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Your classic grand prix

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Andrew Benson | 10:01 UK time, Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The latest edition of our classic grand prix series proved one of the most popular yet - and the decision of which race to highlight before Singapore this weekend one of the most difficult.

As there has only been one Singapore Grand Prix, we took a different approach this time and included in our choice alongside highlights of what is now one of the most notorious F1 events in history four great races from tracks no longer on the calendar - France 1979, Austria 1982, Dallas 1984 and Mexico 1990.

It was always going to be tough to choose between those events, for all are true all-time classics. But I have to admit I was surprised at how you all responded. (In this blog, incidentally, I will also give details of next week's classic Japanese GP choice - but more of that later).

I was expecting France 1979 to be a hands-down winner this time because of the spectacular last three laps of racing between Ferrari legend Gilles Villeneuve and Renault's Rene Arnoux. But actually that race came last in the popular 'vote' which we use to influence - if not decide - which event to make our feature.

That is less a reflection on the famous duel, which remains as breathtaking as ever 30 years on, than it is of the fact that it is so famous. As so many of you pointed out, almost everyone who follows Formula 1 knows about Villeneuve v Arnoux at Dijon in '79 and, more to the point, has seen it already. And the rest of the race was not, it has to be admitted, that brilliant.

Of the remaining three events, I have to admit I thought the incredibly close finish between Elio de Angelis and Keke Rosberg at Austria's stunning Osterreichring in 1982 - just 0.05 seconds separated them at the line - would swing the vote. But although it did win favour with quite a number of you, it was left trailing by the final two races - Dallas 1984 and Mexico 1990.

Both were incredibly eventful, as I described in my blog last week, and it is difficult to choose between them - it was pretty much a dead heat as far as your picks were concerned as well.

Personally, if I had to choose one of them, I would go for Mexico 1990, which included Alain Prost's brilliant victory from 13th on the grid and his Ferrari team-mate Nigel Mansell's audacious overtaking manoeuvre around the outside of Gerhard Berger's McLaren at the daunting 150mph Peraltada corner.

Dallas was more of a demolition derby on a disintegrating track surface, with the exceptions of Williams driver Keke Rosberg's cool drive to victory and Arnoux's aggressive climb through the field to finish second for Ferrari.

We have decided in the end to show the full Grand Prix programme of the time for both races, as well as the shorter highlights edits of all five choices. All the highlights will also be available on the BBC red button this week. They will be on satellite and cable from 1700 on Wednesday 23 September until 1300 on Friday 25 September. And they will be available on Freeview channel 301 from 1700 on Wednesday 23 September until 10am on Thursday 24 September.

When you are watching the full Mexico programme, you will notice that it jumps forward quite significantly at one point - and that means you miss eventual winner Prost passing Ferrari team-mate Nigel Mansell, among other things.

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Extended highlights of the 1990 Mexican Grand Prix

This is because the broadcast at the time was planned to start with highlights of the early part of the race before switching to show the end of the race live.

The problem was that the longer the race went on, the more exciting it got, and the restrictions in technology at the time meant making the switch was more difficult than it would be today.

The producer of the programme was Mark Wilkin, now the BBC's F1 editor. Here is his explanation of what happened:

"It became clear while we were playing out the early highlights of the race that the latter stages were going to be really exciting.

"We had an edit of what had happened so far on a tape that was going to air as the excitement was building live. I felt it was more important to be live for the closing laps than it was to show the highlights of the missing laps. That was when Prost got into, I think, second place. And so the programme jumped forward. The explanation offered by James Hunt was 'now we can go live', as I recall.

"Modern technology would make it easier to have seamless coverage even in those circumstances but we simply couldn't shorten anything once it was on air in those days (because it was on a physical tape) so the choice was to miss everything live (and probably incur an overrun) or get live. That meant at least we were live for Mansell's amazing pass of Gerhard Berger around the outside of Peraltada."

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Extended highlights of the 1984 Dallas Grand Prix

Watch short highlights of the 1979 French Grand Prix
Watch short highlights of the 1982 Austrian Grand Prix
Watch short highlights of the 1984 Dallas Grand Prix
Watch short highlights of the 1990 Mexican Grand Prix
Watch short highlights of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix

Because Singapore and Japan are back-to-back this year, I also have to give you at this point our five choices for classic Japanese Grands Prix. And, in my opinion, so brilliant have so many Japanese races been, that all of these are all-time greats.

