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The most embarrassing moments in F1 history

Formula 1 has produced a number of embarrassing and controversial moments during its history. In this article, RacingNews365 takes you through some of those points in time.

Verstappen Belgium 2021
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

Throughout Formula 1's long history there has been a fair share of uncomfortable and embarrassing moments.

From race-fixing to spying on competitors, there is no shortage of controversial occurrences.

Reflecting back on such moments, RacingNews365 has listed five of them below.

Barrichello lets Schumacher past for victory - 2002 Austrian GP

Having already wrapped up two World Championships with Ferrari, Michael Schumacher's 2002 season started strongly with four wins in the opening five races.

At the sixth round of the year in Austria, his teammate Rubens Barrichello was on course for his first win of the year before Ferrari intervened and requested that Schumacher be let by for the win. Barrichello obliged and Schumacher took the victory to the outrage of the attending fans.

An awkward podium ceremony followed as Schumacher insisted that Barrichello stand on the top step of the podium and the team faced backlash for orchestrating a win for Schumacher so early on in the season.

Team orders were subsequently banned after the race, but the FIA loosened the rules following another controversial order between Alonso and Felipe Massa in 2010.

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	© xpb.cc

The spygate scandal

The 2007 Formula 1 season saw a fantastic title battle occur between Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen, with the latter coming out on top.

However, the year was largely overshadowed by the spygate scandal after the FIA found that the McLaren team was in possession of confidential information relating to Ferrari's car.

The matter ran for a handful of months before the FIA issued McLaren a fine of $100 million, which still stands as the largest fine in sports history.

The Woking-based squad was disqualified from the Constructors' Championship and its 2008 chassis was ordered to be sent to the FIA for scrutiny ahead of the season. Alonso and Hamilton kept their championship points but their own intra-team rivalry, coupled with the scandal, saw Alonso walk after just a single season.

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	© xpb.cc

Six cars go racing - 2005 US GP

The 2005 United States Grand Prix dealt F1 with a blow in the American market that has only been recovered in the last handful of years.

At the time, F1 operated with two tyre suppliers - Michelin and Bridgestone. The high-speed banking that made up the final corner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's road course put vast strain on the Michelin tyres, resulting in dramatic blowouts during the weekend.

Every car in the field took off for the formation lap on Sunday, but having failed in its attempts to add a chicane at the final corner, the Michelin runners (14 cars) peeled into the pits to retire.

It left just six cars on the starting grid - the Ferraris, Jordans and Minardis. Ferrari cruised to a 1-2 finish while Tiago Monteiro secured his one and only podium in F1.

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	© xpb.cc

Renault organise a crash - 2008 Singapore GP

The controversy surrounding the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix only officially came to light a year after it happened. During the race, Nelson Piquet Jr crashed out which saw a Safety Car deployed right after teammate Alonso had pitted.

Alonso went on to win the race, marking Renault's first of two victories that year. After Piquet Jr was dropped by the team midway through the 2009 campaign, the Brazilian informed the FIA that he was instructed to crash by his team.

Renault initially indicated that it would launch a criminal case against Piquet Jr but soon backtracked and announced that Briatore had left the team.

The FIA issued a life ban to Briatore for his role in organising the crash while chief engineer Pat Symonds was handed a five-year ban. However, the ban was overturned by the Tribunal de Grande Instance in 2010.

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	© xpb.cc

The shortest race in history - 2021 Belgian GP

In the middle of a frantic title battle between Max Verstappen and Hamilton, F1 arrived at the famed Spa-Francorchamps for the 12th round of the season.

Heavy rainfall hit the circuit during qualifying which resulted in a large crash for Lando Norris at Eau Rouge. The rain would intensify even more for race day and the start was delayed multiple times due to the conditions.

Following over three hours of delays and suspended starts, the race commenced under the Safety Car. After the third lap, the race was called off and half points were awarded with Verstappen declared the winner.

It marked the shortest race in F1 history as the result was taken in compliance with the regulations, which required a two-lap count-back. Like the previous instances on this list, it put F1 in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

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