Vote for the best F1 race of the 2000s

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

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

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

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

    1. Of course it didn’t! Brazil 2007 was rigged! Didn’t you know that?

      1. LOL Yes course it was…

  2. 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

    1. 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…

      1. Great comment Steph

    2. 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.

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

  4. 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. Hungary 06.

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

  7. 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. 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. 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…

    1. Going by your user name I thought you might’ve picked Italy ’08!

      1. That was an amazing race too… But it did not have that much drama… But that was one of the happiest days of my watching f1… I became a fan of Vettel from that day :)

  10. 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. 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. 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?

    1. 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.)

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

    3. 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?

      1. Forget race… world championship!?!

        Just epic thats why i voted for it.

      2. 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”.

    4. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

  16. I picked Europe 2007.I mean the rain was spectacular and the crashes at the first corner were actually quite funny.Also I loved the Massa/Alonso tussle.It was a great Grand Prix.

  17. has to be Brazil 2008 the race got going with the tension very high and grew lap by lap, the best part was after the checkered flag came out the we got to see the full range of emotions from massa’s family going from epic joy to crushing defeat in a span of 10 seconds, and then massa on the podium taking his lose of the world championship like a true man but then shedding a couple tears as his home crowd roared for him, it was a truly amazing moment one that i think all race fans dream of, but come around so rarely

  18. I think 2008 Brazil will end up winning this due to the fact it will be fresh in peoples memories. I went for 05 Japan.

  19. do know that the decade is actually 2001-2010?..just like the millennium started in 2001, not 2000

    1. Yes that was mentioned in response to the previous article so I avoided any reference to ‘decades’ in this post and instead referred to the ‘2000s’.

      Can we just have a conversation about which was the best race instead? Thanks.

  20. Brazil 2006, Schumacher goes out with a drive that showed why he was the best.
    However, Brazil 2003 and Brazil 2008 were pretty close to that…someone seeing a pattern here? ;)

  21. I chose Germany 2000, great race all the way through and a great guy on top of the podium

  22. The Sri Lankan
    12th December 2009, 22:06

    i would mention 2009 Malaysian GP as well , particularly Glocks inspiring tyre changes and respective overtakes

    1. Do you work for Toyota, Mr Ceylon :P

      1. pot, kettle, black.

        You work for McLaren?

        1. The Sri Lankan
          13th December 2009, 23:22

          haha cheers ACE

      2. The Sri Lankan
        13th December 2009, 23:26

        actually NO. but i wish i did. i was sponsord by them For Karting and formula Toyota hence why i’m naturally inclined towards them. that Malaysian GP was actually good because of glock and his toyota. what did mclaren do? spin and crash?

  23. Brazil ’08 for me! The excitment and tension I felt on the final lap was what made me choose it. I also enjoyed Monza ’08 – although obviously from my username I am slightly biased :p – but Brazil beats it.

  24. Brazil 2006 for me. I was hoping, nay, praying Michael would win that race, but it wasn’t to be. However, all of the above listed are classics, and to choose just one of them was a very hard task.

    I agree with Steph90’s reflection. Sure, the past decade of races has had a couple of processional bores, but overall, I’d say the racing has been thrilling. Now to the next 10 years, with the most number of cars on the grid in almost 15 years, there are sure to be some great races to come.

    We’re also returning to an era of privateer teams, who are truely passionate about the sport (i.e. Sauber, Brawn(/Mercedes), Mclaren, Williams, Manor, Lotus, Campos), with each of those teams having passionate team leaders rather than the target and money driven bosses (i.e. Thiessen, Briatore).

    The future looks good.

  25. I voted for Belgium 2000. It was one of the first f1 races I’ve watched, I was only 6 years old at the time, and me and my parents were fans of Hakkinen. That overtaking was breathtaking.

