Sunday, 25 September 2011

A Pit Stop Gone Wrong

I was watching the start of this year's Singapore Grand Prix (Formula 1 car racing) when I remembered an unusual incident that took place in this race a few years ago. Although Singapore had been part of the international racing circuit from 1961 onwards, it dropped out in 1973. Formula 1 racing returned only in 2008 as the 15th race of the year.

The resumption was spectacular. The 2008 Singapore  Grand Prix was the first night time Formula 1 race ever, that too on a street circuit, and it made for fantastic viewing. The race was won by Fernando Alonso but it was tainted by an incident that came to be known as "Crashgate". Nelson Piquet, the Renault team's second driver alleged a year later that he had been ordered by his team boss to deliberately crash into the barriers during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to bring the safety car out to give his teammate Alonso an advantage.

Incidentally the Singapore Grand Prix holds the dubious distinction of having had to bring out a safety car every single year. This year too Schumacher's spectacular crash has ensured that the safety car was indeed brought out.

The unusual incident that I referred to was Filipe Massa's pitstop during the 2008 race. The crew gave Massa the all clear prematurely and he took off along with part of the rig still attached to his car!!! When he realised what had happened he had to continue driving up to the end of the pit lane and wait there for his crew to come running up where they had to struggle quite a bit to release it. To add insult to injury Massa was slapped with a drive through penalty for unsafe release from the pits.

Filipe Massa had been leading the race when he initially pitted; he eventually finished 13th.


  1. Great sketch and I remember the incident too!

  2. Hello Balaji,
    Interesting stuff and I see you were away for quite a while. How are you?

  3. Thanks Benny. Yes, Nithi & I visited Mysore and Bangalore. problems and the perennial electrcity shortage have kept me off my blog.

  4. Nice drawing. No criticism meant, but racecars are so colourful. Did you ever try colour in your drawingwork?

  5. Rene...Thank you for looking and commenting. I am comfortable using pen & ink, and pencils, and not at all confident with paintbrushes. But I am trying to get over that.

  6. Nice drawing! Massa has had more than his share of bad luck hasn't he.