Six of the best British Grand Prix races at Silverstone

12 July 2017 06:54

The British Grand Prix faces an uncertain future after Silverstone gave notice of its intent to leave the sport in 2019.

The Northamptonshire circuit has hosted a Formula One race since 1987, while the British Grand Prix has been an ever-present on the calendar since the world championship began in 1950.

Ahead of Sunday's race, Press Association Sport looks back at six of the best Silverstone races.


John Watson sealed an unlikely but highly popular victory. The Northern Irishman started fifth on the grid but had fallen to 10th by the end of lap three. Alan Jones and Gilles Villeneuve then clashed, Nelson Piquet suffered a tyre failure and after passing Carlos Reutemann and Mario Andretti before Alain Prost's engine let go, Watson was up to second. He then hustled Rene Arnoux, whose engine began to falter with 15 laps left. With seven laps left, the Frenchman's lead had evaporated and Watson claimed one of his five grands prix wins.


Nigel Mansell was forced to pit for a new set of tyres after reporting extreme vibrations on his Williams. With 30 laps remaining he was the best part of half a minute behind his team-mate and fierce rival Piquet. The chase appeared impossible but, spurred on by his home crowd, Mansell smashed the lap record on nine occasions before catching and passing Piquet after an exquisite move at Stowe with only two laps left. The home crowd were euphoric and Mansell responded by leaping out of his Williams on his victory lap and kissing the tarmac where he passed his great rival.


Michael Schumacher illegally overtook pole-sitter Damon Hill on the parade lap and was ordered to serve a stop-and-go penalty. A black flag was then issued, which should have resulted in Schumacher's instant disqualification. But the German kept going and eventually opted to pull into the pits on lap 27 to serve his earlier stop-and-go penalty. Hill went on to claim a crucial victory and was presented with the winner's trophy by Princess Diana. Schumacher finished second, but he was later disqualified for ignoring the black flag and subsequently handed a two-race ban.


Schumacher was at the centre of controversy again four years later after winning the race while stationary in the pit-lane. Mika Hakkinen had led from the start, but as the rain fell and conditions deteriorated, the Finn lost control of his McLaren and spun. The safety car was deployed, and while Hakkinen remained in the race, he had sustained damage to his front wing. His 40-second lead was wiped out and Schumacher looked odds-on to win. The German, however, had illegally passed Alexander Wurz under a yellow flag, which should have resulted in a stop-and-go penalty. But the haphazard stewards only announced his penalty with two laps left. Schumacher entered the pits on the final lap but had already crossed the start-finish line and won the race. The bizarre result stood despite McLaren's protests.


Rubens Barrichello claimed one of the greatest victories of his career in an all-time F1 classic. The Ferrari driver started from pole but slipped to eighth after a safety car was deployed when a protester stormed the track along the 200mph Hangar Straight. But the Brazilian turned in one of the finest displays of his career to carve his way back through the field before executing a wonderful move on McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen on lap 42 to claim the lead, and ultimately, the race victory.


Lewis Hamilton arrived at his home race fourth in the drivers' standings but left on top after storming to victory in one of the outstanding performances by a British driver in recent years. In torrential rain Hamilton blitzed the field, finishing the race almost 70 seconds ahead of second-placed Nick Heidfeld and lapped the entire pack up to third.

Source: PA