in them.” – Even gave a link!

  14. Reading Mansell’s nickname makes me want to see Hamilton in a Ferrari one day (it won’t ever happen though.)

    I was curious at the results from 1989 and noticed Ferrari were on the podium every time they finished a race that year! Like a candle in the wind… unreliable.

    1. Also Mansell having a nickname about him being fearless shows how he was a very similar driver to Hamilton. Bin or win attitude.

      This is what annoys me so much when I hear Mansell criticising Hamilton’s driving style, as from what I see they were very similar drivers.

      1. +1.

        Actually Mansel was my first F1 hero (I was born in 1984) for the reasons you mention, It’s really annoying to hear him saying rubbish on Lewis driving style.

      2. I agree too. Hamilton is without doubt an imperfect driver but I wouldn’t want that to change. Although not my favorite driver on the grid he is easily one of the most exciting drivers that I have ever had the pleasure of watching.

  15. From the Dutch perspective: Jos “the Boss”.

    1. Like a boss. Loved that nickname.

      1. Seconded

    2. Ahh that was a good one

    3. Thank you. Was racking my brain trying to remember Jos’s nickname. As a Dutchmen, I think it’s a shame that after Benetton he never really had the machinery to do anything meaningful. Certainly Schumacher always spoke highly of him.

      But then I remember this is Jos “short-fuse” Verstappen we’re talking about and I don’t mind it quite so much.

      1. Well said. Still, I am looking forward to seeing that Red Bull demo he seems to be going to do. He is a bit of a tragic figure for me, but that’s also due to him sliding off and away after the Benetton gig. Better than Aalbers, for sure, but who remembers him?

    4. I didn’t think there were too many, but going through the comments, I’m being reminded of so many!

  16. Seriously? I was going to make a poll in my blog today later! What a coincidence! :)

    My fav: Iceman, Black Jack and Sunshine (Massa) ^_^

    1. I’ve never heard Massa. The only thing I associate with him is ‘baby.’

      1. *never heard Massa called Sunshine.

        1. It was taken from team radio. Rob Smedley called him Sunshine after winning Spanish GP in 2007.

          1. spanky the wonder monkey
            10th August 2011, 15:17

            can probably discount that then. it would’ve been used in the same way as “mate”, “fella”, “dude” etc.

  17. Iceman deserves to make that list Keith. Also, Mark’s Twitter name is pretty much his nickname too, in a very good way, of course.
    Vettel on the other hand is earning the ‘finger-boy’ nickname pretty rapidly.
    Quick-Nick seems to have been forgotten too. (Although, I’m not sure how much that pertains to current state of affairs..)

    Btw, that “Britney on my passport” thing cracks me up every time like no other. LOL..

    1. You should have seen what was done to Ayrton Senna’s passport…

      1. All his pages were stuck together as far as I can remember.
        Btw, I just realised this is the 2nd page of comments. I thought I made one of the 1st comments on an F1F article after a long time.. Dang!

        1. I was thinking of the passport where the photo was replaced with a picture of a part of the male anatomy. Or maybe that the Gerhard Berger (the owner of the passport, I mean, not the body part).

    2. Vettel is also called “Baby-Schumi” here in Germany.

  18. These are the ones that come to my mind:

    Trulli Train
    Look-How-Bad-You-Are (Luca Badoer)
    DJ Squire (Jaime Alguersuari)
    Ali G-milton
    Vyborg Rocket (Vitaly Petrov)
    Bobby K (Robert Kubica)

    1. Yes, I’ve never heard the ‘Vyborg Rocket’ name used before, but I saw it on his Wikipedia page last year!

  19. Robert Doorknobs was a good one too :)

    1. rethymnoracer
      9th August 2011, 13:24

      BTW, he hated that name and tried to change it to Bobby D. when he raced in Indycars.

  20. Does no one find it strange Hamilton has no nick name he’s in his 5th year and has done plenty of stuff to warrant a nickname. Probably something related to the stewards only seems fair.

    1. How about ‘Global Brand’? :D

      1. Most of the guys I hang out with on forums call him bumperkid, vodakid and crashkid. Obviously referring to how often he crashes into people and his terribly bad marketing stunts for vodafone.

      2. Mr. Platinum Card?

    2. blame team kid, Ali g ?

    3. I’ve seen a few different nicknames for Lewis bandied around. None are fit for use in this blog.

    4. Jumbo :P

    5. Hamilton doesn’t have a nickname because it would be considered racial abuse.

    6. In Spain they use “Hamiltonto” translated is “Hamildumb” or something like that…

      tonto = dumb

  21. Just remembered Karun Chandhok’s nickname. I know he has been called Karunpedia because of his extensive knowledge of F1 and its history.

    1. Here in the states they sometimes refer to Chandok as cowboy. Haven’t figured out why yet.

      1. Because he is an Indian?

      2. chandok is sometimes called cowboy because of his ties to Texas. His mom is in San Antonio and he has a bunch of relatives in Texas.

        Austin, TX

    2. Son of Vickypedia?

      1. That’s brilliant, Bullfrog!

  22. Not a nickname, but I like the fact that Trulli has ‘the Trulli Train.’ Of course his car is no longer fast enough to get into a poistion where he can hold people up with his slow driving.

    1. nor is his qualy pace :(

  23. A funny one I just found was ‘Eric van de Poele’. He failed to Qualify and most of the races he entered and was nicknamed ‘Eric far from Pole’ Harsh.

    1. rethymnoracer
      9th August 2011, 13:33

      His actual nickname is “TinTin”
      Being Belgian with blonde hair.

  24. rethymnoracer
    9th August 2011, 13:32

    The best nickname in Motorsport has to go to Superbike rider Carlos Checa.
    When he gained a good few pounds, they called him “Chubby Checa”
    But in his early career he crashed a lot, so they called him “Careless Chucker”
    Best nickname ever.

  25. I liked this article.

    I notice that patronisef1 have recently started calling Button the dampmeister. Quite appropriate I think!

  26. Fangio was “El Chueco” to his friends during his racing years. Usually translated as “the bandy legged one”

  27. A good list!

    The Britney Spears thing was pretty funny, poor Nico!

  28. Teflonso and Britney don’t come close to The Rat, The Professor or Maestro, IMHO.

  29. I like potatoes
    9th August 2011, 13:41

    In the era of rhyming nicknames (Joss the Boss, Juan the Man) I always found it amusing that Ralf Schumacher became known as “Ray.”

  30. Robert “Fighter” Kubica

    1. Never heard of it and I follow the guy since karting.

      1. Although in Polish tv coverage he’s often called “The Street Fighter”, of course because of his thrilling performances on street circuits.

  31. Wasn’t there a driver called “The Monza Gorilla” ?? Saw it on another article looking at the drivers names over the years and what makes the good names, good name – cracking stuff.

    1. That would be Vittorio Brambilla.

    2. It’s in the article…

  32. What about other generic nicknames?
    win or wall (Montoya)
    walking chicane (Pedro Paulo Diniz)

  33. Alonso’s original nickname is El Nano. Anyone speaking Spanish can tell what does it mean?

    1. El Nano = The small one. Because since his karting days he was always the youngest, smallest, etc.

      1. Kind of cute, isn’t it? ;)

  34. Five Red Lights
    9th August 2011, 14:26

    Fellasleepé Massa
    The Pirate (Alonso)
    The Stapler (Kimi)
    Don’t Buemi (blame me)
    Aljazeera (Jaime)

  35. David Hobbs is good at this. My favorite impromptu Hobbs nickname is Sack O’ Moneyoto, for the famous pay-driver Sakon Yamamoto. It’s good because it’s not even a nickname so much as a shift of emphasis.

    He has a couple others, but he usually satisfies himself with politically incorrect mockery of drivers’ accepts and elaborate mispronounciations of their names. His Webber country-Australian accent is cruel and hilarious. His Jackie Stewart impersonation is just OK.

    1. accents, not accepts

  36. Maestro and The Professor are the ones I like most. Iceman is also unique and cool.

    1. As well as The Abruzzi Robber.

  37. On French TV, for a long time, Schumacher was referred to as the “Baron rouge” or “Red Baron”. A good nickname, as the original red baron was a German Ace in a red plane.

  38. Nico Rosberg is called ‘roast beef’ by his friends:

  39. Great idea for an article! Vittorio Brambilla the Monza Gorilla always makes me laugh

  40. Since Jos The Boss was mentioned, Jos “Grindbak” Verstappen also stuck. (Grindbak is dutch for Gravel trap).

    And I almost forgot Christijan “Tankslang” (fuel hose) Albers.

  41. Two that I use are;

    Kamui Kamikazee and

    Although in fairness to Kamui although he doesn’t seem to have much regard for his own safety he generally makes the moves stick :)

  42. Iceman is also used in IndyCar for Scott Dixon sometimes. There’s a few good ones knocking around in that series, including the Iron Maiden for Simona de Silvestro as she’s been injured so often this year but keeps on coming back. Paul Tracy’s also accumulated a few over the years, such as the Chrome Horn…

    And I always thought ‘Hunt the Shunt’ was just the printable version of what his rhyming slang nickname actually was!

    1. I love that Simona’s been dubbed The Iron Maiden. Apparently before that people called her the Swiss Miss and she hated it.

      And since we’re on the topic of Indy driver nicknames, I always loved that Al Unser Jr. simply became “Little Al” because of sharing his Dad’s name. And “Emmo” was a good one for Emmerson Fittipaldi.

      1. I like the Iron Maiden one as well!

      2. There was a brief period between her Indy qualification and her next injury where it became the Swiss Missile, which was a bit better. But Iron Maiden I like.

    2. I knew there was another Iceman, was racking my brains trying to remember it.

  43. El Cabezon does not mean “fat head”. It means stubborn (in Argentina), clumsy (in El Salvador) or simply big headed.
    Otherwise good article :)

    1. Ah, that’s interesting. I’d guess ‘fat head’ was probably used to mean ‘stubborn’ as an old-fashioned idiom.

  44. JJ Lehto – Jyrki Jarvilehto
    The Flying Scot – JYS
    Irv the Swerve – Eddie Irvine
    Jimmy Savile – Lewis Hamilton
    Mr. Monaco – Graham Hill
    Muddly Talker – Murray Walker theres loads!