  26. Brazil ’08 as a race wasnt all that exciting, if that was 1st race of the year, a pass for 5th at the last turn is barely exciting, it’s cos of it’s status as the title decider that it’s on the list.
    i vote for Suzuka ’05, lots of passing and a stunning move on the last lap ha the suspense going till the very end.

  27. Perhaps an idea could be to predict the best race of the next decade. Then we can look back on this in 2019 and see if anyone guessed correctly. I’m going to say 2014 Belgian Grand Prix :D

    1. 2017 Zimbawean GP

    2. 2017 British GP in Silverstone, Bertrand Baguette winning in monsoon for the first time.

      1. 2016 European GP at Valencia, Alonso winning for his own team after a thrilling wheel to wheel battle with a resurgent Ralf Schumacher.

  28. Obviously belgium 2008, it was an epic battle between Kimi and Lewis (how many times do we see so many changes in the lead in just 2 laps?), it is such a shame that the win went to Felipe :s

  29. José Baudaier
    13th December 2009, 0:27

    I remember I was on a plane while the 2000 Hockenheim GP was happening, and I must say I’m a little frustrated for not to have watched Barrichelo’s first win and comming from the 18th place.

    As for the races I’ve seen I was torn between 2008 Spa and 2008 Interlagos, but how often is a championship decided in the last minute, in the last turn. So I voted with the majority.

  30. I started watching F1 since 2000 so I have watched all these races,can’t remember all of them.I voted 06 Brazil,but I think 05 Japan may win.

  31. I still say USGP 2003 :-D Schumi did how many laps in the rain on drys? 6? Turn 13 on drys, that’s ballsy.

  32. Gotta be Japan 2005

    Alonso around the outside of Schuhmacher made a believer out of me. The expression on Fisichella’s face on the podium was classic. Looked like he had seen a ghost.

  33. 2008 Interlagos was by far the best. It had everything, and more importantly, it did not have interfering of the stewards.

    I agree with Keith, 2006 Shanghai deserved a mention. Superb qualifying by Michael, and his pass on Fisichella was wow. :-)

  34. The 2000 Belgian GP was by far the greatest F1 race I’ve watched.

  35. What about australian gp 2003? Magnificent race..!!

    1. That was a great race. It is probably on the list of forgotten classic races.

    2. That was closer to making it onto the short list than the Brazilian one below (see Uncle’s comment) but again didn’t quite make it:

  36. Surprised Brazil 09 wasn’t on the list..

    1. There weren’t that many shouts for it when I put the short list together:

      1. Fair enough, but no one can deny we saw a champion worthy drive by Button that day. Having said that, I did vote for Brazil 08.

        1. Champion worthy drive by Button in Brazil 08?

  37. I must say Brazil ’08 wasn’t that great I mean 80% of the race was boring and procedural, only the 20% that it rained was great.

    Voted for Hungary 2006.

  38. I Had To Say Brazil 08, One Reason, I Only Got Into F1 Near The End Of 07, So Wouldnt Know Much About The Rest.

    But Also Being A Big Lewis Fan, The Emotion Drained In That Last Lap Was Incrediable!! I Was In Tears When Brundle Shouted HESS DONE IT….

    But Aswell It Was An Amazing Dramitic 71 Laps.

  39. I voted in a race which I felt pleasure in watch. And this race just might be 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix.

  40. There is only one answer posibel, Hungaria 2003 this was the race where Alonso for the first time defeated Schumacher…. and how…. he lapped him…. It was the first time the ferrari domination was realy defeated. Schumacher was the most succesfull driver ever and certanly of the decade only Hakinen could take him and later Alonso also between those two…… Nobody realy nobody also not Raikonen…. Realy raikonen fans arent you realy Hakinen fans…… be honest.

    1. Alonso was magnificent that day but the reason he lapped Michael was down to tyres more than anything else. It wasn’t exactly a thriller either was it.
      2003 was also a year where Ferrari far from dominated – Schumacher stumbled to that championship rather than dominated it.

