Even the most boring race weekend can be brightened up by an unexpected meme. We take a look at seven memorable ones that cropped up during the 2016 F1 season.
It can come from anywhere – a well-timed photograph, a bit of team radio, or the TV cameras. Some memes live fast and die young, others – like these – etch themselves the memory for a bit longer.
A well-timed photo of Fernando Alonso performing a slide tackle during a football match before the Italian Grand Prix was ripe for photoshopping. It wasn’t long before he’d been moved from the football pitch, to a water slide, to the Monza banking, and many other places as well.
Yup, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I got into this situation. pic.twitter.com/hu3mmy3Awh
— Tom Bellingham (@TommyWTF1) September 18, 2016
— Giedo van der Garde (@GvanderGarde) September 18, 2016
Viewers were left shocked in Singapore when the race restarted after a safety car and there was still a frickin’ marshal on the track as the cars charged towards turn one. Yep, that actually happened. In 2016.
Once he was safely back behind the barriers we could all have a laugh about it and get memeing.
If you ignore the botched starts and times he was flat-out beaten by Rosberg, Hamilton’s engine failure in Malaysia while leading is the thing that probably cost him the world championship.
While he was understandably distraught by what happened, his pose when he got out from his car was too funny for the internet to just ignore.
Have you ever noticed that Kimi Raikkonen makes a weird ‘bwoah’ sound every time he starts talking? Because the internet noticed. The internet always notices. As did pretty much everyone else, including some of his fellow F1 drivers. Surely he’s doing it on purpose now, right?
Vettel and his blue flags
In Malaysia last year Vettel moaned about blue flags and it became a song. It didn’t prove to be a one off though as this year he continued to moan about a lack of blue flags, often with added swearing (honestly!). The internet took over and we got things like this game mod which replaced team radio messages with his rants, and at COTA a fan even got him to sign a blue flag.
Fernando Alonso had the meme of 2015 with PlacesAlonsoWouldRatherBe but although Sliding Alonso was good, Kimi’s ‘Bwoah’ was well in position to be the meme of 2016…until Brazil rolled around again.
He had fans on the edge of their seats at Interlagos when his McLaren broke down in practice. To the delight of everyone Alonso found a chair (this time at a camera station) and had a go at being a camera man, and made sure he retained his title as the undisputed King of Memes.
When Nico Rosberg won the championship in Abu Dhabi he went nuts with some sweet donuts before jumping from his car. A photographer captured his leap, the picture made it onto Reddit, and users worked their magic.