Some pretty spooky stuff has happened in F1 over the years...
It’s Halloween, so we thought we’d take a look at some truly terrifying facts and statistics from the history of Formula 1 that will leave you sitting in the corner, trembling in disbelief.
No, this isn’t just some old wives tale, he really did come close to winning it. In 1999 Michael Schumacher broke his leg in a crash at Silverstone, and with Mika Hakkinen doing his best to throw his chances away, that left Irvine as his main contender.
Of his four wins that season, one came in a race of serious attrition, and two were gifted to him by his teammates. Hakkinen eventually beat him to the title by two points, meaning Irvine actually got closer to winning a title with Ferrari than Schumacher did during their time as teammates. It would also have meant that he was Ferrari’s first champion since 1979 and not Schumacher, like everyone was expecting.
We all know how badly McLaren-Honda has sucked these past three years, but many still see McLaren as one of F1s biggest and best teams. However, it’s been five years since it won a race. A McLaren driver hasn’t won a championship since Lewis Hamilton in 2008, and the team hasn’t won the constructors’ title since way back in 1998.
Oh yes! It’s a scary thought, but that guy who had more than his fair share of crashes in pre-season testing, looked incredibly erratic in the early races, and has generally been blitzed by Felipe Massa in qualifying is currently 10th in the championship - ahead of his teammate. He’s also ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Fernando Alonso and even Marcus Ericsson!
The joke of a team that was Andrea Moda didn’t appear to like its driver, Perry McCarthy. The team did pretty much everything to prevent him from getting a decent crack at making it out of qualifying during its sole season in 1992, like when he was sent out on wet tyres on a dry track at Silverstone.
At Spa he went flat out into Eau Rouge when his steering seized, and he only just made it through the corner. When he got back the team told him they knew his steering was broken, because it was comprised of the old, worn-out parts from his teammate’s car.
Heading into one of the world’s most daunting corners with a car that had his mechanics knew was broken? Yeah, that definitely qualifies as scary.
Sorry if this news shocked you. The Brazilian managed two ninth places for Minardi in 2001, enough to put him ahead of teammate Fernando Alonso in the championship, but Marques was dropped before the end of the season (presumably because Alonso was sick of being utterly trashed by his teammate) and replaced by Alex Yoong, a solid number two driver, and that was it for Marques’s F1 career.
What if Flavio Briatore had promoted him to Renault instead of Alonso? What if Marques won two titles and had the career Alonso has ended up having? Just think we could be hearing his comical quips on the team radio now! As fans we’ve missed out on so much! And there’s nothing scarier than a missed opportunity, right?
For ages, these guys were (and possibly still are) considered to be the three best drivers in F1. Yet weirdly, they’ve only shared a podium three times - USA 2012, Canada 2013, and Belgium 2013.
1952 and 1953 champion Alberto Ascari was the son of famous pre-war racer Antonio Ascari, and there are some strange coincidences about their deaths. Both were killed at the age of 36 after crashing at fast left-hand corners. Both died on the 26th day of the month, both had 13 grand prix wins, and both left behind a wife and two children.
Alberto was also famous for being one of two drivers to have crashed into the Monaco harbour. The other driver to have done so, Paul Hawkins, was later killed in a crash on the 26th of May - 14 years to the day since Ascari had been killed in a crash…
No, really. In his last season in F1 in 2007 (so not even during his good years!), Ralf Schumacher claimed that he was up there with Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso as one of the top three drivers in the sport.
It’s pretty scary to think that such a mediocre driver held such a high opinion of himself - he’d have been doing a good job if he was the third best driver in his family…
In 2008, F1 introduced rules that said drivers couldn’t pit if there was a safety car, meaning that you were screwed if you needed fuel and the safety car came out.
The rule ended up unintentionally benefitting certain drivers - especially those down the field trying a different strategy - and so when Timo Glock crashed at Hockenheim in 2008, Piquet Jr. suddenly found himself running up at the front. With eight laps to go he was in the lead, but Hamilton managed to pass him for the win, though for a while it looked as though the under-performing Piquet could genuinely have won a race.
Hey, second place from 17th on the grid was still decent - and at least it gave the team an idea of what to do when Singapore rolled around…
OK, that’s too scary. Let’s stop now.