The first choice is the inaugural Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji in 1976, the race in which Hunt won his world championship in dramatic circumstances following the decision of title rival Niki Lauda to retire after just two laps because he felt conditions were too dangerous to continue.

The next choice is the famous 1989 race at Suzuka, which culminated in the first of two title-deciding collisions between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost at the race.

Next, it is the 1994 race, when Damon Hill drove his greatest race to beat Michael Schumacher in the wet on aggregated time after a mid-race stoppage to set up the famous title showdown in Adelaide.

We also have the on-the-limit duel in 2000 between Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen at the end of which the German ended Ferrari's 21-year wait for the drivers' world title - and which Schumacher himself has said was probably his toughest ever race.

And finally there is the astonishing 2005 Japanese Grand Prix, which was thrilling from start to finish after the front-runners all started at the back because of rain halfway through qualifying. For some reason, perhaps because Renault's Fernando Alonso had already won that year's championship, this race is less well known than some of the others, so I will give you some more of the back story.

It features brilliant drives from McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen, who won from 17th on the grid after passing Giancarlo Fisichella's Renault on the last lap, and Alonso, who probably would have won from 16th had he not been delayed unfairly by some indecision by the officials over whether he should let backmarker Christian Klien back past him after passing him by missing the chicane.

And the crowning moments of both those performances were two stunning overtaking manoeuvres - Raikkonen's around the outside of Fisichella at Turn One on the last lap and Alonso's around the outside of Michael Schumacher at 130R midway through the race.

Both are among the greatest overtaking manoeuvres in the history of F1.

I've always thought Alonso's was the better move. His speed at the apex of the corner as he completed the pass was 208mph and it takes incredible bravery to overtake a driver as uncompromising as Schumacher in that fashion, knowing that if he does not give way there is going to be an aircraft-style accident from which there is a fair chance at least one of you is not going to come out alive.

Just how much bravery was clear in an interview Alonso gave my friend and colleague Nigel Roebuck later that year. Roebuck asked him about that move and why the Spaniard had plucked up the courage to try it in the knowledge of some of the stunts Schumacher had pulled in the past. Alonso said: "In those situations, I always remember that Michael has two kids."

Great though Alonso's pass was, though, BBC 5 Live pundit and former F1 driver Anthony Davidson told me over a beer in Valencia this year that he thought Raikkonen's was even better, in the sense that Anthony felt Schumacher had no choice but to give way, whereas pulling off what Raikkonen did was technically harder because Fisichella had more chance to resist.

Either way, they were two great moves in a great race, which is just one of five great choices. I look forward to reading your views.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Great work, this was one of the best series selections this year. Do you know if the picture motion will be back to normal for these highlights?

    I will vote for Japan 1989. For me that is the best head to head duel of all time, given Senna and Prost's greatness, and both performances. I am so disappointed that Senna was stripped of his win due to a farcial technicality. Senna's chase down of Prost was one of the best dig-deep performances I have seen and maybe the best in my view of Senna's career.

  • Comment number 2.

    Great picks, and thanks for giving us TWO full highlights.

    As for Japan, I'm going to go for 1994 for the full highlights package. 1989 was good but can be covered by short highlights, the others are ITV so no full highlights, although if they had been available I would have gone for 2005!

  • Comment number 3.

    It is not nice anyone cheating in any sport, but I think that all the persons involved should be punished. Flavio a lifetime ban? Well a 5 to 10 year ban would have been better. And i think Piquet should also of got a racing ban, for a few years. As he is a cheat just like the others, he decided he would follow orders and crash, he could of caused a very serious accident. Piquet should not have immunity and should be banned also.

  • Comment number 4.

    1994 please. Absolutely thrilling.

    2nd choice would be 1976
    3rd choice would be 1989

  • Comment number 5.

    I'm voting for Japan 1994.
    One question can anybody answer this why is Japan 1989 being picked I thought it would be picked for title deciders in Ahu Dhabi

  • Comment number 6.

    Great to have both the Dallas and Mexican races in full. Apart from last years finale the Dallas race is the most remarkable I have seen.

    Now to Japan, apart from very brief highlights I have never seen the Fuji race in 1976, James Hunt was a total hero and for those reasons alone it has to be '76.

