Vote for the best F1 race of the 2000s

There's been 174 races since Melbourne 2000 - which was the best?

There's been 174 races since Melbourne 2000 - which was the best?

Earlier this week I asked for your nominations for the best F1 race of the 2000s – and hundreds of suggestions poured in.

Those have been whittled down to a short list – you have ten options and one vote to decide the greatest Grand Prix of the last ten years.

If you’ve already got your mind made up you can vast your vote here, or read on for some of the best arguments for each choice put forward by you.

What was the best F1 race of the 2000s?

  • 2000 German Grand Prix (3%)
  • 2000 Belgian Grand Prix (6%)
  • 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix (5%)
  • 2005 Japanese Grand Prix (21%)
  • 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix (4%)
  • 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix (5%)
  • 2007 European Grand Prix (3%)
  • 2008 Belgian Grand Prix (10%)
  • 2008 Italian Grand Prix (3%)
  • 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix (40%)

Total Voters: 2,103

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2000 German Grand Prix

Rubens Barrichello scored his maiden win from 18th on the grid – aided by the intervention of a man who’d broken on the track in a protest against Mercedes. Barrichello hung on as rain fell late in the race to win.

Barrichello?s fantastic first win at Hockenheim ?ǣ starting from the back, and topping it by staying out on dry weather tyres to win it in the wet. Beautiful.

2000 Belgian Grand Prix

Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher were duking it out for the world championship and this great race pitted them against each other in a sometimes-terrifying duel for supremacy. Hakkinen’s three-abreast pass on Schumacher – using Ricardo Zonta’s BAR to get by – was an instant classic.

A great battle between great champions culminating in Hakkinen’s absurdly good move on Schumacher

2003 Brazilian Grand Prix

A race of total chaos on a very wet track. Giancarlo Fisichella won it for Jordan, though it wasn’t confirmed for several days and Kimi R??ikk??nen was forced to give up his trophy.

A crashing classic – there was Ralph Firman having a suspension and taking Panis out, half the field spinning off at Turn Three, Mark Webber destroying his car on the curve back to the pits, and finally Alonso crashing into a stray wheel and going into the wall.
Ned Flanders

2005 Japanese Grand Prix

R??ikk??nen had revenge on Fisichella two years later when he passed the Italian on the final lap to win this memorable race. Fernando Alonso also starred, passing Michael Schumacher on the outside of 130R.

R??ikk??nen and Alonso coming through the field making some incredible passes. It was a symbol of the end of the Schumacher era and the start of a new one.

Read more: Japanese Grand Prix 2005 Review

2006 Hungarian Grand Prix

Jenson Button was a surprise winner from Honda but there was plenty else going on in this atypically wet Hungarian Grand Prix.

My personal favourite ?ǣ watching Alonso scythe through the field was brilliant. It?s a shame he had the problem with his wheel because it would have been even better with Button catching him. Also you?ve got Schumacher up to a couple more of his dirty tricks near the end of the race, de fa Rosa and Heidfeld on the podium, and James Allen?s hysterical commentary when Button won.

Read more: Hungarian Grand Prix 2006 Review

2006 Brazilian Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher began his final Grand Prix tenth on the grid after car trouble in qualifying. It got worse in the race, when contact with Fisichella’s Renault caused a puncture. He responded with a terrific fight back through the field, but it wasn’t enough to stop Alonso claiming the title.

Schumacher?s fightback in this race was immense. Finished his career on a high note and never gave up.

Read more: Brazilian Grand Prix 2006 review

2007 European Grand Prix

A mammoth cloudburst at the Nurburgring brought the 2007 European Grand Prix to an early halt. Once it restarted, Spyker’s Marcus Winkelhock briefly led. It couldn’t last, and in the final laps the race was brilliantly won by Fernando Alonso as he banged wheels with Felipe Massa.

Raikkonen missing the pit lane at the end of the first lap, Button binning it to be followed by several others into Turn One, Winkelhock leading on his debut! Then the epic fight between Massa and Alonso as the rain returned at the end of the race.
Red Andy

Read more: European GP 2007 review: Alonso wins mad race

2008 Belgian Grand Prix

A controversial one, this. As many people mentioned it was a great race until the chequered flag fell, but became a travesty after the stewards got involved. Not everyone saw it like that, however.

