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Pick your classic F1 season finale

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Andrew Benson | 09:40 UK time, Thursday, 22 October 2009

First, an admission. Figuring that the world championship battle would go down to the wire for the fourth time in a row, we had planned the final edition of this year's classic races series to be about great title deciders - and now Jenson Button has gone and messed it all up!

It is a bit late to change our plans now, though, so we're going to press ahead. As it happens, four of the five choices are, like next weekend's Abu Dhabi race, the last race of that particular season as well as - unlike Abu Dhabi - a title decider. And all of them are true classics, whichever way you look at it.

Unfortunately, we have not been able to include one of the races we wanted to - the 1997 title decider at Jerez in Spain, when Michael Schumacher infamously tried to take rival Jacques Villeneuve out of the race. The tape we were sent by ITV has had the post-race interviews recorded over the first two-thirds of the race, so it's impossible to cut a proper highlights package of it.

We will look into finding a full version of that race at a later date. In the meantime, we have chosen the final event of 1980, the US Grand Prix East, as its replacement.

In a way, this is appropriate, as - like Abu Dhabi this year - although it was the final race of the season, it was not a title decider. Just as Button has now in 2009, Williams driver Alan Jones clinched the world championship at the previous race, which was in Canada.

It was, though, a drive befitting Jones's new status. The Australian qualified fifth, but ran wide on the first lap and finished it in 14th place, whereupon he embarked upon a quite brilliant recovery to win the race.

Who knows? Now Jenson Button has been freed from the pressure of the championship, perhaps he will produce something similar on 1 November.

That 1980 race also marks an important watershed in F1 history, as it was the last at the superb Watkins Glen road circuit in upstate New York. After that, 'the Glen' lost the race, and various US Grands Prix rotated around a selection of temporary tracks in cities before the race dropped off the calendar altogether after 1991.

laudaprostestoril595.jpgLauda enjoys an embrace with his wife after winning the 1984 title as team-mate Prost looks on

It came back in 2000 at a purpose-built track at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but even that has now fallen by the wayside.

One hopes that when F1 finally gets a US GP back on the calendar - as all the teams are determined it will - it will be held at a track as deserving of such an important event as was Watkins Glen.

That brings us neatly on to our second choice - the Las Vegas Grand Prix in 1981. It was the first of two F1 races on a track constructed, believe it or not, in a car park of the Caesars Palace Hotel. In fact, "constructed" is too complimentary a word - the track layout was simply marked out by concrete blocks.

This unprepossessing site was the scene for a quite remarkable title decider.

Argentine Williams driver Carlos Reutemann headed into the race with a one-point lead over the Brazilian Brabham driver Nelson Piquet, with Frenchman Jacques Laffite, of Ligier, a further five points adrift.

And when Reutemann qualified on pole, with Piquet fifth and Laffite down in 12th, the championship seemed to be his for the taking.

But Reutemann, who is now a leading politician in his home country, was arguably the most enigmatic of all great grand prix drivers.

He finished the first lap in fifth place and, increasingly unhappy with his car, lost a further place to Piquet on lap 17. He then slipped out of the points - which then went down to sixth place - when Alfa Romeo's Mario Andretti passed him a lap later.

In the closing laps, Piquet was visibly on the verge of collapse, his head lolling around in the cockpit as the desert heat got to him, but still nothing could rouse Reutemann and he limped across the line in seventh place. And as Brabham team members spent 15 minutes trying to revive Piquet, Reutemann slipped away almost unnoticed. To this day, he has never satisfactorily explained his performance.

Our next choice, the 1983 South African Grand Prix, also ended with Piquet as champion, but in completely different circumstances.

Unlike Caesars Palace, the old Kyalami was a truly great track, and it was a fitting place for a title showdown.

Alain Prost and Renault were the dominant force in 1983, but as the season came to its climax, the Frenchman cut a haunted figure - insisting to his team even after a win in Austria gave him a 14-point lead with four races to go that they would lose the title if the team did not develop their car.

