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Which was the closest finish ever?


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#1 rolando

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Posted 21 June 2001 - 15:10

I've always thought that the 1986 Spanish GP was the closest finish ever, Senna beat Mansell by 0.014s, but some sources claim that the legendary Italian GP of 1971 was even closest, 0.01s was the official difference. I understand that in those times, the official chronometers didn't measure thousandths of a second, and maybe the 1971 record isn't very precise, so as usual, I ask you, Which was the real closest finish ever in GP racing??

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#2 BRG

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Posted 21 June 2001 - 15:26

Spain 86 and Italy 71 were the closest, then I think Austria 82 (de Angelis by 0.125 from Rosberg) was the next.

The degree of accuracy of the timing equipment varied from 1971 to 1986 so we can never say if the gap at Monza in 1971 between Gethin and Peterson was only 0.010 or was as much as 0.019. In practice as Cevert finished only a further 0.08 seconds behind, this meant the three cars overlapped each other at the line. As there was no third car following closely on Senna and Mansell in Spain, I still like to think of the three car Monza finish as the closest. But it can't be proved now, I guess.

#3 Mickey

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Posted 21 June 2001 - 15:43

There's some technogy used for ball games (football comes to mind...) where the geometric position of players and ball over the field are calculated by processing the TV images, in order to better judge off-sides and such.

If it would be possible to apply this technique to motor racing (I don't see why not), and if there was some available TV footage showing the finish line of Monza71 as the drivers passed by for the last time, then I think that it would also be possible to measure the gaps as accurately as needed.

#4 Darren Galpin

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Posted 21 June 2001 - 15:51

My guess is that would only be accurate to 0.02 of a second though. The problem is that TV pictures are recorded at 50 frames a second, so each frame is 0.02s apart. You could try and interpolate between the images, but that would start to become guesswork.

#5 mhferrari

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Posted 21 June 2001 - 16:02

Officially, the Jerez race of 1986, with Senna and Mansell.

I think the Monza race of 1971 was closer, but the arguement will continue.

#6 Bernd

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Posted 22 June 2001 - 00:01

They might not be the closest but must be amongst the most thrilling.

Monza 67

After Clark ran out of gas on the last lap Brabham & Surtees overtook him and went to the Parabolica for the last time. Brabham overbraked himself on the dust thrown down on oil Surtees tucked up the inside and one by a nosehair for Honda's only victory of the 60's 3L era.

Reims 67 (Formula 2)

The first 5 cars where spread over less than 2 seconds Jochen Rindt won by scant inches.

#7 Uncle Davy

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Posted 22 June 2001 - 01:29

Re Monza '71,

Even if the '71 Monza 1-2 gap of .01 sec is not accepted as the closest, the reported .18 second gap between Gethin, Peterson, Cevert and Hailwood is pretty damn breathaking...and Howden Ganley in fifth was close behind, making a top five all finishing within .61 seconds.

The black and white photos of that event in Automobile Year 19 are priceless...in particular, the ground level checkered flag shot.

#8 cjpani

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Posted 13 July 2001 - 20:05

Well, altough not GP, this has got to be darn close:

http://fernandezfans...lmascerrada.mpg

It was a Indy Lights race, in Kansas. Less than 0.001 secs.
amazing finish

Regards,
cj

#9 Barry Boor

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Posted 13 July 2001 - 20:23

If you go by the record book, the closest-EVER finish can only be a dead-heat. And that's what Ferrari got at Syracuse in 1967 with Parkes and Scarfiotti.

I know it was staged but, IT'S IN THE BOOK!

#10 Chris Bloom

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Posted 13 July 2001 - 21:07

Originally posted by BRG
Spain 86 and Italy 71 were the closest, then I think Austria 82 (de Angelis by 0.125 from Rosberg) was the next.


Rosberg's was alongside De Angelis at the end. If they were doing 180kmh at that point 0.125 seconds would amount to 6.25 metres. They were much closer than that possibly 2 or 2.5 metres. I seem to remember that this was questioned at the time by a reader of either Autosport or Grand Prix International (can't remember which, I used to buy both at that time) in a letters column, obviously the original result has never been corrected though.

Chris

#11 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 14 July 2001 - 00:10

The indylights race from Kansas last week had the top 3 at the line within .018 and the winner by .001

#12 Barry Lake

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Posted 14 July 2001 - 03:31

Originally posted by Barry Boor
If you go by the record book, the closest-EVER finish can only be a dead-heat. And that's what Ferrari got at Syracuse in 1967 with Parkes and Scarfiotti. I know it was staged but, IT'S IN THE BOOK!


