With F1 getting more and more these days about a single team or perhaps a single man dominating the race (and the season), we don’t really get to witness some close duels or fights for the race victory. And with multiple restrictions of saving the fuel, saving the tires, saving the engine, etc, drivers don’t really push and push for those few extra points. Nevertheless, the history of this sport is so glorious, that it gives us another reason to fall in love with it. Here EssentiallySports present to you 5 of the closest F1 victories yet!
5. 1969 Italian GP
Held at the chicane-less, faster layout of Monza, the 1969 Italian Grand Prix had four finishers within 0.19 seconds of each other as Jackie Stewart took the victory by a mere 0.08s from Jochen Rindt and as a result secured the driver’s championship and also the constructor’s championship for his team Matra.
Jochen Rindt was on pole with Jacky Steward at third. Stewart found his way past at the start of the race and quickly took the first place from Rindt on the first lap itself, but the first seven were all closely packed with only 3.5s seconds separating them.
The lead constantly swapped amongst the first seven until lap 23, when Stewart got back in the first position. His team mate in the second Matra, Jean-Pierre Beltoise took up second from Graham Hill after his car gave up on lap 64. Jochen Rindt and Bruce McLaren were close behind as well.
With the last few laps left, every corner of every lap was crucial and one mistake by any of the top four would mean losing their place. Beltoise lead into the Parabolica which meant Stewart and Rindt could use his slipstream. As a result of which, Stewart was able to put his car ahead by a mere 0.08s while only 0.19s covered the first four.
4. 1982 Austrian GP
Probably what is still is the most iconic Austrian Grand Prix yet, Elio de Angelis held off Keke Rosberg to take a stunning victory by a mere 0.05s, to clinch his maiden victory.
Angelis started on P7 and Rosberg just ahead of him in P6. Nelson Piquet was on pole.
Both Nelson Piquet and his team mate Riccardo Patrese retired from the race due to mechanical issues with their Brabham. de Angelis had the clear air to take the victory after Prost retired as well with a mere 10 laps to go, but the Finn, Rosberg was closing in on fast and was a clear contender for victory despite a 10s gap.
By the start of the last lap, the lead was reduced to a mere 1.6s. Angelis seemed was making multiple mistakes under pressure and Rosberg was closing corner by corner.
The last lap was where Rosberg attacked from the inside, with Angelis taking a wide exit to the corner. Both the cars were side by side as they were crossing the chequered flag, but Elio de Angelis was able to secure his first victory by a mere 0.05s from Keke Rosberg. A brilliant finish, indeed.
3. 1986 Spanish GP
The 1986 Spanish Grand Prix was the first race held at Jerez and it sure did provide a nail biting experience for the fans.
Senna was on pole followed by the two Williams’ car of Piquet and Mansell and the reigning world champion, Prost in fourth.
The top four got away quickly at the start of the race. Mansell soon overtook his team mate Pique and started pushing towards Senna. Prost made up places through the course of the race to make himself the third contender for the race victory