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Classic Spanish Grands Prix

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Andrew Benson | 10:11 UK time, Thursday, 30 April 2009

The Spanish Grand Prix has been a pretty much permanent feature on the F1 calendar since 1968 - and the event's history stretches all the way back to 1913.

That's quite some list of races to choose from for our classic races series, but obviously the further back in time one goes, the harder it is to source television footage - so, in the interests of giving you the best selection of highlights we could, we have focused our selection of classic Spanish F1 races on the last three decades.

And these really are some great races.

First, there was Gilles Villeneuve's brilliant victory in the truck-like Ferrari 126C at Jarama in 1981, in which he held off four other cars for virtually the entire race in what was undoubtedly one of the greatest performances in F1 history.

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Five years later on, the race had moved to Jerez, and we have the thrilling dash to the line between Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell, which the Brazilian in his Lotus won by just 0.014secs from the rapidly closing Englishman.

The two of them feature again in Barcelona in 1991, a race remembered chiefly for the breathtaking TV pictures of the great rivals inches apart as Mansell overtakes Senna into the first corner before going on to win.

The final two races are also from the 1990s - 1996, when Michael Schumacher put in one of the all-time great wet-weather drives to win for Ferrari, and 1997 when Jacques Villeneuve intelligently managed his tyres to hold off a rapidly closing Olivier Panis's Ligier.

So, please tell us what you think of our choices, let us know which one of them you would choose - and point out any races from the past that you think we should have included. They may form the basis of our choices next year.

We will show highlights of the winning choice next week, as well as the other four events - and remember that for those races that are from the era when the BBC had the rights (ie before 1997), we will show the full Grand Prix highlights programme from the era.

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  • 1. At 11:43am on 30 Apr 2009, Offi_McSpin wrote:

    It's got to be 1981, that is THE legendary performance of race craftsmanship, bar none.

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  • 2. At 11:45am on 30 Apr 2009, EwmanM wrote:

    For me it has to be Jerez 1986, simply because, arguablly, the three best drivers of that era were all in the fight for victory!

    1981 and 1991 would be my second and third choices.

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  • 3. At 11:46am on 30 Apr 2009, bradley027 wrote:

    1981 please!

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  • 4. At 11:46am on 30 Apr 2009, Aimal_Alonso P1 wrote:

    How about the 2006 GP? when alonso became the first ever spaniard to win the spanish gp.

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  • 5. At 12:05pm on 30 Apr 2009, MGUK82 wrote:

    FORGET '96...unless you're a Schumacher fan, that race was boring as hell!

    '97's not that memorable either.

    '94 should have been in the mixer. First non-Schumacher win of the year, first Williams win since Senna's death, Schumacher stuck in fifth gear, Herbert leaves the pits with the jack still attached and DC's debut as well. What's not to like?

    Also surprised '06 wasn't mentioned.

    Out of what remains, well we're going before my time but '91 sounds the best of the bunch!

    Request for Monaco...any chance of putting at least one pre-'78 race into the mixer? I though BBC covered Monaco before it got season wide coverage?

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  • 7. At 12:13pm on 30 Apr 2009, SenorSenor wrote:

    It's got to be 1991.

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  • 6. At 12:13pm on 30 Apr 2009, modtl1 wrote:

    Tough decision. I would say 1986. Although any of the fitst three would satisfy me.

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  • 8. At 12:19pm on 30 Apr 2009, msadler04 wrote:

    Im gonna select 1996....not a great 'race' but a masterfull drive from Schumacher

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  • 9. At 12:20pm on 30 Apr 2009, flukielukas wrote:

    1991 please. Good range of choices!

    Question on what you wrote here:
    "We will show highlights of the winning choice next week, as well as the other four events - and remember that for those races that are from the era when the BBC had the rights (ie before 1997), we will show the full Grand Prix highlights programme from the era."

    Will it be full BBC highlights for the non-winning pre-97 races or 5 minute highlights for non-winning races like for Australia?
    Either is good..

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  • 10. At 12:29pm on 30 Apr 2009, Incast wrote:

    This is more like it! A superb selection this week, thank you BBC!

    I'll echo what MGUK says, don't make the mistake of voting for 96. Classic drive by Schumacher and a thrilling opening 10, but that was it. For the remainder of the race very little happened as Schumacher dominated.

    If I could, I would vote for 81, 86 and 91 all superb races to the flag. However, since I only have one vote I'll go with 1991.

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  • 11. At 12:37pm on 30 Apr 2009, Jonvic80 wrote:

    Well i really would love the full highlights programme from 1981, 1986 and 1991 but if i had to choose one it would be 1981, but lets have all three full highlights programmes from these years if you possibly can...thanks

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  • 12. At 12:48pm on 30 Apr 2009, Andrew Benson - BBC Sport wrote:

    Hi all,

    We will show the full "Grand Prix" highlights programme for the winning choice if there is one (ie if it's not 1997). We are considering showing a second full Grand Prix for a second choice, too, we will see how it goes.

    But I think to offer the full "Grand Prix" programme for them all would rather negate the point of the exercise, don't you?

