Relationships between F1 drivers and their groups can typically to an finish in lower than pleasant circumstances. Listed here are a number of the most brutal driver sackings…
Whereas the overwhelming majority of drivers and groups half methods in a pleasant vogue, typically the relationships break right down to the purpose the place the 2 sides (and even only one facet) can’t be bothered being good anymore.
Let’s look again over a few of Components 1’s most brutal break-ups, the place drivers discovered themselves thrown out on their ear unceremoniously, or the place workforce bosses opted to inform their drivers of their firing through uncommon means.
Kevin Magnussen (McLaren 2014)
The Danish driver made his F1 debut with the Woking-based squad in 2014, instantly scoring a podium on his debut.
It was to be the excessive level of his season, with Magnussen placing in a stable, if unspectacular, yr to complete eleventh general in his first season within the sport.
Teammate Jenson Button would end eighth general, with a factors tally of greater than double his rookie teammate.
Having been stored dangling over his future for 2015, Magnussen ultimately misplaced out on retaining his seat as McLaren signed two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso alongside Button.
Demoted to the reserve function for 2015, Magnussen could be dropped fully by McLaren on the finish of the season. However, reasonably than be advised face-to-face in a gathering, Magnussen discovered of his dismissal after getting an e mail from then-boss Ron Dennis’ private assistant. Worse, the e-mail arrived on his twenty third birthday…
“It was a brief paragraph explaining that there could be nothing for me sooner or later,” Magnussen stated of the impersonal e mail.
“It arrived on my birthday, really…”
Magnussen’s axing got here after his predecessor, Sergio Perez, was launched by McLaren after a single yr on the workforce. Having been supplied a contract, Perez claims to have already signed his paperwork and despatched them again to McLaren, solely to study that he was being dropped in favour of Magnussen…
Nelson Piquet Junior (Renault, 2009)
Nelson Piquet Junior, son of a three-time F1 World Champion, arrived to a Renault race seat with nice fanfare in 2008, as he was teamed up with Fernando Alonso.
However Piquet struggled for tempo and type in the beginning of his profession, not helped by a Renault that was a transparent step backward from the machines the Enstone-based workforce had produced in current seasons.
Scoring his first factors at Magny-Cours, Piquet scored his maiden podium at Hockenheim and gave the impression to be discovering his ft in direction of the tip of the season.
However the 2009 Renault proved to be even much less aggressive and, having failed to attain any factors in any respect in the course of the first half of the season, Piquet was dropped by then-team boss Flavio Briatore.
However the drama was solely getting began, as Piquet made allegations in opposition to Briatore and different members of administration, claiming that he had been ordered to intentionally crash out of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix with a purpose to assist teammate Fernando Alonso to victory.
Renault, and Briatore, launched prison proceedings in opposition to Piquet in response, claiming the Brazilian was trying to blackmail them with a purpose to end out the 2009 season.
Nonetheless, investigations would reveal that Piquet’s claims had been correct, with Briatore and Renault each incurring the wrath of the FIA in the course of the ‘Crashgate’ scandal.
“The situations I’ve needed to take care of over the last two years have been very unusual to say the least – there are incidents that I can hardly imagine occurred myself,” Piquet would later say about his time working with Briatore at Renault.
“If I now want to present explanations, I’m sure it’s due to the unfair scenario I’ve been in prior to now two years.
“I at all times believed that having a supervisor was being part of a workforce and having a associate.
“A supervisor is meant to encourage you, assist you, and offer you alternatives. In my case it was the other – Flavio Briatore was my executioner.”
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Sebastien Bourdais (Toro Rosso, 2008)
Even within the early days of the Pink Bull driver programme, the organisation picked up a status for being ruthless and very robust on the drivers inside its fold.
Even when a kind of drivers was a four-time consecutive Champcar champion, as Sebastien Bourdais was when he was signed to associate up with the promising Sebastian Vettel at Toro Rosso in 2008.
Whereas a low begin from Vettel gave technique to common factors finishes and a well-known win at Monza, Bourdais did not make the identical progress as he struggled to regulate to life in F1.
Whereas Bourdais managed to attain factors in the course of the first half of the 2009 season, Toro Rosso dropped him in favour of Spanish teenager Jaime Alguersuari, with Bourdais retreating again to america.
“The best way they [Toro Rosso] removed me was very disappointing,” Bourdais advised France’s AutoHebdo, having reached an out-of-court settlement over the way in which the partnership ended.
“[Red Bull owner] Dietrich Mateschitz was on the Nurburgring however he didn’t converse with me. He didn’t name me. All the things was completed by SMS, which to me has no type.”
Group boss Franz Tost denied that Bourdais had been dumped by textual content: “I advised Monsieur Bourdais personally that he’s not going to drive any extra and didn’t write any SMS.”
