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Fernando Alonso - classic F1 2011

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Andrew Benson | 06:00 UK time, Wednesday, 18 May 2011

It is the turn of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso to pick his five favourite all-time grands prix in the latest edition of our classic Formula 1 series.

We have asked all the drivers to do the same, and are broadcasting their choices - and highlights of the relevant races - ahead of each grand prix this season to whet your appetites for the action to come. Highlights will be shown on this website and on the red button in the UK.

Alonso follows in the footsteps of Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher, Sebastien Buemi and Rubens Barrichello so far this season.

We have chosen Spain's double world champion this time because it is his home race this weekend, and among his choices is a grand prix from the Circuit de Catalunya that has hosted the event since 1991.

That choice is the 2006 Spanish Grand Prix, which Alonso won to become the first Spaniard to win his home race. Of his 26 career victories, and 162 grands prix, the 29-year-old says this one "may be for me still the most emotional race".

Alonso has picked only two races from his own career, the other being his remarkable victory in last year's maiden Korean Grand Prix.

Those who remember his manic cackle over the radio on the slow-down lap - part disbelief, part sheer joy, part cartoon villain - will not be surprised that he has chosen that race. You may, though, be as surprised as I was that he did not choose his superb victory in the Italian Grand Prix last year, in his first season at Ferrari, which he likened to his Spanish victory.

For Alonso, Korea last year marked the climax of a quite brilliant fightback in the world championship battle.

Leaving the British Grand Prix, the 10th of 19 races last year, Alonso was 47 points off the championship lead. His victory in Korea, seven races later, put him at the top of the standings. Of course, he went on to lose the championship by just four points to Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel after a catastrophic strategic error by Ferrari in the final race in Abu Dhabi.

In Korea, Alonso was engaged in an intense race-long battle for the lead with Vettel and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton which was finally decided in the Ferrari driver's favour when Vettel suffered an engine failure in the closing stages.

But that was not the only reason Alonso remembers the race so fondly - in fact, he did not even mention that he won it.

He said: "I will always remember the first race in Korea because the conditions were so extreme in terms of light.

"It was completely dark and it was so wet. It was one hour delayed because of the wet. We could not follow the safety car because of the spray.

"There were so many things in one race that it remains quite shocking what we did in Korea."

Alonso's other three choices are ones that have already proved popular among the other drivers.

He has chosen the two notorious Japanese Grands Prix of 1989 and 1990, in both of which Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost collided to decide the destiny of the world title. These were also chosen by Buemi.

And finally there is Belgium 2000, featuring Mika Hakkinen's famous pass of Schumacher, as the two went either side of the backmarker Ricardo Zonta. This race was also chosen by Schumacher.

Alonso says: "One of my favourite races was Senna-Prost fight in Suzuka when in Turn One they finished both in the gravel (1990), and the year before, when one of them (Prost) finished stopped in the chicane.

"I also like, and have seen many times on TV, the race at Spa with Mika and Michael, when they overtook Ricardo Zonta at the end of the straight. That was a super race - from both of them."

An interesting footnote about that weekend in Belgium in 2000 is that it was also crucial in Alonso's career.

He was racing in Formula 3000, the forerunner of today's GP2 feeder series, driving for the Astromega team, who were not one of the better outfits.

In terms of bald statistics, it was not a great season. At Spa, though, on one of the world's great driver circuits, Alonso was in a league of his own, taking pole position, a dominant victory and fastest lap.

His performance impressed many of those watching the race in the F1 paddock, among them a certain Flavio Briatore, who pretty much immediately signed Alonso up for his driver management business.

The next year, Alonso was driving for Minardi in F1, the year after that he was test driver for Briatore's Renault team, in 2003 he was promoted to a race drive and the rest is history.

In Hungary that year, Alonso's became the sport's youngest ever race winner and two years later its youngest world champion, and a year after that the youngest double champion.

Now, back to classic F1.

In these blogs, we pick one of the driver's choices to highlight. Logically, this time it would be Spain 2006, this being not only Alonso's favourite race but also the one that is most directly related to the forthcoming event.

The victory hinged on a blistering opening stint from Alonso - he was making a first stop much earlier than Schumacher's Ferrari and for a while there some tension about whether he was doing a three-stop strategy to Schumacher's two, and whether he would pull out enough of a gap to make it work.

