Pick your classic grand prix
Boy, do we have a treat for you in the latest edition of our classic grand prix series.
As this year's Singapore Grand Prix is only the second running of the race, we could hardly follow our usual approach of picking five of the best events from the past history of the race.
So for this one we have decided to add to the list selected classic races from venues that no longer feature on the Formula 1 calendar.
Last year's Singapore Grand Prix was not exactly free of drama, so we had decided to make that one of the choices - especially in the context of the Renault race-fixing row, on which governing body the FIA will rule on Monday.
But Wednesday's events - when team boss Flavio Briatore and engineering director Pat Symonds left the team after Renault decided not to contest the charges that they had conspired with Nelson Piquet Jr for him to crash and cause a safety car to the benefit of team-mate Fernando Alonso - have forced a slight change of plan.
Having already cut highlights of last year's Singapore race for this classic races series, it seemed stupid not to publish them to accompany a news story of such magnitude. You can watch them here:
We will promote them again next week in the run-up to the Singapore race. But that leaves only four races to choose from this time. But what absolutely cracking grands prix they are - France 1979, Austria 1982, Dallas 1984 and Mexico 1990.
As usual, we are asking you to give us your views on which of those events is your favourite, and why. We will show short highlights (usually between five and nine minutes) of all five races next week.
But for one of the races, we will also show the full 'Grand Prix' programme of the time. There is no need for tactical voting this time, as all of them are from the period when the BBC last owned the rights to F1 - ie, before 1997. That choice will be informed - but not solely decided - by your responses to this blog.
Choosing the four 'non-Singapore' races for this blog was not easy. Not all of you will agree with our choices and in many ways that is good - we are going to need as many suggestions as possible for similar situations when we continue this series next year. So please do let us know of other great races you think we should pick next time.
But regardless of whether you agree with the final selection, I am confident you will all agree that we have chosen four all-time classic grands prix.
Many of the readers of this blog are ardent, and very well informed, F1 fans and so will already know an awful lot about the events in question. But for those of you who do not, I will give you a quick summary of what makes them special.
France 1979 has gone down in history for two reasons. Jean-Pierre Jabouille drove his Renault to the first F1 win for a car powered by a turbocharged engine, the likes of which went on to dominate the sport through the 1980s. But even that momentous event plays second fiddle to the other reason the race is remembered - the quite breathtaking battle for second place between Ferrari's Gilles Villeneuve and Jabouille's team-mate Rene Arnoux over the final three laps.
It really has to be seen to be believed. Villeneuve had held second for most of the race, but was passed by Arnoux shortly before the end. The tyres on Villeneuve's car shot, that should have been the end of that. But Villeneuve, in the sort of performance that ensured his legendary status among F1 aficionados, just would not give up and there followed the most extraordinary three laps of racing that is ever likely to be seen in F1.
Time and again the two cars passed and re-passed each other, banging wheels, sliding off the track and back on again until Villeneuve finally crossed the line first.
The great French-Canadian was killed early in the 1982 season, when he would surely have gone on to win the world title. And his loss is still felt keenly today. By then turbocharged cars were starting to dominate F1, but they were still fragile and the Austrian Grand Prix that year proved it.
Held at the much-lamented, breathtaking, high-speed Osterreichring, it was a race that could have been made for the turbo cars.
Prost drove one of his greatest races in Mexico in 1990 to win from 13th on the grid
First the Brabham-BMWs of Riccardo Patrese and Nelson Piquet led, only to retire. Patrick Tambay's Ferrari also dropped out. Then Alain Prost's leading Renault, which appeared to be set for victory, retired with just a handful of laps to go. That meant there were no turbo cars left and the closing laps were fought out by two cars powered by normally-aspirated Cosworth engines - the Lotus of Elio de Angelis and Keke Rosberg's Williams.
The Finn was some way behind when De Angelis inherited the lead, but he was closing fast. As the laps ticked down, he loomed ever larger in the Lotus's mirrors until, starting the last lap, he was practically on the Italian's tail. Coming out of the final corner, the 150mph Rindt curve, Rosberg made his move, darting out of De Angelis's slipstream and lunging for the line.
But it was just too late. They swept across the line side by side, with De Angelis taking the win by just 0.05secs - a margin that had to be established by counting the frames on a high-speed camera sited by the finish line.
Rosberg went on to win the title that year in a last hurrah for the venerable Cosworth engine, and he features strongly in the next race, Dallas in 1984.
One of two US Grands Prix ended up in the Texan city in high summer that year after F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone failed to come to a deal to keep the popular Long Beach race in California. The new Dallas track, in the city's State Fair Park, initially won plaudits, but as the race weekend progressed serious problems emerged.
The stifling heat of the Texan summer, combined with the power of turbocharged F1 cars, ripped the track to shreds, and emergency repairs had to be carried out. Even so, it broke up badly during the race and more and more drivers fell foul of the treacherously slippery surface - among them those paragons of consistency and error-free driving, McLaren drivers Prost and Niki Lauda, who were fighting out the world championship.
Through it all to win came Rosberg, one of few drivers not to make a mistake on the crumbling track - remarkably, considering he was driving a Williams that was renowned for its reluctance to turn corners and a turbocharged Honda engine that delivered its power like a light switch.
Mexico 1990 was another race held in hot temperatures, but this one stands out for one of Prost's most brilliant wins. For some reason, Nigel Mansell's victory from a similar position in Hungary in 1989 is widely talked about, while this one by Prost is barely mentioned. That is a grave injustice, for it was a quite remarkable drive.
Starting 13th on the grid, the Frenchman, then driving for Ferrari, appeared to be out of contention. But he found his car getting better and better as the race went on, and in his silkily smooth way passed all his rivals including his Ferrari team-mate Mansell and Ayrton Senna's McLaren to take a quite stunning victory.
Mansell completed a Ferrari one-two thanks to one of the greatest overtaking manoeuvres in F1 history - passing the McLaren of the notoriously uncompromising Gerhard Berger around the outside of the daunting sixth-gear, 150mph Peraltada corner.
It is, I hope you'll agree, quite a choice. I look forward to reading your views.