Formula 1's first and last unofficial starter

German driver Hans Heyer was born on this day in 1943, and while his main expertise was in touring cars, he once found his way on to an F1 starting grid through ruse and audacity.

In 1977, Heyer rented a drive with the ATS team for his home race, the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

But Hans was unsuccessful in qualifying, manhandling the uncompetitive machine to P27, outside of the eligible first 24.

However, Heyer was absolutely determined to enjoy his Sunday drive.

As the field lined up on the grid, the ATS crew fired up his car and waved him out, confidently shouting "Alles ist gut!" to a bewildered group of marshals.

A first lap incident between Alan Jones and Clay Regazzoni was just the diversion Heyer needed to sneak out on to the track and join the fray.

It all ended ten laps later however with a broken gearbox, and a predictable disqualification.

Officially, the history books never recorded Hans Heyer's presence in the 1977 German GP.

Unofficially however, the man with the trademark green felt Tyrolean hat was there...