Barry (Boor, that is)

Has anyone seen a photo of this finish? An absolute dead heat is very difficult to orchestrate. I would like to see just how well they did.

Which reminds me of the famous/infamous Ford GT40 planned dead heat at Le Mans. It ultimately was split by who started the furthest back and therefore covered the greatest distance in 24 hours.

Does anyone have a photo of THAT finish - exactly as they crossed the line?

Today, with transponders and very accurate electronic timing, this sort of thing can be better recorded. EXCEPT that the transponders aren't always in the same place in the car.

We had a case in Formula Ford in Australia a few years ago when one car had its nose in front over the line, but the other car had its tarnsponder at the front, the "winner" had his transponder well back in the car.

The judges of fact - also TV and photographs, if I remember correctly - said one car was first across the line, but the official timing said the other car was first.

The arguments, protests etc went on for months. I know both of the drivers well, but still can never remember which one got the verdict in the end.

#13 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 14 July 2001 - 05:22

Barry

If you have a look at page 543 of Leo Levine's Ford:The Dust and the Glory you will find a photo of the finish of the 1966 Le Mans Race.

There is a good car's length between McLaren and Miles as they pass the man with the flag. The caption says; McLaren finishes first as Miles backs off.

That's not the story as I remember it. I'm sure I read somewhere that McLaren planted the boot as they approached the finishing line.

In Anders Ditlev Clausager's book Le Mans he states that both cars were deemed to have achieved the same average speed of 125.389 mph but the distance of the McLaren/Amon car was worked out at 3009.350 miles and that of the Miles/Hulme car 3009.338 miles- the closest finish in Le Mans history.

The difference between the two cars, 0.012 miles, is just under 20 metres, which could have been the gap between the cars as they lined up at the start.

#14 Barry Boor

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Posted 14 July 2001 - 07:00

Barry (Lake, that is) - I am pretty sure that I've seen a photograph somewhere. It was probably in Autosport but as I no longer have my collection I can't check.

However, IIRC the angle of the photo would not confirm the closeness or otherwise of the finish. My suspicions are that in fact one car was ahead of the other but, well, Ferrari in Italy........:rolleyes:

#15 Roger Clark

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Posted 14 July 2001 - 07:46

Originally posted by Barry Boor
Barry (Lake, that is) - I am pretty sure that I've seen a photograph somewhere. It was probably in Autosport but as I no longer have my collection I can't check.

However, IIRC the angle of the photo would not confirm the closeness or otherwise of the finish. My suspicions are that in fact one car was ahead of the other but, well, Ferrari in Italy........:rolleyes:


There is no picture in Autosport. THere is one of the cars running together on the slowing down lap, which may be what you remember.

oth this race and the 1966 Le Mans were contrived finishes and I don't think you can call them close in any meaningful sense.

#16 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 14 July 2001 - 08:57

I have never seen any TV or video footage of the 1971 Italian GP, only black and white newsreel film. And that is not of very good quality. I'm sure the race was covered by Italian TV but was the race recorded and subsequently wiped over? The TV broadcast of the race was probably still in black and white because, although colour TV came to Europe in 1967, it was many years (1975?) before black and white programming ceased. Ironically, the TV recording of the 1967 race, or at least snippets of it, still survive and is frequently shown.

#17 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 09 September 2001 - 01:22

While it was not GP racing, a dead heat did occur at the Easter meeting at Goodwood in 1961.
Tony Maggs (Cooper-BMC) and Peter Arundell (Lotus-Ford) dead heated in the Formula Junior race.
Maggs' Cooper had the nose foreshortened in a first lap accident. Maybe if that hadn't happened he would have been declared the winner.

#18 Gary Davies

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Posted 09 September 2001 - 05:58

And then there's the International Trophy at Silverstone on May 12 1962. The official time given for both Graham Hill (winner) and Jim Clark was 1:31-43.2.

In Life at the Limit, GH described the distance as: "... just about a car's length or less." I was there and I say "less". In "Graham" he described it as: " ...a gnat's whisker."

As I recall it, the nose of the Lotus 24 would have been level with Graham's right knee as he opposited locked his way around the outside! I think a picture of the finish appeared in June '62 Motor Sport, but I'm missing that copy.

Anyone care to make with the scanner?

Vanwall.

