The CTA What The...........Award


Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Valued Member
Ladies, Gents and all other fellow Clippers, Welcome to the first Clip The Apex What The.......Award.

In order to qualify for this prestigious award the mad, strange or bizarre moment, event or item in question must have the "What the......." factor.

Nominations will be open for one week from today and then it will be put to the poll.

Here are a few to get you going:

6 is better than four - What better place to start than the Tyrell P34 of 1976. I was only 2 at the time but can imagine the "What the......" factor in Formula one circles as the 6 wheeled car was revealed. The principle was to reduce the front end cross section in a quest for the holy grail of more grip with less drag and a 1-2 finish during the season proved there was some merit in the idea.

When Irish eyes are running - A huge "What the......." from Drivers, Fans and viewers alike as Irish Priest Neil Haron invaded the track at the 2003 British GP. The kilt wearing looney was waving a placard carrying a message about the bible.

Flipping Heck! - It was the final lap of the 1993 Italian GP and the Minardi boys were bringing their cars home in those all important non-point scoring places of 7th and 8th. A few hundred yards from the line, Christian Fittipaldi looking to score nothing more than a bit of pride by passing his team mate, suddenly finds said team mate (Pierluigi Martini) has other ideas. Martini swerves in front of Fittipaldi, Fittipaldi runs over Martinis rear wheel, Up pops the car like a stunt racer, does a complete 360 flip to land back on it's wheels. Martini crosses the line in 7th and Fittipaldi's now very bent Minardi splats across the line still in 8th. Apparently you can still hear Fittipaldi's "What the......" to this day.

Didn't want the job any way - Rubens Barichello has a disgruntled Mercedes employee to thank for helping him to his first ever GP win at the 2000 German GP. The man in question invaded the track carrying a banner complaining about Mercedes. After giving the stewards the slip the safety car was brought out in order to slow the cars while our man was caught. In the resulting reactionary pit stops the Mclaren boys made a total hash of things as both cars attempted to pit at the same time. A big "What the....." from the Mclaren mechanics and Rubens was helped on the way to a popular win.

Are there any more out there........??
No matter what else is posted, the 1993 Italian GP wins it for me :D
And as for the opening phrase "Flippin Heck!", genius :thumbsup:

Here are a few more though.
Not all of them are true "WTF!" moments but they're interesting none the less.

1959 US - 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.

1959 US - Jack Brabham ran out of fuel on the last lap. He pushed his car up the hill and across the finish line to win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship.

1963 US - Jack Brabham was unable to find a taxi or rental car at the airport and was forced to hitchhike to the circuit with his baggage and racing gear.

1970 US - Graham Hill and John Surtees stripped naked in the pits during the race so Hill could use Surtees' clothes due to his own being soaked in fuel.

1975 US - Jacques Laffite mistook visor cleaning fluid for eyedrops and was unable to participate. Lella Lombardi's car had electrical failure and she tried to become the first female driver at The Glen by using Laffite's car but she didn't fit. LOL

1979 Dutch - Gilles Villeneuve drove an entire lap on just 2 wheels after his left rear tyre exploded which resulted in his right front tyre losing contact with the circuit.

1982 US West - Elio de Angelis lined up on the wrong side of the grid and reversed out of the slot, bumping Nigel Mansell who was behind him. Mansell put his car into reverse assuming that de Angelis was going to come back further, when the green start light came on. As a result, Mansell claims to be the only driver to have started a Formula One race in reverse. :D

1982 Monaco - Alain Prost was leading on lap 74 when he crashed. Ricardo Patrese was leading on lap 75 when he spun and stalled at the Loews hairpin. Didier Pironi took over the lead but ran out of fuel, as did Andrea de Cesaris. Derek Daly suffered a seized gearbox on the last lap. Patrese meanwhile had managed to bump-start his car by coasting downhill and won the race.

1991 Canadian - Nigel Mansell was leading on the last lap when his engine cut out. It is thought that whilst waving to the crowd he let the engine revs drop too low which resulted in him stalling.

1994 British - Mika Häkkinen and Rubens Barrichello collided at the final corner and Barrichello pitted, not realising that he was on the final lap. This enabled Häkkinen to cross the finish line before Barrichello, despite his car being more badly damaged.

