You never forget a great championship-deciding moment. But what can turn a memorable moment into an emotional peak is a well-delivered commentary.
Whether shocking, joyous or poignant, these are some of the great high points, for me, of recent years.
No surprise the commentary for much of them was supplied by Murray Walker – whether it was Nigel Mansell’s tyre exploding, controversial clashes between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost or Jacques Villeneuve and Michael Schumacher, or Damon Hill becoming the first champion’s son to win a world title, Murray was there, trousers ablaze…
1986 Adelaide: Nigel Mansell
And look at that! And colossally that’s Mansell! THAT IS NIGEL MANSELL! Now this could change and will change the world championship…
1989 Suzuka: Alain Prost vs Ayrton Senna
This is the opportunity that Senna’s looking for, and he’s going through… OUT! Oh my goodness! This is fantastic! They meet – this is what we were fearing might happen during the race. And that means to say that Prost has won the world championship.
1990 Suzuka: Alain Prost vs Ayrton Senna II
And Senna spints away – but Alain Prost takes the lead. It’s happened. Alain Prost has taken the advantage, Senna is trying to go through on the inside – and it’s happened immediately! This is amazing! Senna goes off at the first corner! But what has happened to Prost? He has gone off too! Well that is amazing but, I fear, absolutely… predictable.
Suzuka 1996: Damon Hill
This is going to be a mighty emotional occasion for a lot of people, not the least of whom is myself but Damon Hill will be concentrating in the cockpit, there, but when he comes out of it his arms will go up and the helmet will come off – there is his wife, Georgie, she’s seen her husband become world champion, now she’s seeing him win the Japanese Grand Prix because he is almost home.
This is something that many people didn’t think could possibly happen today, they thought Damon would drive a cautious race, but he fought, He fought from second on the grid, he passed Jacques Villeneuve, he took the lead, he stayed there, and Damon Hill exits the chicane and wins the Japanese Grand Prix.
And I’ve got to stop, because I’ve got a lump in my throat.
Jerez 1997: Michael Schumacher vs Jacques Villeneuve
Martin Brundle: Villeneuve is all over him look, he’s going through.
Murray Walker: He’s through!
MB: Oh, yes!
MB: I don’t think…
MW: Out goes Michael Schumacher!
MB: I don’t think that worked, Michael, you hit the wrong part of him, my friend…
Suzuka 2000: Michael Schumacher
A br-rilliant race for Michael Schumacher, who exits the chicane for the 53rd and last time, to win the 2000 Japanese Grand Prix and the world champinoship, for the third time. To give Ferrari and Italy their dream. And look, look! He knows it. He is absolutely beside himself with joy.
Have you got a favourite commentary moment from a world championship decider? How did other commentators report the big moments in F1’s history? Share your links and quotes in the comments.
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