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Looking forward to Melbourne

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Andrew Benson | 10:23 UK time, Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Formula One is changing fast. And just one of the ways is that when the 2009 season starts on 27 March in Melbourne, Australia, for the first time that race will be shown at an hour that is almost sociable for viewers in the UK.

As recently as last year, anyone who wanted to watch the Australian Grand Prix live had to be really keen - the race was on at three o'clock in the morning.

This year, though, as part of F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone's drive to keep his core European audience happy while at the same time retaining the sport's truly international flavour, even the most time-zone-unfriendly race of them all has had to shift its start time to 0700 in the UK.

Despite the huge time difference, that does not mean Melbourne will be a night race like the spectacularly successful inaugural Singapore Grand Prix last year. But with the start at 1700 in Australia, it will be pretty close to dusk by the time it ends.

While the late start will certainly make watching the race in the UK less painful, I suspect it may mean it loses just a touch of its appeal.

When I wasn't actually working at the race, for me - and I suspect many others - getting up at stupid o'clock was part of the charm of the Australian Grand Prix. It somehow made it more of an event, a bit more exotic, just that bit more special.

Lewis Hamilton in action at Albert Park

Even more than usual, too, the start of F1's eight-month troop around the globe hardly needs any help in enticing people to watch it.

It is hard to think of a new season that has invited greater anticipation, more excitement, than this one - with new rules making it impossible to predict who will be quick in Australia.

Everyone in F1 looks forward to Melbourne. The excitement of racing again after a hard winter's work makes even the 24-hour flight a relatively welcome prospect. And there is also the prospect of getting off the plane in a welcoming, atmospheric city. It truly is a splendid place to start the season.

This year, thanks to the upheaval in the sport, there is also every reason to hope that Melbourne will not only be a wonderful event, but that it will also host a truly great Australian Grand Prix.

There have been a few of those since the country first hosted F1 in Adelaide in 1985.

Before every race this year, we will be asking you to vote for the classic event that you want to watch on the BBC Sport website.

Following the preceding race, I will on this blog give you five choices from the past - and we would like you to say which one of those you want to watch highlights of the following week in the run-up to this year's event. (Obviously, when there is only a week between races, we will compress the timescale a bit)

Damon Hill pursues Michael Schumacher in 1994

It should give you plenty to talk about - and I would love to hear your views on the races we've chosen, as well as the ones we've left out either because we had to choose just five (which wasn't always easy) or simply because we forgot some.

On this blog, I will also be analysing and commenting on many of the major issues of the F1 year - a task I will share with BBC commentator Jonathan Legard, who has his own blog, as well as expert analyst Martin Brundle and leading F1 journalist Mark Hughes, who sits in the commentary box with Jonathan and Martin spotting things they may have missed. Both Martin and Mark will write regular post-race columns.

For now, though, here is our list of five classic Australian F1 races to choose from - and a little taster of an event that has gone down not only as one of the most remarkable Grands Prix in Australia, but one of the best ever.

1986 - the three-way title fight between Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet resolved when Mansell's tyre blows

1991 - the shortest race in F1 history, abandoned after 14 laps in torrential rain

1994 - Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill collide, deciding the title in the German's favour

1996 - Jacques Villeneuve nearly wins on his debut

2007 - Lewis Hamilton finishes third on his F1 debut.

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  • Comment number 1.

    I presume this is where we "vote". My vote goes to 1986.

  • Comment number 2.

    Yes - just for clarity, this is where you vote. And feel free to point out other races you think we should have highlighted - and why they're better than the ones we've picked.

  • Comment number 3.


    PS Don't feel obliged to put a Lewis choice in every vote. 2007 outside of the first corner was not an outstanding race.

  • Comment number 4.

    Seeing as '91 is so short can I vote for it and 1994? No? 1994 then.

  • Comment number 5.


