5 funniest F1 press conferences
F1 is a serious, physically taxing sport that requires immense endurance – both physical and mental, and drivers are often drained at the end of the race. It’s impossible to judge an entire personality on track (although team radio helps sometimes!) – but drivers show their humorous sides at the drivers’ conferences that precede the race weekend.4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel is famous for another thing – his sense of humour! The German wunderkind often makes wisecracks on and off the the track, and is hilarious during press conferences. But he isn’t the only one.
#1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, 2014
This was a funny press conference all round.. but the really special bit comes at the 5 minute mark. A special question from a strongly-accented German interviewer, addressed to Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg, talks all about buttons – and not the Jenson kind. It goes on a while.
Fernando Alonso, front and centre, does not even make an effort to hide his complete amusement, laughing openly next to the actual Button, who has his lips firmly pursed together as Nico Hulkenberg smiles openly in the background next to Lewis Hamilton, who is ‘scratching his face’ to hide his laughter.
Unmoved? Nico Rosberg.
#2 German Grand Prix, 2014
Of course Kimi Raikkonen is on this list. His responses are funny, but with no intention to be so. The amusement is often the result of Kimi just being Kimi.
The Iceman crashed during practice at the Hockenheimring, and the interviewer seems quite intent on persisting with having Raikkonen explain the nature of his injuries, but the Finn, known for a dislike of much conversation, is having absolutely none of it.
Apparently “leave me alone” isn’t just something he says on the radio – it’s his life’s motto.
#3 San Marino Grand Prix, 2001
Naturally calm and collected Mika Hakkinen, the suave David Coulthard and the constantly-smiling Ralf Schumacher made for a hilarious post-race conference. Coulthard dished out some fashion advice – advice he had got from the Flying Finn, according to him.
Schumacher, on the other hand, was asked about his thoughts on the weather.. and responded in hilarious fashion.
#4 Italian Grand Prix, 2013
It’s an open secret among Formula One enthusiasts that there was no love lost between Sebastian Vettel and teammate Mark Webber during their days at Red Bull. Things came to a head at the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix, when the two were involved in a decision that went down in F1 history – the notorious Multi-21.
Vettel had been racing and challenging Webber for the race title, and made a move on the Australian to take the lead from him – when Webber flipped the German the finger as team principal Christian Horner also chided the then 3-time champion for his behaviour. Vettel, who went on to win that race, had been instructed by Red Bull that Car No. 2 – Webber – was expressly to be allowed to finish ahead of Car No. 1 – Vettel (hence the name Multi 21).
Their relationship, which had been fraught before, reached boiling point then. Webber’s compatriot Daniel Ricciardo, who was then driving alongside Jean-Eric Vergne for Toro Rosso, had been announced as Webber’s replacement following his F1 retirement at the end of that year – so the interviewer asks the older Australian what advice he would give the younger, and trots out some Australian cliches – and the threat of physical violence.
#5 Belgian Grand Prix, 2013
Sometimes questions at press conferences get personal and intrusive, and a local interviewer’s question did exactly that at the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix. The question, “are you ready to be a father,” was directed at “everybody except Romain Grosjean” – who by that point had already had his first son, Sacha, with journalist wife Marion Jolles.
Vettel laughed awkwardly through the interview and made jokes – whilst it was unbeknownst to everyone that his long-term partner had already given birth to their first daughter.
This one is bittersweet, with the funniest joke from the mild-mannered Jules Bianchi, whom we tragically lost earlier this year after the Frenchman succumbed to injuries sustained at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix – aged only 25.
His joke had his colleagues, and the rest of the media delegation in peals of laughter.