Sure enough, Prost was right and Renault were wrong. Brabham's performance improved dramatically in the final four races of the season and Prost went into the final race with only a two-point advantage over Piquet. Ferrari's Rene Arnoux was also in with a slim chance, seven points behind his countryman.

Prost's optimism was not increased when Piquet qualified second, behind Ferrari's Patrick Tambay, with the Renault only fifth, and his worst fears were realised when Piquet streaked away into the distance in the opening laps. It was soon obvious the Brazilian would win the race if he needed to.

On lap 35, that need was removed when Prost retired with turbo failure, and Piquet, now requiring only a fourth place, backed off and allowed team-mate Riccardo Patrese to claim the victory.

A few days later, Renault, looking for scapegoat, sacked Prost, a decision that ranks with Honda's abandonment of F1 at the start of this season as one of the worst in F1 history.

For Prost, though, it turned out well, as our next selection, the 1984 Portuguese Grand Prix, proves.

Out of a drive at Renault, Prost was snapped up by McLaren, where he became team-mate to Niki Lauda and formed one of the all-time great partnerships.

McLaren dominated the season and while Prost was nearly always quicker, he also had by far the worse of the luck, and the two men arrived at the final race of the season in Estoril with Lauda leading Prost by three and a half points.

Prost, as expected, won the race easily, and the main interest focused on whether Lauda, who qualified a lowly 11th, could get up to the second place he needed to pip his partner by half a point.

With 20 laps to go, Lauda had hauled himself up to third, still agonisingly short of what he needed and with no apparent prospect of catching the Lotus of Nigel Mansell, which separated the Austrian from his team-mate. But then Mansell retired with brake failure, Lauda was promoted to second, and the title was his.

Consoling a distraught Prost on the podium, Lauda said: "Don't worry, next year you'll win it." And he was right.

The final choice is also an all-McLaren affair. It is the only one of our five not to be the final race of a season - but what a race it was.

McLaren, now with Ayrton Senna as team-mate to Prost, dominated 1988 even more comprehensively than they did 1984 and the two men arrived in Japan for the penultimate race with the Brazilian in with a chance of clinching his first world title.

Senna duly qualified on pole, with Prost alongside, but Senna stalled on the grid. Fortunately for Senna, Suzuka's downhill pit straight enabled him to bump-start the engine, but not before he had dropped to 14th place.

There began one of the great comeback drives. Senna began to scythe through the field and his cause was helped when it started to drizzle on lap 14.

Always brilliant in wet/dry conditions, Senna's advantage over the rest of the field was magnified and by lap 27 he was with his team-mate, passing him as they attempted to lap a train of three backmarkers. Prost hung on for a while, but with the rain coming down increasingly hard Senna was not to be denied.

So there you have it - five great races, four of them all-time great title deciders, and one a great season finale with a title already wrapped up.

As ever, let us know your views on your favourite - and any you think we should have included. Next week, in the run up to Abu Dhabi, we will publish short, five-to-nine minute highlights package of all of them. And for the race we choose to select - a decision that is informed by the views of respondents on this blog - we will show the full half-hour 'Grand Prix' highlights programme from the time as well.

I look forward to reading your responses.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    1988 thanks! Been a great year of classic F1. Thanks very much to the BBC.

  • Comment number 2.

    1988 please. Great choices again, hopefully 1997 will be available next year. Also, 98 and 99 in Suzuka are worth a mention.

  • Comment number 3.

    I would love to see 1981 please, thanks. F1 cars racing round Las Vegas sounds like a winning combination, especially with a thrilling title decider thrown in.

  • Comment number 4.

    Hmm tough choice.

    As I am sure I am one of the older fans on this board. (i.e closer to 50 that 30!) I would like to see one of the earlier races. 1983 was a bit of a drag to be honest. Piquet disappeared up the raod and then slowed down to give away a win to be sure of winning the title...

    1981 was a case of who could drive the least slowest to win the title. Also that year the cars were being driven to the stupid 6cm rule that the teams had long since bypassed with hydraulic suspension.

    So 1980 it is then please. (If you could find any footage of Gilles lapping 11 secs quicker than the rest in the wet qualifying then that would be super too!)

    Expect 1988 to get the final nod though.

  • Comment number 5.

    Just a quick point of order to Silverstone79, you are mixing up two different races at Watkins Glen. Villeneuve's amazing performance in wet practice was in 1979, not 1980. If you look back at the session stats, he was fastest by 8.5 seconds - and at one point was 11 seconds quicker than any other car on the circuit at the same time, including team-mate Jody Scheckter. Quite incredible.

    I did consider including that race in this selection because it was a good battle between Villeneuve and Jones for a while, but decided against it in the end because 1980 is a better fit with this year.

    It's a definitely contender for a showing next year, though.

  • Comment number 6.

    (If you could find any footage of Gilles lapping 11 secs quicker than the rest in the wet qualifying then that would be super too!)

    Actually you will have a job....it was 1979 !!

    Maybe next year !

  • Comment number 7.

    1980 Watkins Glen & 1981 Las Vegas please !

    I haven't got either on tape and they're both interesting because Watkins Glen is one of those great lost tracks, and the Las Vegas race, despite being held in a car park, was a great finale. What happened to Carlos Reutemann ?

    I would've chosen Kyalami, but I've already got a betamax recording of it. It's a great track which won't come back now because they've built on parts of it. It's very sad. 1983 was a great finale too though, because like 1981, there were three vying for the title.

    1988's race is boring quite frankly. That season was made forgettable by complete domination by one team. Great team, drivers and engine, I know, but very dull to watch really. I know it was a great drive by Senna, but it's rather yawn-worthy when you consider his talent and the great car he was in.

  • Comment number 8.

    I can't see past 1988, a truly great race.

    Surprised 1994 wasn't offered! Or did you already show it for the first instalment of this section?

    And I agree - the lack of a US Grand Prix is nothing short of disgraceful.

  • Comment number 9.

    I'd vote for 1981. Just so I can see what a grand prix in a car park looks like.

  • Comment number 10.

    So far the votes are:
    1980: 3 votes
    1981: 2 votes
    1983: 0 votes
    1984: 0 votes
    1988: 4 votes (Including me!)

    1988 Please!

  • Comment number 11.

    Has to be 1988 from the choices although I'd like to have seen both 1994 and 1996 (Hill v Villeneuve) included as choices.

  • Comment number 12.

    1980 please and I concur with silverstone79!

  • Comment number 13.

    Andrew, i have somewhere the complete '97 jerez race on vhs. If this would suffice and enhance your coverage please email me.

  • Comment number 14.

    88 all the way!

  • Comment number 15.

    1st choice - 1988 - Senna genius, what a legendary drive... Triumph over adversity.

    2nd choice - 1984 - Great Lauda drive and a bit of luck... Something he didn't always have.

    Stewzer,
    - http://www.formula1-blog.com

  • Comment number 16.

    What about last years? The title was decided on the final corner of the final lap.

  • Comment number 17.

    @16

    Last years we have already seen on Brazil classic Grand Prix

  • Comment number 18.

    Watkins Glen is a horrible track that has been neutered from its once-great form in the name of saving lives. Before that the Glen was exciting, but extremely dangerous. Even in its current form, the Glen is still unsafe for F1 speeds. The looming armco at practically every turn, plus the lack of any decent straights, means it would be a Monaco-like procession, without the glamour.

    The only track in the US that deserves the GP is Laguna Seca. That track has great elevation changes and challenging corners. Crucially, it also has many safety features that were introduced in the past to elevate it to F1 standards (for a Grand Prix that never arrived). It probably still needs some tweaks for extra safety, but should make for a great race.

  • Comment number 19.

    1986 Australian Grand Prix is the one for me.

    Nigel Mansell needed to finish in the top 3 to win the title. Team mate Piquet and Alan Prost were also in contention. Those of us who got up early that morning to watch the race looked on with astonishment as Mansell crashed out with just a few laps to go. At that time he seemed destined never to win the F1 title.

  • Comment number 20.

    Looking forward to all of them! F1 should be back in the U.S of A and no mistake.

    South Korea!!! India, c'mon I know that they are emerging markets but Bernie should remember the roots of F1 and the manufacturers.

    Anyway I getting off-topic.

    Vegas baby!

  • Comment number 21.

    1980 race at The Glen please.

    I am thoroughly enjoying the classic F1 coverage that you are offering - A BIG THANK YOU!!
    I hope this service continues after the last race of the season. Please don't hibernate until March 2010.

    Andrew
    So the tape from Jerez '97 had the post race interviews recorded over the first two-thirds of the race...
    Was there a work experience person helping out at ITV archives or was it James Allen "helping out"?

    Hmmmm??? Will we ever know the truth!!

  • Comment number 22.

    Andrew, thanks for the correction, but I hope you noticed that I posted that I was in error at 11.02 - exactly the same time as you !!spooky !

    ta ta for now.

  • Comment number 23.

    2008 Brazil and 1986 Australia (and to pre-empt others, 1994 Australia) were already featured in the Brazil and Australia votes respectively.

    In 1988 Senna's drive was legendary, but I'm voting tactically for 1980 Watkins Glen. A truly brilliant track and it sounds like a truly brilliant race.

    I urge all posters beyond me to use their votes wisely. Based on the early voting we could get both 88 Japan and 80 Watkins Glen in full highlights!

  • Comment number 24.

    1984 as its the only year so far that the championship has been won by half a point and 1980 as i haven't seen Watkins Glen. Too bad we couldn't see Jerez '97 as that was an enthralling race. (I would love to see highlights of Portugal '85 as well)

  • Comment number 25.

    Um... as a special end of year treat, can we have them all? Please?

    If not then '88. I've wanted to see that race for years.

  • Comment number 26.

    Andrew
    This is a toughie - do I go for lost circuits or winning drivers?
    I would love to see Watkins Glen and Niki Lauda winning it so...

    1.1980
    2.1984
    3.1981

    1988 all the way - but I've seen it so many times!

    NB. BBC - Murray Walker's one-to-one with Carlos Reutemann. We know more about the Mary Celeste than his reasons for quitting the sport...

  • Comment number 27.

    I reckon 1997, was a fantastic weekend, first 3 on the grid with identical times, great race too. other than that I though the 86 mansell blow out was good and 93 Sennas last victory was a poignant race (but not overly exciting!)

  • Comment number 28.

    1st choice - 1980 Watkins Glen
    2nd choice - 1988 Suzuka

    Watkins Glen is one of the few legendary tracks that hasnt been built on or ruined by Tilke and any chance of seeing F1 cars racing it should be snapped up without question!!
    Suzuka - Iconic track (still with the original 130r) iconic car, iconic driver and one of his trademark iconic drives! nuf said!

    Hats off to the BBC this year. The coverage has been so much better than anything that has gone before, especially with the red button. Would like to know if there are any plans to show any footage in the off season?? Maybe the first tests in January/February?? Classic races over Christmas???

  • Comment number 29.

    1980 with the Jones boy please. 1980 was the first year I ever attended a Grand Prix (Zandvoort). Since then, I've been an ever present attendee.

  • Comment number 30.

    I would actually like to see 1983.

    From what I heard the Renault team had a whole delegation flown to South Africa, being sure they had wrapped up the championship already.
    Bittersweet for Alain Prost!

  • Comment number 31.

    No 1986? 4 drivers went into the Australian race having a chance to win the title - and what a line up: Senna, Prost, Piquet & Mansell! Never in F1's history have we witnessed such an incredible set up to a championship decider...
    Mansell's tyre blow out; Piquet apparently cruising to the title then having to change tyres; Prost eventually taking it against all the odds and stopping his car just after the finish line due to fuel?
    Amazing!
    anyway, rant over - it would be 1988 or 1983 for me....

  • Comment number 32.

    1983 please

  • Comment number 33.

