Win a pair of tickets to the 2012 Santander British Grand Prix

2011 British Grand Prix. Photo by Darren Heath

Never has F1 punditry been more of a mug’s game. Car, weather, fuel, tyre management, sheer determination – and maybe a bit of luck. In the five grands prix from the start of the season until the point I bash finger against keyboard, we’ve had five different winners – including two first-timers.

Well see here: you and a friend (or significant other) could be watching history unfold trackside at this year’s British Grand Prix. Courtesy of Shell V-Power I have a pair of grandstand tickets worth £500 to give away.

All you have to do is answer this question:

What, in your opinion, is the greatest ever Formula 1 performance and why?

That’s quite an epic library to draw from. Cast your minds back beyond the immediate past. How about Thierry Boutsen’s redoubtable defence against Ayrton Senna in the 1990 Hungarian Grand Prix? Jackie Stewart’s absurd victory margin at the Nurburgring in 1968? Sir Stirling Moss’s bossing of the works Ferraris in his privateer Lotus at Monaco in 1961?

Eloquently craft your entry and submit it via the comment box below. You can write more than 200 words if you want, but remember what attention spans are like on the internet these days. Your submissions will be judged independently on quality, passion and inspiration. And unfortunately this competition is for UK residents only (sorry!).

It could be you... A grandstand view of the British GP. Photo by Darren Heath

Who will be the king of the Silverstone castle? Who will be the dirty rascal? Don’t ask me – punditry is a mug’s game, remember? Enter this competition and you could be there to see it unfold for yourself. The competition closes at midnight on 18th June 2012 and I’ll announce the winner on 25th June 2012.

If you miss out this time, it’s not over. Simply fill up (minimum of 15 litres) with Shell V-Power Unleaded or Shell V-Power Diesel or purchase any Shell Helix product at a participating UK site, swipe your registered Shell Drivers’ Club card (which must be registered at the time of purchase or before the draw takes place) and you’ll be entered into a draw for more pairs of tickets to the British Grand Prix.

For full terms and conditions click here.







Phil Collins was wrong: you may need a coat. Photo by Darren Heath

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  • Comments (69)
    • June 12th, 2012

    It has to be silverstone 1992(if not the whole season) for personal & record-breaking reasons! As a 12 year old fan i got the opportunity to travel to silverstone & camp nearby (couldnt afford to get in but next best thing!)Nigel Mansell not only won this championship early but became the most successful British driver of all time in this race as he surpassed Jackie Stewart’s record of 27 wins with his 28th. Also getting a record-breaking lap of 1 minute 22.539 seconds was the icing on the cake! The invasion was amazing to watch & knowing we were so close, i would have done anything to get in there! So many good memories of F1 this year with Mansell getting sports personality again & getting the most wins from pole & highest percentage of pole positions in a season, records he still holds – what a legend!

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Silverstone 2008

    Hamilton’s victory was arguably the best race of his career.
    Having been under pressure heading to Silverstone mistakes in qualifying only confirmed what they critics were saying.

    But the rain gave him a chance to showcase his superlative natural talent and he grabbed it with both hands making him the first Englishman to win the British Grand Prix since Jonny Herbert in 1995, and the first Briton since David Coulthard in 2000.

    Whilst others were losing their heads and one man came of age and announced himself as a real talent to silence the critics with a hammer blow!

    • Adam Craddock
    • June 13th, 2012

    Gilles Villeneuve – Watkins Glen 1979.

    For me the Greatest Ever Formula One Performance was by Gilles Villeneuve in a wet practice session at Watkins Glen for the US GP East in 1979.
    Jody Scheckter scared himself producing a time which he thought would be fastest. Villeneuve beat that time by a reported 11 seconds!

    Jacques Laffite was reported to say “Why do we bother? Gilles is different to the rest of us, he’s on another level”

    • Pauline Collings
    • June 15th, 2012

    Jenson Button – Canadian GP June 2011

    This has to be the best performance for me. JB had little hope of doing well in this race after a collision with Lewis Hamilton on lap seven and he was then handed a drive through penalty for speeding during the safety car being out.