1995 - Nigel Mansell missed the first 2 races as the the McLaren cockpit was too small and had to be redesigned ROFL

1995 Monaco - Taki Inoue stalled on the circuit during qualifying and the session was stopped. A course car driven by Jean Ragnotti was travelling too fast and due to being unsighted by the barriers, hit Inoue's car flipping it upside down. Inoue was knocked unconscious but recovered and took part in the race on Sunday.

1995 Hungarian - Taki Inoue retired with a mechanical problem. As he was extinguishing a small fire on his car, he walked into the path of a course car and was knocked over suffering minor leg injuries.

1996 Monaco - Only 3 drivers crossed the finish line, the fewest ever to finish a Formula One race.

1998 Australian - On lap 36 Mika Häkkinen came into the pits unexpectedly, apparently having misheard a call over the radio. He drove straight back out but lost 1st position to David Coulthard. A few laps before the end of the race David Coulthard let Mika Häkkinen past as they had made a pre-race agreement that the driver who led at the first corner would go on to win the race, should he be in the position to do so. Coulthard and McLaren were heavily criticised and the issue went to the World Motorsport Council where it was discovered that someone had hacked into McLaren's radio frequency and told Häkkinen to pit.

1998 British - Michael Schumacher was given a stop-go penalty for overtaking under the safety car. He served his penalty on the final lap of the race and in doing so crossed the finish line before reaching his pit box. McLaren protested but as the penalty had been issued 6 minutes after the 25 minute time limit had expired and it was unclear whether it was a stop-go penalty or a time penalty, the appeal was rejected and the penalty was withdrawn. The 3 stewards involved handed in their licences as a result of the incident.

2002 Brazilian - Footballer Pelé waved the chequered flag too soon technically making Takuma Sato the race winner, despite being 1 lap behind the leader. When Michael Schumacher crossed the finish line, Pelé was talking to someone and forgot to wave it again.

2002 British - The podium ceremony was delayed due to serial prankster Karl Power appearing on the top step of the podium.

2005 US - Following several tyre failures during practice, Michelin advised its 7 customer teams that the tyres were not safe to use for the entire race due to a combination of the newly resurfaced cuircuit and the high speed banked turn. Replacement tyres were not permitted as it was a breach of the rules. A temporary chicane prior to turn 13 was proposed but this was rejected by Jean Todt the Ferrari team principal. In addition, Max Mosley stated that if any attempts were made to alter the circuit, he would cancel the Grand Prix. Due to the failure to reach a compromise, the 7 teams using Michelin tyres withdrew after the warm-up lap. :o The 7 teams were initially found guilty of not being in possession of suitable tyres for the event, but with strong mitigating circumstances and of wrongfully refusing to allow their cars to start the race. These decisions were later overturned and the 7 teams exonerated of all charges when it was discovered that they could have faced criminal charges under Indiana state law for knowingly putting others at risk if they had raced (even if no accident actually occurred)

2007 Brazilian - Kimi Räikkönen was the first driver since Nino Farina in the inaugural season in 1950 to enter the final race in 3rd position in the standings but win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship.

2008 Singapore - Felipe Massa left his pit box with the refuelling nozzle still attached to his car which resulted in the hose being torn from the refuelling rig and the pit crew running the full length of the pit lane to remove it. ROFL

2008 Brazilian - As Felipe Massa crossed the finish line, Lewis Hamilton was in 6th position making Massa the provisional champion. Hamilton passed Timo Glock on the last corner of the last lap to win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship.
Blimey Bro, A fantastic list of the funny and the silly if ever there was one.

I have to say that as the self appointed chairman of the "What the........" selection committee I'm going to have to be quite draconian in my selection for the final list. There are some huge woppers that do deserve to be entered in the final running but as you say there are some that aren't quite going to make it.

Forgive me for that but only the biggest and bestest WTFs should be up there (Your support for "Flipping Heck" is noted :snigger: )

Keep 'em coming ladies and gents. With all the shenanigans in F1 at the moment we need to remind ourselves of the lighter side.

No worries, c_a_t.
I just took it all from the database so a lot of it isn't relevant but still worth mentioning I thought.

Besides, I spent months compiling it so any excuse to use it LOL
Not quite as many as Brogan but:

Dave Luckett jumping the pit wall at Zolder in 1981 to try and restart Riccardo Patrese stalled Arrows. What was he thinking? I presume he regretted it when Siegfred Stohr (who?) in the other Arrows ran into him!

