Formula 1 began in 1950 and has seen its fair share of classic events. After all, there have been nearly 900 Formula 1 races over the years. With so much content, and with so much history, you’re sure to find dozens of exciting, timeless moments.
However, we aren’t looking for classic moments here. We are looking for incredible races – races that are exciting, incredible displays of racing skill from beginning to end.
2008 Brazilian Grand Prix
The 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix was the conclusion to a tightly fought season. Lewis Hamilton was only 7 points ahead of Felipe Massa. Hamilton had to finish in the top 5 to maintain his lead. Felipe Massa started the race on the pole; Hamilton started in fourth. Even is Massa won the race, if Hamilton finished in the top five, Massa would lose the championship.
After rain stalled the race, Hamilton came out of the pits in sixth position. Massa ended up taking first place home; however, in the last turn, Hamilton took 5th position and took home the championship by just one point.
2012 Brazilian Grand Prix
The season was a tight one between Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel. The only thing stopping this race from being higher on the list is the fact that it finished under caution. Vettel ended up becoming a triple world champion at the conclusion of this race.
1988 Japanese Grand Prix
A stalled engine, a close finish, and tight season standings make this race stand out from others. Ayrton Senna ultimately won the race and the championship.
1957 German Grand Prix
This is arguably the best Formula 1 race to ever take place, and it happened only seven years after the racing organization was formed. Legendary driver Juan Manuel Fangio displayed what he was known for: incredible racing.
Fangio was driving a Maseratti and started on the pole. Fangio had a unique strategy: he used softer tires and never filled up past half a tank. This gave him greater speed around corners due to the softer tires and lighter load.
Fangio had a 30 second lead on the competition during his first pit stop, but things went terribly wrong. His pit team lost a tire. Fangio exited 48 seconds behind first place. Fangio broke the fastest lap record 9 times to take back first place and go home with the Championship.
1981 Spanish Grand Prix
Gilles Villeneuve’s journey from qualifying seventh and taking home the victory is another legendary race.
Villeneuve’s car had the clear advantage on straight stretched, but he was lacking speed around corners. It was his excellent strategy that earned him the victory. Villeneuve’s car was in the right places at all the right times, stopping Laffite from ever being able to pass him.
Not everyone will agree with these choices because there are countless classic races in Formula 1.