It’s time to check out the Top 10 Funniest Moments of F1 in 2021, featuring team radio moments, interviews, funny reactions and comedy from the F1 paddock!
Happy New Year everyone! In the first post on F1ntastic in 2022, I wanted to go with a positive and happy post. While when we head into the New Year we have new goals, resolutions, and ideas, we also look back at the previous year and see what mistakes we made, the journey we went through, and how much things changed over the past year. And for this post, I wanted to look back at the moments that made us smile and laugh in Formula 1.
One of my favourite parts of Formula 1 is that there are always funny moments that leave you smiling. It’s not all dramatic moments and serious rivalries. There’s plenty of comedy throughout the season and it definitely helps me stay hooked to the sport. It’s action-comedy, which is something I love to see. And in this post are the Top 10 Funniest Moments of F1 in 2021. I’ve already posted the Top 10 Mind-Blowing and Memorable Moments of F1 in 2021, which was full of the tensest and dramatic moments of the past year. But this post is all about laughter, joy, and comedy!
10 – “Felicidades or Feliz Navidad or whatever you say to Checo”
Well, Seb, you got it right the first time! At the 2021 Azerbaijan GP, after a crazy race, Sergio Perez took his first race win with Red Bull and the second of his career. Behind Perez was Vettel, who finished second and scored his first podium with Aston Martin. After the performance earned him Driver of the Day, Vettel went on the radio on the live feed. There he wanted to congratulate Checo on the win. He tried to say “congratulations” in Spanish, which is “Felicidades”. However, a “Feliz Navidad” followed after that, which actually means Merry Christmas. This was quite funny, especially for people who know Spanish. The last time I checked, Christmas isn’t in June 😂
9 – Toto’s Priceless Reactions
Toto Wolff has built quite a reputation for having hilarious reactions when something happens in a race. I’ve got to say, there’s been a huge number of memes and jokes based Toto Wolff moments. I just wanted to clarify that I’m not trying to make fun of Toto Wolff. I’m just celebrating these moments that made me smile and make F1 fun and even more memorable and enjoyable.
2021 has had its fair share of controversial moments, especially involving Hamilton and Verstappen. And when these moments took place, Toto Wolff got, let’s say, a little emotional. For example, at the 2021 Saudi Arabian GP, when Verstappen and Hamilton made contact, Wolff smashed a pair of headphones on his table. A race earlier, at the 2021 Brazilian GP, despite Verstappen’s controversial defending, Hamilton finally overtook Verstappen for the lead of the race. That’s when Toto pointed at the camera, which lead to many ‘caption this’ posts on social media.
And lastly, Toto Wolff’s ‘NO MICHAEL NO’ words at the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP. To be honest, half of that is funny, but half of that is purely sad, as Toto Wolff shouted in vain as Verstappen beat Hamilton to the title in a controversial ending. Still plenty of memes from that moment though. BONUS: Sassy Masi’s cold responses on the radio provided plenty of comedy as well!
8 – The Drivers’ Predictions for 2021
Some of these predictions effortlessly cracked me up, and this YouTube video definitely is worth the list of the Top 10 Funniest Moments F1 2021. George Russell, who is going to be racing for Mercedes in 2022, predicted that Red Bull would have the fastest car for the prediction for the most surprising thing that will happen in 2021. When he made that prediction (before the 2021 season began), he was still in the Young Driver Program, and his 2022 plans were not finalised yet. I don’t think predicting Mercedes would be slower than their rivals would be good for a driver, who was trying to get into Mercedes.
Max Verstappen came on with a really funny prediction saying that Haas would win a race. Yeah, I don’t think Verstappen can see the future very well. That’s ironic since a company called Oracle sponsors Red Bull! The McLaren jokesters were as funny as ever, with Norris predicting ‘Daniel will start growing bald’, and Ricciardo simply saying ‘Yuki will grow’ 😂. ‘Stroll will be a World Champion’ and ‘Giovinazzi will get a podium with Alfa’ completed the funny predictions. But there were some that were bold and surprisingly accurate. For example, Gasly predicted that Ricciardo would win a race, and Sainz correctly predicted that there would be at least 6 different race winners in 2021!
Ricciardo predicted Monaco would be his favourite race because he ‘runs those streets’. He then followed with a self-roast and said this year he went at running pace. While some predictions were far off, Sebastian Vettel’s only correct prediction was that Daniel Ricciardo would get more serious. Fair play, Ric Bobby did show everyone he could get on the top step of the podium, and he was more serious about things this season. Every one of Leclerc’s predictions ended in disappointment since his season didn’t go to plan at all.
The best part of these predictions was undoubtedly Kimi Raikkonen’s predictions. This wasn’t really funny, it was quite surprising and wholesome. We realised that Kimi knew since before this season began that it would indeed be his last, and he wrote that Abu Dhabi would be his favourite race of 2021 because it would be his last race in F1!
7 – The 2021 Grill The Grid Series
Daniel Ricciardo trying to guess all the champions, Ocon forgetting to say ‘Mercedes’, Vettel forgetting to say ‘Red Bull’ and more were some of the funniest moments in the 2021 F1 Grill the Grid series. There were moments of madness, such as when Vettel named every single F1 champion and which year they won it. One of the funniest moments from that video was when Max Verstappen luckily got the F1 Champion of 1987.
He was about to say Mansell, but he said Nelson (Piquet), which was the right answer. Since Piquet’s daughter is Max’s girlfriend, getting that wrong wouldn’t be the best situation for him. The Grill the Grid 2021: Geography video was very funny because Ricciardo just put random dots all over Europe, and Norris just circled all of North America and got the Europe part horribly wrong. All in all, this is a really good series of YouTube videos by F1, and I think they should continue it in 2022. The drivers can be funny both on and off the track!
