April Fools – The 5 Worst (or Best?) F1 TV Adverts Ever
Yes, it’s April Fools day, so instead of saying “we’re shutting down!” in a rather juvenile fashion, we have opted to dig up some F1 telly gold. Driver contracts are incredibly complex, but there is always a little bit in there about promotional work – i.e. “I drive for Mercedes, so buy a Mercedes.” This has led to some incredibly terrible television adverts over the years, and we have found five of the very worst for your post-Easter delight.
5. “Anything you can do…” featuring Alonso, Hamilton and a special guest
In 2007, we all know what happened between Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, and this advert acts as an ironic undertone. The two of them compete tit-for-tat whilst showing off why Mercedes are the bees’ knees, only to be outdone at the very end by an old friend…
4. Head and Shoulders with Jenson Button
JB’s first appearance in our countdown sees him selling shampoo – nothing to do with McLaren, Mercedes or Brawn for that matter! Anyhow, the question is “what’s on your mind?”. “Racing!” is the first answer, yet later on he crashes the lawnmower – maybe the suspension is fitted upside down? Also, notice how the kid who loses at Jenga looks at the camera with a “you’re not used to this, are you?” look when Jenson shouts “winning!”. Late bloomer.
3. Santander’s 1-2-3, and Button is definitely the third wheel
Jenson is back, and it’s worse than ever. He’s everywhere in this one. Behind the fridge to start with, and then stares at the man (who isn’t wearing trousers) until he leaves the room. Then, as a man and a woman come home, he’s already inside! Quick off the draw, old Jense. Finally, as Jessica Ennis and Rory McIlroy share a joke, Jenson is on the phone. “Um, Martin, you never mentioned this?!”. Such a wooden advert, and incredibly cringeworthy.
2. Kimi and Fisi go for a fill up
Speaking of cringeworthy, enter Ferrari. Kimi Raikkonen is probably the last person you would expect to do one of these ads, but he’s been roped in like the others. Alongside then-teammate Giancarlo Fisichella, Kimi goes for fill up at a Shell petrol station. Used to their F1 pit crew, both drivers get out the watches, but they appear to be impressed. Then, they pick up some Ferrari toy cars from the Shell shop (as you do), and bicker about whose is better. Fisi maintains his is “nicer”, but Kimi says his is “faster”. The beauty of it? You can still tell Kimi doesn’t give a damn.
1. Canberra Milk Kid – Mark Webber
In at number one is the single worst and most surprising advert featuring an F1 driver you have ever seen. Mark Webber sings. Yes, he sings about his love for Canberra milk, and how “I…I-I’m… a Canberra milk kid!”. Even to native Aussies, this must be a travesty of an advert. We even get a little karting segment, and Mark makes sure he does not hit his beloved Canberra milk cartons. Full of multi 21 goodness we understand. Well Mark, you’re the winner in this one. Congratulations on having the worst F1 TV advert ever.
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Luke Smith is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Richland F1. Having started the website in March 2012, he has gone on to become one of the youngest members of the Formula 1 paddock after joining American broadcaster NBC Sports at the beginning of the 2013 season. Luke now works as the network's lead F1 writer, supporting the TV coverage on nbcsports.com. Luke's work has also been featured on NBC News, Yahoo! Sports, Driven Magazine and the Bahrain Mirror, and he has also appeared on CNBC's TV series "One Second in F1 Racing".