Continuing our countdown of top Formula One videos, numbers 90-81 stretches from Emerson Fittipaldi’s first Grand Prix win right up to 2006 with the debut of Nico Rosberg (pictured). Plus another delicious Michael Schumacher controversy. Read on for the next part of our top 10.
90 – 1993 Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka – Ayrton Senna punches Eddie Irvine
It had been, by all accounts, an eventful debut for Eddie Irvine. Drafted into the Jordan-Hart at Suzuka, a track he new well, Irvine shone when the rain fell and briefly unlapped himself from leader Senna. Towards the end of the race, Irvine nerfed off Derek Warwick at the chicane to steal sixth place and a point in his first race. Senna, not too pleased with Irvine’s cheek, walloped him afterwards.
89 – 1975 Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort – James Hunt, and Hesketh, score their first win
The tiny Hesketh outfit were something of a joke in the Formula One paddock. Bankrolled by the largesse of Lord Hesketh, the one-car outfit ran a March chassis for James Hunt ‘The Shunt’, and came to Formula One because it was not much dearer than Formula Two, where they weren’t doing very well anyway. But a coming-of-age performance from Hunt at Zandvoort gave them their first – and only – win. It was a foretaste of what was to come next year, as Hunt fended off Niki Lauda’s Ferrari to the flag.
88 – 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix, Bahrain – Nico Rosberg storms into F1
While Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher duelled for supremacy at the front of the pack, Nico Rosberg was making the kind of debut every aspiring F1 driver dreams of. Apart from the first corner, that is, where he lost his front wing. But in a spirited fightback he showed all the combative brilliance of his father Keke (champion in 1982), especially when he sliced past Scott Speed into turn one.
87 – 1998 French Grand Prix – Martin Brundle quizzes Michael Schumacher
In 1990 Jackie Stewart famously hauled Ayrton Senna over the coals in a televised interview over the Brazilian’s various racing indiscretions. Eight years later, Martin Brundle did much the same to his ex-team mate Michael Schumacher, over the Adelaide ’94, Jerez ’97 and Montreal ’98 incidents. (Don’t worry – we’ve got the Stewart interview coming up later too…)
86 – 1993 Champ Car round one, Surfers’ Paradise, Australia – Nigel Mansell’s debut win
Reigning Formula One champion Nigel Mansell made a perfect start to his Indy Car career, winning first time out at Surfer’s Paradise. He went on to win the title, becoming the only driver in history to hold both the Formula One and Indy Car championships simultaneously.
85 – 1993 Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps – Alex Zanardi’s crash
The FIA had already decided to ban traction control for the 1994 season when this horrific crash befell Alessandro Zanardi. The computer-controlled suspension system on his Lotus failed on the approach to Spa-Francorchamps’ fearsomely quick Eau Rouge corner.
Zanardi survived, and despite a comeback attempt the following year he left for the Indy Car championship. He won that series twice before an abortive return to F1 in 1999. In 2001, having returned to American racing, he lost both his legs in an even worse crash than this one. Remarkably he is still racing and won a round of the World Touring Car Championship last year.
84 – 2005 Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Fancorchamps – lap with Jacques Villeneuve
Despite the numerous safety improvements made to Spa (note the changes to Eau Rouge since the previous video) and the fact that it was voted top in an FIA poll of the fans’ favourite circuits, it is off the calendar in 2006. Hopefully it will return, but in the meantime enjoy this lap with a driver unstinting in his praise for the circuit, despite his many crashes at Eau Rouge – Jacques Villeneuve.
83 – 1970 United States Grand Prix, Watkins Glen – Emerson Fittipaldi’s first win
Lotus were drivers’ and constructors’ champions in 1970. But that did nothing to lessen the tragedy of Jochen Rindt’s death – the first ever posthumous champion. Four weeks later their new driver Emerson Fittipaldi claimed his first ever Grand Prix win, at only his fifth attempt, on the same day that Rindt’s lead in the championship became unassailable.
82 – 1998 British Grand Prix, Silverstone – Michael Schumacher wins in the pits
Atrociously wet weather plunged the British Grand Prix into chaos – you’d think the British, of all people, could cope with a few drops of rain. Having belatedly realise that Michael Schumacher had incurred a punishment for overtaking Alexander Wurz under yellow flags, Schumacher’s Ferrari team were notified of the decision too late. Nonetheless they took the penalty – on the final lap, after Schumacher had crossed the line in the pit lane. Thanks to the stewards’ mistake, the result stood.
81 – Australian non-championship Grand Prix, Sandown Park – Juan Manuel Fangio battles Jack Brabham
Five-times champion Juan Manuel Fangio made a memorable appearance at Sandown Park, flinging his Mercedes W196 around the circuit in battle with Jack Brabham.
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