As it turned out, Alonso did only two stops, with a long middle stint, and while it was a powerful and impressive drive, the race was pretty uneventful. So we have decided instead to showcase last year's Korean Grand Prix, which was completely the opposite.

So, long highlights of that race are embedded below. A link to the short highlights is underneath, along with long and short highlights of Mark Webber impressive victory for Red Bull in last year's Spanish Grand Prix. Highlights of the other races Alonso picked are linked out of the relevant point in this blog.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.


On digital satellite and cable television on the BBC red button in the UK, we will be showing short highlights from Japan 1989, Belgium 2000 and Spain 2006 as well as extended highlights of Korea 2010 and Spain 2010 from 1500 BST on Wednesday 18 May until 1200 BST Sunday 22 May.

On Freeview we will be showing short highlights from Japan 1989, Belgium 2000 and Spain 2006 as well as extended highlights of Korea 2010 from 1040 BST until 1250 BST on Friday 20 May.


  • Comment number 1.

    ? Classic F1 - Korea 2010. Lame.

  • Comment number 2.

    I thought he picked the 2006 Spanish GP...

  • Comment number 3.

    I know this is F1 and technology moves on remarkably quickly, but I would struggle to see how a race from last year is a 'classic' already.

  • Comment number 4.

    Positives - Interesting to hear what Fernando has to say.

    Negatives - Lack of editorial command. These races are already on the BBC website...would it have done any harm to have gone in to the BBC archives and picked out a random race from the early to mid 70's for instance?

  • Comment number 5.

    Deja vu.

    How many times will we have the pleasure of watching Japan 1989?

    Andrew, please answer. When a driver picks a race that is already on the BBC website, why can't you just provide the link (for those that don't know already) and provide us with a fresh alternative race instead?

  • Comment number 6.

    Such a burst of negativity from the opening comments! The Beeb is trying a new format in which the drivers get to pick their favourites - their 'classics' - and whilst we have two or three 'repeat' choices here I have no issues wth the other choices. The last two years have been full of the best classics already so we are going to be a little stretched to grab more gems amongst the remainder. Some praise, at least, is due in picking the more eventful of the two remaining choices from Fernando.
    On another note, I am lokoing forward to see how the combination of the tyres, DRS and Kers plays out on this weekend's GP.

  • Comment number 7.

    Erhm - the point of Classic F1 this year is that the drivers themselves tell a bit and choose...!!
    Alonso quite clearly think Korea last year was a classic, and there are no 70's races in his picks. C'mon peeps, evolve with the show.
    Methinks it is brilliant - even if all the drivers pick the same couple of races throughout, I'll watch them that many times. I think it speaks volumes about those particular races..
    Only thing I could wish for, is Classic F1 to be publicised a day or two earlier.. but maybe that is just due to my own withdrawal symptoms being more frequent, hehe.
    From me: Thanks Andrew, you are doing a good job - not easy to keep renewing and developing a feature on historic references where you only have a percentage of the footage available..

  • Comment number 8.

    # 6. Work out how many different races the BBC has shown on classic F1 and how many races they have available in their archive. Far from being "a little stretched".

  • Comment number 9.

    I would also like to see more variety and disappointed not to at least have Fernando's first choice. I am also surprised he did not pick the infamous Imola race where he kept Schumacher at bay for the last ten minutes, although ITV chose to go to break with three laps to go!!

    Isn't it fantastic being able to watch all the race rather than just most of it?

    Personally I would like to see more races from 50's/60's as we are often told how drivers then were great at car control, four wheel drift etc

    Andrew, great job and keep it up, just bring us more old stuff if the drivers pick same again - cheers

  • Comment number 10.

    This is a disappointment. Two races have been picked by Buemi, Belgium and Spain have been shown before, and Korea 2010 isn't worthy of the tag 'classic'.

    There should be some control on what the drivers choose, otherwise we are always going to get Senna vs Prost!

    This is usually my favourite part of the build up to the Grand Prix weekend, but definitely not this time.

  • Comment number 11.

    A very rough calculation, there are around 170 races between 1979 and 1996 that have not been shown on classic f1. These are races the BBC most certainly do have in their archive. On top of that they have real gems from perhaps the 1960's - 1978 (not sure how many though, although a fair few).

  • Comment number 12.

