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Best race performance to win a drivers title


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#1 cheekybru

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 22:15

So, with Lewis winning his 7th wdc in awesome style on probably the lowest grip race I have ever seen, how does this rank on you guys' top races that won the driver the title?

My memory is not so good, and I am a confirmed Lewis fan boy ;) so this takes top spot for me (THE TRACK WAS WORSE THAN ICE GODDAMIT!!)

My second honourable mention would probably go to Seb for that recovery drive at a wet Brazil, apart from that first corner it was a great drive under pressure

I would be interested to here you guys thoughts, so it is for the best single race performance, at the race that won them them the title

Edited by cheekybru, 18 November 2020 - 22:18.


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#2 PayasYouRace

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 22:22

Of those I've watched myself, it's unquestionably Jacques Villeneuve's. Down on points and trailing Schumacher, he fought hard and made the key pass, and fended off Michael's assault while he was at it.

 

I also have to rate Button's recovery drive in Brazil very highly.



#3 Loosenut

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 22:28

Also Lewis Hamilton - Brazil 2008 :up:



#4 DeKnyff

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 22:29

James Hunt, Japanese Grand Prix 1976.

 

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#5 ExEd

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 22:47

I’d rate Sebs in Interlagos.
That spin in the beginning was this close to end it all and yet he recovered.
I can’t even imagine how many times he would yell “Sh*t , sh*t , sh*t” in his helmet until he was back to normal heartbeat rates after that scare.

#6 cheekybru

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 22:51

Also Lewis Hamilton - Brazil 2008 :up:


Crossed my mind but I never thought it was a great performance by his high standards, immense pressure though 😊

Edited by cheekybru, 18 November 2020 - 22:54.


#7 garoidb

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 23:01

Crossed my mind but I never thought it was a great performance by his high standards, immense pressure though

 

The pressure makes a difference. Clinching it with a race or two to spare isn't the same experience. 

 

I would nominate Nico Rosberg.



#8 FortiFord

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 23:04

Schumacher at Suzuka 2000 and Hill at Suzuka 1996. 

 

Incidentally, i think Suzuka 2003 was possibly the worst race performance to win a drivers title. 



#9 AlexPrime

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 23:10

Suzuka 2000 and Brazil 2012 were mentioned already, so I add Abu Dhabi 2010, it was a sign of things to come for Vettel, a dominant drive to put the troubles of the season behind. I think from 3rd to 1st in the standings...



#10 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 23:16

Hunt at Fuji 1976, Villeneuve at Jerez 1997. The absolute standout performances imo. For different reasons yes but with one common element.

Both displayed big balls under the most intense pressure you could imagine. That's how I like my racing drivers - fearless and a bit crazy.

#11 Afterburner

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 23:31

So I think any race decided in the final round automatically means a lot because the pressure is going to be maximized. The number of titles that get decided in the last race has been fairly low as of late; I’ve seen 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016. In order, I’d rate the champion’s drive in each as follows:

2012
2016
2008
2010
2014
2007
2006
2003

To be honest I don’t know any of the others before these as well, except 1997.

As far as drives which secure the title in any race, Hamilton’s run at Turkey was seriously impressive and amongst the finest drives I’ve ever seen–I may even rate it as his best ever, but not as good a title-winning drive as 2008, if that makes any sense?

#12 Collombin

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 23:37

There have been surprisingly few, actually - I guess because too often the driver on the threshold becomes a madman or an accountant.

Fangio 1957 German GP?

#13 FortiFord

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 23:39

Suzuka 2000 and Brazil 2012 were mentioned already, so I add Abu Dhabi 2010, it was a sign of things to come for Vettel, a dominant drive to put the troubles of the season behind. I think from 3rd to 1st in the standings...

and the first time he led the standings all season! 



#14 as65p

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 23:40

As far as drives which secure the title in any race, Hamilton’s run at Turkey was seriously impressive and amongst the finest drives I’ve ever seen–I may even rate it as his best ever, but not as good a title-winning drive as 2008, if that makes any sense?

Well, not to me. What did Lewis do aside from stumbling over the line in 2008? I'd personally lump 2003 and 2008 together on a rating scale... if that makes sense. 



#15 Collombin

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 23:41

Stewart, Monza 1973 - he always rated it as his best, or one of, his best ever drives.

Edited by Collombin, 18 November 2020 - 23:41.


#16 PlatenGlass

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 23:43

Of those that I haven't seen already mentioned, Prost in 1986 at Adelaide was a pretty solid performance if not overly spectacular and Senna at Japan in 1988 with his comeback drive.



#17 PlatenGlass

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 23:45

 

 

Incidentally, i think Suzuka 2003 was possibly the worst race performance to win a drivers title. 

