Virtual gaming events with the game F1 2019 and now six active Formula 1 drivers as well as historical races – Formula 1 wants to bring its fans through the long Formula 1 break caused by the coronavirus.
Today at 8:00 p.m. there is the official Formula 1 YouTube account for the Jerez GP in 1997. The race, then, when Michael Schumacher made Jacques Villeneuve the world champion with the notorious ramming maneuver.
Last weekend, the premier class showed the Monaco GP in 1996 – a race that only four drivers finished and was surprisingly won by outsider Olivier Panis in the Ligier-Mugen Honda. First pole man Michael Schumacher lost the start, then his Ferrari in the first lap: crash, everything over. Damon Hill dominated until his Renault engine gave up. Jean Alesi took the lead but was also stopped by a defect. This failure series, a good strategy on a wet track and a flawless journey brought Panis the unexpected victory.
You won’t find any great moments like this in Formula 1 today. Only Mercedes, Red Bull, and Ferrari Grand Prix have won for seven years. Outsiders make it onto the podium at most, as in Germany and Brazil in 2019 – two very exciting races. It is often such chaos races that make history.
Here we show you our ten best races of the past 30 years.
Brazil 2008: A world championship couldn’t be decided in a better way – with an overtaking maneuver in the last corner of the last lap of the last race. First Felipe Massa (Ferrari) cheered because he drove a perfect race in front of the home crowd under difficult conditions, won and was considered the safe world champion for a few seconds. But then Lewis Hamilton (McLaren–Mercedes) passed Timo Glock (Toyota) and secured fifth place, which was decisive for the World Cup. Massa and his family cried bitter tears. Pure emotions.
Europe 1999: It was the race that nobody wanted to win and already started with a rollover by Pedro Diniz (Sauber-Petronas). He was not injured. Heinz-Harald Frentzen defended his lead at the start but dropped out shortly after his pit stop. David Coulthard (McLaren-Mercedes) retired due to a driving error. Ralf Schumacher (Williams-Supertec) was robbed of all chances of victory by a puncture. In the end, Johnny Herbert won in a Stewart Ford, ahead of Jarno Trulli (Prost-Peugeot) and Rubens Barrichello (Stewart-Ford). It was the only race in the world championship history in which only drivers from teams on the podium whose boss used to be a Formula 1 world champion stood on the podium …
Imola 2006: There is always discussion about how to make overtaking easier. Sometimes, however, it is just exciting because there is no overtaking. At the Imola GP, Fernando Alonso (Renault) chased Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) for the entire race. Alonso was faster, but couldn’t get by. And Schumi showed why he became Formula One World Champion seven times: Because he was able to withstand such immense pressure for a whole race …
Bahrain 2014: It was the year that changed Formula 1: The introduction of hybrid engines still annoys many fans, especially because they are too quiet for many. And because Mercedes has dominated the sport ever since. That was also the case in 2014. But Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg dueled for victory at that time, as is rarely the case. They overtook each other several times. Rosberg was faster, but Hamilton was smarter – he better explored the limits of the team’s duel and won. There was also a lot going on in the midfield: in a collision with Pastor Maldonado (Lotus-Renault), Esteban Gutiérrez (Sauber-Ferrari) crashed severely.
Belgium 1998: The big race started with the biggest mass crash in Formula 1 history in the approach to Eau Rouge: race abort, restart (with four cars less), but still chaos: Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) collided while lapping David Coulthard (McLaren-Mercedes) and drove his tricycle back to the pits. Again and again, there were hair-raising but mild accidents on the wet track. And in the end, one won that hardly anyone had in mind: Damon Hill in the Jordan Mugen Honda. Ralf Schumacher was faster in the end, but team principal Eddie Jordan didn’t want to endanger his racing team’s first victory and pronounced team orders.
Italy 2008: It was clear to everyone before Monza 2008 that Sebastian Vettel was a fast driver. But how good he is was shown for the first time at the Italian GP in 2008: in a rainy qualifying, he took pole position in the Toro Rosso Ferrari. Contrary to what many thought, he was not handed backspace for space in the race, but achieved a sparkling clean victory. The birth of a true champion.
Germany 2019: Rain races are often the most exciting races of the year. Especially when the conditions change again and again – like at the German GP 2019. Slippery run-off areas in the Motodrom ensured rows of top stars like Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Nico Hülkenberg (Renault), but also Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes). Hamilton was able to continue but did not get the points. Despite a wild spin, Max Verstappen (Red Bull-Honda) won ahead of Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), who stormed from 20th to second place, and Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso-Honda).
Europe 1993: Formula 1 only made one appearance in Donington. But the race was historic: Ayrton Senna (McLaren-Ford) overtook three champions on the starting lap: Alain Prost (Williams-Renault), Damon Hill (Williams-Renault) and Michael Schumacher (Benetton-Ford) and won that with a sensational performance Race that led to massive pit stops due to changing conditions.
Belgium 1991: A race that made history: Michael Schumacher made his debut in the Jordan-Ford, qualified sensationally on grid position seven, seven-tenths of a second faster than his experienced team-mate Andrea de Cesaris. After only a few hundred meters, Schumi retired with a clutch damage, but the German-made an impression right at the debut. And there could have been a lot more in it: De Cesaris even finished in second place three laps before the end of his engine failure! Ayrton Senna won in the McLaren Honda.
Europe 2007: Markus Winkelhock only drove one race – in the Spyker Ferrari, one of the worst cars of the year. But he knew the Nürburgring, especially his moody weather. So he started with rain tires on a dry track and suddenly led the race with superiority when the rain started and the competitions slid off the track in rows. Seven drivers stranded in turn one alone! The race was stopped and restarted, Winkelhock soon retired with a defect and Fernando Alonso (McLaren-Mercedes) won the race.
Thanks to Michael Zeitler from AUTO BILD MOTORSPORT for the inspiration.