High 10: System 1’s preferrred wheel-to-wheel duels

On the anniversary of Gilles Villeneuve’s passing we gape reduction at his shimmering battle with Rene Arnoux within the 1979 French Huge Prix and evaluation it with masses of mountainous duels in System 1 historical previous.

Top 10: Formula 1's greatest wheel-to-wheel duels

Click on the arrows within the photographs to scroll by them…

10. Hamilton vs Rosberg (Bahrain 2014)

10. Hamilton vs Rosberg (Bahrain 2014)


Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Photos

The 2014 season ushered in an abilities of hybrid dominance for Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton led the crew in a 1-2 select in Melbourne, but in Bahrain teammate Nico Rosberg showed Hamilton that he would absorb a fight on his fingers.

Rosberg qualified on pole, but a handy e-book a rough starting Hamilton made the most of his inner line into Flip 1 to protect the lead. Rosberg tried to assemble the lead within the race as a lot as Flip 4, but came across himself on the unsuitable aspect of the tune to pull off the switch.

After a botched try on lap 18, Rosberg had extra success on the following lap. As both autos locked up into Flip 1, the German managed to squeeze previous Hamilton. Hamilton couldn’t salvage a device previous in Flip 4, but managed to get a larger exit and lower reduction previous Rosberg popping out of the nook.

With five laps to switch Rosberg undertook one closing effort to grab away the lead, temporarily taking the plot but also overshooting the nook. That try settled a nail-biting duel, noteworthy to the relaxation of crew boss Toto Wolff. Having stated that, in hindsight Wolff unquestionably would absorb happily settled for added Bahrainesque thrillers when in contrast to the clashes and acrimony that may perchance well perchance be aware.

9. Leclerc vs Verstappen (Britain 2019)

9. Leclerc vs Verstappen (Britain 2019)


Photo by: Gareth Harford / Motorsport Photos

Essentially the most most modern entry on this checklist fittingly aspects the two most keen new superstars in System 1. In the 2019 season, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc fought out plenty of wheel-to-wheel battles, along side a fierce, race deciding tussle in Austria.

Their battle in the end of the British Huge Prix used to be another instance of their contention: on the knife’s edge, but nonetheless respectful. Verstappen and Leclerc battled every masses of by diverse phases of the race, culminating in a heroic out of doorways switch by Verstappen spherical Club nook.

Afterwards Leclerc admitted he raced Verstappen “tougher than unprecedented” after their Austria incident. Verstappen’s scamper won the FIA Motion of the 12 months award.

8. Massa vs Kubica (Japan 2007)

8. Massa vs Kubica (Japan 2007)


Photo by: Sutton Photos

Next on the checklist is one amongst the most memorable rain races in most modern times. In 2007 the Japanese Huge Prix moved from Suzuka to Fuji, but whereas the tune may perchance well perchance absorb been masses of, the treacherous autumn climate used to be unquestionably a well-identified prospect.

The fundamental 19 laps were race within the reduction of the protection automotive, after which rookie Lewis Hamilton put in a measured drive to stable a pivotal select, sooner than Heikki Kovalainen and title rival Kimi Raikkonen. McLaren teammate and rival Fernando Alonso had crashed out after aquaplaning off the tune.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa had started from fourth, but needed to fall reduction below the preliminary safety automotive duration to pit for masses of rain tyres and came across himself in seventh going into the closing lap.

Massa used to be chasing the BMW of Robert Kubica, who also had a noteworthy race along side a drive-by penalty for contact with Hamilton. Aided by a high payment of attrition, Kubica and Massa came across themselves reduction within the parts.

Massa and Kubica fought teeth and nail over every rain-soaked streak of the tune and even about a of the race-off position. Massa thought he’d secured the distance after passing the Pole into Flip 3, but Kubica retook the plot, which came about over and over within the following corners.

In the technical third sector Massa compelled Kubica off the tune twice, whereas Kubica returned the favour approaching to the closing straight. No topic having to soar reduction across the kerb and on to the tell tune, Massa nonetheless prevailed and took sixth.

7. Mansell vs Berger (Mexico 1990)

7. Mansell vs Berger (Mexico 1990)


Photo by: Ercole Colombo

The 1990 Mexican Huge Prix used to be one amongst the races that had a diminutive of all the pieces. Ayrton Senna grabbed an early lead for McLaren, whereas his bitter rival Alain Prost started down in thirteenth.

