998. Disgruntled ex-Mercedes employee in rain coat interrupts 2000 F1 Grand Prix in Germany

YouTube download/ Video by JordanPeugeot1997 / A former Mercedes employee in a raincoat interrupts the Formula One German Grand Prix of 2000, at the Hockenheim in Germany.
 
Worst of the Woest: Motorsports Crashes / Headline SurferMultimedia compilation of the "WORST of the Worst: Motorsport Crashes" captured on video or still images, with an emphasis on reminding fans, the corporate entities that sanction the events and the public in general on safety & the need for constant vigilance in keeping drivers, crew members, emergency workers, and especially spectators, safe at racing events around the globe.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The July 30, 2000, running of the Formula One German Grand Prix motor race at the Hockenheimring near Hockenheim, Germany, was won by Brazilian driver Rubens Barrichello driving a Scuderia Ferrari F1-2000 in his debut.

But it was the actions of a disgruntled ex-Mercedes employee in the roadway wearing a raincoat that will long be remembered. This brought out a safety car, which caused havoc and confusion for McLaren Mercedes' teams and ruined their chances of winning as they wound up in second and third behind the Brazilian. who took the checkered flag.

Barrichello promptly won the race by 7 seconds over Finnish driver Mika Häkkinen in a McLaren Mercedes MP4/15. Häkkinen's British team-mate David Coulthard was third.

Barrichello's win was the first victory by a Brazilian driver since three-time world champion Ayrton Senna at the 1993 Australian Grand Prix. The race marked the 62nd running of the German Grand Prix and the 24th to be held at Hockenheim. The race was 45 laps of the 6.8-kilometer circuit for a total race distance of 307 kilometers.

David Coulthard had the pole with Michael Schumacher second, Giancarlo Fisichella third, Mika Häkkinen fourth, Pedro de la Rosa fifth and Jarno Trulli sixth.

As the race was winding down, Barrichello passed de la Rosa for fourth but he was 8 seconds behind Trulli and was 31 seconds behind the McLarens. He closed the gap to Trulli to 4 seconds and the McLarens to 30 seconds but there were dark clouds looming. Then, suddenly a disgruntled former Mercedes employee appeared beside the track with a banner that read, "Mercedes Benz, who knew about my health problems, offered me a job I could not do and then sacked me for physical ineptitude after 20 years service." The man ran across the track as marshals chased him and so the safety car was sent out until he was was caught. But the sign only came after the McLarens had started the next lap and so others like Trulli, Barrichello, de la Rosa and others went into the stops.

Man in raincoat runs across track during F1 Grand Prix in Germany back in 2000 / Headline SurferAs the race was winding down, Barrichello passed de la Rosa for fourth but he was 8 seconds behind Trulli and was 31 seconds behind the McLarens. He closed the gap to Trulli to 4 seconds and the McLarens to 30 seconds but there were dark clouds looming.

Then, suddenly a disgruntled former Mercedes employee appeared beside the track with a banner that read, "Mercedes Benz, who knew about my health problems, offered me a job I could not do and then sacked me for physical ineptitude after 20 years service." 

The man ran across the track as marshals chased him and so the safety car was sent out until he was was caught. But the sign only came after the McLarens had started the next lap and so others like Trulli, Barrichello, de la Rosa and others went into the stops.

There was confusion in the McLaren garage as they could not handle both cars at the same time. By the time it got sorted out, Barrichello was well on his way to victory.

Some fans blame this stunt as a reason for the eventual close of the famed Hockenheim road course.

One wrote wrote on the YouTube comment section of the video above this summary: "What a complete (expletive). So many people have been killed in F1 running across tracks. Drunk, sober, politics, whatever his reason, he is a first class (expletive)."

Another wrote: This piece of (expletive) man -- This mother (expletive expletive) is one of the main factors why the old Hockenheim racetrack was destroyed and a new, shorter racetrack was created."

He added, "Hockenheim was a pearl and a very unique race in the calendar. Now, it's just a racetrack like the others."

Another poster summed up the incident that marred the race: "Mercedes protester makes the Mercedes safety car come out. The irony." 

Premise for the series:
Motorsports fans are drawn to racing for different reasons: The excitement of speed, skill of drafting & passing; strategies on when to pit for fuel, tires or repairs; the will to win and so forth. Ultimately, though, it's the big crashes that fans seem to like more than anything. And though nobody wishes serious injury or death to drivers, crew members, emergency personnel & especially spectators, the sad reality is carnage is always lurking. Despite the latest technology & improvements in aerodynamics of vehicles, driver equipment and enhanced track safety features, the fine line between life & death is always at play in any given sanctioned motorsport. Given that Headline Surfer® puts such an emphasis on racing with Daytona Beach International Speedway, the 24/7 internet news outlet is counting down its listing of the top 1,000 WORST of the Worst. While on the surface it may come across as gratuitous gore to critics, there can never be enough discussion about the need for constant vigilance in looking at safety.

Recap: WORST of the Worst Motorsports crashes:

998. Disgruntled ex-Mercedes employee in rain coat interrupts 2000 F1 Grand Prix in Germany
2017-01-04 10:35:00 -0500
 
BMW M3 driver flips in crash on road course at the Nrburgring VLN race in 2012 in Germany / Headline Surfer®
999. BMW flips after intense contact with another car in Nürburgring VLN endurance road race; driver unscathed
2017-01-02 02:33:36 -0500
 
Rusty Wallace / Headline Surfer®
1,000. Rusty Wallace flips violently in 1983 Twin 125 qualifier at Daytona International Speedway
2017-01-01 16:05:48 -0500
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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet in Daytona Beach, Florida, via HeadlineSurfer.com. Specializing in breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with dozens of journalism-industry awards.

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