    Yes, don't worry. We won't be putting a Lewis choice on every vote. In fact, we have made it pretty clear that our coverage of F1 this year will not be the Lewis Hamilton show.

    We are determined to cover all the drivers and teams as effectively as we can - so that the British public really gets to know not only Hamilton, but all the people he is racing.

    Obviously, Hamilton is the world champion and English, so he will feature heavily in our coverage but rest assured we will not only be concentrating on him. And, specifically for these regular episodes on the website, the races will be chosen on merit alone.

  • Comment number 6.

    1994 please. I have seen that incident a hundred times but not the events leading to Hill catching Schumacher.

  • Comment number 7.

    How about 1990? it was the 500th GP in history, a great scrap between Mansell and Piquet towards the end after an interesting race where Senna went off .. entertaining stuff

  • Comment number 8.

    '96 out of those five! Very tight rumble between Damon and Villenerve.

  • Comment number 9.

    Cheers Benny, nice to know that we're going to get the complete and unadulterated even handed coverage that everybody loves :D my vote is 94

  • Comment number 10.

    1986 please. Failing that 1994.

  • Comment number 11.

    Has to be 1994...a season which had everything (sadly) with a dramatic ending.

    94 please!!!

  • Comment number 12.


  • Comment number 13.

    1986 is the classic here. Another good race was 1995, with Damon winning, Panis second and Morbidelli, of all people, in the Arrows 3rd. Well, not so much a great race but an interesting podium!

  • Comment number 14.

    1996 was a cracker of a race and a great battle with Hill vs Villeneuve. My vote goes for 1996.

  • Comment number 15.

    I'll go for 1994, ahead of 1986.
    2003 was also quite good, and last year's wasn't bad either.

  • Comment number 16.

    I have to agree with ForzaMinardi (13) that 1995 was a very interesting race, however, from the list we have to choose from, it has to be 1994.

  • Comment number 17.

    @ Andrew Benson # 5

    That's good to know, it's only right a British broadcaster should cover the Brits (just keep it in proportion).

    I should say this is really good idea making use of the BBC's vast archive ESPN Classic has shown the odd 70s race, but I understand there are rights issues for later races and they (Bernie FOM) don't seem to like their content being put up on Youtube!

    One final question on the excellent F1 Greatest Hits montage you've used Murray and Martin's commentary for races shown on ITV (before Murray retired) but 5 Live (Legard/Hamilton/Croft) for races since.

    When we get to the recent additions to F1 calendar e.g. Malaysia, Bahrain (i.e. races that were covered by Allen/Brundle) which commentary will you use ITV/Five Live?

  • Comment number 18.

    Andrew, will the full race be put online, or extended highlights (i.e. 1/2 hour long?) thanks.

  • Comment number 19.

    I'd have to go for 1994 please.

  • Comment number 20.

    1996 for me.

    I completely agree about the scheduling, Andrew.. Getting up at 3AM was part of the fun! Seeing the dark silent streets of London outside and then settling down to watch a race groggy and bleary eyed with several friends, some coffee and chocolate.. Won't be quite the same this year, but I guess it's still the 1st race of the year and it's always one to look out for. It seems Bernie has a tight stranglehold on the scheduling so we can presume all races will eventually be shown at 1PM if he has his way... Takes a lot of character out of the races I think, and when you consider a race and buildup is anything between 2.5 and 3.5 hours, a lot of your Sunday is gone, so in some ways, afternoon races are even less sociable!

  • Comment number 21.

    1994 Australian Grand Prix gets my vote. It was the point where Schumacher became a champion, how can people not love it?

  • Comment number 22.

    I'd like to see 1994 too, before I started watching F1 so i'd love to see the Schumacher-Hill scrap.

  • Comment number 23.

    I'll go for 1996 please! Excellent race and a reminder that Hamilton was not the first rookie to do well in his first race.

  • Comment number 24.

    PLEASE don't say that is the music for the main program. Why can't we just have the original Fleetwood Mac version back?

