Video: Top 50 F1 Passes – Part I

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So, the arrival of aerodynamics killed racing did it? Not a bit of it.

F1Fanatic counts down the 50 greatest overtaking moves of the last 30 years, featuring such past pass masters as Gilles Villeneuve, Nigel Mansell, Juan Pablo Montoya and many more.

The first ten videos are below – check back over the next four days to see what highlights we picked – and which was our favourite passing move of all time.

50. Jacques Villeneuve vs Damon Hill, Hungaroring 1997

Not the most difficult pass Jacques Villeneuve ever had to pull off, but it was for the lead on the final lap of a dramatic race.

Damon Hill had seized control of the race in his Bridgestone-shod Arrows-Yamaha, and looked set to give all three concerns their first ever win. Alas, the car slowed within a few miles of the flag and Villeneuve, car half off the track, stormed past to win.

49. Damon Hill vs Jean Alesi, Monza, 1996

Hill could dish it out as well, as proved by this opportunistic scramble past Jean Alesi’s Benetton at the start of the Italian Grand Prix. Pity he crashed out a few laps later.

Clip @ 0m 48s

48. Jos Verstappen vs Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Sepang, 2001

Most backmarkers lead lives of quiet desperation, at least until it rains. That always proved the catalyst for Jos Verstappen to transform from middling man to potential race winner, as he demonstrated by slithering past Heinz-Harald Frentzen after a rain storm during the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Clip @ 1m 58s

47. Eddie Irvine vs Ayrton Senna, Suzuka, 1993

Another wet-weather wonder, but this one wasn’t for position. Cheeky Grand Prix debutant and Suzuka expert Eddie Irvine nipped past Ayrton Senna (who was en route to his penultimate Grand Prix win) in the 1993 Japanese Grand Prix. Senna hunted Irvine down after the race to lecture him on manners, and ended up thumping the insouciant Ulsterman.

46. Nigel Mansell vs Michele Alboreto, Silverstone, 1988

(No video available – please post a comment if you find one)

It rained at Silverstone in 1988 too, and home hero Nigel Mansell drove magnificently to second place in his uncompetitive Williams-Judd. Among his scalps that day was that of Michele Alboreto, though Mansell almost drove clean off the track in passing the Ferrari.

45. Ayrton Senna vs Nigel Mansell, Jerez, 1986

Senna’s opportunistic pass on Mansell eventually set up a thrilling battle for the lead which Senna won by a mere 0.014s.

Clip @ 0m 48s

44. Ayrton Senna vs Alain Prost, Suzuka, 1988

After falling back to 14th on the first lap Senna surged through the pack at Suzuka to haul in Alain Prost and pass his team mate and championship rival. The win sealed Senna’s first championship.

Clip @ 1m 25s

43. Rubens Barrichello vs Jarno Trulli, Magny-Cours, 2004

Rubens Barrichello’s last lap lunge at Jarno Trulli paid off, elevating the Ferrari driver onto the podium. Trulli’s boss Flavio Briatore was so unimpressed he axed the Italian from the team before the end of the season.

42. Keke Rosberg vs Nigel Mansell, Dallas, 1984

(No video available – please post a comment if you find one)

Mansell’s firm defence of the lead irritated Keke Rosberg enormously, but in a typically forceful move he eventually prised open a gap through which he threaded his ungainly Williams. When Mansell tried to respond, Rosberg cut him up so hard the Lotus nearly came to a stop.

41. Alain Prost vs Ayrton Senna, Montreal, 1986

The turbo Renault engines Lotus used in the ’80s had plenty of power on tap for qualifying, but poor fuel consumption during the race, so Senna often found himself at the front of a train of cars.

When Prost found himself stuck behind the Brazilian at the 1986 Canadian Grand Prix he stormed around the outside at one of the fast curves, forcing Senna half off the track in the process. Uncharacteristically ruthless stuff from the Frenchman.

Clip @ 2m 13s

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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One comment on “Video: Top 50 F1 Passes – Part I”

  1. All the videos on this page have been removed by copyright (apart from no. 41). Just thought you’d like to know…..

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