Your classic grand prix - race five
The latest edition of our classic grand prix series features the Spanish Grand Prix, and we have chosen the 1994 race to highlight in the run-up to this year's event - you can watch the full 'Grand Prix' highlights programme from 16 years ago, alongside the shorter package we cut for all the other contenders.
In this blog, I will also give you the five choices for Monaco, which is only a week after Spain this year. More on that later.
The 1994 Spanish race was memorable for two reasons - Damon Hill's first victory for Williams since the death of Ayrton Senna a month before; and Michael Schumacher's remarkable drive to second place, despite being stuck in fifth gear for much of the race.
Schumacher's problem occurred while he was in the lead. It initially delayed the German, but once Hill had built a comfortable lead, Schumacher began to find a way to drive around it, and he began to match the Englishman for pace. It was a quite brilliant drive, one of the best of Schumacher's career.
To Hill and Williams, though, it mattered little that they had effectively inherited the win, their first of 1994. More important was the breakthrough it provided. Because of his calm approach to the aftermath of Senna's death, Hill had played an important role in keeping the team together, and this victory provided a kind of catharsis, a chance to start again.
I did an extensive piece about Hill and Williams for Motor Sport magazine a couple of years ago, and in it Hill and Williams co-owner Patrick Head talked extensively about how critical that victory was.
Head said: "It was very important for the team because we'd had a dreadful start to the year.
"This was the team that won the championship, drivers' and constructors' (titles) in '92 and '93, and suddenly turned up with Ayrton Senna at the beginning of '94 with a not very good car.
"And to have a driver killed in our car, I mean obviously for Ayrton's family [it was] terrible circumstances, but for us as well after that it was a massive knock to confidence, obviously. We were obviously deep into the Italian inquiry [into Senna's death] and trying to understand ourselves exactly what happened. It was certainly a very difficult time and Damon was very strong in that whole process."
Hill added: "The win in Spain was crucial. I knew I could do it, but I needed something tangible to hang it on.
"As always with this sport, the only thing that really matters is the result. Ultimately, people can only relate to a result. You get a result and you've got an amount of breathing space. The car was well adapted to Barcelona. And we capitalised on it. Michael had his problem as well. Luck plays a part always.
"Spiritually, we're humans after all, and for people to go forward they need to believe there is an opportunity for something positive to happen. So it did become a kind of... what we felt for Ayrton was channelled into our championship. And I just felt that because of what happened to Ayrton I had to completely give everything I had to try to win the championship."
The full 'Grand Prix' programme for that race is embedded below, with the five shorter highlights below. It's worth saying, incidentally, that the 1977 Spanish Grand Prix - the details of which I went into last week - also proved incredibly popular with respondents on this blog, so we have included all the coverage we have from that from Sportsnight at the time. We have also decided to give you the chance to watch the full hour-long highlights edited for broadcast after last year's race.
CLICK HERE FOR SHORT HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 1977 SPANISH GRAND PRIX
CLICK HERE FOR SHORT HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 1988 SPANISH GRAND PRIX
CLICK HERE FOR SHORT HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 1994 SPANISH GRAND PRIX
CLICK HERE FOR SHORT HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2006 SPANISH GRAND PRIX
CLICK HERE FOR SHORT HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2009 SPANISH GRAND PRIX
CLICK HERE FOR LONG HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2009 SPANISH GRAND PRIX
The footage will be available on the red button on satellite and cable in the UK from 1830 BST on Wednesday 5 May until 2100 BST on Thursday 6 May and from 1230 BST on Friday 7 May until 0800 BST Saturday 8 May. They will be on Freeview from 1040-1250 BST and from 1900-2100 BST on Friday 7 May.
Now, to the Monaco choices. They are as follows:
1980 - famous for the crash at the first corner in which Irishman Derek Daly's Tyrrell became airborne, and a late-race shower of rain that allowed Gilles Villeneuve to showcase his breathtaking wet-weather skills, lapping as much as five seconds faster than anyone else in the uncompetitive Ferrari 312 T5. The great Canadian eventually finished fifth in a race won by Williams driver Carlos Reutemann.
1984 - an eventful wet race won by Alain Prost, but one which has gone down in history as the grand prix in which Senna announced himself to the world. The Brazilian was closing on Prost's McLaren in the unfancied Toleman only for the race to be stopped just as he was about to catch him up. It was so close, in fact, that Senna waved to the crowd on the slowing down lap thinking he had won.
The race was noteworthy also for the performance of the rising German star Stefan Bellof, who was catching Prost and Senna in his Tyrrell, and for Nigel Mansell crashing out while leading in his Lotus after his rear wheels spun on a white painted line on the track.
1988 - a defining moment in the career of Senna, who threw away victory in the closing stages after dominating for most of the race. The Brazilian had set a stunning pole position, 1.4 seconds quicker than McLaren team-mate Prost, and romped away into the distance as the Frenchman was held up behind Gerhard Berger's Ferrari. Once past, Prost began to set fastest laps, Senna responded despite being more than 50 seconds ahead, and then lost concentration and clouted the barrier at Portier.
2004 - Jarno Trulli's only F1 victory, which he took in a very close finish after fending off pressure from Jenson Button. It was an incident-packed race that included a big crash in the tunnel for Fernando Alonso while he was trying to lap Ralf Schumacher, and a collision between Juan Pablo Montoya and Schumacher that cost the world champion a potential victory.
2009 - a brilliant victory by Button, whose gentle treatment of the softer tyres allowed him to create a huge - and ultimately winning - lead in the first 20 laps of the race while team-mate Rubens Barrichello and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel struggled.
To prevent any confusion, the races we chose last year, which therefore cannot feature this, were 1961, 1981, 1982, 1992 and 1996.
Your job now is to tell us which one of our latest selection you would most like to see highlights of and why.
We will use those answers to inform our choice of which one we highlight in the run-up to the race next week. That means we will offer the full 'Grand Prix' highlights programme of the time, as well as the shorter highlights packages we cut for all the races for this feature.
If 2009 is the chosen race, we will make the full hour-long highlights show broadcast last year available on the internet.
These highlights will be shown on the BBC Sport website and the red button. We do our best to get them on to Freeview as well as digital satellite and cable, but because of the restricted space we can not always guarantee that.