The cabinet of the rarest trophies in Formula 1™
henry_the_podiumist_Michael Schumacher brandishing his trophy at the Malaysia Grand Prix – 2004 – Illustration Stéphane Manel
Michael Schumacher brandishing his trophy at the Malaysia Grand Prix – 2004 – Illustration Stéphane Manel

Top 10

Unusual Formula 1 Trophies

When a driver wins a Grand Prix, he picks up 10 ranking points, but also a pretty trophy to sit on his mantelpiece… or perhaps somewhere more discreet, as some of these trophies are rather odd, not to say downright bizarre.

Brazil 2009 – The spikiest


Mark Webber looks delighted to have pipped Robert Kubica and Lewis Hamilton at the post in Interlagos. His prize? This spiky object in a very fetching turquoise. We can just picture him using it as a

skewer on the barbie, to roast a chicken, or even a turkey, given the size of the thing. Anne Neal, his manager wife, will be thrilled.

Brazil 2010 – The wettest


Still in Interlagos, but this time with the other Red Bull driver, the not-yet invincible Sebastian Vettel. With this victory and Webber’s second place, the Austrian stable was guaranteed to pick up its first ever title as a carmaker. And above all, Vettel had made up some ground on

Alonso in the rankings. No matter then that he left the podium bearing aloft a drop of water between two plexiglass panels, more like a 1st prize in a competition for income protection and health insurance salesmen.

Brazil 2011 – The sharpest


After Mark at Interlagos and Sebastian at Interlagos, here are Mark and Sebastian along with all their friends at Interlagos. It was party time, amid a hail of swirling confetti. And what look like giant Swiss Army knives…

Looks dangerous, but the Aussie has fearlessly grabbed onto his. Meanwhile, the German seems keen to keep all his fingers intact and has handed his trophy over to someone else. It pays to be careful.

Canada 2011 – The most Tolkienesque


Jenson Button had just driven a crazy race. For a start, the Canadian Grand Prix should never have been held in the first place, as it wasn’t originally on the calendar. But the cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix made room for its reinsertion. So the 2009 world champion won the day, despite his six pit stops, two bumps and his lead of only three

seconds over the runner-up. So what could be more normal than a prize of epic proportions, a sort of Isengard Tower with half a rugby ball stuck on the top. Isengard, for those who don’t know, is the residence of Saruman in the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien – a Brit, like Jenson. Makes perfect sense.

Europe 2012 – The most (or least) flighty


A sufficiently rare sight these days to be worthy of note: Fernando Alonso is clean-shaven in this photo, all the better to play the role of a young farmer who’s just grabbed hold of a plump chicken about to

take flight. What’s more, he’s lined up the champagne for the meal. We’ve had coq au vin, now it’s time for chicken au champagne.

Spain 2011 – The most flamboyant


Vettel again, looking a bit like a lad who’s just been up to no good and is rather pleased with himself, Perhaps because he’s just stolen some fire. For a similar misdeed, Promotheus was condemned by Zeus to be

chained to a rock and have his liver pecked out every day by an eagle: not a happy prospect. However, at the moment, the German still reigns supreme in the world of Formula 1, so he’s doing better than the Titan.

Hungary 2011 – The most mysterious


“What has one voice, walks on all fours in the morning, two legs at noon and three legs in the evening?” This was the question Oedipus had to answer if he was to rid the city of Thebes of the Sphinx which

was terrorising the population. Unfortunately, his answer was to marry Jocasta, his mother, who drove him to gouge his eyes out. Let’s hope Jenson Button gets away more lightly.

Japan 2009 – The chunkiest


According to Wikipedia, “Formula 1 drivers are top-level athletes in superb physical condition because their bodies must adapt to specific demands which require endurance and resistance.” Hardly surprising

therefore that the FIA equips its little protégés with dumbbells so that they can develop their muscles. It takes strength to turn the wheel of a single-seater at over 200 mph…

Europe 2001 – The most defensive


A trophy always its uses, whether it’s just gathering dust in a cupboard or a cellar. Its purpose may also emerge only long afterwards, for example as an ice bucket. But some trophies immediately prove useful,

such as this champagne shield wielded by Michael Schumacher to ward off the attacks of Juan Pablo Montoya and Rubens Barrichello.

Abu Dhabi 2012 – The seaside special


Let’s overlook the attempted gangsta pose of Fernando Alonso, who looks more like a little squirrel that’s eaten too many nuts than a Pasadena hood, to focus more on what’s in his hands. In fact it’s a conch, one of those giant shells into which you blow to make a noise. Surely a way of summoning up the gods of success.

By Charles Alf Lafon

“A pretty trophy to sit on his mantelpiece”