#19 Leif Snellman

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Posted 10 September 2001 - 17:05

Originally posted by Eric McLoughlin
. I'm sure the race was covered by Italian TV but was the race recorded and subsequently wiped over?

A contemporary Swedish book says:
"Ronnie 1/100 s from his first victory! The greatest thriller in Swedish TV."
So it was shown internationally, (as could be expected).

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#20 Rob29

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Posted 10 September 2001 - 17:13

It was.I remember seeing it live.The only race I can remember my father getting excited about! Italian TV was then still in back & white.The finish has been shown many times since- I have it on video.

#21 karlth

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Posted 10 September 2001 - 17:19

Not a race finish, but a race nevertheless. Qualifying at Jerez in 1997.

#22 Vitesse2

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Posted 10 September 2001 - 22:11

Originally posted by karlth
Not a race finish, but a race nevertheless. Qualifying at Jerez in 1997.


I never quite believed that ....

#23 FlatFoot

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Posted 11 September 2001 - 01:47

Nor did I :rolleyes:

#24 Barry Boor

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Posted 11 September 2001 - 06:13

Do I detect a conspiracy theory? Surely not! :lol:

#25 dmj

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Posted 14 September 2001 - 12:47

I was always fascinated with 1966 Le Mans finish. I even have a diorama of it, with all three cars placed as they were at photographs I saw. But cars definitely weren't in line - I probably can provide you with original photo and a reconstruction of that event made in 1996. to celebrate 30th anniversary of Fords first LM win. During that celebration cars were positioned just like in original photos and diorama I have. So "shoulder to shoulder" finish is just a legend.

#26 kazan

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Posted 18 September 2001 - 21:57

Giancarlo Baghetti's surprise victory ahead of Dan Gurney at Reims 1961 was a close 0.1". Another Monza legend had been set by Jonathan Williams's close victory ahead of a full F3 bunch at the "Lottery GP" (1965 ?)

#27 mark f1

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Posted 19 September 2001 - 07:45

I know its not International racing but....we had a TRIPLE dead heat in Formula Vee at Calder Park in Oz in 1995.

A friend of mine took a very blurred photo of it using my camera. We were using transponders then as well, down to the thousand of a sec.

#28 karlth

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Posted 19 September 2001 - 08:18

Originally posted by mark f1
I know its not International racing but....we had a TRIPLE dead heat in Formula Vee at Calder Park in Oz in 1995.

A friend of mine took a very blurred photo of it using my camera. We were using transponders then as well, down to the thousand of a sec.


Conspiracy. Bernie probably testing his 3-in-a-dead-heat-down-to-a-thousand-of-a-second equipment.

#29 Mickey

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 13:34

Sorry to bring this thread back up, but the closest finish ever is somehow being discussed again this weeK... :rolleyes:

Originally posted by Barry Boor
If you go by the record book, the closest-EVER finish can only be a dead-heat. And that's what Ferrari got at Syracuse in 1967 with Parkes and Scarfiotti.

I know it was staged but, IT'S IN THE BOOK!

I hear that Parkes and Scarfiotti staged the dead heat in memory of Bandini, who just died two weeks earlier. Are there anymore details on this dead heat? Any pics? Also, were times taken to the nearest .1 or .01 then?


Originally posted by Chris Bloom

Originally posted by BRG
Spain 86 and Italy 71 were the closest, then I think Austria 82 (de Angelis by 0.125 from Rosberg) was the next.

Rosberg's was alongside De Angelis at the end. If they were doing 180kmh at that point 0.125 seconds would amount to 6.25 metres. They were much closer than that possibly 2 or 2.5 metres. I seem to remember that this was questioned at the time by a reader of either Autosport or Grand Prix International (can't remember which, I used to buy both at that time) in a letters column, obviously the original result has never been corrected though.

Chris

This FORIX page shows the difference as being .050 (which would validate Chris' estimate of some 2.5 metres), not .125 as stated above.

#30 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 13:45

Originally posted by Mickey

I hear that Parkes and Scarfiotti staged the dead heat in memory of Bandini, who just died two weeks earlier. Are there anymore details on this dead heat? Any pics? Also, were times taken to the nearest .1 or .01 then?


I think I've seen a picture somewhere, but not from right in line, so inconclusive. Times were only to tenths, it would seem, but Parkes and Scarfiotti had lapped the field, so most results show no times for the other finishers..

#31 Felix Muelas

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 13:54

Originally posted by Mickey
...shows the difference as being .050 (which would validate Chris' estimate of some 2.5 metres), not .125 as stated above.


