In motor racing, going into the wrong pit box will cause no end of embarrassment for the driver. Quite a few drivers have humiliated themselves by going into the wrong pit box, only to get a brainwave afterwards. Even Lewis Hamilton made that awkward little gaffe when he accidentally ended up in the Mclaren pit box in 2013.
Had he stopped in the McLaren box a year earlier, it would not have been a problem, as he was their employee. However, this was the 2013 season and he had donned the Mercedes F1 overalls. Unfortunately, he suffered a small brainfade and found himself back in the McLaren F1 box for old time’s sake.
Luckily, the team was alert enough to wave him past, as Hamilton’s puzzled Mercedes crew waited to service their driver. Needless to say, his then, girlfriend, Nicole Scherzinger was highly amused and her reaction was priceless.
The Lewis Hamilton incident was not a first for McLaren or Mercedes
Apparently, McLaren seemed to be on the receiving end of pit stop gaffes. Back in the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix, it was deja vu, but this time it was Jenson Button who made the mistake.
The 2009 world champion woke up to find himself in the Red Bull pit box, while the McLaren crew was left waiting for the British veteran. Luckily, he came to his sense quickly, and rabbited out of there to the correct pit box. The bad news was that he lost a position to Sebastian Vettel.
A few years later, it was Mercedes’ turn once again, with Valtteri Bottas accidentally stopping at the Haas F1 pit box. This incident took place during the FP1 session of the 2019 British Grand Prix. Haas were actually waiting to receive Romain Grosjean, so that they could fit a new front wing to his car.