Winning a race requires blood, sweat, trial and tribulation. While a number of top teams are expected to win races. But sometimes, we get a race winner who turns out to be a complete surprise. These are not just limited to drivers who took the win with a midfield car or a backmarker. It also encompasses drivers, who at one point seemed to be having a terrible race but somehow managed to win. These drivers have exploited their talent and luck to reach the top step. Here we bring you 10 of such unexpected F1 winners of a Formula One race. Check them out:
Unexpected F1 Winners
Olivier Panis (Monaco 1996)
The number one spot for our list of unexpected F1 winners has to be Olivier Pannis’ victory in Monaco, 1996.
Olivier was a strong driver from the start, but a Ligier-Mugen wasn’t the car to have in 1996. Except… in Monaco, where almost anything can happen, even more with a wet/dry combination. Let alone a Grand Prix in which only four starters saw the chequered flag. Starting on pole, Michael Schumacher went no further than the first lap, just as Rubens Barrichello.
Soon-to-be World Champion, Damon Hill with his Williams, turned out to be the favourite. Unfortunately, his Renault engine blew up on lap 40. Jacques Villeneuve had similar luck and was caught by backmarker Luca Badoer and his mighty Forti Corse.
Meanwhile, Panis started to reel on Ferrari’s Eddie Irvine, which proved to be decisive. Jean Alesi, who could have inherited a popular win, had problems with his pitstop. A broken suspension meant that he joined the now immense list of casualties.
It was the Frenchman’s day, but it was no easy task as McLaren’s David Coulthard was running in second place. The fact that the race ended three laps earlier than scheduled, due to the 2-hour limit, helped his case. Talk about saved by the bell.