    Portugal 1984 is one of Murray Walker's top 5 races ever, enough said, first vote.

    Second vote is for 1980, as I've heard so much about what a gritty driver Alan Jones is and I've never seen the evidence.

    Suggestions of other title deciders: 1964; 1958.

    Thanks to everyone who has worked on this and other F1 features this year. First class job.

  • Comment number 34.

    I'm sure I've watched the whole Jerez 1997 race on YouTube, so I'm sure the Beeb can get hold of a tape in time for next year. Actually quite surprised you were getting the tapes off ITV for 1997-2009 races; I just presumed you were getting them off Bernie TV.
    Most of the title deciders I would have picked (Australia 1994, Brazil 2008 for example) have already been shown, so I was wondering what would be chosen. I have seen none of the races picked, so I'll be happy to go along with everybody else's picks.
    As for races I'd like to see next year, 1997. 1996 would be nice to watch. Also, it could be a good excuse for Brazil 2006, if it's not picked for Brazil's week.
    It looks like Abu Dhabi is going to be the final round next year, so I presume Classic GP will be title deciders again? If so, what do you have planned Korea and Singapore? Classic races no longer on the calendar would be good again.

  • Comment number 35.

    What was the year that noble, honorable, unselfish German bloke took out his nearest challenger to win the title?

  • Comment number 36.

    If we can only have one (you are really harsh cause I'd love to see all of them!) it will have to be 1980 for me. Mainly for all the drivers that were in that race!

  • Comment number 37.

    Shame 1997 isn't there. I will vote for 1984. Will the classic f1 series carry on next year?

    @35@ It was 1994

  • Comment number 38.

    Watkins Glen 1980 please!

    Andrew some questions;

    What races do the BBC have before 1979?

    Does the BBC still have footage of Senna vs Brundle from the 1983 F3 championship?

    Please answer if you can!

  • Comment number 39.

    I would be glad to see any of the races that you have selected, but my first choice goes to the 1980 Watkins Glen race. This is simply because I have never seen any F1 footage from the Glen and this oppurtunity is too good to miss. Second choice from me is Estoril 1984. Another great circuit sadly no longer on the calender. Third choice is Suzuka 88.

    May I take this oppurtunity to say thankyou to Andrew Benson for providing this classic GP discussion forum and for the bringing us the archive footage throughout this season. I would like to add my voice to those people calling for this feature to be continued throughout the off season. I dont think I can hold out until Melbourne in March.

  • Comment number 40.

    How could you avoid mentioning Adelaide 1986????

    A classic, 3 way fight for the title, won by Alain Prost in extraordinary circumstances. That race had everything and was the most dramatic finish I can remember.

  • Comment number 41.

    Loving the 100% 1980's selection - very retro!

    1980 please. Would love to see what Watkins Glen used to look like (though im guessing its quite similar to what it is now lol!)

  • Comment number 42.

    Alas, i wish SOME people would BOTHER to read the blog before opening their mouths. You want Australia 86? Why didn't you watch it in March???

    I'd also like to say thanks Andrew for introducing such an excellent feature and hope its back next year.

  • Comment number 43.

    I think that Australia 1986 was shown earlier in the season but I remember getting up to watch our Nige win only to see that tyre let go in such a fashion!

    I quite like the irony of it actually... Nigel's Lotus failed him in the last race in '84 to effectively deny Alain the title before his Williams suffered a blow-out in the last race of '86 ti hand the title to Alain (who, by the way, generously conceded that in his opinion Nigel deserved it the more).

  • Comment number 44.

    1988 on freeview please.
    When the season is over it would be great to keep this feature going with Classic BBC races (forget the itv era until next season)This would help make this feature even more successful next season and keep people visiting the website.

  • Comment number 45.

    1988 please!

  • Comment number 46.

    1980 please, would love to see the Glen in all its glory especially as I still drive it a lot on Grand Prix Legends on my PC.

    A massive thanks also for running this feature all season it's been great fun watching the old footgage.

  • Comment number 47.

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

  • Comment number 48.

