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Pick your classic grand prix - race 17

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Andrew Benson | 10:00 UK time, Thursday, 14 October 2010

Part of what makes Formula 1 so compelling is its ruthless exposure of the strengths and weaknesses of its participants.

Quite apart from a sporting spectacle which, at its best, can compare with any in the world, F1 is life in extremis. Its high-pressure, high-intensity environment remorselessly reveals the true competitive and psychological natures of those involved.

There are examples of both of these aspects of the sport in the latest edition of our classic grand prix series - great races exposing drivers' weaknesses of both kinds for all to see.

This selection of races precedes the inaugural South Korean Grand Prix, which takes place on 24 October. The doubts over whether the new track would be ready are over but there is of course no archive for us to mine in the usual manner.

Instead, we have chosen five grands prix from tracks that are no longer on the calendar - the sort of places, indeed, that have made way for the new generation of grand, government-backed circuits of which Korea is just the latest example.

This is not the place to get into the rights and wrongs of F1's new direction; instead we can revel in the glories of the sport's past as a way of whetting our appetites for the next instalment of a season that itself will go down in history as an all-time great.

So, to the five choices. As ever, we'd like you to tell us your favourite by way of a response below, and we will use those views to help inform our choice of the 'winner'. For this race, we will show the full 'Grand Prix' highlights programme from the time. The others will all get shorter highlights edits.

The first choice is the 1979 South African Grand Prix, a race that is little-remembered despite a stunning victory by Ferrari legend Gilles Villeneuve.

It was the Canadian's first win in the year in which he established himself without doubt as the greatest driver in the world - and it gave his team-mate Jody Scheckter a glimpse into just what he was up against if he wanted to become world champion in his first season with Ferrari, which was exactly why the South African had been employed.

Scheckter did eventually achieve his and Maranello's ambition, but only thanks to Villeneuve obeying team orders to sit behind him at the Italian Grand Prix in September.

Through the year, though, Villeneuve established himself as the faster of the two men, and only bad luck, and a few mistakes, prevented him becoming world champion.

The South African race was red-flagged after a couple of laps because of a heavy rain shower, with Villeneuve leading from Scheckter. At the restart, the Ferrari drivers chose different strategies - Villeneuve starting on wet-weather tyres; Scheckter dry-weather, untreaded slicks, gambling that it was not going to rain again.

Slicks were the right choice - although Villeneuve shot off into an early lead, his wet tyres were soon shot and he had to pit to change rubber after just 15 of the 78 laps.

The stop put Villeneuve 30 seconds behind Scheckter, a margin which he closed in just 33 laps. Under pressure from his team-mate, and aware of the fact that he had just lost a second a lap for 30 laps to a man in the same car, Scheckter locked his brakes going into a corner and flat-spotted a tyre, forcing him into the pits and giving Villeneuve a lead he was never to lose.

Gilles Villeneuve in the 1979 Ferrari 312T4

Gilles Villeneuve features in two of our choices. This is him in the 1979 Ferrari 312T4. Photo: Getty

Our next choice also features Villeneuve, but in less happy circumstances - it is the 1982 San Marino Grand Prix.

Held in the middle of a huge political war in F1, many of the English teams did not attend the race at Imola, and that left a 13-car grid and the turbo-charged cars of Renault and Ferrari to stage a private battle.

Following the retirements of the Renaults of Alain Prost and Rene Arnoux, Villeneuve was left in the lead from team-mate Didier Pironi, who had been more than a second slower in qualifying. The scene unravelled into one of the great tragedies of F1.

The Ferrari drivers knew fuel was marginal but they both dipped below the lap record immediately after Arnoux retired.

Ferrari prepared a pit board telling them to 'slow' - ie, hold position - but, according to team boss Marco Piccinini in an interview with Mark Hughes a few years ago, on that lap Villeneuve went briefly off on to the grass, so Pironi received it first.

The relevance of that is debatable, as the long-standing internal Ferrari rules at the time, of which Pironi claimed ignorance, were simple - if at any point the cars ended up running one-two, the guy in the lead was to win.

Villeneuve soon re-passed Pironi and then slowed down, measuring his pace to ensure he got to the finish. But then Pironi passed Villeneuve again. And speeded up.

No problem, thought Villeneuve, he wants to put on a bit of a show. He speeded up and re-took the lead. And slowed down again. Whereupon Pironi passed him again.

So it went on until with three laps to go Villeneuve re-took the lead and, now very worried about fuel, slowed down again. Pironi held station behind him for a couple of laps and Villeneuve, believing Pironi had finally seen sense, slowed down.

