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Nick Heidfeld - classic F1 2011

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Andrew Benson | 06:00 UK time, Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Renault's Nick Heidfeld is the latest driver to choose his five favourite all-time grands prix for our new-look classic Formula 1 series.

For those unfamiliar with the format, BBC Sport has asked all the F1 drivers to select their five favourite races and we are serialising their choices before every race this season to whet your appetites for the action to come. Highlights will be shown on this website and the red button on BBC television in the UK.

So far, we have had world champion Sebastian Vettel, F1 legend Michael Schumacher, Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi, Williams veteran Rubens Barrichello and, for his home grand prix in Spain last weekend, double champion Fernando Alonso.

Ahead of this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, we have the man who is standing in this season for Robert Kubica, who was injured in a rally crash in February and who will be watching the race from his apartment in the principality.

Heidfeld, a 34-year-old German, is one of the most experienced drivers on the grid and his selection is an interesting mix of races from his career and before his time in F1.

In chronological order, they are as follows:

The 1988 Monaco Grand Prix, which Heidfeld says he has chosen as it was the first F1 race he attended. Most people, though, remember it as one of the defining moments in the career of Ayrton Senna, who dominated the weekend in his McLaren until crashing out of the lead with a handful of laps remaining, handing victory to his team-mate Alain Prost.

Heidfeld's second pick is the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix, which Heidfeld calls a "classic F1 moment", and which is proving popular among the current drivers - both Alonso and Buemi also chose this race.

It was also a key event in the careers of Senna and Prost. As many will recall, Senna drove into the back of his arch-rival, who was now at Ferrari, at the first corner at 160mph.

Senna's actions were in revenge for pole position, which he had won, being moved to the 'wrong' side of the track - which he felt was part of a conspiracy against him by then-FIA president Jean-Marie Balestre against him.

Next is the 2001 Brazilian Grand Prix. This was Heidfeld's first appearance on an F1 podium, and came at the end of a thrilling grand prix famous for two stunning overtaking manoeuvres on Ferrari's Michael Schumacher by Juan Pablo Montoya, who should have won the race in his Williams, and McLaren's David Coulthard, who did.

It was an incident-packed race throughout and one in which Heidfeld's sure touch in changing conditions - a feature of his career - was in evidence.

The 2001 US Grand Prix was won brilliantly by Mika Hakkinen, who was to retire following the next race, the season finale in Japan, after winning a tactical battle with team-mate Coulthard and the Ferraris of Schumacher and Barrichello.

It was a fascinating race, typical of F1's refuelling era, but that is not why Heidfeld has chosen it. The event has special memories for him because he finished sixth, scoring points for Sauber, despite the lack of first, second and seventh gears. This race was broadcast during the era when ITV had the rights to F1 in the UK, and unfortunately technical problems mean we cannot broadcast highlights for you.

Finally, Heidfeld has chosen Brazil 2008, not because of anything special he did (he finished 10th for BMW Sauber), but because of its famous finish that saw McLaren's Lewis Hamilton regaining the fifth place he needed to win the title from Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who won the race, on the last corner of the last lap.

As always, we pick one race to highlight to help whet your appetites for the action at the forthcoming grand prix.

Heidfeld has made five excellent choices, but as Monaco is the next race, we have plumped for that event in 1988.

It is worth a bit of back story. Senna was on pole by an astonishing 1.4 seconds from Prost - and was later famously to talk about having what felt like an out-of-body experience while he went faster and faster around the principality.

The Brazilian's utter domination continued in the race, helped by Prost being beaten away from the start by the slower Ferrari of Gerhard Berger.

The Frenchman finally got past on lap 54, by which time Senna had a 46-second lead and was totally in control. But this was only the third race of the 1988 season, for which the Brazilian had joined McLaren, where his main aim was to establish himself as better than Prost, then regarded as the finest driver in the world.

The result was a battle of wills, for pride, between the two finest drivers of their generation - and two of the greatest ever. And in Monaco, this was to lead to Senna's downfall.

Free of Berger, Prost started trading fastest laps with Senna. McLaren boss Ron Dennis, concerned that the team might lose a one-two, assured Senna his lead was safe and he backed off.

