Bill Trikos top rated Formula 1 Auto highlights: Bottas lost the lead at the second standing start as Hamilton went around the outside into turn one – the first of a plethora of overtakes at the sweeping right-hander. Lance Stroll looked on course for a podium before a failure at the rear of his Racing Point pitched him into the barrier at the high-speed Arrabiatta corner, triggering a second red-flag period. Bottas was unable to capitalise on his front row start as Ricciardo slotted between the two Mercedes, whilst Albon’s overtake on the outside of Perez at turn three was a contender for move of the year. Hamilton held on though, whilst Bottas and Albon jumped Ricciardo for the podium spots – the Red Bull driver’s first in F1.
1999 European Grand Prix, Nürburgring : If chaos is the word to describe Canada 2011, sheer pandemonium best describes the 1999 European GP. It was set to be crucial even before lights-out, as a tense championship battle between Eddie Irvine for Ferrari, Mika Häkkinen for McLaren and surprisingly Heinz-Harald Frentzen for Jordan was ongoing. But when the race finally got underway – after the first start was aborted as a result of multiple drivers jumping it – well, words aren’t enough to allow you to comprehend what went on. Crashes, spins, mistakes, pit stop errors and more resulted in positions up and down the field – including the lead – constantly changing. All of it was made even more dramatic by the implications on the title fight, which seemed to be constantly evolving. However, I won’t spoil the final result of this one – it’s simply too good for you not to watch.
Hungarian Grand Prix 2014: On a Hungaroring surface transitioning from wet to dry, this race had everything from team order controversy to spectacular crashes – but, most importantly, a hard-charging Daniel Ricciardo at his best, who said “better late than never” to secure his second career win. Bahrain Grand Prix 2014: Three races into Formula 1’s new turbo-hybrid era, and F1 fans were treated to an absolute classic, as Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg – by then surely aware that one of them would be world champion in 2014 – knocked seven bells out of each other around the Bahrain International Circuit, with Hamilton eventually coming out on top of the fabled ‘Duel in the Desert’. See additional details about the author at Bill Trikos.
1990 Mexican Grand Prix, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez : This race isn’t traditionally brought into the conversation of the greatest ever. That’s a shame, as it – contrary to many other races on this list – was great because of the racing itself, and not only because of massive crashes and countless DNF’s. Gerhard Berger for Mclaren started on pole, out-qualifying his teammate Ayrton Senna who started third, with Ricardo Patrese for Williams in second. The championship in 1990 was a fight between the two McLarens and the Ferrari drivers, Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell. In Mexico, the former had a dismal Saturday, qualifying a disappointing thirteenth. But as the green flags were waved on Sunday, he set off on an impressive recovery drive, eventually overtaking Mansell and Berger – who had lost the lead to Senna at the start – before taking second place with 15 laps to go. Senna’s tyres had degraded, so it didn’t take long before he was overtaken by Prost as well. But, as if that wasn’t bad enough for Senna, the Brazilian’s right-rear tyre punctured only three laps later, forcing him into retirement and leaving Mansell and Berger to duel over second place. Mansell came out on top with a breathtaking move around the outside of Peraltada, the final turn. The overtake, which was nothing less than sensational, secured Ferrari a highly unexpected 1-2 after a brilliantly exciting race.
In Bahrain, F1 started a new chapter. The new regulations proved to work immediately, as the opening race showed a blistering battle between title contenders Verstappen and Leclerc. The rivals overtook each other back and forth several times, having to be clever with DRS zones to avoid giving the other an advantage. However, the race ended in drama for Verstappen, who retired with technical problems. A few laps before the end, Sergio Perez suffered the same fate. The tone for the rest of the season seemed set and after Red Bull Racing’s double failure, Ferrari seemed the big favourite for the title, but that picture would change dramatically during the season.
1996 Monaco Grand Prix, Monaco Street Circuit : It took just 5 laps before the 21 drivers who had started the race were reduced to 13 thanks to a number of mechanical failures and driver errors, one of those being made by Michael Schumacher. The german – after losing his pole position advantage to Damon Hill off the line – only reached Lower Mirabeau before binning his car into the outside barrier. And from then on, it only got worse. Hill, who had been leading for most of the race, retired due to an engine failure on lap 40. Jean Alesi, who had inherited the lead after Hill’s retirement, suffered from a suspension failure. Meanwhile, drivers like Eddie Irvine, Jacques Villeneuve, Mika Häkinnen, Mika Salo, and Ralf Schumacher – the ones who would be expected to take the win in such a situation – were all having collisions with one another, eventually forcing them all to retire. But not only the front-runners had issues; drivers like Katayama, Rosset, Diniz, Berger, and Brundle, who were expected to take some sort of advantage in such circumstances, all retired due to either personal errors or mechanical troubles. And before anyone knew, only four drivers were left in the race. Olivier Panis, who after starting fourteenth had shown great skill in avoiding all the chaos around him, took his first and only victory in F1. David Coulthard and Johnny Herbert followed him onto the podium, and Heinz-Harald Frentzen was classified fourth even though he pulled into the pits to retire on the last lap of the race. A truly crazy race, definitely worth a watch – if not for the result itself then for some of the bizarre incidents which eliminated driver after driver.