But then, on the last lap, Pironi surprised Villeneuve by passing him for the lead into the Tosa hairpin, the only real overtaking point.

Villeneuve, furious at what he considered the duplicity of a man he had supported through some dark times and who he considered a friend, stood stony-faced on the podium, then marched off before speaking to the media, not wanting to say something he might regret.

He vowed never to speak to Pironi again, and felt equally let down by Ferrari team principal Marco Piccinini, who refused to condemn the Frenchman publicly.

Two weeks later, Villeneuve, still bitter, was killed in a crash in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.

The next choice is the 1985 Dutch Grand Prix, and a battle royal between McLaren team-mates Niki Lauda and Prost.

Lauda had narrowly won the title when the two dominated the previous season, but 1985 had all been about Prost, who was in a title battle with Ferrari's Michele Alboreto. Lauda, through a combination of poor reliability and lack of pace, had not won a single race.

At the classic seaside Zandvoort circuit, Lauda again qualified poorly, in 10th place, but after his trademark climb back up the field in the early laps, he found himself in the lead when Prost had a problem at his pit stop.

The Frenchman lost a lot of time but closed quickly on to his team-mate's tail. The two had a good relationship, but although Prost was much faster than him and battling for the championship, the Austrian was not about to give up what he realised was probably going to be his last chance to win in his final season before retirement.

Prost tried everything he knew to get past, but Lauda used all his guile to stay ahead, and the two men crossed the line just 0.232 seconds apart.

The fourth choice is the 1991 French Grand Prix, a rare bright spot in a difficult season for Ferrari and a fine battle between their driver, Prost, and Williams's Nigel Mansell.

After a disastrous start to the year, the Italian team introduced a new car for Prost's home race, and he very nearly claimed pole position on its debut, just missing out after a great lap by Mansell's team-mate Riccardo Patrese. Mansell took fourth behind Ayrton Senna's McLaren.

Patrese, though, made a poor start and Prost took the lead from Mansell - and the two soon disappeared into a race of their own.

By this stage of his career, Prost was an elder statesman and he had begun to measure risk against reward more carefully than some of his rivals.

He became wary of racing in heavy rain, because of the lack of visibility, and he was more circumspect when passing backmarkers. This was to be the key to the race.

Mansell, in the faster car, piled the pressure on to Prost, and eventually passed the Ferrari when he hit traffic on lap 21.

The Englishman began to edge away in the lead, but problems at his tyre stop put him back behind Prost and he had to do it all over again - passing the Ferrari for the final time, again with the help of traffic, on lap 54.

Finally, we have the 1996 Portuguese Grand Prix, and a superb victory by Jacques Villeneuve at the expense of Williams team-mate Damon Hill.

Damon Hill (left) and Jacques Villeneuve on the podium at the 1996 Portuguese Grand Prix

Hill (left) looks on pensively as Villeneuve celebrates victory in Portugal in 1996. Photo: Getty

The Canadian - son of Gilles - realistically needed to win in Portugal to keep the championship battle between himself and Hill alive to the final race in Japan.

Hill took pole position, with Villeneuve second, but Villeneuve made a mess of the start and ended up fourth, behind Hill, the Benetton of Jean Alesi and Michael Schumacher's Ferrari.

Taking advantage of the situation, Hill streaked off into the distance - by lap 15, he was 15 seconds ahead of Villeneuve, who was still stuck behind Schumacher.

But then came a piece of magic by Villeneuve, the sort of thing of which his father would have been proud.

Heading towards Estoril's banked 150mph, 180-degree final corner, Schumacher was briefly held up by the Minardi of Giovanni Lavaggi, and Villeneuve seized his chance to pull off a move never seen in F1 before.

He dived to the outside of the Ferrari, and sat it out with Schumacher around the outside of the corner, a move of extraordinary skill and bravery in any circumstances, let alone when Schumacher is your rival.

It was a breathtaking manoeuvre, and Villeneuve seemed inspired by it. After the first of three pit stops, Villeneuve was 15 seconds behind Hill but, with the help of traffic, he had closed that to almost nothing by the time of their second stops.

Villeneuve sat behind his team-mate throughout the third stint, knowing he had the pace to pass Hill at the final stops, which he duly did.

I was in the news conference after the race and Villeneuve was still on a high from his pass of Schumacher.

"I told my engineers before the race that it was possible," Villeneuve said, "and they told me they'd come and pick me out of the wall if I tried."

Hill's face was a picture.


  • Comment number 1.

    1991 French Grand Prix please!!!

  • Comment number 2.