But when Prost then gained six seconds in one lap on his team-mate, Senna responded by setting two fastest laps - and then crashed at Portier after losing concentration.

Shell-shocked, and in tears, he returned to his nearby apartment, refusing to speak to his team or answer calls. It was the first of many twists in a drama that was to grip sporting fans the world over for the next five years.

The full 'Grand Prix' programme broadcast that evening on the BBC is embedded below, with links below it to shorter highlights and long and short highlights of Mark Webber's dominant win for Red Bull in Monaco in 2010.

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A selection of classic races will be shown on the BBC red button on satellite and cable digital television in the UK from 1500 BST on Wednesday 25 May until 1030 BST on Friday 27 May. The races selected are extended highlights of Monaco 1988, short highlights of Brazill 2001 and Brazil 2008 and extended highlights of Monaco 2010.

Unfortunately, because of a lack of bandwidth caused by our coverage of the French Open tennis, we are unable to broadcast these highlights on Freeview.


  • Comment number 1.

    The link to the 2001 Brazilian GP links to the 1990 Japanese race.

  • Comment number 2.

    For the Japanese one why dont you try clicking on the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix embedded in the blog. Also same for the Brazilian but that still loads the Japanese one at the moment.

  • Comment number 3.

    Unfortunately this is the only part of the BBC F1 experience that is now letting us down. I used to really enjoy the Classic F1 videos, but now all we are getting are repeat races chosen by the drivers and also races that you can't even show us!

    I suggest a re-think about this feature, before a lot more people get disheartened with it.

  • Comment number 4.

    Great blog Mr Benson!!!

    Quick question if anyone knows... Where will the DRS zone be for Monaco GP? If its the start finish strate will it be long enough? Sorry if this starts a fake racing argument. :o(

  • Comment number 5.

    nice to hear the voice of james allen again on the brazilian gp highlights.

  • Comment number 6.

    This format is dead. Used to really look forward to seeing these pop up, see races I hadn't seen before, fondly remember some that I had, but instead I can virtually recite the Japanese Grand Prix of 1989 and 1990 from memory. Sort it out.

  • Comment number 7.

    We've had plenty of seasons that have produced only the occasional gem... it doesn't surprise me that many drivers are picking seminal F1 meetings.

    People complain if the drivers pick 'modern classics' and complain when the drivers pick 'classic classics', just goes to prove the all-of-the-people-all-of-the-time thing.

    I'll watch any F1, old or new, so there's still life in this format for me!

  • Comment number 8.

    Am I the only person who thinks the choice of 1988 monaco is inspired? The Senna movie is coming out soon and (for a man of 26 who was 3 years old when this race occured) I find fascinating to see the way Prost and Senna's relationship developed over the season. It is fascinating comparing it to recent first season driver pair rivalries such as Alonso-Hamilton and Vettel-Webber.

    You also never hear of any of Senna's mistakes and sometimes it's good to remember he was actually human.

  • Comment number 9.

    Why? was the 2001 US Grand Prix not avaliable because of technicial problems?

  • Comment number 10.

    7 - I agree! I like the views of the other drivers - and in the selection there is generally a random race or two, along with the top top classics, but that is going to happen! They're the favourites.

    Ultimately people enjoy the old footage, because its not as fresher memory, and I love them. Maybe there is the possiblity that they can introduce more of that next season.

    However, for the time being and for the remainder of the season - I'm happy to stick it out in the current format.

    I like it - and I love the BBC coverage of the F1. We've never had it so good.

    Good stuff :-)

  • Comment number 11.

    i got great respect for nick. Hopefully he gets to win a race before he retires.

  • Comment number 12.

    Re post 1, thanks and apologies. I've corrected that link now.

  • Comment number 13.

    Shame about it not being on freeview and shame about US GP 2001 (Murray's last ITV commentary), But hey you can't be too critical we've got one new race highlights in Brazil 2001 and its around 15 minutes long. Thats brilliant when you consider when this feature first started in 2009 many of the short highlights were only around 5-6 mins top in the first few features. Also interesting to know why now we can have James Allen's commentary, not a complaint Andrew just wondering.

