7) Worst finishing position ever

Narain Karthikeyan

Indianapolis aside (where 33 cars can start since the very beginning), 26 cars are the normal grid limit. But that limit was not reached on all seasons and tracks, even on the golden times. An exception was during the late eighties and early nineties, where up to 35 cars showed to try to gain a place on the grid – the best 30 could go to the practice and the qualifying, but four  were always left in the cold.

Reliability, indeed, wasn’t perfect at the start, so the list of DNFs made for surprising results. With all the retirements, at least 15 or 16 cars survived long enough to see the chequered flag. That is, until the 2011 European GP at the Valencia Street Circuit. Amazingly, not one of the 24 starters retired from the race. With the underfunded HRT, India’s Narain Karthikeyan became the lowest placed driver ever, a mark that might last for quite sometime.

8) Shortest F1 career

Marco Apicella

Your dream is to reach Formula 1, even if you don’t have the right funding, or there is no place available. Then you do it and can say that you started a Grand Prix… but, raced no more than 800 meters. Introducing Marco Apicella, a very talented Italian who started to shine in Japanese series, like Formula Nippon and the late Group C. But then a chance to race at hometrack Monza, in a quite competitive Jordan (1993) appeared.

Apicella had a decent qualifying session, but when you start on the last rows the chance of an accident at the end of “Il Rettifilo” (the main straight) is quite huge. That was the case, and he was involved on a five-car pileup, together with teammate Rubens Barrichello. Some seconds and… game over, as there was no second chance. German Andre Lotterer deserves to be mentioned also. Already a Le Mans 24h winner and sportscar ace, he accepted the invitation to be Caterham driver on Belgium GP’ 2014. But his engine lasted no more than half a lap, and that was that.


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