  • Comment number 25.

    My vote goes to 1994.

    I think 2003 should be on the list. Great race, Coulthard's last victory.

  • Comment number 26.

    @U13855238, I presume you are on about the trailer. That is just for the trailer, the Beeb have confirmed The Chain will return so no need to get worried.

  • Comment number 27.

    1986 would be my choice, though I'd be happy with '90, '94 (just to see Deletraz being lapped over and over again lol) or '96. I love that you'll being showing archive races, hopefully they can also be put on the red button, as well as online.

    By the way, I feel the same as you about the race starting later, I much preferred it at 3/4am. I be staying up every night over the weekend anyway, I don't want to miss a thing live!

  • Comment number 28.

    1994 please

  • Comment number 29.

    This is a difficult choice the heartache of 1994 when Schu took Hill out but Mansell Won or 96 when Villeneuve almost done it, it has to be 1994 and the season build up to this last race sittng with neighbours all cheering Hill on

  • Comment number 30.

    has anybody seen the BBC intros to the Melbourne GP on you tube dont know if they really are Official but they look good and just leave you wanting more!

  • Comment number 31.

    @SpacedBulldog.... you won't see the intro until the preview show I imagine.

  • Comment number 32.

    I'm pleased we've seen the back of The Lewis Hamilton Show. Good riddance ITV.

    I had written to Autosport Magazine about a similar idea the BBC could do - past races before this years' events. I'm very pleased this is being done. Great stuff.

    My vote is for 1986.

  • Comment number 33.

    I vote for 1986. Thrilled at the prospect of seeing some classics again, and in full. Like the new website too - keep up the good work! Hope you've started as you mean to go on.

  • Comment number 34.

    The 2003 race should definitely be an option. Compared to 2007, 2003 was a classic (sorry but 2007 really wasn't anything special) but as 2003 isn't an option, I vote for 1996.

  • Comment number 35.

    1986 get my vote, although i wasn't even born then i've seen clips and want to see some of the classics in full! Great blog and a great looking new website BBC, thank you! P.S hope you keep the new video and audio content coming its been fantastic to quote Mr Walker himself!

  • Comment number 36.

    1996, was the first grand prix I remember as a kid. I remember hill being behind villeneuve and getting covered in oil and then hearing a load of rubbish from my brother about how hill could never win as he'd have to go and get his visor wiped... and then he won. I remember counting down the days to it as well.

    Oh, and brundle's amazing crash.

  • Comment number 37.

    Great idea with the classic races. Only its Oz and that's one of my favourite races so I don't know what to pick, hmm. Well before my time, 1986 and 1994 the top two. And for pure drama since I've been watching F1 (1996) I think will go with 2002 with its massive pile up, Toyota's first race and Mark Webber in a Minardi finishing in the points in his race in front of his home crowd. I think I will make that my choice


  • Comment number 38.

    @stattotheblade, 2002 isn't one of the options. :P

  • Comment number 39.

    Thanks so much for implementing this! You've made a petrolhead very happy indeed!

    1994 Australia please.

    For those undecided between 94 and 86, I'd recommend the former. 1986 Australia had high drama at the end, but was somewhat static prior to that. In contrast in 1994, Hill and Schumacher were slugging it out for half of the race, and after that Berger and Mansell battled fiercely for the lead. An all round superb Grand Prix!

  • Comment number 40.

    Id like to vote for 1994, its clearly the one we all remember

  • Comment number 41.


  • Comment number 42.

    I had some time on my hands so I thought I'd count the result so far,'86 has 9 votes, '94 has 14 votes, '96 has 6 votes and 2007 has 0 (lol).

  • Comment number 43.

    It will have to be 1994 - always preferred adelaide to albert park.

  • Comment number 44.

    Hi all,

    Thank you so much for all your comments so far. I'm thrilled you generally like the new site - a lot of work has gone into it. But this is just the beginning. We have big plans for this season and beyond - some of which will become clear in the next few weeks, and some will take a little longer.