  • Comment number 14.

    At 08:32 25th May 2011, RAD wrote: "I used to really enjoy the Classic F1 videos, but now all we are getting are repeat races... I suggest a re-think about this feature, before a lot more people get disheartened with it."


  • Comment number 15.

    Do you yave any really old stuff we could see for the classics? Maybe show some footage from the 50s or 60s. The classics for the British Grand Prix could be one from Britain for each decade if the footage allowed.

  • Comment number 16.

    At 08:32 25th May 2011, RAD wrote: "I used to really enjoy the Classic F1 videos, but now all we are getting are repeat races... I suggest a re-think about this feature, before a lot more people get disheartened with it."


  • Comment number 17.

    Love the format despite the repetition of some choices....if you're looking for other highlights then surely this cannot be your only source?

    Webber for a repeat win this weekend - was fast through sector three in Barcelona which will be slightly invicative of Monaco corners and looked inspired here last year. McLaren's to fill other podium slots.

  • Comment number 18.

    Nice one Andrew and Nick, even if some of the above "fans" don't seem to agree with this format. Modern classic or old classic, IT'S ALL CLASSIC!!! I love it anyway

  • Comment number 19.

    Hi all,

    Thanks for your responses so far. I'm just going to pop on here quickly in an attempt to address the continuing unhappiness in certain quarters.

    I completely understand where you are coming from on this subject - the fact is you are not getting as many new pieces of F1 highlights this year as you were in 2009 and 2010.

    But as I explained previously, a) the archive was running dry in terms of races that could be termed "classic", as opposed to just any old race, however uneventful; and b) we simply did not have the resources to continue editing as much material as we were before.

    I'm sure you all follow the news. The BBC is facing continuing pressure over resources, and we have to make hard choices. With the best will in the world, classic F1 is always going to be a lower priority than some of the other areas of sport we cover.

    So we had to make a change, and we decided to ask the drivers for their favourite races. Obviously, some of them have chosen the same races as each other. This is not a surprise. But it's not like you're not getting new content.

    This very week, you have the 2001 Brazilian GP which we have never shown before, as well as the full 'Grand Prix' programme from Monaco 1998, which we have also never shown here before.

    I have most of the drivers' choices in now, and I can assure you that we have some interesting things coming up for you, and new content that you have not seen here before.

    The new approach to this feature was about more than just the classic races - it was also about giving an insight into the drivers themselves. At the BBC, we are trying to give a holistic approach to F1. We don't only concentrate on the top teams and drivers. We felt this was a way of giving a little bit more insight into, and raising the profile of, the lesser-known drivers, as well as satisfying a craving for more information on the top names.

    I should also add that while a number of respondents here are not happy with the new approach in comparison to the old one, in many cases the viewing figures for classic F1 are up compared to last year. So clearly this approach is working for some people.

    We will be carrying on with it until the end of the year, at which point we will reassess the situation with regard to 2012.

  • Comment number 20.

    Not Japan 1990 again!! Beyond the first corner, this was NOT an entertaining race...

    Where does Mexico '90, Monaco '92 or Donington '93 rate in the drivers' reckoning?

  • Comment number 21.


  • Comment number 22.

    I think it's clear this format isn't great, but in Andrew's defence he's trying his best. He's given us Monaco 88 in full despite the fact it wasn't in Nick's choices.

    The only thing I would strongly argue against is this point that the well has run dry. There's a number of great races still to be shown:
    1989 Canada - Boutsen comes through in appalling wet conditions. Senna, rarely, loses the car.
    1989 Australia - Another exciting wet race.
    1990 Brazil -One of Alain Prost's best drives. Climbing up the field and ultimately pressurising Senna to win.
    1992 Spain - Mansell storms to victory but the rain behind causes chaos.
    1993 South Africa - Senna, Prost, Schumacher all battling for first. That's a total of 14 world championships between them! Then a freak rain shower at the end causing carnage.
    1995 Argentina - Hill, Schumacher, Coulthard in a three way battle.
    1995 Britain - Hill hits Schumacher in controversial circumstances. Herbert wins.
    1996 Japan - Not great in terms of action, but one in any British fan's memory from that season. I think we can have one nationalistic choice per season!

