Debate: When did you start watching F1?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

We all had start somewhere – so how did you first start following Formula 1?

The first race I saw – on television, not live – was the 1989 British Grand Prix. Nigel Mansell, then in a Ferrari, lost buckets of time with a puncture and then went on one of his classic charges trying to catch Alain Prost’s McLaren.

But what really fired me up about F1 was the next race I saw. I missed the German Grand Prix but saw the Hungarian race – an epic round won by Mansell from 12th on the grid. It culminated in Mansell’s magnificent pass on Ayrton Senna as they rounded a lapped Stefan Johansson.

Not surprisingly, I became a devoted Mansell fan.

So why, and when, did you first get excited about Grand Prix racing?

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38 comments on “Debate: When did you start watching F1?”

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  1. I started to watch in about ’98/’99 in the midst of the Shumi/Haki battles…. I then lost the station that boradcasts the races until just last year, just in time o catch the last great races between Alonso and Shu. In the time in between I tried to follow the sport as best I could but its not that same when you can’t see the race!

    Still haven’t been able to find the WRC…. I miss watching the Mitsu/Subaru battles with Tommi Mäkinen and Colin McRae…. Different topic I guess.

  2. 1997,the race was spa,yes THAT ironically from that i became a mclaren fan,even though i think it was david who started the pile up wernt it?my brother got me into it.he’s a die hard ferrari fan who can keep (dont like his attitude)kimi.

  3. vanwall fan
    24th July 2007, 20:41

    It was either 1965 or 1966 that I attended my first F1 race at Brands, for more than 40 years I have followed this sport.
    Sadly the plans laid out by Mosley for the future of the sport are regressive and demoralizing for the fans.
    Perhaps it should not be totally unlimited in specification, but as close to that concept as is possible is the way to go. As for the suggestion to limit engines to 10k rpm and aiming for a “greener” car, well that is just plain daft.
    F1 should be the ultimate expression of technology with no holds barred, this current plan to turn them into nothing more than elaborate go karts is the tolling of the death knell for the sport. Mosley is an idiot and should be hoofed as soon as possible.
    If a truly unlimited series were to be inaugurated, the fans would flock to it in droves, it would kick the crap out of Bernie’s little nest egg.
    We want power, speed, noise and cutting edge design, not that which has been suggested. The promoter that catches on to this will make out like a bandit.

  4. The first I watched on TV was Monaco 1997 and Michael Schumacher won, which I maybe why I started supporting him. I am now a huge Schumacher fan and really miss him not racing. The best race I went to was Monaco 2000. I love going to races, especially when Schumacher would win!!

  5. The first full race I watched was the Japanese Grand Prix in 1996, at a relatives house. As a Canadian I was really hoping that somehow Villenueve would take the championship, but it wasn’t to be. He was my F1 hero at first, and his decline over the years was painful to watch.
    We finally got cable in ’99 and I started watching the races live, which for me means waking up brutally early to watch the European races. But I did and I usually have been ever since, with the exception of the 2001/2002 period when Schumacher’s uber-dominance made for some dull racing.

  6. saw my first f1 race at the nurburgring in 1963=jim clark on pole
    incredible to watch these guys get airborn at the flugplatz in practice.
    surtees in the ferrari first, clark second in the lotus 25 don’t remember who took third-could have been ginther in a brm. anyway it was my first f1 race and my second time to see clark.(nurburgring 1000k in a lotus 23-awesome)

  7. i feel old now,started following f1 in the early 60’s after i sat in the latest BRM that Graham Hill drove, BRM (Bourne Lincs),& my dad used to take me to silverstone to watch them race,cannot remember when it was first televised but have been watching ever since & have not missed one race since(with the aid of video & now sky +)

  8. Schumacher Fan
    3rd October 2007, 11:16

    The first race i remember wtaching was the 1997 spanish grand prix, from which i became a schumacher fan because of his amazing start from 7th on the grid to 3rd at the first corner. id heard of f1 before that and i knew about a few of the drivers eg hill shcumacher alesi, but after the spanish gp in 1997 to 2004 i missed only a few races. didn watch 2005 or 06 but iv seen every race this year and looking forward to seeing hamilton become world champion on sunday.

  9. Ah. Susuka 1996 When i was only 5. Decided i liked the Blue and white cars the best, and, out of those 2 cars, i liked the guy with the pink and yellow helmets design the best.

    Of course he crashed out later in the race.

    For the next 9 years, i was a Villenurve supporter.

    But i only remember the start of Susuka, and then Villeneurve sat in the gravel with 3 wheels. The first race i properly remember was Australia 97.

  10. I had watched alot of highlights but I thin the first race I watched fully was the surprisingly good (for spain) 2000 Spanish Grand Prix. I was 6 at the time. Me and my Brother were Hakkinen fans…now I’m a Raikkonen fan

  11. I was gripped by ‘Hmailton fever’ in 2007 and watched some races on and off – since the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix, I’ve watched every race (not live because I fell asleep during Australia this year):D

  12. I remember getting up with my father at 4 am to watch the 1994 season finale at Adelaide. I was eight years old by that time and maybe I did watch an occasional race before that, but it’s the first one I can remember. Being from Germany that race was, of course, really special… many years later I realized that it was Mansell’s last victory which is a funny coincident as I today name him one of my favorite drivers having watched a lot of old race footage from the 80s, early 90s and his IndyCar year(s).

  13. My first recllection of F1 was back in 1975 with the likes of James Hunt, Fittipaldi, Scheckter and Lauda to name but a few of the billiant F1 drivers that have walked this imortal coil. At first i couldn’t quite understand why these cars were racing around a track and couldn’t quite get the point, but as i sat and watched i was messmerized and hooked from that day onwards, it was a ritual that the grand prix was on as we were sat eating out sunday roast, nothing has changed really, still watch the race every weekend without fail and still enjoy every last second, just don’t bother with the roast anymore when it’s race day, i can’t concentrate on both..

  14. I started following Formula 1 in 1970 and remember reading about Jochen Rindt’s death in practice at Monza. I have been able to attend the following races in Europe and the US.
    1971 Hockenheim non-championship race won by Jacky Ickx
    1976 Nurburgring won by James Hunt
    1984 Dallas won by Keke Rosberg
    2004 Indianapolis won by Michael Schumacher
    2005 Indianapolis won by Michael Schumacher
    2006 Indianapolis won by Michael Schumacher
    2007 Indianapolis won by Lewis Hamilton
    I have been watching every practice, qualifying, and race since it has been on television in the 1980’s.

  15. My first F1 race was the ABC Wide World of Sport coverage of an early ’60s Belgian GP with a mixture of roadster and rear-engine cars that I watched on a 9″ black and white portable TV – – a stark contrast to watching this weekend’s GP on a 55″ flat screen. (yes, I’m an old fossil who still likes F1 :-).

  16. Started watching when I was 3 with my dad. Was Michael Schumacher fan. Once Alsono was with Reaunlt I went with him for 05-07. When Hamilton was going to Mclaren team from GP2 I knew he would be great. Still following hamilton 07-.

  17. I was just a little twerp. Like 2 or 3. the first race i saw it was 2002 during the schumacher domination. it was exiting as heck. especcialy monaco. since then the tifosi was the squad for me.

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