    Oh quit your whinging you lot. If Alonso reckons its worthy of being a classic, who are you (or I) to argue? I seem to recall rather enjoying Korea last year, and it was definitely a better race in my memory than his selected home win (although I entirely understand why he'd consider that a classic). Bear in mind that classic is an entirely subjective thing - if you don't like the choices then get yourself on the F1 grid next year and pick your own.

    Thanks Andrew - enjoy the blog, enjoy this feature and very much enjoy an insight into how the drivers think of F1 in a 'classic' sense.

  • Comment number 13.

    I dont think this format is working. It was a nice idea but ultimately disappointing.
    There is a clamour for older races to be shown and, I believe that would be a popular move for what seems to be a good majority of contributors.

    Come on Andrew...shelve this current idea and lets dive head first into the BBC archives for races from the 60's to the mid 90's.

  • Comment number 14.

    I think all that is needed is to remove the word 'classic' from the heading, and replace it with 'driver favourites', or similar.

    Personally I think this current format. It is interesting to see what different drivers choose (and equally interesting, I think, to see how many of their choices involve themselves!).

    Maybe next year they can change the format again - maybe even have a weekly poll where we can choose which one we'd like to see - but I certainly disagree with the idea of pulling the plug on this one after only 5 drivers.

  • Comment number 15.

    Korea last year was a terrible race. Maybe Alonso remembers it for putting him on top, but the race was utterly farcical. It should never have been held in the first place.

    Maybe next time you should give the driver a list of the races you've already showcased here and tell them that those ones are off the menu, to spare us having to look back through the events of a few months ago.

  • Comment number 16.

    #12 what if the next driver let's say Trulli says his favourite races are Japan 1989 and European Gp 1993. What then? Or if Button says 2010 Australia and Japan 1990?

    It is interesting to know what the drivers think, but why does it have to be a case of having to watch the same races when they are ALREADY on the BBC website?

    If you go to the index section of Andrews blog, you can see all of the classic F1s already shown since 2009. There is no reason to rebroadcast repeats after repeats.

    Fine, let us know what their fav races are but if they have already been shown or are from the last couple of years leave it at that. I'll say it again, those races are already online on the BBC site, just go to Andrews blog index.

    If and when the BBC loses the contract we will be kicking ourselves for not having access to other races... Nevermind, we'll know Japan 1989 by heart.

  • Comment number 17.

    I think it's fair to say this format is hanging on for dear life only 5 races in!

    Korean race is worth a watch.

    Maybe a desert island discs style rule is needed where the castaway is allowed the complete works of Shakespeare and the bible as free choices i.e. give them spa 98 and japan 89/90 for free ;)

  • Comment number 18.

    Amazed that Singapore 2008 isn't there... Or Hockenheim 2010. They were Alonso's finest hours.

  • Comment number 19.

    #16 Senna27; What if indeed? Perhaps it just goes to show that races such as those have a great resonance with the drivers of today, and why shouldn't they?

    This slot is not about what you want, but about what the drivers select, and personally I find it fascinating. So maybe we get a couple of races picked again and again - there's a good reason for that. Japan '89 is one of my favourites, and I recollect the emotions of watching that race at the time very well.

    It seems to me that given the format (which we both find interesting it seems) the best that can be shown from what has been highlighted by the driver is being shown. I appreciate your comments about races already being available, however it seems to me that you won't be happy until highlights of every single race (regardless of how dull, and lets be honest a lot of them have been over the years) are available for free online. May I suggest you go to amazon and search for F1 in their DVD section...

  • Comment number 20.

    #19 I'm missing your logic.

    Simple solution if I were Andrew:

    1. Ask all the drivers to name their favourite races.
    2. Make a single blog quoting the drivers why they chose the races they did.
    3. Broadcast the races. If the races are already online, Andrew should say so and then show the initiative to find fresh races.
    = everybody happy and we don't have to put up with repeats.

    If you are trying to suggest races other than Japan 1989 and 1990 are all boring, may I suggest you find another sport to follow?

    Andrew, I'll do a "Senna/1993/Williams" and say I'll do the job of organising the classic F1 series for free. :-)

  • Comment number 21.

    God Andrew!? Cant you insist to 2 time world champion Fernando Alonso that his choices need to match those of "classic f1 diehards". I mean, why are you letting him choose his own races? it's not like it's his choice is it................ohh

  • Comment number 22.