What about Senna at Suzuka in 1990? (At least Prost in 1989 and Schumacher in 1994 had to drive some laps first.)


Edited by PlatenGlass, 18 November 2020 - 23:45.


#18 Atreiu

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 23:45

Adelaide 86, Suzuka 88, Pacific 1995, Suzuka 2000, USA 2015 and Turkey 2020.



#19 Afterburner

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 23:48

Well, not to me. What did Lewis do aside from stumbling over the line in 2008? I'd personally lump 2003 and 2008 together on a rating scale... if that makes sense.

For me, not chucking it off the road in the downpour at the end given his title rival was well out front and poised to continue to be counts for something. Certainly more than Schumacher’s performance in Japan in 2003, where I don’t think there are any excuses for barely managing a single point while Barrichello dominated the race.

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#20 Atreiu

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 23:53

MotoGP: Phillip Island 2003. One of the few times the full raging Rossi was released while on a RC211V.



#21 Collombin

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 00:00

Champcars - Jim Bryan, Phoenix 1957. Got forced off the track and through a fence a few laps from the end. Drove around the outside of the track, rejoined through another hole in the fence, hunted down the new leader to win the race, and with it his third national championship.

#22 ensign14

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 00:18

Stewart, Monza 1973 - he always rated it as his best, or one of, his best ever drives.

Stewart in 1969 was one of the smartest.  Adapted gearing to save losing a smidgeon of time on the straight after the Parabolica when in the usual pre-chicane slipstream battle.  Adopted the appropriate tactic at 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of race distance to ensure he crossed the line at the head of the queue at those times.  Because that's when they triggered the prize money - and the race win guaranteed the title.



#23 McLaren

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 10:00

So I think any race decided in the final round automatically means a lot because the pressure is going to be maximized. The number of titles that get decided in the last race has been fairly low as of late; I’ve seen 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016. In order, I’d rate the champion’s drive in each as follows:

2012
2016
2008
2010
2014
2007
2006
2003

To be honest I don’t know any of the others before these as well, except 1997.

As far as drives which secure the title in any race, Hamilton’s run at Turkey was seriously impressive and amongst the finest drives I’ve ever seen–I may even rate it as his best ever, but not as good a title-winning drive as 2008, if that makes any sense?


2016 was not good at all IMO. Robert just needed to finish second in the Merc.. of course there is a lot of pressure.. but I would have that towards the bottom of the list. 2014 was much harder due to the double points etc for example.

#24 Lights

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 10:16

2016 was not good at all IMO. Robert just needed to finish second in the Merc.. 

 

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#25 Requiem84

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 10:20

2016 was not good at all IMO. Robert just needed to finish second in the Merc.. of course there is a lot of pressure.. but I would have that towards the bottom of the list. 2014 was much harder due to the double points etc for example.

 

He had to do some overtakes to get there, didn't he?

 

Hamilton backing him up severely into the guys behind.. It was a performance under intense pressure by Rosberg, which was impressive in my view. 



#26 P123

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 10:33

He had to do some overtakes to get there, didn't he?

 

Hamilton backing him up severely into the guys behind.. It was a performance under intense pressure by Rosberg, which was impressive in my view. 

Rosberg was put through the ringer in that race.  His demeanor in the interview post race showed the degree of pressure he had been under.  I can see why he may not want to have experienced that again.  Despite all that he got the required result.  It was a good 'losing' drive from Lewis too.  Just like Massa's at Brazil 2008.



#27 NixxxoN

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 10:51

I dont remember anything as close as Senna @ Suzuka 1988



#28 Risil

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 10:56

I'm split about whether Lewis's drive to clinch the championship in 2008 was brilliant or fortuitous. Bit of both I suppose.

 

Hunt in 1976, Villeneuve in 1997 and Schumacher in 2000 are the gold standards for me.

 

Has anyone mentioned Senna and McLaren turning back Williams' advantage in the second half of 1991, and pressurizing Mansell into a mistake at Suzuka? Amazing drama and guts. I'd like to have seen more Senna vs Mansell.



#29 Anuity

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 11:04

From what I have personally seen I would say:

 

Suzuka 2000: pressure wise probably the most intense battle, with both rivals being in different league to the rest

 

Vettel in 2010 and 2012 was quite impressive given the circumstances

 

Villeneuve in 1997

 

I would definitely add Rosberg. Poor guy must have suffered a lot, yet delivered just what he was supposed to. Also having to crucially overtake Verstappen on track. He had a superb race.

 

And yes, this year Lewis had a very strong performance indeed.

 

 

I was contemplating Kimi in 2007, he had a very good race, but hardly outstanding probably. Just controlled. A bit like Hill in 1996.