    My knowledge of 89 and onwards is more complete than prior to 88. I'm sure an expert on the earlier years can give you a similar list of 79-88.

    Bottom line: The well has much more left to give!

  • Comment number 23.

    Re; #19

    Thank you for your response Andrew. Like me, I'm sure those who have expressed frustration at the repetition of some of the races shown on here do so in the best intentions and do not mean to come across as unappreciative. I, and I hope others, understand that you are under pressure by the current restrictions placed upon you and are trying your best to provide good content. Please be aware that the only reason some are getting frustrated is because you have spoiled us so much with the Classic GP during the 2009 and 2010 seasons!

    Where possible, we would appreciate it if previously shown races that have been featured more than twice were not shown again for a while. However, if this is simply not possible it is understandable and does not diminish our gratitude for your efforts.

    Keep up the good work.

    Many Thanks!

  • Comment number 24.

    I admire you determination to keep going with this Andrew. Last week I was pretty disappointed to find out most of the races shown here were in fact repeats we've seen a few times before, and some already this year.

    But then, how many races can be a classic! It's inevitable to get repeats.

    I stick with you, because you are showing some great insight into these races, and for the new fans of F1, this is must be great to watch, and really feeds their new found enthusiasm.

    Every classic F1 post is available on this website so why not watch that if you are not happy with the choices made this week.

  • Comment number 25.

    @23 I couldn't agree more. Given the current restrictions you guys face, we're thankful just to have this feature keep going as it is. Many thanks!

  • Comment number 26.

    21.At 11:13 25th May 2011, Airan Rodenas wrote:

    Berger missed a gear

  • Comment number 27.

    Full highlights of Monaco 88? Great, look forward to watching! I really wanted that one picked last year (instead of 1984) when we only got short highlights.

    Look forward to seeing Brazil 2001 too - loved that race as it was Schumacher's first defeat since Spa the previous year. :-)

  • Comment number 28.

    I've often defended AB on a number of topics, and I've enjoyed his pre-BBC work as a journalist, but on this one I regret that I can't. As one who has been disappointed in the format change, AB has kind of made my point for me (and others) expressed in previous blog comments.

    If there are no 'classics' (based on the word being defined as 'great' or 'memorable', rather than 'aged'), then why is the strand still being referred to in this way?

    If it were titled "2011 F1 Driver Favourites" or akin, then I'd be less bothered, Given the current drivers' ages, we are not likely to see much of any vintage - unless you include retired drivers (like Berger, Patrese, Oliver as well as the ex-champs) or Karun Chandhok, the walking F1 encyclopedia! - and there would bound to be overlaps. I'd accept that, and therefore already be half-expecting there to be little or nothing of interest to me, but be pleasantly surprised if there was.

    But it isn't.

    And what is there has already been shown recently, using BBC resources (airtime, most notably) to present material whose familiarity will produce fewer, licence-paying, viewers. (The discussion on the effective use of the Red Button, especially on Freeview, is best left for elsewhere.) I'm not averse to repeats so 'late-comers' can enjoy these races, but as also noted above there is other material still unscreened I and others would watch.

    So in short, I ask you please not to present re-heated apple crumble and tell me it's a chocolate ice cream sundae. I don't think that does anyone any favours.


  • Comment number 29.


    Just wanted to say I quite like this new format. Ok, we don't get 5 new races each time, but we still get some new content and that makes it worthwhile. Given the other things being cut at the BBC I think we should all count ourselves very lucky to have any classic F1. Hope it can continue next season, in some form or another.

    Thanks also to Nick H for a few good choices.

  • Comment number 30.

    I really like this blog, but feel the format needs to be tweaked slightly to be more like this.

    The best Monaco Grand Prix's ahead of this weekends race for example should be decided by a poll, and then the highlights and some analysis are posted in this blog.

    Everyone wins and no one can complain because everyone has had their say and you should get a very wide spread of race suggestions from people of all ages.

