What was your earliest Formula 1 memory?

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    What was your earliest memory of watching an F1 race on TV? Has remembering it stirred up any feelings about it since?

    Here’s mine: I remember that mad guy in the Ferrari who, having spun off, decided to bring his car with a flat tyre back to the pits – shredding the wheel, and ripping out his suspension as he went, sparking away like crazy!

    It was only years later I found out this was, of course Gilles Villeneuve at the Dutch Grand Prix 1979, which would have made me nine years old.

    Anyone else like to share their story?

    Sri Harsha

    Ofcourse i can
    On a Sunday evening i was changing channels in the TV to see a red car trying to pass another car suddenly a black car came into picture to pass both of them thats my First ever F1 race in the age of 8
    months later i understood that it is Ferrari with Micheal Schumacher Driving and its Mika Haikkennen in his Mclaren overtook him


    My first memory is 1992, I have vague memories of the camel livery Williams winning with Mansell driving. My first full season I remember is 1994, my first full memory being the black weekend at Imola, my main memory is Australia, with Hill losing out after the collision with Schumi


    My first memory is simply that the black/gold cars were my favorites. This must have been the last year that the original Lotus had the JPS livery so… 1986? That makes me 4/5 years old.
    Funny enough, after that the yellow cars were my favorites, not realizing this was the same team. I was apparently a Senna fan at a young age.

    Other memories are Berger lapping in a Ferrari with a shredded rear tire, Minardis and Dallaras qualifying far up the grid because of tires and getting in the way early in the race and Murray Walker commenting “and now Patrese is though!” Boutsen winning in the rain. Alesi fighting at the front in a Tyrrell. From then on I followed F1 closely remember most races.


    Brundle launching his Jordan into a barrel roll at Albert Park in ’96. Remember running into class the next day telling everyone that would listen what I had witnessed on telly. Would have been about five!


    Watching a rerun of the 2008 Monaco and Canadian GPs after looking at an (months-old) edition of F1 Racing which had a cover about the 4 pre-Fuji 2007 title contenders, saw Kimi, and decided “This guy looks decent, I should support him”.

    Yes, I’m young enough for something like that to actually happen as recent as 2008. And looking back that was a pretty embarassing way to get into watching F1.


    My earliest definite F1 memory: A ball of fire after the start at Monza in ’78. I remember that those beautiful black-and-gold coffins on wheels were my favourites then and I had been rooting for Peterson, so I had to follow F1 before that already, but I have no particular memory I could point to.

    Actually, this is my only memory pertaining to a particular race (with few exceptions much more recently). After Peterson’s death I was interested more in cars and seasons then drivers or races, I remember rooting in vain for Ligier JS 11 and I was really happy when Williams FW07B won in 1980, that car had a low-key elegance that sticks with you.


    I am pretty sure I started to watch the 2000 season from the beginning when I was 6, but I always had a terrible memory, and the first thing I can really recall without seeing any replays since is Barrichello’s victory in Hockenheim and how the two McLarens couldn’t catch him even on the wet tires and how emotional he was on the podium.
    (but I’m sure I saw nearly all races in that year because I had a little book from the beginning with the details of the upcoming season and with stats and explanations of the regs)


    My earliest memory is Michael Schumacher’s puncture during 1998 Japanese GP and Finnish race commentator’s hilariously happy reactions to that as Schumacher’s puncture meant that Häkkinen is a world champion.

    Iestyn Davies

    For me, I think it is the 1996 German GP at Hockenheim. I can remember seeing the Williams of Damon Hill, on a straight surrounded by forest, just before I turned 7. 1997 was thus the first season I fully followed, after Hill’s championship success, and was helped by the game F1 ’97 allowing me to indulge in my passion between races!

    Edit: I might also have some recollection of Hill spinning off at Silverstone the previous race.

    bull mello

    Watching Jim Clark on ABC Wide World of Sports F1 coverage in the mid 1960s. This was long before there was live coverage here in the states. I was just a kid and already into racing. I followed stock car racing and Indy Car racing too. Clark raced in the Indy 500 and that got my attention. I started watching F1 after that and at some point got a Jim Clark poster for my bedroom wall. Then it was a progression from Clark into Gurney, McLaren, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart and on and on. The TV coverage got progressively better over the years and that helped.

    Aled Davies

    Although I’m certain i had an idea of f1 before, the earliest memory i have of F1 is the 1997 Spanish GP. Schumacher making a blinding start from 7th on the grid up to 2nd in the first corner. from there on i was hooked!!


    The first race I watched was Jerez 1997, but I don’t remember it at all. I do remember getting up early for the 1998 Australian GP and being disappointed when Schumacher retired due to an engine failure, which I’ve always considered an indication the Jerez incident made me a Schumacher fan, somehow.

    Adam Blocker

    My earliest memory of F1 is the start of the 2005 United States GP. And even though you would think that farce would turn people off, for some reason it got me interested (I must have thought ‘how can the pinnacle be so messed up?’). I was already a NASCAR and casual IndyCar fan at the time, but since about 2009 I have been F1 crazy and forgotten NASCAR in the process.

    Aled Davies

    @Nick growing up i was a huge Schumacher fan. i think starting to watch in 97 had a lot to do with it. Some of his drives that year were incredible and i didn’t know enough about the sports history to know of some of his past misdemeanours. Even after Jerez i was a huge fan and i loved them years of Him and Ferrari getting closer to the title every year. I remember thinking at the time that if he ever got the best car in the field he’d be unstoppable and so it proved.

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