The Salt Lake Olympics Award

This Award is bestowed upon teams who will sink to unfathomable depths in the quest for sponsorship.


3. Pacific, 1995

2. Tyrrell, 1997

1. March, 1992




F1 Award
3. Pacific-Lotus, 1995
Giovanni demonstrates his skillJean-Denis demonstrates his skill

Employing Lavaggi (left) and Deletraz (right) was about as low as Keith Wiggins could possibly go to obtain sponsorship.


Actually, third place could have gone to any team recently who've had to stoop to the depths of employing a pay driver, but Pacific in 1995 seemed to have managed that better than most, considering their driver choices. To be honest, Keith Wiggins' team that year wasn't totally devoid of sponsors, Ursus and Icol being amongst its backers.

Andrea Montermini in one car was meant to be a pay driver, although he never seemed to pay up, while in the other car Pacific shareholder Bertrand Gachot made way for both Giovanni Lavaggi and Jean-Denis Deletraz, two of the greatest examples of driving mediocrity the world has ever seen. Jonathan Palmer described Lavaggi as "desperately slow" once, while most of us refer to Deletraz using expletives.

If Pacific had had its way, we would also have seen the unknown Katsumi Yamamoto in that car. As it was, even though Lavaggi paid up, it seems like Deletraz didn't, but to have employed them in the first place was pathetic enough. If you don't believe me, read their driver profiles on our site.

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F1 Award
2. Tyrrell, 1997
Xena supports Tyrrell. Oh Joy!

Not even the thunder thighs of Xena: Worrier Princess could get Tyrrell moving in Britain.


Let's face it. We're both Australians and we're not overly fond of Americana. We think baseball is a corruption of cricket and gridiron the all-glamour-no-substance emasculation of rugby. And so the same applies to Hollywood slosh, with the two words becoming more synonymous with each other by the day.

Which makes us both laugh and puke to see the Tyrrells at the British GP in 1997 emblazoned not only with the name of title sponsor PIAA, but also displaying an advertisement for Xena: Warrior Princess on the rear cowling, complete with a comical drawing of Xena.

Whilst Xena would probably have approved considering her macho status and the macho nature of F1, certainly most F1 enthusiasts would have cringed at the thought of one of the great traditional teams of Grand Prix racing associating themselves with the world's greatest lesbian icon!

And no, the promotion didn't give Tyrrell an Amazonian performance advantage either. Mika Salo and Jos Verstappen qualified in 17th and 19th, and retired within a few laps of each other with engine failures.

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F1 Award
1. March, 1992
A spotty car gave March a great result in Montreal

Power to the people, as Canadian businesses get behind one of F1's greatest marques, giving March the opportunity to fill their blue livery with something, at least.


This one takes the cake for ingenuity. After the pull-out of Leyton House, March were cash-strapped in 1992, and by year's end were doomed. But in the one exception to this was Canada, when their blue cars were covered with a menage of decals.

When team manager Nick Underwood spoke to a local journo during race-week, the hack wrote a 'sob story', including March's phone number which led to 14 calls to the team in one hour, with 8 coming on board as sponsors for the weekend, offering around $4,000 Canadian dollars for the privilege of having their name displayed. The companies were varied, from a braking specialist company, to Quebec's largest Suzuki dealership, to one of Montreal's fanciest restaurants.

It proved a valuable investment as well. Karl Wendlinger drove one of his best ever races and diced with Jean Alesi's Ferrari before bringing the car home 4th, scoring three excellent points in essentially a year-old car. Paul Belmondo in turn fought with former GP winner Thierry Boutsen's Ligier, finally finishing 14th.

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