    Thats what these guys do. and it seems to work.

  • Comment number 31.

    Not a great fan of the current format, but I did enjoy watching Monaco 88 again this morning. Seen it many times, but never tire of watching any of the old races at monaco. And I dont even like it as a race track, but theres just something about the atmosphere the race creates. So thanks for showing that.

  • Comment number 32.


    You have named 8 races from a decade. That is not even 2 race weekends worth of classic F1. The feature has run for two years already.

    Where is this untapped supply of classic F1? 5 a race weekend is over 80 a season.

  • Comment number 33.

    Would have been so much cheaper for them to just start at 1979 and work through the seasons 1 race per race weekend, it would have been never ending and great to follow seasons many of us have not seen before. So I seriously do not buy this economics being used as a defense for this poor format, when so many agreed following old seasons as you watch new ones would be a great use of this slot.

  • Comment number 34.

    Maybe if drivers chose about 10 races at a time, we could have a vote to see which ones we'd like. Say put up a post for it on the Monday or Tuesday, before the Classic F1 on the Wednesday.

  • Comment number 35.

    Perhaps this feature should be renamed Vintage F1, since the BBC seem to be hung up on having to find "classic" grands prix. And, like corybungo says, Japan 90 was no "classic" after Turn 1, so there's no logic in showing that one (again) if it's just for "classics".

    For me, it's nice to see the old circuits and cars that were used in the 70s and 80s (for example), even if it's not an absolute cracker of a race. If we get the extended race highlights that the BBC used to put out, then at least it'll be fairly short and sweet - and a good trip down memory lane.

    Like so many, I'm getting less and less to find interesting in this feature...

  • Comment number 36.

    At 16:11 25th May 2011, tommybrusher wrote: "Where is this untapped supply of classic F1? 5 a race weekend is over 80 a season."


    At 16:19 25th May 2011, Lyla wrote: "Would have been so much cheaper for them to just start at 1979 and work through the seasons 1 race per race weekend"


    At 17:52 25th May 2011, Cameron wrote: "Maybe if drivers chose about 10 races at a time, we could have a vote to see which ones we'd like."

    You've all stumbled on issues which I recall have been raised before. The first iteration of Classic F1 followed the season (past races for Oz were shown ahead of the latest AusGP, and so on), save for events likes Bahrain and Abu, which had little or no back catalogue, where other events were selected (SAGP, Portugal, Dutch GP and so on, or just a free-for-all). A selection of races drawn up by Andrew were supposedly being voted upon by contributors to the blog, due to the word "choose" in the BBC F1 homepage write-up, but that was not the case. This faux vote then became more of a discussion once it was clear there was no democracy involved. The repeated footage did not follow a year-by-year, race-by-race, good or bad, format as Lyla requests, though I recall it was suggested as a means of extending Classic F1's shelf life.

    The question of how many races ought to be shown, hinted at in Tommybrusher's comment, has also been raised before, since it was clear last year (maybe in 2009 too) by a number of contributors that the number of programmes shown was unsustainable in the long term, and some true classics (in both senses of the word) were being presented in the 9min clip format when they were as much deserving of a full repeat at the 'winner'. It was suggested that the number of programmes be reduced (again to preserve longevity of the strand) and that the repeats selected for transmission be given more airtime.

    To some extent this did happen, but only rarely, with two full repeats of 'Grand Prix' shown on occasion. (Incidentally, in 2009, a 1992 tribute documentary on Senna was shown as well, so there is also other material that can be aired.) The arrival of the full highlights repeat of the previous year's race to accompany the Classic races for each GP (which many contributors also didn't want, and said so) then appeared to restrict the airtime to allow fewer but longer repeats of 'Grand Prix' to be screened.

    Consequently, by having chopped up perfectly good races which could have been held back and shown as full repeats (and spent money to edit them down for no good reason, as Lyla alludes to), we have apparently now run out of 'classics'.

    It's not as if this situation was unexpected, or without provisions offered to avoid it, by those who wanted Classic F1 to endure. But no-one at the Beeb took any notice (perhaps except for AB himself, who I suspect is carrying the can for decisions made elsewhere), and so we're in a position where a feature which attracted hundreds of comments in a day currently stands in the mid-30s, where a lot of being said isn't very positive.