    #21. What's the betting Alonso will choose Massa's selection as well? ;-)

  • Comment number 23.

    If ITV owned the rights to broadcasting F1 from 1997 to 2008 then how does the BBC have coverage of the Belgian Grand Prix from 2000???


  • Comment number 24.

    #20 Senna27; And I'm missing yours - which bit of asking the drivers to name their favourite races and then showing something entirely different works for you?

    I am indeed suggesting that a lot of races over the years have been dull, of course I am - to suggest otherwise is plainly wrong. I'm most certainly not suggesting all - this is why I used the wording 'a lot of them' as opposed to 'all of them'. Fairly simple English I thought - nor am I saying boring - dull and boring having different meanings. Again, simple English there - both of which you seem to be inferring incorrectly as you're not doubt fully aware. May I suggest that you not try and dismiss someone in such a manner in future, it's rather weak to say the least.

    To be brutally frank, we've got an interesting slot here. It may not be what a majority seem to want, but we are getting something good that whets the appetite a little and for nothing extra than we're already paying in our license fee. I like it.

  • Comment number 25.

    Every week I enjoy this blog, and particularly hearing what the drivers have to say. Then every week I just want to tell Senn27 to shut up ,relax and quit complaining.

    Thanks to the beeb for taking the time and effort to provide this extra service for us!

  • Comment number 26.


    I would add two points to your excellent post.

    People who are happy are unlikely to bother saying so. It's only the disgruntled few making alot of noise here.

    The idea that every race pre 1990 was a classic is a myth. Andrew himself went to great lengths to explain that the majority of races in the archive were far from classics, featuring maybe 3 cars finishing the race on the same lap with little to no incident in the race.

  • Comment number 27.

    2006 Spanish GP for me please!
    (.. or any other with gorgeous Fernando on!!)

    On a different note, can't wait for the Spanish GP this weekend. I'm really looking forward to seeing if the implementation of the recent FIA directive prohibiting the use of the engine mapping to blow gas when off-throttle will have any impact in qualifying.. and stop the predictable RBR/Vettel's pole this season..

  • Comment number 28.

    oh well..
    I may have to wait until after Barcelona, Monaco and Montreal for the ban.. shame..

  • Comment number 29.

    It's a good selection of races, but in future would it be possible to provide extended highlights of the older races (in preference to the newer ones)? We can all remember more about last year than 20 years ago, and it's nice to see the old coverage which is aired much more rarely.

  • Comment number 30.

    Err . . . anybody else noticed that the link for the "Extended" highlights of the 2010 Spanish Grand Prix is actually the same as that for the "Short " highlights?

  • Comment number 31.

    6. At 08:22am 18th May 2011, tootsie323 wrote: "The Beeb is trying a new format in which the drivers get to pick their favourites - their 'classics'..."


    14. At 09:49am 18th May 2011, FortressFratton wrote: "I think all that is needed is to remove the word 'classic' from the heading, and replace it with 'driver favourites', or similar."

    As a point of semantics FortressFratton is spot on; it's not the drivers' "classics", but the drivers' "favourites". There's a difference. If the strand was titled that way, that's what I'd expect to find. But it isn't, so I don't.

    The term 'classic' does not mean 'best' either. Strictly speaking it refers to age, but has been corrupted to mean 'memorable', just as the word 'awesome' (to instill fear) has been corrupted to mean 'large' or 'very good'. The term 'Classical Greece' does not mean their civilisation was at its best (though some might argue it was!) or their favourite era, but refers to a period of time distinct from their modern counterparts.

    So when I see "Classic F1" I expect to see old races - good bad or indifferent - and I don't consider 2010 is being 'old'. In fact I'd be hard pushed to consider anything less than 5-10 years old to be of any vintage. And to make my point...

    26. At 11:43am 18th May 2011, tommybrusher wrote: "Andrew himself went to great lengths to explain that the majority of races in the archive were far from classics..."

    Well, in that case one has to ask why has AB has persisted to allow the term "Classic F1" to be used this year? The previous format was flawed, but by and large appreciated because it tended to fulfil both interpretations of the term; they were old (or least of some age) and memorable. This year appreciation seems to have declined and complaints have risen because neither of these uses of the word 'classic' is apparent in the races being selected.

    You cannot really criticise people for complaining about false labelling.

  • Comment number 32.