    1. Jimmy Savile – Lewis Hamilton

      When has anyone ever called him that?

    2. Wasn’t JJ. Letho just called that bc. noone could pronounce the real version of his name? Not really a nickname to me.

  45. The Incredible Hulk (Nico Hulkenberg). Not terribly creative or even appropriate for much of his F1 career, but cool nonetheless.

  46. RoboKUB is functional in polish forums ;d

  47. I’m pretty sure I remember Martin Brundle mentioning Damon Hill’s nickname in his pre-formula 1 days.

    Secret Squirrel – Because he was so quiet

    1. That used to be my nickname too!

  48. What about Irv the Swirve?

  49. Accidental Mick
    9th August 2011, 15:40

    When James Hunt was partnering Murray Walker he never called de Chesaris by name but always referred to him as “the mobile chicane”.

  50. Not so much a nickname but some angry Tyrrell mechanics once rearranged Ricardo Rosset’s surname on his paddock scooter to read ‘Tosser’ after he binned it in qualifying at Monaco in 1998, which I always thought was quite amusing…

  51. Surprised we haven’t had d’Ambrosio Custard yet!
    Sergio Perez is called Checo by his friends
    Fast Eddie Irvine
    Tora Tiger Takagi (that’s a Murray one)

    1. Or Ukyo Katayama, undoubtedly the best Formula One driver Grand Prix racing has ever produced!

      1. What kind of a nickname do you call that, Dan?! :P

    2. Eddie Irvine also known as The Irvinator

  52. I’m surprised no one has mentioned Tim O’Glock…Timo Glock’s nickname courtesy of Eddie Jordan during his time with Jordan Grand Prix in 2004.

    Apparently Timo has a good sense of humor and the name stuck while he raced in the States.

    On a side note: please someone put Timo in a proper F1 car. He is damn good but his talents are wasted at the tail end of the grid…

    1. That’s one’s as old as the hills. They did the same with Stefano Modena, and I expect many others before him. It’s just lame.

      1. I’m not old enough to remember what Jordan’s early history, but I’m not surprised to hear Eddie Jordan lamely recycles nicknames…thanks for the insight.

      2. I don’t think it’s lame, it’s a nice harmless joke.
        Hearing Crofty talking about the Irishman Tim O’Glock leaving the pits always tickles me.
        But for anyone to claim they made it up is lame, thats for sure.

      3. And they weren’t the first to twist the name either.
        During his time with Tyrrell, Stefan Johansson was named Steve Johnson by the team’s mechanics

  53. cheekycheeky
    9th August 2011, 16:02

    Karun Chandhok’s known as Cowboy Karun in the States.

    Giorgio Pantano got labelled as Grandpa Pants in GP2.

    Romain Grosjean got called Johnny Fat as a directish translation of Gros (Fat) Jean (John).

    Yamamoto – DJ DNF

    Sutil got labelled with Baron Von Strapon earlier this year, too.

    1. …I have never heard Karun called that over here :|

      But the Grandpa Pants name is awesome X)

    2. Baron Von WHAT??!?!!?

    3. Love DJ DNF, could have been DJ Moneybag mind, but a nice one it is.

      What is the Baron Von Strapon one to do with?

  54. I always thought that Craneboy is great one for Hamilton and Gloomio for Alonso :)

  55. I actually thought Ned had written this article when I first read it as he’s done some of the more …odd top tens :P I do love this top ten though and it’s my new favourite!

    I think I read that Gonzalez was called “fathead” which tickled me. Iceman never did much for me as I just thought it was a bit daft if Kimi had made a cartoon Iceman for his helmet then it might have been more fun.

    I’m surprised there isn’t more nicknames on the grid at the moment. Felipe Massiah (he was good back in 08 and he does need very, very loyal followers), Vettel to the pedal, slick switcher Jense, Karun opposite-lock after his Lotus trials, Lewis Bam!lton are just a few poor possibilities.

    1. I’ll admit I thought it was a Ned-special too!

  56. Jean-Pierre Jarier had the nickname of Jumper Jarier for his propensity of jumping starts. I heard that from his Formula Two mechanic Roger Porteous.

    1. Jumper because Robin Herd once tried to pronounce all his name and that’s what came out..

      1. I thought it was Robin Herd’s very young (at the time) son?

  57. Moist-Master is always a good one.

  58. rethymnoracer
    9th August 2011, 17:32

    Paul DiResta is called “Dave” by the Franchitti brothers.
    Comes appartently from the music group:
    Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich.

  59. Teflonso??? Yes, a commentator did really say that. Once. I never read the mass-media paparazzi and although I listened to Brundle’s commentary, such a stupid comment escaped me.

    You write: “The charges may not have stuck, but the nickname has.” Let’s be clear. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty; in this case the evidence, at the end of the extensive inquiry, indicated that Alonso was not involved.