  • Comment number 7.

    To f1fanatic

    With regards to Japan 1989 being selected now and not in the title deciders selection for Abu Dhabi (a ponit you can also make about 2000, of course), the problem we had was that a lot of the best Japanese races were title deciders. So we had to pick some of them for the Japan edition. Fear not, though, there is a nice selection for the final race of the season, too.

  • Comment number 8.

    Has to be 1994 - what a memorable race that was.

  • Comment number 9.

    '94 especially as I remember Murray yelling 3.36 SECONDS!!! DAMON HILL WINS THE JAPANESE GRAND PRIX !!! (Also that epic battle between Alesi and Mansell) and '76 for that epic drive from James Hunt for 3rd place after his front tyres burst and Niki Lauda withdrawing after the 2nd lap. I would've chosen 2005 as well but i fell asleep before the race started! (Would've been short highlights anyway.)

  • Comment number 10.

    Great choices, and thanks for getting them onto Freeview, I've been quite disappointed the last few GPs when you couldn't show them because someone decided that the Sports news loop and playing Muse for 4 days solid was a better idea.

    For Japan, I want to say 1989 but I've seen the Prost/Senna duel and ending collision millions of times, so I'll have to say James Hunt's epic drive in 1976. One question though, why was 1990 missed off? Another classic Prost/Senna moment, one just as important as '89.

  • Comment number 11.

    Sorry, just read your response about classic title deciders, I ask you to seriously consider Japan 1990 for that.

  • Comment number 12.

    out of the one selected there i would choose 1994, but i also think 2007 would worthy of highlights, what with the torrential rain and duels on track along with webber having the chance of a first win taken away by a young, silly vettel.

  • Comment number 13.

    Thanks Andrew for showing two full highlights. I didn't get my way with Dijon '79; have to hope there's a French GP next year! And as many pointed out, we'll still get to see that great scrap.

    For Japan, I'll choose 1989 and a race of simmering tension before boiling over into the Prost-Senna all-out war.

    Second choice is 1976 as it'd be great to see a race from so long ago.

  • Comment number 14.

    Thanks for the videos!

    I would like to see 76 and 89 again - I remember 1994 as not brilliant and a bit weird because Schumi won on the track but not the race because of the aggregate. As 2000 amd 2005 are only available in short highlights then they get put to the back of the grid ;)

  • Comment number 15.

    I'm a little gutted Austria 82 didnt get full highlights - but getting 2 other full highlights makes up for it :)

    Anyway, on to the Japanese classics. I thought my choice would be hard, between 1988 and 1994, but seemingly 1988 has been left for the Abu Dhabi selection (good idea i might add) so definitely 1994.

    2005 was also a brilliant race and if full highlights were available, i would have seriously considered it. But 1994 it is, PLEASE!

  • Comment number 16.

    1976 for me. I've got the others, bar 1989 on video. Makes me feel old! If not 76 then 89. However, for me it's good to see races from well in the past because it's stuff you haven't seen before.

  • Comment number 17.

    Has to be 1994 for Japan....1989 as a second choice in the event of a tie.

    Btw thanks for a double helping for Singapore!!

  • Comment number 18.

    Andrew, not related to this vote, but when did the last corner in Mexico start being referred to as the 'Peraltada'? I always knew it as the Peralta, and have several videos of it being described as such by Murray Walker and also the commentators on the 'Car Wars' videos. Wasn't it something to do with them lowering the banking on it some time around 1992 or so?

  • Comment number 19.

    1989 - Prost v Senna, nuff said!

    Preferably I would've chose 1988 as I've personally had enough of F1 controversy at this moment in time and really can't be bothered to rant over Prost's 'did he, didn't he' attempt to take out Senna.

    1988 saw Senna win in spectacular fashion. He presumably choked and stalled on the grid, managed to refire his car again and a stellar drive from the rear of the grid! What a way to win your first championship!

  • Comment number 20.

    1994 please. Hill's greatest drive in my opinion.

  • Comment number 21.

    I would have said 1991 Barcelona, but you don't have that on your list.

    Senna vs Mansell all race long, and that iconic drag down to turn 1, sparks flying inches apart.

    How can you not put that race in this list!

  • Comment number 22.

    Andrew - firstly, well done on getting these onto Freeview. It almost makes up for Monza ;-). Joking apart, its appreciated.