    Would love to see the Villeneve/Schumacher overtake again. Remember watching it live at the time and being gobsmacked. Of course, all of the races are classics so any would be much appreciated - this opportunity to view old classics is a great feature of your coverage :-)

  • Comment number 3.

    Can't decide between San Marino '82 and France '91. Can we have both please?

    I would like to see full highlights of the Imola race as I've heard so much about it and seen a little, and I can't make my mind up. It looks as if they're both racing and well aware of the other's intentions- doesn't seem to tally with me with the conventional view that Villeneuve was 'mugged', completely unaware that Pironi might challenge for the lead.

    Was looking forward to the South Korean GP precisely because we could rely on an even better feature than usual; and no disappointment there! Great selection of races from much-missed circuits.

    AB said "This is not the place to get into the rights and wrongs of F1's new direction..."

    Yes it is! And it's wrong. Who wants F1 to go to Korea? Bernie and CVC. Still, I folornly hope for a good race. Fingers crossed Lewis can make something of this one...

  • Comment number 4.

    It's gotta be 96. An unbelievable move and 1 of JV's many forgotten qualities due to his torrid BAR days.

  • Comment number 5.

    1982 please - to only to hear the thoughts of James Hunt

    1991 I would love to watch again. A forgotten race in my memory.

    And unless you were in nappies/weren't born yet, who can forget JV passing Schumi in Portugal - one of the all time great passing manoeuvres in F1!

  • Comment number 6.

    1991 French Grand Prix because it was one of my favourite memories watching that race when I was a kid back in the day.

  • Comment number 7.

    plz the 2007 brazilian grand prix plz plz plz

  • Comment number 8.

    Yes, some great choices there but I'd love to see Estoril 96 again. An incredible moment to relive and it'd be great to see a JV win on the Classic footage. Just such a shame there was no external footage of 'that' move.

  • Comment number 9.

    Great selection. It's always great to see some highlights from tracks no longer used for F1, or at all. I fully agree with rmjb about the new circuits though. While this has been a good season for F1 it is despite the ever-growing number of identi-kit Tilke-dromes (I know it isn't completely his fault as he has to work within very limited guidelines). Even though Abu Dhabi may look fairly different, what is the point of a race in front of about 30 people? It is a travesty that a circuit like Spa (still the greatest circuit on the calendar, despite the stupid chicane) could be lost as a F1 circuit.

    As for my pick....all of them? OK, I can round it down to two, the 1979 South African GP (always nice to see the old Kyalami circuit), and the 1985 Dutch GP (also nice to see the old Zandvoort circuit).

  • Comment number 10.


    The rules are fairly simple. Pick from the options given. Brazil 2007 was not one of those options.

  • Comment number 11.

    1996 Portuguese GP please

  • Comment number 12.

    1991 French Grand Prix please, a superb battle between Prost and Mansell. The very last time we'd see them clashing.

  • Comment number 13.

    Oooh - '79 & '82 for me please! Seen all the '90s ones too many times...

  • Comment number 14.

    I'd be happy with any. All are fantastic. I'd probably go for Imola 82, for the fact that there was more to do with that race, than just the race...

  • Comment number 15.

    1985 Would be quite nice to see, thanks.

  • Comment number 16.

    1982 or 1996.

  • Comment number 17.

    Has to be San Marino 1982, On freeview please.

  • Comment number 18.

    1996 Portugal, please. Just gotta see that overtake again!

  • Comment number 19.

    1982 and 1996 as it's hard to choose between the 2, '82 for the corntroversy the race caused and '96 just for that move by Jacques Villeneuve.

  • Comment number 20.

    surely Suzuka 2005 has to be in the top 5?? Alot of people underestimate the manouvre raikkonen pulled on fisi on the final lap. Incredible and only someone of his talent could pull off! Please, please lets have Suzuka 2005 on there . . . .

  • Comment number 21.

    Oh, didnt realise it had been whittled down already! In that case, Portugal 96 please :)

  • Comment number 22.


    Please read the blog. The choice is of five races at circuits no longer on the F1 calendar. I seem to recall a race at Suzuka fairly recently (5 days ago!), so the 2005 wouldn't be eligible for this round of options. Also, it was one of the options for the build-up to the Japanese GP last year. Short highlights are on the link below. Not sure what won the vote on that occasion but even if this had there would only be short highlights as the race was during the years when the BBC didn't have the rights to show F1.

  • Comment number 23.

