British Grand Prix: 5 Best Silverstone Moments

Senna, Stewart and erm, Queen Elizabeth make the list ahead of this weekend's race

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It's a whopping 50 years since Silverstone held its first British Grand Prix. Ahead of this weekend’s race which sees home favourite Lewis Hamilton desperate for a win to regain ground over teammate Nico Rosberg, we look back at five of the famous track's most memorable moments.

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1. (1991) Nigel Mansell Gives Ayrton Senna a Lift

Silverstone underwent a major redesign before the 1991 race, transforming the ultra-fast track into a more technical track and it resulted in one of the most intensely contested race for years, with Nigel Mansell triumphing in front of a home crowd. Best of all, Mansell even found time to pick up stranded rival Ayrton Senna and give him a lift back to the pits on his side-pod, after Senna's McLaren had run out of fuel on the final lap. The spontaeity of sport at its best.

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2. (1973) Crash, Bang, Wallop

What marked and marred the 1973 Grand Prix was a gigantic crash during the very first lap, in which 11 cars were ultimately forced to retire. Jody Scheckter caused the pile-up, spinning into the centre of the track and causing the race to restart. The crash ended the career of Andrea de Adamich and the restart caused Jackie Stewart, who had been the leader of the pack, to finish in 10th place.

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3. (1950) Royalty Graces Silverstone

1950: a time when men were men, and safety was unsafe. Contestants in 1950 drove open-top cars with only a leather racing hat for protection.

That year's British Grand Prix was the first ever World Championship Grand Prix, carrying the title of the European Grand Prix. But more significant than this was the presence of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, who shook hands with all of the drivers and waved them on their way. It was the first and only time a reigning monarch has ever attended a British motor race.

4. (1969) Jackie Stewart Triumphs

(Watch from 17:35 to watch Stewart's win)

Between 1964 and 1986, Silverstone and Brands Hatch shared hosting responsibilities for the British Grand Prix. In 1969 it was Silverstone’s turn and the crowd witnessed a titanic scrap between Sir Jackie Stewart and Jochen Rindt. Polesitter Rindt eventually had to pit to repair damage, allowing Stewart to escape and win the race by an entire lap. It was Stewart’s fifth win in six races on his way to a first world championship.

5. (2003) The Dancing Priest

There were extraordinary scenes in 2003 when religious protestor and priest Neil Horan invaded the race on the 11th lap, carrying protest banners and running towards the cars on the Hangar Straight (where they were travelling at 160mph). The conflict between comedy and horror was soon resolved as the kilted man was unceremoniously tackled to the ground by an official and dragged off the track. One of Horan’s banners read ‘Read The Bible. The Bible is always right’. He was later sentenced to two months in prison.

If you fancy experiencing the Grand Prix in style, check out the VIP Drivers Lounge package - complete with great food and drink, guest speakers and the best views of the track - available here


Have we missed a classic moment? Let us know below

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