    With the greatest of respect to your journalistic skills Keith (and you’re one of the best), you are just stirring the pot with this one — “the charges may not have stuck, but … ” is laziness at best and slanderous at worst. Whether or not other journalists have repeated this is irrelevant, I genuinely thought you were one step higher than the mud-slingers.

    Best regards – Paul (watching Ferrari win races for about 60 years, speaking fluent Spanish, not necessarily an Alonso defender.)

    1. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty; in this case the evidence, at the end of the extensive inquiry, indicated that Alonso was not involved.

      I don’t dispute that and nothing I have written disputes that, so dial down the hyperbole, eh?

    2. Alonso was proved to have discussed the Spygate details. His involvement in Singapore however has never been proven and the evidence is flimsy at best.

      Ironic he got immunity from the FIA in the first case and his team-mate in the second!

    3. Steady on it’s not a court of law, just a blog!

  60. Fangio was also known as “el chueco”, which can be translated as “the bow-legged”. And who forgot Andrea de Crasheris? :D

    1. Not me, it’s in the article.

      1. Oh sorry! I’m becoming blind with every day…

  61. Jean Alesi’s nickname was – especially in his early F1 days – “Gian Burrasca” (literally, John Storm – a wayward child of a quite famous Italian novel) because of his uncompromising driving style.

  62. Younger Hamii
    9th August 2011, 18:33

    Lewis’ Nickname is in my Name lol

  63. What about “Checo” Perez?

  64. Adrian Morse
    9th August 2011, 18:52

    I’m surprised no-one mentioned

    The MoistMaster! :)

    1. you beat me to it adrian :)

      1. Adrian Morse
        9th August 2011, 19:05

        actually, Tobitron beat us both to it, but I somehow missed his post ctrl-F’ing through the pages

  65. credit on this one goes to someone iv seen who posted a comment after the hungarian gp, button= the moist-meister :D

  66. Ross Brawn = Big Bear / Papa Bear
    Giancarlo Fisichella = Fisico / Fisi /Giano
    Carlos Reutermann = El lole (the bull)
    Schumacher = Schuey / Red Baron
    Ayrton Senna = Sao Paulo Taxi Driver
    Jenson Button = Lamp Post (by Briatore)
    David Coulthard = DC
    Jean Alesi = The French Sicilian

    1. David Coulthard = Jaws :)

      1. Coulthard has a lot of nicknames in my household – nsmely Bridesmaid, The Pentagon and Grinder (we heard on Star Sports while on holiday that his then-girlfriend complained about him grinding his teeth in the night).

        1. Namely, dammit.

  67. vitaly petrov = “the rudderless russian”? maybe
    or lewis could be “hammy-g”
    “Felipe baby”
    rubens is often known as “rubinho” aswell i think

  68. Thanks for the entertainment Keith.. great article.

    Schummel – Schumi stung though :-(

  69. Myself and a friend always refer to Lewis as LLPOF (Liar liar pants on fire) after his meeting with the stewards in Melbourne a couple of years back!

    1. lol

      why go back couple of years? In the last race, said he didn’t see Paul coming when he spun

  70. Wolfgang von Trips was always known as ‘Taffy’ but I’ve never seen a sensible explaination. Not a driver but Chopper for Ken Tyrrell was universally used as was “The Old Man” for Enzo Ferrari. Jacky Ickx was “Dieu au volant” (God at the wheel) but more because of Le Mans than F1, also sometimes “Monsieur Le Mans” . Verstappen was usually called “Jos the Boss” and don’t forget “Super Swede” for Ronnie Peterson.

  71. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher)
    9th August 2011, 19:42

    Well obviously i like ‘mike the bike’, but i think irv the swirv was a good one!

    1. As in Mike “the bike” Hailwood, not Schumacher.

  72. “El Cabezón” means “Big Head”, not “Fat Head”.

  73. Jim Clark – Jimmy

  74. ‘Jos the boss’ always amused me, considering the fact that he was something of a ‘journeyman’ driver.

    At Spa a few years ago my friend and I came up with ‘Jos the lower to middle manager’ as a more appropriate moniker.

    Yes, I realize that it doesn’t rhyme quite so well…..:)

  75. We used to call Schumacher $chumi on account of his huge earnings

  76. UKfanatic (@)
    9th August 2011, 20:09

    “Hamiltona” cause he is just like Cantona for the Good and the bad.

  77. On quite a few other forums, Lewis Hamilton is known as ‘Lulu’.

    1. By people with no imagination

      1. Just saying.

        Can’t think what’s wrong with ‘Hammy’, myself.

  78. thanks for Johnny Carwash, here are some others:
    Niki Lauda – Super Rat
    Sebastien Bourdais – Sea Bass
    Joachim Winkelhock – Smokin’ Jo
    Channok Nissany – Stirling Mossad (Minardi test-driver from Israel)
    Juan Pablo Montoya – Indian (nicknamed by my father-in-law)
    Nigel Mansell – Red Five (during his US career)

  79. Hi people.. How about the classics?
    How about Caracciola being the “Regenmeister” after winning in Germany in 1926.

