As some of you may know, I became a fan of Formula One in 2011 when I couldn’t find the TV remote! Back in the days of BBC coverage, I fell in love with the sport by complete accident and have never looked back. Whether you’ve been a fan for decades or are relatively new to F1, these are some great races from the archives to watch in your spare time!
Gentleman, a short view back to the past…
2011 – Canadian Grand Prix
If you haven’t seen this race, you need to! Arguably, one of the best races of the decade! This race has everything an F1 fan loves- rain, drama and an underdog. I’ve watched this race a few times, and I’m still not too sure how Jenson won! The first 4 laps started under the safety car before Lewis Hamilton hit Mark Webber going into turn one. Shortly after, Button and his teammate, Hamilton, collided on the start-finish straight, ending Lewis’ race. Jenson pitted and then had to serve a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane, so at this point, you’d think getting points would be hard to achieve. Suddenly, monsoon rain arrived, and the race was red-flagged. Once the action restarted, Jenson collided with Alonso and had to pit AGAIN, but luckily this time, it was under the safety car so he could catch the pack up. As the track dried out, Button went onto the slicks and climbed up the order. It was overtake central! Another safety car gave Jenson what he needed to see out the victory. He had the need-for-speed and won- simply incredible!! This race never gets old.
2012 – Belgian Grand Prix
Not the most memorable race from this year, but the crash is something many of us remember to this day as it was manic! Romain Grosjean hit Lewis Hamilton heading into the first corner, causing his Lotus to fly through the air and straight over the top of Alonso- all at turn one! Perez was another victim of Grosjean’s madness, causing a shower of debris. How no one was seriously hurt, I have no idea.
Although we did get the superb radio from Kimi of “Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing”, which is a personal favourite radio message! For the second time in my memorable races, Jenson Button took the top step of the podium!
2013 – Malaysian Grand Prix
MULTI 21 SEB. I remember watching this grand prix and just loving every moment of it! How ruthless Sebastian was in that race was truly mind-blowing, as a relatively new fan. Completely ignoring his team’s instructions to stay ahead of his teammate so he could win the world championship? Yes, please! Drama in the cool-down room followed when Mark Webber confronted Seb, repeating in a strong Australian accent, “Multi 21 Seb, Multi 21!” with Vettel just shrugging it off like it was nothing! It is one of the funniest moments of the last 10 years and a conversation that now lives so rent-free in my mind; it’s unbelievable!
2014 – Belgian Grand Prix
For me, this is my favourite race of all-time as it was the first ever Grand Prix I attended! On race day I sat on Kemmel Straight and was one of the only teenage girls in sight. The start of the race was a classic Mercedes one-two. I was team Nico all the way and wanted him to beat Lewis. Boy, was I in for a fabulous race, and probably the catalyst of the biggest rivalry in recent years.
The start was amazing, hearing the cars gallop up Eau Rouge onto the Kemmel straight. Nico was getting closer to Lewis, DRS activated a few laps in, as they tussled all the way to the end of Kemmel Straight, and BAM – THEY’D HIT. I saw that move with my own eyes! Both cars got damage but Lewis’ was too much, ending any chance of winning this race after losing so much time. Then came Daniel Ricciardo, who overtook Sebastian Vettel after he went wide. As Nico made his way through the traffic, he got a piece of string-like debris attached to his car! A crazy race with Daniel Ricciardo winning, my favourite driver at my first race!! What are the odds!
2015 – Hungarian Grand Prix
This year wasn’t the most memorable for the racing, but this race was extremely fitting. This was the first race after the tragic announcement that Jules Bianchi had passed away after his accident at Suzuka in 2014. This was very emotional for me as a 15-year-old whose first car I saw live on track was Jules at Spa the year before.