Prost carved his device by the self-discipline, whereas Senna used to be starting to suffer from tyre wear within the latter half of the race. With ten laps to switch Prost indirectly passed Senna for the lead. Presently after, the Brazilian retired after his traditional correct kind rear tyre exploded.

Prost took a contented select after a spectacular comeback, however the tell highlight of the race used to be offered by his teammate Nigel Mansell. Mansell used to be passed by Senna’s McLaren teammate Gerhard Berger into Flip 1, but returned the favour with a gutsy across the out of doorways switch by the fearsome, banked Peraltada nook.

Alongside with Senna’s huge shunt a 12 months later, it can well perchance indicate to be one amongst the lasting memories of Mexico’s most feared nook.

6. Hakkinen vs Schumacher (Belgium 2000)

6. Hakkinen vs Schumacher (Belgium 2000)


Photo by: McLaren

A wheel-to-wheel duel is some distance extra memorable if it entails the two preferrred drivers of their abilities, battling it out for the select and the arena championship.

The 2000 Belgian Huge Prix delivered good that. Mika Hakkinen led the model in a moist-dry race, but Michael Schumacher soon closed the gap. After a pause for dry tyres, Schumacher slipped previous Hakkinen after the Finn took to the grass in Stavelot.

Schumacher gave the affect on his device to a clear select, but within the demise phases of the race his tyres started to proceed. On lap 40 Hakkinen came across extra traction popping out of La Supply and acquired a stable tow on the Kemmel straight. Hakkinen pulled out on the within, but Schumacher aggressively blocked the Finn, conclude to placing him on the grass and destructive the McLaren’s front hover.

Hakkinen angrily gesticulated and used to be noteworthy extra obvious to grab the select some distance flung from the German. Some lapped web page traffic gave him the momentum to try again on the very next lap.

On the Kemmel straight Schumacher passed the lapped BAR of Ricardo Zonta on the out of doorways. Hakkinen adopted his rival by, but cleverly picked the within line. That finished without Schumacher from closing the door on him a 2nd time. Hakkinen saved the within into Les Combes and made the race winning switch stick.

Hakkinen’s onboard clip of the switch grew to became an quick traditional, in particular the search for of Zonta’s automotive being spoil up by the Ferrari and the McLaren. The Brazilian did correctly to put up his line by the complete segment.

5. Mansell vs Senna (Spain 1991)

5. Mansell vs Senna (Spain 1991)


Photo by: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch

The subsequent entry on this checklist is another iconic scrap between two world champions. On the logo-new Circuit de Catalunya the 1991 Spanish Huge Prix used to be a race with many unknown factors. Namely when it started to rain on race morning.

On a moist but drying tune Gerhard Berger took the lead whereas Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and Nigel Mansell were battling it out within the reduction of the Austrian.

Mansell passed Schumacher within the scrap for third and then challenged Senna. On the fundamental straight Mansell pulled out of Senna’s slipstream and the pair produced another iconic image, immortalised by the legendary photographer Rainer Schlegelmilch. Aspect by aspect, separated by inches, sparks flying, vapour coming off the rear wings. Their autos encroached every masses of even extra till Senna yielded and Mansell made the switch stick.

Mansell would lose the plot again after a slower pause for slicks, but a high-tail by Senna reversed the peril in Mansell’s favour. He trigger off after the masses of McLaren, the main Berger, and the Mansell’s red five swept previous to cap off one amongst his easiest performances in F1 with a select.

4. Alonso vs Schumacher (San Marino 2005)

4. Alonso vs Schumacher (San Marino 2005)


Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Photos

The 2005 San Marino Huge Prix is a top instance of that indisputable fact that you just don’t need overtaking to absorb an keen spectacle.

Early championship chief Fernando Alonso used to be handed the lead when Kimi Raikkonen’s driveshaft broke. Michael Schumacher, who had a torrid birth as a lot as the season with Ferrari’s Bridgestone tyres, started down in 13th, but resolutely moved up the articulate.

After Alonso’s closing pitstop and a scamper on BAR’s Jenson Button, Schumacher emerged within the lead for the major time in 2005. Alonso regained the lead when Schumacher made his closing pause, then again it used to be evident that Schumacher used to be noteworthy quicker than the Spaniard.

Schumacher had twelve laps to defeat Alonso, unquestionably ample time to acquire a switch. Lap after lap Schumacher acquired conclude, even alongside at one point, but Alonso defended valiantly and proved unflappable careworn out.

Alonso weathered the storm to protect his third select of the season by good two tenths and showed he didn’t good absorb the raw rush and the instruments, but also the steel to switch the complete device. Which he duly did.