  80. Here in Italy we have a funny nickname for Alonso: Culonso. Literally “culo” means “ass”, but it’s also a vulgar way to say “luck”.
    This nickname is used a lot especially after lucky wins, for instance Silverstone 2011 or Korea 2010.

  81. rudderless russian is a great one coined by brundle for petrov. dampmeister sounds better than moistmeister for Button.
    Felipe according to Smedley: sunshine?
    coolest nickname ever: The hulk

  82. oh, and ofc my personal favorite: mr.Eyebrows for Fernando

  83. I’ve seen a couple people mention Karun Chandhok being called “Cowboy” here in the US, and I have to say I’ve always had the impression there’s just ONE person in the US who calls him that, and his name is Bob Varsha. I think he actually made the nickname up himself, because he heard that Karun’s…mother (?) is from Texas (?). Or something like that. I could be getting the details wrong.

    Anyway, it bugs me every time he says it, so I felt the need to mention it. ;-)

    1. I should say that I might be wrong about all of that — if you’re one of the scores of Americans who’s been calling him “Cowboy” all along, please speak up!

  84. from italy:
    jean todt is Alvaro Vitali (look up on Google)
    Lewis hamilton is bambino viziato (the spoiled kid, because the former ferrari spokeperson called him like that on italian tv
    schumi was ‘the keiser’
    barrichello: ‘he who is driven by jean todt with a remote control’

  85. Lindsay Lohan is my girlfriend
    9th August 2011, 21:33

    Great to read all those nicknames from different countries. Interesting, how nicknames may change from country to country- also because of national aspects and stereotypes.

    I have some for you from Austria:

    Jenson Button is called “tyre whisperer” as in the horse whisperer for his ability to preserve tyres.

    Ralf Schumacher was called “rolex” for his decadent lifestyle while being as silly as goose.

    Nigel Mansell was known by his British nicknames rather than his Italian ones: red 5 or The Lion

    Bernie Ecclestone once referred to Lewis Hamilton as “jumbo” during a gridwalk.

    Frank Williams usually is called “Wheelchair General” without any disrespect.

    Rather an attribute than a nickname, but still common in newspapers is “the gentleman driver” for David Coulthard.

    Sebastian Vettel is called “The Finger” rather than finger boy, while I’ve never heard about “teflonso”.

    Karun Chandhok’s nickname “cowboy” might have something to do with him coming from India and the special role of cows in religion. Don’t like it too much, though.

    1. Your nickname quiet stunning huh ;)

  86. My favourite nickname was “The Squirrel” for JP Montoya – named by the alternative championship because the size of his nut sack.

  87. Lookhow Badyouare, Nuff said.

    Bonus points for everyone who knows who I’m talking about.

  88. Some more :
    Ian (cr)Ashley
    “Emmo” Fittipaldi
    Ralf was Schumi 2
    Uncle Ken Tyrrell

  89. I remember Frank Williams was called “old papa Frank”
    In the commentary for the 1984 Monaco grand prix, after Lauda retired, Murray Walker said that he was now going to report to “the Don” Ron Dennis
    Bill Vukovich was called the Big Russian

  90. I seem to remember James Hunt had quite a few nicknames for Riccardo Patrese :D

  91. Here are few more although not all F1:

    ironman – Ivan Stewart
    The bear – Denny Hulme
    Intimidator – Dale Earnhardt, Sr
    the doctor – Valentino Rossi
    häkä – Mikä Häkkinen (short for his surname, in english carbon monoxide)
    räkä – Kimi Räikkönen (short for his surname, never really used though, in english snot)
    keke – Keke Rosberg, short for Keijo, his first name.
    Maximum Attack – Markku Alen
    Bosse – Marcus Gronholm
    El Matador – Carlos Sainz
    Hatemelol – Lewis Hamilton

    Here some more stupid ones from finnish f1 commmentators:
    Michael Schumacher rector of Kerpen
    Fernando Alonso Human missile of Oviedo

    I think Markku Alen’s nickname is really cool though!

  92. I’ve heard Lewis Hamilton called “lock-up Lewis” before. He is always locking wheels. Makes sense

  93. When Sebastian Vettel was joined on the F1 grid by Sebastién Bourdais, F1 Racing nicknamed them “Der Seb” and “Le Seb” respectively in its 2008 season preview. Neither was used again, probably because Vettel became rather more prominent than Bourdais.

    I also saw Giancarlo Fisichella nicknamed “the pocket rocket” in a Daily Mirror review of the 2005 Canadian Grand Prix.

  94. Present nicknames for drivers with my girl.

    Some nicknames may be offensive, obscure and/or hilarious!

