On This Day In F1 – Pelé Totally Failed At Waving The Chequered Flag – WTF1

On This Day In F1 – Pelé Totally Failed At Waving The Chequered Flag

1996 Brazilian Grand Prix
A downpour at the start of the race was ideal for Damon Hill as he cruised off into the distance to win, but the battle for the remaining podium places was rather more heated. Jacques Villeneuve was second for a while until he spun off under pressure from Jean Alesi, while Rubens Barrichello (who’d qualified an incredible second for Jordan) had looked a dead certainty for a podium. However, his scheduled stop for fuel came slightly too early to switch to slicks so he had to stop again which dropped him to fourth, and as he tried to take third from Michael Schumacher he ended up spinning off. It meant Schumacher took his first podium for Ferrari – albeit a lap behind the winner.

2002 Brazilian Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher just held off his brother to win, although there was some confusion as neither driver took the chequered flag at the end of the race. That’s because footballing icon Pelé was the special guest flag-waver… and he missed the winner. Realising his mistake he did eventually wave it – at ninth-place finisher Takuma Sato. The rules at the time that meant that Sato had technically won the race but thankfully, a bit of common sense prevailed and Schumacher was declared the winner.

2019 Bahrain Grand Prix
In just his second race for Ferrari, Charles Leclerc looked set to take his first win after setting pole and then passing teammate Sebastian Vettel having lost the lead at the start. However, with 11 laps to go his car developed an issue and he lost power. Lewis Hamilton took the lead and the win with Valtteri Bottas second, while a late safety car saved Leclerc’s decent down the field and he finished third, his first podium finish.

Kevin Cogan (born 1956) attempted to qualify for the 1980 Canadian GP in a RAM-entered Williams but failed to make the cut. He returned with Tyrrell in the 1981 US GP West at Long Beach and once again failed to qualify – by just half a tenth.

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