In today’s installment, the passing move that made Jacques Villeneuve a star, a thoroughly revolutionary Formula One car, and surely the most embarassing thing that ever happened to Antonio Pizzonia.
Read on for the next ten of our Greatest F1 videos ever.
40 – 1996 Portuguese Grand Prix, Estoril – Jacques Villeneuve vs Michael Schumacher
Late in the 1996 season Jacques Villeneuve had to beat team mate Damon Hill in the Portuguese Grand Prix to keep his chances of becoming champion – in his debut season – alive. To begin with he ran third behind Hill and Michael Schumacher, but a stunning pass on his German rival around the outside of the high-speed Parabolica curve brought him back into contention. He the out-strategied Hill to win the race.
39 – 1998 Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps – Enormous crash on first lap
The Ardennes weather ran true to form in 1998 – rain came down in buckets, just as it had the previous year. The field sloshed around the La Source hairpin without contact – but didn’t get much further. David Coulthard’s McLaren speared into a barrier on the exit, collecting almost every other car in the field. Amazingly, despite the flying debris and wheels bouncing everywhere, no-one was seriously hurt.
As a result of the accident, the race steward now generally start wet races behind the safety car with the cars rolling. Wheel tethers on the cars were also introduced.
38 – 2003 Barcelona testing – Antonio Pizzonia crashes a Jaguar S-Type R
I had the fortune recently to be taken on passenger laps of the Brands Hatch Indy circuit by Tom Kristensen and Susie Stoddart. If I’d been offered the same opportunity with Antonio Pizzonia I wouldn’t have taken it up without hesitation. On joining the Jaguar F1 team in 2003 Pizzonia was doing some promotional work with journalists in a brand new Jaguar S-Type R at the Barcelona Circuit de Catalunya.
Disaster struck when he tried to brake for turn one at the point where he would get on the anchors in an F1 car. As sporty as the S-Type R is, it couldn’t quite handle this, and the car plus occupants rolled into the gravel trap and hit a tyre barrier upside-down. It was the first in a series of blunders for Pizzonia, and he was out of the team by the halfway point of the season.
37 – 2005 European Grand Prix, Nurburgring – Raikkonen crashes out on the last lap
Kimi Raikkonen’s McLaren let him down often enough in his prusuit of Fernando Alonso in 2005. But on this dramatic occasion he only had himself to blame. He led the European Grand Prix convincingly but threw the car off the track and later locked a tyre hard. This began to cause him severe problems towards the end of the race as the flat-spotted tyre shook the car hard.
Raikkonen backed off but as he began his final lap the suspension could no longer take the pounding. It disintegrated, threw Raikkonen of the track, and left Alonso the winner.
36 – 1978 Swedish Grand Prix, Anderstorp – The Brabham fan car
In 1978 Colin Chapman had stolen a march on his rivals in a big way with the revolution Lotus 79 ground effect car. the sidepods trailled to the ground allowing the passage of air under the car to suck it to the road.
Teams raced to copy the idea, with limited success. The exception was Brabham, where the genius of designer Gordon Murray saw the opportunity to create a stronger ground effect using a fan, which would serve the dual purpose of cooling the troublesome Alfa Romeo engine while handily circumventing the ‘no moving aerodynamic parts’ rule.
Brabham rivals protested the car angrily at its first appearance in Sweden. Some drivers claimed the fan spat stones at them as they drove. BRabham team boss Bernie Ecclestone agreed to withdraw the car after its sole win, to Murray’s great anger, who felt Ecclestone’s move was unsporting and politically motivated.
35 – 2000 Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps – Hakkinen vs Schumacher
Michael Schumacehr had scorched ito the lead of the 2000 championship, capitalising on McLaren’s early season unreliabiity. But midway through the year defending two-time champion Mika Hakkinen struck back hard. Following his victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix came this inspired performance at Spa-Francorchamps, where he initially dropped behind Schumacher but reeled in his rival on a drying track.
He first moved to pass Schumacher as they came out of Eau Rouge and screamed towards Les Combes. Schumacher closed the door on Hakkinen at the very last moment, Hakkinen narrowly avoiding a collision of massive proportions. Next time round Hakkinen tried again, but this time used a lapped Ricardo Zonta as a buffer between himself and Schumacher, and squeezed ahead into Les Combes in the lead.
Sadly for Hakkinen, another engine failure at Indianapolis all but killed off his championship aspirations, and Schumacher finally ended Ferrari’s 21-year drivers’ championship drought.
34 – 1992 Portuguese Grand Prix, Estoril – Riccardo Patrese’s amazing escape
The Williams-Renaults were usually dominant in 1992. More often than not the only time Nigel Mansell or Riccardo Patrese saw of the back of another car it was when they were lapping backmarkers. But at Portugal Patrese found himself caught behind Gerhard Berger, and pushed very hard to pass the McLaren on the track.
It ended in near-disaster when Berger pulled into the pits and Patrese, unsighted, slammed into the back of the McLaren. For a terrifying moment the car leapt into the air seemingly towards a bridge and the pit wall, but mercifully it crashed back down to earth without hitting the bridge or anyone on the ground. Patrese, though shaken, was unhurt. It was another lucky escape for Formula One.
33 – 2002 United States Grand Prix, Indianapolis – Ferrari’s fixed finish
Not the only dodgy end to a Grand Prix in 2002 – but perhaps the worst. Okay, Ferrari’s engineered ending of the Austrian Grand Prix was disappointing, but the apparent indifference Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello showed to who won the United States Grand Prix was in many ways even more offensive. Schumacher’s feeble explanation was that he was trying to engineer a dead heat.
32 – 1937 Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo – von Brauschitz wins
Some excellent very early footage of the 1937 Grand Prix at Monaco – thirteen years before the Formula One World Championship began. It did, however, count towards the 1937 European Championship. Manfred von Brauchitsch won in a 6.0-litre Mercedes-Benz W125.
31 – 1976 British Grand Prix, Brands Hatch – The James Hunt controversy
Perhaps the greatest scandal of the controversy-ridden 1976 season came at Brands Hatch. On the first lap the Ferraris of defending champion Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzoni touched, triggering a multiple crash which claimed, among others, James Hunt. When the organisers refused to let Hunt join in the re-start, the vociferous British crowd clamoured for him to be allowed to start.
Fearing a riot the race stewards let him compete, and he duly won, only to be disqualified afterwards. He finally won his home Grand Prix, this time at Silverstone, the following year.