F1: Five Classic British Grand Prix Moments

Silverstone hosted the first ever Formula One World Championship race in 1950. © Manuel Goria / Sutton Images

A track synonymous with F1, and the place where it all started back in 1950, Silverstone and the British Grand Prix is rich with history.

And on the weekend when it was announced Silverstone would remain on the calendar until 2024, let’s look at five classic moments from the British Grand Prix.

5: 1979 British Grand Prix – Williams finally reach the top
Clay Regazzoni’s final Grand Prix triumph in the 1979 British Grand Prix was the first of many for Williams. Image sourced from Reddit

The Williams team, headed by Frank Williams was always a nearly team that had never reached the top.

However, after finding an aerodynamic advantage with the FW07, Aussie Alan Jones took the teams first pole position by 6 tenths of a second.

Jones was dominating the race, with over a 20 second lead after half the race.

However, on lap 39, Jones suffered a water pump problem, causing overheating and him to retire.

This gave the lead to his teammate Clay Regazzoni.

And the experience Swiss claimed victory, a first for Williams, and his fifth and final career win.

4: 1976 British Grand Prix – Hunt stripped of victory
Fierce rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda battle during the 1976 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. © Rainer W. Schlegelmilch

McLaren’s James Hunt had chaotic British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in 1976.

After being collected in a first corner incident, Hunt had to limp back to the pits with damage.

However, because of a red flag period, the Brit was able to re-join the race with his fixed car.

And after 45 laps, Hunt passed title rival Niki Lauda to take the lead and go on to take victory.

However, after protests from Ferrari, over how McLaren got Hunt’s car back into the race, the FIA would later disqualify James from the race giving victory to Lauda.

And after 2 months of controversy, it makes waiting 3 hours for conformation these days a walk in the park.

3: 1973 British Grand Prix – 11 car pile up

The 1973 British Grand Prix is remembered for a massive crash on the first lap, which took 11 cars out in the process.

The accident happened when Jody Scheckter spun across the track at Woodcote in his McLaren.

And despite his best efforts to keep the car out of the way, he collected multiple other cars.

Caught up in the accident included all thre works Surtees cars and Brabham’s Andrea De Adamich who suffered a career ending broken ankle in the process.

2: 1998 British Grand Prix – Schumacher wins in the pits
Michael Schumacher leads the pack during the memorable 1998 British Grand Prix. © Getty Images

Michael Schumacher took a controversial victory at the 1998 British Grand Prix, by winning while serving a penalty.

Schumacher had picked up a stop-and-go penalty for passing Alexander Wurz under the safety car.

But the team decided to take the penalty on the final lap, meaning he crossed the line before reaching his pit box.

This meant that he won the race technically without serving the penalty.

And after a lot of confusion surrounding the incident, the FIA eventually rescinded the penalty, confirming Michael’s victory.

1: 2013 British Grand Prix – Pirelli’s disaster race
The shredded tyre of Lewis Hamilton would set the tone for the duration of the 2013 British Grand Prix. © Michael Rickett/PA Wire

The 2013 British Grand Prix was a tough one for F1 tyre supplier Pirelli as teams suffered multiple tyre failures.

Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton was the first to suffer a failure in his Mercedes on lap 7 from the lead.

4 laps later, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa suffered the same failure from 5th place at the same place on the track.

On lap 16, a tyre failure on Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso brought out the safety car.

Another casualty was McLaren’s Sergio Perez, whose tyre blew and caused too much damage to the car meaning the Mexican had to retire.

It was a dire race for Pirelli and saw them have to bring new compound tyres to avoid a repeat.