Seven feuds between warring Formula 1 teammates

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With two conflicting teammates continuing at Haas in 2022, here’s a look at other relationships between the F1 drivers that have completely fallen apart.

Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna (1988-89)

What else can you start with in a song like this?

The rivalry within Formula 1’s most famous team likely took place when the two heavyweights faced off in a conquering McLaren team in the late 1980s.

The dominance of the car and the drivers became very clear by the fact that they won 15 of 16 races in 1988, with Senna taking his first title with eight wins against seven for Prost – and the animosity between the two would only make that grow before the following year.

A war of words intensified between the two world champions, and the most controversial moment between them came during the 1989 Japanese Grand Prix where they collided as they fought for victory in the race. and the world championship. While Senna was able to start again and win the race on track, he was later disqualified – handing the title to Prost under acrimonious circumstances.

Prost then quickly left for Ferrari and said at the time: “To be honest I’m quite happy to be leaving because I think it becomes absolutely impossible to work with Ayrton.

When the Frenchman signed for the then-dominant Williams team for 1993 after a sabbatical, Senna called Prost a “coward” when it emerged he had a veto on whether or not the Brazilian would join. the team.

The two would eventually resolve their differences by the time Prost retired, but their time together on track was filled with controversial moments.

Gilles Villeneuve and Didier Pironi (1981-82)

This Ferrari rivalry was not only one of the most intense in Formula 1, but one that ultimately ended in tragedy.

Villeneuve initially got on well with teammate Pironi after being welcomed to the squad, but an incident on the track eventually saw the Canadian swear he would never speak to the Italian again.

Due to two Renault withdrawals from the 1982 San Marino Grand Prix, Villeneuve and Pironi found themselves comfortably ahead of the rest of the peloton.

Due to this huge advantage, Ferrari ordered both drivers to slow down to secure the victory, with Villeneuve in the lead.

However, the two swapped positions on several occasions with Pironi feeling he had a right to overtake his teammate, and Villeneuve furious afterward, he thought the team had told them not to fight.

Eventually, Pironi passed his teammate on the final lap to claim the victory, leaving Villeneuve furious and feeling their relationship was beyond repair.

Two weeks later, in Zolder, tragedy struck. Villeneuve was looking to go faster than his teammate in qualifying and suffered a huge crash trying to pass Jochen Mass, who was on a slow lap. He left the track and the impact killed Villeneuve, which made people wonder if he was trying to improve his lap time or was just aiming to go faster than his teammate.

Opinions are divided on the issue to date, but Alain Prost would have declared of the accident: “The week before his death, Gilles called me several times and all the time he was talking about Pironi. He was so angry, I couldn’t believe it. When the accident happened, I knew exactly why.

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber (2009-13)

Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel take the podium at Sepang in 2013.

Vettel and Webber’s relationship got off to a bad start before they were teammates when the German, driving a Toro Rosso, piled up behind the Red Bull driver’s back during the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix in Fuji.

Webber gave a scathing assessment afterwards, saying, “They’re just kids, aren’t they? Kids who don’t have enough experience to do the job, so they screw it up.

The two found themselves in Red Bull’s title contention in 2010 and a clash in Turkey that season was a big catalyst behind the fallout between the two.

Their tight competition for the next few seasons combined with Webber’s accusations that the team favors Vettel – “not bad for a number two driver” comes to mind after the Australian’s victory at Silverstone – and their most important moment. infamous came during their last season together at Red. Taurus.

Webber moved from 5th on the grid to the lead of the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix and Vettel was ordered to stay behind his teammate on receiving the coded “multi 21” radio message, which cleared the Australian to stay ahead. .

The three-time world champion at the time, however, ignored the message, starting an intense battle against his teammate and eventually winning.

An enraged Webber mowed down in the front of Vettel’s car as he crossed the line, expressed his anger at the German afterwards and publicly discussed his frustration on the podium with his teammate and Red Bull them themselves, stating: “Ultimately, Seb made his own decisions today and will have protection as usual, and that’s how it goes.

Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet (1986-87)

Frank Williams and Nelson Piquet.

Already rivals on the track before being team-mates, Piquet’s arrival alongside Mansell at Williams was a tantalizing prospect for Formula 1 fans – and their couple did not disappoint.

Piquet came into the squad feeling like he would be Williams’ number one driver, but Mansell accompanied him as they both challenged for the World Championship in 1986. The Australian Grand Prix season’s end saw Mansell enter the race as a big favorite for the title, but a “colossal” tire failure (as described by Murray Walker) saw his chances collapse that year, and Prost continued to wrest the title from Piquet’s hands.

The following year it was a similar story as Williams developed the best car in the business and left a conflicting team-mates for the title in 1987.

The season finally ended in Piquet’s favor after Mansell’s crash in Japan kept him from starting the last two races, but there certainly hasn’t been a loss of love between the two. men throughout the year – leaving the Brazilian to join Lotus ahead of the 1988 campaign.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg (2013-16)

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton and Rosberg had known and raced against each other since childhood, but their relationship gradually deteriorated as they successively fought for the World Championship at the start of the turbo hybrid era.

Several controversial moments have punctuated the decline of their relationship, such as during qualifying in Monaco in 2014, when Rosberg went off the track while on provisional pole, which Hamilton saw as a deliberate decision.

They also collided at Spa that season as Hamilton suffered a puncture at Les Combes when Rosberg’s front wing hit his teammate’s wheel.

The Briton won the 2015 title with three races to go in Austin, but Rosberg threw his cap at his teammate in the recovery room ahead of the podium ceremony with the angry German after Hamilton forced him to dismiss the departure in wet conditions.

But in 2016, all bets were off in the team because the two drivers were alone. A big crash between the two at the Spanish Grand Prix was then followed by a tense battle throughout the year which saw Rosberg lead the standings in the final race in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton had deliberately defied the team’s orders to try to get Rosberg back into the chase pack, but the German eventually prevailed and quickly retired a few days later.

The animosity between the two clearly did not abate either, as Hamilton blatantly ignored Rosberg when the former driver broadcast a march grid to Zandvoort.

Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez (2017-18)

Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez represented as Racing Point teammates in 2018.

While Ocon and Perez were not competing for race wins during their time together, several collisions between the two led to a breakdown of trust not only between themselves but also with the team.

At the wheel of Force India, which would later become Racing Point, the 2017 season saw the Mexican and French meet on several occasions – including scoring wheels on the first lap in Baku and damaging both cars, with Perez ending up with withdraw from the race.

Another contact in Hungary was followed by two frightening moments at Spa, where the riders again hit their wheels as they raced towards Eau Rouge as Ocon cut through the wall. This happened again later under almost identical circumstances, with Perez shutting the door on his teammate and ending in damage to both cars.

Such was the point loss for the team, Ocon and Perez were banned from fighting hard again during their time together, before the Frenchman was sidelined in late 2018 in favor of Lance Stroll.

Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher (2021-present)

Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher in conversation.  Silverstone July 2021

The current rivalry of choice between the Formula 1 teams sits at the back of the grid at Haas, with Mazepin and Schumacher openly showing their hostility towards each other as they mainly race against each other this season.

Despite their clashes on the track and the car’s poor performance overall, Haas has chosen to keep both drivers for the 2022 season – not that the Russian expects their relationship to improve over time.

Mazepin told Podcast Beyond the Grid: “I think these are just two young drivers who are ready to reach the top of Formula 1 and who have been placed in a difficult position where realistically as the year progresses we more and more we can fight against each other.

“I don’t know how many years we have together, but I don’t think it’s going to be a smooth race.”

Embarrassing.


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