    2007
    2007
    2007
    2007
    2007
    2007
    2007
    2007
    2007
    2007
    2007
    2007
    2007
    2007
    2007
    2007

  • Comment number 49.

    1988 Please.

    It was an awesome drive.

  • Comment number 50.

    First choice Suzuka, then Kyalami - that track was fearsome and provided great races because it had dog-legged straight like Interlagos.

    Andrew:

    "And as Brabham team members spent 15 minutes trying to revive Piquet, Reutemann slipped away almost unnoticed. To this day, he has never satisfactorily explained his performance"

    I'm sure you're aware that Reutimann was a sensitive soul who felt he never felt he had the full support of Williams and of course Carlos had a strained relationship with Alan Jones especially after Carlos broke team orders and decided to win for himself.

    Because he he needed his confidence boosted he jumped straight into a different car on race morning instead of the car he qualified in. At warm up session he had to bed in the brakes not knowing the how the bad teh car was at racing speeds.

  • Comment number 51.

    With out a doubt, 1988 was a truly magical drive at one of the great circuits. I wondered why it was missing from the Japan GP selection.

  • Comment number 52.

    42. At 1:16pm on 22 Oct 2009, swrcsky wrote:
    Alas, i wish SOME people would BOTHER to read the blog before opening their mouths.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    What a lovely human being.

  • Comment number 53.

    My vote goes to 1988, its one of my fav races and to all those asking for the 86 & 94 Aus gp, your too late they were shown in march.

  • Comment number 54.

    1986 is best and gets my vote.
    The dramatic exit of Nigel Mansell just a few laps away from claiming the world title is as exciting as it gets.

    @42 Frankly, I dont care if it was shown earlier this year. If you cant be civil why bother to post here.

  • Comment number 55.

  • Comment number 56.

    47 i agree with you 100%

  • Comment number 57.

    1980 Watkins Glen, please.

  • Comment number 58.

    ah-mini wants the us gp at Laguna Seca. Yes I agree it would be great to see but I would prefer Road America, a circuit described as the American Spa

  • Comment number 59.

    1980 for me.

  • Comment number 60.

    1988 please, Senna was a genius

  • Comment number 61.

    I've been putting all the bbc urls on my webpage here:

    http://www.huwselby.com/f1/f1vids.htm

    although someone at the beeb has deleted the 1961 monaco page for some reason :(

    Huw

  • Comment number 62.

    They're all races from before I was born, excellent!. I'll go with 1980, can't beat Watkins Glen!

    #18 I don't see how The Glen has been neutered particularly, at least not in the same way that the Osterreichring, Kyalami or Hockenheim were. Ok the run-offs are maybe a bit bigger, but the layout is exactly the same, apart from the double chicane before the old turn 5. Indycars race there, so you'd hope it isn't too far off acceptable F1 standards.
    Laguna Seca's too short for F1, and they've tampered with the approach to the Corkscrew for MotoGP's sake, so it's not as challenging anymore.

    Besides, as someone mentioned in another blog, nobody really watches single-seater road racing the USA now anyway, which is why 1. Laguna Seca, Elkhart Lake etc fell off the Champ Car calendar and 2. there's loads of street races, taking the racing to the people.

    Anyway back to the classic races, the only classic title finales we haven't seen this year that are 1996, (surely a Brit winning the title fits in perfectly with this year?)1997 and 1998. 1999 was a bit of a let down. Really Hakkinen should have won it after Malaysia when Ferrari were disqualified , and then mysteriously re-instated (first in a long line of decisions going their way...) 2003 wasn't bad either, with Schumacher knicking the single point he needed for the title, as mentioned by Ross Brawn in Brazil (I was praying for something to go wrong for MS that year!)

    Finally (at last) over the winter can we see F1 stars racing in other forms of Motorsport from the BBC archive, i.e Mansell in touing cars (1993 and 1998), Schumacher and Hakkinen in F3 at Macau, Brundle and Senna in F3, maybe even some F3000 from Birmingham? I think that would make a nice change to F1.