    Though i wanted the Austrian GP to win, i can't complain as it was a great selection anyway and i shall look forward to watching them tonight.

    As for the Japanese GP, i remember being gripped by the 2000 title decider with both Hakkinen and Schumacher pushing each other to the limit. However, it doesn't get my vote.

    I can't decide between 76, 89 and 94. All classics.

    First choice - 94 - Not a great Damon fan, but a good drive in the Wet.
    Second choice - 76 - Real bottle from Hunt to stay out and keep it on the track
    Third choice - 89 - Those 2 at it again. Always good to watch.

  • Comment number 23.

    Just watched the hi-lights of the 1979 French GP, stunning racing at the death for second place, fantastic.

  • Comment number 24.

    I would vote for 2005 if we got full highlights for that, but as we won't, I'll vote for 1994

  • Comment number 25.

    Some say that Hill's win at Suzuka 94 was about strategy and not about pace. Opinions?

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm voting for 1976 as I've never seen any footage from it before and most of the other choices this season have been from the 80s and 90s. I've seen the most recent ones before as well.

  • Comment number 28.

    Looks like 1994 is edging it and I'm glad - I'd like to see 1994 please! Mainly because I've read so much about it over the years but never actually seen the highlights.

  • Comment number 29.

    1994 for me too, please.

    Not sure that 1989 was a title decider - wasn't Senna's disqualification appealed?

  • Comment number 30.

    As a Damon Hill fan it has to be 94, also Mansell and Alesi were brilliant. Didnt Mansell finish ahead on the road but lost on aggregate to Alesi after the race was stopped? I miss those days!!

  • Comment number 31.

    Interesting that, given the subject of cheating in F1 currently, there's a chance to see the Prost crash in 1989...

  • Comment number 32.

    1994 please, or 76 if not. Looking forward to watching these on Freeview later.

  • Comment number 33.

    Does the 1976 footage have Murray Walker commentating on it?

  • Comment number 34.

    Andrew- is a full highlights program available for 1976, or is that before the "Grand Prix" era?
    If there's full highlights there, i'll go for that, if not i'll go 1989.
    Got 1994 on tape in full, cant remember much about 2000. 2005 is the best race is my lifetime though.

    1993 would have been a good choice; bit of rain, few shunts, and Eddie Irvine winding Ayrton Senna up something senseless on his F1 debut!

  • Comment number 35.

    Not for any other reason than I want to watch F1 cars with bloody great big slicks and no downforce, please can we have 1976.

    (expect 2005 to win though)

  • Comment number 36.

    I know, I was a wet race, but you all know what I mean !!

  • Comment number 37.

    Depends what is available for the 1976 race. That would be my first choice.

    If I was picking one for extended highlights that I know is available, then I'd go for '94 over '89.

    Why no 1988? Of the Senna/Prost trilogy that one would lend itself to extended highlights way better than the other two which were really only about a single collision!

  • Comment number 38.

    Japan 1989 please, and thanks for the double highlights.

    Would have chosen Japan 1990 to see a Piquet/Briatore win...

  • Comment number 39.

    1995 Suzuka, it just has to be

  • Comment number 40.

    or should i say 2005!!!

  • Comment number 41.

    I vote for 1994 please

  • Comment number 42.

    1994 all the way

  • Comment number 43.

    Thanks for the highlights - they are very good, and very entertaining viewing.

    As for Japan, I vote for 1989 because I have heard about this race so much in folklore!

  • Comment number 44.

    It's a toss-up between 1976, and 1994. However whenever there's a tie in my mind the oldest race should always win. Besides - I saw 1994 live, and I wasn't born until 1983, so 1976 for me please!

    1976 was similar to the final race of 2008 in some ways. A finale in changeable conditions, a British world champion, and while Hunt didn't quite do a Hamilton and win it at the last corner, the title did look like Lauda's until Hunt managed to nail Jones and Regazzoni right at the end. Please please please please!

    And no 2005 please, it was only four years ago! 1989 has been done to death, and while 2000 may have been a supreme test of on-the-edge driving skill between Schuey and Hakkinen, it would still be fifth on my list.

  • Comment number 45.

    1994, please!

    As for title deciders... '88. Go on, that one was decided fairly!

  • Comment number 46.

    1st 1989 2nd 1976

  • Comment number 47.

