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WATCH: Piquet’s punch and 10 other Hockenheim moments

27 Jul 2016

From fisticuffs to incredible overtakes, emotional victories to heart-breaking losses, Hockenheim has witnessed its fair share of unforgettable moments. Here’s our pick from the archives…

Piquet quick to the punch with Salazar, 1982

When Eliseo Salazar made the move from South America to Great Britain in the late Seventies, Nelson Piquet had helped the young Chilean get a foothold on the racing ladder. But when, several years later, Salazar clumsily took out the runaway race leader while being lapped in the 1982 German Grand Prix, it was no longer an arm around the shoulder that Piquet aimed in Salazar’s direction, but rather a shower of punches and kicks. Still, the incident did at least allow Patrick Tambay to score a poignant victory for a Ferrari team in desperate need of a boost following Didier Pironi’s horrific, career-threatening crash earlier in the weekend.

Tearful Barrichello finally tastes victory, 2000

Ferrari’s Rubens Barrichello described the Saturday of the 2000 German Grand Prix (when car problems consigned him to a distant 18th in qualifying) as his “worst day of the year”. But such is the fickle nature of F1 that just 24 hours later the Brazilian would be celebrating the best moment of his career, thanks to a combination of a first-lap shunt (involving team mate Michael Schumacher), a fortuitous safety-car period and an inspired drive on slick tyres in damp conditions. Cue one of the most emotional podium celebrations of recent years as Barrichello became the first Brazilian to win since his mentor Ayrton Senna triumphed in Australia in 1993.


Hamilton takes two in one, 2014

It wasn’t particularly pretty, it wasn’t especially clean - but it sure was effective. That’s probably the best way to sum up Lewis Hamilton’s opportunistic double pass of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari and Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull on lap 13 of the 2014 Hockenheim race. The move was one of several the Mercedes man made in a charging drive to third, having started down in 20th after crashing in qualifying.


Empty tank prompts Prost to push, 1986 

Entering the final lap of the 1986 German Grand Prix, McLaren were sitting second and fourth, with Keke Rosberg just behind race leader Nelson Piquet and Alain Prost right on Ayrton Senna’s tail. But there was to be no happy ending for Ron Dennis’ team, as in a couple of moments of pure drama first Rosberg and then Prost spluttered to a halt, out of fuel - the latter within metres of the line, prompting a memorable but ultimately fruitless attempt from the livid Frenchman to push his car across the line. Piquet and Senna, meanwhile, managed to eke out just enough fuel (via a spot of weaving) to get home.


Tyre drama robs Hill of maiden win, 1993

For a period in the summer of 1993, Damon Hill must have wondered if he would ever win a Grand Prix. After a tardy pit stop helped contribute to him losing the lead in France, Hill then saw his hopes of victory go up in a cloud of engine smoke in Great Britain a week later. Two weeks on at Hockenheim the popular Englishman once again had victory within his grasp, only to suffer yet more heartache – this time in the form of a sudden left-rear tyre deflation with just two laps to go. A subsequent spin while trying to recover to the pits - having already been passed by team mate Prost - only added to Hill’s misery, though he would finally take the breakthrough win he deserved a couple of weeks later in Hungary.


Burti vaults over Schumacher, 2001

“I think the accident looked worse on TV than what I experienced in my car,” said a fortunate Luciano Burti after this spectacular airborne crash at the start of the 2001 race at Hockenheim, caused when the unsighted Brazilian tagged the rear of Michael Schumacher’s slow starting Ferrari. Remarkably, despite the violence of the crash the unfazed Prost driver would take the re-start in a spare car (as would Schumacher), though he later retired as a result of arm pain - the only injury sustained in the accident.  


Team orders land Ferrari in hot water, 2010 

F1 has witnessed many fairy-tale victories, and at Germany in 2010 it looked like another was on the cards as Felipe Massa, racing almost exactly a year on from his terrible accident in Hungary, held sway over team mate Fernando Alonso. But for Ferrari, wary of Alonso not picking up maximum championship points, there was no room for romance, leading to one of the most infamous radio exchanges in recent history. “Fernando is faster than you. Confirm you've understood the message,” came the not-so-subtle message from Massa’s engineer Rob Smedley. Moments later the Brazilian heavy heartedly let the Spaniard past, Smedley said "sorry" and Ferrari were subsequently sucked into a team orders scandal that ended with them being fined $100,000 for bringing the sport into disrepute.  


Victorious Schumacher gets a tow, 1995

As a child, Michael Schumacher always dreamt of winning his home Grand Prix - though even in his wildest fantasies he probably never imagined he’d spend a jubilant victory lap hooked up to a tow rope. But after driving a brilliant race from pole position, that’s exactly what happened as Schumacher stalled his Benetton while celebrating the first victory for a German driver on home soil. Still, at least his unusually slow progress meant he had plenty of time to soak in the unreal atmosphere in Hockenheim’s famous stadium section, which had never been more vibrant. 


Montoya and Raikkonen prove benefits of re-worked Hockenheim, 2002

Hockenheim’s 2002 track revisions weren’t popular with traditionalists, but there’s no doubt they helped to create a track that positively encourages wheel-to-wheel racing. One of the finest examples came in the early stages of the first race on the new layout in 2002, when McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen and Williams’ Juan Pablo Montoya staged an epic multi-corner fight over fourth position. The Colombian eventually won the battle - but only after a valiant defence from the Finn.  


Tyre blows it for Hakkinen, 1999

What was it with McLaren and dramatic tyre blowouts at Hockenheim in 1999? Just a day after David Coulthard suffered a mysterious failure while running at over 300km/h during qualifying, team mate Mika Hakkinen suffered a similar incident at a similar speed during the race, pitching him into the barriers and robbing him of valuable world championship points. “I was going flat out when it exploded,” the Finn explained. “Imagine what it feels like when that happens at 210 miles an hour! There was no way I was going to be able to take the chicane on three wheels at that speed.”


Vettel pays penalty for passing Button, 2012

The only intention was not to crash and to give him enough room,” explained Sebastian Vettel of his controversial pass of Jenson Button for second place in the closing stages of the 2012 race at Hockenheim. “I have respect for him and I didn’t want to squeeze him.” But the German’s protestations would hold no weight with the stewards, who handed the home favourite a 20-second post-race penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.