    31. Kif; While I generally agree wholeheartedly with what you've posted, I would be inclined to read the definition of classic in play here as 'having lasting worth / significance', and as the question is being posed to an individual, in this case a current driver, and as their interpretation is entirely subjective, would it not be fair to consider the races that they have picked as having to them lasting worth / significance? That would be all that's required to make the labelling correct.

    Sentiment of your post understood however.

  • Comment number 33.

    Korea was a very good race last year, stop complaining people, you look like kids in a playground.

  • Comment number 34.

    11. At 09:21am 18th May 2011, Senna27 wrote:

    A very rough calculation, there are around 170 races between 1979 and 1996 that have not been shown on classic f1. These are races the BBC most certainly do have in their archive. On top of that they have real gems from perhaps the 1960's - 1978 (not sure how many though, although a fair few).

    Not all of them are classics though, just because a race happened ages ago doesn't make it any more a classic than a boring race 5 years ago. The drivers are never going to pick races from 1960-1978 because all of them were born after that date (barring a few). They'll choose races they remember watching, which unsurprisingly, has led to a lot of similar choices. It would be a bit weird if someone like Alguersuari chose a race in 1976 because it was a great race, even though he wasn't born then.

  • Comment number 35.

    Surprisingly Alonso not being as self-centered as you might expect when picking his classic races...

    (PS to clarify, I AM an Alonso fan, but I do recognise his strengths and weaknesses, like I do in every F1 driver)

    Senna27 - are you the Jason Plato of the Andrew Benson Blog? :)

  • Comment number 36.

    Hi all,

    Thanks for your comments so far.

    Although clearly some respondents here are not happy, our audience figures show that these blogs are proving to be very popular this season. I have given my explanation for the change already, and we will be sticking with it through the year.

    Re post 30, though, thanks for pointing out that mistake. It has now been corrected, and the long Spain highlights should now be reachable via that link.

  • Comment number 37.

    The number of posters commenting is sharply down on the old format. Perhaps visitors remains high, but that's most of us clicking here in the hope that the drivers will have picked decent choices.

    This has been extremely hit and miss so far. In hindsight it might have been an idea to try and avoid drivers repeating the choices of others. As thrilling as it is to learn half of the grid enjoyed Japan 1989 and constantly get the same link.

  • Comment number 38.

    Well well lots of idiots posting this time out! Shortly after the start of this season, I gave up on the BBC 606 F1 forum, because it's full of uneducated nutters, quite frankly. I do however, continue to post here (the bulk of my online F1 discussion takes place elsewhere now).

    But I'm shocked to see so many idiotic jerks are criticising the choices time after time despite being explained to over and over again.

    It seems these idiots don't understand the meaning of "classic". It is not the same as "retro" or "from older times". It means "great / stand-out / memorable".

    Korea 2010 WAS a classic because it was a great and memorable race. Can I request the berks on this forum either cease their petty, annoying comments or simply GET A GRIP.

  • Comment number 39.

    Having commented early on and now revisited and read all new comments, how about this for an idea Andrew, and only a small tweak.

    Ask each driver what his favourite race (or which race holds some significance for him) from each of the last 5/6 decades. Yeah sure we will get some repeat choices, but I am sure you could assist their choices when it comes to the older ones, i.e. guide them into choosing ones you have footage for...

    Just an idea...

  • Comment number 40.

    One of two conclusions can be drawn from this round of Classic F1. Either Fernando Alonso didn't have much time to come up with five all-time great F1 races and picked the first few that came to mind; or generally he is much better at driving a racing car than he is at picking all-time great F1 races.

    For the record, I also really liked that one in Japan when one or maybe two of the white and red cars finished stopped in the chicane. Can't remember much more insight but it was definitely one of my all-time favourite F1 races which will always be burned in my memory, mainly due to it being mentioned here every week.

  • Comment number 41.

    Typical Alonso to pick the races he's participated in... I don't think any of them are classics bar the 89 and 90 Japanese races... Looking forward to Rosberg joining Ferrari, humbling Alonso and then Alonso retiring! :-)

  • Comment number 42.

    Andrew, while you have explained your reasons, it doesn't make them right! Just look at all the negative comments you are getting. Trying a new format is to be encouraged and applauded, but when it doesn't work the failure to adapt or re-think the strategy is the biggest mistake you can make. I used to watch the classic GPs every race weekend until this year. It's become a joke, for reasons already mentioned elsewhere!