    All the best


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  • 13. At 12:54pm on 30 Apr 2009, Jonvic80 wrote:

    Thanks for the response Andrew. I personally think that showing eg. 81, 86 and 91 full highlights would be absolutely fantastic as i am sure others would. Those that are interested in watching these old races would be more than happy with this i believe. However i do not want to appear ungrateful and will take whatever is offered but i do think having at least two full highlights programmes would be good as you did for Australia, my vote than would be 81 and 91. What did you mean by 'negate the point of the exercise' i am a little confused.....

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  • 14. At 12:54pm on 30 Apr 2009, DennisF1 wrote:

    My vote goes to 1981, all the other races are superb choises too :)

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  • 15. At 12:55pm on 30 Apr 2009, Andrew Benson - BBC Sport wrote:

    I meant that if we are making a winning choice, it's hardly a winner if we then show the full show for all the options.

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  • 16. At 12:57pm on 30 Apr 2009, D_M_N_ wrote:

    1996. :)

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  • 17. At 1:01pm on 30 Apr 2009, Jonvic80 wrote:

    Yes i see that - fair point. Can i suggest maybe incorporating a vote counter on the page as well as us writing below it would be interesting to look at and see the progress of the votes. Each ip address could be limited to one click for the race they would like....Just a thought.

    Many thanks for digging out these old races its a dream come true for f1 fans :)

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  • 18. At 1:01pm on 30 Apr 2009, Swerve1 wrote:

    Glad were now getting to countries that have a bit more F1 history as is proven in the choices we have here.
    Love the Jerez race with Mansell and Senna but it doesn't get my vote.

    I vote for 1981 purely as i have never seen extended highlights of the race and its a circuit we are no longer familiar with.

    *On a related note, i would echo MGUK82's query as to whether the beeb have the rights to any pre 78 Monaco stuff. Having said that, we will be spoilt for choice when we get there anyway. But would be good to throw one in there, especially anything from the late 60's.

    Thanks for the continued great coverage and the contined ability to interact on blogs such as this one. Loving the highlights so keep them coming.

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  • 19. At 1:01pm on 30 Apr 2009, flukielukas wrote:

    I would love a full Grand Prix highlights programme for the runner up.

    Thanks for clarifying, was just checking. I'm happy to vote for a winner. Saving some choices for next year would probably be useful.

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  • 20. At 1:04pm on 30 Apr 2009, emiliolargo wrote:

    1991 for me please Andrew. The season has so many memories for me anyway as it was the first year I really got into formula 1 and watched most grand prix.

    Love the archive footage anyway so for me the more highlights shows the merrier!

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  • 21. At 1:30pm on 30 Apr 2009, ginnerchris wrote:

    Most people have seen plenty of highlights of villeneuves drive in 81, so I'd rather see 86 or 91. 91 especially because the only bit i've ever seen is the mansell senna drag race, and It;d be good to see it in context.
    1st choice 91, second choice 86

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  • 22. At 1:35pm on 30 Apr 2009, Frank_Furt wrote:

    1981 please - I'd relish the chance to see extended highlights of that. Thank you!

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  • 23. At 1:44pm on 30 Apr 2009, D_M_N_ wrote:

    I know the following isn't related to this Andrew, but any chance you could answer the following question:

    Why are not the BBC showing an Ayrton Senna documentary next weekend to commemorate the 15th Anniversary of his death?

    I know the BBC showed several Senna documentaries in 1994 and 1995, and I don't think it would have hurt showing a documetary next Saturday @ 19:00 on BBC Four, or even just behind the Red Button over the weekend.

    Any reason why Andrew?

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  • 24. At 1:49pm on 30 Apr 2009, awoodgate wrote:

    As good as the others are, I'm gonna have to choose '91 - seen 1986 and '81 all too often (and never really found '81 a classic, rather a procession...).

    I'm looking forward to this feature for the coming races, especially Monaco, though so many to choose from!

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  • 25. At 1:54pm on 30 Apr 2009, Andrew Benson - BBC Sport wrote:

    Re: the Senna documentary question, the award-winning film "Senna" - featuring Alain Prost and Damon Hill, among others - which was shown first on 1 January 1995, and which won awards, will be available on the Red Button and on-demand on the BBC Sport website from tomorrow morning.

    Incidentally, the film was made by Mark Wilkin, the current BBC F1 editor.

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  • 26. At 1:55pm on 30 Apr 2009, Millerfred wrote:

    1997 for me!

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  • 27. At 1:58pm on 30 Apr 2009, thesniper89 wrote:

    Woop, were back to races that actually have classics! :D

    My vote goes for 1981, as I've never seen the full highlights of that race.

    (A suggestion for next year, maybe the winning race could be shown in it's entirety, with the runner up having it's full "Grand Prix" show replayed. The full replay could even be done for ITV races as they commentated through the adbreaks for forgien audiences and race replays (for the first couple of years ITV replayed the races early on a Tuesday morning, in full, without adbreaks, so these definitely exist. Just an idea :).)

