Apologies for the 24 hour delay! Here is the fourth installment of our Greatest Formula One Videos feature, taking us from number 70 to number 61. Today’s ten have at least one clip from every decade of the sport -from verbal wars to championship heartbreak via first-lap shunts.
70 – 1977 British Grand Prix, Silverstone – James Hunt wins his home race
Hunt had won his home Grand Prix at Brands Hatch the previous year – only to have it taken away from him on a technicality. He took revenge in 1977, winning at Silverstone bearing the number one on his McLaren from his championship success the previous season. But he lost his title to Niki Lauda’s Ferrari.
69 – 1994 Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos – Four car pile-up
The violence of this accident was almost as shocking as the FIA’s reaction to it. Jos Verstappen, in the Benetton, pulled out to pass Eddie Irvine’s Jordan ust as Irvine himself was moving to pass Eric Bernard in the Ligier. Verstappen was forced onto the grass and spun into Irvine and Bernard, before being launched up onto Martin Brundle’s McLaren. You can see Brundle’s helmet being struck by the Benetton’s wheel, but incredibly none of the drivers were hurt.
The FIA gave Irvine a one-race ban for what was at worst no more than a racing incident – but when he appealed it the sentence was tripled! Astonishingly, the appeal panel accused of behaving like a driver who changed lanes on a motorway without signalling, apparently forgetting that Formula One cars don’t have indicators…
68 – 1988 Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps – Early onboard with Nakajima
Onboard cameras were first regularly used on cars during races in the mid to late 1980s. Here is an example of such footage from Saturo Nakajima’s Lotus-Honda at Spa-Francorchamps in 1988. Nakajima had Honda’s patronage to thank for his seat in Formula One. Even in his second season of racing he was still struggling to qualify on some occasions despite having the best engine available at the time.
67 – 1995 Australian Grand Prix, Adelaide – Mika Hakkinen crashes in practice
The final Grand Prix at Adelaide began on a sombre note. Mika Hakkinen was seriously injured at the high-speed Malthouse corner when he suffered a tyre deflation. The head trauma he suffered is clear from the violent movement of his head when the car strikes the wall. He was saved largely due to the rapid intervention of the medical team led by Professor Sid Watkins.
Following the accident the bond Hakkinen forged with McLaren team boss Ron Dennis meant that the Finn remained with the team for the rest of his F1 career. Between them they won three championships.
66 – 1950 Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort – Refuelling fire
Some rare early footage of the first ever season of Formula One. This was a non-championship pits. Notice the rather primitive refuelling equipment, and the inevitable fire!
65 – 2002 Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park Melbourne – First-lap crash
Ralf Schumacher was launched over the back of Rubens Barrichello’s Ferrari as the Brazilian weaved to defend his position at the start of the 2002 Australian Grand Prix. In the context of the Verstappen clip (number 69) it is amazing that the Brazilian wasn’t punished for the crash that took out almost half the field. It was also surprising that the race wasn’t stopped to clear the track properly and allow the many innocent victims of the crash to restart.
At it was, it precipitated a dream debut for home boy Mark Webber, who finished fifth for Minardi largely thanks to the high number of retirements. Alas, the rest of the season was nowhere near as dramatic.
64 – 1987 Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka – Nigel Mansell crashes and loses the championship
The Japanese Grand Prix was back on the calendar aftera 10-year absence in 1987. Nigel Mansell had won more races than team mate Nelson Piquet, but trailled him in the championship having suffered worse reliability in his Williams-Honda. He had to win at Suzuka to keep him championship chances alive, but he never even made it to the race. He spun off in the Esses at the start of the lap, and landed with enough force the injure his back. It was a second heartbreaking end to a title bid for him in as many years.
63 – 1992 Portuguese Grand Prix, Portugal – Ayrton Senna rages at Alain Prost in the press conference
Alain Prost had sussed out the emerging competitivity of Williams-Renault far sooner than arch-rival Ayrton Senna. Prost had his nameon a Williams contract for 1993 as early as 1991. So that in 1992, when Senna tried to sign for the team, Prost exercised a power of veto. At first, he even used it to block Nigel Mansell for re-signing for the team he had just won the championship for. Senna, incandescented, launched into an infamous rage in the post-race press conference at Estoril in 1992 after the story broke.
62 – 1967 Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort – The debut of the DFV
Jim Clark won the 1967 Dutch Grand in a Lotus powered by the Cosworth engine that would revolutionise the sport – the famous Ford DFV. Over thr next 18 years it would power 155 wins in 262. It made multiple champions of teams like Williams and McLaren, who remain to this day. Often Ford-Cosworth engines powered all the drivers who were not racing Ferraris. It was unquestionably the most successful engine in the history of the sport.
61 – 1972 Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo – Jean-Pierre Beltoise takes his only win
With the passing of the Nurburgring, the greatest challenge in modern Formula One must be to win the Monaco Grand Prix in the wet. This is something few drivers can lay claim to but one – Jean-Pierre Beltoise – won his only F1 race in a streaming wet Monte-Carlo in 1972.
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