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Formula 1

Formula 1: Top 10 most memorable moments from F1 Chinese GP

Published at :April 19, 2024 at 1:04 PM
Modified at :April 19, 2024 at 1:04 PM
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(Courtesy : Formula 1)

Hisan Kidwai


Formula 1 is preparing for another exciting weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit (Chinese GP). 

The track has witnessed some of the most dramatic incidents. Let us look at the most memorable moments at the Chinese Grand Prix. From serious clashes to historic victories, the Chinese GP has seen it all.

Following are the moments that have made the Chinese GPs a special one.

10. Button’s brilliant victory

Jenson Button’s joining Lewis Hamilton at McLaren in 2010 raised several questions among the fans. But Button proved his worth just after four races by winning two of them.

His second win of the season came at the Chinese Grand Prix, where he put his all to beat his teammate Lewis Hamilton. Towards the end of the race, the gap between the two McLarens almost ceased to exist. Finally, both the cars crossed the checkered flag with an interval of 1.5 seconds.

9. Red Bull’s winning start

After the F1 rules were changed in 2009, Red Bull got an opportunity to be one of the best teams on the grid.

Just after the third race of the season, the Red Bull won their first race. Even after the usual rainy weather in China, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber performed brilliantly. This victory gave a glimpse of the team’s hidden potential.

8. Vettel vs Kvyat

Daniil Kvyat has been known by the nickname ‘torpedo’ after the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix. This name was given by Sebastian Vettel when Kvyat collided with Vettel in the first corner while passing him. The incident led to a heated argument between both drivers when Vettel blamed Kvyat for the accident. 

However, tensions continued to rise as they collided again at the start of the next race in Russia.

7. Montoya’s drain cover incident

During the second Chinese Grand Prix in 2005, Juan Pablo Montoya went out of luck when he hit a drain cover protruding from one of the curbs, damaging his tire.

After being forced to pit, Montoya had to end the race. Safety cars were released after the incident took place. Uncertain if the drain cover had been removed or if it had left a sizable hole in the track, teams cautioned their drivers to avoid the curb where Montoya struck it.

6. Buemi’s wheeling disaster

In 2010, Sebastian Buemi experienced a terrifying incident during the free practice race. While approaching the turn 14 hairpin, Buemi’s front wheels suddenly slipped off.

Despite not hitting anything hard, Buemi managed to keep his calm and steer his car without the wheels, sending the Toro Rosso into the barrier.

This incident holds a prominent significance in the history of Formula as it reminds us of the frightening failures that revolve around the sport.

5. Hamilton’s Pitlane Tragedy in 2007

Before the second last race of the season, the McLaren driver was ahead by 12 points in the championship. Hamilton was giving a tough competition to his Ferrari rival, Kimi Raikkonen, both on the track and in the championship race.

But in China, when the weather changed from wet to dry, McLaren made a mistake. They called Hamilton into the pits too late, and his tires were already worn out. Hamilton tried to turn into the pit lane, but his tires had so little grip that he slid slowly into the gravel trap, ending his race early.

4. Schumacher’s misfortune at the Chinese GP

Michael Schumachers’s 2005 season was marked by a disappointing performance at the Chinese Grand Prix. During the race, Schumacher was caught in a serious accident with Christijan Albers.

Schumacher’s Ferrari drifted into the path of Christijan Albers causing heavy damage to both the cars. This forced the safety car to be released while Michael had to retire with just 22 laps.

Fortunately, both the drivers were allowed a pit lane start to resume the race using the spare cars.

3. BAR’s bold attempt at dual liveries

During the 1999 Chinese Grand Prix, the British American Racing (BAR) attempted to run their cars in two different liveries when joining the grid. However, it was blocked by the FIA. Due to this, BAR ran its first season in a half-and-half “zipper” livery.

After a while, Lucky Strike became the sole title sponsor, but the blue brand was called back into service during the Chinese Grand Prix.

BAR also tried to take things to a different level by bringing 555 colours for Anthony Davidson, when teams were permitted to bring three cars for the free practice.

2. Michael Schumacher’s 91st win

The F1 legend, Michael Schumacher achieved his 91st victory at the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix. Schumacher started sixth on the grid with the rain when he started the race. But as the rain stopped and the dry track dried, his intermediate tires started to wear off.

After a while, he managed to close the gaps between his competitors, Giancarlo Fisichella and Fernando Alonso. He managed to give a tough battle to his title rival, Fernando Alonso.

The record stood for 15 years when it was finally broken by Lewis Hamilton in 2020

1. F1’s 1000th Grand Prix

Formula 1 celebrated its 1000th Grand Prix during the last Chinese GP held in 2019. It had been 69 years between the first grand prix at Silverstone and the one in 2019 in China. 

In that race, Lewis Hamilton had crossed the finish line to win Formula 1’s 1000th World Championship race.

Throughout the weekend, Hamilton and Bottas, who are teammates at Mercedes, engaged in a direct battle. The Finn took the lead on the first lap by just 0.023 seconds, but the Briton quickly attacked and led by six and a half seconds at the finish.

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