Formula 1 press conferences are usually rigidly boring. Drivers usually stick to their PR scripts, try to get their sponsors and watch suppliers into the camera shot, and refuse even to speculate, never mind criticise or joke.
But they’re always worth watching, because every now and then something actually interesting happens.
Here’s a few more examples of drivers gloating in triumph, scowling in defeat and, occasionally, being overcome with emotion.
Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, 1988, Ayrton Senna’s first World Championship
The relief and emotion is writ large across Ayrton Senna’s face even to those like me who don’t speak a word of the Portuguese he is speaking. This is him on winning his first World Championship.
Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos, 1991, Senna’s first home win
More Senna, this time on the occasion of his first ever home win, which he achieved despite being stuck in sixth gear at the end of the race as rain began to fall.
Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, 2005, Kimi Raikkonen’s last-lap win
Kimi Raikkonen passed Giancarlo Fisichella to win the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix on the final lap. In the press conference, Raikkonen looked visibly elated while a disconsolate Fisichella mumbled his replies.
Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo, 2006, Fernando Alonso wins
Fernando Alonso exudes confidence after his 2006 Monaco Grand Prix win – not only had he stretched his lead over Michael Schumacher, but he had struck a substantial psychological blow against the German, who had been punished for trying to impede other drivers during qualifying.
Turkish Grand Prix, Istanbul, 2006, Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher after qualifying
Felipe Massa beams brightly after scoring his first pole position. But his team mate Schumacher is glum – having shown ferocious pace earlier in qualifying he missed two opportunities to take pole by running wide at the first corner.
Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos, 2006, Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso
Alonso and Massa seem almost to be trying to outdo each other in effusive happiness after Massa’s first home win and Alonso’s second championship. The press conference system doesn’t accommodate championship winners very well – all eyes are forced towards race winner Massa while Alonso’s just won the title.
Italian Grand Prix, Monza, 2000 – Schumacher breaks down
An emotional Schumacher had just learned of the death of marshal Paolo Ghislimberti following the 2000 Italian Grand Prix. Faced with a question about late rival Ayrton Senna, the German startlingly broke down before the cameras.
It was one of the most astonishing and moving press conference moments.
Italian Grand Prix, Monza, 2006 – Schumacher announces his retirement
Another emotional moment six years later as Schumacher confirms that he is retiring from Formula One.
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