    You sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting "LA LA LA! I can't hear you" is pathetic. Keeping the current format is the wrong decision. It must be wrong because you only create this feature for us, and we don't want it! If as you say, it's more popular than ever, where are the positive comments to back this up? You can't judge success purely on visitor numbers, they don't mean anything.

  • Comment number 43.

    @ no.3 Hungary 2010, Australia 2010 and Abu Dhabi 2010 are all classics.

  • Comment number 44.

    Apart from Schumacher and Barrichello (two old hands), another awful selection.

    Maybe if the BBC insists on gathering driver opinion, they should go for drivers that no longer race in the sport. I'd rather see choices from the likes of Moss, Mansell, Fittipaldi etc. There are normally a few ex-F1 drivers hovering at the current races. I am sure they would come up with something more varied.

    I predicted earlier this year that, under the current format, this feature would die on it's feet. Sadly that is happening. Such a shame for a feature that promised so much.

  • Comment number 45.

    Rather than continuing this top 5 classic races (which I think we can agree will provide several duplicates as the season progresses), why not ask some drivers for their top 5 (or 3) circuits? You could focus on one of these each time, meaning that when there were duplicates you would still have more material.

    Whether the results are on the current F1 schedule or not I think it would be interesting to hear what the drivers think.

    Then if the most popular drivers circuits are found to not exist on the 2011 calender, the findings should be used to convince Bernie to ditch some of the Tilke rubbish we have now. Wishful thinking I know, but it'd be nice to see some of the tracks that made F1 great in the 90's used again!

  • Comment number 46.

    I'm finding it very difficult to watch these videos with Jonathan Legard commentating; it really was poor. So glad to have the new set up, so much better.

  • Comment number 47.

    I'd rather not watch Korea so I don't have to listen to Legards mishaps in commentary.

    Not the worst picks in the world from Alonso.

  • Comment number 48.

    He could have easily chosen what he perceived as all of his best wins.

  • Comment number 49.


    Agreed. His confusion of Hamilton, Button, Schumacher and Rosberg was both hilarious and annoying. All of their helmets are different colours - any fan can tell the difference.

  • Comment number 50.

    Yeah, i just watched the Korean GP and you can almost picture Brundle rolling his eyes as Legard suddenly starts shouting at the images of Webber skating off into the wall and then being collected by Rosberg. His commentary style simply didn't change from radio to TV and he seemed to forget that we didn't need a picture painting of what he was seeing. MB and DC are far superior and have improved the coverage a lot i think.

    Sorry, i've digressed. For Monaco, let's ask Lewis Hamilton his favourite races. As he's a Senna fan i hope he picks Japan 1990 and Europe 1993.

  • Comment number 51.

    Thank you for specifying that ALL 5 races will be shown on cable and satellite (I assume this means ALL satellite platforms, i.e. Freesat as well).

    Just thing back to the last instalment of Classic GP when Monza 1978 was not shown on Freeview or Freesat. Is there any chance of showing this race on Freesat with the Alonso choices or has it been lost to non-subscription tv viewers once more?

  • Comment number 52.

    I like the format, it does give us an insight into what the drivers consider to be a 'classic' race.

    Inevitably, viewers will disagree about what races are 'classics'. Are the '89 and '90 Suzuka races 'classics' because of the collisions and the WDC being decided on them? If so, what makes them more classic than say Adelaide '94 or Jerez '97? Afterall, Jerez '97 not only featured a championship deciding collision but also Williams and McLaren colluding to fix the outcome of the race!!

    It is a personal opinion largely based on an individual's perspective, I like the feature, yes the majority of them may be available already online, but that doesn't mean that everybody is necessarily aware of them. I like the idea of a driver 'suggesting' previous races to watch. Watch them! You may or may not agree with their choices but that doesn't make them any less valid than your or my choices.

    Also, There are many people who are new or at least recent to F1 and who may not have seen or recollect these races.

    As for #42. Please don't lump me in with your 'we don't want it' I like it and do want it!! Also, the number of visitors to a page IS an indicator of popularity especially as it is possible for the BBC so track where those visitors have gone after visiting the page including the number of visitors to the page who have clicked on a link to one of the suggested races! The rest of your post is just abusive!

  • Comment number 53.

