Now the dust has settled on the F1 season, we thought we’d pick out for you some of the maddest, weirdest or just plain bonkers moments of F1 2017.
17 – CALM DOWN, IT’S ONLY A LOGO!
Abu Dhabi: Such was the reaction, you would have thought the world had come to an end when Liberty unveiled their new F1 logo, with some fans saying they’d never watch the sport again because of it. Seriously?
16 – LEWIS KEEPS THE FINNS WAITING
Silverstone: After the race, the victorious Lewis Hamilton goes crowd surfing with his adoring masses. Meanwhile in the press conference, Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen wait. And wait..
15 – NOT AT ALL AWKWARD
Abu Dhabi: McLaren and Honda toast their divorce. The equivalent of cracking open the champers at a funeral. Macca boss Zak Brown even told Honda ‘We will miss you’. Quite bizarre.
14 – A BIT OF FOAM COSTS HAMILTON A WIN
Baku: Leading the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Lewis is coasting along nicely until Mercedes are forced to bring him in to fix a loose headrest. Goodbye to the win. Ooops.
13 – ALONSOMANIA
Indianapolis: To try and keep their star act happy, McLaren work out a deal for Fernando Alonso to skip the Monaco Grand Prix, so he can do the Indianapolis 500 instead. The motorsport world promptly went bonkers on both sides of the Atlantic for the entire month of May.
Right up to the moment when his Honda engine predictably went pop.
12 – THE WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE SPARK PLUG
Suzuka: Ferrari must still have nightmares about their season ending meltdown in the Far East. The final nail in the coffin of Sebastian Vettel’s title bid was a duff spark plug worth £52. Game all but over.
11 – ALONSO JOINS THE FANS
Montreal: With yet another Honda power unit giving up the ghost, this time, just four laps from the flag, Fernando decides to go on a meet-and-greet.
What a star.
10 – GIOVINAZZI SHUNTS IN THE SAME PLACE. TWICE.
Shanghai: Standing in at Sauber for the injured Pascal Wehrlein, poor old Antonio Giovinazzi well and truly blotted his copybook, with two very expensive shunts coming out of the final corner, one in qualifying one in the race. Oh dear.
9 – KIMI FAN GETS A FREE PADDOCK PASS
Barcelona: Nice trick. Dress head to toe in Ferrari kit and get a cute kid to cry when his hero gets punted out of the race. Cue one VIP paddock trip. Clever. Very clever.
8 – JENSON THREATENS TO PEE IN A MCLAREN
Monaco: Just before the start of the race, McLaren patch through Alonso, live from Indianapolis, to tell his substitute, Jenson Button, to look after his car, only to get the response ‘Okay, I’m going to pee in your seat’. Not sure this was quite the conversation the PR team had in mind. Comedy gold though.
7 – INTRODUCTION OVERKILL
Austin: Liberty Media decide a bit more sparkle is needed in F1 and hit on the idea of having Michael Buffer, apparently a famous American sports commentator, introduce each and every driver in the style of a boxing match. With added cheerleaders.
It was on the whole, quite weird and frankly rather awful. Alonso described it as a ‘bad copy of the Indy 500’. Painful to watch.
6 – SUCK MY BALLS, HONEY!
Budapest: Never one interested in being popular with the other drivers, Kevin Magnussen, while being interviewed live on TV after the race, delivers ‘that’ line to an unhappy Nico Hulkenberg. Images conjured up that you just DON’T want to even think about. Yuk.
5 – MAX GETS BOOTED OFF THE PODIUM
Austin: Starting from 16th on the grid, Max Verstappen put in an epic drive to finish third, or so he thought. In the process of a last lap move on Kimi Raikkonen, the stewards decided he had transgressed track limits and would be moved back down to fourth.
Unfortunately, by the time Max was told of this, he was already in the podium room and was unceremoniously kicked out, live on TV. Epic levels of awkwardness.
4 – SEBASTIAN’S SINGAPORE SLING
Singapore: Ferrari’s Asia nightmare kicked off in some style here, as at the start, Vettel put a squeeze on a fast starting Verstappen who had the equally nippy Raikkonen on his inside.
The end result? All three of them out within 100 metres of the start, gifting an easy win to Hamilton, who must have had a big grin on his face as he passed the self-inflicted carnage of his main title rival.
3 – I MEAN SERIOUSLY? WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?
Sepang: Having worked his way up to a creditable 4th place finish, after starting way back in 20th, Vettel somehow contrived to have a sizeable shunt with Lance Stroll on the slow down lap. If anything sums up how just about everything was going wrong for him by now, this is it.
2 – GRID PENALTIES
All season long, the utter ludicrousness of grid penalties, almost entirely down to technical failures in power units, has made a mockery of the sport.
Often, drivers would get huge grid drops, far bigger than the grid itself, thus making them impossible to serve. Eventually it got to the stage where qualifying was becoming a science of its own in working out who would start where.
By the season end, McLaren were nearing 400 drops. Absolutely ridiculous.
1 – RED ROAD RAGE!
Baku: Yes, you guessed it, our number one bonkers moment of the season was Vettel, totally losing the plot in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Having (incorrectly as it turned out) thought that Hamilton had brake tested him while they were behind the Safety Car, he pulled alongside his title rival and banged wheels with him.
Everybody was stunned, it was as clear as day what he’d just done and it was about as subtle as a brick.
Sebastian picked up a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for dangerous driving and said goodbye, given Hamilton’s headrest problem, to a race he should have won.