Aida 1995 was a pretty great performance by Michael as well.

 

Lewis in 2008 I cant say it was the best perfomance either.



#30 milestone 11

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 11:12

I'm split about whether Lewis's drive to clinch the championship in 2008 was brilliant or fortuitous. Bit of both I suppose.

Far from Lewis' greatest race but the drama was incredible. Felipe was the star of that day in exactly the same way that Dan Gurney was the star of Mexico '64. The drama that day was every bit the equal of '08 with Surtees taking the title from Hill and Clark.

The best winning drive? Turkey '20.

Edited by milestone 11, 19 November 2020 - 11:13.


#31 Junky

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 11:17

Performance wise, both Schumi and Mika were outstanding in Suzuka 2000. They left Coulthard and Barrichello more than one minute behind them. Incredible.


Edited by Junky, 19 November 2020 - 11:18.


#32 Silberpfeil

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 11:18

Schumacher 2000 was majestic. I still rewatch that race from time to time.

Honorary mention goes to Gary Paffett‘s 2018 DTM title win. Mercedes was massively handicapped by tyre pressures and he was the only Merc driver to finish in the points in 3rd. A perfect send-off for both Gary and the brand.

#33 jonpollak

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 11:32

I'll list the ones I attended in person that are forever etched in my mind.

 

1971 Questor Grand Prix

Mario Andretti winning both races and thus the Non-Championship championship.

Ancient AtlasF1 thread about the race

 

1973 US Grand Prix

Jackie, as Champion, quit F1 after qualifying when Cevert was killed.

 

1997 European Grand Prix

(Having a personal interest in the driver)

Probably the most tense I have ever been at a race.

Jacques performance and the historic outcome was the most dramatic I have ever witnessed.

 

2019 Indy 500

(Having a personal interest in the team and driver)

While not a "Championship" per se the 500 is it's own championship to me.

The last 13 laps were some of the best racing ever !

Simon's last pass on Rossi (witnessed in turn 3 by PiperPa42 and myself) was a breathtaking feat of brilliance.

 

Jp



#34 Claudius

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 11:39

I agree with most posts so far.

However, just one point.

 

JV in Jerez had all to play for and nothing to lose. He did a great job but most of the pressure was on Michael.



#35 jonpollak

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 11:54

That’s what I thought too.
All those years in no-man’s land for Ferrari.
This was going to be it. !!!

The FIA was going to see to it with Max doing his best to derail JV by having him fly to Europe to get his wrist slapped for 'bringing the sport into disrepute' and the DQ in Japan and with Irvine incessantly blocking him without reproach all season long in addition to all the other BS they tried.

 

That was some hellacious pressure as well Claude !
Jp


Edited by jonpollak, 19 November 2020 - 12:19.


#36 SophieB

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:06

I really like it when the WDC is sealed with a win because that way the focus isn’t taken off someone else actually winning the race. Or worse, throwing the race winner into weird sharp relief like Massa winning the race in 2008 but losing the championship at the same time.

 

Before this year, Vettel did it in 2010 but presumably there’s lots of others (?)



#37 dierome87

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:19

Hakkinen in both of his championship years.

 

There was immense pressure leading to those title finales and he didn´t put a foot wrong.

 

99 was particularly impressive.



#38 Baddoer

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:19

Also Lewis Hamilton - Brazil 2008 :up:

How was that good, Vettel overtook him in Toro Roso, as Kubica (who was lapped).



#39 SenorSjon

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:24

Suzuka 2000 is the gold standard for me. Both Mika and Michael at the top of their game the whole weekend long, from qualy to race. I only remember the empty track with a McLaren and a Ferrari, as if the rest wasn't even there. Very intense race.



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#40 SenorSjon

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:24

Hakkinen in both of his championship years.

 

There was immense pressure leading to those title finales and he didn´t put a foot wrong.

 

99 was particularly impressive.

 

99 impressive? It should have never come to the last race with Mika and McLaren bleeding points wherever they could.



#41 garoidb

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:25

I really like it when the WDC is sealed with a win because that way the focus isn’t taken off someone else actually winning the race. Or worse, throwing the race winner into weird sharp relief like Massa winning the race in 2008 but losing the championship at the same time.

 

Before this year, Vettel did it in 2010 but presumably there’s lots of others (?)

 

Prost in 1986 and Senna in 1988 come to mind and, if memory serves, Jones in 1980. 