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  • 28. At 2:04pm on 30 Apr 2009, Bennus wrote:

    Just a point of interest: Herbert leaving the pits with the Jack still attached was '95. In '94 he was still driving the Lotus in Spain...

    My vote goes to '81, with '86 second.

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  • 29. At 2:05pm on 30 Apr 2009, Youichi wrote:

    I'd like to vote for 1981 please.

    This is actually the first race that I can remember watching, so I'd love to see a replay again.

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  • 30. At 2:17pm on 30 Apr 2009, D_M_N_ wrote:

    Very pleased about that Andrew. Thanks.

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  • 31. At 2:18pm on 30 Apr 2009, Ads_21 wrote:


    As for the voting business you may as well just put as many of the videos as you can up. F1 fans don't rlly have any great archives on the web for classic highlights since FOM doesnt approve of F1 on youtube.

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  • 32. At 2:20pm on 30 Apr 2009, extant wrote:

    Here's a suggestion........for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix preview week, could there be a question of "Top Grand Prix performances for circuits that no longer feature in F1".....think that would be excellent personally......(as I'm watching Keke Rosberg @ Zolder during the 1984 season for the first time.....brilliant)

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  • 33. At 2:25pm on 30 Apr 2009, thesniper89 wrote:

    Good news about the 'Senna' documentary Andrew, it was a excellent tribute and I'm glad it's being re-broadcast.

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  • 34. At 2:40pm on 30 Apr 2009, Grumpy_Neil wrote:

    i think im going to have to vote for 1986, loving this feature of the BBCs coverage, its a great idea!

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  • 35. At 2:45pm on 30 Apr 2009, sadisticend wrote:

    Awww Man this is awesome I'm spoilt for choice. I really can't wait to see highlights from all 5 races!

    If I had to choose 1 it would be the 1986 GP.

    However I would really like to see full highlights of 1981, 91 and 96 if that's possible.

    For next year I recommend the 2006 Spanish GP with Alonso winning there for the 1st time, that was a good one.

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  • 36. At 3:06pm on 30 Apr 2009, thedanman1 wrote:

    My vote will go to 1986.

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  • 37. At 3:06pm on 30 Apr 2009, physical_graffiti wrote:

    Now this is when the Classics becomes really interesting!

    Even though my favourite memory is of Mansell and Senna going wheel to wheel, vapour trails trailling and James Hunt saying "this is macho wheel to wheel stuff" on the whole I'd go with 1981 please.

    Even though we've had Senna, Mansell, Schumi, Hamilton as his successors, the legend of GIlles should live on to the younger generation of F1 fans. Salut Gilles :(

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  • 38. At 3:31pm on 30 Apr 2009, sbs2jpb wrote:

    It has to be 1986.

    1991 had a great moment but does that make a great race? 1997 was good because the Bridgestone tyres worked better than Goodyear, which mixed the result up a bit.

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  • 39. At 3:35pm on 30 Apr 2009, messyhead wrote:

    My vote goes to 1991

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  • 40. At 3:41pm on 30 Apr 2009, ClassicF1 wrote:

    Yes I would like 1991.
    Second vote is 1981. Thank you BBC and Andrew, great segment.

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  • 41. At 3:46pm on 30 Apr 2009, OffTheChain wrote:

    91 was a great race sbs2jpb - Mansell/Senna battle, Schumacher's performance, Alesi's fightback, damp conditions... all good. That is my first choice. If there could be a secondary BBC highlights showing then 81 too please.

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  • 42. At 4:01pm on 30 Apr 2009, FastBBBB wrote:


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  • 43. At 4:07pm on 30 Apr 2009, xincbuc wrote:

    1991 definitely. It was far more than just one great moment, it was fully of overtaking, with multiple lead changes. If you're sceptical, read to the report linked to in Andrew's main post.

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  • 44. At 4:14pm on 30 Apr 2009, modtl1 wrote:

    Andrew, is that the film that featured Steve Rider walking down the Imola track at the start? It was an excellent film (we have a low quality version on VHS taped off the TV at the time) and this is something I'd love to see again.

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  • 45. At 4:47pm on 30 Apr 2009, GFasulo wrote:

    Spoilt for choice!

    For me, It's between 1991 and 1996. I think I'll go for 1996, but only just!

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  • 46. At 4:49pm on 30 Apr 2009, Fabbyulous wrote:

    Haha, much better! Great selection and I know there's plenty to choose from but it was still slightly lame for races in malaysia and Australia not mentioned.

    I myself have to go with 1986, Senna did more or less the exact same job as Mansell by just basically defending his position then flying for the line, superb win by a superb driver!

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  • 47. At 5:03pm on 30 Apr 2009, IpswichTownF1 wrote:

    Oh damn f1, they've made it too hard for me to decide!

    Ill have to go with 86', what a thrilling finale.

    although cant wait to see the others aswell!

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  • 48. At 5:31pm on 30 Apr 2009, go_ask_alice wrote:

    its got to be 1986! what a fantastic race, prost, senna and mansell at it with Piquet sticking his nose in for a bit. Finally down to mansell on new rubber and senna on worn out tyres (monaco 92 anyone?) Mansell inexorabley gaining as senna slides the car around trying to keep forward momentum, we eneded up with the closest finish in GP history. awesome stuff, lets hope we get similar fare at this years Spanish GP!

