Inspired by some topics in which heated debates about painful manners to end up winning a race, it got me thinking.
What were about the most painful podiums for a driver to be part of, by being embarrased about, ashamed about, feeling compromized and/or exposed ???
In other words: Podiums of which any, if not all three drivers felt unhappy about, if not wished they were somewhere else?
I've made a rundown, ordered a bit according the time.
Logically, I left out the races with fatal or serious accidents with uncertainty abouth health of drivers involved.
So, not ranked according most disgraceful but kind of random, starting with the earliest I can think of, podiums and circumstances that might even persuade Nico Hulkenberg to pass for the honor to be part of.....
BTW, I think the selection shows what period of time I followed F1 closely and have more direct memories and knowledge about.
Japan 1977: Hunt, Reuteman Depailler
Only valid for Patrick! Two men actually were somewhere else instead of on the podium, only Patrick Depailler showed up, the others were in a hurry to leave so never showed. Unthinkable nowadays.....
James Hunt passed up on his last ever spot on top of the podium....
Netherlands, Zandvoort 1978: Andretti, Peterson, Lauda
Painful to see how in the final laps Mario was nursing a sick car but his teammate with a healthy car not passing his stricken team mate, Anyone else but Peterson could have passed with ease, the pick order in the Lotus team clear to see for everyone. But for poor Ronnie the "Cup with poison" had one more gulp left for him to swallow, the one that, combined with all other circumstances of the moment included, turned out to be fatal alltogether.
Imola 1982: Pironi, Villeneuve, Alboreto
Gilles' expression on the podium told it all. And if Pironi felt 100% secure and correct about what he had done that race?
(off the record note: is this the most recent podium ever of which all men involved have by now deceased?)
Japan Suzuka 1989: Nannini, Patrese, Boutsen
Poor Alessandro!!! His only victory ever in F1 came in a race loaded with turmoil and far lasting effects because of the disqualification of Senna that was to have dire consequences. Regrettably he never got another victory anymore.
Japan Suzuka 1991: Berger, Senna, Patrese
Before the race there had been made a deal that who lead in the first lap was to win the race, Berger lead. But then he got way behind Senna in the race. Senna was reminded about the deal and obeyed by allowing Berger to pass in the very last meters of the race. To show that you only was allowed to win the race because of being gifted the race, how more humiliating could this been shown?
Hungary 1997: Villeneuve, Hill, Herbert
Hill appeared to have the race in the bag, one of the most surprising race results ever was coming up. And then the car malfunctioned in the last three laps, Villeneuve overtaking him in the final lap. Even Villeneuve knew it: a gift. But one that brought him 3 more points he needed badly in order to play his share in ....
Spain, Jerez 1997: Hakkinen, Coulthardt, Villeneuve
Last race of the season in which Villeneuve needed to score two more points than MS for the title. After the collission between MS and JV that ended the race for JV, all he had to wo was finish 5th or better. Almost certainly pre-arrranged, McLaren that had not interfered in the Ferrari-Williams battle was rewarded with JV surrendering the race and 2nd place to McLaren. With their drivers right behind Villeneuve, McLaren could do something rarely seen before.
If Mika was happy about his first ever victory needing this arrangement between his own team and a rival team and on top of that his team mate also being told to let him by? Exposing him more like a paydriver rewarded for loyalty and input and been given a moment of glory now it could be arranged safely and didn't affect an important resutl any longer then a driver capable to win on own merit.
Spain Barcelona 2001. M Schumacher, Montoya, Villeneuve.
Should have been an all dominant victory for Mika Hakkinen had his car not failed him in the very last lap. MS was no cheerful winner, realizing and aknowledging he had been given 4 more points and a victory.
Austria 2001: Coulthardt, M Schumacher, Barrichello...
Almost forgotten but in the closing stages of the race the two Ferrari's changed positions by team orders. This time it was only because of a second place. There was more to come....
Austria 2002: M Schumacher, Barrichello, Montoya.
Like the year before but now it involved the places 1&2. Embarassment enhanced because of Barrichello fulfilling orders in the same way fellowman Senna had done at Suzuka 1991.
USA 2002 Indianapolis: Barrichello, M Schumacher, Coulthardt
In every manner of the word, Payback time for Austria. MS literally giving away victory in the dying seconds of the race, claiming to have tried to stage a dead heat. Granted, a F1 GP aint a "500", But a number of local fans at Indy, remembering a number of drivers who almost sacrifified everything up to limb and life just to make it into a startinge field at this `holy` facility were not pleased at all to see a victory at the speedway for which men have died in order to achieve it being given away....
USA 2005 Indianapolis: M Schumacher, Barrichello, Monteiro
Half of the drivers that actually started the race were on the podium for this one.
This were the ones that came to my mind which I rate among the most "painful for whatever reason" podums ever. No doubt I forgot a few.
Any others that people can think off to add to the list?