As China gets set to host 1,000th Formula One race, a look back at 10 of the best

Press Association Sport 17:04 12/04/2019
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Alain Prost (l) and Ayrton Senna endured a frosty and feisty rivalry.

The 1,000th Formula One race takes place at the Shanghai International Circuit in China on Sunday.

Here, Press Association Sport looks back at 10 of the best.

1958 Portuguese Grand Prix

Stirling Moss became a household name in the 50s and 60s. Despite never winning a world championship, Moss will be remembered not only as one of the greatest, but the most sporting racer.

This was on display in Portugal where he won ahead of title rival Mike Hawthorn. Hawthorn was facing disqualification, but Moss protested his innocence in front of the stewards.

Hawthorn held on to second, and the six points, and ended up winning the championship, the first Briton to do so, by just one point from Moss.

1969 Italian Grand Prix

Jackie Stewart took his first world title with one of the hardest-fought victories of his career, and the closest one-two-three-four finishes ever. The Scot beat Jochen Rindt by just eight hundredths of a second at Monza’s Temple of Speed.

Less than a fifth of a second separated the top four after 100 minutes of spellbinding racing.

1976 Japanese Grand Prix

Niki Lauda.

Niki Lauda.

Such was the theatre of the 1976 season, Hollywood released Rush, a film which depicted the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda, four decades on.

In an incident-packed year, Lauda almost died in a fireball inferno at the Nurburgring, but a few weeks later remarkably returned at Monza. The title went to the wire at a rain-hit Fuji.

Lauda, who led Hunt by three points, retired from the race blaming the awful conditions. Hunt raced on, and despite dropping down the field after a dramatic late tyre problem, crossed the line in third to take the title.

1986 Australian Grand Prix

Millions in the UK set their alarms in the hope of waking up to watch Nigel Mansell become the first Briton since Hunt to win the title. The plucky Englishman was on course to do just that before a tyre blow-out derailed his chances in Adelaide.

“And colossally that’s Mansell,” said Murray Walker as Mansell’s Williams came to a dramatic halt. Mansell had to wait another six years before winning his maiden championship.

1989 Japanese Grand Prix

Ayrton Senna’s rivalry with Alain Prost is probably the biggest the sport has ever known. The enigmatic Brazilian pitched against the diminutive Frenchman they called the professor.

Their relationship as team-mates at the dominant McLaren team had reached fever pitch by the penultimate race of the season in Suzuka, and boiled over when they collided. Senna dived underneath Prost at the chicane in a bid to keep his title hopes alive.

Prost knew he would be crowned champion if Senna did not finish and the pair crashed. Prost retired but Senna recovered to win, only to be controversially disqualified after he was adjudged to have re-joined the track illegally.

1993 European Grand Prix

Senna’s opening lap at a rain-soaked Donington Park is regarded as the finest in the sport’s history. The Brazilian, driving a McLaren not in the same league as Williams that year, started fourth but assumed the lead from Prost within a handful of corners.

In the changeable conditions, Senna put on a masterful display to win by a minute and a half.

1998 Belgian Grand Prix

The race in Spa was unforgettable for two reasons; firstly, an incredible first-lap crash which wiped out virtually the entire field. Then, with Michael Schumacher on course for a routine victory, the Ferrari driver smashed into the back of David Coulthard’s McLaren.

Schumacher retired from the race and then charged down the pit lane to confront the Scot.

2008 Brazilian Grand Prix

Hamilton Vettel

Lewis Hamilton wrote his name in Formula One folklore by taking his first world championship on the last corner of the last lap of the last race. Needing to finish fifth, he passed the Toyota of Timo Glock in pouring rain at Interlagos, denying local favourite Felipe Massa of the title he thought he had won.

2011 Canadian Grand Prix

Jenson Button won the longest race in history, a four-hour marathon that was red-flagged following torrential rain in Montreal. At one stage, Button was last but the Englishman delivered a memorable display to carve his way back through the field, from 21st to first, passing Sebastian Vettel, who spun, on the final lap.

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were embroiled in a battle so enthralling in Bahrain, one national newspaper proclaimed it as the Race of the Century.

The Mercedes team-mates slugged it out over 57 thrilling laps for first place with Hamilton ultimately prevailing. The Briton later beat Rosberg to the championship at the final race in Abu Dhabi.

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