F1 is a great sport and over the years there have been a lot of changes. The competition we know today, held it’s first race in May, 1950, at Silverstone. I’ve been following the sport since around 1976, when James Hunt became a British World Champion. How something I find a little strange is when people support teams and not necessarily the drivers. I always have a little more interest when there’s a driver involved that I like. It’s normally a British drivers I look to support, but great drivers like Michael Schumacher or Ayrton Senna, can also become favourites.
Those of you following the sport at the moment will know that Lewis Hamilton has just won his 5th title. For me, he’s a great driver who I have followed and supported, but not one of my favourite personalities, that honour is shared by Nigel Mansell and Michael Schumacher. Mansell was a British driver who raced in the 80’s and early 90’s, who eventually won the championship in 1992! Beating the likes of both Senna and Schumacher.
F1 AT ITS GREATEST: BACK TO SENNA
I’ve seen a lot of great races and moments over the years, along with some of the saddest days in sport. Over fifty drivers have lost their lives while racing in F1, but this was really bought into focus in 1994 at Imola, where both Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna were involved in fatal accidents on consecutive days.
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THE MEMORIAL DAYS
So what’s the most memorial thing I can recall? It is in fact a disappointing moment that took place in the last race of the 2007 Championship in China. Britain had not had a championship winner since Damon Hill, in 1996, but Lewis Hamilton came to china after a record breaking year as a rookie. He started the race on pole and with a 12 point lead over team mate Fernando Alonso and a 17 point lead over eventual champion Kimi Raikkonen. With only 20 points available for winning the race, all British racing fan believed that the championship was in the bag (me included).
As the race unfolded Hamilton was leading, but started to have problems with his tyres around lap 26/27 and by lap 29 had been over taken by Massa. Most fans were not too worried, Hamilton only had to finish top 3 to be world Champion, McLaren finally called him in for fresh tyres on lap 30, but has he left the track and entered the pit lane, he slid off and ended up in the gravel. We could all see him trying to get out, but the wheels were just going round and round, getting deeper and deeper, at that point we knew it was over and the title had been lost. Like many, I just couldn’t believe what had happen. Lewis came back the next year and won the title by a single point, and the rest is history as they say.
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