The Most Bizarre and Embarrassing Stat in F1 Is Held by This Driver

Published 08/22/2021, 7:42 AM EDT


Consider any sport that exists around the world, and each of them would hold a rather bizarre record or maybe a fact. Well, F1 isn’t any exception. Of course, there are several instances with 2018 being the latest to spur one. Daniel Ricciardo suffered more DNFs in that single season than Lewis Hamilton did in 6 years.

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2018 was also the first season in the F1 history to witness the same set of drivers start and finish the season without any driver swaps, or unexpected disappearances.

Amidst such marginally unusual stats in place at the moment, 1977 witnessed Hans Heyer ended up being a victim of what is arguably one of the most bizarre ‘fun fact’ to date.

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What fact does Hans Heyer own?

Aston Martin’s chief communications officer, Matt Bishop, took to social media to reveal a fact about Hans Heyer on the 78-year-old’s birthday. So, what is that fact?

Well, Heyer remains the only driver in the F1 history to suffer a DNQ, a DNF, and a DSQ. One might wonder how this could be bizarre. Well, in normal cases, it certainly isn’t a huge deal. But, what if we say he managed to suffer them all together in the same Grand Prix?

Yes, it all happened over a single race weekend at the 1977 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. Bishop took to Twitter to reveal the same.

#HappyBirthday Hans Heyer, 77, the answer to one of my fave #F1 quiz questions: who’s the only driver to be credited with a DNQ, a DNF & a DSQ in the same GP (Hockenheim ’77, Penske; pic)? Amazingly, he DNQ’d, started anyway, DNF’d (gearbox) after 9 laps, & was then DSQ’d!

What really happened in the F1 race?

It was the 1977 German Grand Prix, and Heyer came onto the grid with a Penske in hand. What’s shocking is that he had no experience whatsoever in open-wheel single-seaters. Nevertheless, the newly transformed ATS F1 team recruited the homeboy for the race at Hockenheim.

During qualifying, with 30 cars competing for 24 places on the grid, the German failed to make the cut. And this eventually led to a DNQ for Heyer. Later on Sunday, there was a strange issue with the starting lights.

And while the stewards were busy fixating on that, Heyer used the help of his friend, a German marshal, to sneak out of the pits and join the grid.

The race started eventually, and nobody noticed the unusually bright Yellow car racing around the circuit until lap 9. Heyer’s Penske suffered damaged to its gear linkage, causing him to retire. And this led to his DNF.

Subsequently, the officials finally managed to realize that Heyer was racing without receiving the green light. Hence, the stewards disqualified the German from the race, consequently leading to the combo of DNQ, DNF, and DSQ.

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Interestingly, the German Grand Prix remains Heyer’s only F1 race in his entire racing career. But, that’s not it. The infamous Heyer has also competed in 14 Le Mans races. But, to his poor luck, all 14 of those races ended in DNF.

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Rohit Kumar

1163 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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