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  • 49. At 5:33pm on 30 Apr 2009, scarletsupporter wrote:

    '86 please! Great to see the BBC making use of it's archives.

    On a side note Andrew, If a '97-'08 race was to be the winner (where only the short highlights package is available), would you also show a full episode of Grand Prix for a the highest placed pre-96 race?

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  • 50. At 5:45pm on 30 Apr 2009, FI-Addict wrote:

    Thank you very much Andrew, this is a much better system. Australia gave us a good taster of how good this feature is but it will really come into it's own now in Europe with so many historic races.
    I'm gonna say 1996

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  • 51. At 5:56pm on 30 Apr 2009, steve081974 wrote:

    '86 please!

    By the way, as someone else said already the highlights program is great but I'd love to see some of the classics available as full races too if possible.

    It would be a fantastic red button option for a quiet evening or rainy Saturday afternoon... or even a sunny Saturday afternoon when the lawn mower's calling... :o)

    Top job BBC.

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  • 52. At 8:44pm on 30 Apr 2009, Iqbal Mohammad wrote:

    Can I have 4 choices please of 1981, 1986, 1991, and 1996.

    P.S. Andrew I would like to pass on my regards on the great coverage that whole BBC F1 team are doing,

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  • 53. At 9:16pm on 30 Apr 2009, stattotheblade wrote:

    1986 for me

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  • 54. At 9:16pm on 30 Apr 2009, mattspeeds wrote:

    I would love to see full highlights of 81, 86 and 91. But if I could only choose one I would go for 86. Fabulous drives from both Senna and Mansell plus some great wheel to wheel battles prior to the famous photo finish.

    Many thanks for the BBC for allowing us to enjoy F1's rich history.

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  • 55. At 9:34pm on 30 Apr 2009, F1Hornet wrote:

    I've never seen the 1981 race and really want to see it. Please don't show any of the Barcelona races though, they're just so dull. I remember watching the 1999 Spanish Grand Prix while on holiday in Madeira. I watched the entire race with Portuguese commentary (I didn't understand a word) and there was only one recorded on track overtaking move in the entire race!

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  • 56. At 9:37pm on 30 Apr 2009, Carlonso wrote:

    Though schuy's 1996 drive was awesome in the wet

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  • 57. At 9:56pm on 30 Apr 2009, takumaman wrote:

    1981 was so over-rated as no-one overtook anybody!!!

    1986 or 1991 are the best choices available...Spain classics are thin on the ground, aren't they???

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  • 58. At 10:46pm on 30 Apr 2009, WebbyFoxes wrote:

    Damn...I didnt watch F1 when it was on the BBC(too young at the time to understand F1) so Im not going to even attempt to choose one.

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  • 59. At 11:45pm on 30 Apr 2009, myleswhitnall wrote:

    i think it has to be 1996 and probably schumacher's best ever drive and first win for ferrari in a car that was quiet simply rubbish. if i remember rite he fluft the start and was about 8th after the first lap. stunning drive from the master !!!!

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  • 60. At 00:23am on 01 May 2009, Ardius_ wrote:

    I'll vote for 1986 please with 1991 second. As awesome as Gilles was, and as amazing a drive 1981 Spain was, its not incredibly interesting to watch in my opinion.

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  • 61. At 00:23am on 01 May 2009, flukielukas wrote:

    Encourage everyone to choose what they really want to see. But also, I'd advise some things:

    1) 1986 was a great race, but the TV coverage was extremely poor. The FOM cameras appear to be mounted on hilltops for most of the circuit. Sports broadcasting really does make the sport as a viewing enjoyment to a fair extent and I found watching the world feed didn't do the event justice. 1986 Spain highlights is available from DUKE on VHS and use FOCA camera points from the circuit which gives better coverage if you'd like an alternative.

    2) Don't overlook 1991 Spain when choosing. As I said, it was a good spectacle and the drivers skills showing in the damp conditions is good to watch on the part of Mansell, Alesi, and Schumacher (before his mistake). It wasn't Senna's greatest performance, but seeing him scrap hard with a championship at stake would also make good viewing I believe.

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  • 62. At 01:08am on 01 May 2009, Williams_Renault wrote:

    I think I'll choose 1981, followed by 1991. I've never seen a full programme Grand Prix programme featuring Gilles Villeneuve, only short clips, and 1991 for that great duel down the main straight!

    Can I be greedy and have 1986 as well!

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  • 63. At 01:13am on 01 May 2009, paulsf1fix wrote:

    Oh Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was going to say Spain 1992 when Mansell over took Senna, I hope I'm right about that. Schumacher's wet race win 1996 was awesome. 1996 was the first real year I got the chance to sit down to watch every race, I have good memories of that season 1996. Also could I add that Monaco will be a messy affair to decide, So Many good Monaco. 1996 and 1997 were the best for me but we're talking about Spain here, So I'm voting for 1996.