3. Senna vs Mansell (Spain 1986)

3. Senna vs Mansell (Spain 1986)


Photo by: Motorsport Photos

The 1986 Spanish Huge Prix at Jerez noticed one amongst the closest finishes in F1 historical previous, which we documented in other locations. Nigel Mansell passed Williams teammate Nelson Piquet early on to birth up chasing polesitter Ayrton Senna across the new Spanish tune. Mansell and Senna fought out a marvelous battle, the Briton getting previous before Senna aggressively retook the lead.

Mansell misplaced 2nd to Alain Prost within the McLaren as correctly, and determined to pit. On new tyres Mansell soon passed Prost and charged in the direction of Senna, who desperately tried to dam the Briton on his traditional tyres. In the closing nook of the closing lap, Mansell picked up a tow and pulled alongside the Brazilian on the straight.

Senna managed to hang on by good 0.014 seconds in a single amongst the most iconic finishes in System 1. Afterwards an exhausted Mansell joked both he and Senna must nonetheless every be given 7.5 parts for their efforts.

2. Stewart vs Rindt (Britain 1969)

2. Stewart vs Rindt (Britain 1969)


Photo by: Motorsport Photos

The 1969 British Huge Prix evolved into one amongst these iconic slipstream battles that characterised the game’s most daunting abilities.

With no chicanes to slack the autos down, the traditional Silverstone used to be thought about one amongst the quickest tracks within the arena, on par with Monza. It also produced some fantastic racing.

With out a doubt, the 1969 race proved you don’t need many autos to absorb an keen motor race. Surely, there used to be a relaxing scrap for third between Jacky Ickx and Bruce McLaren, but from a depleted starting grid most efficient ten autos made the produce, most of them ending plenty of laps down.

Light, all eyes were zeroing in on the two leaders. For a massive selection of laps the Lotus of polesitter Jochen Rindt and Matra’s Jackie Stewart were stopping teeth and nail for the lead, swapping positions a massive sequence of times. In the 2nd half of the race, Stewart would every so continually lose contact ensuing from lapped web page traffic, but would then reel the Austrian in again.

The match used to be firm in anticlimactic model when Rindt needed to pit for a loose rear hover discontinue plate, which used to be dragging on the tyre. Stewart won by a lap sooner than Ickx and McLaren. Light, the prolonged battle between Stewart and Rindt used to be hailed as System 1’s finest hour.

1. Villeneuve vs Arnoux (France 1979)

1. Villeneuve vs Arnoux (France 1979)


Photo by: Ercole Colombo

The perennial number 1 on this checklist also hails from an abilities when wheel-to-wheel duels were extra at anguish of absorb dire penalties. That, and the sheer commitment and automotive put an eye fixed on shown by both Gilles Villeneuve and Rene Arnoux, is why their myth scrap in the end of the 1979 French Huge Prix is so fondly remembered.

On the short, but flowing Dijon tune, Villeneuve started from third within the reduction of the two Renaults of Arnoux and polesitter Jean-Pierre Jabouille.

Villeneuve vaulted up into first and built up a contented lead on Jabouille, before the Frenchman started slashing into the deficit. Around the midway point Jabouille used to be patiently attempting ahead to a probability to scamper Villeneuve, which introduced itself when the Canadian used to be held up by lapped web page traffic.

Jabouille took the lead and disappeared out of search for, whereas Villeneuve opted to preserve his tyres. He now needed to center of attention his attention on the masses of Renault of Arnoux, who used to be closing in rapidly.

After two laps of shadowing Villeneuve, Arnoux indirectly made his switch into Flip 1 with three laps to switch, noteworthy to the satisfaction of a roaring French crowd. Villeneuve refused to help down and repaid the favour one lap later, spectacularly locking up his tyres as he slid previous Arnoux within the same nook.

That self-discipline up a mighty scrap on the closing lap. Arnoux again took the plot on the within of Flip 1, but used to be then compelled wide and misplaced momentum. That gave Villeneuve the likelihood to stay his nostril alongside the Frenchman into the Flip 5 left-hander. They rubbed wheels but by some potential both managed to put up going. Arnoux stayed out in front, but then Villeneuve settled the project with a heroic divebomb into the though-provoking Parabolique correct kind-hander.

Whereas Jabouille used to be infamous as the major French winner of a French Huge Prix in 31 years – in a French automotive no less – the race would indirectly be remembered for the myth duel for 2nd space.

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