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After Japan
Championship Standings:

Drivers' Standings
1 Lewis Hamilton 338
2 Valtteri Bottas 274
3 Charles Leclerc 221
4 Max Verstappen 212
5 Sebastian Vettel 212
6 Carlos Sainz 76
7 Pierre Gasly 73
8 Alexander Albon 64
9 Daniel Ricciardo 42
10 Nico Hulkenberg 35
11 Sergio Perez 35
12 Lando Norris 35
13 Daniil Kvyat 33
14 Kimi Raikkonen 31
15 Kevin Magnussen 20
16 Lance Stroll 19
17 Romain Grosjean 8
18 Antonio Giovinazzi 4
19 Robert Kubica 1
20 George Russell 0

Constructors' Standings
1 Mercedes 612
2 Ferrari 433
3 Red Bull 323
4 Mclaren 111
5 Renault 77
6 Toro Rosso 59
7 Racing Point BWT 54
8 Alpha Romeo 35
9 Haas 28
10 Williams 1

F1 Greats Don't Always Have Fun at Indy

by Tim Wohlford
Sunday, May 19, 2019


Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso
Should Fernando Alonso not make the Indy 500 this year -- and the odds are not in his favor -- then he will join a long line of F1 greats (and also-rans) who came to Indy just to have a miserable time.  From Ascari to Andretti, F1 success has often been allusive -- and sometimes the results have been catastrophic.  Consider the long list of woe encountered by just a few of the F1 drivers:
  • Tazio Nuvolari - Showed up, but didn't get a ride in 1938 as he wanted too much money. He was offered a drive as an exhibition, but stripped out the gear box taking off and didn't make it out of the pits.

  • Alberto Ascari - 1952, Indy was the only championship race that Ascari didn't win that year.  A his F1 Ferrari collapsed on lap 40 of the 500.

  • Rudolf Caracciola - 1946, he crashed during practice -- possibly from hitting a bird. He was in a coma for a week and in the hospital for another month, finally recuperating in one of Tony Hulman's homes.

  • Juan Manuel Fangio - 1958, he was offered ride in Kurtis-Offenhauser by George Walther, Jr. (father of ill-fated Salt Walther). He could not get up to speed to qualify in 2 different cars.

  • Giuseppe Farina - 1956 and 1957, failed to qualify. He hopped out of his 1957 car in favor of a team mate -- who promptly backed it into a wall, killing the team mate instantly.

  • Jochen Rindt -- "I only drive there because of the money," he commented.  He ran in 1967 and 1968, falling out both times due to mechanical issues.

  • Mike Spence - 1968. He was killed in practice accident in turn 1.  The impact knocked the front wheel of his Lotus 56 off, which then hit him in the head. The car was later qualified by Joe Leonard for the race.

  • Mario Andretti - 1965 - 1994.  The story is that he turned down a ride in the Mickey Thompson Special car that killed Dave MacDonald on race day.  Winning in 1969, he ran strong in most of the races -- only to encounter either bad luck or mechanical difficulties.  "Andretti is slowing down" is the third most famous Indy 500 phrase, right behind "Gentlemen start your engines" and "It's a new track record."  
  • Nelson Piquet -- 1992, 1993. In his first year, he suffered the infamous crash (helmet hitting front tire) in turn 4, turning his foot into red goo. He fell out the next year with mechanical issues.

  • Nigel Mansell -- Mansell-mania didn't carry him to victory at Indy. Snookered on a late restart in 1993 that cost him a win, he crashed out in 1994 with Dennis Vitolo ending on top of him in pit road.

  • Scott Speed, 2011 -- Barely an F1 driver, he had a ride with a team that was barely competent for the 500. After his team mate was hospitalized in a crash, Scott was replaced before end of qualifying due to lack of pace by Patrick Carpentier -- who then crashed the car because the team forgot to put on fresh tires after it put the wings into qualifying trim.

  • Jean Alesi - One of many victims of Lotus engine fiasco at Indy in 2012, he failed to qualify.  Rumor in the paddock was that the "Lotus" (Judd) engine was down some 100 hp, the victim of Lotus cost-cutting.



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