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  • 64. At 01:30am on 01 May 2009, paulsf1fix wrote:

    Can I just say what a Lovely way to remember the Great Ayrton Senna, again I am Sorry I can never forget that dreadful day. Also can we remember Roland Ratzenberger, I'm sure we do. Thank you BBC for replaying that tribute.

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  • 65. At 01:57am on 01 May 2009, stevvy wrote:


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  • 66. At 11:06am on 01 May 2009, rocketcar9 wrote:

    something before 2003, as after that all we have seen are races that aren't much to watch!

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  • 67. At 11:37am on 01 May 2009, SG19 Cowshed - Das Boot wrote:

    Has to be 1981, for Gilles at Jarama.
    Closely followed by 1991 though, for some of the best looking modern F1 cars, in particular the beautiful Team 7UP Jordan 191 driven by Alex Zanardi on his F1 debut, while Bertrand Gachot was otherwise occupied in prison...

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  • 68. At 12:28pm on 01 May 2009, stoked_as_a_goat wrote:

    1986 please, though I'd love to see more of 1991 too.
    It's great to have the opportunity to see action from days gone by. Thanks very much and keep up the good work.

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  • 69. At 1:19pm on 01 May 2009, mark_r6 wrote:

    1981, pls. In those days I was too wee and broadcasting was just too hit-and-miss, so I'd love to watch extended footage of car-styles and drivers which you don't ordinarily get to see.

    I would also take issue on the "no-one passes, it's boring" view. Certainly in recent years, F1 has become totally boring because no-one passes - but I imagine the '81 race had the top 4 or 5 drivers nose-to-tail for much of the race. That's entirely different from today's processions.

    I would however also vote for whichever year it was that Schumacher got stuck in 5th - I still recall watching the in-car shots and realising there weren't any gear-changes... and then the disbelief > amazement of the commentators as they realised...

    My hands-down, dead-cert favourite for Monaco would be the race where Senna kept a freshly-tyred Mansell behind him for lap after lap despite being on tyres which clearly had nothing left to give - he was so obviously slower and had less grip than Mansell. It seemed only a matter of time before Mansell would sneak through... he didn't, and Senna took the win. That race was far from boring!

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  • 70. At 1:43pm on 01 May 2009, steve081974 wrote:

    I've already voted so won't cheat and do it again, but I've been watching some of the highlights from the older Grand Prix - isn't it depressing! It reminds you how dull and clinical and electronic and detatched modern F1 has become from... well, cars really!

    If Max and Bernie really wanted to make the sport cheaper and more exciting, just reinstate all the rules from about twenty years ago and let them get on with it.

    Now, what other bits of archive can I find....

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  • 71. At 2:28pm on 01 May 2009, danondorf wrote:

    I would choose 1991, as I don't really know much about it other than the endlessly repeated bit, and so i'm hoping it will be interesting as almost all of the races shown on the red button i've seen before.
    I do like the idea of 1981 as well but as it's already been featured on the site I'm not desperate to see it. Plus Jarama actually makes Barcelona seem like a good track.
    Also 1996 isn't as bad as some are making out, in highlight form it will probably look as good as any of these races, even if it all happened at the start.
    And yes I'd like to see 1994 as an option, as mentioned Schumacher stuck in 5th, debut for DC and Williams first win after Senna's death but also Tyrrell's last podium.

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  • 72. At 4:01pm on 01 May 2009, dianeroberts wrote:

    1981, so my 17yr son, can see how awesome and how difficult. It was for F1 drivers back in the day.

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  • 73. At 4:21pm on 01 May 2009, WezManf1 wrote:

    I would have to say 1981, it was just one of the best races ever.
    I also agree with danondorf, 1996 was a very brilliant race in which michael schumacher out classed the rest of the field, and came a very close 2nd in my view for best spanish grand prix.

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  • 74. At 4:27pm on 01 May 2009, hamdoesit007 wrote:

    Hi ya,

    great to see that we are getting to the races that have a bit more history to them, and therefore lots more races to choose from. Not to mention interesting races. Not that i dis-like the modern ones its just that you can't really call the Malaysian or Bahrain races Classic Formula One when don't go beyond 1999 and you can show highlights of all the Bahrain Grand Prix that have ever taken place to date (2004 2008).

    Having said that i'm loving the blog, the feture, the website, all the BBC has to offer for the F1 fan and of course the season as a whole.

    As for my Classic Spanish Grand Prix its a toss up, for me, between 1991 and 1996. But i suppose it has to be 1991 for me. I've only ever seen the pass Mansell made on Senna in that race, so it will be good to see what else happened. Second would be the 1996 race.

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  • 75. At 5:06pm on 01 May 2009, facemandave wrote:

    For me Mansell and Senna in 91, although Schumacher winning his first gp for ferrari in 96 was special too. Have to go for 91 though.


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  • 76. At 5:25pm on 01 May 2009, flukielukas wrote:

    ** Progressive tally for those interested - up to post 75.

    1981 has 16 first choice votes and 4 for second choice.
    1986 has 17 first choice votes and 2 for second choice.
    1991 has 15 first choice votes and 5 for second choice.
    1996 has 7 first choice votes and 2 for second choice.
    1997 has 1 first cohice vote.