The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen both got the jump on the Mercedes at the start. There was lots of overtaking into the first turn causing, plenty of drama! Later on in the race, Lewis got understeer into the first turn and ended up whacking into Ricciardo’s Red Bull and subsequently went down the order with damage. Ricciardo got caught up in more drama with the Mercedes that race after going for a late dive on Nico Rosberg and making contact. Even with all the tangles, Ricciardo ended up 3rd. After a fabulous drive, Sebastian Vettel won in the Ferrari, which was rather fitting as Jules was part of the Ferrari Academy. Always in our hearts, Jules.
2016 – Spanish Grand Prix
At the time, I don’t think any of us knew how much this race would give us a glimpse of the seasons to come. This was Max Verstappen’s debut race for Red Bull after being promoted from Toro Rosso mid-season, replacing Daniil Kvyat. Remarkable, considering he was only 18 at the time! At the peak of the Lewis-Nico rivalry, we saw the two Mercedes hit each other again. This really put the final nail in the coffin to any friendship they had. But who was there to pick up on their mistake? Max Verstappen! Initially, he was behind teammate Ricciardo, but Max won, having opted for a two-stop strategy rather than his teammate’s three-stop. Little did we know how good the Dutch wonder kid was, which opened the chapter of the ‘new era’ of drivers.
2017 – Baku Grand Prix
Where do I start with this one?! One word- MADNESS. It all started with first lap drama, with Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen colliding. Daniel Ricciardo had to pit early and was forced onto a long run on the hard compounds whilst Max suffered engine issues in the other Red Bull. A slow safety car led Hamilton to break-test Sebastian, causing Seb to retaliate by pulling up alongside Lewis and whacked into the side of the Mercedes on purpose. Sebastian’s head was clearly gone in the championship battle with this desperate move. A red flag brought out for debris on track sees Daniel Ricciardo fifth before he overtook two cars at once down into turn one, showing just why he is one of the best overtakers on the grid. Lewis had a loose headrest, so he had to pit for safety reasons. Sebastian then received a 10-second penalty for the earlier incident with Hamilton, promoting Daniel Ricciardo to the front before winning the Grand Prix, having started from 10th position! Lance Stroll also got on the podium in a Williams at the age of 18!
2018 – Monaco Grand Prix
Redemption. In 2016, Daniel Ricciardo lost the race due to a team error in the pit stop, where I’ve never seen him so annoyed! He qualified pole again, so it really was his to lose. The race came, and the Australian got the perfect start. The pit stop went great too, but he suffered a loss of power, and Lewis quickly closed. Was he going to lose another Monaco GP? He just about managed to keep his lead, helped by the fact that Monaco is almost impossible to pass, but he did it, and it was fabulous to watch!
2019 – Italian Grand Prix
The thing I love about this race was the podium reception. Charles drove all weekend fabulously following the tragic events of the previous weekend where his close friend Anthoine Hubert passed away. But like a true star, Charles drove all weekend spectacularly with and prompted the now-iconic line from Crofty ‘He won in Spa, he wins in Monza’. It had been an awful long time since a Ferrari won at Monza on their home turf. Once the Italian national anthem started to play, wow, it gave me goosebumps, exactly why I love F1. The Tifosi are the most passionate fans, and you could hear the power, excitement, and joy in their voices as they sang the national anthem. Quite frankly, it lives rent-free in my head (alongside Multi 21!). I really hope one day I can be at Monza with a Ferrari win to experience that moment- it would just be incredible!
2020 – Italian Grand Prix
This race was equally crazy! Hamilton penalty, red flag!? There is no way anyone would have predicted how this race would pan out (minus the one person in Iceland who put a 25p bet on it!). This race was the best for unpredictability- the impact of the red flag meant that some of the midfield pack who hadn’t already pitted gained 20 seconds from, effectively, a free pit stop. The red flag also meant a free choice of tyres, so the battle was between Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz, both in midfield cars… WHAT?! After both fighting for their lives, Gasly held out for his first race win. What an emotional podium, exactly a year and a week since his best friend Anthoine died; you could see how much that meant to him and was a fitting end to a thoroughly entertaining race.
I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane as much as I did! What are your most memorable races of the last decade? Let us know!