Inside Line: Was that the biggest tantrum in F1 history?

The Sebastian Vettel penalty saga simply won’t go away in the wake of the Canadian Grand Prix, was anyone else in that race but the Ferrari driver and Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes.

Little else has been reported, or put it this way being read and tweeted about. We are culprits in jumping on this bandwagon of content because it obviously transcends what happened on track and goes to the heart of where Formula 1 – our sport – is right now.


While the penalty aftermath, the intent to appeal, and then no appeal is all just smoke and mirrors to disguise the fact that under pressure Vettel made a mistake again, he messed up, did what all drivers would have done, but was bust in the process and penalised accordingly.

That it ruined what was panning out to be a great contest on the day is beyond dispute, was the penalty harsh? It was, but it was inevitable because there was no race director’s discretion used to first order Vettel to cede the lead or, not ideally, make the decision after the race. But killing the grand prix with 20 laps to go took the focus off the real culprit.

Culprit is perhaps harsh but again the reality is a four-time F1 World Champion who can’t keep it on track when under pressure, and again – this time in Montreal – Vettel messed up.

Anyone who has had children knows a tantrum when they see one because we have seen so many they are as familiar as an approaching storm. And if they are spoilt brats, used to getting their way no matter what, take cover because it ain’t pleasant.

On Sunday we all saw Seb on a bender of a tantrum supposedly justified by the ‘injustice’ of his fate but in reality, spawned as a feeble smokescreen in an attempt to cover up the reality of his poopoo in Turn 3. The oldest divergency tactics in a toddler’s armoury of histrionics.

It was dummy spitting at it’s most ferocious. Worth the bother of time-lining the fascinating post-race ten-minutes of madness just in case it officially becomes the Biggest Tantrum Ever Thrown In The History of Formula 1 and we were first to declare it!

The real tantrum started after the race as the Ferrari coasted back to the pits when Seb cranked it up over the radio: “No, no, no, guys not like that, not like that. No, no, guys not like that, not like that.”

“Seriously you have to be an absolute blind man to think you can through the grass and then control your car, I was lucky I didn’t hit the wall. Where the hell I am supposed to go? This is a wrong world I tell you, this is not fair,” added Vettel from inside his car.

Seb stops at the pit entrance and takes time to get the message to move on as his car is required behind the P2 plaque in parc ferme;

Inexplicably, despite being urged not to, he stops his car again and gets  out;

Lewis sees this and stops, seemingly beckoning his rival to hitch a lift;

Lewis waits and waves towards Seb before driving off as the Ferrari driver was working to another script;

Seb starts to push his car to where?

The TV cuts away from his antics and a minute or so later he appears walking through the FIA scrutineering bay;

He leaves the pita garage complex through the door leading to the paddock;

Walks down the paddock;

Emerges at the Ferrari enclosure;

A few minutes later, he emerges with an entourage of F1 officials and Ferrari crew;

But he decides to walk through the Mercedes pit garage;

Credit to the tenacious cameraman stalking the German like a drone:

Wrong pit Seb;

Finally he emerges to cheers;

Ferrari teddy bear arrives to escort Seb;

More cheers;

Teddy has Seb’s back;

Seb has an idea;

Board swapping;

Real winner… uhm where’s my car?

Finally, ten minutes after he parked his car at the entrance of the pits he arrives in the pre-podium room;

Ferrari mounties?

Seb pops the all too familiar quote that might launch a T-shirt or two: “Where was I supposed to go?”

Reluctant hero;

Lewis wants Seb on top step with him;

Seb obliges briefly and tries to make a point by keeping one foot on the podium. Awkward Angelina Jolie moment. Wisely he slips his foot off.

Unhappy podium; Crowd were not happy;

Mercedes lady blasted subdued Seb with a jet of champers.

Lewis wins yet another race that Seb should have won.

Finally Seb realises his own hysterics are making Lewis into the villain as the boo brigade ramps up the volume and the German steps in to pacify the crowd. A classy but necessary move which redeems him to a certain extent. He knows Lewis knows.

From the time he launched his anguished cry of the victim on the slow-down lap to the point he entered the pre-podium room was ten minutes of theatrics seldom matched in the history of our sport.

Notable tantrum moments in F1 history include: Villeneuve-Prioni, Piquet-Salazar, Senna-Irvine, Schumacher-Coulthard, Vettel-Whiting and now Seb’s conniption in Canada is right up there if not topping anything our sport has witnessed before unless my memory serves me wrong.

Big Question: Any memorable tantrums comparable or close to Seb’s antics in Sunday afternoon in Canada?

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