    To answer a few of your questions:

    1) The Chain - we have already announced that the theme tune for the TV coverage of F1 will be the original piece of this music as used when we had the rights previously. We feel it is inextricably linked with the BBC and F1, and still the perfect soundtrack for the sport.

    2) Murray Walker will be doing regular pieces on the website after each Grand Prix - and we're delighted he is back on the BBC. He will review the race that has just been, answer your questions about it or any other issue - we will ask you for these after the race - and look forward to the next race along with reminiscing about that event's past.

    3) The highlights we show will be edits, about five or six minutes long. I know that will disappoint some of you, but our research suggests this is the maximum sort of length of clip people tend to watch online. Where we have no BBC commentary with Murray, we will use other BBC commentary, from 5 Live. That might be by our new TV commentator Jonathan Legard - who I'm sure you will all soon come to hold in as high regard as I do; Jonathan is a great commentator, as well as a totally top bloke - or Maurice Hamilton or David Croft. Occasionally, Jonathan may voice new commentary in a reportage style.

    4) We intend to make extensive use of our video rights over the next five years - so you can look forward to much, much more F1 video on the site.

  • Comment number 45.

    In your blog you ask for some views on the races you've chosen. So I thought I'd also give my views on this for you.

    As I think the votes show, I don't think you can call 2007 a classic race. Although it was a landmark race in the sense that it was Hamilton's debut, the race itself was unspectacular. It's important to judge races not only on historical milestones, but also on their individual value - i.e. the volume of battles, overtaking and incidents.

    I think the key one you've missed from your shortlist is 2003 Australia. This had incidents aplenty including Montoya spinning out of the lead, it had a thrilling battle between Michael Schumacher and Raikkonen, and it also was a key milestone marking the final victory for David Coulthard.

    Alongside this, I'd put a slightly unusual choice in of 1990 Australia. This is often forgotten, but Mansell and Piquet battled fiercely for the lead right until the chequered flag. This race could describe Mansell's entire career, if there was a sniff of an overtake - he'd go for it.

  • Comment number 46.

    Hi. The BBCs effort so far have been great. I am getting excited!!!
    Now, I can't turn down the opportunity to listen to James Hunt again, to see Senna and Prost, and of course Murray. So it has to be 1986.

  • Comment number 47.

    Great idea Andrew. I haven't really bothered too much about Blogs or things like that in the past, but curiosity killed the cat and I am loving the personal touch. Looking forward to the new features on the web and of course F1 practise through my red button!!! Happy days ahead.

    My vote from your list would be 1994. Great drama and the final F1 victory for Nige.

    However I'd like to put forward a suggestion for a race. 2002. I felt this was full of excitement. Big incident at the start, re-start where Montoya and Schumi went wheel to wheel and Trulli in a fairly underpowered Renault struggled to stay in front before he crashed and brought out the safety car. Then DC when attempting to control the pace at the front drove straight on into the grass in the final corner of the lap. The race was fairly straight forward after that, but then you had the Arrows who re-joined the race having both had engine problems at the start. They got black flagged. Then when you thought the fun was over, Mark Webber in the horrible Minardi got himself up to 5th in his first F1 race at his home circuit. It looked like Mika Salo was on course to ruin his dream and break over 100,000 Australian hearts before he overcooked it and ended up facing the wrong way, leaving Mark Webber to drive his horribly slow Minardi to the finish line and in 5th place for 2 WC points as it was then. Then when the winners left the podium, Paul Stoddart and Webber found themselves up on the podium gulping champers out the bottle as if they had just won the Championship!!! What a great race that was. Maybe not a Championship decider, but still great fun.

  • Comment number 48.

    The highlights are only 5-6 minutes long?

    It seems barely worth bothering for such a short summary. Is there no way that full length highlights can be shown on Digital Satellite? Up until 1996 the BBC has an enormous collection of high quality highlights 35 minutes long which won't need to be re-edited.