    1994 seems rather popular so far

    Worth remembering that its a race Martin Brundle would rather forget. He aquaplaned off the track and into a Japanese marshall who would later have a leg amputated IIRC.

  • Comment number 48.

    Thanks, Andrew. Two full highlights programmes. Brilliant decision considering what was on offer.

    As for Japan, it has to be 1994 - action from start to finish and brilliant driving from all (that stayed on the track!) in atrocious conditions. I remember it being so dark and floodlit at one point, it could have passed for Singapore.

    Second choice has to be 1976.

    If the vote is close again, what are the chances of having two full Grand Prix programmes as for the last selection?

    Thanks again.

  • Comment number 49.

    Title deciders, I would nominate 2008 (it was only last year, but it will still be remembered in 50!), 1997, 1994, 1986, 1976 (if it doesn't win the vote for Japanese GP).

    I don't know about 1988 in the top title deciders, but since it was mentioned, I would actually have put it in the Japanese GP selection, as I'd have it ahead of both 2005 and 2000 in my personal pecking order, as Senna's recovery drive really was something else, and there were things like Capelli hitting the front in the March briefly as well.

  • Comment number 50.

    Thanks Andrew. :)

    1994 for Suzuka.

  • Comment number 51.

    Andrew, out of curiousity, some races which have already been options for this season (eg Australia 1994) are being suggested for the 'title deciders' vote for Abu Dhabi. Are you planning to use some of those which have already been options earlier in the year, or will you be giving us the option of 5 races which haven't been available as choices so far this year?

  • Comment number 52.

    1994, followed closely by 1976. Both fantastic drives from Brit world champions.

  • Comment number 53.

    1976 go my vote, because there has not been many 70's race's and also because of i have not seen a lot race's with James hunt.

  • Comment number 54.

    2005 was one of the best races ever. but i will tactically vote for 1976. cheers Andrew

  • Comment number 55.

    Hi all,

    Thanks for your comments so far.

    Some of you are making suggestions for our title deciders feature, which we will use for Abu Dhabi regardless of whether the title race is still open this year. And at least one of you has mentioned that some of those suggestions are races that we have featured already this year.

    I want to let you know that I have already chosen the five races we will offer up as options. And none of them have featured in 'classic races' so far. For now, I'm not saying any more...

    By all means keep the suggestions rolling in, though. It's fun reading them, and they'll come in handy for next year as well.

  • Comment number 56.

    The greatest ever GP has to be Peter Gethin’s 1971 victory at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza – the fastest ever Grand Prix at 242.51 kph (150.75 mph), the closest ever finish with just 0.01s between first and second, and a staggering 0.61s covering the first five cars!!

  • Comment number 57.

    2008 Belgium, although recent, was an absolute classic. Lewis Hamilton's glorious win in the farcical conditions only to have it taken away was pure drama. Raikonnen's crash was spectacular too. Those last 5 laps or so are what dreams are made of.

  • Comment number 58.


  • Comment number 59.

    All the selections are great races, but I vote for 1994.

  • Comment number 60.

    1994 was a true classic race from start to finish so I'll vote for that.

  • Comment number 61.

    My vote goes to 1994, as when I was younger I was a massive Damon Hill fan. Suprised that 1996 isn't in the list.

  • Comment number 62.

    First vote is for 1989 followed by 1976. (then 2000, 1994, 2005 respectively)

  • Comment number 63.

    Thank you very much for giving us both :D

    As for Japan, there's one memory that stands out for me. "...and I've got to stop, because I've got a lump in my throat." However, I seem to recall the race being basically a load of laps of honour after Villeneuve retired.

    We've all seen Senna and Prost, so we don't need '89 again. My choice of those 5 has to go to the one I've not seen, and the race I've always wanted to see; 1976.

  • Comment number 64.

    I want to vote for 1989, since thats almost a complete race (75min highlight as i recall) and it was the race that marked the Senna/Prost rivalry like no other, The race builds up tention with every lap and its absolutely superb to watch how Senna catches and passes prost only to get shoved out of the title by the FIA. Its the race of the decade for me and as much as most british people like Japan 1994, schumacher only lost that because the race was stopped and he therefor had the wrong 2 stop strategy.
    As 2nd choice id like 76 Japan but i know ITV broadcasted that with Andrew Marriot commentating, what did the bbc show?

