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The Top-5 unforgettable moments from the Austrian Grand Prix

At 15:00, the traffic lights will switch on and the Austrian Grand Prix 2024 will begin. The ingredients for an exciting race are there, but will the Formula 1 Qatar Airways Austrian Grand Prix 2024 be as unforgettable as our top 5?

Brambilla shows how not to do it

It was one of the wildest Sundays in F1 history – the 1975 Grand Prix at the Österreichring. The race turned into a battle in the rain, with few of the drivers having any idea what was going on around them. The inevitable happened and the Grand Prix was brought to a premature end after 29 laps. Vittorio Brambilla was the first to see the black and white chequered flag. Ecstatic at securing a maiden GP victory, he threw both hands up in the air – and his Brabham promptly careered into the barrier. Despite the crash, Brambilla was credited with the win – his one and only victory in Formula 1.

Fourth gear, where are you?

If you’re wondering when an Austrian last made it onto the podium, you have to go back a little further into the annals of F1 history. To 1984, in fact, when Niki Lauda won the Austrian Grand Prix, which was not all that unusual in itself. After all, Alain Prost and Lauda more or less fought that year’s championship out between themselves in their iconic McLarens. But what few fans know is that gear four on Lauda’s McLaren wasn’t working. As he later revealed, he thought he might have to come into the pits and relinquish the lead but instead decided to stay out and shift directly between third and fifth gear. This potentially made him easy prey for Nelson Piquet, but his opponent interpreted Lauda’s driving style as a tactical measure to protect the car. Piquet’s attack failed to materialise and Lauda won.

A horse with antlers

In Formula 1, animals cross the track from time to time: marmots in Montreal, hares at Spa-Francorchamps and occasionally deer in Austria. In 2001, an animal encounter led to one of the funniest radio calls in F1 history. In 2001, Juan Pablo Montoya was told over the radio by his race engineer that a deer was running across the track (“Oh dear!”), which had to be supplemented by the explanation that it looked “like a horse with horns”. Deer and driver survived the incident unharmed – unlike in 1987 when a deer ran across the track during free practice for that year’s Austrian Grand Prix and was hit by Stefan Johansson’s McLaren at a speed of around 225 km/h. Johansson suffered rib injuries as a result of the collision.

Let Michael pass for the championship

Six words that, even 23 years later, are familiar to almost every F1 fan. Rubens Barrichello was in second place on the final lap of the 2001 Austrian Grand Prix, when he was ordered by Ferrari team boss Jean Todt to let his team-mate past. But this radio message was only the first episode of what is probably still the best-known team orders scandal in the history of Formula 1. At the 2002 Austrian GP, Barrichello had to let Schumacher pass again – but this time the Brazilian was in the lead and had to give up his victory.

Tip: Stop by the F1 Fan Zone and take a close look at Michael Schumacher’s F2002

Legends Parade 2024: Vehicles & pilots

Italy vs. Holland

No, this is not about EURO 2024. 2019 saw Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen duel it out at the Red Bull Ring. The two young stars started the race from the front row, but while Leclerc took a commanding lead, Verstappen dropped back to ninth place, a setback that merely marked the low point before the start of a spectacular comeback by the Red Bull Racing driver. Verstappen caught one opponent after another and appeared in Leclerc’s rear-view mirror with four laps to go. Verstappen eventually took first place with a daring manoeuvre against the Ferrari driver.


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