    Not included in my tally are two persons who voted for both 1991 and 1981, and another who voted for all except 1997.

    Amazing how close the top three are.

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  • 77. At 8:54pm on 01 May 2009, Dispenser89 wrote:

    For me, 1981 followed by 1986. Would love to see the Jarama circuit and the battle at the front.

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  • 78. At 9:01pm on 01 May 2009, SimonDavid1 wrote:

    is the senna documentary just on sky's red button or will it be available on freeview? it would be great if the website could list the times and days when the extra material will be available, including the classic race highlights.

    i know andrew said above it would be on the red button, but there's just been snooker on freeview when i've tried it today.

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  • 79. At 11:50pm on 01 May 2009, HalfEvilHomer wrote:

    Gotta be 1994, shows schumachers class being stuck in 5th gear for the majority of the race and still able to finish!

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  • 80. At 10:34am on 02 May 2009, Woffin wrote:

    I imagine 1986 would be a great choice for full highlights and it would be fitting as well with it being a Senna win :) . Also, isn't that the race where we had the Murrayism "and he can see him clearly in his earphones" or something?

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  • 81. At 10:45am on 02 May 2009, StaffsSteve wrote:

    Wow! Now we are in Europe this feature will be spoilt for choice.

    It is a very tough choice. My vote will be for 1991. Mansell needing a victory to keep his very slim championship challenge alive and he delivered an amazing performance, passing Ayrton Senna twice and Gerhard Berger on his way to victory.

    I would not object to seeing highlights of 81 or 86 either, simply for the nostalga value of watching the old Grand Prix programme with Murray Walker. "Watch it on BBC television".

    The 1996 and 1997 races are not what I would consider to be classics, however Schumacher did drive well in the wet at Barcelona in 1996.

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  • 82. At 11:37am on 02 May 2009, Furai_f1 wrote:

    1981 please

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  • 83. At 12:49pm on 02 May 2009, TopVillain wrote:

    1986. 1981 might seem impressive from Villeneuve, and it was, but it could just get tedious watching 4 or 5 cars going round and round. Great performances don't always make for great viewing.

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  • 84. At 1:33pm on 02 May 2009, Incast wrote:

    If second preference votes are being counted, I'm going with 1986.

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  • 85. At 2:27pm on 02 May 2009, ghostdog_688 wrote:

    This has been an amazing idea.
    I think it would be fair to have full race (if available) for the winner (just like the australian GP winner), and extended highlights for the 2nd place.

    if thats the case, '81 and '86 get my vote (in that order), simply as I want to see how the older cars and drivers performed before i was born, I didn't really start watching until '96, and even then I barely remember anything apart from sitting watching cars crash with my Dad!
    Looking forward to any Monaco circuit, its always been my favouite. Senna vs Mansell (92?) always stuck out in my head, but I'll leave that vote for a fortnight!

    Keep this going next season too!
    P.S - any chance the winning race could turn up on iplayer? watching that on my big screen with my games console would be made of Win :D

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  • 86. At 5:04pm on 02 May 2009, StaffsSteve wrote:

    I know that the 1990 race is not listed, but I seem to remember enjoying that race at the time. The title was still well alive and Alain Prost gained an impressive victory, whilst Ayrton Senna retired due to a punctured radiator!

    I seem to remember a three way battle for the lead as Ayrton Senna emerged from the pit lane at the exact point that Nigel Mansell had waved Alain Prost through into the lead(team orders), with all three drivers taking the first corner at the same time.

    Maybe a race to consider for the next time.

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  • 87. At 5:29pm on 02 May 2009, jtcmurphy wrote:

    For me 1994 - Damon Hill winning (-: but mostly because of Schumacher's drive to second - when he got stuck in second gear his paced dropped for a lap or two but after that (if memory serves) he was faster than anyone except Hill and I'd fogotten that he made it out of the pits in stuck in 5th. Twice.

    The reason this is important (for me at least) is that it clearly demonstrates just how good a driver he was - something that people seem to question from time to time...

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  • 88. At 5:34pm on 02 May 2009, jtcmurphy wrote:

    Almost forgot - an vote for an item from the list - would have to be '86 as a Lotus fan I remember the stress level's climbing to ridiculous levels as the laps wound down.

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  • 89. At 8:14pm on 02 May 2009, lynxdragon wrote:

    I would choose 1981. Not only was it a thrilling race, and a superb performance by Villeneuve, but it was one of the first GPs which I took an active interest in.

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  • 90. At 8:52pm on 02 May 2009, jiggyjaggy1 wrote:

    OK, radical thinking here...

    What about classic F1 highlights from the BBC archive from three decades of coverage - 70's, 80's & 90's.

    1978 - Lotus 1-2
    1986 - Red 5 against the boy from Brazil
    1996 - Schumacher dominant win in under developed Ferrari

    Any thoughts from you bloggers out there?