  • Comment number 63.

    where is australia 1994?

    hill vs schumacher?

    or has the beeb used up its quota of controversy this week!

  • Comment number 64.

    1980 Watkins Glen please! It is only a glimmer of a memory but it is the first world championship I have any recollection of.

  • Comment number 65.

  • Comment number 66.

    1988 is simply one of the greatest endings to a F1 race of all time, just clinching over the 1981's grueling race and 1984's dramatic second for Lauda, so it gets my vote for sure.

  • Comment number 67.

    I would also like to see the Watkins Glen 1980 too please. It's a bit before my time but it sounds intriguing none-the-less.

  • Comment number 68.

    Good article and some good comments from others.

    1) 1980
    2) 1981

  • Comment number 69.

    Well, again, I feel this is a fantastic choice. Thanks for the good work (not just for Classic GP).

    This time I'll go for ...

    ... 84 (though it really could have been any of them) I will be happy with the one that is chosen. All are either classic races, or classic tracks.

    Thanks again and hope for the possibility of more, mmaybe from countries that do not have races. For options, during the off season.

  • Comment number 70.

    1981 for me, I was too young to remember those races (although I did watch them with my dad) sounds crazy and would love to see it.

    I can't believe that there hasn't been more people wanting Brazil 2007, that has to go down as a great title decider.....

  • Comment number 71.

    I change my mind! I was elated when I saw Suzuka '88 as much as I love US motorsport it would be stupid of me to miss out F1 at the Glen!

    Glen and Kyalami(original config) are old brutal tracks that are sadly missed in today's politically correct times.

  • Comment number 72.

    1988 for me please!

  • Comment number 73.

    I hope this continues next year! It's been great :)

    I'm only really intrested in F1 from 1996-present. So i'm not really fussed on which one is the main one.

  • Comment number 74.

    My vote will be the same as what ever #75 puts!

  • Comment number 75.

    It's not quite a classic, but for tension & drama, for me its got to be James Hunt at Fuji 1976

  • Comment number 76.

    1991 1988 1984 1980 PLEASE

  • Comment number 77.

    @ #54 Kíllìnghölmê_Clᥠ(aka Charlie Cheesecake)

    Apologies if you were offended by my outburst. And anyone else for that matter

    I am merely fed up with people asking for races which andrew has not chosen. If he hasn't chose it, then that's his decision. There's no point 'mouthing' off if he hasn't picked your favourite, that is just my opinion.

    Sorry!

  • Comment number 78.

    I would like to see one of these five races:
    1.1989
    2.1990
    3.1991
    4.1997
    5.2008

  • Comment number 79.

    Surprised the Adelaide decider in 1994 wasn't included although it may have been included in the Aussie GP selection in March (my memory doesn't stretch that far). Good choice and out the five, 1984 would be my pic, great choice BBC (other than perhaps that one in 1994) but still a good choice all round.

    @ Brawn14 (comment 78)

    He's already mentioned why 1997 wasn't included and 2008 was in the Brazilian GP selection (2008 imo wasn't as good as the other five races anyway)

  • Comment number 80.

    Interesting selection here. When I was going over what races could be included I was thinking of 2007, 1999, 1998, 1997 (which would of been shown but ITV ruined that), 1996, and maybe 1990. But I am glad to see races here that I have never seen. Amazingly, I haven't seen any so I'm in for a real treat next week. Based upon what was said in the main article, I would like to see 1984. It seemed to be a great drive from Lauda.

  • Comment number 81.

    Just love to see Watkins Glen, it's before my time. 1980 please.

    Second choice would be 81. Love to see Las Vegas too.

    88 would actually be my last choice of the 5 - as good a race as it was, I've seen re-runs of it plenty of times. Plus everything you need to see of that race is on the year-end video and will presumably be on short highlights.

  • Comment number 82.

    @Fabbyulous (Post #79):

    1994 Australian GP was indeed shown in March for the Australian GP as was another title decider in 1986.

  • Comment number 83.

    1980 please. Be nice to the Glen.

  • Comment number 84.

