Japanese Grand Prix Weekend Round Up #3
In the third and final part of this week’s EngageSportMode Formula 1 bonanza, we tie the past two updates together in a bow that a department store gift-wrapper would be proud of. And by that I mean we link Twitter and Grand Prix shenanigans together in one final, slightly crazy, post about this man:
For those of you who don’t recognise Japanese racing drivers from the best part of two decades ago, this is Takachiho “Taki” Inoue. Taki competed in eighteen Grand Prixs across the 1994 and 1995 seasons. Whereas drivers like Romain Grosjean are talented but unlucky, by his own admission Taki recently labelled himself as one of “the shittest” drivers to grace the F1 grid. Running the uncompetitive Footwork Hart in 1994, Inoue’s best result was an eighth place at the Italian Grand Prix. But the Japanese driver is perhaps best remembered for suffering two completely bizarre incidents, that will forever earn him a small place in the Formula 1 history books and ESM’s heart.
The first came in a practice session at the Monaco Grand Prix. Following Inoue stalling the engine, he asked the marshalls to tow him back to the pit lane. This would mean he could compete in the second qualifying session; something the car being craned away by the marshalls would prevent. Whilst being towed back, his car was hit by Jean Ragnotti who was test driving the Renault Clio safety car. The resulting collision caused Inoue’s car to roll over into the barriers, along with causing him concussion and a damaged helmet. He also missed the second qualifying session.
Perhaps even more infamous than the Monaco debacle, the next instalment of Taki’s bad luck would happen a few months later at the Hungarian Grand Prix. To be honest, it’s easier to show a video than attempt to explain this in words:
Yes…Taki Inoue got hit by a medical car whilst attempting to extinguish a fire on his car. To be honest, in all my years of watching Formula 1 I’ve never really seen anything like it. Come the end of the 1995 season, Inoue was slated to drive for Minardi for the next year. Unfortunately, a sponsor pulled out at the last-minute leaving him without a seat for 1996, thus bringing his F1 career to a grinding halt.
Nowadays, Taki lives in Monaco, and seems to busy himself with drinking in the pub, and tweeting his own F1 opinions like the collective displayed below. These are just a few of the gems I’ve witnessed over the past week or two:
He is possibly my Twitter favourite of the year, and deserves a special EngageSportMode award for “Overcoming a Distinctly Unsuccessful Formula 1 Career to Become a Hilarious Twitter Pundit and Comedian”. Not entirely sure how I’d manage to fit all that on one trophy though. Instead, Taki might have to wait to see if he can be crowned ESM “Man of the Year” in December. Until then, EngageSportMode salutes you Taki Inoue: keep drinking, and keep tweeting.
If you feel your life wouldn’t be complete without hearing from Inoue-san then head over to https://twitter.com/takiinoue and follow him.