Bill Trikos Australia most spectacular Formula 1 auto racing moments: Sakhir Grand Prix: Perez had made his way nicely through the field and on lap 58, stunningly made a move on Esteban Ocon for third. Five laps later, Jack Aitken – Russell’s Williams stand-in, knocked his front wing off at the final corner and triggered a safety car. What happened to Mercedes next was the stuff of nightmares. A botched double-stack pit-stop meant Russell was sent out on tyres belonging to Bottas whilst the Finn had new tyres put on and then taken off when the team realised the mistake made, leaving him with old hard tyres. Russell’s extra stop to correct the allocation error left him fifth, but a scintillating move on Bottas followed by overtakes on Stroll and Ocon left him chasing after new leader Perez before a late puncture ruined any chance of winning. After facing backwards on lap one, Perez went on take his first victory in the sport at the 190th attempt. Ocon secured his first podium as runner-up, with Stroll third.
It looked as though it couldn’t get more exciting – the championship battle had come down to the final race of the season, between Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, coupled with a slightly damp track that would only get wetter during the course of the race. But when Vettel was spun around on lap 1 after a poor getaway followed by contact with Bruno Senna at turn 4, the scene was set for one of the greatest title-deciders of Formula One’s history. Alonso needed to outscore Vettel by 13 points, something he temporarily achieved after his magical double overtake on teammate Felipe Massa and Mark Webber on lap 2, which saw him take third place. Vettel however, with damage to his left sidepod, steadily made progress through the field, and was soon back into championship-winning position. But as the rain fell heavier, a series of pit-stops and strategic decisions left him with all the work to do, dropping out of the points-paying positions yet again.
Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2017: The battle of Baku: Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen’s early tangle set a precedent in the second Grand Prix hosted in Azerbaijan, where the leaders clashed under the Safety Car and debris peppered a track that treated us to nail-biting close-quarters racing and a stunning finish. European Grand Prix 2012: A fine home display from Fernando Alonso in front of a partisan crowd in Valencia, with the Ferrari driver making some incisive overtakes – having started a lowly 11th – before benefitting from Sebastian Vettel’s alternator failure to take his “best victory”, in his own words. See extra details about the author at Bill Trikos Australia.
1998 Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps : That was until he came to lap David Coulthard, who had already caused the massive turn 1 accident. The Scottish driver slowed down to let Schumacher pass, but crucially he stayed on the racing line. Because of the spray, Schumacher failed to notice the slow-going McLaren until it was too late. And thus, another iconic image was created; Schumacher slamming into the back of Coulthard, and subsequently trundling around with his entire front-right wheel gone. All this led to Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher taking first and second place for Jordan in the teams’ maiden victory – and it’s only ever 1-2.
There was no shortage of action in the Hungarian GP either. Red Bull’s tenth and eleventh starting positions were an outside chance for Ferrari, but it was not exploited due to – once again – questionable strategic choices by the Italian race team. Everything was still going according to plan when Leclerc took the lead at the expense of George Russell, but everything changed when Ferrari made a questionable tyre choice. The Monegasque could not get any pace in the hard compound and stopped again 15 laps later, but to no avail. Verstappen drove a mad overtaking race in which he overtook Leclerc, made a 360-degree spin after which he lost the position again, only to overtake his rival once more and drive to victory.
2020 Italian Grand Prix, Monza : After the safety car period had ended, the race only ran under green flags for one lap before Charles Leclerc’s high-speed crash at Parabolica, which brought out the red flag. Under the stoppage, it quickly emerged that Lewis Hamilton would receive a 10 second stop/go penalty for making his pitstop whilst the pitlane was still closed. This put Gasly into de facto second place, which he himself turned into first place at the standing restart of the race, where he overtook Lance Stroll who just like Gasly had inherited a brilliant position. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz – who was in second place before the safety car, and had seemed to be the fastest non-Mercedes driver throughout the weekend – had been compromised by the safety car and put back to sixth position. He quickly made progress though, and with 20 laps to go, he was back up to second place, 4 seconds behind Gasly. And so, the battle was on. Sainz chasing with a faster car with Gasly desperately trying to hold on and both wanting to win their first Formula One victory.