Cheats, scandals and dodgy dealings

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
All of the major scandals in F1 are well known, but what about the not so well known?

At the 1975 Swedish GP, Qualifying times were set using a light beam. The March pit box overlooked the beam and Robin Herd was given the job of holding out the pit board. He swung the pit board and broke the beam, resulting in an unlikely pole position for Vittorio Brambilla. The team manager at the time was Max Mosley.

At the 1959 United States GP, Harry Schell qualified in 3rd position setting his fastest time at the end of the session, his previous best being 6 seconds slower. Several teams protested, most vociferously Ferrari due to Tony Brooks being demoted from the front row. After the race it emerged that during qualifying Schell had secretly cut across the circuit during a lull in traffic, bypassing the entire straight and the Warehouse Hairpin.
Source: 1959 United States Grand Prix

Does anyone have any more?

In a similar vein, see here for a selection of "what the....?" incidents: The CTA What The...........Award
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
In either 1982 or '83 the DFV powered cars started carrying "cooling" water in big tanks which was then dumped shortly after the start of the race to make them light enough to compete with the turbo machines. As the teams were allowed to top up "coolants" at the end of the race, before weighing, the tanks were duly refilled and the cars okay.

The FIA (or FISA) promptly banned the topping up of coolants shortly after.

I think Gordon Murray's trick suspension on the Brabham's in 1981 is covered in the CTA What the .... Awards.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
On a similar vein to FBs thread, In 1984 Tyrell had all their results scrubbed from the season and were excluded from the remaining races due to being found guilty of filling water tanks in the car with a mixture of water and lead shot ballast to enable the car to be run under weight until a late pit stop.

The water was originally intended to be part of the engine cooling system on a total loss basis which was legal. During a late pitstop the tanks containing the water were topped up (also legal at the time) however the water contained lead shot that added 140lb to the weight of the car and brought it above the minimum weight limit.

Because the water was being forced into the car under pressure some of the shot escaped and rolled around the pits which prompted other teams ask questions.

As a result of this Tyrell lost their points from the season and lost the travel fund benifits for the following season. This incident marked the end of Tyrell as an effective force in F1.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrrell_Racing#1980s
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
A scandal loosely linked to F1 is Colin Chapman's involvement in the Delorean affair.

On the 20 June 1992, Lord Justice Murray sentanced Fred Bushell who was in charge of the finacial arrangements surrounding Lotus and Delorean contracts to 4 years imprisonment for Fraud. The Judge took the unusual step of stating that had Chapman and Delorean been present they would have both been facing a minimum sentance of 10 years each for conspiring to defraud the British government of 10s of millions of pounds.

The details of the actual crime are very complex and are explained well in a book called "Colin Chapman - Wayward Genius" but in essence, Lotus were paid both by Delorean and by the British Government to undertake the same work. Some of the money found it's way into a foreign registered Lotus company called GPD from where it disappeared.

Chapman had become less and less involved in the day to day running of the F1 team and it's believed that the strain of trying to get the Lotus Type 88 on to the grid and the Delorean affair contributed to the massive heart attack that Chapman suffered in December 1982. Its sad to think that it is only because he passed away that the reputation of one if not the greatest designer in F1, remains almost intact.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Now here's one which had slipped my mind, Mika Hakkinen's first race win at Jerez in 1997. Not only did McLaren ask DC to shift out of the way but they managed to convince Williams that it was in Jacques Villeneuves best interest to let Mika win the race. Bizarre.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Does anyone else hear the words "Jerez 1997" and instantly think of another cheat - the same image that "Parking at la Rascasse" gives?
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
FB said:
Now here's one which had slipped my mind, Mika Hakkinen's first race win at Jerez in 1997. Not only did McLaren ask DC to shift out of the way but they managed to convince Williams that it was in Jacques Villeneuves best interest to let Mika win the race. Bizarre.
Probably Jaques was worried as before this, all Mika kept doing was crashing into people.. ;)
 
Top Bottom