| The Grand Prix Forest Gumps|
They may be driving sophisticated machinery, but sometimes F1 drivers forget to put their brains into gear. Here are some of F1's more stupid moments.
10. Andrea deCesaris was once trying to lap a backmarker who got in his way while he was being hotly pursued. The flamboyant Italian, famous for going an entire season without finishing a race (in 1987), was so angry with the guy that he waved his fist. When he put it back in the cockpit to change gear, he missed a gear and was promptly overtaken by the car behind him.
9. Nigel Mansell was so far ahead in the Canadian GP in 1991 that on the last lap he decided to wave to the fans at the Casino Hairpin. His car immediately came to a halt. Afterwards it was diagnosed as an electrical problem that caused this embarrassing failure, but there are those in the team who maintain that in taking his hand out of the cockpit, the perennially clumsy Mansell turned some of the electrics off...
8. At the first race of the 2002 season Giancarlo Fisichella came into the pit lane to practice pit-stops. He pulled up outside the Renault garage, but his mechanics didn’t seem interested.
They weren’t interested because he’d changed teams over the winter and was now driving a Jordan. They quite rightly pointed out that he’d do better stopping at the Jordan garage.
(Luckily for Fisi he wasn’t the first modern F1 driver that had happened to…)
8. Jean Alesi didn’t gain any friends at the Benetton team at Melbourne in 1997. He missed his scheduled window for fuel. He didn’t come in. The team got on the radio and screamed for him to come in. He didn’t come in.
They even stuck F-U-E-L on his pit board. He didn’t come in...
He ran out of fuel.
7. The 2002 US GP at Indianapolis and Michael Schumacher leads from the lights till the very last few centimeters of the race. He’s followed all the way to the flag by teammate Rubens Barrichello. The cars flash across the line and...inexplicably it's Barrichello’s name that comes up as the winner
After the race Schumi can’t decide if he meant to give Rubens the race or whether he was just trying to engineer a very close photo finish. In fact everyone really thinks he forgot where the finishing line was and eased up too early
6. The 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix - one of the most treacherous Brazilian GPs of all time. Six cars go off on one corner. Then Mark Webber has an enormous accident in his Jaguar enough to bring out the Safety Car. Piling round the back of the circuit is Fernando Alonso in the Renault. He passes one double waved yellow flag (it means slow down, be prepared to stop, there might be marshals working on the track) he passes another, and another, and another.
Then he hits the wheel of Mark Webber’s Jaguar, which is lying on the track and brings the race to an end.
5. At the start of the crucial 1986 Mexican Grand Prix, Championship leader Nigel Mansell forgets to select a gear. He’s last off the grid. One race later he has his famous blow-out and loses the World Championship.
4. 2004 and a closely fought Monaco Grand Prix is being led under the Safety Car by Michael Schumacher. He’s anxious to get away quickly after the restart because he’s a pit stop down on closest rivals Jarno Trulli and Jenson Button. Then, going through the tunnel, round a bend, in low grip conditions because of lack of downforce, and in the dark, he decides to jam his brakes on to get some heat into the tires. The following Juan Montoya has nowhere to go and collides with him.
Back in the pit lane, an angry Schumacher takes his Schuberth helmet off and hundreds of millions of fans worldwide can see that he has donkey ears on.
3. 1995 and David Coulthard is leading the Australian Grand Prix. Coming into the unrestricted pit lane he bounces his Williams-Renault into the barriers - and retirement. David blames the problem on a stuck throttle.
Yeah, right, DC.
2. Italian Vittorio Brambilla wins the 1975 Austrian Grand Prix. The ‘Monza Gorilla’ is so pleased he takes both hands off the steering wheel to celebrate victory as he crosses the line…and he crashes the car.
1. Alex Yoong.
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