    Great selection of tracks Andrew and good races too. Kyalami, Zandvoort and Imola. Remember when F1 Tracks used to have Gradient? How i'm dreading the new US and Russian Tracks with those familiar, desolate, wide Tilke characterisitics. I'm absolutely dreading seeing which circuits Bernie is going to drop. Those within the sport are simply blinded by it all and miss the point. The new Tracks are simply boring and in countries where no-one is bothered (Yeah, i know the Goverments pay millions to get them which keeps everyone within F1 happy).
    Every F1 fan looks forward to Monza,Spa,Monaco,Interlagos,Albert Park,Suzuka,Silverstone,Canada. As for the rest? Couldn't give a Tilke.

    I honestly can't make up my mind, but put me down for Imola please, purely for the spectacle of it all.

    As ever Andrew, a polite knock on the Freeview Controllers door would be appreciated. (I see Wogan, 'yet again', managed to weave his way amongst the Commonwealth Games coverage on the red button before Suzuka)

  • Comment number 24.

    All great choices so happy to see any of them, but like you Andrew I'm a Villeneuve fan, so would like to see Imola 1982 again. As well as it being Gilles' final race, the FISA/FOCA war is of major historical significance.

  • Comment number 25.

    San Marino 82 sounds epic!

  • Comment number 26.

    Like to see the 1996 race just to see the overtake never seen it before wonder if it like an indy car pass

  • Comment number 27.

    As much as it may pain me to say it, as I hate JV with a passion...I'd like to see Estoril 1996, of not just because that circuit was a beauty to drive on F1 97!

  • Comment number 28.

    1979 South Africa, love to see GV in his prime, failing that 1991 France please!! 1982 San Marino and Portugal 1996, whilst interesting, are the poor relations here I think

  • Comment number 29.

    Dear Andrew
    Disappointed to see no Classic Japanese Grand Prix on Red Button last week. You really must do something so that this feature gets at least a few hours on one of these Red Button screens.
    As for this week: 1979, 1982 and 1996 - in that order please.
    Otherwise, keep up the great work; it's been a brilliant feature (when it's on Red Button) and there should be a lot more of it!

  • Comment number 30.

    Portugal 1996 Please it was a real classic, apart from Japan 1996 the best GP of that year...

  • Comment number 31.

    France 1991 please. Excellent race. Prost driving that beautiful (but not very good Ferrari)...

  • Comment number 32.

    the 78 south african gp at the old kyalami, last few laps dicing between ronnie peterson and patrick depailler was classic stuff

  • Comment number 33.

    1996 please

  • Comment number 34.

    1996 please. Was that the weekend Jock Clear and JV pushed to go their own way in car set up and Patrick Head said fine - put it in the railings! Did JV really get a tow from the back marker to help pull off the move? A fine result anyway and my favourite.

  • Comment number 35.

    IMHO, the 79 and 96 races can both be more than adequately covered by the short highlights packages.

    The 82, 85 and 91 races might deserve somewhat fuller coverage.

    The 82 race is more significant with the benefit of hindsight for what happened to GV subsequently, but the short highlights package can still do justice to the latter 16 laps of that race and the GV v DP affair, I think.

    Which brings us to 85 and 91.

    While 91 might have been a long battle, it took place at Magny Cours, a dreadful track which rarely allows overtaking unless traffic gets in the way as then, and we've only recently (thankfully) lost it from the calendar, so I'd rather not waste a full Grand Prix highlights on that awful circuit.

    Which leaves us with 85, and the battle royal for the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

    Fabulous circuit, with long straight into the superb Tarzan corner, just made for overtaking every lap.

    1985 was the last Dutch GP held, the last F1 win for Niki Lauda, and all the more impresive for him holding off Prost on a circuit made for overtaking.

    It has to be 1985 for the full Grand Prix highlights please!

  • Comment number 36.

    the race where loads of overpaid people drive into each other at the start and then drive round and round in circles without passing anyone except in the pit lane !!!!

  • Comment number 37.

    And comment 36 shows how little knowledge some trolls have about classic Grand Prix...

  • Comment number 38.

    It is difficult to choose between the father and son, Villeneuves.
    But I became truly ensconced in the sport when Jacques entered F1; the beginning of his career seemed to be filled with moves like the one on Schumacher, at Estoril; this one shows up probably because of Schumacher's involvement.
    I vote for the race at Estoril in 1996.

  • Comment number 39.

    Hi Andrew 1979 South Africa or 1996 Portgual for me please. I dont mind but if Im honest I can see those 2 being the most popular and therefore it might be good if we could see grand prix programmes for both please. A bit of father son double victory highlights package sounds rather good.

  • Comment number 40.