A couple more from '81. Villeneuve winning at Monaco in the turbo charged Ferrari. "A turbo car will never win at Monaco" said the all the great F1 sages! And the Villenevue train in Spain. Come on Jacques, get out of the way and let someone else have a go at overtaking him!

Derek Warwick, driving a Toleman, passing Didier Pironi's Ferrari at Brands Hatch in 1982. And the crowd went wild... Shame he ran out of fuel a few laps later.
Brogan said:
it was discovered that someone had hacked into McLaren's radio frequency and told Häkkinen to pit.

Shady looking suspect named:



How about:

  • 1992 Monaco: An Andrea Moda qualifies for a Grand Prix in hands of R. Moreno!
  • 2001 Brazil: J. Montoya leads the Brazilian GP with dominant performance. Suddenly he is rear-ended by J. Verstappen's lapped Arrows for no apparent reason.
  • 2003 Brazil: Race stopped after F. Alonso hits wall at full speed under SC and scatters tyres. After counting back win awarded to K. Raikkonen, only to be reallocated to G. Fisichella after appeal by Jordan.
  • 2007 Hungary: F. Alonso blocks L. Hamilton in qualifying after Hamilton ignores team orders to allow Alonso past.
  • 2008 Canada: L. Hamilton runs into back of a stationary K. Raikkonen at the end of the pit-lane after not seeing a red light.
I hope these are appropriate!
teabagyokel said:
2008 Canada: L. Hamilton runs into back of a stationary K. Raikkonen at the end of the pit-lane after not seeing a red light.
How could I have forgotten that?
That was a true mouth open event :D
a few others which have just sprung to mind.

Practice stopped at the Mexican Grand Prix (cant' remember the year but I think Berger was driving for Benneton which must narrow it down) as there is a dog on the track. The race organisers go out in one of the course cars and run the dog over! Now that wouldn't happen at Silverstone...

Stefan Johannson having an argument with a deer in his McLaren at the Austrian GP in 1987. I think we can declare it a score draw as, as you can see from the picture, there wasn't much left of the McLaren; although I don't think Bambi was very well afterwards.


I also have a picture of Jackie Stewart racing a hare at Silverstone in 1973 in an old year book. Stewart won that race and one of the marshalls had jugged hare for tea (I'll upload a picture later).

Finally, David Purley setting a world record for G-force when he stuffed his LEC into the barrier at Silverstone in 1977 (179.8G to be exact), stopping from 108mph to 0 in 26 inches. How he survived I just don't know.

Most appropriate TBY. :cheer:

I was going to include Andrea Moda attempting to qualify Perry McCarthys car at Silverstone by giving him enough time to do one lap using Roberto Merano's used wet tyres on a dry track but your selection of RM actually qualifying that bucket of bolts at Monaco of all places is certainly a "What the......" moment.

Keep them coming.

In true max style I will select what I believe are the 10 best (there will be no appeals to the CSA or attempts to run a break away poll thankyou!!!) one week from today and we can have the final vote by CTA Poll.

As Murry always said "Anything can happen in Formula one and it usually does" :yes:
Finally, David Purley setting a world record for G-force when he stuffed his LEC into the barrier at Silverstone in 1977 (179.8G to be exact), stopping from 108mph to 0 in 26 inches. How he survived I just don't know.

In the fantastic book "The Lost Generation" there is a section on David Purley's crash. He was concious when help arrived on the scene and asked one of the guys trying to extract him from the car if he thought he they could repair the car in time for qualification.

As you say, how he survived is a wonder.
One final one from me as I really should get on and do some work. Damon Hill sitting in his Williams on the grid at the restart of the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix after Senna's crash not knowing what had caused the accident. What The... indeed!
Teabag Yokel said:
10) Finally, to Alberto Ascari. He died shortly after the Monaco Grand Prix of 1955 testing a Ferrari sportscar. What was weird about his death?
Teabag Yokel said:
The weirdness relates to his father Antonio Ascari. Both Ascaris were 36. Both died 4 days after surviving serious accidents (Alberto having taken a dip in the Monaco harbour). Both had won 13 Grand Prix, both drove #26 in their last races. Both crashed at the exit of fast but easy left-handers, both leaving behind a wife and two children. Both died on the 26th of the month. The only other driver to head into the harbour in Monaco, Paul Hawkins, also died on the track, also on the 26th May.
The First Safety Car - 1973 Canadian Grand Prix

Its was a wet day at Mosport Park. Although the rain had subsided before the start of the race the Track was still wet and everybody had to start on Wets. The track was drying out and eventually everybody came in for Dry tires, this caused confusion amongst the Race organizers and they last track of the lap charts.

