Caught on camera – Ten F1 drivers who smoked!
It used to be called ‘taking a smoko’, here in Aus; taking a break to replenish your mental and emotional strength with a cigarette, but with health concerns, taxes and social opinions swinging well out of the cigarette’s favour, smoking’s getting rarer and rarer.
We can’t imagine a modern Formula 1 driver sitting on one of their tyres, taking a smoko. In the golden age, however, it was all the rage, and the coolest of cats could be found hanging out in the pits, sitting with their car or even up on the podium having a drag. And back then smoking barely pipped the danger meter compared to the risks they took in the cockpit or between the sheets, so it was all good!
These are ten of our favourite Formula 1 smokos.
Could this list even exist without James Hunt? Does he even need an introduction? We think not.
Keke Rosberg. The Flying Finn won the 1982 Formula 1 World Championship with just one race win in a season fraught with danger and contention. In it, no driver won more than two races, and nine consecutive races were won by different people.
This photo was taken just hours before Jochen Rindt was killed in an accident while qualifying for the 1970 Italian Grand Prix.
At that point in the championship he had a commanding lead in the drivers’ championship, and, despite there still being four races left in the season, went on to become the only driver to posthumously win the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship.
Protégé to Jackie Stewart, Francois Cevert took his maiden, and only, grand prix win after passing his legendary teammate and surviving a charging Jacky Ickx, oil dropped by the wreck and a spin into the barrier. Another Formula 1 great struck down in his prime.
One of the most talented drivers to never win a grand prix, Chris Amon’s legendary bad luck saw him lead many grand prix, but never convert. If anything earns a smoke, that’s it.
Niki Lauda enjoys a cigarello after crashing out of the lead of the Canadian Grand Prix in 1974. We’d want one too.
Winner of the 1977 Belgian Grand Prix, Gunnar Nilsson was as tough as they come, continuing to race Formula 1 even though he had to ask his mechanics not to do up his belts too tightly due to symptoms of testicular cancer.
Can you imagine a shot like this these days? The charismatic Patrick Depailler celebrates a podium in the Long Beach Grand Prix in 1978. It’s the high-fashion diet – cigarettes and champagne.
After surviving a tour in the Parachute Regiment in the early to mid ’50s, Innes Ireland made a start on his motorsport career, eventually securing a drive with Lotus in ’59. He won a grand prix, and several non-championship rounds, but never found his way into another competitive car after his time with Lotus.
Apart from some impressive backflipping skills which he demonstrated in his F2 car at the Nordschleife in 1980, Manfred Winkelhock was a dab hand in sportscar and touring car racing. He scored two world championship points, but never really managed to get competitive racing machinery underneath him.