    I'm afraid to say that this looks somewhat weak now compared to what other broadcasters around the world have offered. Fuji Television, Premiere, Speed, MTV3 and now Viasat have all used their rights far more extensively to show classic races. To sample races in 5 minutes anyone can just watch the official season reviews.

  • Comment number 49.

    1986 for me - drama as 3 drivers could have won the championship in that race - but would love it to be longer than 5 minutes.

    Loving the archive stuff already Andrew, more, more more!

  • Comment number 50.

    Very disappointing to see the highlights will only be 5/6 minutes long... I was expecting at least 20 minutes considering there is a whole blog on this subject now. The expectation was "highlights" (20 minutes long or about one-fifth of a race), not a "short summary (6 minutes long or 5 percent of the race). It feels effectively "pointless" voting now when all we'll get is a very small portion of the race itself. If you are going to make "extensive use of our video rights over the next five years" surely this would go along the lines of "~20 minute highlights".

    I (of course) would prefer full length highlights but the chances of that happening are as slim as possible.... if not on the website, surely this could in the very least be done via the Red Button as Incast suggested? Quite disappointed now.

  • Comment number 51.

    @Andrew Benson, that's a real shame that the races won't be shown in full or as extended highlights. Is there any chance that the team could look at this with a view to putting the original highlight shows or full races that win the vote on the red button?

  • Comment number 52.

    Tough choice between 1994 and 1996 for me. Remember getting up early for both as an enthusiastic youngster. Agree with Andrew that it might make it less special, but as I get older 3am is less and less appealing!

    On balance I'll go for 1994. My first season of watching F1 and the race was jam packed with action - although I was so disappointed that Hill didn't win, I don't remember much of the second half of the race!

  • Comment number 53.

    1994 for me.

  • Comment number 54.

    Hi, I'd like to see the first ever GP I watched, 1996 please. This was an amazing duel between two great teammates.

  • Comment number 55.

    Have to agree with those calling 5-minute highlights something of a let-down. That sort of length is already available (albeit unauthorised) on sites like YouTube.

    Remember that by offering longer highlights that are officially sanctioned and in high quality, you would lessen the appeal of rogue uploads (making the rights holders happy) as well as attracting more people to the new BBC F1 website. Or maybe I should just say "please"?

  • Comment number 56.

    Add me to the list of folks not happy with 5-minute highlights. I think this kind of defeats the point of having a huge archive to choose from.

    An idea I had was to treat it like a MOTD highlight program.

    Have a 20-25 minute edited highlight package followed by a 10 minute analysis explaining the significance of the key moments of the race.

    Even better get the driver(s) involved, if possible, to give there take and memories on it.

    I will say however that I have been pleased with a lot that has been done already by the Beeb with there F1 coverage so far.

  • Comment number 57.

    86, easily for me, one of the most memorable, although saddest nights of my life as an 11 yr old getting up in the middle of the night, hoping and praying our 'Nige' could pull it off. Really evokes some terrific memories for me does 86 of what looking back was perhaps the best times ('86 through to '91) in F1 thus far. I supported Mansell as he was a brit but Prost was always my favourite driver through the 80's so I was not too disappointed that night.

  • Comment number 58.

    I'd like to see the 1994 race please. I remember at that time I was just getting back in to F1 after a few years off, but didn't stay up to watch the race live and regretted it ever since.

  • Comment number 59.

    My vote goes for 1986, such a memorable race. However I am disappointed that these races are edits that will only last for a few minutes. I would have hoped that they would be far longer.

  • Comment number 60.

    Either 1996 or 1986. Also Ayrton Senna at Adelaide when he was charging ahead but unfortunately crashed into Martin Brundle.

  • Comment number 61.