    1979 please

  • Comment number 41.

    All sound like cracking choices Andrew, hard to pick one really. If push comes to shove it is between Imola '82 and Magny Cours '91, with the latter purely for Mansell's victory, which I believe made him the most successful Englishman in F1 (in terms of victories), overtaking Stirling Moss.

    It's a deadheat though, as the battle between Peroni & Villeneuve is truly a "classic". 82 or 91 for me.

    To be honest though, if 79, 85 or 96 were picked I wouldn't mind either!!!

    Please get it on the red button though :)

  • Comment number 42.

    1996 please andrew great selection btw

  • Comment number 43.


    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE can you show the full highlights programme for Japan '93 that wasn't shown on the red button last time out.

    We have had two full programmes shown a couple of times before and it was really disappointing not to see it on televison. There was no indication that it wouldn't be shown beforehand. It would have been better not to have the feature at all for Japan and carry it forward for Korea.

    It was a terrific race and surely deserves to be shown. For this race, I'll plump for France '91.

  • Comment number 44.

    Portugal 1996 please.

  • Comment number 45.

    Ideally, I would like to have both 1979 and 1982 as I am such a Gilles Villeneuve fan. Agree with #3, it would be interesting to see San Marino 1982 as there has been a lot of debate about what actually happened.

  • Comment number 46.

    1996 Villeneuve v Hill and Schumacher, those were the days!

  • Comment number 47.

    1979 please! The great Gilles what more could you want!?

  • Comment number 48.

    Has to be the 96 race, I remember watching that move by Villeneve and that is what real drivers are made of

  • Comment number 49.

    Andrew you've excelled yourself. I've been waiting for you to put Zandvoort 85 on here, one of my all time faves. I was a massive lauda fan and his epic drives in 84 got me hooked on f1. Zandvoort was the first race of a great sequence of gps to end and make the 85 season. I will have to make do with my video of that race because I will have to vote for 1979 or 1991.

    I have'nt seen either of them I only started following F1 in 84, if memory serves me right wimbledon was shown instead of the french gp in those days and I was also on holiday.

    I think since you have'nt a 2009 race to show give us all a treat and show them all I think they all deserve it and so do we.

  • Comment number 50.

    Ps AB, what happened to japan 1998 on race 16 blog, and why was it not shown on red button

  • Comment number 51.

    I'd love to see 1996 please. That race also featured an in-house collision between Hakkinen and DC if I remember correctly! (Plus being a presentation boff, I'd really like to see an extended highlights from after the BBC's typeface changed that year)!!!

    I remember at the time even though I was really disappointed Hill didn't clinch the championship at that race, it did set up Japan, which I remember being on a couple of weeks after I started university, and a few of us went round some girls' flat who we were friends with in the early hours to see Hill pull it off! :-)

  • Comment number 52.

    All this races are classics. I remember very well portugal 96...but my pick would be 1979. In that year Villeneuve also ran a remarkable race aginst Rene Arnoux in France, were for lapse of three or four laps they passing each other until the end. Just great! I thought I'd find it in this pick.

  • Comment number 53.

    I'll go for 1991 French GP as well. Just cause I like the era.

    And sorry to those of you who haven't seen the infamous San Marino race of 82 - apart from the end, the race didn't really have much happening in it so it would be a little pointless to have full highlights from that race in my opinion

    And whatever did happen to the Japanese GP highlights of 1998? They never seemed to appear!

  • Comment number 54.

    I'd love to see 1979 please Andrew - Love the old Kyalami circuit!

  • Comment number 55.

    I'm going to vote for the 1985 Dutch Grand Prix. 2nd choice would be 1979 South African Grand Prix.

    I'll be happy to see any of these races, however I have seen the main action from Imola 82 several times, and I still have the VHS tape of Estoril 96. I would share the view of post #35 (SG19 Cowshed - Das Boot) about the 1991 French GP from the dreary Magny Cours ciruit. Surely it would have been better to go for the 1990 or 1989 race from Paul Ricard?

    Paul Ricard, Estoril, Imola, Zandvoort and Kylami(old layout) were some of the greatest circuits to feature in the F1 season. Shame that the focus now seems to be on circuit architecture and paddock facilities rather than the tarmac on which they race. Thanks for this selection.

  • Comment number 56.

    Portugal 1996 please!

  • Comment number 57.

    Dutch GP 1985 or French GP 1991 please.

    Can't believe all these people moaning at Andrew about the lack of classic GPs on digital TV last weekend. I hated it too, but at the end of the day Andrew has some influence but no final say on the matter and with the commonwealth games on (yawn) even as a minority sport they were always going to be given precedence.