#42 NixxxoN

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:25

Also Lewis Hamilton - Brazil 2008 :up:

Glock contributed more for the WDC than Hamilton there :smoking:



#43 messy

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:31

For me, much as Hamilton drove fantastically well in Turkey, I'd always put more on a final race, winner-takes all type race than one where a driver has the chance to wrap it all up with races to spare. So I'd even eliminate Suzuka 2000 on that basis. There isn't the same sort of pressure if a driver knows that if they screw up here they'll just wrap it up the following weekend instead. I actually think this was one of Schumacher's most glaring weaknesses. He went to pieces in a final race, down to the wire finale. 

 

Lewis Hamilton did well in Brazil 2008 - at least he did on the final lap. It was a messy season and a messy race, but in terms of delivering under pressure, especially given how old he was and in his first season, absolutely hats off to him for that. But I actually think the two best I can think of are Vettel in 2010 (just dominant, drove off like it was just another day at the office) and 2012 (recovery drive from basically down and out on the first lap). Both those titles should really have been Alonso's, and it was Seb's performances in the finales that made the difference. 


Edited by messy, 19 November 2020 - 12:31.


#44 Claudius

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:31



I really like it when the WDC is sealed with a win because that way the focus isn’t taken off someone else actually winning the race. Or worse, throwing the race winner into weird sharp relief like Massa winning the race in 2008 but losing the championship at the same time.

 

Before this year, Vettel did it in 2010 but presumably there’s lots of others (?)

 

MS in 95,00,01,02 and 04.



#45 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:33

I agree with most posts so far.
However, just one point.

JV in Jerez had all to play for and nothing to lose. He did a great job but most of the pressure was on Michael.

Nah I can't agree here. That Jerez weekend was filled with tension and tinged with spite for all parties.

Ferrari threw absolutely everything at rattling Villeneuve, trying to throw him off his game. Irvine blocking him in practice repeatedly, Fontana "helplessly" holding JV up in the race.

It just riled Jacques up more and he chased Michael hard all race. The pass was straight out of his father's textbook. After the outrageous pass JV pulled on Schumacher at Estoril the year before, Michael should have seen it coming...

#46 Claudius

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:38

That’s what I thought too.
All those years in no-man’s land for Ferrari.
This was going to be it. !!!

The FIA was going to see to it with Max doing his best to derail JV by having him fly to Europe to get his wrist slapped for 'bringing the sport into disrepute' and the DQ in Japan and with Irvine incessantly blocking him without reproach all season long in addition to all the other BS they tried.

 

That was some hellacious pressure as well Claude !
Jp

 

 

I see where you are coming from but Jacques was also playing games at Suzuka by bunching the field behind him. Also when he went out of the pits he went straight to the fast lane to try and block MS, very dangerous.

Blocking team-mates was/is nothing strange really, Heinz-Harald and DC were doing that on occassions. Heck, Damon Hill was holding MS up for laps in Suzuka 97 for some reason.

 

I'd say there was pressure for all involved in Jerez in varying degrees.



#47 thefinalapex

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:41

I see where you are coming from but Jacques was also playing games at Suzuka by bunching the field behind him. Also when he went out of the pits he went straight to the fast lane to try and block MS, very dangerous.
Blocking team-mates was/is nothing strange really, Heinz-Harald and DC were doing that on occassions. Heck, Damon Hill was holding MS up for laps in Suzuka 97 for some reason.

I'd say there was pressure for all involved in Jerez in varying degrees.


And williams and mclaren working together at jerez too. A fact that gets downplayed a lot. But hey that german guy grrr..

#48 Claudius

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:45

Nah I can't agree here. That Jerez weekend was filled with tension and tinged with spite for all parties.

Ferrari threw absolutely everything at rattling Villeneuve, trying to throw him off his game. Irvine blocking him in practice repeatedly, Fontana "helplessly" holding JV up in the race.

It just riled Jacques up more and he chased Michael hard all race. The pass was straight out of his father's textbook. After the outrageous pass JV pulled on Schumacher at Estoril the year before, Michael should have seen it coming...

 

That is your opinion but there are different kinds of stress. JV had little to lose since he was behind on points. That generates another kind of stress.

MS/Ferrari OTOH had much more on the line.

 

Personally I think that Estoril overtake is overhyped. Williams was way better that year and could drive circles around other cars. The same when MS was overtaking JPM around the outside of hairpin in Brazil, it was mainly tires/car combo.

It was an unexpected move but a bit overhyped IMO.



#49 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:48

Overhyped? JV went around the outside of a banked corner lol

It was beyond crazy. It's one of the greatest passes ever made. Rank it with Mansell on Berger at Mexico 1990.

Both outrageous.

#50 Anderis

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 12:50

Also Lewis Hamilton - Brazil 2008 :up:

Not sure how finishing 5th in that McLaren in a race not affected by any major bad luck can be considered one of the greatest performances by any measure.