    It was a very wet track, but he fought back and was able to overtake three drivers in the last few laps of the race, the best being the overtake of Sebastian Vettel on the last lap to take the win.

    • Lorilee Gates
    • June 16th, 2012

    Senna, San Marino ’94. Only this man could witness his protege crash and a competitor fatally crash and – despite his palpable fear and discomfort with his car – still honour his psychological and physical compulsion to race. There is nothing morbid in this opinion. There is simply no denying that individuals who act in the face of the overwhelming are truly other-worldly, as this man was. It was his words and actions in the lead up to this race (and as a result of this race) that punctuated and then prompted measures that benefitted all others who came thereafter.

    • Russell Durant
    • June 16th, 2012

    Juan Manuel Fangio – 1957 german Grand Prix

    at the Nurburging Nordschleife, possibly the most difficult track ever used in F1, fangio came back from a minute behind the leaders to win the race. Smashing 11 lap record times in the process.

    • Jeremy Hards
    • June 17th, 2012

    Niki Lauda returning to Formula 1 after nearly being killed in a fiery accident at the 1976 Nurburgring German grand Prix.

    • kayleigh White
    • June 17th, 2012

    I only started watching F1 a few years ago but I’m totally hooked. I used to hate watching it with my dad when Schumacher would win race after race after race, it was too predictable and boring. The best performance I have witnessed was when Lewis Hamilton first came on the scene and you could feel the excitement from everybody. Sceptics thought he had no chance but he did it in his first season! Epic. x

    • Chris Austin
    • June 17th, 2012

    Schumacher, Spa ’94.

    Not an obvious choice but after qualifing 16th he won a wet race that saw 10 leader changes.

    A true rain master in his prime.

    • John Evans
    • June 17th, 2012

    It has to be Jenson Buttons win in Canada 2011. To come from last place to win on a tough circuit, but with the inabilty to easily overtake due to the technology on the cars

  2. I can pin-point the exact moment i became a Formula 1 fan – This is due to the greatest Formula 1 Performance of all time. I was only a young kid, but had grown up watching f1 with my Dad. I remember getting up early on a Sunday morning to watch the race from Japan. The living room was a mess of breakfast cereal and glue (I was making a Halloween costume for a school party the following week).
    I may not have fully understood myself, but i could sense a lot about the race by how my Dad was acting. By all accounts, my old man never really liked Prost, but Ayrton was his man. Those final laps when Senna was catching Prost Dad was getting more and more excited. When Senna finally clipped him, bringing them both to a stop in the gravel Dad erupted in excitement, to which i followed. Cheerios and black coffee covered the Sofa and i have been an F1 fan, and a Senna fan, ever since. Having watched that race again as an adult, i can relive the excitement and fully understand why that truly is the greatest f1 performance.

    (updated from earlier post)

    • Terry O’neill
    • June 17th, 2012

    Jenson Button – Canadian GP 2011.

    British through and through, so to see both McLarens hit each other was horrible, the weather was horrible, and Jenson ending up last – horrible. Then him coming from the back to WIN on the last lap putting Vettel under immense pressure, was just breathtaking and made me so proud! Best race EVER.

    • Matthew Bateman
    • June 18th, 2012

    Brands Hatch 1986…(1) Nigel Mansel , (2) Nelson Piquet , (3) Alain Prost
    Nail biting stuff during the whole race, and more similar to a motorbike GP.
    Mansel overtook Piquet on the very last curve, cutting inside with two wheels on the grass.
    Mad manoever, but he somehow got away with it.

    • Simon Thorp
    • June 18th, 2012

    At the 1970 US Grand Prix, Lotus returned to F1 after missing the two races since Jochen Rindt died during practice at Monza. Their second driver, John Miles, had also since abandoned the team with safety concerns.

    Young Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi, in only his fourth grand prix, suddenly found himself promoted to number one driver in a team still reeling from tragedy. Midway through the grand prix Fittipaldi raced fourth but was almost a lap behind leader Jackie Stewart.
    Fittipaldi’s skill and determination, aided by others’ reliability issues, led to a remarkable victory, sensationally overtaking Pedro Rodriguez on the final lap when Rodriguez, running low on fuel, was forced to splash and dash.

