Watch This Maserati 250F Driver Bump Start His Car Mid-Race


What do you do when you’re driving a Maserati 250F, a classic Formula 1 car with no modern starter and your car effectively dies on the track? Well, if you’re historic road racer Simon Duffey, you stick your hand out of the racecar and proceed to push with all your might on the rear left wheel to get the car moving again. With enough momentum, you can bump start it. And that’s exactly what Duffey did midrace!

While the automatic starter, the same starter that we all take for granted when we turn our keys and don’t have to exit the car, has been in cars long before the 1950’s, they never entered Formula 1 until the 1960’s. That meant in order to start the car, you had to have someone push you, select a useable gear and pop the clutch to get it started. Martin Brundle demo’s the procedure in short style below.

In the first video above, it was the 73rd Members Meeting at Goodwood Circuit in the United Kingdom and Simon Duffey was running a strong second place when he spun out on St. Mary’s Corner. Probably in a similar situation many times before, Duffey knew exactly what to do. Almost like pushing a wheel chair, Duffey quite ingeniously coaxed the car along with his left hand and got the Maserati 250F bump started all by himself.

If Duffey was on level ground, he probably couldn’t have got enough momentum to continue forward. But since he was on a slight gradient, a self-push start was possible.

Simon Duffey represented the true spirit of vintage Formula 1. In the middle of the race, you are pretty much your own mechanic. Without so much as skipping a beat, Duffey forged on. Hat tip to you sir.