    The new format and the fingers-in-ears-la-la-la approach to what contributors have actually wanted, seems akin to the killing of certain TV shows, where the format is deliberately changed and the show put in places people can't see it (Freeview coverage of Classic F1 now barely exists) in order for channel execs to later claim that a lack of viewers was the cause of its demise.

    At 08:44 25th May 2011, Spurs Thundercat wrote: "This format is dead."

    I fear it will be more than the format that's on the way out.

  • Comment number 37.

    Hey Kif, don't worry the BBC have read your comment, and understand your concerns however due to budget concerns and supposed increased viewers, they will ignore it and proceed with their plan giving each other a slap on the back for a job well done and licking ice cream off their BAFTA, they will then reassure you that in fact you are wrong and their ice cream now tastes the best so you should learn to accept that and enjoy the coverage with all these extra viewers...who are probably just grannies trying to work out where the news is on their new mandatory digital TV.

  • Comment number 38.

    pants! this feature needs work! bring in some ex drivers too like, Mansell, prost, Damon etc, and how about asking Murray, DC and Martin too? there's loads you could do.. The excuses about lack of bandwidth for freeview? lame! only the BBC would allow something as fundamental as bandwith to be lacking. whats happening this year? along with the terrible F1 forum format this year, we seem to be going backwards again!

  • Comment number 39.

    I agree that this format is becoming a bit of a re-hash and is consistantly delivering material already available. I'm increasingly using Huw Selby's f1 links page (type huwselby f1 into google, it's top) which links to every single f1 highlights that the Beeb has put onto the site. You can pick and choose what race you want to watch and it is increasingly more satisfying than this feature.

    If we are running out of classics, why not start showing some of the other races? Each F1 Season review video covers every race and rarely becomes tiresome (except Monza 97 which I think is the most boring race I've had the missfortune to watch!). Adding more races (even if they are not considered "classics") also puts other races in the season into context and can give new watchers a better understanding of what was happening in each season (driver relationship, car development, technical regs etc).

    Final point, if resources are the issue for generating new content, surely the Beeb will be able to dedicate far more time to F1 now the footie season has finished?

  • Comment number 40.

    Completely agree with Incast, there's loads of classics that can still be shown.

    1989 Brazil - Mansell won his first race for Ferrari
    1989 Hungary - when Mansell started in 12th and won
    1989 Portugal - where Mansell was blackflagged and then collided with Senna
    1990 France - last race at Paul Ricard where Capelli in the Leyton House was a handful of laps away from winning
    1990 Australia - Mansells last race for Ferrari when he went on a Mansell charge after Piquet and made that last lap lunge
    1991 France - Mansell fighting with Prost and twice overtaking him around the outside
    1991 Germany - Prost being brake tested by Senna on several laps and then stalled it eventually
    1991 Canada - Piquet inheriting the win after a certain Brit stopped yards from the flag
    1992 Hungary - Mansell clinching his WDC
    1993 Donington - don't need to say why
    1995 Spa -Schumacher v's Hill, great battle
    1996 Monaco - where only 3 cars finished and Panis in a Ligier won

    Ok alot of mine feature Mansell but there's plenty more gems out there waiting to be picked. Japan 1990 was finished on the 1st lap and I don't know why so many drivers pick it.


  • Comment number 41.

    I think it's great to see some older races, even if we do get some repeats. It's also great to see which races the drivers choose and their thoughts on these races.

    I'm looking forward to seeing which races other drivers choose and looking forward to some more different races in this blog! I also think it'd be good to see which races some of the retired drivers would pick, and hear their views on the races :-)

  • Comment number 42.

    I am just glad we get ANYTHING F1 themed to watch FREE in the run-up to a Grand Prix weekend. All the MOANING about REPEATS or MORE CLASSICS, is petulant and greedy. Be thankful for the work going into the ENTIRE BBC F1 coverage. I'll watch anything F1...and watch it again.

  • Comment number 43.