    Fittipaldi’s win secured the Constructors Championship for Lotus and a posthumous Drivers Championship for Rindt. Fittipaldi would go on to win the Drivers title in 1972 and 1974.

    • June 18th, 2012

    The best performance was Damon Hill in the Williams in 1996, he became the only Son of a Formula one Champion to win the championship himself.He took 8 wins without even starting on the front row ! Its a shame his engine failed in Monaco a race his late Father had won 5 times during the 60s.That same season he was dropped by Williams so he went out in great style winning Sports Personality of the year for the second time making him one of only three people to receive this coveted award twice.He was and still is a credit to his late Father the great Graham Hill and continues to keep us interested in this great sport by joining the Sky F1 presentation team for the coverage of the 2012 F1 season .

    • Robin Middleton
    • June 18th, 2012

    Mansell sells Piquet a dummy

    Cast your mind back to Silverstone 87, F1 fans basking in the sunshine, tight shorts, 80′s perms and Mansell taches were all the rage. Shell suits were de-rigor, and the English hordes were going to cheer Our Nige fans to the win….all but a young 19 year old, straight out of school, who thought double world champion and ex-Brabham maestro Piquet was the Williams driver of choice, and hated this British patriotic love-in for all things Mansell.

    But the dummy changed all that, it was like a mini soap opera, Red 5 taking the lead, horror or horrors the tyre change, can the brummy charger fight back, can he catch the Dick Dasterdly of F1 Piquet, of course our Nige can. But still I was willing Nelson on, Mansell was too far back surely….. oh know he catches, they steam down Stowe, Mansel dummies outside then dives inside and he’s through, wow what a move, what a God of racing was Our Nige. I was hooked, Piquet eat my dust, Nigel’s the messiah now.

    • James van Bregt
    • June 18th, 2012

    Michael Schumacher’s win for Ferrari in the 1996 Spanish GP was a masterclass in wet racing.

    Starting third on the grid, Schumacher “wouldn’t have bet a penny” on a win, he said afterwards, and it had looked unlikely after a poor start. However, as much of the pack struggled to stay on the circuit, he carved his way to the front, leaving the rest behind in the spray of his rooster tail.

    Of 20 starters, 13 retired and one was disqualified, as the Rainmeister finished 45 seconds ahead of Jean Alesi’s Benetton-Renault. This ‘96 Ferrari was not the force that would dominate from 2000 onwards, but in the wet this combination was unbeatable.

    “In the race we didn’t get a present from anyone”, said Schumacher in the post-race interview. Indeed, while others lost their way, he had simply kept his cool. Rather like the Shell oil his Ferrari was running.

    • Nick
    • June 18th, 2012

    There’s an absolute plethora to choose from, so will go for something of recent time, this year in fact.

    Malaysia 2012 has got to be a contender, how on earth Fernando Alonso managed to get that bag of spanners, otherwise called Ferraris latest F1 challenger, into the points let alone the podium, let alone win the race I do not know.

    He beat some great drivers in significantly better machinery and his team mate only finished in 15th place.

    • Nick
    • June 18th, 2012

    The only rival is the quite monumental couple of laps involving 2 drivers at a track named after mustard, in cars that most modern racers would consider death traps.

    The late great Gilles Villeneuve and Rene Arnoux at Dijon for the French GP in 1979.

    For those not familiar with this great few laps, simply search You Tube and you’ll wonder how you had not seen it before.

    I’m embarrassed to even consider writing about it, I couldn’t even begin to do it justice. Let’s just say that the 2 drivers at full racing speed exchanged positions and banged wheels more than the whole grid have done in some seasons.

    This true wheel to wheel racing was done out of pure desire and passion to beat the opposition, no winging or whining, no personal grudges, just pure racing passion.

    You’d think that this was being done for a race win, but not at all, this was for 2nd place, although I’m sure neither thought about that at the time.

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