The Top-Five Races Of The Decade: Silverstone 2003
It's probably about time I finished what I started, so here is part two of what I believe to be the best five races of the current decade. If anyone wants to read the first one I did, here's the link: Nurburgring 2007
So, the British Grand Prix of 2003. As it happens, this was the first race I ever attended, and I remember winning a Michelin cap at their stall alongside the pit straight. I was sat overlooking Woodcote corner, and sat back to watch one of the most exciting races of recent history.
Rubens Barrichello had taken pole position, but made a poor start and was passed by Jarno Trulli and Kimi Raikkonen on the first lap. On lap six, David Coulthard's headrest had come off, bringing out the safety car so the debris could be recovered.
Pretty soon, the safety car would be back out again, after a crazy ex-priest decided that running up the hangar straight would be a good idea. This led to a chaotic scene in the pit-lane, as everyone apart from Coulthard and the two Toyota's raced into the pits.
The grid behind the safety car was now shuffled up as many drivers had had to queue up behind their teammates. Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and Juan Pablo Montoya all found themselves outside of the top ten as a result.
Raikkonen passed Trulli at the restart, then overtook Coulthard later on the same lap to move into third. Barrichello got past a struggling Ralf Schumacher as Raikkonen overtook Olivier Panis into second place.
On lap 27, Barrichello and Montoya made their way past Trulli, before both overtaking Panis on lap 29. Christiano Da Matta lost his lead to Raikkonen on lap 30, as he made his way into the pits.
After the second phase of pit-stops, Raikkonen found himself in the lead with Barrichello chasing him down in second position. Once he had caught up, Rubens put the pressure on before Kimi made a mistake going through Bridge, allowing the Brazilian to move to the front.
Towards the end, Raikkonen made another error and lost second to Montoya, and Michael Schumacher overtook Trulli into fourth. Despite his earlier problems, Coulthard managed to pass Da Matta and Trulli at the end to claim fifth place.
So there you have it, one of the most overtaking-filled races in modern times was all thanks to Neil Horan, a defrocked priest who jumbled up the grid, as well as being rugby-tackled by one of the marshalls.
I don't think there are many other races that would be better to watch live for the first time!
Here's a link to a short highlights video on youtube of the race: Silverstone 2003
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