Top 5 Dramatic F1 Moments Behind the Safety Car

Published 03/26/2020, 6:39 PM EDT


In Formula One, there is a protocol where the safety car is brought out in the event of a severe crash. All remaining F1 cars then circulate around the track behind the safety car. They all stay in formation until the marshals can clear away debris or any stranded car. Once the track is clear, the safety vehicle peals in and the race resumes as normal.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

On rare occasions, some F1 drivers have an incident that prolongs the safety car. Sometimes, it can be an error on the driver’s part, or a genuine moment of sheer stupidity. So, here are the most dramatic moments during the safety car period.

Ericsson hit us

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Poor old Romain Grosjean… The Frenchman is practically a crash magnet and this incident at the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix was the strangest one. The safety car had been called out and the situation was fairly routine. Until Romain Grosjean lost control of his F1 car and stuffed it in the wall. Strangely enough, he pinned the blame of poor old Marcus Ericsson, who was nowhere near the scene.

Lewis Hamilton Falls Prey to the Weather in Germany

Without a doubt, the 2019 German Grand Prix is one of the most exciting races that year and the results proved it. One dramatic moment took place when Charles Leclerc skidded off and retired in the soggy conditions. When the safety car came out because the marshals had to retrieve Leclerc’s Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton went off on the same corner.

Luckily, Hamilton was able to get away with it, though he wrecked his front wing. He cut across the grass to enter the pitlane as he overshot the entry point, and the stewards promptly handed him a penalty.

Trading Paint Jobs

This turned out to be one of the more controversial moments in the 2017 F1 season and it involved the championship rivals. Apparently, Hamilton brake-checked Sebastian Vettel during the safety car restart and the Ferrari nearly clobbered the Mercedes. Unfortunately, Vettel saw red, got up alongside Hamilton and gave him a bump.

Hamilton’s McLaren car spears into Kimi Raikkonen

This was one incident on the embarrassing scale, especially for Hamilton. Kimi Raikkonen and Robert Kubica lined up side-by-side at the end of the pit lane waiting for the light to turn green.

Unfortunately for Raikkonen, Hamilton cam tanking up behind him and failed to see the red light. He smashed into the Ferrari, and Nico Rosberg’s Williams bumped into Hamilton. Kubica escaped scot free and went on to take his one and only F1 win.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

World’s most expensive F1 car park

There is something about wet weather conditions that results in a race getting exciting. Some say that rain is a great equaliser and at this point, it is less about speed and more about skill. During the 2007 European Grand Prix, at least six cars skidded off at Turn 1 at the Nurburgring.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Incidentally, the legend of Markus Winkelhock was born, the man who started the race dead last and first. At the end of the warm-up lap he dived in the pits for full wet tires. This turned out to be an inspired decision and when the rain came, everyone pitted, leaving the bemused German in the lead.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Dhruv George

11646 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT