Perfect sporting moments

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The Daily Telegraph recently compiled a top 50 sporting moments and two F1 highlights featured in the list. They were:

#31 – Fernando Alonso passing Michael Schumacher, Japanese Grand Prix 2005
#33 – Michael Schumacher winning the San Marino Grand Prix after the death of his mother, 2003

Memorable moments no doubt – but I can think of a few more that deserved to be on the list more than these two…

Top of my list would be Gilles Villeneuve and Rene Arnoux’s scintillating, wheel-banging battle (for second place – not even a win!) in the 1979 French Grand Prix (see the video here).

I’d add to that Nigel Mansell recovering a 20 second deficit and passing Nelson Piquet to win the 1987 British Grand Prix.

And Juan Manuel Fangio hunting down the Ferraris of Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins at the N??rburgring in 1957, breaking the lap record every time he came past the start line.

And Peter Gethin beating four drivers across the line by less than a second at Monza in 1971.

And Fernando Alonso racing from 15th to sixth in one lap at a soaking Hungaroring last year – possibly an even better first lap than Senna’s celebrated start at Donington in 1993.

And Ayrton Senna, driving on threadbare tyres, beating Nigel Mansell to the line by 0.014s at Jerez in 1986.

And Villeneuve, again, this time holding a string of pursuers at bay around Jarama in 1981 in his dog-slow Ferrari.

And John Watson scything through the Detroit traffic in 1982 to win from 17th on the grid – passing three cars on a single lap.

And Jackie Stewart conquering a dank, wet Nurburgring to win by four minutes in 1968.

What do you think should be on the list?

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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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10 comments on “Perfect sporting moments”

  1. Mika Hakkinen’s pass on Schumi – Spa 2000
    Kimi on Fisi, Suzuka 2005
    Schumi and Mika – Press Conference Monza 2000

  2. 1983 Long Beach – Mclarens started 22nd and 23rd to finish 1st and 2nd

  3. Ahhh, here’s one. How about:

    2007 Magny Cours Friday practice 2 – Scott Speed 3rd fastest in a Toro Rosso


  4. Simon Stiel
    29th June 2007, 22:38

    Regarding great sporting moments for Britain in F1:

    Stirling Moss beating the sharknose Ferraris in a privately entered Lotus that had to have a crack welded before the start in Monte Carlo in 1961.

    James Hunt winning for Hesketh in Zandvoort in 1975, resisting the pressure of Niki Lauda.

    Damon Hill beating Michael Schumacher in conditions that Lauda himself said he would have “s*** my pants” in Suzuka 1994.

    Outside British achievements, I think Barrichello finally achieving his first Grand Prix win at Hockenheim in 2000 from 18th on the grid deserves a mention. Especially a race with rainfall and a disenchanted Mercedes employee wandering onto the track.


  5. I’d agree with all of those – except Barrichello at Hockenheim. He would never have won that race but for the nutter that went for a stroll on the track. But Moss’s drive in the Lotus – definitely, definitely in.

  6. Hah, Scott sneaks in by default! :D

  7. João Carlos Osório
    30th June 2007, 3:40

    I will always remember that Michele Alboreto did an incredible race during Monaco Grand Prix 1985.
    He was leading, then was caught on oil and many pieces of Patrese and Piquet accident and lost the lead but managed to get back on a tremendous recovering performance, proving everyone that it is possible to overtake in Monte Carlo after all. He did the best lap time during the race, witch was very close to the pole position time made by Ayrton Senna.
    The incredible thing here was not a short moment during a race; It was is entire race!
    He managed to finish only second but I’ll never forget is great fair-play in the end, not complaining his bad luck at all.
    What an example of a real gentleman/hard driver combination!
    Ah, the great 80’s!…

  8. Scot Speed has a fan club of one but that bloke is pretty vocal!!!

    “Perfect Sporting Moments” …..
    out of courtesy to my friends I’ll limit this to F1 moments….. Keith mentioned a name oft forgotten in F1 history… Peter Gethin who ran the FASTEST EVER f1 race at over 161 mph in a B.R.M. but for all out SPORTING moments how about Tony Brooks handing over his Vanwall to Stirling Moss British GP 1957.

    And how many 1000 more can we remember?

  9. It’s not the fastest F1 Grand Prix any more though – the 2003 Italian Grand Prix (won by Michael Schumacher) beat it.

  10. Top Mansell moments!! When he overtook Berger in Mexico around the outside on the Pirelta Curve??? The corner b4 the long main straight!

    Then there was the 360 degree spin at nearly 100mph at Imola. He spun once and carried on going! Mansell is a Leg End

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