    Have to agree with #41/42

    The content/coverage that the BBC is currently providing seems amazing to me??? Personally I'm really enjoying this feature, it gives a new and different insight into the drivers and if anything the issue of repeats should just be testament to the use of the word 'classic'.

    Also, to the people complaining, would you really have the time in your day to watch five new races each time this blog is published? I'm a lazy student and I know I dont, stop the moaning and appreciate what you get for your licence fee.

  • Comment number 44.

    Hello Andrew hello everyone. Some good choices from Nick Heidfeld. It was nice to see footage of Ayrton Senna round Monaco in 1988 with the dominating McLaren Honda MP4/4 in the last turbo era season. I enjoyed it up to lap 67. To this day it is still sad see that part of the race.Ayrton was joy to watch in the 80's 90's in qualifying because his skill was fully displayed round the Monte Carlo barriers. Honda power dominated Monaco between 1987 - 1992. Also amazing between 1984 and 1993 only two drivers won the Monaco grand prix. Will anyone dominate Monte Carlo like Ayrton Senna? 87, 89, 90,91,92,93. Easily the greatest F1 Driver.

  • Comment number 45.

    Well how spectacularly disappointing to watch the nail-biting climax to Brazil 2008, but ruined by two BBC commentators who didnt really get what was going on! The original commentary by James Allen and Martin Brundle was 1000x better, as they actually picked up the situation with Glock as it unfolded, and allowed them to portray appropiate emotion. Maybe I'll watch again but with the sound off.

  • Comment number 46.

    @43 I don't want 5 races a race weekend, I think that is ridiculous and wasteful especially when most are repeats or recent, the idea supported by the majority asked last year would only require 1 race per weekend. Which I am sure more of us would have time for and feel able to take the time for. This current presentation is next to useless. We could know every ones classics by publishing 1 article or blog summarising drivers choices.

    The other way if you wanted to do a driver one would be to ask all the drivers, team owners and any other player in the sport to pick their 5 all time favourite races that perhaps inspired them to be part of the sport, then have a top 18 countdown of the most popular races with who voted for them and why. Concluding with the most popular at the final race of the season.

    Again less races per week which imo would be good, especially if budget truly is a concern, less repetition, and less "this was my first race", "here I went from 14th on the grid and finished 12th and only 2 drivers ahead of me dropped out", etc.

  • Comment number 47.


    I'd tend to disagree that the commentary of Brazil 2008 by Crofty and Maurice was disappointing... It displayed the exact emotion that was going on around the circuit. All the Brazilian fans and those in the Ferrari garage were feeling exactly the way it was described by Crofty until it dawned on them all that Hamilton had managed to pass Glock.

    Yes Brundle and Allen called it correctly on the night, but the Five Live commentary was hardly disappointing!

    On another note, I am pleased with Classic F1 as it is currently presented - however as mentioned above by Incast etc, there are still some classics left to show.

  • Comment number 48.


    The 1990 Japanese GP probably would have been a great race if Ayrton had not needlessly pushed Prost off the circuit trying to prove a point to the then President of the FIA. And I say needless because it was. If you research the points permutations from that year you find out that Senna only had to finish behind Prost to win the title

  • Comment number 49.

    At 17:40 26th May 2011, reptongeek wrote: "If you research the points permutations from that year you find out that Senna only had to finish behind Prost to win the title"

    That hypothesis assumes that Senna would finish. All you need is a Jean-Louis Schlesser moment at the chicane and that certainty flies out the cockpit. Senna's rationality is sound (if not his motivation, and maybe not his morality either), because removing Prost by engineering a collision, or merely allowing a collision to come about, guaranteed instant success with little effort, no uncertainty, and with a good chance of survival if executed at the start, where the contact could also be construed by the officials as a racing incident (which at the time it was).

    Ayrton himself may not have thought exactly along all those lines, and may even have just felt bl**dy-minded about perceived injustices and wanted to take out Prost regardless. But strategically (if for little else) it was the right thing to do.

    I agree with your sentiment though, reptongeek, but I can also see why Senna chose not to yield even though I personally didn't like what he did - and still don't twenty-one years later.