Later on Jody Scheckter and Cedric Cevert collided bringing out for the first time ever the safety car. Then the madness ensued. The safety Car waited for Leader Stewart but he had come into the pits but as he came in he hit his crew well and truly messing up his stop, The safety waited still as several drivers including Beltoise, Oliver and Revson was let past effectively gaining a lap. Eventually the safety car came out in front of Howden Ganley who in no uncertain term was NOT the race leader. Fittipaldi was now behind Stewart but about to lap him. But with drivers making up a lap due to the botch up by the safety car, no-one quite knew who was leading the race or who was where in the race standings

To further Confuse the issue at the end of the race the checkered flag was was brought out on Howden Ganley who in no uncertain terms was NOT the race winner (any reoccurring themes??) and was encouraged by his team not to say anything and accept the victory but After much discussion and checking of the lap charts by the race organizers to everybody astonishment Peter Revson was declared the Race winner and Fittipaldi second. Even to this day nobody quite knows who was the real winner of that race.

The safety car was never used again for 20 years after that until 1993 in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Bruno Giacomelli - A surprise return
Bruno Giacomelli was a steady if not spectacular racer in the late 70's and early 80's. He carrer took a downturn after a poor season in 81 with alfa Romeo and never recovered bowing out in 83 after a season with Toleman.
with his name pretty much forgotten by the F1 crowd he made a surprise return with the Life team a whole 7 years after leaving Toleman. It unsurprisingly proved fruitless as he failed to even pre-Qualify with the team who were and still undoubtedly the worst team to attempt to race in Formula One
1975 Austrian Grand Prix - Vittorio Brambilla
In a Rain Shortened Grand Prix Vittorio Brambilla was the surprise winner in a race where he coped better in the dreadful conditions and much of the usual front runners ended up Crashing out. Emotional after seeing the red-flags and relising he had won the Grand Prix he then embarrassingly spun and crashed into the barriers
Hans Heyer - Who cares if you don't make make grid, Just turn up and race anyway!
Hans Heyer as one start to his name...... well sort of. In the 1977 German GP he Qualifed 27th missing out on a place on the grid on race day needing to be 24th, but on the Sunday he lined up on the grid and went completely unnoticed by.... well... just about everyone. He managed to set the 22nd fastest lap in the race and only did anyone notice when he retired with gear-linkage problems and was then disqualified from the results.....but interestingly He still is credited with a DNF on the F1 website and surely therefore his odd race counts.

2002 US Grand Prix - The Dead Heat attempt
The story starts in Austria where Barrichello was forced to move over and let Schumacher over and did this at the Final corner of the race. This was critized by just about everybody as the Press slammed Ferrari's tactics calling F1 fixed and the unheard of sound of the Crowd boo-ing The Ferrari drivers as they took the podium.
Then Latter on in the season at the US Grand Prix there was another bizarre finish as Michael Schumacher slowed in the final turn in what seemed an attempt to stage a 'dead heat' He failed and Rubens drove through to take the win by inches. Leaving the American crowd who struggle to understand F1 confused and everybody else watching on TV who ARE supposed to understand f1 equally stunned and confused.
The Ferrari story kept changing from staging a dead heat, to a bungled formation finish
There are so many incidents to chose from and not all restricted to F1. Somersaulting Le Mans prototype Mercedes Benz's lifting off by themselves without crashing into anybody. Webber and Schumachers more recent aerobatics. Mercedes careering into grandstands at Le Mans killing spectators. Methinks, this will be tough to shortlist. Another mammoth effort by cider_and_toast in prospect.
I can't believe nobody mentioned the Brabham BT46B Fan car which ran in the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix I believe all the other teams went "What the ...." it never even slowed down when oil was dumped on the track and some say that Niki Lauda and John Watson deliberately drove the car slowly so as not to make it look to good.....
Top Bottom