Rowan Atkinson, who played the widely popular Mr. Bean character on screen visited the 2011 Indian GP to support Lewis Hamilton and McLaren.
The Indian GP lasted for just three seasons on the F1 calendar but has provided fans with some great memories. It was the circuit where Sebastian Vettel won his fourth and final World Title, and famously got out of his car to bow down to the RB9.
Another moment that goes under the radar often is Atkinson’s hilarious reaction. The British actor came to the Grand Prix to support his favorite team McLaren and Hamilton.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Hamilton had engaged in plenty of on-track scraps that year and it continued at the Buddh International Circuit that day. While attempting and overtake on the then McLaren driver, Massa and Hamilton collided.
The most interesting part of his crash wasn’t Massa’s drive through penalty. It was Atkinson, aka Mr. Bean’s reaction to it caught on live camera!
Atkinson was visibly frustrated at Massa for crashing into Lewis Hamilton
Maybe Atkinson didn’t intend it to come out as funny. However, for a man we’ve seen entertain millions of people on the TV screen over the years, maybe it just came naturally.
The Brit’s reaction was simultaneous with the action that was going on track. It started with nervous anticipation when the two came close to each other. Then, to visible frustration after Massa made contact.
Massa suffered a drive-through penalty but had to retire from the race soon after due to a suspension failure. Hamilton on the other hand could manage a seventh place finish.
2011 Indian GP, that day Rowan said “Lewis has a bright future ahead of him”, and he was ✨right✨
— Ale⁹⁹ 🇮🇹⚡️ (@wolffsupremacy) December 20, 2020
The now seven-time World Champion’s McLaren teammate Jenson Button on the other finished second in that race behind eventual World Champion Vettel. The other Ferrari driver, Fernando Alonso took P3.
There were two more F1 races at the Buddh International Circuit after the 2011 Indian GP. Both the 2012 and 2013 installments were won by Red Bull’s Vettel. In 2014, the Sochi Autodrome replaced the circuit in Noida with the introduction of the Russian GP on the calendar.