    Thanks for posting Mr. Benson. It doesn't matter if drivers choose the same races, as long as it's their own choice.

    I don't understand some comments here. Some of you should notice that an F1 driver will never think about this for too long. So what's the big deal?

    Last but not least, Korea 2010 was more than a Classic! Great race, surely something special.

  • Comment number 54.

    While I have enjoyed this series of videos considerably, if I see Suzuka '89 or '90 one more time, I wont be tuning in again. When the drivers are choosing their races, they should be told to pick another one if one has already come up a few times. There are so many more "classic" races to choose from. Fair enough if those certain races mean a lot to them but still.

    I want to see more Hakkinen-Schumacher battles!

  • Comment number 55.

    As Suzuka 90 has now appeared as short highlights three times what I would have liked to see is the full highlights program as was done with the 89 race a few weeks ago. Maybe that can happen if it gets chosen again (or any other repeats that we only had short highlights of before)?

  • Comment number 56.

    I have loved this feature for the last couple of years, so really don't enjoy posting anything negative but:

    Totally agree with comment #55 - the precedent for this was one of Schumacher's choices was Spain 1991, this had got short highlights only when first featured in 2009, but got extended highlights this time round as the other races he picked were either already shown as full highlights, or in the ITV era.

    I would have loved to have seen the extended highlights of Japan 1990 so the fall-out from the Senna/Prost incident could have been covered in more depth.

    Also with Korea 2010 being featured here, does this mean when the Korea preview for this year comes around, will be get the full extended highlights for that?

  • Comment number 57.

    One thing that was immediately apparent when watching the highlights from 2010's races is how much better the commentary is this year with Brundle and Coulthard, good job getting them in.

  • Comment number 58.

    Unsurprisingly he didn't pick Singapore 2009 or Hungary 2007!!! :-)

    Korea 2010 was average compared to Canada 2010 where the world of F1 said more of that please!!!

  • Comment number 59.

    so glad legard was sacked... shame his voice lives on in these videos. Any chance of replacing them with 5 lives commentary?

  • Comment number 60.

    People, please stop whinging. The races picked are memorable for the drivers and thats the reason they have picked it. Alonso's choices are much better than what vettel and schumacher have picked who have picked only their races.

    Korea was memorable for Alonso if you read what Andrew has to say and if you followed last years championship u can infer urself.

  • Comment number 61.

    Felt so bad for Rosberg in korea. looked like a strong favourite for the win had webber not taken him out.

  • Comment number 62.

    People are complaining that Japan '89, and '90 have been picked for a second time.

    Well not all races are classic, a lot are forgettable, but not those two! In my opinion this just underlines that there are some races that reflected the sport at it apex, and Japan 1989 for me defines the ultimate show down. Two accomplished world champs going at it hammer and tong in equal machinery. As I recall a full three quarters of that race was run with Senna on Prosts gear box before the famous coming together at the Chicane. Motorsport headlined it as the "Flash in Japan".

    If more drivers pick Japan '89 you shouldn't complain, moreover you should conclude that this race is THE undisputed number 1 classic in the history of F1. Then we can start work on number 2 ........ (and it wasn't Japan '90).

  • Comment number 63.

    I really enjoy the classic races it starts off the GP weekend for me, maybe as a suggestion ex drivers could choose the classic races... On the whole this is a great feature and I hope it stays for a long time.

  • Comment number 64.

    Thanks for the article. To all you guys telling people to stop moaning and be grateful, I say good on ya. To the rest, I think the term, "whinging pom" is appropriate.

  • Comment number 65.

    Poor choices this time round. Makes this week's selection a bit of a wash out, dont feel like watching any of them so pretty much a waste of time for me personally.

    I dont blame the beeb though. The idea is a good one, but it also shows there's no accounting for taste. Just because they are asking drivers for their classic races, does'nt mean their answers will be any good. So well done Alonso for totally putting the mockers on what was otherwise a decent idea in theory.

  • Comment number 66.

    Exactly as above... the drivers themselves are picking the 'classics', not the BBC!

    Personally there are very few F1 races from either recent or distant history that I wouldn't be happy to watch again. I wonder how much each driver's choice reflects their personality?

    Rubens, admittedly with a much longer F1 history, chose races that gave more of an historical overview of F1, Vettel and Alonso focussed on their own places in their F1 world (or, as they call it, The World).