  • Comment number 65.

    It really can only be Fuji '76. Nothing else comes close.

  • Comment number 66.

    1989 please! Feels like 1994 went by so many times ;) 1989 was a great event for the F1 lovers and also I appreciate the magnificant Fuji Television footage, most of the times great direction and quality!

    Go for 1989 :D

  • Comment number 67.

    Title deciders - how about you show Massa picking up no points in Singapore last year, and then show Hamilton winning the Championship by one point. See what everyone thinks of that.

  • Comment number 68.

    1976 would be really cool to see again, but my ultimate vote would go for 1994. That was just one of the most tensest, adrenaline-rushing races ever, plus there was a thrilling battle between Alesi and Mansell.

    I actually have the full 2005 Japanese GP taped on video, so I'll be watching that when the classic Japan GP's are announced. ;) It one of the best races I have ever seen live. I actually woke my parents up when Raikkonen took the lead because I was cheering him on.

    I have a suggestion for next year's classic races. How about having classic races from circuits that aren't on the F1 calendar anymore like the French GP, Austrian GP and the USA GP?

  • Comment number 69.

    I tuned in on Freeview tonight and it was only showing Mexico 1990 full and Singapore 2008 short, the other three were missing

    I'll try again when Classic F1 is back on after the final score programme

  • Comment number 70.

    Not sure if 76 gets full highlights. If it does, my vote is split between that and 94. If not, then 94 would be my single vote. Then 89, then 76, 00 and 05.

    Few points to make:
    - We need a classic f1 web page. Why not, some clips are on the interactive circuit guides, why not organise everything and put it on a single page.

    - Next year, can we ensure that there are no repeats of races from this years CF1 highlights.

    - Would it be possible over the winter (when all of us fans are super depressed) to stick a few bonus highlights on (such as the USAs, Frances, Mexicos and San Marinos that we've missed out on this year).

    - Finally, I would like to say (on behalf of everyone) a big thankyou to you (Andrew) and your team for putting these on before every race. This was not essential for this season, but it has helped us wet our appetite for races and has been a regular build up feature of a race weekend. I hope you realise that any criticism is constructive to help you improve for the future.

  • Comment number 71.

    My vote is for 1989, but if there are extended highlights in existance for 1976 then it would be equal vote from me

  • Comment number 72.

    1994 please!

  • Comment number 73.

    StartTheVirago, the choices for races where there's not enough choice (eg Singapore) was done for Singapore, and no doubt will be done next season too (same goes for Korea).

    20-Demon-09, why do that, given that Singapore 08 has already been shown, and shouldn't be shown alongside Brazil 08 just because of what happened at Singapore, when had crashgate not happened, the rest of the season would have also panned out differently, plus don't forget Massa inheriting the Spa win from Lewis. Bizarre suggestion in that respect.

    Simon_Hull, definitely agree with you that for 2010 choices from this season shouldn't be repeated (though with Bahrain for example that might be difficult as they just chose all the previous races there for this years selection, and next year it'd basically be the same, so maybe they ought to choose 5 races from tracks/countries where F1 doesn't race anymore for something like that, same with China)

  • Comment number 74.

    You are truly a legend Andrew, I really didn't expect to get 2 extended highlights of 2 awesome races. I am well chuffed and am gonna watch them tonight thanks Andy and everyone at the BBC.

  • Comment number 75.


    MUST be extended highlights of Damon Hill's finest win.

    Under pressure and having to drive a two part race with aggregate times, Damon delivered a supreme drive in wet weather conditions.

    How fantastic it was to watch Schmacher "win" on the track only for Damon to deliver the goods - in hard black-and-white lap time figures - to win the race.

    Another highlight from this race was Alesi and Mansell duelling for position (both ex-Ferrari car No. 27 drivers). I feel both of these drivers had the spirit of Gilles Villenueve that day and entertained everyone watching with a right old ding-dong of a race passing, and re-passing each other.

    Totally agree with Post Number 10 - McLarenDan

    Great choices, and thanks for getting them onto Freeview, I've been quite disappointed the last few GPs when you couldn't show them because someone decided that the Sports news loop and playing Muse for 4 days solid was a better idea.