    Sebastian Vettel – Vetty
    Mark Webber – Duckboy
    Jenson Button – Butti
    Lewis Hamilton – *curseword* Hamilton
    Fernando Alonso – Gonzo
    Felipe Massa – Massy
    Nico Rosberg – Britney
    Micheal Schumacher – Old Guy
    Nick Heidfeld – Heidi
    Vitaly Petrov – 4 PET
    Pastor Maldonado – Coke
    Rubens Barrichello – Barky
    Adrian Sutil – Sootill
    Paul di Resta – PDR
    Kamui Kobayashi – Kobi or Hai!
    Sergio Perez – Top Gear
    Sébastien Buemi – Boo-Emi
    Jaime Alguersuari – All Gay
    Heikki Kovalainen – HK
    Jarno Trulli – Twooli
    Karun Chandhok – Southpark
    Narain Karthikeyan – Southpark 2
    Vitantonio Liuzzi – Loo
    Timo Glock – Teamo
    Jérôme d’Ambrosio – Chocolate

  95. All great names, but whoever said “Ice Cream Man” gets my vote :)

  96. In an interview with Damon Hill a reporter asked what Damon regarded as his biggest challenge in racing, to which Damon replied, “Herman the German.” Schumacher has been “Herman” to me ever since.

  97. Iceman has to be…

  98. The term “Flying Finn” was used back in the 60s to describe Timo Makinen & Rauno Altonen.
    When they were with Jordan Rubens was known Barry Kelly & Fisi was known as Fishy Kelly.
    My own favourite was when Murray Walker refered to Taki Inoui as Taki in the way after he appeared to cause the crash between Michael & Damon at Monza.

  99. rai
    :D :D :D

  100. Well… fom Spain! haha, let’s see, “Teflonso” might be popular in the UK, but it’s far from being the most regular FA’s nickname. Being objective, and discarding some very offensive ones that deserve no quoting, we’ve got some adulatory, from which emerges “Magic”. Yes, yes, I know: it’s Ayrton’s!! (BTW, ununderstandably missing in this top-ten). But it was assigned to Alonso by it’s “official” follower journalist in Spain: it well shows the lack of imagination from this one (nicks are NEVER transferable, less a Senna one!). Then we have “El nano”. It’s a kind one, charming. It means, more or less, “the kid” and was assigned by his early team boss, the former F1 dreiver Adrian Campos. I’d say it0s the most representative.
    Then on the fun zone, there are two very significant ones. “El Bocas” “Lloronso”
    First is something like “Sachmo” and means big mouth, both in literal sense and for the fact of being particularly unopportune on what he says, something on which we must admit that Fernando excells… Lloronso would mean somewhat like wailer, wailon or moaning. It underlines the ability (seen before on the likes of Jones, Mansell, even Prost, great drivers otherwise) of too much complaining when things were not their way…
    Hope this helps.
    PS: the professor (le professeur) was in fact assigned by his team (Renault) back in 1983, even before the fuel shortage. I miss in the list things such as Shumacher’s “Kaiser” (again borrowed, from Bekenbauer), Fangio’s “Chueco”, Mansell’s “Our Nige” (good proof of brit irony), or Reutemann’s “El Lole”. Those were teh days!!! :)

  101. Marcel Penzkofer
    10th August 2011, 7:15

    Michael Schumacher – “Rainmeister”

    with “meister” being the german word for “master”. Especially Brundle keeps saying that every time it rains :D.

    Kimi Räikkönen – “Iceman”

    as already mentioned, maybe the most recognized F1-drivers nickname of the past two decades. The name in fact came up first when he drove his first ever F1-test with Sauber and their team-owner Peter Sauber was stunned by the fact, Kimi was not breathing/out of breath when the radio was on, despite he did so few races in other series before.
    Secondly he was given a number of laptimes he had to beat and he succeeded on every task they had thrown at him without showing any emotion.

    Sebastian Vettel – “Super-Seb”

    Especially in Germany quite often used by his fans. Just the problem that I guess it’s fair to say that it’s rather Sebastien Loeb’s Nickname than Vettel’s.

  102. The Flying Giraffe – Justin Wilson, for his 6 foot frame in the Minardi in 2003
    Also I remember Murray Walker calling a Japanese driver (probably Ukyo Katayama) the Rainmaster – reason being something about the way he drives in the wet and Japanese weather.
    My vote still goes for Iceman

  103. Some that are not mentioned in the article:

    Giusseppe Farina – Il Dottore
    Juan Manuel Fangio – El Chueco
    Alberto Ascari – Ciccio
    Eugenio Castellotti – Il Bello
    Peter Collins – Golden Boy
    Jack Brabham – Blackie
    Jim Clark – The Flying Scot
    John Surtees – Il Grande John, John The Great
    Denny Hulme – The Bear
    Emerson Fittipaldi – Taxi driver from Sao Paulo
    Niki Lauda – Computer
    Hans Joachim Stuck – Strietzel Stuck
    Rubens Barrichello – Tartaruga Rubens

  104. In Brazil we used to call Ukyo Katayama, Cata Grama, which means to catch grass because he could never stay on the track. Kinda mean but true

  105. From Perry McCarthy’s book…

    Johnny Dumfries – The Earl
    Mark Blundell – Mega
    Julian Bailey – Grumpy
    Damon Hill – Secret Squirrel
    Martin Donnelly – Yer Man
    Johnny Herbert – Little’un
    The author himself – Mad Dog

  106. Thanks for all your brilliant suggestions so far, some of which were featured in today’s round-up:

  107. I have always thought “Hammy” would be a good name for Hamilton. Obviously it is a shortenning of his surname, and I also think he has rather hamster-like features. However, the main reason is a reference to Hammy in “Over the Hedge”. (If you haven’t seen it, it’s a cartoon film about some woodland creatures who awake after hibernation to find a housing estate has been built in their woods.) He is fast and he is rather nuts at times (Monaco?).