  41. Japan 2005 for me. A day when all ‘you-can’t-overtake-in-F1’ arguments were blown clear away. Great drivers scrapping on one of the world’s greatest circuits. Absolute magic and perhaps Kimi’s finest hour.

  42. It was the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix for me.

  43. Would have said Silverstone ’08 was definately a worthy option. Hamilton’s peerless performance to romp home 68 seconds ahead of the rest was a masterclass. Great call by Brawn to get Rubens on the podium. Not Massa’s finest hour either – was it 5 or 6 spins?

    Regardless of this omission, my vote would still go to Spa ’08. Kimi and Lewis were brilliant. Shame the FiA managed to screw up the race of the decade.

    1. Shame the FiA managed to screw up the race of the decade.

      That pretty much sums up my thinking!

  44. Mark Hitchcock
    13th December 2009, 16:26

    Difficult decision. For me it’s between 2003 Brazil, 2005 Japan, 2007 Europe and 2008 Brazil. Good excuse to re-watch the races and make a decision!

    2008 Monza is one of my favourite races but for me it’s mostly memorable because of Vettel’s fantastic (but uneventful) win whereas the others (barring Brazil 08) I remember as being full of racing and incidents.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      13th December 2009, 16:28

      Oh and Spa 08 would be a contender if it wasn’t for the stewards. Some of the most exciting laps I’ve seen but I just can’t think about the race without getting angry about the result!

      1. Mark I know exactly what you mean. We all have our favourites but this is about the quality of the racing.
        Spa were some fantastic last laps too but the rest of the race was a bit forgettable!

  45. Hey, and what about the 2007 brazilian Grand Prix? The reminescense of it still brings a happy smile to my face :)

  46. If you can look past the idiocy of the stewards, Belgium 2008 has to be the best race of the decade – probably the best race I’ve ever seen, although Suzuka ’94 was pretty damn good too.

    As usual though, the stewards and FIA shot themselves in the foot, ruining an incredible race by trying to engineer a close championship.

  47. What’s almost as annoying about Spa 2008 is that – if I recall correctly – between Hamilton’s spin and the first stop, the gap to Raikkonen was fairly steady, and only increased in the second stint when Hamilton had a worse time in traffic. It could have been an even more epic battle if not for that!

    My vote still went to that race though.

  48. My chose Belgian 2008. Fantastic race!

  49. Despite my earlier support for Belgium 2000 (Thanks for the mention in the article Keith!) I voted for the 2008 Brazilian GP, and I’ll tell you why.

    Few races this decade have kept me on the edge of my seat like that one did, and for that alone it gets my pick. Few races this decade have been as fraught with drama as that was. Some races had great overtaking moves, and loads of crashes, but Brazil 2008 was the dramatic title finale we all hope for each year.

  50. michael counsell
    14th December 2009, 12:38

    I’m in the minority probably, but Vettel winning in a Toro Rosso (the old Minardi team) was the highlight of my F1 watching career…

  51. i choosw japan 05, cuz it had so many great overtakings, but very close behind is brazil 08, the last 4 laps were incredible, when vettel passed lewis, i really give up, but when i saw lewis passing glock in final turn i was crying, i was soooo happy 4 lewis, but japan had fantastic 53 laps, while brazil had only fantastic 8 laps – i mean overtaking, and canada 07 was also really good

  52. I voted for Belguim 08 but I think China 09 should be there, but that is my opinion.

  53. most of the votes have come from hamilton fans who started watching in about 2007 so they wont like 03 and 05 races!

    2003 brazil and 2005 japan are the best two!

  54. The 2005 Japanese grand prix solidified Raikkonen’s place in F1 history.

  55. I’m surprised the 2003 British Grand Prix isn’t on this list. Many overtakes (Barichello-Raikkonnen etc), firsts (Toyotas leading 1-2) and drama (Alonso-Schumacher, Coulthard headrest, lunatic track invader). Truly an epic gp.

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