    Your format of showing classic F1 races is fantastic, but please stand up and be heard in those BBC TV Centre Freeview Airtime meetings!
    Please ask "Mr(or Mrs)Cbeebies" why its appropriate to broadcast their programming on the red button from 7 p.m onwards? The kids should be in bed sleeping - or doing what kids do these days (asbo exceptions).

  • Comment number 76.

    2nd choice - Hunt the shunt winning '76 title.

  • Comment number 77.

    I've not seen the 1976 Japanese race, unlike the others, so please show it.

  • Comment number 78.

    What Renault did is 100% worse than what McLaren did in 2007. Renault they put driver’s lives at risk. If that would been McLaren they would been kicked out of F1 all together. I forgot one rule for 1 team and another rule for McLaren.

    Alonso should had his win taken off him for that race . If that was Lewis he would lost the win for sure

    In sport today there is to much Politics going on that is spoiling it

    All i can say Renault should been kicked out of F1 all together. when Michael Schumacher took Damon off back in 1994 he lost his points for the season.

  • Comment number 79.

    Can I add my vote for the lovely James Hunt in 76... have always had a thing for him and have never really seen much of this race..being slightly on the young side...

    And on the subject of title deciders, if you're gonna go for a Senna special, it just has to be 1988... I would rather watch him cutting through the field any day than the 1990 crash...what's the point of having extended highlights of a title deciding GP where the title was decided before the cars had got through the first corner???

  • Comment number 80.

    I've watched a lot of Grands Prix, but was absolutely stunned by Mexico 1990. It says a lot about the readers of this blog that this won the vote, because it was absolutely the right choice.

    From a technical perspective going live for those final laps was nothing short of inspired. Viewers in 1990 had a real treat there.

    The choice for Japan is a challenging one. In an ideal world I would vote collectively for 76, 89 and 94. However, given that I've only got 1 vote it will go to the classic title decider of 1989.

  • Comment number 81.

    DaringAbraham, it was 1997 when Schumacher tried to knock Villeneuve off that he lost his points, not 1994 when he collided with Hill. Your Renault comments would be best off in some other section, as this is about the 4 classic races for Singapore, and the choices for Japan, not the Renault decision.

  • Comment number 82.

    For Japan, I'd have to say 1994 would be my pick

    It was the first F1 race I ever watched and has to arguably be Damon's best ever win.

    Not only did we have Damon beating Schumacher in atrocious conditions, but we had the duel between Mansell and Alesi for third, all with Murray screaming away, expecially when Mansell passed Alesi, but the aggregate times put Alesi back infront.

    I think it's the only race I've seen where we had to wait for the second man over the line to see if the first man was the winner!

  • Comment number 83.

    What fantastic viewing that made!

    Although I have seen it several times before, the Villenuve/Arnoux battle is legendary. Great to see action form the old Osterreichring. What a fantastic circuit. I don't recall ever seeing Dallas 1984 before and so it was good to see that too.

    I also enjoyed the short technical report from Jonathon Palmer before the Mexico race. I seem to remember he did several features like this in Grand Prix build up programmes and they were always very informative pieces. Whilst he may not rank highly amongst other colour commentators such as James Hunt or Martin Brundle, he always provided good car technical insight and driver conditioning analysis.

    As for Japan, that's another fine selection of races. My first choice is 1989. Second choice is 1976. Third choice is 1994. I think 1994 is a great race, however I have the full live coverage on tape at home.

  • Comment number 84.

    Easy choice this one.

    1994 - one of the wettest GPs ever. So many incidents and the bizarre aggregate result. Who will ever forget Martin Brundle colliding with a marshal?

  • Comment number 85.

    Fuji '76, because I've not really seen the highlights of that race before. The other races are absolutely brilliant but i think we're all quite familiar with them.

  • Comment number 86.

    1976 for me please - I was approaching my first birthday so although I'm sure it would have been on in our house, I don't remember it! The older races are always fun to watch - to see how things have changed. I'm always struck by how busy the pits were, compared to how precisely they seem to operate now.

  • Comment number 87.

    I thought the highlights show 'Grand Prix' began in 1978 and fuji '76 was on on ITV or something. Not heared any Murray commentary from that race, so if it exists, I'd love to see that!
    All of the others are true classics as well - what a choice! I remember thinking that damon would never beat Michael in the wet, but when the chips were down, Damon pulled out two amazing drives(Adelaide '94 was the other one).
    Got to show Suzuka 1989 though, simply so viewers could fathom out what it was that James Hunt expected Ayrton to do when following Prost, and his idea that it was alright for Prost to basically do a Jerez '97, and plough into Ayrton, saying that "he was always going to do that".
    How Prost got away with that, with reputation intact remains a mystery, to this day, when you look at the condemmnation Micheal received after Jerez.

