Real fans of Formula One Racing have a passion that goes beyond the raw speeds that drivers reach on the circuit. There’s a level of sophistication, class, elegance, and design that distinguishes the sport from mere auto racing. Often, the feats of the drivers are as celebrated as the technical prowess of the constructor teams and the vision of the engineers.
Though casual observers can share the excitement and enjoyment of a day of high speed Formula One racing, it’s worth appreciating the rich history of the sport. Many memorable moments, from triumphs to tragedies alike, have not only etched themselves into the minds of lifelong fans and enthusiasts, these moments have helped to shape the sport itself.
These ten moments, some of the most memorable in Formula One’s history, may still seem fresh within the minds of the millions the world over who watch the sport regularly. With a global audience as big as Formula One’s, it’s safe to say that people throughout the world who witnessed them will remember these events for some time to come.
Singapore Grand Prix, 2008
Not only was 2008’s Singapore Grand Prix the first night time race for Formula One, it was also one of the most unforgettable and exciting of the last several years. One the line was the duel between Brazilian Felipe Massa and British driver Lewis Hamilton. Massa’s team, perhaps too focused on arch-rival Hamilton, left the fuel-hose attached as the Ferrari driver pulled away. Massa eventually ended up in last place as his team finally detached the hose, with Hamilton and the championship out of his reach.
Australia Grand Prix, 1986
With legendary racers Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet battling Alain Prost for a title that could have gone to any of them, fans were definitely on the edge of their seats. Near the end of the close race, Mansell famously blew out a tire, losing the title to Prost if only just barely.
Brazilian Grand Prix, 2001
Unquestionably one of the more exciting races in recent memory. Perhaps one of the most memorable moments of the race was one driver David Coulthard passed Michael Schumacher and Tarso Marques, going on to win the race.
Belgian Grand Prix, 2000
Of course, the other great overtaking move of recent F1 history was also made on Michael Schumacher, this time by Coulthard’s teammate Mika Hakkinen. Much in the same way Coulthard would in the following year, Hakkinen passed Schumacher and went onto to win after what would come to be regarded by many as one of the best overtaking moves ever.
Hungarian Grand Prix, 1998
Michael Schumacher’s incredible talent and tactical genius shined in Hungary and became part of a long-standing rivalry between he and McLaren teammates Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard. Behind both racers for much of the race, Schumacher’s strategy eventually put him ahead of the McLarens and paved the way for his victory.
Luxembourg Grand Prix, 1998
As fans continued to marvel at the intensifying rivalry between the McLaren drivers and and tactical ace Michael Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen regained the momentum in Luxembourg. While Schumacher seemed invincible for most of the race, Haikknen’s persistence and gambling paid off, and Schumacher would eventually lose the title.
Monaco Grand Prix, 2009
Most recently, Jenson Button memorably mixed things up by giving the fans a little something different at the end of the race. Savoring his victory, Button made the unusual move of parking in the pit lane, running to the podium and soaking up the surprise and adjulation of the audience.
German Grand Prix, 2000
It’s doubtful that anyone bet on Rubens Barrichelo’s surprise victory in Germany, especially with the ongoing feud be Michael Schumacher and the McLarens taking most of the spotlight. What’s memorable about Barrichelo’s first career win is the unforgettable emotion he displayed on the podium.
European Grand Prix, 1993
Few true fans of the sport will ever Brazilian driver Aryton Senna’s famous sprint to victory which started in the opening lap an this memorable Grand Prix. Senna started in fifth place, and to the shock of both drivers and fans alike, had reached first place by the end of the lap.
Brazlian Grand Prix, 2003
Perhaps remembered more for the podium placement debacle and court room wrangling that followed than the race itself, nevertheless another remarkable sprint took place here. In a few mere laps, Juan Montoya leapt from 9th to 2nd place. No small feat, and one that many drivers have tried to reproduce, Montoya’s excellent driving was unfortunately overshadowed by controversy once the race ended.