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Your classic Belgian Grand Prix

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Andrew Benson | 16:28 UK time, Monday, 23 August 2010

The 1979 Belgian Grand Prix is the chosen race for the latest edition of our classic Formula 1 series.

That means you have a chance to watch the full 'Grand Prix' highlights programme of the time as well as the shorter highlights edits we produce from the other selected races, which were the 1987, 1993 and 2000 Belgian Grands Prix.

There will also be short and long highlights of last year's event.

The extended race highlights are embedded below, with links to the other events underneath.

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WATCH SHORT HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 1979 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX
WATCH SHORT HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 1987 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX
WATCH SHORT HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 1993 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX
WATCH SHORT HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2000 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX
WATCH SHORT HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2009 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX
WATCH EXTENDED HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2009 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX

The classic races will be broadcast on the BBC red button in the UK on satellite and cable television from 1500 BST on Wednesday 25 August until 1900 on Friday. Unfortunately, they will not be available on Freeview this time.

The 1979 race was a defining moment in a season that delivered Ferrari their final drivers' title for 21 years and it was the overwhelming favourite among respondents to my last blog.

Ferrari's Jody Scheckter took the chequered flag after an epic race-long battle also involving the Ligiers of Patrick Depailler and Jacques Laffite and the Williams of Alan Jones.

It was one of three victories by the South African on his way to winning the title that year. But the star of the race - and the season as a whole - was Scheckter's team-mate Gilles Villeneuve.

Although Scheckter joined Ferrari for 1979 as the man expected to lead their title charge, he had not won in the five races preceding Belgium while his younger team-mate had taken two brilliant victories.

Back then, the Belgian race was held at Zolder, before its move to Spa in the early 1980s, and the Canadian qualified one place ahead of Scheckter in sixth.

But before the race had a chance to settle down, Villeneuve's hopes of victory were dashed when he got tangled up in a collision between Scheckter and the Williams of Clay Regazzoni, and broke his nose cone.

He returned to the pits for a new one, and rejoined in 23rd, and last, place, whereupon he began a quite stunning comeback drive, scything through the field and setting fastest laps as he climbed back into the points, which went down to sixth place.

His charge came to a temporary halt behind the obstinate Riccardo Patrese's Arrows for 10 laps, before he passed the Italian at the chicane in a move that combined skill and muscularity, feinting one way then the other before forcing his way alongside and banging wheels as he went past.

Villeneuve then set off after Didier Pironi's Tyrrell, closing a 14-second gap in 10 laps before starting to chase down Laffite. With a 21-second advantage and the race almost over, the chase appeared fruitless, but Villeneuve - as was his way - gave it a go.

He reduced the gap by 11 seconds in seven laps but as they headed into their last lap, the Ligier was edging clear again, and Villeneuve's Ferrari sounded terrible. It was running out of fuel. He made it round to 300m from the finish line before the flat 12 engine coughed its last, and its driver was classified seventh, costing him four points that would have come from finishing third.

After the race, Villeneuve appeared satisfied to have demonstrated once again that he was the fastest driver of the day. But according to Gerry Donaldson's excellent biography, he later confessed to his wife, Joann: "I hope those four points are not going to be important when this is all over, but I'm afraid they will be. Maybe I've just lost the championship."

There would be other dropped points that year, and Villeneuve ultimately lost the title at the Italian Grand Prix, obeying team orders to sit behind his team-mate on his way to victory. But the fact remains that, as Villeneuve suspected, had he finished third at Zolder, he would indeed have been world champion rather than Scheckter.

Zolder was not a popular track, and it was even less so after Villeneuve was killed there in 1982, by which time he had become firmly established as the finest driver in the world. But this race was a deserving selection this time.

It's certainly worth watching the other highlights, though, for Mika Hakkinen's stunning pass of Michael Schumacher in 2000, the controversy between Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna in 1987, Damon Hill's victory over Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost in 1993 and what looks like being Kimi Raikkonen's final career F1 victory in 2009.

I hope you enjoy them all.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    1979 woo hoo!

  • Comment number 2.

    Pity about these races not being on Freeview. Have just checked the EPG for Channel 301: on Wednesday and Thursday, there seems to be a looped repeat of Radio 4 Comedians in Edinburgh! Surely it can't be that difficult to find two hours for classic grand prix.

    I really wish the BBC would schedule this channel properly, especially given that Channel 302 was removed so a small number of people could watch Freeview HD.

  • Comment number 3.

    Really sorry to hear about Freeview. BBC needs a dedicated sports channel I say.

    Thanks for this and keep up the good work. I know I'll really enjoy this.

  • Comment number 4.

    there is another reason why BBC can not show these classic races on freeview, Moto GP is also on this weekend

  • Comment number 5.

    Radio 4 Comedians in Edinburgh! Great. Hours & hours of it. Great. But no Classic Belgian Grands Prix! Not happy. Not happy at all!

  • Comment number 6.

    i miss simon taylor, havent heard him for ages.

  • Comment number 7.

    Belgium GP, Moto GP and Challenge cup final, sounds like a perfect weekend to me

  • Comment number 8.

    A Dedicated sports channel is a great idea.

  • Comment number 9.

    What about Spa 98?

    Possibly my personal favourite grand prix of all time! Crashes, controversy, sheet rain, unpredictable, stunning!

  • Comment number 10.

    "What about Spa 98?

    Possibly my personal favourite grand prix of all time! Crashes, controversy, sheet rain, unpredictable, stunning!"

    and even more crucial than all those things, in last years classic gp!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8222487.stm

  • Comment number 11.

    Thank you Mr Benson! I've been waiting so long for the vote to close & the video's to be posted. This 3 week break is agony! THen again it has got my juices flowing for the GP this weekend...even if they have edited Les Combes with the silly sleeping policemen that are wholly unsafe.

    @ 9...see post 10...

    I was going to post a request for '98 but somehow I doubt the sarcasm would be portrayed as well on the forum :P

  • Comment number 12.

    Thank god for that andrew because i have been waiting so long i thought you had forgotten about classic belgium im so glad the video's are going to be on the red button tomorrow

    im happy about 1979 because for me it was between 1979 and 1993

  • Comment number 13.

    Thanks for giving away the race results !!! that's just brilliant, I have never seen the 1979 or 1987 races. What's the point in watching them now after you wrote the race result underneath the player.

    Learn a bit of broadcasting TACT - DO NOT GIVE AWAY THE ENDING OF A PROGRAM OR THE ENDING OF A SPORTS EVENT - IT RUINS IT FOR EVERYONE

  • Comment number 14.

    @13 - Learn a bit of politeness and decentcy cos he hardly spoilt it the races were 23 and 31 years old, and it not the giving away of the ending too the gp that ruins it for everyone it's people like you who bad mouth andrew all because he revealed a 30 year old GP result to wet the appitite before we watch it. he also doesn't have to go to all this trouble to bring us classic GP every gp weekend but he does (eg: if you wanted this in the ITV era you had to go on youtube)

    and i thank andrew for the work + effort he has done for 1 and 1/2 season and that i appriacted very much

  • Comment number 15.

    No Freeview - Fantastic...

    For next years Classic GP feature, there really should be some sort of commitment from the BBC before the season starts to find a 2 hour slot for this feature once every 2 weeks. Most things on the red button are of a niche interest anyway, so whats the difference? (Not having a go at you Andrew, but whoever makes the decision for Freeview has been dismissing the Classic GP feature for a large part of the past 2 years)

    Anyway, as you'll know from previous posts, i love this feature and much appreciate the effort, so will enjoy the choices above.. on my PC. ;-)

  • Comment number 16.

    Andrew for the Korean and Singapore GP's could you give us a list of events no longer on the calender as a choice and then you could choose the years from those events eg. USA, Austria, South Africa, Portugal, France, Pacific, Luxembourg or even Non-championship races etc.

  • Comment number 17.

    This post isn't a criticism of Andrew and the F1 team, who do a fantastic job, but the so-called "scheduling" on Freeview's Red Button service is an absolute disgrace.

    It's hard to believe there is no room to show Classic F1 when they've just spent an entire week showing the Asian Network's summer melas over and over and over again. We also have to put up with several days of Weekend Wogan most weeks.

    There's room for all these shows on Freeview, without having to show one of them repeatedly for days on end.

    Why not have an extended loop of several hours, consisting of the different shows, rather than just one? It would probably be more entertaining than whatever's on BBC One.

    Another recent annoyance was the second test between England and Pakistan, when we had the TMS scorecard on Freeview for the first three days, then not for the fourth, even though it was obvious it would be the final day of the match.

    Is it too much to ask to have someone who actually knows what he/she is doing to be put in charge of the Red Button service on Freeview? That is clearly not the case at the moment.

  • Comment number 18.

    @16 - what a great idea for Korean GP - I go for any US grand prix at watkins Glen, plus Donnington GP 94.

    @ 13 - keep your hair on mate!

    As to freeview red button it is a pain but to at least get them on the web is brill.

  • Comment number 19.

    @16 - what a great idea for Korean GP - I go for any US grand prix at watkins Glen, plus Donnington GP 94.
    @ 13 - keep your hair on mate!
    As to freeview red button it is a pain but to at least get them on the web is brill.

  • Comment number 20.

    ' @16 - what a great idea for Korean GP - I go for any US grand prix at watkins Glen, plus Donnington GP 94.
    @ 13 - keep your hair on mate!
    As to freeview red button it is a pain but to at least get them on the web is brill.

  • Comment number 21.

    oops sorry about the above, I kept getting error messages

  • Comment number 22.


    I must have missed the 2000 race first time round!

    Watched it last night on this page and what a great race it was. Hakkinen's pass on Schumi was sublime, and came after a great bit of driving and defending from both drivers a lap or so earlier.

  • Comment number 23.

    I am usually very complimentary about BBC's coverage of F1 (well, it IS very good) so hope you will allow me just one criticism?

    Basically, I've been dissapointed with the last couple of weeks on this section of the website. I think just because F1 is on a break, the rest of us dont have to be. You could have filled the last couple of weeks with classic races to keep us going. I have to be honest, at times looking at the F1 section in the last couple of weeks has been boring.

    Please could you take that into account for next year? I'm not looking for 24 hour coverage, and I know you cant report anything when nothing is happening, so any attempt to fill that time with new things (not necesarrily news items), would be good.

    For example, you gave us a choice of the usual classic GP. In the last 2 or 3 weeks, you could have shown them all and people wouldnt have had to make a choice. I understand you only have a limited amount of coverage from past GP's and you have to dole them out accordingly or risk putting out already-seen coverage time and again, but surely there is some compromise to be made here? It need'nt even have to be past coverage that gets shown in these "down" times, you could have gone out and done a few good informational pieces with Martin and DC or something like that.

    Not trying to sound ungrateful, just offering up idea's. The last 3 weeks really have been boring and there was no need for it.

  • Comment number 24.

    Rigadon - I've been bored waiting for the F1 coverage to kick off again too, but don't forget that the people running the website may have families and/or want a break over the summer holidays. Jake Humphrey was saying how a whole week with his wife was something unheard of at the moment! Summer is lazy and boring as a whole lot of things shut down and the schools are out, so I can't expect the BBC F1 team to keep going at full pelt. And with the closedown I suspect there are fewer stories around anyway.

  • Comment number 25.

    Loved the 1987 race especialy when James Hunt described the new fangled tyre blankets as "electric eiderdowns" Brilliant!

  • Comment number 26.

    @23...see post 24, exactly on...I agree that some sort of feature would have been nice, but at the same time the F1 circus does need a break, 17 races in a season is a lot to get through...

    My argument would be however that the winter break could indeed be filled with some stuff...One of the only good things ITV did for F1 coverage was the Boxing Day F1 review which rounded up all the news/views/reports since the last lap in the season to that point, I know with the testing ban it may be difficult but it would be a great idea to do this year and or a 2011 season preview.

    All in all, good coverage so far, but could do with some gaps filling in when we're in a lull.

    As for the freeview coverage, it would be nice...but then again, as you've logged on here to see who won...surely you can just watch the video's while you're here? I know I can't right now as work have a foreign IP address, but I can watch them online at home, in my own time, when I want, and can choose which one to watch when & pause it if I like.

  • Comment number 27.

    24 exactly on...I agree that some sort of feature would have been nice, but at the same time the F1 circus does need a break, 17 races in a season is a lot to get through...

    My argument would be however that the winter break could indeed be filled with some stuff...One of the only good things ITV did for F1 coverage was the Boxing Day F1 review which rounded up all the news/views/reports since the last lap in the season to that point, I know with the testing ban it may be difficult but it would be a great idea to do this year and or a 2011 season preview.

    All in all, good coverage so far, but could do with some gaps filling in when we're in a lull.

    As for the freeview coverage, it would be nice...but then again, as you've logged on here to see who won...surely you can just watch the video's while you're here? I know I can't right now as work have a foreign IP address, but I can watch them online at home, in my own time, when I want, and can choose which one to watch when & pause it if I like.

  • Comment number 28.

    sorry trying to post here and I'm getting an error message "you already said that in comment 1" wtf?

  • Comment number 29.

    @27: Some are unable/unwilling to watch the videos online because they have monthly bandwidth limits.

    Speaking for myself, my only reason to visit the page these days is to see IF (rather than when) the clips are going to be shown on Freeview.

  • Comment number 30.

    Always great to see the classic F1 races as part of my build-up to a GP weekend...

    BUT, the start to this weekend's build up has just fallen flat reading that it won't be available on Freeview! Gutted. Come on please - there are five free channels on there at the moment below the sports news feed and the Youth Olympics. Just one of those will do!

    I look here regularly to see what's going on, but this has actually prompted me to register and post this comment!

    The fact that all the classics are available online is great, but honestly after I've been behind a computer all day, to watch the classics via a laptop is not my idea of relaxing. I invested in a decent TV and a Freeview box but am starting to feel a bit Freeview ripped off.

    It was good while it lasted :-(

  • Comment number 31.

    Andrew, might be an idea to get the Freeviewer Scheduler to take a look at the constant comments on here every time a Classic GP is announced and room can't be found on the Red Button.

    Points to consider (and this isn't a criticism of you or the BBC F1 team, but more the Freeview Scheduler)

    1. I remember Freeview being launched by the BBC and ITV for all Licence Fee payers, so why are the Cable and Satellite subscribers having the last laugh and people who just want to pay the Licence fee only not?

    2. Weekend Wogan, The World Cup, the Test Match, Childrens TV Features all receive higher viewing figures on the red button than Classic F1, but do they have to be looped for 2 or 3 Days on end for 24 hours without a 2 hour gap for Classic F1? Remember, we're only asking for 2 hours a fortnight (and i realise we get 4 hours worth of F1 Practice for each GP which the Freeview Scheduler will no doubt argue). I like these other shows and love the Glastonbury coverage also, but 2 hours can't be found at 4am on a Wednesday for example?

    3. The last thing most people want to do is stare at their PC for 2 hours after a long day at work. Its far better and more comfortable in the average household to watch it on the TV, just like any other program.

    4. Putting it on Freeview will increase interest in the Sport and will also appeal to the casual F1 viewer when they see the Red Button prompt appear

    5. The BBC have had this footage for years, so when they finally get the opportunity to find a reason to broadcast this stuff they stick it on the website, somewhere where the footage will nodoubt disappear from when the BBC lose the F1 Contract (which i hope never happens). At least if its on TV we can record it. A quick look round a well known video website will show you that F1 Management are removing loads of footage over the past couple of years. Soon most of this will be gone forever and the only place to find the FULL versions with Murrays excellent commentary, will be under a pile of dust in the BBC archive.

