New to F1? Watch These 5 Modern Classics!
Looking to get a taste of what F1 has offered and will continue to offer into the future? Look no further than this list!
Formula 1 is an intense, unpredictable and high-stakes sport where the risk is huge and the reward sweet. He who is brave and skilled gets to spray the champagne, but he who is indecisive is punished. In this list you will find my five picks for the greatest modern classics, a small review (without spoiling too much of course) and an overall race rating. Are you ready?
5. 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix
Max Verstappen celebrates his Brazilian Grand Prix win (Photo: Governo do Estado de São Paulo)
Max Verstappen arrived in Brazil in 2019 a man of fury, having lost the race the previous year thanks to a rather silly collision with back-marker Esteban Ocon. Verstappen clearly wanted the win, and it was never in doubt.
However, the other two podium positions were up for grabs, and it was not the usual suspects who ended up taking them. The race exploded into utter chaos when on lap 52, Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas pulled over to retire from the race. Up until that point the race had been rather processional, but at the start of lap 60, when the safety car was called back in to continue the race, Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Alex Albon made brilliant identical passes into turns 1 and 2 for first and third place respectively. But it didn't stop there. A huge tyre failure for Ferrari's Charles Leclerc caused by comically small contact with his teammate Sebastian Vettel called out the safety car AGAIN with just 5 laps to go - the safety car doing three tours of the track, leaving us with two laps of complete and total insanity. It was all to play for, and oh was it brilliant.
4. 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton's McLaren MP4-23 (Photo: Tim Wang)
Three words: Is that Glock? Arguably three of the most legendary words ever muttered in commentary... literally ever. Lewis Hamilton had the chance of becoming F1's first ever rookie champion in 2007, but he beached his car in a gravel trap in the penultimate race of that year, and lost the title to Kimi Raikkonen. But the scene was very similar for 2008.
The final race of the 2008 season and Lewis Hamilton led Ferrari's Felipe Massa in the Drivers' Championship. Massa was having a perfect weekend, and looked certain to secure his first world title. He qualified first and had strong race pace. However, a decisive decision by Toyota not to pit their drivers when it started to rain, risking it for a huge points haul, single-handedly changed the outcome of the World Championship. I'll tell you now, there was only one point in it.
3. 2019 German Grand Prix
Max Verstappen celebrates his triumph
Hockenheim never really produced any racing to write home about, perceived as a somewhat boring and uninspiring track. But the 2019 edition, voted as the race of the decade by F1 fans on F1's official website, left us on the edge of our seats. Mercedes were celebrating its 200th race as a Constructor and 125 years of Mercedes motorsport in general.
It was all going perfect for Mercedes, having secured a front row lockout in qualifying, but rain saturated the Hockenheimring circuit and it was a battle of risks, inspired tyre changes and a drag racing strip. You heard that right, a drag racing strip altered the entire result of the race. The strip was very slippery when rain soaked it, catching out Charles Leclerc, Nico Hulkenburg, Carlos Sainz and then five-time champion Lewis Hamilton (twice). Max Verstappen, as he has a tendency to do in wet races, pulled off a sublime performance to win, as two unexpected podium finishers joined him.
2. 2020 Italian Grand Prix
Pierre Gasly in his AlphaTauri, one of the contenders for the race win (Photo: Artes Max)
David beats Goliath.
Easily the greatest race of the turbo-hybrid era (since 2014) where the winner could have been anyone of three people. Pierre Gasly, Carlos Sainz or Lance Stroll. The main protagonists were out of the equation completely. Lance Stroll blew his chance of winning by going straight on at the second chicane leaving a 2-car battle for the race win: Pierre Gasly vs Carlos Sainz - AlphaTauri vs McLaren.
Seriously, if I say anymore I'll ruin the rest of the race. Its too good to not watch.
1. 2011 Canadian Grand Prix
Jenson Button celebrates his fantastic victory at the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix (Photo: Mark McArdle)
Greatest. Race. Ever.