F1: Five Classic Spanish Grand Prix Moments

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The Formula One pack makes it way through Turns 1 and 2 at the Circuit de Catalunya. © XPB Images & Press Association Images

Since 1968, the Spanish Grand Prix, at a variety of locations has become a mainstay on the F1 calendar and created some memorable moments.

So as F1 comes to Spain for what could be the final time, with recent replacement rumours, let’s look back at five classic Spanish Grand Prix moments.

5: 2013 Spanish Grand Prix – Alonso’s Home Finale

A jubilant Fernando Alonso celebrates what would prove to be his final Formula One win after the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix. © Sky Sports F1

There couldn’t have been a better place for Fernando Alonso to take final win in Formula One.

The Spaniard started his home Grand Prix from fifth and put on a memorable show for his adoring fans.

On the opening lap, Alonso pulled off an incredible move around the outside of Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton at Turn 3 to go third.

He then undercut Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel during the first round of pit stops, before overtaking Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes for the lead into Turn 1.

From there he would be remain untouchable and win; his last for Ferrari, and in Formula One.

4: 2001 Spanish Grand Prix – Hakkinen’s final lap heartbreak

Mika Hakkinen recieves a lift back to the pits from McLaren-Mercedes team-mate David Coulthard, at the end of the 2001 Spanish Grand Prix. Image sourced from formula1.com

Mika Hakkinen was cruising towards a fourth successive Spanish Grand Prix for McLaren in 2001.

The Flying Finn jumped his arch-rival Michael Schumacher in the final pit stop phase build a lead of over 40 seconds.

However, on the final lap, his Mercedes engine packed up and was forced to stop at Turn 7; handing an unlikely victory to Schumacher, who admitted on the team radio that he was ‘bloody lucky.’

The Finn would still be classified in 9th, but was left to think of what could have been…

3: 1986 Spanish Grand Prix – Senna holds off Mansell. Just.

The Lotus-Renault of Ayrton Senna defends the inside line from the charged Williams-Honda of Nigel Mansell in the closing stages of the 1986 Spanish Grand Prix. © LAT Photographic

The inaugural Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez hosted one of the closest finishes in F1 history, between Lotus’ Ayrton Senna and Williams’ Nigel Mansell.

After dropping to third behind the Brazilian and McLaren’s Alain Prost, Mansell pitted for fresh rubber with 10 laps to go.

The Briton quickly dispatched Prost for second place and started to hunt after Senna.

But even on old rubber, Senna managed to just pip Mansell to victory by just 0.014 seconds at the finish line.

To date, this is the third-closest finish in Formula 1 history.

2: 2016 Spanish Grand Prix – Clash of the Silver Arrows

Nico Rosberg battles alongside the sister Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton at the start of the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix. Image sourced from formulapassion.it

It’s very rare these days to see neither Mercedes finish a race. Nevertheless, the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix saw the two cars get too close for comfort.

After taking the lead from Hamilton around the outside at Turn 1, Rosberg had his engine in the wrong mode.

Subsequently, the German was de-rating and not accelerating as he should have been through Turn 3.

Hamilton notice this and went for the gap, only for it to suddenly disappear on the inside Turn 4.

Having realised his engine was set to the wrong mode, Rosberg swiftly moved over to defend the inside line.

With nowhere to go, Hamilton ended up on the grass, lost control of his Mercedes and smashed into Rosberg.

As a result, both cars ended up in the gravel and out of the race.

The controversy surrounding the crash is still discussed to this day, although the stewards deemed it to be a racing incident.

1: 2012 Spanish Grand Prix – Maldonado’s Miraculous Victory

Pastor Maldonado takes the chequered flag for Williams-Renault in the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix. © Williams & LAT Images

In 2012, Williams were a lot more competitive than they are today.

So, when Pastor Maldonado found himself on pole position in Barcelona, he made the most of it.

The Venezuelan inherited pole after McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was excluded from Qualifying for a technical infringement.

Maldonado lost the lead on the start to Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. However, he regained first place on Lap 25, after he undercut the Spaniard during the pit stops.

Maldonado stayed ahead, despite the best efforts of Alonso, and claimed his only Grand Prix win.

The win remains as Williams’ most recent success to date, and was their first since Juan Pablo Montoya’s triumph in the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix.

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