    End of the day - Classic F1 on digital TV is a bonus, be thankful you get it at all.

  • Comment number 58.

    82 San Marino please

  • Comment number 59.

    San Marino 1982...middle of the FOCA/FISA War which meary ripped F1 apart.
    I'll watch that one.
    If that fails, got to be the 1991 French GP, wasnt that the 1st one at Mangy Cours??
    As for the new circuit, South Korea is ready for it but I would like a few classic tracks to return.

  • Comment number 60.

    I have to apologise I lost interest after that brilliant picture of Gilles Villeneuve in the pits. Look at whats going on there. Its an example of how much our sport has changed and how quickly it changes.

    Andrew, great blog as usual, keep it up please and keep putting in these historical nuggets!

  • Comment number 61.

    Its got to be Portugal 96 for me... Fortunately James Chapman, you're not the only one interested in TV presentation!

  • Comment number 62.

    France 91 please.

  • Comment number 63.

    I remember watching Villeneuve's overtake in 1996, it was a great move but I have to correct Andrew Benson's statement about a move "Never seen before in F1" (sorry for being pedantic!)

    Does anyone remember "Our Nige" overtaking Berger around the outside of the Peraltada at Mexico in 1990? In my mind (no nationality bias here, promise) that was a better overtake given it was the last lap and Berger had no traffic to slow him down.

  • Comment number 64.

    I've seen Magny-Cours '91 so many times already, that I can speak James' and Murray's highlights commentary before they say the words! The first win, for my favourite driver, in one of my favourite F1 seasons ... Seeing it one more time, won't hurt! :)
    I remember how gutted I was when Grandstand decided to show TENNIS(yes I know) instead of the race. I had to keep updated via CEEFAX - I kid ye not!
    Nigel was robbed of so many points that year: Brazil: fragile gearbox robbed him of 2nd, possibly 1st. Canada: Electrics, linked to the gearbox failing on the last lap! Mexico: He had engine fuel mixture problems. When they were fixed, he ran out of laps to catch Patrese. Had there not been a faulty start, he would've had enough laps!
    Spa: Had the pace, engine let him down.

  • Comment number 65.

    Firstly I would discount the 1982 Imola race, as it was simply not a race! After the Renaults retired we witnessed the Grand Casino of Ferrari politics which resulted directly in Villeneuve's death at the next race meet in Belgium - sad memories.
    Mansell's 1991 effort was memorable, and every race at Estoril was exciting. Niki Lauda was boring (personal opinion).
    I'll pick the Gilles Villeneuve victory in S.A. because he was an amazing driver and I'd like revisit his brilliance.

  • Comment number 66.

    1996 Portgugse GP please sounds like a great race and performance by J Villeneuve and also 1996 is 1 of the only years we haven't had a full length classic from

  • Comment number 67.

    Andrew! 1996 please, Estoril. Keep up good work

  • Comment number 68.

    91 please, but 85 will fine as well, thank you - just so long as its shown on TV this time. I hope you dont think Im trying to get at you (I am not - on the contrary - Ive been largely impressed by this, the best 'red button' feature for my money). But as a licence fee payer I am NOT impressed by the red button schedulers, especially as Weekend Wogan had a regular evening slot, wall to wall tiddlywinks live from Delhi and placeholders. Not everyone has/wants the BBCs iPlayer, as for me, the internet connection here is just too restrictive. Can you please tell the schedulers all we are asking for is just a few hours for 1 or 2 days, thank you. #29. thegrouse #43 canary-neil & #50 nikiwaterrat Id recommend you complain via

    Finally, #64 F1archives_dot_com, yes, BBC and dodgy scheduling? Some things never change, eh?

    Seriously though, keep up the good work, and heres hoping for some classic F1 action on TV soon.


  • Comment number 69.

    I can't believe most people are going for 96.

    When I read the list of candidates for this round, I was like wow they're all great races except for probably 96 Portugal.

    I'm going to go in vain hope for 82 IMOLA.

  • Comment number 70.

    I'd like to see the 82 closing laps- I've read lots about it buut never seen it. We'll see JV's pass in 96 in short highlights so 79 if not 82 please.
    The 91 race was exciting but the result was pretty inevitable- Mansell was always going pass Prost with the car advantage he had. I don't think that's the case in any of the other races.

  • Comment number 71.

    Has everyone forgotten Monaco 1961 when Moss in a Rob Walker Lotus beat the Ferraris with about 20% less power.

  • Comment number 72.

    Has to be japan 05!!