  • Comment number 50.

    One thing that I would like to see - an 'encylopedia' of all the Classic F1 races. Just one long blog post containing all the races ever shown on this blog.

    I'm tired of searching so far into the BBC just looking for one race I've remembered about.

  • Comment number 51.

    As already mentioned in an earlier post if you google huwselby f1 he has a page linking to all the races shown so far

  • Comment number 52.

    On the subject of Senna I agree with Kif (comment49) that Senna ruined the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix by "engineering" the demise of what promised to be another monumental showdown along the lines of the 1989 race which has to go down as the all time greatest race. The repeated endorcement of the Japan '89 and '90 races underlines the Prost/Senna era as the greatest in F1.

    But I cannot buy into the sentiment that Senna was a peerless god in the world of F1 because the facts, annoyingly, don't support it. Senna won his first world championship in '88, but Prost scored more points that year; Prost beat him in '89 in equal equipment driving for a team that had already switched it's allegiance to Senna, because Honda, McLarens engine supplier, liked Senna. In 1990 Prost grabbed Ferrari by the scruff and brought them to the brink of their first world championship since 1979; until of course hopes were dashed in Japan turn 1.

    Great times though, every race had the feel of a heavyweight title fight; emotions were raw and real.

    I LIKE the new format Andrew! The concurrence of multiple drivers opinions really go to underline the significance of the Prost/senna era in the history of F1. It's funny but at the time motorsport journalists wasted screeds of paper whining on about how F1 was not what it used to be, back in the golden era of Fangio and Moss. But, come on, those geezers were blind to what was going down in front of them - the pinnacle of classic F1 - the Prost/Senna era.

    That said you have to now have to re-examine the archives for Prost/Senna moments like the pit wall incident in Portugal; the first turn at Imola '89 the race that started the rift; Prost's amazing slap down of Senna at the '88 French race.

    Yes, I'll agree Senna was great - magical if fact - but Prost was more that is equal.

  • Comment number 53.

    FANTASTIC to hear James Allen and Martin Brundle commentating, rather than Jonathan Legard or somebody else reporting how the race went. Please keep this trend for the future. It would also be nice if we could hear Allen and Brundle for all the ITV races - just for nostalgic purposes - as I did watch the races live, rather than listen to 5 Live commentary.

  • Comment number 54.

    Unable to show on Freeview, nothing to do with lack of bandwidth, almost 24x7 coverage of RHS Chelsea is the problem. Do we really need to see the same 20 min program reapeated for hours & hours? I wouldn't mind setting my recorder to pick up classic F1 in the early hours, I agree with earlier comments, we are getting left out on Freeview lately, we used to get several shots at Classic F1, now we are lucky to get a single slot. This time nothing, so eventually no one will watch so BBC will quietly drop.

  • Comment number 55.

    Monaco '88: First time I've seen this on full length highlights. Not quite as good a race as I was expecting(was also expecting to see Senna in his appartment!).

    Also I'm pretty sure the first take of the cake cutting had a different ending! ;)

  • Comment number 56.

    "Unfortunately, because of a lack of bandwidth caused by our coverage of the French Open tennis, we are unable to broadcast these highlights on Freeview."

    Was this the same reason that Thursdays Monaco Practice two, whilst titled as such on 301, was infact non-stop coverage of tennis?

  • Comment number 57.

    Thank you so much! Really enjoyed watching Brazil 2001 actually and great to hear commentary from James Allen and Martin - they were a great combination!

  • Comment number 58.

    Thank you. I'm kind of irregular so not bored of the repeats yet. Driver's choose the same races? But if they give different reasons for liking them we still elarn something. I'm wondering what Quick Nick was doing in 1988 if Monaco was his first GP.

    It's quite funny James and Murray commenting on not seeing how Senna went of and citing the local TV Director, Croft and Chandok were doing much the same during FP2 when I think we had in car footage of someone on a fast lap, cutting away to something inconsequentail compared to the in car view of someone setting a quick time.

    I quite liked Hunt's comments after Alliot went off, 'He has a reputation for shunting.......

    Thank you, enjoy the race on Sunday.


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