    I love the Red Button stuff, Wogan, The Edinburgh stuff on at the moment and Leeds Reading this weekend, but its hard to imagine the Freeview Scheduler can't find 2 hours between now and 1pm on Sunday (91 Hours remaining), even though i know there is shift workers to consider and a remit to satisfy all different tastes and interests of the Licence Fee Payer.

    I know you, and the F1 Team would love to have this stuff on Freeview too and its just a shame that on the run up to the best circuit on the Calender we're unable to see this stuff Broadcast.

    Rant over & i'll reiterate that this isn't a criticism of the BBC's excellent coverage or the F1 Team, including Andrew and this excellent feature that i applaud him for launching 18months ago. :-)

  • Comment number 32.

    You Tease Andrew! lol. It was worth the wait, many thanks.

  • Comment number 33.

    How is the '98 race not in this selection?

  • Comment number 34.

    Thanks for a linked explanation for the word 'enjoy' at the end of your blog Andrew.

    I had absolutely no idea what that word meant but all is now clear!

  • Comment number 35.

    Don't know about anyone else, but I'd be quite happy to pay for the full highlights (at the best possible quality) of all Formula 1 races in the BBC archive. Download or DVD, either will do.

  • Comment number 36.

    @33 topski100

    Because it was in last year's selection!

  • Comment number 37.

    Enjoy them? Well I would, but they're not showing on the red button as of now, 22:41 on Thursday.. During the time you SAID they would be on.. I am rapidly losing patience with the feature... Either do it properly or don't do it at all.

  • Comment number 38.

    There is nothing on Freeview Channel 301 at the moment (12.15). The first practice session finished at 10.35 and between now and then there has been nothing shown except a red BBC logo screen. Now the Sports News loop is on. Come on BBC, anyone can see that there is enough time between the two practice sessions (10.35-12.55) to show these classic races.

  • Comment number 39.

    Why do Teams have 2 drivers?

    Shurely if they have one driver, you don't need team orders? however and more to the point, many more teams can join the sport as the running cost would be greatly reduced..

  • Comment number 40.

    why no freeview

  • Comment number 41.

    Hi Andrew and everyone
    I think it is pretty clear that we love Your Classic Grand Prix on 301 and I urge as many as possible to post comments encouraging the BBC to air these on Freeview.
    At the moment they do not feel there is a significant interest and more lobbying of the BBC via this and other blogs would certainly help to change this perception.
    Many thanks to you and the BBC for everything that you have done but please be aware that the present situation is unreliable and frustrating for the vast majority of the consumers of this content and I think it is time the Channel 301 controller listened to the customers.

  • Comment number 42.

    Great to watch this race, a shame there wasn't more concentration upon Villeneuve's race in this.

  • Comment number 43.

    On a cold August Sunday, the weather here in the UK was paralleled by that in Belgium. Out on the track we were priviledged to witness the brilliant artistry of the talented Lewis Hamilton.The wintry blues was dispelled by the masterly display of inspired driving, man and machine in perfect harmony.

  • Comment number 44.

    Andrew Benson

    Please can you stop revealing the result of the classic races underneath the player. Most fans do not know who won the 1979 and 1987 races ! so why give away the result.

    Other than that why not show complete highlights for all 5 races. That would only be 2 or 3 hours worth. The shortened highlights are not the same.

  • Comment number 45.

    Hi Everyone,
    There seems to be a lot of you asking for the old BBC races. Well guess what ? I have them, ALL of them. 1978 to 2010 Every single race and qualifying session ever transmitted on BBC. Plus loads of F1 races from the 1930s to 1970s. They are mostly on VHS cassette and DVD. I put a transcoded high quality DVD version of them on a pair of 2000 gb usb hard drives. So if any one wants a complete collection of every single BBC F1 race email me at senna-fan@hotmail.co.uk
    Senna-fan

 

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