  • Comment number 73.

    Mr Benson, please correct your comment:
    "many of the English teams did not attend the race at Imola"
    I did not know that F1 was a Commonwealth Games event?
    Perhaps you should remember the other home nations and say:
    "many of the BRITISH teams did not attend the race at Imola"

    As for my choice, 1996 please.

  • Comment number 74.

    1996 portugal please, although they all sound excellent

  • Comment number 75.

    The 1982 San marino GP is really important part of history in F1 and I have seen no footage of it, I would love to see full highlights of this!
    I don't believe short highlights would do it justice so I hope more people vote for it :)

  • Comment number 76.

    The Hill Villeneuve race at estoril. It would be harsh to say that it was Villeneuves only memorable career highlight but....
    Anyway what a move!

  • Comment number 77.

    For its historical significance, SM82 please.

    43. canary-neil wrote: "...can you show the full highlights programme for Japan '93 that wasn't shown on the red button last time out. ...There was no indication that it wouldn't be shown beforehand. It would have been better not to have the feature at all for Japan and carry it forward for Korea." (Apologies for not quoting others with similar comments.)

    There was an "indication" on the results blog (i.e. after people had offered their choices on the previous blog) that Classic F1 wouldn't be aired on the RB, and maybe that's why no-one could leave any postings on the blog that week... Nevertheless canary-neil's point is well made.

    Given that once they're on the list they can't be put back on, why were these races 'wasted' when they could've been held over for Korea? After all, this week's ex-calendar races above could be used for Abu Dhabi, where again there is no F1 history to speak of. Since they were not transmitted, is it possible for the Japanese GPs go back in the pot for 2011? Alternatively, can they be Tx'd for Abu? I'm sure folks would like an answer as to the fate of these races.

    Personally, I'm not that bothered about the JapGPs on offer, as they are 'too recent' for me, but clearly others DID want to see them properly from the comfort of their settees, and spent time online responding to the selection blog. It is also a concern that this might happen again. Will we see our 'winning' selection on TV next week, or are we wasting our time?

    I'm sure I've said this before, but Classic F1 is a great idea, and the majority of correspondents, I know, are greatly appreciative of AB's efforts. We love watching the old races, but sometimes the execution just seems soooo needlessly ham-fisted.

  • Comment number 78.

    Hi Everyone,

    There seems to be a lot of you asking for the old races. Well guess what ? I have them, ALL of them. 1978 to 2010 Every single race and qualifying session ever transmitted on British TV.

    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 anyone would like a FREE complete collection of every single F1 race email me at

  • Comment number 79.

    Mansell's pass around the outside of Berger going into the ultra-fast Peraltada corner.

  • Comment number 80.

    First choice 1979 SAGP
    Second choice 1991 FGP

  • Comment number 81.

    Senna-fan, that's quite astonishingly generous. I hope you're prepared for the tidal-wave of requests from the frankly dangerously unhinged fanatics here. My only concern is I may never get anything done again ever in my life.

    Tiestouk: "Mansell's pass around the outside of Berger going into the ultra-fast Peraltada corner."

    Nyeesss...? Pray continue... Sounds like the beginning of a jolly pleasant sentence, albeit largely irrelevant. Some other hero of us poor racing nutcases has compiled this:
    You should find it there.

  • Comment number 82.

    I think the Spa Grand Prix of 1998 was one of the most dramatic and had some of the most unbelievable driving in the worst conditions we have seen. Schumacher was lapping everybody including the McLarens who were no slouch by some 2 seconds a lap, how he did it was amazing. Had be not crashed into the back of Coulthard, it would have pretty much humiliated the entire field by lapping every one of them. In the end with Damon Hill winning for Jordan ahead of the other Schumacher who was much faster was a pretty weird ending, but memorable nonetheless. This race had Super Human Driving, a Human Error and Unlikely winners.

  • Comment number 83.

    I'd go for 1996.

    82. At 2:26pm on 15 Oct 2010, Sridhar Kolinjavadi
    - valid opinion of a classic race, but completely irrelevant if you read the blog and what we're voting for

  • Comment number 84.

    RE: 81. rmjb

    Who are you calling unhinged?! I’d like it put on record that since receiving CBT (together with large quantities of dangerous psychotropic chemicals) I am no longer recording the race to race changes in the luminosity of the Lotus’ Cosworth engine manifolds, and have kept 400m away from Sebastien Buemi just as the judge instructed. I thoroughly recommend it. That, and Morris Dancing.

  • Comment number 85.