    1984, I think! Half a point at the end of it! F1 doesn't come much closer than that!

  • Comment number 85.

    Thanks Toybota :D

  • Comment number 86.

    1983, if only because I've seen the others.

  • Comment number 87.

    brazil 2008 has to be the most dramatic to watch the change in emotions between the ferrari and mclaren garages. it was the best i have seen so far which included so much drama on and off the track.

  • Comment number 88.

    1980 Watkins Glen please :)

  • Comment number 89.

    I think I said I would have like 1988 for Japan so I have to vote for it here...

  • Comment number 90.

    www.f1crazy.moonfruit.com!

    I vote for what ever #91 puts.

  • Comment number 91.

    I DIDNT REALISE HOW CLOSE PROST WAS TO WINNING AT LEAST ANOTHER 2 WORLD TITLES. HE AT LEAST DSEREVED TO WIN 5 IN ALL IF IT WASNT FOR THAT STUPID RULE ABOUT NUMBER OF RACE WINS OR SOMETHING HE WOULD HAVE BEATEN SENNA IN ONE OF THE YEARS, ALTHOUGH I CANT REMEMBER WHETHER IT WAS IN 88 OR 90.A GREAT DRIVER AND I THINK DEFINATELY IN THE TOP 3 OF ALL TIME.

  • Comment number 92.

    #90

    Genius!

  • Comment number 93.

    1980 is my choice, great circuit and great cars. Love that era.

  • Comment number 94.

    1988 from those choices.

    Was wondering if a Haakinen/Schumi title was ever decided at the end of the year?

  • Comment number 95.

    Mr Benson, seeing that you 'claim' that the tape from ITV for Jerez 1997 has the post race interviews taped over the race, can we see it in its full glory?
    If not, you arent telling us the truth.

  • Comment number 96.

    The most dramatic title decider i thought was 1986, but seeing as that was part of the Australian GP choices, i'll go for 1983.

  • Comment number 97.

    Hakkinnen vs Schumi in 1999

  • Comment number 98.

    1981 Las Vegas please. Second choice 1980 Watkins Glen.

    As this is the last of these for this year, can I say a big thanks to Andrew for his great choices and insights into all these races.

    Overall a great feature. Pity the banishing of a certain commentator from history diminished the choice of longer races somewhat, and a pity Andrew had to defend that decision even though presumably it was taken by someone else who wouldn't put his or her name to that decision (perhaps that person is no longer at the BBC, but then maybe someone still there could reverse the decision.)

    Anyway, hopefully this feature will go from strength to strength next year.

  • Comment number 99.

    I'm gonna vote for 1988!

    I've seen bits of the 89 and 90 finale in Japan but I've never seen any footage of the 88 finale so I hope this one wins.

    The 1981 GP sounds really good too, I was very tempted to go with that one but I'm gonna stick with 88.

  • Comment number 100.

    If it's a legal issue about not using ITV commentary from 2002-2008, then so be it. But if it's just someone at the BBC who's decided they don't want his J.Allen's voice in the coverage, it seems entirely irrational. People expected the BBC to want to move away from ITV faces when they regained F1 rights, and Allen is very much an ITV man. Allen got some well-documented abuse over the years, which confirmed he would not have been a popular choice for the BBC role. Martin and Ted were more highly regarded, and that's why they got carried over.

    My point is we don't care who we hear on the highlights, and by matching pictures to 5live commentary the Beeb are making more work for themselves than is necessary. Until LH came in Allen was a decent commentator, with a great knowledge of the sport. The delivery style of that knowledge, and the bias that crept in from 2007 (to ITV coverage as a whole, apart from Brundle) were what disappointed.

    On the subject of Allen, did anyone notice how the 2008 finale feature had deleted him completley? For the first time ever the Beeb used Martin's voice for that moment, (as opposed to David Croft, and cut him off precisely where Allen started speaking. I think someone at the Beeb is taking Allen's exclusion way too far. (at least the press conferences he narrated mid-season were shown though, they could have been another victim!)

 

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