  • Comment number 67.

    At least Alonso didn't choose a race just because he finished 3rd in that.

    I won't mind seeing Japan 89 and Japan 90 any day. As it was a defining moment in F1. If people keep moaning about this format then don't bother looking at this blog then.
    Andrew's doing his best. At least he doesn't include an ad break during the classic races and the Beeb don't take ad break. Is that what people want?

    At least with the BBC they don't miss any crucial moments in the race.

    Also Korea 2010 was a good race.

  • Comment number 68.

    Liking this feature Andrew. Obviously the fact that Fernando has picked a few races the same as some previous drivers has led to some complaints but I think it is nice to see what a driver rates as a classic and to see how they followed the sport when younger.
    However might be something to watch later in the year if we start getting Japan 89 and 90 every fortnight (regardless of how good they were).

    The Chequered Flag: "Fernando renews Ferrari contract": Alonso signs-up until end of 2016:

  • Comment number 69.

    erm, is the beeb being sponsored to promote the sour, dull & unclassic hermann Tilke Korean circuit, as clearly the 2006 spanish gp was his first choice, even if it isnt still much a classic, its far better than his washout. Japan '89 & '90, not even good motor racing.

  • Comment number 70.

    oh dear, Legard commentary mishaps are something else, good choice on Coulthard and Brundle for this year!!

  • Comment number 71.

    Didn't it cross your mind that a certain number of GP's would be chosen by the majority of drivers hence limiting their options over the course of this charade? I feel for the last driver on the list...

  • Comment number 72.

    alonso's classic F1 for me (youth) was 2005 when he went around 130R at suzuka ...EPIC BRAVERY

  • Comment number 73.

    I really did dread this selection but if I am honest I'm glad Hockenheim 2010 isnt selected. With Andrew Benson's obsession of Alonso and praise for the way he "won" in Hockenheim makes me grit my teeth. I actually almost gave up checking this blog this time when I seen it was Alonso's classic f1. But Korea last year. It was only about 8 races ago. And how many drivers have chosen the Suzuka double I wonder? I just hope Alonso deoesnt win this weekend because Benson will have Alonso blogs splashed around the website. He has left every tweet today about Alonso's new contract its like "Yeah we do know about his contract."

  • Comment number 74.

    Korea 2010 - probably not what I'd call a 'classic'. However, Legard's commentary once racing begins adds a humorous, if somewhat frustrating dimension, to the action. Was he watching the same race?!

  • Comment number 75.

    Hi, love the idea, but not really overjoyed with this selection. Must be difficult being stuck in the middle for you Mr Benson! On the one hand consistency means going with the driver's choices, and yet, with us fans on the other side pointing out the problems, which I'm sure you must be aware of!

    It's the first selection I haven't watched any of the races. 1989 and 1990 at Suzuka, seen already several times; Korea was a pretty dull race overall, and am tempted to waste the afternoon away to watch the Spanish race. But nothing here to get the pulse racing, which is why some of us watch F1.

    Still! It's a great idea, and you have to be consistent to be fair. But what're you going to do? Take a list of races already shown to the drivers and say you can't pick from these...? Anyway, guess I'll click on Spain 2006...

  • Comment number 76.

    38.At 13:23 18th May 2011, Lord_Lancashire wrote:
    Can I request the berks on this forum either cease their petty, annoying comments or simply GET A GRIP.


    Too many loose marbles around the place at the moment, but someones working on that right?

  • Comment number 77.

    Korea '10: Have to admit I'm surprised to see this as the main race in a "classics" feature but here goes.

    Well, given how the race played out it was ironic that McLaren expected to have their uses on this circuit. Still, five drivers were in the title battle coming into this race and five were still in coming out of it(just!)

    Have to admit this got insane at times - getting up early to see the field following the Safety Car is never fun and I was laughing on a couple of occasions during the race, firstly at Alonso whining about the conditions and secondly there was a small cheer from me when Webber cleaned himself out! I like the guy but he was the world championship leader going into the race and therefore the guy that my guys needed to beat.

    As it was, we got a much tighter championship race. Wierd to think that Lewis was actually ahead of Vettel when the dust settled here. With less than a race worth of points between him and new leader Alonso...I dared to dream though as far as Jenson was concerned, it was looking like a serious long shot.

    We all know how that played out.


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