6 Unusual ways to finish an F1 race...

Eighteen years after Michael Schumacher won the British Grand Prix from the pit lane, Crash.net looks back at other bizarre F1 race endings.
6 Unusual ways to finish an F1 race...

By Ollie BarstowFollow @OllieBarstow on Twitter

With all eyes on Mercedes this weekend in Silverstone to discover the outcome of internal politics following Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg's dramatic last lap clash in Austria, Crash.net takes a look back at other contentious conclusions to F1 races, not least when Michael Schumacher won the 1998 British Grand Prix from the pit-lane...

Lights-to-almost-flag: Ferrari orders Rubens Barrichello to move over for Michael Schumacher just metres from the chequered flag
Ferrari's farcical finale2002 Austrian Grand Prix

Though there was never any doubt that Michael Schumacher was the absolute #1 driver in the Ferrari team, the sheer hierarchy of its 1-2 policy was never displayed so blatantly than during the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix when Rubens Barrichello was robbed of a deserved win by inter-team politics.

Occurring at the height of Ferrari and Schumacher's sheer dominance over the competition (the Scuderia would win 15 of the 17 races that year), the German had come into the sixth race of the 2002 season with four wins from five and a comfortable 21 points lead over Juan Pablo Montoya.

Barrichello on the other hand had endured a tough start to the year and had just six points to his name coming to the A1 Ring after a run of DNFs. However, his season looked set for a turnaround when he qualified on pole in Austria and led from the off, Schumacher following in second but unable to mount an attack on the win.

Cruelly for him though, Ferrari would intervene, ordering Barrichello to give up his position on the final lap to his team-mate, much to the disdain of the spectators. Justified by Ferrari as a way of maximising Schumacher's title chances, despite his already sizeable advantage, the sheer obviousness of the position swap metres from the finish line was greeted with boos from the crowds and fury from commentators with many accusing the team of bringing the sport into disrepute.

Just a few months after Austria, Ferrari attempts to stage a formation finish... but Rubens Barrichello nips ahead over the famous bricks
Ferrari 'fluffs' formation finish2002 United States Grand Prix

With F1 still reeling in the wake of 'that' finish in Austria a few months earlier, Ferrari went on to create yet more controversy at the United States Grand Prix when it 'fluffed' a formation finish that allowed Rubens Barrichello to claim victory.

With Schumacher leading from pole position and Barrichello chasing in second place as the pair stretched clear of the field, Ferrari looked well on course for another dominant 1-2 result with the German - who had long wrapped up the drivers' title by this stage - well on course to make it an 11th win of the year.

However, in an apparent attempt to stage a photogenic side-by-side formation finish across the line, Schumacher and Barrichello would seemingly misjudge the famous bricks that denote the line, with the Brazilian pulling alongside and nosing ahead at the timing beam.

Classifying Barrichello as the winner - by just 0.011secs -, the drivers insisted this had not been intentional but while both admitted the irony of the scenario had not been lost on them after what happened in Austria, unconvinced rivals cried foul and accused Ferrari of making a mockery of the sport once again.

With the FIA already under pressure to enact a ban on team orders after Austria alone, this farcical finish ultimately proved the final straw for the governing body and new rules were passed for the 2003 season.

Fast forward to 6m 15s for amateur footage of the collision

Christian Fittipaldi redefines the flying finish1993 Italian Grand Prix

It is a shame points were only awarded down to sixth position back in 1993, because Christian Fittipaldi deserved a full 10 for artistic merit when he redefined the term 'flying finish' in the Italian Grand Prix. Then again, he was probably simply happy to come away without a serious injury.

The Brazilian was dicing for seventh with Minardi team-mate Pierluigi Martini on the run to the finish line when his left front wheel clipped the Italian's right-rear, lifting him into the air and into a full flip before landing squarely on his wheels again.

Remarkably, Fittipaldi - who was classified in eighth place whilst skidding across the line with only three wheels attached to his machine - wasn't seriously hurt in the accident, but it has earned him a place in F1 folklore.

