Memorable moments from the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Spa
The Belgium Grand Prix at Spa, home of the “greatest racing circuit in the world” is a favourite on the Formula 1 calendar for both drivers and fans alike. Over the years we have seen some incredible battles, triumphs, and some monumental shunts. Here is a look back at some memorable moments.
1966: Jackie Stewart has a big one that changes the way he thinks about racing
Jackie Stewart’s BRM P261 crashed into a telephone pole and then landed in a ditch at Masta Kink, leading to him being stuck upside down in his BRM, halfway up to his waist in fuel. It was 25 minutes before Jackie was removed from the car.
1967: Mike Parkes suffers Formula 1 career ending crash
British racer Mike Parkes’ Formula One career ended after he broke both legs in a horror crash in 1967. The gritty racer returned to race sports cars in the 1970s in sports cars. Sadly Mile was killed in a road accident in 1977.
1991: Michael Schumacher makes his Formula 1 debut
The Jordan team dominated the headlines leading up to the Belgian Grand Prix. Regular driver Bertrand Gachot was in an English jail as a result of an altercation with a London taxi driver, so the team replaced him with a young German driver called Michael Schumacher. Michael qualified in 7th place on debut and lit a spark that would see him go on to be the most successful F1 driver in history.
1992: “Mystery Driver”” takes a leak during the grid walk
In this clip at (0:44 secs), one of the drivers can bee seen relieving himself on camera before the race.
1993: Alex Zanardi’s big crash
Alex Zanard has a monumental accident at Eau Rouge during Friday morning practice. The accident was allegedly caused by the Lotus’s active suspension system failing and Alex received severe bruising, concussion and a strained spinal nerve which kept him out of the cockpit for the rest of the season.
1998: Team orders as Damon Hill takes first win for Jordan
Damon Hill secures the first win for the hugely popular Jordan team after negotiating a team order deal from the cockpit. Damon Hill said ” I am going to put something to you here and I think you better listen to this. If we race, if we race, we could end up with nothing, so its up to Eddie. If we don’t race each other we have an opportunity to get a first and second, its your choice.” Eddie Jordan agreed with Damon and the team created history.
1998: Coulthard and Schumacher clash and Michael goes nuts in pit lane
Michael was leading easily in the rain soaked race when he came up on backmarker Coulthard , who lifted to let the German past, but due to the very poor visibility, Schumacher slammed straight into the back of the McLaren, tearing off the right-front wheel of the Ferrari. Once back in the pits Schumacher then charged down the pitlane and accused Coulthard of “trying to fucking kill me”
1998: Jacques Villeneuve huge crash at Eau Rouge
Jacques Villeneuve was involved in what he described as his “biggest crash in F1 so far” when he lost control of his car at 180 mph whilst attempting to take the big balls Eau Rouge flat.
1998: Huge start line pile up
Despite the heavy rain it was decided that the race would start at the scheduled time without a safety car. At the start Häkkinen led, but behind them, Coulthard suddenly emerged from the blinding spray at a right angle to the racing line, hit the trackside wall and the McLaren rebounded directly into the path of the oncoming field, causing one of the biggest pile ups ever seen in Grand Prix racing.
2000: Mika Häkkinen pulls off big move on Michael Schumacher
This move will go down in history as Mika keeps his boot in and passes both backmarker Zonta and Schumacher in a big balls move.
2001: Lucian Burti has brain rattling shunt
Heading into Blanchimont, Eddie Irvine and Prost driver, Luciano Burti tangle. The young Brazilian barely washes off any speed before plowing head first into a tyre barrier. The sickening shunt leaves Burti with facial bruising and concussion that forces him out for the remainder of the season.
2011: Mark Webber puts one on Fernando Alonso at the entry to Eau Rouge
Red Bull racing driver Mark Webber commits to one of the bravest passing moves ever seen in Formula 1.
2012: First corner crash wipes out Hamilton and Alonso
Romain Grosjean was fined €50,000 and was given a one-race ban at the Italian Grand Prix for his role in the crash at the start. He also struck off Hamilton and Alonso’s Chritsmas card list.