Here’s what kept us on the edge of our seats this year.
The Canadian Grand Prix
When asked to name the best moment of 2011, one race came up time and time again: the Canadian Grand Prix.
It was disrupted for two hours due to heavy rain, but once the race got underway it built to a thrilling climax.
Sebastian Vettel led most of the way but in a shocking twist Jenson Button raced through the field and caught the Red Bull driver on the final lap. All it took was a slip-up from Vettel for Button to score one of the most remarkable wins in a long time:
Button overtaking every car and forcing Vettel into a mistake to take a last-gasp victory in Canada. Actually, the whole race was the moment of the season – even the lengthy stoppages. I enjoyed that Grand Prix more than any other race I’ve ever seen.
That moment was thrilling to say the least, who would’ve expected Jenson’s comeback from last to first? Certainly not me! He was reaching Vettel and could’ve passed him in the final DRS zone, his pace was incredible, then Vettel put a wheel a few inches on the wet surface and he was behind Jenson. Awesome.
Screaming in both soaked misery and unbelievable shock with thousands of other people in the rain of the Senna curves of Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
The only moment of the season that made me shout out in delight, much to the surprise of my girlfriend, who was in the same room but not watching, and was probably getting a bit frustrated at how long it had gone on for already
I’m not a major fan of Button, but that had me jumping out of my seat cheering, spectacular!
Juan Pablo Heidfeld
It left me thinking how it was possible to come from last to first in less 70 laps. It just stunned me.
I jumped out of my chair when Button overtook Vettel on the last lap in Canada. it’s incredible how he had a penalty during the race and fought his way through the field several times to win on the last lap.
Webber takes Alonso
Another moment which stood out in the minds of many was Mark Webber’s electrifying pass on Fernando Alonso in the Belgian Grand Prix.
Webber dived alongside the Ferrari as they plunged into Eau Rouge, leaving Alonso little option other than to make room.
Webber’s overtake at Eau Rouge – that could have gone incredibly badly wrong.
In a year where so many moves seemed quite inevitable due to cars being at different stages of tyre wear, it was brilliant to see such a ballsy pass involving cars with tyres that were both around the same age. The fact that is was between two great drivers in Eau Rouge is the icing on the cake!
Alonso made many fine starts in 2011, but he seemed to save his very best for his and Ferrari’s home races at Catalunya and Monza.
On both occasions he started from fourth but surged into the lead on the run into the first corner:
The cheering of the fans at the start of the Spanish and Italian Grands Prix. I love when the crowds go crazy, so I guess I have to thank Alonso for that!
Alonso’s crazy starts at Barcelona and Monza, seeing the crazy Ferrari fans cheer their hero as he made some of the best starts in recent years really brought the passion of F1 right into me.
Alonso’s start in Spain, after such an uncompetitive start to the year I had so little hope going into that race and for him to take the lead so aggressively and then keep it for 20 laps was just magical.
Bravery in the extreme, especially in Catalunya.
More of your favourite moments
We were treated to several great races in 2011. Another was the Chinese Grand Prix:
The Chinese Grand Prix – the best Grand Prix I’ve ever seen. Halfway through I thought any of the five drivers could win it and it played out fantastic in the end. Hamilton was often criticised this year for being too aggressive, but people tend to forget that’s exactly what won him that race with some brilliant overtaking moves.
Rosberg jumping everyone at the first stops in China. With everybody focusing on the Button/Hamilton/Vettel battle it was brilliant and genuinely surprising to see Mercedes pull off a strategic masterstroke an slip Rosberg into the lead using the undercut… a fact move nobody, including the BBC commentary team, seemed to notice for a good few laps. If only they had fuelled him a bit more!
The inaugural Indian Grand Prix may not have been a spectacular race but it provided at least one memorable moment:
Rowan Atkinson’s now famous reaction in India. That was probably the funniest moment of the year.
And finally, how could I leave out this one from Girts:
Tomorrow we’ll take a look at your least favourite memories of the year. Until then, share more of the best moment of 2011 in the comments.
2011 F1 season review
- The 2011 F1 season: The complete F1 Fanatic review
- Your 2011 F1 predictions revisited
- 2011 F1 statistics part 3: Stats and facts highlights
- 2011 F1 statistics part two: Vettel’s domination
- 2011 F1 statistics part one: car performance
- New 2011 rules produced best racing of last four years
- What F1 Fanatics really thought of the 2011 season
- Sebastian Vettel voted F1 Fanatic Driver of the Year
- F1 Fanatic’s article highlights of 2011
- Dominant Red Bull join F1’s top teams
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