    I also want to voice my displeasure over the length of the highlights....come on BBC you're doing brilliant stuff...use the red button and website fully and give us a proper highlights show of the race...surely the original highlights programme for the chosen race is available and would be perfect to show on the red know it makes sense :-D

  • Comment number 62.

    I watched a replay of the '96 race the other day. Was a good one, Irvine drove particularly well.

  • Comment number 63.

    I would very much like to see full length (30-35 minute) BBC highlights on one of the BBC digital channels. I appreciate your research indications for online length videos, however it would be a great thrill for long time fans to be able to see classic BBC “Grand Prix” highlights shows.

    My vote of the above options is 1994.

  • Comment number 64.

    1986 please!
    Are they only going to be short highlight clips!? I was under the impression they were going to be as long as a standard highlights show. Really disapointed if thats the case I thought that extended highlights was a great idea to really wet the appitate before a grand prix. shame

  • Comment number 65.

    Initially was pleased to hear of highlights, but 5 minutes! Why bother?
    I'm sure anyone interested enough to tune in will want to see more.

  • Comment number 66.

    Has to be 1994 for me please

  • Comment number 67.

    My own personal favourite was 1999 - unpredictable, a rare Schumi off-day, both Maccas failing, both Stewarts on fire on the grid, numerous incidents, and a new winner in the form of Eddie Irvine

    But if I had to choose from this list, I would go for either 1986 or 1994 - both great title showdowns

  • Comment number 68.

    Hahaha - 5 or 6 minutes? Brilliant! I've seen smoke and mirrors like this from the BBC on their commitment to motoGP in the off-season, now I see it's extending to F1. Your "new site" isn't much more than a cynical re-vamp of the existing BBC Sport/F1 pages, and this blog looking for votes for classic race "highlights"??? Since when has 5-6 minutes ever been considered highlights of a sporting spectacle which lasts between 90 minutes and 2 hours?!

    I imagine for the majority, 5 or 6 minutes is hardly worth voting for and hardly worth returning to find out if their preference was the winning choice.

    I wanted to vote for my choice because the idea of *real* highlights of classic races sounded great - the reality, once you peel away the spin, is that what the BBC is offering is pretty lame IMO.

  • Comment number 69.

    Well no-one else has voted for this one, and it was one of the first Grands Prix I ever watched - so I have to go for 1991.

  • Comment number 70.

    I too was disappointed to hear that these 'highlights' would be cut short to just 5 or 6 minutes. As multiple people have said it kinda defeats the object as really how much of the *sorry to use a JA phrase* story of the race would you get across in such a short period of time?

    Could there be the option of a shorter video for the more casual viewer (something I know the BBC is trying to help more) and a longer one for those of us that would be willing to sit in front of our computer screens for over half an hour watching some brilliant classic races?

    I'm certainly all for bringing more people to F1 and to do that people have to be enticed in small stages, but please don't do it at the expense of the long-time F1 fan, those of us that (just) remember F1 pre-ITV! I mean, you're showing the full practice sessions on here live which are an hour and a half, which is great and probably only gonna be watched by us hardcore, so its not beyond the realms of possibility!

    PS 1994 please :)

  • Comment number 71.

    I actually thought the 2000 race was quite good, and one missed out so far.

    McLarens started ahead but then dropped out, leaving Ferrari to battle it out (with the Jordans also lurking until their retirements) - at one stage it looked like Barrichello might win on his Ferrari debut, but in the end it went to Michael Schumacher.

  • Comment number 72.

    I would just like to add my voice to those who would like to see 'proper' highlights of these classic races. If they you only going show 5 minutes of highlights you might as well show all of the options!

  • Comment number 73.

    The prospect of a "Grand Prix Gold" section is one which excites me the most as the BBC F1 archive must be extraordinary going all the way back. I really hope this gets some serious 'airplay' devoted to it via the website.

    As for the votes, I'm not sure I can bring myself to endure the pain of 1994 again - I never really brought myself to forgive Schumacher after that. In terms of showdowns though there weren't many better - it was just a terrible end to a tragic season.

