Six reasons why Webber hitchhiking at Singapore wasn’t a big deal.
We’re a little unsettled by the news that Mark Webber has been penalised for hitching a ride with Fernando Alonso at the Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix on the weekend. We can’t help but see the incident as a brief throwback to memories of the passionate years of sportsmanship in racing that we remember so fondly.
Of course it’s a spark which the FIA have worked quickly to stamp out. Here’s six reasons why it’s all a big overreaction:
6. Impromptu victory laps are just that triumphant.
Alesi wins the 1995 Canadian GP, runs out of fuel shortly afterwards and is picked up by Schumacher for what is in effect, a Formula 1 interpretation of a victory parade. Waving to the crowd like a coveted war hero whilst soaking in the spoils of his first and only F1 GP victory, this clip is just one symphony orchestra short of a true epic.
5. F1 Hitchhiking can predict the future (maybe).
It’s the top-voted YouTube caption attached to this clip that makes it a winner for us. Three years ago this YouTube user watched Hakkinen and Coulthard riding along together, and picked the aftermath of the 2013 Singapore GP with impressive accuracy.
4. The right music can really set the mood.
We feel the lack of an adequate soundtrack has really let the Singapore incident down. With the right music, we think the context of Webber sprinting across a blind corner on foot at a street circuit could have been entirely transformed. Take this clip of Giancarlo Fisichella and Michael Schumacher in 1997 as an example; with a little help from the audio department, it feels more like Fisichella is embarking on a glorious quest than clutching onto a carbon air-duct for dear life.
3. Senna got to be 007 for a day.
Legend has it that when race-winner Nigel Mansell picked up Senna at the conclusion of the 1991 British GP, Ayrton took the opportunity to peek at the data being displayed in Mansell’s cockpit, relaying the information to his team and effectively playing the part of spy for McLaren. In true James Bond fashion, Senna even deflected an incoming fan with a swift kick.
2. Three’s a crowd, four was a party.
Being a Formula 1 driver is a pretty lonely pursuit; you’re trapped in a car all by yourself with little company other than your own thoughts and an engineer jabbering away in your ear about one thing – winning. Having 3 friends over can really lighten the atmosphere, as Stefan Johansson, Rene Arnoux, Philippe Alliot and Nelson Piquet demonstrated in 1986.
1. He owed him one!
At the conclusion of the 2011 German GP Mark Webber was polite enough to pull over, stop and give the soon to be stranded Fernando Alonso a lift to the pits. It’s only sporting that Alonso repaid the favour in Singapore on the weekend!