In Formula One, sometimes nobody wants to win.
Take Nurburgring ’99, for example. Polesitter and early leader Heinz-Harald Frentzen ground to a halt immediately after his pitstop when his Jordan fell foul of an electrical issue. Fellow Championship long shot David Coulthard clouted his McLaren against the barriers shortly afterwards, while beneficiary Giancarlo Fisichella’s was out of luck when his Benetton ran out fuel.
A punctured rear tyre cost Schumacher – no, Ralf – his first Formula One victory for Williams, while title combatants Eddie Irvine (Ferrari) and Mika Hakkinen (McLaren) battled farcical pit stops and poor tyre strategy in the changeable conditions well outside the points. Spare a thought for Luca Badoer too, whose Minardi ground to a halt just 13 laps from the flag whilst lying in fourth place. The Italian took it hard.
That didn’t leave many opponents left to stop Johnny Herbert – from 14th on the grid – securing Stewart Grand Prix its first F1 victory. And his last.
And yes. Well spotted those of you who realised that this was actually the 1999 European Grand Prix.