By Kunal Shah and Mithila Mehta | Thankfully, the 2017 Formula 1 season is just not like any previous ones. Apart from having two legendary teams and drivers battle for top honours in races with a heady mix of overtaking and strategy, so far we’ve had many fun occurrences too!
The sport’s unluckiest double World Champion has a unique personal PR strategy – walk out of every session claiming it to be his best yet.
Here’s a quick look at some of the funniest moments of this season yet:
- Would the real Nico please stand up? The reigning World Champion is doing his utmost best to remain in the limelight, especially in a season where “Hamilton vs Vettel” has made global headlines. Coming to his aid are the teams – first, Mercedes that erroneously referred to Valtteri Bottas as Nico followed by Renault that called Sergio Sirotkin (Nico Hulkenberg’s FP1 replacement in Russia) by that name too.
- Raikkonen FM – we’ve long cherished Kimi Raikkonen’s radio messages, the best being “leave me alone, I know what I’m doing”. At the gruesomely challenging Spanish Grand Prix, we had nearly four other drivers resort to Raikkonen-styled messages asking their teams to not talk to them on the radio as much. Welcome to the world of monosyllabic radio!
- Alonso’s all-time best lap, race and season – the McLaren-Honda dream seems to have fallen apart for Alonso. After backing the team through their troubles for the last two seasons, Alonso has realised that his best bet to a Formula 1 championship would be distance himself from their struggles. The sport’s unluckiest double World Champion has a unique personal PR strategy – walk out of every session claiming it to be his best yet. As a result, we’re witnessing Alonso’s best-ever Formula 1 season – one in which he’s yet to score a championship point.
- Fastest team tag – the Ferrari vs Mercedes battle is welcome, but their PR around their campaign isn’t. This season, both teams are busy passing around the “favourite team” tag despite being the clear favourite themselves. When will a team walk into a media conference and claim that they’re the fastest and one to beat that weekend?
- Formula 1 fans in China – the world’s most populous nation didn’t disappoint at their home race this season by providing the circuit with a diversity of solid fans. First, they turned up in huge numbers to watch their favourite drivers race. Note: we even had Darth Vader in attendance. Second, they misspelt Vettel as “Vettee” only to correct it after the driver pointed it out himself!
- Honda engines – the Japanese manufacturer had a bit of a corporate disaster at the opening round in Australia when three of the four (!) World Champions on the grid suggested that if Formula 1 ever switched to equal engines for everyone, their choice wouldn’t be a Honda! Surprisingly not, this included Fernando Alonso.
- The new Pastor Maldonado – okay, we’re a bit harsh on this one, but Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1, early DNFs and crashes had everyone draw parallels to Formula 1’s most-famous one-time Grand Prix winner and super-crasher Pastor Maldonado. While the young Canadian has mended his ways in the last few races, he’s far from scorching the race tracks yet.