    Equally Adelaide 1986 wasn't exactly a good year for British drivers! Poor old Nigel, it was such a relief that he got the championship in 92, he really was one of the all-time greats. I still can't get over the phenomenal car control at the moment of the tyre blow-out the late great James Hunt alluded to.

    1992 was a good race, at least to begin with, that you omit. The opening section of the race was one of those incredible Senna-Mansell duels which ended in tears on a gravel trap!

    I'd have to go for 1991 though from your pick, the rain was nothing like anyone had seen. Prost pulled out because he said it was too dangerous.. so that gives you some idea of how bad it was if Le Prof stopped. Of course Senna didn't though... It was officially the shortest race in F1 history (and still is), remarkable really.

  • Comment number 74.

    Sorry BBC. I appreciate your efforts thus far, but this whole 5 minute "highlights" business is a complete joke at best, and yuo really are shooting yourselvesin the foot here. With all of the possibilities you have with the red button, internet, your huge archive, i was expecting at absolute minimum the original highlights to be rebroadcasted in full on the red button combined with the internet. At minimum! If youreally want to prove you are serious about Grand Prix, re-broadcast the race in FULL, and not just on the net, but also with the red button. As mentioned earlier, FujiTV have done this in Japan, MTV in Finland have done this as have ViaSat in Scandinavia. Sort it out BBC, because this is just insulting. If I were BBC, I would follow the example of FujiTV, and choose 8 races per season and rebraodcast them in full. FujiTV can only go back to 1981, the BBC has archives going back to the 1960's!

  • Comment number 75.

    I should add, please rebraodcast Adelaide 1985 in full. An absolutley fantastic race. Senna, Lauda,and Rosberg wheel to wheel. Would love to see it again.

  • Comment number 76.

    Andrew and BBC, thank you very much for your classic F1 initiative, but can you PLEASE consider showing full-length half-hour BBC highlights on one of the BBC digital channels?
    If needed, perhaps consider running a web poll on this page to see how many of us would like to see such a thing. I believe many many would be MOST grateful!!

    Voting for 1994 Australia.

  • Comment number 77.

    Please re-broadcast the races in full, or at least as extended highlights. I can understand that you wouldn't do this on the net, but please do it on the red-button - other sports and music coverage on the red button is often over 90 minutes long. Would be good if you could also get a proper poll going, I'd like to see 1986 re-shown.

  • Comment number 78.

    Please please give us the full highlights at least please BBC especially between the years 1978 - 1996 when you could play the 'Grand Prix' highlights programme. I love hearing the excellent Fleetwood Mac theme tune followed by the music accompanying the intro to 'Pit Bits' and then hearing the Giorgio Moroder music for the grid line up. I have on tape an old 1987 race and it's superb! I'd love to see something like this on TV again :-)

  • Comment number 79.

    2006 was a great race with lots of incidents think it would've been on the list.

    Out of the ones on the list i'd say 94

  • Comment number 80. vote would have to be 1996. Was a Damon Hill fan back in the day, and remember the events of '94 too vividly to go through all of that again!! But '96 was a good tussle between the man expected to be the World Champ for '96 and the new boy from IndyCars. Whilst JV deserved the win, seeing an oil-covered Williams at the hands of Damon was the start of a good tenure at Melbourne for the Oz GP...

  • Comment number 81.

    1986 please!!!! How mansell controlled that car is very impressive!

  • Comment number 82.

    Can I add a vote for 1986 please, Andy? :-)

  • Comment number 83.

    Rebroadcast the race in full? Might work, particularly as a warm up act to this year's race. I'd settle for what the BBC has done with classic matches from the major football tournaments though. 10-15 mins of highlights online please.

  • Comment number 84.

    I understand the BBC has full access to FOM's archive which as I understand is already paid for so if your only going to put highlights and not a full race (which i'd love) why don't you put all 5 up?