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  • 91. At 10:38pm on 02 May 2009, lightmas wrote:

    I vote for 1996

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  • 92. At 10:38pm on 02 May 2009, jayross2009 wrote:

    Has to be 1991, the legendary duel between Mansell and Senna. Neither was going to give an inch coming down the straight at nearly 200mph. One of the most iconic moments in the sport between two great drivers. Later on in that race, Mansell and Gehard Berger, in the second Mclaren, raced wheel to wheel down to the first corner aswell.

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  • 93. At 10:55pm on 02 May 2009, d_i_rob wrote:

    1986 please - a race that ebbed and flowed, with Mansell right in the mix all the way through.
    Second choice would be 1981, mainly as I love those early Ferrari turbos. Thanks.

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  • 94. At 03:26am on 03 May 2009, paulsf1fix wrote:

    Wow I'm getting excited at which one will win!!!!!!!!!! Monaco is going to be really hard to decide, actually guys I wouldn't mind seeing Spain 1994. I had voted for 1996 but I've found a tape with the highlights on, So Can I vote for 1994?

    Spanish GP's after about 1997 were pretty boring. All though I did like that race* where I think Schumacher had a puncture and he held up his brother, this enabled Barrichello to over take them both. Also Alonso winning in 2006 but I'm hoping it will be a BBC race with Murray Walker commentating brings back good memories of Murray, this service from the BBC deserves applauding- Fantastic and long may it continue.

    *Unsure what year it was didn't want to say if I'm wrong don't want to feel a twit, I think it was 2000? Maybe someone might put me straight?

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  • 95. At 11:56am on 03 May 2009, Nexxus wrote:

    I pick 1991. it was a really eventful race, there was much more to it than just that iconic "wheel to wheel" moment. Stuff like Senna spinning off the track in the rain (didn't see than very often), and Schumacher driving in his first wet race.

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  • 96. At 12:52pm on 03 May 2009, EcosseBear wrote:

    paul, it was 2000. One of the only really good post 97 Spanish Grand Prix's. It was surprising it was so good, as the previous seasons race was such a dull one. 1999's was the one where Eddie Irvine stated he wished the mechanics had installed a stereo in his car at the pit stops as it was so boring, and to have a dull race in such an exciting season was really something, so hence why 2000 was refreshingly good.

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  • 97. At 4:31pm on 03 May 2009, Speed_Racer wrote:

    1991 please!

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  • 98. At 8:00pm on 03 May 2009, BenHarris5 wrote:

    Wow, what a line up of races! Well, my goodness, 1981, 1986 and 1991 especially, are all very famous races and I have had extreme difficulty in deciding which to choose! I'll go for 1981, with 1986 as a number two choice if theres a second extended race... And thats excluding the excellent 1991 race! I do have a slight reason for that- I well remember watching 1991 live as a 7 year old at the time, but funnily enough I don't have as much recollection of the other two...! Well whatever race is chosen it will certainly be great viewing, this feature will be quite something over the next races, well done to Andrew and the team on getting it started! And generally well done to the BBC on the coverage so far- it has been wonderful!,

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  • 99. At 11:16pm on 03 May 2009, Peter-8493 wrote:

    1991 and if second choices count i would choose 1986.

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  • 100. At 12:05pm on 04 May 2009, toybota007 wrote:

    Im going with 1986 as it was such a titanic battle. If second choices count, I will choose 1991 because of that overtake, and Nigels drive in the wet.

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  • 101. At 2:39pm on 04 May 2009, emiliolargo wrote:

    Hi Andrew,

    Following on from post 98 and your hint that you might like to show more than one highlights programme, I have a sugestion to make with regards to the voting.

    For the long standing GPs (Britain, Italy, Monaco, Brazil etc), why not only offer races where there is a GP highlights programme? If the BBC has about 19 years of archive coverage (1978-1996 plus a few before that), why not let us vote on one from the years up to and including 1986 and one from 87-96?

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  • 102. At 3:02pm on 04 May 2009, Formulalove wrote:

    This is a tough one! I would like to see full highlights of both 1981 and 1986, but if I have to decide one then let it be 1981 purely because I have never seen full highlights of a race that Gilles Villeneurve took part in and looking at Murray's highlights it looks to be a cracker!

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  • 103. At 10:13pm on 04 May 2009, LordWoz wrote:

    My vote is for 1986. Its before I started watching F1 and would be exciting to watch.

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  • 104. At 00:45am on 05 May 2009, shredaholic wrote:

    1986 please :)

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  • 105. At 00:47am on 05 May 2009, flukielukas wrote:

    Progressive tally to post 104.

    1981 has 22 first choice votes and 5 for second choice.
    1986 has 25 first choice votes and 7 for second choice.
    1991 has 20 first choice votes and 6 for second choice.
    1996 has 8 first choice votes and 3 for second choice.
    1997 has 1 first choice vote.

    A few people have also voted for 1994, which is more than 1997 at the moment.

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  • 106. At 08:41am on 05 May 2009, liamvine wrote:

    Never been a huge fan of this race but if i had to choose one it would be the 1991 race for that amazing moment when Senna and Mansell raced side by side down the pit straight almost banging wheels, amazing stuff!!!

