Video: Great F1 press conference moments (part 1)

Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Mark Webber, Monte-Carlo press qualifying conference, 2006Controversy, comedy, and water fights. Formula 1 press conferences have proved the unlikely venues for all manner of hi-jinxs.

Today we take a look at some of the funniest moments in F1 press conferences captured on video – and a few of the arguments that erupted in front of the press. And we’ll have a second batch of videos tomorrow…

Portuguese Grand Prix, Estoril, 1992 – Ayrton Senna on Alain Prost

After finishing third Ayrton Senna launched into one of his trademark tirades against Alain Prost. Prost had signed for the dominant Williams for 1993, and had vetoed Senna out of the team.

Senna’s appeals to sporting integrity have the hallmarks of Fernando Alonso’s reaction at Monza 14 years later, when he said he no longer considered F1 a sport after being controversially relegated down the grid.

Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, 1993 – Ayrton Senna on Eddie Irvine

The late Senna was as mesmerising in press conferences as he was in races. Here he tears into Jordan debutant Eddie Irvine, who had the temerity to un-lap himself from Senna during the race, delaying the Brazilian. Senna thumped his afterwards.

San Marino Grand Prix, Imola, 2004 – Juan Pablo Montoya on Michael Schumacher

When Michael Schumacher pushed Juan Pablo Montoya clean off the track at Imola, the stewards surprisingly chose not to intervene. An angry Montoya, who had faced the stewards’ wrath for far less in the recent past, suggested to Schumacher that he was, “either stupid or blind”.

Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, 1999 – Mika Hakkinen’s ‘easy’ win

Ask a stupid question, get a Mika Hakkinen trademark dry reply…

Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, 1999 – Juice fight

More fun with Hakkinen – who disappears off-screen in pursuit of Eddie Irvine with a jug of juice. Note he returns with an empty jug. Viewed from another angle below:

Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, 2004, Juan Pablo Montoya

Montoya is the target of a pair of Australian comedians at the 2004 Grand Prix. His reaction is priceless, but someone needs to tell those two pranksters they’re not as funny as they think they are…

Austrian Grand Prix, Osterreichring, 1987 – Nigel Mansell’s head

One of the most celebrated Murray Walker moments…

Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps, 1994 – Mika Hakkinen

Schumacher laughs as Hakkinen replies in an English press conference in his native tongue. But Schumacher wouldn’t be laughing later on when he was stripped of the win due to a technical infringement.

British Grand Prix, Brands Hatch, 1976 – James Hunt

Press conferences were less formal back in the day. James Hunt bags a cigarette off a journalist mid-interview. Are F1 drivers even allowed to say “cigarette” today?

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