Winning an F1 race, is hard. Really hard. No matter how tricky it is, every race has to have a winner and sometimes they’re much crazier than others. Here are some of the most unlikely F1 wins of all time!
Pierre Gasly – Monza 2020
“What did we just do?” That was what Pierre screamed on the radio after taking a brilliant win in Monza last year for AlphaTauri, he was an absolute hero! After Hamilton and Mercedes were penalised for entering the pitlane when it was closed, Pierre ended up in a perfect position. He took the lead at the restart and held it, fighting off Carlos Sainz to just blow us all away with one of the best moments of 2020! It was so tense to watch but he didn’t make a single mistake!
Pastor Maldonado – Barcelona 2012
This still feels unbelievable nearly ten years on! We all know Pastor’s favourite thing to do was to crash or get a penalty but we should also remember one of the most complete drives he ever did.
He inherited pole and lost the lead at the start to Alonso but managed to stick with him and get past in the pitstop phases. He then kept Fernando behind for the rest of the race and managed to win it! He was the best driver that afternoon by a mile. It’s a shame he never managed to perform as well later on in his career.
Jody Scheckter – Argentina 1977
Jody Scheckter was the only driver behind Hunt and Lauda in 1976 so winning wasn’t actually surprising for him. But what was wild about this was that he won for Walter Wolf Racing in their first ever race! He’d gambled on the team and started an average 10th but fought through in a race of attrition, the Wolf car was one of the few that didn’t break and Jody was able to take an excellent win on the team’s debut!
#OnThisDay in 1977…
Canadian team Wolf won the very first race they entered, with Scheckter winning at the Argentine Grand Prix 💪
— Formula 1 (@F1) January 9, 2019
The form through the rest of the season was surprising too, Jody won twice more and actually finished second in the standings. A dream year out of nowhere!
Sebastian Vettel – Monza 2008
What was so crazy about this was how easy the win looked! Vettel’s first (and probably best) F1 win came in torrential rain at the Italian GP when he was driving for Toro Rosso! That’s right, the junior team! And Seb walked it.
He led from pole and won by 12 seconds! This wasn’t a race being handed to him because of weird mistakes by the leaders, this was a midfield car, with a year old engine, becoming the frontrunners for one weekend because of Sebastian Vettel.
Esteban Ocon – Hungary 2021
Esteban hadn’t won a race since GP3 before his amazing win a few weeks ago in Budapest. There was a crazy moment every lap but Esteban didn’t get ever flustered That huge crash at the start with Bottas wiping out Norris and the Red Bulls! The restart after the red flag where only Lewis actually lined up on the grid when everyone else pitted for dries! Double Williams points!
We couldn’t quite keep it together ourselves so how the hell Esteban managed it is beyond us. Just a bonkers race with a crazy result!
Giancarlo Fisichella – Brazil 2003
The Jordan in 2003 was appalling, they were basically the Haas of that year, but a mayhem filled race and excellent driving by Fisichella gave them a shot at the win out of nowhere! 10 drivers crashed out and after two scary accidents for Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso, the race was called off. Just before though, Fisichella had overtaken Raikkonen for the lead after a clever fuel strategy put him in the fight. Surely he was the winner then?
Well, no one could quite figure it out because the timing screens said Raikkonen was ahead, when he wasn’t. At the track they went with what the computers said and gave Raikkonen first place. But there’d been a timing glitch and Fisichella had actually won. At the next race he was given the trophy in a weird little ceremony.
Sergio Perez – Sakhir 2020
The Sakhir Grand Prix was one of the craziest races ever and no one would have predicted Sergio Perez to win it. Not because he was driving a Racing Point but because the Mexican was caught up in a lap one collision with Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen.
Perez dropped to the very back of the pack but had incredible pace, made his way up to the front and capitalised when Mercedes had a nightmare in the pits with both George Russell and Valtteri Bottas who were running one-two in the race. What a race. What a win.
Olivier Panis – Monaco 1996
2️⃣5️⃣ years ago…
Olivier Panis took his sole victory in F1, #OnThisDay!
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 19, 2021
To be honest, if you start anywhere other than the top three in Monaco and win, you’re an unexpected winner. But if you start in 14th in and win then that’s another level. That’s what Olivier Panis managed to do in he 1996 race. The only ever Monaco winner to start outside the top 10!
Rain on raceday made crashes and mistakes more popular than staying in the race, only three cars actually saw the chequered flag but even with so much carnage, Panis had already climbed to the podium places before Damon Hill and Jean Alesi both retired from the lead.
Who would you have picked? Let us know in the comments!