The start was great as you could really see Raikkonen giving his all to help stay in the title race or be forced to be second fiddle to Massa. The move on Massa was very aggressive, it still gives me goosebumps watching that. The last three laps were also the most exciting thing I have ever seen in my life, I had no idea who was going to win or Hamilton or Raikkonen would even finish. Raikkonen crashing out made me sad but what a race!

Read more: Lewis Hamilton is moral victor in Spa thriller (2008 Belgian Grand Prix review)

2008 Italian Grand Prix

Rain at Monza? It happened, and Sebastian Vettel delivered a coming-of-age performance to win from pole position, while the championship protagonists splashed around in the lower reaches of the points.

How often does a backmarker car win a grand prix?
Einar Iliyev

Read more: Sebastian Vettel brushes title rivals aside to win (2008 Italian GP review)

2008 Brazilian Grand Prix

A championship-decider so fraught with tension it could have been scripted. With two laps to go Felipe Massa was set to win the world championship, but it all changed at the last turn of the race.

Even though the last 30 seconds were heartbreaking for me the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix was probably the greatest of all time. People say that it was only because of the title finale, but so what? It was inseparable from the event and it was not only the greatest F1 race of all time, but one of the greatest events in sporting history. Its for days like that one in Brazil that we watch sport.

Read more: Lewis Hamilton is champion in epic climax to final race (2008 Brazilian GP)

Honourable mentions

Among the races that didn’t make it onto the short list were Interlagos 2007, Shanghai 2006 and – one of my suggestions – Silverstone 2003. All great Grands Prix, but not good enough to cut it in this company.

Vote for your favourite above and have your say in the comments.

Image (C) Ford

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87 comments on Vote for the best F1 race of the 2000s

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  1. D’oh! My Brazil 2007 suggestion didn’t make the list.

  2. Steph90 said on 12th December 2009, 19:19

    All were great. That list made me really appreciate the 2000s. We may moan and whinge about the way the sport is going and how Schuey dominated forever but there were some truly amazing races if the highest quality. Thanks a lot Keith for this it’s great.
    I picked Euro 07. Just for madness really. The most emotional for me were 08 Monza and of course the title finale last year. That was an awesome race but I didn;t want to vote for it because it had the added weight of a championship so I wanted to be a bit more fair and tried not to be swayed :P

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th December 2009, 21:29

      That list made me really appreciate the 2000s. We may moan and whinge about the way the sport is going and how Schuey dominated forever but there were some truly amazing races if the highest quality.

      Excellent! That was exactly why I wanted to do this…

    • Thanks Steph90 for remembering us F1 is not as boring as we often complain about.

      Human memory tends to keep greatness and forgot mediocrity.

      Interesting to see despite is just few months over, no one single race from 2009 is in this list.

      So, at the end, it seems 2001-2002-2004 did not produce any race better than the three “recent” ones taken from 2008?

      For me, 2003 was an incredible year, watching F Alonso emerging from a country in which few years before, watching a race in TV was really difficult. Malaysia: First pole position and Hungary his first victory. Or even 2004 US GP he started from 9th position and at the end of the first turn he was 3th.

      I agree that was nothing special for the rest of the world, but for a Spaniard who was following F1 from mid 80’s and used to choose drivers and teams from other nations, was really hard to believe there were some real possibilities to win a race, not to say a championship.

      • Steph90 said on 13th December 2009, 10:27

        Thanks everyone :)
        IDR I think it was special to see Alonso too and I’m British lol. I’m glad Spain has someone to cheer for. I don’t really care where a driver is from but when they show skill like that it is always a joy to see.

  3. Ciaran said on 12th December 2009, 19:24

    I picked Brazil 2008 because… do I even have to explain?
    Still, nobody has voted for Brazil 2003 yet! Pity!

  4. Richard Evans said on 12th December 2009, 19:28

    This is impossible to choose! Would’ve been better if we could pick 3 each.

    Hamilton Massa finale brazil 08
    Schumacher swansong brazil 06
    Hamilton and kimi dicing in the rain belgium 08
    Kimi charging through the field at suzuka

    Impossible to choose!!!

  5. Has to be Brazil last year for me.

  6. DanThorn said on 12th December 2009, 19:41

    Hungary 06.