2.5 meters? You HAVE to be joking! :lol:
Posted Image

#32 Wolf

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 14:09

I'm surpred noone mentioned Monza '69... Admitedly, the difference between 1st two drivers was 0.08, but as with '71 race, first four cars crossed the line within 0.2 seconds, and fifth was 0.25secs down the road of fourth...

#33 Mickey

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 14:22

Originally posted by Felix Muelas
2.5 meters? You HAVE to be joking! :lol:
Posted Image

Felix, that's a good pic, they look almost abreast, but the angle doesn't really help much, does it?

If at that point they were travelling at De Angelis' race average speed of 222.219 km/h (no clue what the true speed was over the start/finish line), and if FORIX's timing of 0.050 difference is correct, I calculate that their distance should be 3.086 metres...

I agree that the pic shows them much closer. Do we have to assume that the timing is still incorrect, as they were closer still? Does anyone know what the speed was over the s/f line? (Note: if the speed at that point was 180 km/h as Chris suggested, it would still be 2.499 metres distance, as he suggested). Or is the angle of that pic just too deceiving?

I'm :confused:

#34 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 14:29

I would say that 2.5 metres is about right in this pic... Rosberg is running his front wheel just behind the rear of de Angelis' car.

Or so it looks to me.

#35 DOHC

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 14:56

I agree with Ray. That looks like 2.5m to me too, or perhaps even a little bit more.

#36 Doug Nye

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 15:37

Make that three votes in favour - the front wheels of the Williams are self-evidently on about the same plane as the rear wheels of the Lotus, or even possibly somewhat behind them. Significantly the declared wheelbase of the Lotus was 2.79 metres...

DCN

#37 ensign14

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 15:42

Looks like Keke was trying to use the slope of the banking. :p

#38 Leif Snellman

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 16:44

Originally posted by Mickey
I agree that the pic shows them much closer. Do we have to assume that the timing is still incorrect, as they were closer still? Does anyone know what the speed was over the s/f line? (Note: if the speed at that point was 180 km/h as Chris suggested, it would still be 2.499 metres distance, as he suggested). Or is the angle of that pic just too deceiving?


Posted Image
If you add some lines as assistance, you'll find that Rosberg's front wheels are somewhere near de Angelis rear wheels. The wheelbases use(d) to be about 2.5 m.

#39 Felix Muelas

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 16:58

Another angle, then...
The flagman should be under 2m tall...
Posted Image

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#40 Barry Boor

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 17:24

I would lay odds that the 2 Ferraris that attempted a dead-heat at Indy last Sunday were a lot closer than the 2 that were credited with a dead-heat at Syracuse in 1967!

#41 rolando

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 17:40

It seems another record was broken this year, the closest finish ever :|
http://a324.g.akamai...s/diapo_318.jpg

#42 Doug Nye

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 20:01

Originally posted by Felix Muelas
Another angle, then...
The flagman should be under 2m tall...
Posted Image


Yes Felix, but lay him down head towards the last corner and in a telephoto lens shot like this I doubt his waist would reach quite as far as the white-painted finish line... By the way, see Colin Chapman all wound up and about to throw his cap in the air in the extreme bottom of the picture?

At Syracuse in 1967 - a pathetic final GP there with a tiny, tiny entry - the two Ferraris of Scarfiotti and Parkes apparently practised a precise dead heat for several laps close to the finish. Quite how well they judged matters we will probably never know - I have tried and have been quite unable to find a side-on shot of the finish.

Perhaps others might have more luck.

There's this shot of the Anglo-Italian Ferrari pair - Parkes far side and Scarfiotti - completing their victory lap:

Posted Image

...and while rummaging I also came across this interesting shot of a rare bird - Silvio Moser's Cooper-ATS V8, captioned as using a '2700cc' engine... Where's Beat????

Posted Image

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#43 Felix Muelas

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 20:30

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Yes Felix, but lay him down head towards the last corner and in a telephoto lens shot like this I doubt his waist would reach quite as far as the white-painted finish line...


Maybe... :

Now another one...see the finish line already crossed? It was there only that year, next one it was moved forward...in line with the flagman´s position. Anyway it was close...

Posted Image

#44 Felix Muelas

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 20:47

From the opposite angle, just as they crossed the line...