Podium shuffle: Just two drivers stood on the podium at the end of the 2003 Brazilian GP... and even they were in the wrong position
Wrong time, all in the wrong place2003 Brazilian Grand Prix

Not only did the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix feature just two of the top three standing on the podium at the end of the race, they weren't even stood in the right spot. A rain-affected race punctuated by several safety cars and a high rate of attrition, canny strategies and cautious driving would ultimately make the race anyone's guess.

For Jordan's Giancarlo Fisichella, the decision to refuel heavy in an early stop - thus allowing him to go to the end in theory - would rely heavily on safety car periods to slow the pace and eke out consumption, as well as also allow him to progress up the order. It was a strategy that would work perfectly as he moved into podium contention with 20 laps of the race remaining, long-time leader Rubens Barrichello having been forced out with technical issues.

Up to second by lap 53 behind Kimi Raikkonen, Fisichella found himself leading on lap 54 when the Finn made an error, but with a probable 'splash and dash' to make before the finish, it seemed a fairytale victory for the struggling Irish team wasn't quite on the cards should it go to full distance.

However, the race would descend into confusion when it was red flagged moments later after Mark Webber crashed at the fast left-hander leading onto the start-finish straight, with the unsighted Fernando Alonso smashing into an errant wheel. With damage to the barrier and debris strewn across the track, the race was stopped and the result called... with Raikkonen as the winner and Fisichella second.

With Jordan protesting the result by claiming Fisichella had crossed the line in front before the red flag was shown, a muted podium celebration would see a typically taciturn Raikkonen on top, Fisichella a disgruntled second and no-one on the third spot, Alonso having been hospitalised after his crash.

As it turns out, Jordan was entirely correct, presenting evidence that would overturn the result in the days after the race, giving Fisichella a surprise maiden win and Jordan its last success before folding little more than a year later. It would also prompt one of the stranger trophy giving ceremonies on the grid ahead of the next race at Imola.

Mansell pushes himself to the limit1984 Dallas Grand Prix

Formula 1 may have only visited Dallas once, but the first - and last - visit to Texan street circuit in 1984 has still managed to earn a spot in racing legend as possibly the most arduously bizarre F1 event of all time. Whether it was the punishing circuit layout, the scorching weather conditions or a surface that was literally crumbling beneath the cars as they raced, just reaching the finish was an achievement in itself.

The sheer physicality of the event was best typified by Nigel Mansell's determined - if ill-advised - efforts to finish the race by pushing his Lotus across the finish line. Having qualified on pole position, Mansell was on course for fifth position when a broken gear linkage brought his car to a halt within sight of the finish line.

A bitter end to an already painful race, Mansell sprung out of the car and attempted to push it the rest of the way. However, with temperatures well into the hundreds and the Briton already dehydrated from two hours of gruelling racing, the exhaustion was too much and he collapsed. Mercifully, such was the rate of attrition in the race, Mansell at least was still classified in sixth place.

"I was so angry, I just kept pushing," Mansell would later explain. "Then the lights went out and I woke up in hospital, on a drip in a bed packed with ice..."

Fuelled to the finish1984 European Grand Prix

There haven't been many drivers in the history of F1 to have been forced to walk back up the home straight to take their place on the podium, but it happened to both Michele Alboreto and Nelson Piquet at the end of the 1984 European Grand Prix, held at the new-look Nurburgring.

A product of FISA's 220 litre fuel limit imposed on the rapidly-developing turbocharged cars, preserving fuel became a frustrating factor for some drivers in 1984 and this was no more evidenced than at the Nurburgring when the empty Ferrari and Brabham-BMW of Alboreto and Piquet free-wheeled past the chequered flag before spluttering to a halt just metres later.

Forcing both drivers to trudge back up the home straight to take their place on the podium alongside race winner Alain Prost, though the result can be described as a perfect bit of fuelling, the exasperated shrug from Piquet to Alboreto was ultimately more telling.

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