  108. In France we use to call Schumacher, The Red Baron

  109. In Grand Prix 3 (the game) Jacques Villeneuve was called John Newhouse!

  110. Cant believe Thosser isn’t mentioned here!!!

  111. ICEMAN is the best nickname. Suits Kimi really well.

    Vettel is now ‘Vettel Finger’ so I heard.

  112. I love Keith’s constant “it’s in the article” – very patient, very funny. And the Monza Gorilla nickname – brilliant.

    Button – Mr Smoothie for obvious reasons, plus it’s the name of a local ice cream truck which often disrupts my Sunday lunchtime TV coverage.

    Hamilton – Hand Grenade, for less obvious reasons, explosiveness being one, links with Grenada being another. A win it or bin it weapon.

    In MotoGP, Jorge Lorenzo is often referred to as “George Lawrence” by the Sky commentary team. Valentino Rossi is “the Doctor” (il dottore, il campione), Colin Edwards is “the Texan Tornado” and so on…

  113. I like how we called Alguersari Al-Jazeera last year.

  114. M. Schumacher we always cal(led)”the Chin” and DC “The Cheek”

  115. The only nickname you really need to know.
    All the others are for those pedestrian drivers, that can’t hold a candle to him, or for past world champions that ought to be returning their paychecks.

    The nickname is “Box Office” not because he is always on his way to the stewards office.

    But because he is the ultimate showman, all the others are supporting villains.

    1. Box Office Bomb

  116. Vettel = triviaman because he can’t and won’t pass

  117. Jim Clark – The Flying Scotsman

  118. morningview66
    10th August 2011, 23:17

    Has’nt anyone mentioned ‘Quick’ Nick Heidfeld.
    Though i dont know how much this has applied this year.

  119. Didn’t read all comments, so I’m not sure if someone told it already, but my favorite, by far, is the portuguese nickname for Ukyo Katayama, that japanese driver from the 1990’s. It won’t be as funny when translated, but, anyway, I’ll tell it:

    Galvão Bueno jokingly called him “Ukyo KATAGRAMA”: “grama” means grass in portuguese and “cata” is from the verb “catar”, used in colloquial language, that means many things like “grab” “take”, “collect”, etc…

    In fact, it’s like calling him a “Grass cutting machine” for his notorious off track excursions…

    1. Just concluding: saying “Katagrama” instead of “Katayama” is a wordplay called “trocadilho” in portuguese, that means “pun” in English. Forgot to say it, and I know it was obvious from the first message…

  120. There are names given by others and adopted by the public, and the names we give drivers in our own conversations and writings. My favorites of the widely-used variety (with my nicknames in parentheses):
    Schumacher: Rain Meister; Schuey (Schumeister)
    Kimi Raikkonen: Iceman (Ice; Kimster; Boat Boy – for Monaco 2006)
    Seb Vettel: Wunderkind (Baby Schues)
    Nico Rosberg: Britney (Grid Girl)
    Jenson Button: Mr. Smoothie
    Kamui Kobayashi: Kamui Kamikaze (Kamu)
    Eddie Irvine: Irve the Swerve; Steady Eddie (The Fuming Irishman – because he always seemed angry or upset if he wasn’t ahead of Schumi; The Deuce – because he was always a number two driver, and also because he was complete crap when he had opportunities handed to him; Eddie the Ego – for obvious reasons, as well as the similarity to another perennial loser, Eddie the Eagle, of Olympic ski-jumping fame)
    Luca Badoer: LookHow BadYouAre
    Lewis Hamilton: Jumbo; Ramilton (Hamfisted Hamilton; Loo-ease; Shamilton)
    Fernando Alonso: Teflonso (Fergotto All-Rules-O; La Niña)
    Mark Webber: (The Blunder from Down Under; Upside-downunder – for his epic flights)
    Alain Prost: The Professor (I can’t publish all of my names for him here due to profanity but here’s a taste: The Prostate; Teacher’s Pet – for his constant politicking and The United French Front presented by him and FISA President Balestre whenever things didn’t go his way)
    Ayrton Senna: I just call him God!

  121. Custard for Jerome D’Ambrosio

  122. Timo Glock, known as Tim O’Glock, when driving for Jordan.

    Robert Doornbos, Jordan, Minardi, Red Bull, known as Doorknob

  123. And another one, offensive, but used in informal taking by F1 Fans, not on TV

    “Ruinzinho Barrichello” instead of “Rubinho”

    “Ruim” means “Bad” and “ruinzinho” is its diminutive

  124. Just read this idea; after 3 car flips, a Monaco pool flip and recently back-flips in a helicopter, Red Bull’s driver should be;
    Mark “Back-flip” Webber.

  125. in the seventies Jochen Mass used to be called Herman the German by his mechanics.

