Top Five Moments In Spanish GP History


The Spanish Grand Prix (GP) is one of the world’s oldest active races, celebrating its centenary in 2013. It currently takes place over 66 laps of the 2.894-mile (4.657-kilometre) Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain. Since 1968, except for 1982-1985, the race has been a regular part of the F1 World Championship at various venues.

In its 100-year-plus history, the Spanish GP has treated F1 fans to a wide range of memories. From close finishes to rainy wonders, there is no shortage of amazing moments. As the 2023 edition was a bit dull, let’s take a walk down memory lane of some of the most exciting races in Catalunya.

Check out here when you watch F1 from the comfort of your own home, or any time you’re in the mood for some online casino entertainment. However, the following historical reminiscences can serve as a helpful reminder of the significance of the Spanish Grand Prix.

1996: Schumacher does it on a rainy afternoon in Barcelona

Rain may be a problem for some drivers, but Michael Schumacher welcomed it gracefully in the 1996 Spanish GP. Fresh off his switch to Ferrari, he was stuck with a difficult car for the race. A terrible start meant the German driver fell behind the pack to P10.

The downpour in Spain turned out to be an excellent machinery leveller as Schumacher put the trouble of his bad car behind him, sliding through the wet and rainy surface with skill. Amid the drenching rain, the new Ferrari driver finished first, 45 seconds before the runner-up Jean Alesi. Schumacher claimed five more victories at the Circuit.

1991: Ayrton Senna vs Nigel Mansell showdown

Our list cannot be complete without including this spectacular duel between Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell. After qualifying, Mansell and Senna secured second and third places on the grid. At the end of Lap 4, Senna and Mansell were side by side and had equal speed as they drove towards the first corner.

After some manoeuvres, both drivers were separated by only inches as they entered the braking zones. Sparks and vapour trails poured off their cars. Then, Mansell took the line, winning as Senna disappointingly finished fifth.

This race was the first Spanish GP at the new Circuit dé Catalunya. Officials could not have asked for a better race to open the venue.

2016: Rosberg and Hamilton collide

In the 2016 Spanish GP, a family feud spilt over into the public. Teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg had a strained relationship. Mercedes would have hoped that their drivers keep their trouble off the tracks, but it did not take long for their hopes to evaporate. Hamilton and Rosberg collided in the opening lap.

Rosberg was in the wrong engine mode, forcing Hamilton to close in on his teammate unexpectedly. The collision took out both drivers from the race. The crash came after the duo also clashed during the 2014 Belgian GP’s opening lap. But Mercedes said there was no problem between Hamilton and Rosberg, explaining that “a couple of unfortunate coincidences” caused the team’s loss.

Niki Lauda, the non-executive chairman of Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, later revealed that the team threatened to sack Hamilton and Rosberg if their collision awas repeated.

1976: A court gave it to Hunt

James Hunt defeated Niki Lauda at the 1976 Spanish GP. But his victory was annulled once his car got to the scrutineering bay at Jarama. Race officials disqualified Hunt’s McLaren for being too wide. McLaren subsequently appealed the decision, and a court reinstated their victory.

The decision proved decisive in the title race. Hunt won the 1976 world championship, edging his Austrian archrival, Lauda, by one point.

2001: Hakkinen denied victory in unfortunate circumstances

Mika Hakkinen, a world champion in 1998 and 1999, endured a poor start to the 2001 season. But his season seemed ready to take off as he flew to the lead at the Spanish GP. Hakkinen was behind his fierce rival, Schumacher, for the first part of the race, but the Finn took the lead as a vibration slowed his opponent.

However, as Hakkinen entered Turn 3 on the final lap, sparks flew out of his McLaren, followed by smoke. The Finn was forced to park the car just five corners from the finish line. Schumacher, who was over 50 seconds behind Hakkinen at the start of the final lap, drove past the stricken McLaren for the luckiest victory of his career.

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