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WET, WET, WET

WINNERS IN THE RAIN

102

Visualise motorway driving in torrential rain: rivulets of standing water, aquaplaning, the steering going light, the close proximity of other vehicles, an impenetrable fog of traffic spray. Now imagine all this with a misted-up helmet visor while racing wheel-to-wheel for victory at speeds up to 300kph . Tradition dictates that F1 is not deterred by such conditions, a challenge necessitating a mindset somewhere between heroism and total folly. And to win, the special qualities needed are skill, concentration, will power and immense courage. These attributes abound in the following collection of races that includes all the acknowledged epics.

18 Over three hours at Spa in heavy rain
100 Wet mastery beats superior machinery
108 Wet Nordschleife, close racing, astonishing win
113 Won by 5 minutes on a wet circuit he loathed
169 Wet ‘Green Hell’, injured wrist, won by 4 minutes
201 Two drivers, a 2-hour rain battle, the rest lapped
212 Virtuoso performance at a wet Monaco (1)
260 Showery, numerous spinners, but not the victor
262 Did he win going backwards? Folklore says yes!
394 Ayrton’s first victory? Almost!
406 Ayrton’s first victory? Yes, astonishing display!
Race 535   AUTHOR’S PICK
587 Virtuoso performance at a wet Monaco (2)
588 His first Ferrari win made the rest look foolish
794 Champion elect made the rest look foolish
846 Champion spun it away, pressured by another
955 Brilliant winner, but the teenager defied physics

Race 535 Authors Pick

Was Ayrton’s opening lap the greatest ever driven?

I witnessed four of these rain epics, Races 201, 260, 535 and 794. Each time I was in awe, but Race 535 has it.