The Best F1 Races in the Rain
Given that the FIA has now increased safety rules, most F1 races that took place in the rain happened decades ago. Despite the fact that there are less accidents nowadays, it’s also undeniable that the show isn't what it used to be.
Formula One racing in the rain seems to be more exciting, leaving all cars on the track in similar conditions. This is why, when it rains, drivers’ skills play a key role. Their skill is more vital than how fast their cars are, which is why it’s a good way to assess how talented the drivers really are. Next, we’ll review some of the most memorable F1 races in the rain.
The best F1 races in the rain
It’s always hard to set the boundary between safety and showmanship, ensuring the first without sacrificing the latter. During these last few years, we’ve witnessed most of the laps in the rain behind the safety car or with frequent interruptions.
1984 Monaco Grand Prix
For many fans, this was one of the best F1 races in the rain. This race also marked the birth of Senna as one of the best drivers in F1 history. The Formula One championship of 1984 has a clear favorite: Alain Prost. What the Frenchman was not expecting, was a young Brazilian driver named Ayrton Senna, to give him such a hard time.
It poured heavily with rain for the entire length of the race on the streets of Monaco. Ayrton Senna, known for being very competitive on wet tracks, came back from the 13th place. One by one, he passed every driver to reach second place, just behind Alain Prost who was in the lead.
As the Brazilian dangerously approached the race leader, the race was suspended. We’ll never know if Senna would have continued to overcome Prost, but what’s certain is that this was one the best races in the history of Formula One. Here you can watch highlights of the race, a complete exhibition in the rain.
1975 Austrian Grand Prix
The 1975 Austrian Grand Prix was beyond rain, it was a deluge. Before race day, it seemed as if it would be a quiet race. Niki Lauda was expected to become World Champion. However, nothing went as expected: the heavy downpour took the lead role in the race and an unexpected guest arrived, named Vittorio Brambilla.
The start of the race was delayed due to the rain. When the green light appeared, Lauda took the lead, followed closely by Hunt. To everyone’s surprise, Vittorio Brambilla passed every driver on his way to the third place. In the middle of the race, Hunt slowed down due to engine issues and Lauda spun on a curve, ending up in fourth place.
To everyone’s surprise, Brambilla led the race. Even more unexpected was the fact that the race had to be suspended due to the heavy rain. This is how Brambilla won his first and only race in Formula One.
2008 Brazilian Grand Prix
The 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix was one the most memorable and thrilling championship finals. The World Championship was not won because of the very last curve, it was in part, due to the rain throughout the entire race.
Hamilton arrived at Interlagos as the probable World Champion although Felipe Massa still had hopes of becoming champion in his home town. From the very beginning, the English driver had mechanical issues, which ended up costing him the race. To make matters worse, heavy rain began to fall during the last part of the race, sending the drivers into the pits for rain tires.
The only driver who took longer than expected to make his pit stop was Timo Glock. This left him at the beginning of the grid. The other positions made Massa the theoretical champion as he passed through the finish line. But, Glock then took his pit stop. This stop placed Hamilton ahead, making him the World Champion.
Massa’s sad expression when he was told that he wasn’t the World Champion, his family celebrating an inexistent title and the Brazilian’s tears on the podium are all now, a part of Formula One history.