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Bahrain F1 opener brings together F1 champions

Submitted by on March 5, 2010

Retro Formula One fans rejoice, for you are in for a weekend at the track like none other. How does every surviving Formula One champion gathered together at the same time and place for one unforgettable event sound? And what if they bring along the cars they drove to win those championships?

That is exactly what the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) board are planning and so far they are doing a pretty fantastic job. All but two surviving F1 champions have been confirmed to be in attendance of this year’s Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix weekend running from the 12th to the 14th of March.

“This is a unique event; one that is unlikely to be repeated ever again,” – Whitaker

This historic event marks the first of the celebrations for Formula One’s 60th anniversary. What better way to celebrate the anniversary of motorcar racing’s zenith than to bring together its top drivers for a once in a lifetime event in their honour.

Drivers confirmed so far include Fernando Alonso, Mario Andretti, Sir Jack Brabham, Jenson Button, Emerson Fittipaldi, Mika Hakkinen, Lewis Hamilton, Damon Hill, Alan Jones, Niki Lauda, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Keke Rosberg, Jody Scheckter, Michael Schumacher, Sir Jackie Stewart, John Surtees and Jacques Villeneuve. Nephew of the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio and namesake to one of the coolest names in racing, if not the world, Juan Manuel Fangio Jr, will be present and will be driving his uncle’s Ferrari. Damon Hill’s son, Josh Hill, will be driving Graham Hill’s Lotus 49.

So far the only two champions not confirmed and at least for the moment, not attending are Nelson Piquet and Kimi Raikkonen.

“I’m delighted to be invited and to be part of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of F1,” – Andretti

This collection of exceptionally speedy gentlemen will be gathered for a special event in their honour over the course of the weekend. Their cars will be featured in parades on Saturday and Sunday and according to Martin Whitaker, advisor to the BIC; “We expect the majority of the 20 plus cars to be displayed on track and, where possible, be driven by the original World Champion,”.

How does every surviving F1 champion and their associated championship winning race car, brought together on one circuit for a once in a lifetime event sound? A symphony comprised of the engine notes produced by 60 years of racing motors, driven by the tidiest steerers the world has ever seen, sounds like music to my ears.

Seth Reinhardt

Via Gulf Daily News

Images via: Times Online, Fast Track News here and here and F1-GP.info

Confirmed Drivers:

  • Fernando Alonso
  • Mario Andretti
  • Sir Jack Brabham
  • Jenson Button
  • Emerson Fittipaldi
  • Mika Hakkinen
  • Lewis Hamilton
  • Damon Hill
  • Alan Jones
  • Niki Lauda
  • Nigel Mansell
  • Alain Prost
  • Keke Rosberg
  • Jody Scheckter
  • Michael Schumacher
  • Sir Jackie Stewart
  • John Surtees
  • Jacques Villeneuve
Confirmed cars – via Gulf Daily News:

  • 1951 Ferrari 375
  • 1951 Ferrari Thin Wall Special
  • 1952 Ferrari 500 – Alberto Ascari
  • 1954 Mercedes 196 – Juan Manuel Fangio
  • 1960 Cooper T53 – Sir Jack Brabham
  • 1962 BRM P57 – Graham Hill
  • 1963 Lotus 25 – Jim Clark
  • 1964 Ferrari 1512 – John Surtees
  • 1968 Lotus 49 – Graham Hill
  • 1969 Matra MS80 – Sir Jackie Stewart
  • 1972 Lotus 72 – Emerson Fittipaldi
  • 1973 Tyrrell 006 – Sir Jackie Stewart
  • 1976 McLaren M23 – James Hunt
  • 1978 Lotus 79 – Mario Andretti
  • 1979 Ferrari 312 – Jody Scheckter
  • 1982 Williams FW08 – Keke Rosberg
  • 1983 Brabham BT52 – Nelson Piquet
  • 1988 McLaren MP4/4 – Ayrton Senna (Static display)
  • 1992 Williams FW14 – Nigel Mansell
  • 1996 Williams FW18 – Damon Hill

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