Alain Prost (Ferrari, 1991)
Having virtually landed the 1990 World Championship for Ferrari (till an notorious collision with Ayrton Senna ended their yr within the gravel at Flip 1 at Suzuka), 1991 was an unmitigated catastrophe for Prost and the Scuderia.
Prost would end the yr in fifth place general, with simply over a 3rd of the factors of championship winner Senna, with three second-places being his finest outcomes of the yr.
The Frenchman was overtly essential of the dealing with of the 642 and 643 chassis, famously describing the automobile as being like ‘a truck’ on the Japanese Grand Prix.
“After a couple of laps, the shock absorbers now not labored and the steering was extremely arduous,” Prost advised Autosport.
“On the finish of the race, I stated it was like driving a horrible truck, no pleasure.”
With the Scuderia having fired their workforce boss Cesare Fiorio earlier in 1991, Prost’s feedback had been the straw that broke the camel’s again – he was dropped by Ferrari forward of the season finale in Australia.
In an interview with Joe Saward forward of the Australian Grand Prix, Ferrari workforce boss Claudio Lombardi revealed that, within the week earlier than Adelaide, “the behaviour of Alain Prost was actually worse and worse, and Ferrari took this resolution”.
“The connection between a prime driver and a prime workforce entails the efficiency of the driving force after which the behaviour of the driving force,” he stated.
“For the primary level, we’re very proud of the efficiency of Alain Prost. I personally labored with Alain for the final 4 months and I believe he’s actually an excellent driver and a unbelievable take a look at driver. The second level is behaviour. The behaviour of Alain Prost throughout this season has not been on the stage that Ferrari would love from a prime driver. His behaviour inside and out of doors the workforce meant that Ferrari needed to cease the connection.”
With Prost sitting out the 1992 season, he returned to F1 in 1993 with Williams – profitable the World Championship with ease. Ferrari, in the meantime, must wait till 1995 to attain one other Grand Prix victory.
Damon Hill (Williams, 1996)
Whereas the Grove-based squad had been the dominant power of the Nineties, no driver would win two titles driving considered one of Adrian Newey’s Williams.
Nigel Mansell didn’t stick round for 1993 with a purpose to defend his dominant ’92 championship, as he discovered Williams weren’t prepared to throw cash at him to remain after securing the signature of Alain Prost – somebody Mansell wasn’t all that eager on working with once more.
“I used to be trying ahead to defending my title, I used to be trying ahead to an ideal yr in 1993,” Mansell just lately revealed. “Whether or not Prost was my team-mate or not.
“Then, lower than 24 hours after profitable the title, I discovered that I didn’t have a drive for the next yr! If I actually wished to race, it was on half the wage of 1992. It wasn’t actually a superb provide, was it!”
“It’s nothing new [Frank Williams wanting to get rid of him], he’s completed it to various drivers earlier than.”
Damon Hill would encounter an identical scenario in 1996. Having made his debut with the workforce in ’93, Hill put in a plucky championship problem in 1994 however had a dismal ’95 season that sowed seeds of turmoil between himself and his bosses.
The arrival of rookie Jacques Villeneuve re-ignited Hill for ’96, with the British driver placing in a a lot stronger season to go into the closing phases of the yr warding off Villeneuve within the championship combat.
However Hill knew, even earlier than the title showdown in Suzuka, that he wouldn’t keep at Williams for ’97, because the workforce weren’t prepared to pay for him. In accordance with experiences on the time, Hill was on the lookout for a pay improve from $7.5 million to $12 million – however Williams opted to finish talks reasonably than negotiate.
In the long run, Hill would win the title and head off to backmarker workforce Arrows, whereas Heinz-Harald Frentzen was introduced in to switch him at Williams.
Renault driver Jolyon Palmer was changed by Carlos Sainz for the 2017 F1 season, however hadn’t been advised the information by anybody at Renault when he logged onto the web and noticed the headlines about his dismissal.
Having struggled for type as a rookie at Renault, Palmer had made it midway into his second season within the sport earlier than Renault took the choice to switch him.
“I knew once I learn it on Autosport,” Palmer stated of his dumping. “After which I knew it was true as nicely, I spoke to some folks. That was it.”
Jordan driver Heinz-Laborious Frentzen was unceremoniously dumped by the Irish workforce halfway via 2001, simply two years on from Frentzen’s well-known underdog championship problem.
Within the days heading into Frentzen’s house race at Hockenheim, the contract between each side was unceremoniously torn up following an “trade of views” between Jordan and Frentzen at Silverstone. Frentzen was dumped through fax, with the German driver bringing Jordan to courtroom over their contract dispute.
In late 2002, the matter was resolved “amicably”.
Extra just lately, Mick Schumacher is reported to have been advised of his launch from Haas whereas standing in a lodge foyer with workforce boss Guenther Steiner. Having did not safe his seat and with Haas bringing in veteran Nico Hulkenberg for 2023, Schumacher met with Steiner in a lodge foyer forward of the season finale in Abu Dhabi, the place he was knowledgeable of his sacking.