  • Comment number 85.

    1994 please. May I say the people at the BBC have done a superb job with the new site and that I'm pleased to hear the coverage is not going to resemble a Lewis Hamilton bandwagon!

  • Comment number 86.

    First would like to say that i'm looking forward to watching the grandprix's on the bbc with no adverts!!! Also will they be avilable to watch afterwards on iPlayer??

    My vote goes for 1996 due to the fact its one of the first gp's i remember but i think respect should be paid to the marshal that lost his life in the horrific first corner accident that happened in i believe 2000. Those guys put so much on the line to give us viewers at home a sport that can be truely awe inspiring.

  • Comment number 87.

    My vote is for 1986. I've already seen the other races so am intrigued as to the complete events that occurred in this race other than Mansells blowout

  • Comment number 88.

    i know i can only vote for one but i want, 1991, 1994, and 2007, more the 1991 and the 1994 than the 2007

  • Comment number 89.

    Can you please show half hour length classic BBC F1 highlights on one of the TV channels? I would really appreciate if you could.

    I vote Adelaide 1986.

  • Comment number 90.

    1994 sounds like the best although it was before I watched F1

  • Comment number 91.

    I agree with an earlier suggestion that 1990's Australian Grand Prix should be an option. A celebration of the 500th Grand Prix and what a cracking race right down to the last lap!

  • Comment number 92.

    I personally feel that 1991 was the most amazing race, even when it shouldn't have been started in the first place. 1996 was also good but my vote is 1991

  • Comment number 93.

    I was only 8, it was my first year of properly following F1 and I was a huge Nigel Mansell fan. I remember being so devastated when the tyre blew.
    Also, I agree with the comments about the 3am start being a special part of watching the Australian GP - especially back then in 1986 when I was a kid and it was exciting and different to get up in the middle of the night. Now, though, I'm going to be happy for the extra sleep this year!

  • Comment number 94.

    1994 for me just for the drama. I remember getting up for that race, creeping downstairs to watch it on the tv with the sound down not to wake anyone. From that day forward I despised Schumacher!

    But may I also add that the 'research' you mention about 5-6 minutes being the attention span of a web user is incredibly patronising to the F1 audience - I would have thought the BBC knew better. Sorry :)

  • Comment number 95.

    My vote goes for 1994 aswell as the race was just full of drama and tension

    But I would like to see the original highlights show length atleast, But the full race re run would be a great way to show a dramatic race.

    The BBC have the rights for the archive so why not make full use of it and show the races in full unedited form? :)

    My 2 cents but I am really looking foward to the BBC Coverage this year

  • Comment number 96.

    1996, one of the first races I can rememeber watching.

  • Comment number 97.

    My favourite oz f1 race. has to be Lewis Hamilton clinching 3rd on his debut in formula 1 back in 2007 :)

  • Comment number 98.

    Present tally of votes (only where singular votes are given):
    1986 (19)
    1991 (2)
    1994 (27)
    1996 (10)
    2007 (1)
    And for others suggested: 1990 (2), 2002, 1999, 2000, 1985.

    AND.. since post 48, 23 commenters have asked for longer highlights.
    Andrew, would the BBC consider showing classic-length highlights or full race re-runs on one of their digital channels? Or at least research on this page via a poll or something as to whether there's enough interest? I'd be willing to sponsor it.. :P

  • Comment number 99.

    I agree with 98, it would be great to see longer classic broadcasts.. Could it be done on the red button even? It would be good to educate younger viewers on F1 history also!

    My vote is for 1994, as one of Hill and Schumachers legendary battles that should be remembered as an important moment in the sports history!

  • Comment number 100.

    by the way, I agree with you on the atmosphere created by waking up in the middle of the night to watch the first race of the year... 07:00 is just an early morning... not the same. People that had an aversion to late night viewing had the rerun midday on sunday to enjoy, so Im not sure where the problem lies...


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