  • Comment number 88.

    Of the choices, 2005 please. 1994 as second choice
    Personaly, I'm a little disapointed that 2003 didn't get picked for review. It had a similar senario as 2005 in that it had a mixed up grid and plenty of overtaking! But it was also the race that Schumacher beat Fagio's record of 5 world championships! I hope it gets considered for the championship decider (along with 1996).
    I would like to make a suggestion for Brazil if I may, that is 2003 (again) with it's infamous car park at turn three! And also 2008 with it epic last three laps!

  • Comment number 89.

    Perhaps Andrew (or anyone) would like to clarify -

    If 1976 was to win the vote, is there proper half hour highlights or will they be short 5mins (like 1961 Monaco & Germany) due to the BBC not having the full original recording? Thanks

    Also would just like to say how brilliant the selection was for Singapore. Although I voted Mexico (which I hugely enjoyed even if it was a tad confusing as it switched from recorded to live), I must admit Dallas was much more exciting than I thought. Thanks for sticking both full highlights, much appreciated!

  • Comment number 90.


    I have a sneaky suspicion Brazil 08 will feature in Abu Dhabi selection. But yeah I hope Brazil 2003 features - it was one of the maddest races i've ever seen, along with Belgium 1998.

  • Comment number 91.

    1. 2005
    2. 1994
    3. 1989 - as we all know what happens!

  • Comment number 92.

    If and only if a full "Grand Prix" programme is available, I'd like 1976 please, purely because I've never seen that race. If the full 30 mins GP programme isn't available then I'll go for 1994 - a race that defined "edge of the seat" tension. 1989 IIRC was actually a bit dull apart from "the crash".

  • Comment number 93.

    What charges would Renault have faced if Piquet had been seriously injured, or worse killed?

  • Comment number 94.

    Post #84 - Speedworx

    Of course!, I almost forgot Martin Brundle knocked over a marshall in the 1994 race. Thanks Speedworx!

    Good if Martin could give us a few lines on what he remembered of the incident.

  • Comment number 95.

    Race-fixing should have the same Punished a life ban.

    What Renault did is just as bad as the spy row with McLaren and Ferrari two years ago I think the whole of Renault should been Punished and kicked out of F1 For life.

    Briatore ban isn’t harsh. Bernie Ecclestone saying it because it’s his mate. Would he have backed Ron Dennis in the same way I don’t think so!

    Oh well only two teams who do get away with Punished they are Renault and Ferrari

    Half of the problem is Fernando Alonso he causes trouble when he was with McLaren he part of the Race Fixing now. Look when Lewis lost his points in the Ausise race for lying. one rule 4 1 and another for another team

  • Comment number 96.

    Personally i would love to see the 1994 race, this is due in part to the fact that a brit beats schumi, but also because i have never seen it and it sounds just like the kind of race i love

  • Comment number 97.

    Sincere thanks on the great choice for this and I just want to say how delighted I am.

    On Japan, it is a real tough one too. However, I;ll go for '89 (and I'm not sure why I;m not going for '76), so '76 is a second choice. Great choice and would be upset with any as extended highlights.

    If there are anyone too young to remember the '89 race and are undecided, it really knew a serious political ending to the title. On another matter, it is one of the few races in the last 20 years or so that I haven't seen (apart from the collision).

  • Comment number 98.

    Am I the only person having trouble viewing the videos online? iPlayer videos work elsewhere on the BBC sites, so I'm not sure why these ones won't load.

  • Comment number 99.

    Definitely 1976!

    1989 and 94 are great choices, but if you want pure drama and great racing, nothing beats 1976.

  • Comment number 100.

    Haven't decided my Japan vote yet - tough one.

    Singapore '08: Well I can give you guys a report I did at the time - I really did not think even an Alonso-dominated team would sink that low though!

    Other than that, it was the first time I'd heard any of the Radio 5 commentary from this race and I was snarking at Lewis being referred to as "the" British driver when duelling with DC - a guy who himself was our main man in years past!


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