Formula 1

F1: The top 10 races in history


This weekend marks the 1000th Formula 1 Grand Prix and in celebration of the milestone Overtake Motorsport looks back at the top 5 races in history.

1. Canadian Grand Prix 2011

The 2011 Canadian Grand Prix was remarkable for many reasons. The race began under a safety car due to the wet weather conditions and after five laps racing got underway.

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Sebastian Vettel retained his pole position to lead the race but drama ensued behind when McLaren teammates, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button crashed into each other on the start/finish straight causing Hamilton to retire.

The accident caused Hamilton’s retirement and the return of the safety car.

Button had pitted for intermediate tyres before the safety car came out but when racing got back underway he had to serve a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane. This incident demoted Button to 15th.

A rain storm then appeared over the circuit which caused the race to be stopped. It was more than two hours until the race got back underway and when it did fans saw one of the best recovery drives in history.

Button, who was last when the race got back underway, carved his way through the field. On the last lap he was only 0.9 seconds behind Vettel in second place. Button’s pace was so incredible that Vettel made a mistake under pressure and ran wide at Turn 6 allowing the Briton to pass him for the lead.

Button went on to win one of his greatest ever races.

2. Belgian Grand Prix 1998

Second on our list is another wet race, this time at Spa in Belgium.

The race got underway in the wet and immediately there was carnage. David Coulthard lost control of his McLaren, crashing into the wall. Whilst sliding back across the track he collided into the majority of the field causing a red flag.

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12 cars were involved in the accident which is one of the most spectacular in Formula 1 history.

The race restarted with the majority of drivers involved in the crash using their team’s spare car. At the start Damon Hill snatched the lead in his Jordan.

Michael Schumacher went on to chase after the Jordan and on lap 8 he overtook Hill for the lead.

Schumacher went on to dominate but when the German went to lap David Coulthard’s McLaren, he failed to see that Coulthard had slowed down. He subsequently crashed into the back of Coulthard ripping off his right front wheel.

Both cars made it back to the pits and once there Schumacher stormed to the McLaren garage accusing Coulthard of deliberately slowing down so they would crash.

Hill went on to win the race while his teammate Ralf Schumacher finished second giving Jordan their first win and their first 1-2 finish.

3. Italian Grand Prix 1971

The 1971 Italian Grand Prix provided the closest finish Formula 1 has ever seen.

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Clay Regazzoni in the Ferrari took the lead at the start of the race but this was short lived as he battled with Ronnie Peterson and Jackie Stewart.

Stewart and Regazzoni went on to retire from the race while Peter Gethin, Ronnie Peterson, Francois Cevert, Mike Hailwood and Howden Ganly surged ahead in a titanic battle for the lead.

Gethin went on to win the race in his BRM, just 0.01s ahead of Ronnie Peterson in second.

All five drivers were separated by a mere 0.61s as they crossed the finish line.

4. Brazilian Grand Prix 2008

The 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix produced one of the most incredible finishes to a Formula 1 season.

Lewis Hamilton went into the final race of the season needing to ensure that he finished no lower than fifth to win the championship.

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Hamilton qualified fourth on the grid while his title rival Felipe Massa started the race from pole. Massa  led the race from pole while Hamilton remained in fourth.

After the final pit stops Hamilton was in fifth but was being caught by Sebastien Vettel. On lap 69 Hamilton went wide allowing Vettel to pass him.

It looked like Hamilton would miss out on the title for the second year running but on the last lap Hamilton overtook the Toyota of Timo Glock for fifth.

In fairytale fashion Hamilton went on to steal the championship from under Felipe Massa’s nose to win the first of his five world titles.

5. European Grand Prix 1993

The European Grand Prix of 1993 was held at Donnington Park and fans witnessed one of Ayrton Senna’s greatest ever drives.

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The Brazilian started the race in fourth position but by the end of the first lap he had the lead.

He went on to charge ahead but at his second stop he lost 20 seconds allowing Alain Prost in the Williams to take the lead.

The rain then appeared and while everyone dived into the pits for wet tyres, Senna stayed out. This proved to be the right decision as the rain didn’t last long and the track dried out.

Senna ended up making four pit stops throughout the Grand Prix but still won the race by an incredible 1m23s ahead of Damon Hill.




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