From over 1,000 Formula 1 Grands Prix, there have been only 381 in which no Finnish drivers competed – and only three of those have been in the last 30 years. We take a look back at the most recent F1 races in which no Finnish drivers competed!
2010 Spanish Grand Prix
It has been over a decade since the last Formula 1 race to not feature a Finnish driver. This happened at the 2010 Spanish Grand Prix. With Kimi Raikkonen on his first of two seasons away from F1, Heikki Kovalainen was left as the only Finn on the grid. Kovalainen raced with the uncompetitive – and inexperienced – Lotus team. His first fruitless season with the backmarker team resulted in one Did Not Start – the result of a gearbox failure at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
2005 United States Grand Prix
Between 2003 and 2007, Kimi Raikkonen was the only Finnish driver on the F1 grid. He would have started every race in that period, if not for the tyre fiasco at the 2005 United States Grand Prix. Concerns about the safety of the Michelin tyres meant that none of the cars using the French manufacturer’s tyres were able to start the race. Of the six drivers who did start – on the Bridgestone tyres – none of them were Finnish. Raikkonen’s DNS in this race was the only time between 1994 and 2010 that no Finnish drivers started a Grand Prix.
1994 Hungarian Grand Prix
For the first time since the end of the 1990 season, there were no Finnish drivers present on the grid at the 1994 Hungarian Grand Prix. JJ Lehto and Mika Hakkinen both made appearances in the 1994 season, but neither were in action at the Hungarian Grand Prix. While JJ Lehto made sporadic appearances with Benetton and Sauber in the 1994 season, Frenchman Philippe Alliot deputised at McLaren for Hakkinen, with the Finn having been handed a one-race suspension. Hakkinen had been involved in a collision with Rubens Barrichello at the end of the British Grand Prix, picking up a one-race ban suspended for three races. However, at the next race – the German Grand Prix – Hakkinen collided with David Coulthard, in an incident which would see the one race ban enforced for the Hungaroring race.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.