The Top-Five Races of the Decade: Nurburgring 2007
With so much crap happening in Formula 1 over recent months, I feel that the racing is being overlooked. With Fuhrer Ecclestone upsetting everyone and Max Mosley winding up the FOTA teams over 2010, it's time to reflect over the last decade while everyone decides if Formula 1 can last another ten years.
And what a decade it has been!
Michael Schumacher finally managed to win the title with Ferrari back in 2000, and it wouldn't be until 2005 that we would get a new champion in Fernando Alonso.
Technical advancements, politics, new drivers, new tracks, new teams; and there is still half a year of it to go!
Therefore, and in no particular order, I am going to look back at what I believe to be the best five races of the decade, and as the Formula 1 circus is currently there, I am going to start off with the European GP of 2007 at the Nurburgring.
For me, this has to be one of the most entertaining starts to any grand prix. As the drivers lined up on the grid, the rain moved in. The cars bashed into each other going round the first lap, and many dived into the pit lane as the rain intensified.
Kimi Raikkonen, who had started on pole and was leading the first lap headed for the pits, but lost control in the pit entrance and skidded back onto the track This forced him to do another lap on the wrong tires.
Marcus Winklehock, in his first and only grand prix, then took the lead after pitting on the warm-up lap in anticipation of the rain.
The rest of the field emerged from the pits with intermediate tires, as the rain wasn't heavy enough for the full wets. Raikkonen finally managed to pit, and Winklehock established a 20-second lead over second-place Felipe Massa.
As lap three began, a river of rain water flowing at turn one caused chaos, and Jenson Button was the first driver to go off.
He was quickly followed by Lewis Hamilton, Adrian Sutil, Nico Rosberg, Scott Speed, Anthony Davidson, and Vitantonio Liuzzi, who gave the safety car a shock by hurtling past backwards into the world's most expensive car park.
Davidson and Hamilton were able to get free, as the drivers were once again forced to pit for the full wet tires as the rain increases. The red flag was eventually shown as the weather has become too torrential, ending one of the most action-packed starts to a grand prix in a very long time!
At the restart, Winklehock lost the lead as the faster cars swarmed past him. He had gambled on more rain and stayed on the full wet tires, but by now, intermediates were more suitable and he eventually retired on lap 15 with a hydraulics problem.
Hamilton also gambled with tires, opting for dry ones. Once again, it proved costly, and he would eventually finish a lap down in ninth.
The rain returned in the closing laps of the race, and having led the majority of it, Felipe Massa found himself with a much quicker Fernando Alonso right behind him. With five laps to go, Alonso forced past with the two making contact, to snatch the win away.
Once the rain had cleared up, the race may not have been as exciting, but for the entertaining start and end of the race, I had to include it in my top five. If you want to watch the start with ITV commentary, there is a link below. Enjoy!
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