Formula One is an appealing sport. The noise, the colour, and the money all add up to drama on four wheels. The speed and the paparazzi make the F1 one of the most extravagant and glamorous races in the world. Since inception, there have been some moments etched in the minds of fans.
Though it is difficult to choose from the plethora of memorable F1 races, DSport tries to pick ten most memorable moments.
Here are some of them exclusively listed for you:
Juan Manuel Fangio’s victory at the Nürburgring in 1957 – the greatest drive of all time
The greatest drive in the history of motorsport began. Over the next ten laps, Fangio broke and rebroke the lap record at the Nürburgring – a staggering 9 times, 7 of them in consecutive laps. In the very first lap after his pit stop, he closed the gap between him and race leader Hawthorn by an eye popping 15.5 seconds, and in the very next by an equally out-worldly 8.5 seconds. He was tearing around the Nürburgring like no one had ever driven before. As the spectators watched on in awe and disbelief, Fangio threw caution to the winds and blazed his Maserati around, taking several seconds off the race leader’s lap times with each of his laps. Early in the 21st lap, he cut through on the inside and took Collins. A few seconds later he had Hawthorn eating his dust.
The Death Of Ayrton Senna
He ran off the road on the infamous Tamburello bend at Imola doing an estimated 190 mph, skated over the gravel trap and impacted the wall doing 135 mph. Of course, the dreadful news eventually came through that Senna, like Roland Ratzenberger only 24 hours earlier, had died as a result of his injuries. The F1 world went into mourning. Senna’s legacy survives to this day, not only in the memory of his racing spirit and achievements but in the improvements that were made to F1 cars in the wake of his death and as a direct result of his injuries. There has not been another driver death since that horrible weekend in 1994. Let’s hope it’s a record that continues to stand for some time to come.
Maldonado’s surprise win
We may all rip into Pastor Maldonado for his multiple crashes, but he is, in fact, a fast driver with lots of potentials. Unfortunately, the only real glimpse of his potential was at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix when he held off Fernando Alonso to score his maiden F1 win. It was also the Williams team’s first triumph since the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Emotional title victory
Seb Vettel headed to the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix very much the underdog for the drivers’ title. Alonso and his teammate Mark Webber led the way, with the German 15 points behind the leader. However, both Alonso and Webber got caught in traffic during the race and couldn’t find a way through, taking the chequered flag in seventh and eighth. Vettel meanwhile puts in a stunning drive to snatch the championship from under their noses. It proved to be the first of four, and clearly meant a lot to the German.
Niki Lauda’s Remarkable Comeback After Being Badly Burned
Niki Lauda lived through everyone’s worst nightmare—being burned alive. He was trapped in his burning car after a horrific accident at the 1976 German Grand Prix and would not have survived were it not for the tremendous courage of fellow drivers Arturo Merzario, Guy Edwards and Harald Ertl along with Brett Lunger who was involved in the crash. Lauda’s comeback is one of the sport’s greatest triumph over adversity stories. That he survived was remarkable, that he returned to racing so quickly beggars belief. Thanks to Jeff for pointing out this gaping hole in the list.
(This video is the graphical representation of Nikki Lauda’s crash from the movie ‘Rush’)
Hamilton vs Raikkonen at Spa
Few will forget Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen’s epic duel for the race victory in the closing stages of the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix. The lead changed several times as the two drivers battled to stay on track due to rain showers at Spa-Francorchamps. The battle for first saw Hamilton cut the chicane, which he was later penalized for. Raikkonen eventually crashed at the exit of Blanchimont.
Hamilton domination on home soil
The eventual 2008 world champion’s first victory on home soil at Silverstone is undoubtedly one of the most dominant displays in the sport’s long history. In wet conditions, Hamilton was in a league of his own, finishing over one minute clear of the chasing pack.
Gilles Villeneuve and Rene Arnoux bang wheels
At the 1979 French GP at Dijon, Gilles Villeneuve and Rene Arnoux shared two of the most intense laps, hard fought racing laps to be seen. They swapped positions multiple times, banged wheels, overlapped wheels and drove side-by-side through corners before Arnoux finally prevailed and took second place. The skill and nerves of steel required to drive like that are impossible for mere mortals to put into words.
Michael Schumacher Passes Ayrton Senna’s Win Record
When Schumacher won the 2000 Italian Grand Prix, he equaled the number of wins achieved by his idol, Ayrton Senna. While everyone knew it would be an important milestone for Schumacher, people were taken aback by his reaction in the post race press conference. He broke down in uncontrollable tears and had to be consoled by his fiercest and most respected opponent, Mikka Hakkinen. It is often overlooked that Schumacher was following Senna when the Brazilian ran off the road and was killed.The accident obviously had a much deeper impact than anyone realized and that press conference is one of the most confronting and memorable moments in F1.
Button’s incredible recovery
Again, here is a race that was so full of excitement that one specific moment couldn’t be narrowed down. It was officially the longest ever race, with a lengthy red flag period boosting the time to four hours and four minutes. It started in wet conditions and the rain quickly intensified, before stopping and allowing the track to dry out. Button took the victory, despite at one point running in the last place. He pitted six times, collided with a few drivers but recovered to move up the order and snatch the win from Vettel on the last lap, after pressuring him into a mistake at Turn 6.