F1 101: Top Tyre Dramas That Effected Championships

Although designed to run at extreme speeds, in the course of history, several incidents of flat tyres have ruined the F1 championships for many drivers

Formula One is considered the fastest motorsport on earth, with cars hitting an average speed of over 250 kilometres per hour. At times, the cars also reach extreme speeds such as 300 kilometres per hour or even more. Therefore, Formula One cars run on specially made tyres that are designed to withstand such speeds. However, in history, several incidents of flat tyres have ruined the F1 championships for many drivers. Not to forget, at times, pit crews have messed with the pitstops which hampered the championships. In this clickbait, we have created a list of such incidents. 

Irvine, 1999- It was the year when Ferrari could’ve clinched their long-lost glory because Eddie Irvine was on fire that season. Irvine was so close to winning the F1 title from the mouth of McLaren’s Mika Hakkinen. However, all his efforts went in vain because of a mistake by the pit crew. At the European Grand Prix, Irvine boxed his car to change the tyres. However, the pit crew could not find the front left tyre of his car. Therefore, Irvine had to wait too long inside the box and he failed to win the title. Mika Hakkinen finished the championship at 76 points, whereas Irvine secured the second position with 74 points. 

Nigel Mansell, 1986- The year was 1986, and it was a time when too many talented drivers were present on the Formula One grid. Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and more. However, the 1986 championship was all about Prost, Mansell and Nelson Piquet. Piquet would not win the title, but he was pretty close to Mansell and Prost. On the other hand, Prost and Mansell were at the same level, but the Australian Grand Prix proved to be the turning point in Prost and Mansell’s careers. Mansell’s name was written all over the Australian Grand Prix. However, his left rear tyre blew out and he went out of the race. Mansell lost the title to Alain Prost and the difference between the drivers was just two points. 

Apart from the mentioned two incidents, several other incidents have taken place in the past, such as Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel losing their tyres in 2017 and Lewis Hamilton losing his title because the pit crew failed to call him in at the appropriate moment. 

Rohit Chatterjee

An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Rohit Chatterjee is a bona fide moto-enthusiast who has worked with several media houses in his brief career. Chatterjee mostly writes features and news articles related to automobiles and motorsports. When not working, he is found on the interstate clocking over 100kmph on his NS200!
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