The penultimate part of our countdown of the 100 best F1 videos on the ‘net. Find here a thrilling last lap, an even more thrilling first lap and the luckiest mechanic in Formula One.
Also, no prizes for guessing what the most recent clip in the top 100 is and, at long last, the scene inspired by the song Kung Fu Fighting…
20 – 1993 Karting – Prost and Senna’s final battle
With Alain Prost’s retirement at the end of the 1993 season the years of the tumultuous rivalry between the two were drawn to a close. This rare clip is the postscript to that story. The two crossed swords at a karting event before the 1994 season, and raced wheel-to-wheel in classic fashion, before Senna succumbed to mechanical problems.
19 – 1992 Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo – Ayrton Senna vs Nigel Mansell
Ayrton Senna ended Nigel Mansell’s winning streak at the start of 1992 with this fortunate and opportunistic win at Monaco. A tyre problem drove Mansell into the pits and he emerged just behind the Brazilian with a handful of laps remaining. Despite a patently superior car Mansell could not find a way past – but Senna’s resort to brake-testing would have ramifications later in the season.
18 – 1981 Belgian Grand Prix, Zolder – Dave Luckett injured in startline crash
The 1981 Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder turned from tragedy into a chaotic disgrace. During practice, Giovanni Amedeo, a mechanic, was killed when he fell from the pitwall into the path of Carlos Reutemann’s Williams.
In response, most of the drivers undertook a pre-arranged demonstration in the minutes before the race start. But the race organisers, keen to press on with the schedule, sent cars off to form the final grid to soon. It was in this confusion that Riccardo Patrese’s Arrows stalled on the gridd and his mechanic, Dave Luckett, lept from the pit wall to re-start it.
But the starters gave the green light and the live TV audience watched in horror as cars swerved around Patrese. Finally, in a horrible irony, he was struck by team mate Siegfried Stohr. Stohr leapt from his cockpit, terrified that Luckett’s injuries were grave. But fortuntely for Luckett, Stohr, and above all the race organisers. the mechanic escaped with a broken leg.
17 – 1987 British Grand Prix, Silverstone – Nigel Mansell vs Nelson Piquet
An epic duel from the bitterly fought internecine war of the Williams drivers in 1987. Mansell was the only one of the two to stop for fresh tyres during that year’s Silverstone race. But having fallen well over 20 seconds behind Piquet, Mansell savaged the lap record time and again to close on his Brazilian nemesis.
Then, in a move of pure bravado, he duped Piquet into defending the outside of the super-fast Stowe corner, and dived for the inside. Piquet all-but turned in on him, but Mansell was through. He won the race, and ran out of fuel on the slowing-down lap. The crowd mobbed him.
16 – 2005 Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka – Kimi Raikkonen vs Giancarlo Fisichella
A finale every bit as thrilling as that at Silverstone 18 years earlier. But Raikkonen had come from 17th on the grid to reel in Fisichella, who started third. As Raikkonen bore down on him Fisichella began to panic, defending corners when Raikkonen wasn’t even threatening. Even so it wasn’t until the final lap that Raikkonen got past in a heart-stopping pass around the outside of the first corner.
15 – 1982 German Grand Prix, Hockenheimring – Piquet vs Salazar
It’s perhaps childish of me to put such an infamous moment of petulance and unsportsmanlike behaviour so high in this chart. But like it or not, this is one of the most well-known pieces of F1 footage ever shot. Having been taken out by Eliseo Salazar, Nelson Piquet (who had helped Salazar get his F1 break) launched a flurry of punches and one feeble kick at the Chilean.
Then Piquet drove off in the only available course car, leaving Salazar to walk nearly two miles back to the pits.
14 – 2006 Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo – Schumacher parks at Rascasse
This is the most recent clip in our top 100 and as such you have to wonder how it will be viewed in a few years’ time. Already it is mentioned in the same breath as Adelaide ’94 and Jerez ’97. But Michael Schumacher is so close to Fernando Alonso in terms of pace this year you wonder if there won’t be some similar controversy again before the season is over?
For the benefit of anyone with a goldfish-like memory, Schumacher’s Ferrari stopped at the Rascasse corner at the end of qualifying at Monaco, which had the effect of preventing any other drivers from setting a faster lap than Schumacher’s pole time. The stewards adjudged (correctly in the minds of most people) that Schumacher had done the deed deliberately, and sent him to the back of the grid for the race. Alonso won, Schumacher finished fifth.
13 – 1993 European Grand Prix, Donington Park – Senna Lap One
From the ridiculous to the sublime. Ayrton Senna played down the brilliance of his win because he had the benefit of traction control. But the first lap of the 1993 Donington Grand Prix is a case study in natural driving genius. It is as if Senna had an extra sense which told him exactly how much grip there was on every part of the damp Donington track – even on the outside of the Craner Curves, where he passed Karl Wendlinger.
This followed his pass on Michael Schumacher at the start. He then took Damon Hill and finally, Senna’s nemesis, Alain Prost. In one lap he overtook four cars to lead, and went on to win.
12 – 1961 Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo – Moss wins
A mighty victory of the underdog, the likes of which seem increasingly impossible in an era when refuelling strategies allow drivers to pass one another via the pits, rather than on the track. Stirling Moss, wielding the nimble Rob Walker-entered Lotus, single-handedly held off the advances of the Ferrari works team. Magnificent.
11 – 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, A1-Ring – Ferrari’s farce
Stop and think. Was there ever an outcome of a Formula One race that the majority of fans present booed? Even the notorious pro-Ferrari Tifosi, who have thrown stones at non-Ferrari drivers, always cheer at the end of the race.
After Austria in 2002 most fans at the track were booing Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, and the Ferrari team after Barrichello had led convincingly, only to yield to Schumacher on the line. Ferrari team boss Ross Brawn reassured every one that, ‘it wasn’t even a real race anyway’, which served only to pour petrol onto the flames of fury.
Team orders may have been a part of Formula One since the fifties, but the fans were still booing Schumacher at Monaco two weeks later. A line had been crossed. The FIA banned team orders the following year, but have shown little appetite for enforcing the rule.
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