    1. …and his team mate James Hunt!

  126. Jody Scheckter bore the nickname Babybear, apparently for his resemblance to Hulme.
    Leadfoot was another nickname for JP Jarier.
    Also, we used to call Pier Luigi Martini The Moving Chicane but I’m not sure if it ever was a real nickname on him.

  127. The Rudderless Russian was an insta-classic to me!

  128. carlos reuteman was nicknamed lole. Eventhough the young fans wouldn’t even have heard of him.

    1. Where does the name ‘Lole’ come from, anyway?

      1. i once read it but i forgot. It’s no personaly related to the driver. it’s widey used in argentina i am afraid. May be an argentinian reader can put some light into it. Or south american…

  129. So many posts that I thought I wouldn’t go thru them all but I just did a quick scan anyway and couldn’t see the one that had me practically rolling on the floor the first time I heard it…

    Ralf Schumacher = Half Schumacher

  130. In Brazil:

    Rubens Barrichello = Rubinho Pé de Chinelo (Rubinho Flip-flop)
    and also Burrinho Rabichello ( Burrinho = Little donkey)

    Emerson Fittipaldi = Rato (Rat, like Niki Lauda)

    Schumacher = Dick Vigarista ( dastardly)

    Felipe Massa = Zacarias (brazilian comedian of the 80’s… search youtube for “zacarias trapalhoes”)

  131. nelson piquet was called the indian. Can anyone tell me who was called the flying scot?

    1. i never heard about “Indian”. I think flying Scot was Jim Clark, then Stewart, also some people call Dario Franchitti too.

      Schumacher’s “rainmaster”, by the way, was originally applied to Rudolf Caracciola

  132. How about “Babyface” for Felipe Massa? Star Sports commentator Steve Slater used to mention “Jacques Attack” every time Villeneuve crashed into anyone!

  133. I remember Alain Prost say in an interview that the Japanese considered Senna more of a “Samurai” and Prost as a “computer.”

  134. I have never heard Brabham referred to as Black Jack, but I have heard Jacques Villeneuve referred to by that name. I always thought it was because he was a little dirty.

  135. or what about “Checo” for Sergio Perez? i always liked “DC” too

    didn’t Montoya have a nickname?

  136. The original Flying Scotsman was Bob McIntyre, the first man to do the 100 mph lap on IOM TT circuit, though my father used to insist that Jimmy Guthrie had the title first.
    I’m not sure if it was Murray who made the famous quote, 1961 I think, “man for man & on his day there is not a being on the planet who can go round the Island quicker than Mac.
    I think it was when he very nearly did a 100 mph lap from a standing start on 250 cc Honda.

  137. Sorry for posting one after the other, but I just remembered something we used to say back in 50s.
    There is only Juan Manuel Fangio.

  138. Anyone remembers the “look how bad you are” nickname for Luca Badoer?

  139. Vanessa from Queens
    23rd August 2011, 9:45

    A personal favourite and a personal creation: Jerome d’Amslowsio.

    1. Good one, Vanessa.

      How about No Rain Karting Man for Narain Karthikeyan?

      It doesn’t mean anything significant, but I made it with reference to the fact that Narain has no professional karting experience. He came straight to racing cars in 1992 when he joined the Elf-Winfield racing school in France.

  140. Bit late but how about:

    Murderface maldonado?

    Jeez that guys scary, wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley, or on the run down to Eau Rouge. Look out Lewis he’s behind you!

  141. montoya was called “the monster” im pretty sure

  142. What about Nelspinho Piquet? :)

  143. Joss da boss in a dutch accent was the best Yeah. Ill leone sounded like mansell was regarded like royalty by the fezza fans.
    I liked it when brundle called frentzen harry heinz

  144. Carlos Alberto Reutemann: Lole
    The nickname “Lole” comes from his childhood. When he was a kid he liked animals a lot, and he used to say he was going to see “lolechone” instead of “los lechones”(the young pigs).

    Giancarlo Fisichella: Fisi/Fisico

    Michael Schumacher: Schumi/The Kaiser/The Red Baron

    Jean Eric Vergne: Jev

  145. Vittorio Brambilla ( GP winer with MArch. ALso raced for Surtees in the 70s) was Known as ‘The Monza Gorilla’ for his crude tactics and his burly physique.
    Jean Pierre Jarrier was ‘Jumper’ Jarrier as apparently that is how Robin Heard’s kids pronounced his first name.
    “Clay” Regazzoini was really Giancarlo.

    Collin Chapman was “Chunky” , but not to his face.

  146. Bruno Giacomalli was known as ( and cockpit side lettering had him as) ‘Jack O’Malley” when he was , briefly, with MacLaren and testing

  147. James Hunt always called teammate Jochen Mass “Herman” ( Short for, Herman the German)

  148. Very good article, pay attention to you

  149. Jonathan Parkin
    9th September 2016, 20:18

    In the ITV days Gaston Mazzacane was called ‘Marzipan’ by Tony Jardine. Jenson has said he did once have the nickname ‘Choccy’ in his early days as in chocolate button

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