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Pick your classic grand prix - race seven

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Andrew Benson | 06:00 UK time, Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The Turkish Grand Prix, like all the newer races on the Formula 1 calendar, creates a bit of a problem for our regular forage through the archive.

Usually we choose five great past races from the country which is holding the forthcoming grand prix, and ask you which one you would most like to see.

We then use the views of respondents on this blog to help inform our choice of which event to highlight in the run-up to the race - which means we broadcast the full 'Grand Prix' highlights programme of the time, as well as the shorter video packages we cut for all the choices.

But Turkey has only been on the calendar since 2005, and we used all the previous races there last year.

So for this year's event we will continue with the approach we took for Bahrain and China this year - namely to choose four races from tracks that are no longer on the F1 calendar and add last year's race in Turkey as a fifth choice.

And we have a very tasty selection, which is as follows:

The 1981 San Marino Grand Prix - a dramatic wet/dry race won for Brabham by Nelson Piquet which featured a stunning fightback by Ferrari's pole position man Gilles Villeneuve. The Canadian was made to suffer for a brave decision to come in early for dry-weather tyres when it started to rain again as he accelerated back on to the track, forcing him to stop again for wet tyres.

The 1982 US Grand Prix West - a second appearance this year for the much-missed Long Beach track in California. This was won by Niki Lauda, in only the third race of his comeback after two years out of F1 running his airline. Villeneuve, in his penultimate race before his untimely death, again plays a starring role.

Keke Rosberg's Williams takes the lead from Alain Prost's Renault during the 1982 Swiss Grand PrixRosberg takes the lead on his way to the only win of his world champioship year. Photo: BBC Sport

The 1982 Swiss Grand Prix - not held in Switzerland (where motor racing is banned) but at Dijon-Prenois in France. This was the only victory by Williams's Keke Rosberg (father of current Mercedes driver Nico) in the year he won the drivers' title. The Finn caught and passed the Renault of Alain Prost, who was struggling with a split skirt, on the penultimate lap.

The 1985 European Grand Prix - chosen by popular demand after lots of requests from respondents last year. Nigel Mansell's first career F1 victory came in a race that featured an action-packed scrap for the lead in the early laps involving Ayrton Senna, Rosberg, Piquet and Mansell.

You will notice a heavy early-'80s bias here. Part of that, I have to admit, is because we have been the victims of circumstance.

Originally, I had included the 1953 French Grand Prix and the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix in our choices, but unfortunately our records of what we should have in the library did not match what is actually there.

So my hopes of bringing you the superb race-long battle between Mike Hawthorn's Ferrari and Juan Manuel Fangio's Maserati - ending in a maiden victory for the man who became Britain's first world champion five years later - or the winning debut of the Lotus 49 and its Cosworth DFV engine - one of history's great car-engine combinations - have been dashed.

Instead, we have drafted in a couple of races that were initially planned for later in the season. No matter. The choice you have is brilliant, I hope you'll agree. I look forward to reading your responses.


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