    "After the first of three pit stops, Villeneuve was 15 seconds behind Hill but, with the help of traffic, he had closed that to almost nothing by the time of their second stops."

    Yes, Andrew, he mad up 15 seconds because of traffic and not because he was faster. A truly deluded character you are.

  • Comment number 86.

    Portugal '96 please

  • Comment number 87.

    1979 please failing that then 91.

    A lot of people are going for 82, apart from the contoversy in the last few laps its a fairly dull race. 10 min highlights would easily cover it i think.

    Although if we were to get long highlights for all of the races...... do the powers that be at BBC not realise how popular an idea this would be?

  • Comment number 88.

    Estoril 1996 please!

    and they should bring back the Portuguese Grand Prix!

  • Comment number 89.

    *********FAO: ANDREW*************
    -Please need your advice on this:

    Is there anyway that the beeb or the beeb F1 website can make available the pre-race coverage of the Janpanese F1 GP last week? The iplayer is not showing the full pre-race build up with lee, eddie and david due to some kind of fault - but as we know its now 5 days after the GP and in a couple of days time they will not be showing any of it anymore.

    The part if the pre-race chat that I mainly wanted to watch was after DC's interview with Lewis Hamilton, Lee EJ & DC then spoke in some detail in regards to why Lewis tends to get harsher critisism and scrutiny compared to the other drivers - I think it happened around the 30 or 33min mark.

    Also another important reason to have the pre-race coverage available is to appreciate Lee MacKenzie's great effort in presenting an F1 GP for the very 1st time which she did brilliantly.
    Surely even just for the fact that it was Lee's 1st ever GP to present, it would be a decent and fitting tribute to her to make this availble.

    SO come please andrew, please sprinkle some of your magic dust to make this available!
    It will also be a great shame to not show the pre-race build up again as Im sure alot of hard work, time and effort went into getting those interviews, footage etc by the beeb f1 team.

    As a massive loyal fan of f1 who got up for every session even for the uneventful 3 practice sessions and off course the live qualifying which didnt happen - It would be a nice way to appreciate the fans who get up for every F1 live session on the beeb.

    Cheers...please make it work!

  • Comment number 90.

    Portugal '96 definately!

    and does anyone else think that next season could be even more intriguing that this one? I for one hope Red Bull don't have such a dominant car - it would be good to see the true pace and skills of Webber and Vettel. I think in terms of how much the car has dominated this year it is very similar to the brawn of last year - just without the hug buffer of points that Jenson built up. Then again, this year there has been more competition. It would just be interesting to see how Vettel and Webber compare when they do not have a dominant car. Personally i think that Vettel is in the same category as Button, Rosberg and Massa, below Hamilton, Alonso and Kubica but in front of Webber, Kobayashi and Heidfeld.

    Thoughts anyone?

  • Comment number 91.

    1979 please, not seen it before and it sounds like a great race. why does everyone always pick races they've seen before?

  • Comment number 92.

    1982 Imola please, one of the most remembered moments in F1 history and I love seeing Gilles in action (so '79 Kyalami is a close second).

    I've not seen either of those races in any extended form so either would be fantastic.

    The overtake by Jacques was spectacular, but aside from that it was a pretty dull mid-90s F1 event, so I'm not choosing that because in my view we'll see everything that matters in the ten minute edit.

    Great feature, please keep it going.

  • Comment number 93.

    Portugal 1996 please Andrew, great race!

  • Comment number 94.

    Will go for Portugal 96 for the simple reason that I was there and saw Villeneuve's brilliant move on Schumacher right in front of me!

  • Comment number 95.

    1996 please, if only for a bit of banked curve...

  • Comment number 96.

    2006 Shanghai GP and 2006 Brazil GP plz

  • Comment number 97.

    Brazil 2008 Britian 2008 please

  • Comment number 98.

    South Africa 1979 please. It sounds like a great race and I've never seen it before.

  • Comment number 99.

    Definitely the Netherlands Grand Prix from 1985, a classic case of (relative) age and guile beating youth and innocence. Plus of course it's a rarity, here at least, to be offered a chance to see a magnificent McLaren master-class.

  • Comment number 100.

    It's an interesting choice this time.

    I would actually say my preference would be Portugal 96 or South Africa 79.

    The thing about Imola 82, is that once the Renaults dropped out it was just between Pironi and Villeneuve, and that duel has been shown over and over again.

    Do I need to ask for every classic race from the last two seasons to be shown again next year yet again? As I keep saying, it's on a continual loop on the red button so there's no time issues whatsoever. Come on guys!! Show us a decent batch of Classic F1 next year!!


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