6 – “You Now Hear Me?” “No, Negative” “But You Answer Still”
Could they hear each other or not? This confusing and comedic radio exchange between Raikkonen and his engineer took place during FP2 at the 2021 Bahrain GP. Raikkonen had just spun and damaged his front wing, and his engineer was telling him to box (come into the pits). When Kimi asked his race engineer (whose name is Julien Simon-Chautemps) if he could hear him, Simon-Chautemps replied, with a ‘No, Negative’. Why was he replying if he couldn’t hear him? Raikkonen could hear his engineer, but could his engineer hear him? Listen to the radio conversation below.
P.S. I counted them saying ‘Can you hear me?’ at least 7 times!
5 – “TRAFFIC PARADISE”
Yuki Tsunoda quickly made his name as the hot-headed rookie in F1. This was because of a series of angry outbursts on the radio. They were hilarious, but none were more funny and memorable than the Traffic Paradise radio message. This radio outburst happened during Free Practice at the 2021 Emilia-Romagna GP. The fact that Tsunoda got confused and realised what he was saying halfway through saying it is just pure comedy. You realise that paradise is a good thing…right?
4 – Ricciardo’s Texan Accent Interview
Ricciardo entertained the fans by being his Texan cowboy alter ego at the 2021 US GP. He rocked a special beard, a Texan cowboy outfit, and a Texan accent at interviews. At the drivers’ parade before the race, Ricciardo spoke in a Texan accent while wearing a custom basketball jersey. But the main Texan accent interview was an interview he did on the Friday of the US GP Race Weekend. He completed the challenge of doing an entire interview in a Texan accent. And I gotta say, he nailed it! Watch the video of the interview here.
3 – “It’s Gonna Be Lights Out And Away We Go…For Lewis Hamilton Only!”
The fact that this actually happened in F1 is honestly laughable. At the Red Flag restart at the 2021 Hungarian GP, all the drivers were supposed to line up on the grid for a standing restart. It was the restart after the Red Flag triggered by the crazy crash at the start of the race. However, all the drivers were racing on the Intermediate tire compound. Those tires are for wet weather conditions, but not for heavy wet weather. But during the Red Flag period, the track had dried out. Everyone except for Lewis Hamilton pulled into the pits for a fresh set of tires. They pitted instead of taking the standing start, which is why Hamilton restarted the race alone.
It proved to be a costly mistake not to come into the pits. He came into the pits on the same lap when the restart happened, but came out of the pits in dead last. Everyone who pitted before the restart got a huge advantage on Hamilton. If Hamilton had pitted, there wouldn’t be any cars on the grid for the Red Flag restart. Michael Masi said after the race that in that case, the normal start signal would’ve begun when the last car on the track came into the pitlane. The 5 red lights would’ve gone out with no cars on the grid, and the order that the cars came out of the pitlane in would remain. MADNESS isn’t it?!
This also made the list of Top 10 Mind-blowing moments of F1 in 2021, because it was funny and mind-blowing AT THE SAME TIME!
2 – “Michael, I just sent you an email”
This is another funny Toto Wolff moment that was gold for F1 memers. Toto Wolff went on the radio to the race director at the 2021 British GP. This was just after a crash between the title rivals at Copse corner. This is #2 of the Top 10 Funniest Moments of F1 in 2021 because I felt it was really funny that a Team Principal is emailing the Race Director in the middle of a race to try and convince him not that his driver wasn’t in the wrong in a controversial and high-speed crash.
The stewards are the ones that do the penalising and investigation! And also, the radio conversation was broadcast on live TV and that made this even funnier. Michael Masi replied and simply said that he doesn’t access his emails during a race (great answer btw), and then Wolff actually went to the Race Director or the stewards.
Christian Horner also spoke to Masi on the radio, but he presented an argument. Wolff just sent an email in the middle of the race and asked Masi to check his emails. That was obviously was much more prone to getting memed, and it did get memed.
1 – “I’m Gonna Touch Hamilton’s Rear Wing”
This radio moment was, in my opinion, the boldest and funniest. Seb has been known for making dad jokes, but this joke was genuinely funny and hilarious. To give you guys context, this radio message from Vettel was at the 2021 Brazil GP. After qualifying, Verstappen touched and examined Hamilton’s rear wing. He didn’t move any parts of the front wing, which is why he got away with a fine. But a €50,000 fine made it pretty clear that that’s not allowed!
And after the Sprint race, Vettel went on the radio and joked ‘I’m going to touch Hamilton’s rear wing’. Obviously, his engineer said something along the lines of ‘No way’ which is when Vettel said ‘I’ll try the front wing, maybe it’s 25 grand’. This joke was really funny to me, and it was very memorable to me, and it would be for those who understand what happened at the Brazil GP and how tense it actually was between Verstappen and Hamilton. That radio message just keeps cracking me up!
BONUS – Verstappen Smashes a Cake in DC’s Face
After securing pole position at the 2021 Bahrain GP, Verstappen brought a surprise for David Coulthard. After qualifying, the Top 3 finishers in qualifying get out of the car and then go for an interview with Coulthard. In this instance, Verstappen brought DC a cake, since it was his 50th birthday that day. Verstappen asked DC to read what was on the cake, before smashing it into his face to mark an incredibly funny moment at the season opener. It definitely deserved to make this list, but I decided to keep it as a bonus to end off this post. Stay safe, stay on the lookout for new posts, and Happy New Year!