    Give it a couple of days till the Raikkonen fan club get wind of it though…

  7. Zazeems said on 12th December 2009, 19:41

    Choosing Germany ’00 just because I remember nearly crying myself at Rubens sobbing into his Brazillian flag on the podium.
    Epic race on an epic circuit (now deceased, RIP Hockenheim)

  8. mp4-19b said on 12th December 2009, 19:45

    There can be only one race of course!!

    2000 Spa! Hakkinen took Schumacher’s ego to the grave!

    Has to be the greatest overtaking maneuver of the decade!

    And the post race interview by Mika is the the best interview of the decade :P

    He refers to Schumi as “The” Michael :D :D

  9. ILoveVettel said on 12th December 2009, 19:47

    I have picked up 2008 Brazilian GP for obvious reason…
    One of my other personal favourites is the European Grand Prix 2005. The drama in the end was incredible…

  10. TommyB said on 12th December 2009, 19:59

    Japan 2005 was the perfect race for me. Was great all the way through where as Brazil 2008 was only great at the end… but what an end!

  11. Serbian Kimi said on 12th December 2009, 20:18

    I’ll go with Hungaroring 2006! It was a jaw-dropping race from start to finish, which saw three underdogs fight for 3 podium finishes in brilliant style. I’ll always treasure this race as one of the dearest F1 memories because it was in 2006 that I started following F1 closely after almost a 10-year hiatus, and I’ve been hooked ever since!! Incredible race, and such a brave performance by Montoya’s substitute and Mclaren’s perrenial test driver, Pedro de la Rosa:) His squabble against the struggling Schumacher was epic:) What I also remember from that rainy august ’06 were de la Rosa’s emotional statements ahead of the grand prix – he kept saying that no one knew the Mclaren car better than himself, having covered thousands upon thousands miles in it. He was ecastatic when he jumped into the car instead of the Colombian, and delivered on a couple of occasions, especially at Hungaoring:) I also have a blurred memory of him spinning on the warm-up lap before settling on his grid position:) And ominously, the then erbian Pundit Veljko Petrovic quipped: “Don’t worry, this guy has loads of experience, he won’t be rattled by this spin!” How true:)

    Ebough said, memories are pouring out of me:):)

    Well done, keith, for this outstanding poll:)

  12. rampante said on 12th December 2009, 20:44

    How can anyone vote for Brazil 08? It might have had drama but no racing. Driver wins race and not title, driver finishes 5th and wins title. A choice of 8 great races and most pick that, have you all forgotten what the word racing means?

    • I suppose most of that race was somewhat average, but those last couple laps had my heart in my mouth! I was horrified one minute and then jumping up and down and screaming the next. :D (Obviously the opposite would be true for Massa fans.)

    • You obviously have no idea what the word ‘excitement’ means.

    • TommyB said on 12th December 2009, 22:37

      Because it was the greatest most nerve racking race in F1 history. Not even hollywood could write that. How many races have gone to the final corner of the final lap?

      • Forget race… world championship!?!

        Just epic thats why i voted for it.

      • Carl27 said on 14th December 2009, 17:44

        You could say that of Brazil 2007!! Not even Hollywood could’ve written it. Obviously Kimi would be Tom Cruise or whatever and Lewis the “bady”.

    • SaloolaS said on 13th December 2009, 8:25

      I agree @rampante. The race was good, but I don’t think it was as good as Belgium 2000, Britain 2003, Japan 2005, Belgium 2008 and some others. It was only fun because of the championship battle.

  13. theRoswellite said on 12th December 2009, 20:58

    Brazil-08…the camera work in the Ferrari pit as the race ended, was as good as I’ve ever seen in sport…total triumph to total tragedy in seconds, and we were able to witness it. (Obviously for me the human side of F1 can be more compelling than even the wonderful skill displayed in the racing itself)

    I will always love Felipe for the humanity displayed at the end of this race.

    • Bullfrog said on 12th December 2009, 23:09

      Yes, if he doesn’t become champion that’ll be his defining moment for me.

      More memorable camera work at the 2002 USGP, by whoever decided to cut to Patrick Head when his cars drove into each other…

  14. Chalky said on 12th December 2009, 21:12

    Belgium 2000 for me.
    A great fight for the lead from two of F1’s greatest drivers with a great overtake on a great track.
    – I’m annoying myself now :D

  15. The 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix was probably the most high-profile race of all of these, because the championship was decided in the last race — and in this dramatic fashion at the end of the race. Still, I personally found the 2007 European Grand Prix to be most exciting.

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