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  • 107. At 12:48pm on 05 May 2009, acr_86 wrote:

    No, do NOT forget 1996! You don't have to be a Schumacher fan to appreciate the brilliance of his performance. It's worth it just to watch his wall-of-death line around the outside of the Renault Curve every lap, which is where all the grip was but where no other driver had the balls to go...

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  • 109. At 12:50pm on 05 May 2009, zebra85 wrote:

    A tough call, but i'll go for 1986 please. Mansell's relentless chase of Senna should be worth watching again. Thanks to the BBC for showing these on the web and red button, a great addition to the F1 coverage.

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  • 108. At 12:50pm on 05 May 2009, acr_86 wrote:

    So, yeah, my vote goes to 1996!

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  • 110. At 2:11pm on 05 May 2009, SCHUMILEGEND wrote:


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  • 111. At 3:23pm on 05 May 2009, Nick_Robertson wrote:

    1996. Schumacher's first great performance in a Ferrari, with some gear selection problems as well if I remember rightly... Although Barcelona rarely throws classic races at us...

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  • 112. At 4:23pm on 05 May 2009, the3douches wrote:

    Got to be G Villeneuve 1981, because I doubt we'll get the chance to see any more extended footage of Villeneuve in action, especially as there's no more French GP.

    When can we expect to see these? Will they be on the Red Button tomorrow?

    Monaco next, 1984, 1988 and 1992 are probably my standout favourites, so would like to see them on the list next time out!

    Thanks BBC, great work on this feature! FOM and the BBC should really consider putting out some DVDs of extended highlights from previous seasons. Anything with Murray's commentary would be better than the old season reviews!

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  • 113. At 5:15pm on 05 May 2009, superbigowen wrote:

    I think it should be Michael Schumacher in 1996 I enjoyed that race. It was great drive in the wet by Schumacher.

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  • 114. At 5:17pm on 05 May 2009, SteveRobinson01 wrote:

    Definately 1981. It's a showcase for exceptional talent, at a time when there were many exceptional talents in Formula 1. Gilles was a master.

    Please show this race. It would be fabulous to see again.

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  • 115. At 5:20pm on 05 May 2009, superbigowen wrote:

    I think it should be Michael Schumacher in 1996. It was a first great drive by Schumacher with Ferrari. It looked Very wet out there.

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  • 116. At 6:05pm on 05 May 2009, Brytech wrote:

    It has to be 1981, I still don't believe he did it!

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  • 117. At 6:24pm on 05 May 2009, paulsf1fix wrote:

    Hi Guys. Does any one know when the winning race or races becomes available. It's normally tuesday's??????? I hope it's Soon.

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  • 118. At 6:26pm on 05 May 2009, scoobyman2 wrote:

    1981 please.

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  • 119. At 8:15pm on 05 May 2009, GV4everno1 wrote:

    Please, Please, Please 1981!

    Not a particularly exciting race, but a legendary drive! People just don't understand how bad that Ferrari was. It's also 27 years since his death on Friday, what better way to remind people of just how unique he was!

    Alternatively, 1991. I seem to remember that was one of those that got away from Alesi!

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  • 120. At 9:53pm on 05 May 2009, smithy2781 wrote:

    Its got to be 1986!!

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  • 121. At 10:07pm on 05 May 2009, gilesy_v wrote:

    1991 - Senna & Mansell in one of the most iconic images in F1 history.

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  • 122. At 10:17pm on 05 May 2009, rhombushead wrote:


    Just so we can hear Murray: "Is this where the lead is going to take.... change.... yes!"

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  • 123. At 11:14pm on 05 May 2009, AlberRatman wrote:

    91 was by far the most eventful. Mansell overtook Senna twice and caught the Hare Berger and passed him with the best overtaking move of the lot! Senna spun as well + it was a wet/dry race. Giles drive in the tractor of 81 would be my second..

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  • 124. At 00:28am on 06 May 2009, OffTheChain wrote:

    Before this thing closes off I must vote.. 1991 for first choice, and 1986 for second choice!

    Thanks guys. Are these appearing Wednesday or Thursday on BBCi?

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  • 125. At 01:55am on 06 May 2009, flukielukas wrote:

    What an epic run to the finish..

    1981 has 26 first choice votes and 5 for second choice.
    1986 has 26 first choice votes and 8 for second choice.
    1991 has 25 first choice votes and 7 for second choice.
    1996 has 11 first choice votes and 3 for second choice.
    1997 has 1 first choice vote.

    Considering the above, the voting would have it as 86, 81, then 91. But taking into account there were two other voters who voted for both 81 and 91 in no order, then the order would change to 81, 91, then 86. Im not fussed with whats shown, I think all of the top 3 are classic races worth watching. Ill be interested to see though how the votes are counted and which is the #1 fans choice.

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  • 126. At 10:49am on 06 May 2009, Senna27 wrote:

    1981 Spain please! And I really think that the winnig race should be shown in full live coverage with the second race shown as highlights.

    As others have said, desperate to see 1981, as 1986 and 1991 are quite recent and it is hardly taking full advantage of the BBC archive when people probably already hae those races on tape anyway!

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