The backmarker that sparked a tyre protest, the triple-champion that grilled a two-time champion on national television, and the most controverisal race stoppage ever.
All this and more highlights in part five of the greatest Formula One video clips.
60 – 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, Imola – Rubens Barrichello crashes in practice
For obvious reasons, I did not consider it appropriate to include footage of serious and fatal accidents in this feature. The weekend from hell, that claimed the lives of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna, is not remembered as a ‘great’ moment in Formula One history in any positive way.
But its impact on the sport cannot be overstated. When Rubens Barrichello badly crashed his Jordan in practice for the race, few could imagine the horrors that lay ahead.
59 – 1973 Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos – Emerson Fittipaldi wins first Brazilian GP as youngest champion
Emerson Fittipaldi became the youngest ever World Champion in 1972 – a record that stood until Fernando Alonso’s victory in 2005. Fittipaldi’s championship and his win in the first championship Brazilian Grand Prix the following year marked the beginning of the influx of Brazilian drivers into the sport. Fittipaldi himself was champion twice, and Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna three times each.
58 – 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring – Fernando Alonso laps Michael Schumacher
The nadir of Michael Schumacher’s 2003 season came at the Hungaroring when, struggling for grip on Bridgestone tyres in another 2003 race held in exceptional heat, he was lapped by Fernando Alonso as the Spaniard drove to his first Grand Prix win. Ferrari’s immediate response came not on the track, but off it: they protested the legality of theirrivals Michelin tyres and the FIA upheld the claim on dubious grounds.
Michelin were forced to redesign the tyres they had used since early 2001, and Bridgestone and Ferrari stole the advantage. The lingering rancour from 2003 may well have still been felt three years later, when Michelin announced their decision to quit the sport.
57 – 1990 Australian Grand Prix, Adelaide – Jackie Stewart interviews Ayrton Senna
Another of Ayrton Senna’s memorable interview moments – this time in a memorable clash with Jackie Stewart on Australian television following the Suzuka controversies of 1989 and 1990.
56 – 1950s Early on-board footage of Juan Manuel Fangio
Rare video of ‘the maestro’, Juan Manuel Fangio, five times champion, at work from inside the cockpit.
55 – 1973 Brands Hatch – Lap of Brands Hatch with Stewart
Excellent on-board footage from eighteen years later on – the unmistakably smooth style of Jackie Stewart at work on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, during his last season of Formula One racing when he won his third championship title.
54 – 1976 Spanish Grand Prix, Jarama – Hunt wins, disqualified
Another moment of controversy from the memorable 1976 season. James Hunt won the Spanish Grand Prix on merit, but because his McLaren marginally transgressed the new restrictions on car dimensions, he was stripped of his win. Later he (and Jacques Laffite, thrown out of 12th place for similar reasons) was reinstated.
53 – 1995 Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps – Michael Schumacher vs Damon Hill
One of the great points of the Schumacher-Hill rivalry that didn’t end in a sand trap or a wall. This was a turning point in the relationship between Hill and his Williams team, that led to him being replaced by Heinz-Harald Frentzen at the end of Hill’s championship year, 1996. Although Schumacher started 16th, eight places behind Hill and a wet qualifying session, Schumacher stormed to the front, employing his occasionally questionable driving ethics to hold off Hill.
52 – 1979 Argentinian Grand Prix, Buenos Aires – First lap crash
After the shock death of Ronnie Peterson following a start line crash at the 1978 Italian Grand Prix, the governing body sought to crack down on erratic driving in the early stages of a race. But the first lap of the new season in Argentina saw a multi-car accident that injured Nelson Piquet. As Formula One was breaking onto international television, it inevitably followed that new procedures were put in place to reduce the possibility of a start line crash.
51 – 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo – Wet race is stopped early as Ayrton Senna reels in Alain Prost
Perhaps the most controversial decision ever taken by a race steward was that of Jacky Ickx on lap 31 of the wet Monaco Grand Prix in 1984. With his compatriot Alain Prost leading, the rain getting heavier, and Ayrton Senna carving into Prost’s lead, Ickx stopped the race. Senna had raced from 13th to second and behind him Stefan Bellof had risen from 20th to third – either could conceivably had won.
As it was, Prost won but took only half points due to the shortened race, which proved decisive when he famously lost the championship to team mate Niki Lauda in the final round by half a point…
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