When Formula 1 demonstrations go wrong

Max Verstappen makes an auspicious – and expensive – Formula 1 debut run by crashing his Toro Rosso STR7 an official demonstration in Rotterdam. He is far from the first to suffer the embarrassment though…

Oops. Max Verstappen’s fledgling Formula 1 career hasn’t got off to the best of starts, the 16-year old stacking a 2012 Toro Rosso STR7 during a demonstration event in Rotterdam. This, need we remind you, comes just two weeks after Red Bull announced he would become the youngest F1 driver ever when he makes his debut at next year’s Australian Grand Prix.

The young Dutchman can at least take solace in two things; firstly, there’s no such thing as bad publicity (as father Jos proved so effectively at the 1994 German Grand Prix with Benetton and the 2003 French Grand Prix with Minardi). And secondly, Verstappen Jr is hardly the first driver to make a cock-up during an official demonstration run.

Source – Exotic Carros

1. Pastor Maldonado, 2012

Where else could we start when talking about impromptu crashes than Venezuela’s Pastor Maldonado, who is currently stacking up an enormous repair bill in his first season with the Lotus F1 Team. Incredible as it may seem given the Venezuelan’s point-less season thus far this year, Maldonado took his maiden F1 victory in commanding style at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix for the struggling Williams team and in front of two-time F1 champ Fernando Alonso, no less. When Maldonado returned home to celebrate before an adoring crowd in Caracas just three months later, he was keen to make a good impression. Which he did. Against a kerb.

Source – Carlos Longo

2. Kamui Kobayashi, 2009

Kudos was heaped on Kamui Kobayashi at the beginning of the 2014 F1 season, the Japanese driver having turned his back on a full-time – and much sought after – drive with Ferrari’s prestigious AF Corse team in the World Endurance Championship in favour of one last shot of glory with F1 minnows, Caterham. Few could deny, it was a brave gamble. His previous F1 start was at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix, where he impressed with a fighting drive to ninth. His previous time in an F1 car went less well in July 2013, when he lost control of the 2009 Ferrari F60 he was piloting and speared into the barriers. Cue scarlet cheeks…

Source – Ferrari.com

3. Sebastien Buemi, 2011

We’ll give Sebastien Buemi the benefit of the doubt, since this technically wasn’t the Swiss driver’s fault. The incident at Makuhari, Japan, in 2011, however remains one of the strangest yet. Having completed his first run at the official Red Bull Racing demonstration event, Buemi’s second didn’t go quite as well when a fan/cameraman/insane marshal leapt the fence and attempted to leapfrog the nosecone of the Red Bull RB5 in motion. Pay attention to the keyword there: ‘attempted’

Source – Skin’s Europe Channel

4. Nick Heidfeld, 2008

Even the most experienced of drivers can sometimes suffer the odd blunder. A former alumni of the Prost, Sauber, Jordan, Williams, BMW, and Lotus F1 teams, Heidfeld currently holds the unfortunate record of most podium finishes without a victory (13), but also amassed an impressive 259 points during an F1 career that spanned 185 Grand Prix. ‘A safe pair of hands’ then, as his Curriculum Vitae probably reads. Things went less well however at a demonstration event in Munich in 2008 when, temporarily blinded by his own tyre smoke, the German put his BMW Sauber F1.08 into the barrier and dislodged the nosecone before a highly amused crowd. Even the best of us, eh Nick…?

Source – onef108

5. Mohammed bin Sulayem, 2009

And here’s one from the Middle East to finish off with courtesy of Mohammed bin Sulayem’s run in the 2008 Renault R28 at the Dubai Autodrome. A 14-time FIA Middle East Rally Champion and the UAE’s official FIA figurehead, bin Sulayem was ready for the run of his life in late 2009 as he prepared for a head-to-head sprint against a Ford GT. The event had been marked as a regional warm-up as part of Renault’s ‘Roadshow’. However, a dusty track surface, a loss of grip, and handfuls of bad luck meant the Emirati’s run ended just a few yards down the main straight. And in the pit wall.

Source – fenrique

Have we missed one? Let us know in the comments box below

Categories: Race


Comments are closed