Top six F1 tantrums, featuring Senna, Schumacher and Salazar

A small selection of F1's best hissy fits

4y ago

In such a high pressure environment as F1, it is hardly surprising that you get the odd temper tantrum.

Nowadays though, the drivers know that if they do throw a wobbly, it will be broadcast to millions, talked about for days on social media and as Sebastian Vettel may be about to discover after his Baku wheel-banging antics, get you in a spot of bother with the FIA.

So, in no particular order, here are just a small selection of the classic hissy fits in F1 over the years…

1. Michael Schumacher - 1998 Belgian Grand Prix

Race day at Spa 1998 was extremely wet. It lashed it down in biblical proportions for the entire race - in fact in today’s more cautious world it probably would have been called off.

Apart from the famously huge crash at the start (caused when McLaren’s David Coulthard lost control, taking virtually the entire field with him) there were shunts aplenty.

One of those came on lap 25, when rain master Michael Schumacher came to lap the aforementioned Coulthard.

Driving into thick spray behind the McLaren, the German was caught out as David lifted off the throttle (on the racing line) and Schumacher piled into the back of him.

Race over and one very, very unhappy Ferrari driver goes to the McLaren garage for a little chat…

2. James Hunt - 1977 Canadian Grand Prix

James Hunt was very much a non-conformist in F1 and one not afraid to strongly express his opinions.

However, this particular incident is a bit of an unforgivable one. After tangling with his McLaren teammate, Jochen Mass, and rendered unable to continue as a result, James was fuming and took out his anger on the first person he came across.

Thump a competitor, maybe, but to deck a marshal trying to usher you to safety? Hunt was fined $2,750 for his troubles but imagine that happening today, it would most probably be a career ending move…

3. Ayrton Senna – 1993 Japanese Grand Prix

Some may have been slightly amused when after his episode with Vettel at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton called it ‘disgusting driving’, when you take into consideration some of the stunts his idol, Ayrton Senna, got up to on and off track.

One famous incident was at the 1993 Japanese Grand Prix, when having lapped Jordan driver Eddie Irvine (making his F1 debut) Senna was stunned when the Ulsterman had the temerity to unlap himself.

However, it was not this that inspired Senna to later seek out Irvine to deliver a Sao Paulo slap.

According to the Brazilian’s press officer, Betise Head, Senna was too happy, having won the race, to be upset. That was until she made the error of telling Senna that Irvine had been on TV, telling all and sundry that he was the quicker driver of the two.

Cue a dash to the Jordan garage, where Irvine was apparently laughing and being a tad too cocky for Ayrton’s liking. Thwack!

'What do you mean, he said he was quicker than me?'

'What do you mean, he said he was quicker than me?'

4. Chico Serra - 1982 Canadian Grand Prix

Fittipaldi and Arrows driver Chico Serra, did not have the most stellar of F1 careers with a best finish of 6th among a lot of retirements and DNQ’s.

It was one of these DNQ’s at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 1982 for which Chico is best remembered.

Furious at fellow Brazilian Raul Boesel for allegedly blocking his last flying lap, he jogged down to the March garage, where followed a serious bit of finger pointing before the most hilarious scuffle broke out with lots of slapping and kicking, before the two were joined in by a woman holding an umbrella and pit crew from both sides.

5. Sebastian Vettel - 2016 Mexican Grand Prix

Quite how Vettel got away with this one is something of a mystery.

During the race, the German was having another spat with Max Verstappen who had been managing to rub Vettel up the wrong way for much of the season.

Convinced that after Max missed a corner he should give the place back, Vettel launched into a quite astonishing, foul-mouthed tirade at Race Director Charlie Whiting - all recorded and broadcast for the watching millions.

Unlike his most recent misdemeanour, he realised he’d probably gone too far and apologised profusely and escaped punishment. This time.

6. Nelson Piquet - 1982 German Grand Prix

Quite possibly the most famous loss of temper of them all and quite the most pathetic bit of fighting.

Leading the race, Piquet came up to lap ATS driver, Eliseo Salazar but the pair tangled at the Ostkurve chicane and both were out on the spot.

Enraged, Piquet launched an attack against Salazar, much to the amusement of all watching…

Join In

Comments (2)

  • On this evidence F1 drivers fight kind of bitchy and slappy, like girls...except James Hunt.

      4 years ago
  • At leat Vettel did his 'fighting' on the track.

      4 years ago