Formula One is considered to be the pinnacle of open-wheel motorsport. Any driver who enters the arena is usually considered as the best of the best. However while it is one thing to enter F1, it is quite another to stay in the sport.
Some drivers who have been cut early have lasted at least one season in the sport. However, back in the day, there were instances where their careers ended much earlier. For example, Super Aguri driver Yuji Ide managed to survive four races before getting the axe.
While many would think that that ‘honour’ Went to Marco Apicella, whose only race start lasted just 800 meters. The truth is, one other driver had an even shorter one. Germany’s Ernst Loof, was a racing driver who ‘raced’ in the 1953 German Grand Prix. In reality, he had just started off the grid but immediately encountered a fuel pump issue. As a result, his car stopped after just six feet!
With regard to Apicella, his race lasted just 800 metres, having been involved in a multi-car pile-up. The Italian was racing in the 1993 Italian Grand Prix when the incident occurred. In all, seven cars were taken out at the start, and Apicella was an innocent victim. He and teammate Rubens Barrichello were taken out by Sauber driver JJ Lehto.
Coming back to Loof, the German was an engineer and even helped design the BMW 328 sports car in the 1930s. He founded the Veritas company and had raced one of its cars in his only F1 appearance. What makes his retirement even more awkward is the fact that he was the head designer of the very car that let him down. By then, the company had already gone bankrupt by this time, and its assets were purchased by BMW.