The picture is blury, the scan is quite bad but it´s quite curious to see the differences (that I will not attempt to guess :rotfl: )

Posted Image

#45 Mickey

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Posted 02 October 2002 - 09:41

I'll try to guess anyway :)
0.014s at 180kmh would translate to 70cm.
A full metre, if travelling at 257.142kmh.

#46 917

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Posted 02 October 2002 - 21:41

For those who would like to have a glimpse over the (F1) fence:

Chicagoland, 8 September 2002, 0.0024 seconds between Mr. Hornish Jr. and Mr. Al Unser Jr.
Texas, 15 September 2002, 0.0096 seconds between Mr. Hornish Jr. and Mr. Castroneves
Texas, 8 June 2002, 0.0111 seconds between Mr. Ward and Mr. Al Unser Jr.

#47 DNQ

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Posted 05 October 2002 - 13:45

Here we go - compiled this earlier, from a few sources, there are still a few holes in it of course, perhaps a few non-championship races, and it'd be nice to have the closest CART/F3000/Le Mans/WSC finishes in there as well, but it's a nice list. Obviously the accuracy of the equipment over time has improved, and there could be up to a 0.25s disparity at the 50's races, but this is the way it's all recorded in the history books. An asterisk indicates a NC race.

0.0000 Scarfiotti/Parkes 1967 Sycrause Grand Prix*
0.0100 Gethin/Peterson 1971 Italian Grand Prix
0.0110 Barrichello/Schumacher 2002 United States Grand Prix
0.0140 Senna/Mansell 1986 Spanish Grand Prix
0.0500 de Angelis/Rosberg 1982 Austrian Grand Prix
0.0800 Stewert/Rindt 1969 Italian Grand Prix
0.1000 Fangio/Kling 1954 French Grand Prix
0.1000 Baghetti/Gurney 1961 French Grand Prix
0.1740 Schumacher/Barrichello 2000 Canadian Grand Prix
0.1820 Schumacher/Barrichello 2002 Austrian Grand Prix
0.2000 Moss/Fangio 1955 British Grand Prix
0.2000 Fangio/Moss 1955 Dutch Grand Prix
0.2000 Surtees/Brabham 1967 Italian Grand Prix
0.2100 Villeneuve/Laffite 1981 Spanish Grand Prix
0.2150 Senna/Mansell 1992 Monaco Grand Prix
0.2320 Lauda/Prost 1985 Dutch Grand Prix
0.2550 Barrichello/Schumacher 2002 Italian Grand Prix
0.2880 Boutsen/Senna 1990 Hungarian Grand Prix
0.2940 Barrichello/Schumacher 2002 European Grand Prix
0.3000 Farino/Fagioli 1950 Swiss Grand Prix
0.3000 Collins/Castellotti 1956 French Grand Prix

IRL Races (copied from 917's post)
0.0024 Hornish Jr/Unser Jr 2002 Chicagoland
0.0096 Hornish Jr/Castroneves 2002 Texas
0.0111 Ward/Al Unser Jr 2002 Texas

#48 1george

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 17:31

About the closest finish in a F1 World Championship Grand Prix, I wouldn't like to spoil the party, but:

There is a 10% of possibilities that Gethin/Peterson clocks 0,010/1000 (would be the closest finish ever)
There is a 10% of possibilities that Gethin/Peterson clocks 0,011/1000 (equals the 2002 US GP 'farse' between Barrichello and Schumacher)
There is an 80% of possibilities that Gethin/Peterson clocks 0,012/1000 to 0,019/1000.

Watching the second photo that Felix showed to us and comparing it with the following videoclip, I don't think that the finish was closer than the 1986 Spanish GP between Senna and Mansell. If anybody could make a picture from the 1971 Italian GP videoclip taking the right moment that both cross the line would be very helpfull.



#49 E.B.

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 18:11

If anybody could make a picture from the 1971 Italian GP videoclip taking the right moment that both cross the line would be very helpfull.


You might be right in distance terms, but I'm sure the speeds that Gethin et al were travelling at the point they crossed the line at Monza was much higher than Senna and Mansell in Jerez, so it's difficult to see how it would prove anything conclusive in terms of time differentials.




#50 arttidesco

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 22:03

Posted Image

Posted Image

Photos will be credited or removed upon request.

Interesting to speculate if Peter and Ronnie were travelling faster than Ayton and Nigel when they respectively crossed the line the former had less horsepower no wings and tall gearing, while the latter had more horsepower more wing but lower gearing.

I still think the Elio & Keke looked the closer finish than either Monza in 1971 or Spain 1986.