The British Grand Prix at Silverstone is only a couple of weeks away, so in this weeks edition of Rear View Prints blog, we thought we’d take a look at some of the finest races to take place at this much loved F1 calendar entry. Defining the best ever British GP is always going to be subjective, but we’ve managed to include some of the most thrilling moments to ever take place on British tarmac. From Aintree to Brands Hatch, to Silverstone. Which races will make the cut? Without further ado, and of course in no order…
1995 – Johnny Herbert’s Shock Victory
Although Britain’s then rising talent Johnny Herbert didn’t quite have the career that was expected, largely due to a horrendous accident at Brands Hatch in 1988, he can still take pride in a lot of results in his career. His 1995 British GP victory will certainly be chief amongst them. After fellow countryman Damon Hill collided with Michael Schumacher taking both of them famously out of the race, Herbert and Coulthard were promoted to the front. Coulthard was handed a stop and go penalty and the rest, as they say, is history.
2008 – Lewis Hamilton’s First British GP Win
Poor qualifying left Lewis Hamilton pegged back early in the 2008 British GP with a mountain to climb. It was typically British summer climate too, with the weather quite literally threatening to rain on the future star’s would be parade. Undeterred, however, Lewis Hamilton announced himself to the world with an absolute masterclass in wet weather racing. He blistered ahead and took his famous victory, which would be the first of five for the boy from Stevenage.
1987 – Mansell Mania
The British Lion at his most fierce, Nigel Mansell was an otherworldly force in the 1987 British GP. He turned a 28-second deficit into dust and overtook his teammate Nelson Piquet in a three-lap masterclass. To add to his dramatic flair, on the warm down lap he famously stopped at the place he had overtaken Piquet and kissed the track.
1976 – A Race with Two Winners
This Brands Hatch special was all about the man James Hunt. After a first corner crash, Hunt somehow managed to take his car back to the pit. Because he used a service road to get there it was ruled he had not officially completed a full lap, and so was told he couldn’t take part in the restart. This turned the home crowd into somewhat of a frenzy, with his adoring fans chanting his name. Fearing potential trouble and violent backlash, the stewards allowed him to race. He went on to win triumphantly. However, no sooner than two months later his victory was overturned after protest from Ferrari. It’s officially Niki Lauda’s victory, according to the record books.
1969 – Stewart vs Rindt
The 1969 British GP was a fierce battle between Jackie Stewart and Jochen Rindt, who spent most of the race overtaking each other by slipstreaming. It wasn’t until Rindt was forced to pit that the race competition began to fade. Jackie Stewart went on to claim victory in dominant fashion by lapping the entire field and taking his fifth win and in six races.
1981 – Rule Britannia
Perhaps more memorable for patriotic reasons than anything else, but memorable all the same. The 1981 British Grand Prix saw a British driver, John Watson, win the British GP, at Silverstone, in a British car, the McLaren MP4/1. F1 fanatics will remember Murray Walker’s animated and enthused commentary at this unique achievement well.
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