10 Classic Formula 1 Races to Watch Before the Season Starts

Can’t wait for the start of the Formula 1 season? These thrilling races will help you pass the time faster.

2020 will undoubtably be an odd one in the Formula 1 history books considering the season was supposed to start in the spring and was postponed well into summer. That means it’s also wildly unpredictable, but that’s something you could say about Formula 1 racing as a whole.

While you’re waiting for the season to officially kick off, there’s still plenty of racing to watch. We’ve gathered a list of some well-known and some lesser-known races ranging from the 1980s to 2019, and all of them are available to view on the F1 TV streaming app.

1. Germany 2019

Rain always makes a Grand Prix unpredictable, even if it’s only for part of the race. This particular race saw Lewis Hamilton on pole, though a series of Mercedes mistakes meant that it would be Max Verstappen standing on the top spot on the podium, while Hamilton wasn’t on it at all.

2. Brazil 2019

If you follow Formula 1, you likely know that beginning in the 2021 season, McLaren driver Carlos Sainz is moving to Ferrari. Though his always-solid performance is likely a large part of it, this race, which saw him start from the pit lane and end up on the podium in third place, also has to has something to do with it.

3. Austin 2018

Whether you like the team or not, former Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen has always been a fascinating figure. After a rough year with the team, really a rough second stint with the team in general, Raikkonen showed the crowds at the United States Grand Prix why people started paying attention to him in the first place.

4. Azerbaijan 2017

The 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix is a memorable one, but even people who remember the race may not be able to tell you who won it. That’s because the race is more memorable due to the on-track conflict between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton. Even if you don’t watch the race, make sure to catch the highlights.

5. Brazil 2016

As is often the case, Lewis Hamilton was well ahead of most of the rest of the field for most of the wet 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix, but that’s not why the race is worth watching. Instead, watch to see a young Max Verstappen carve his way through the field from the back to end up on the podium, something he’s repeated a few times since.

6. Canada 2011

Surprise finishes are always thrilling in Formula 1, which is why the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix is so often mentioned as being worth rewatching. In 2011, Sebastian Vettel was unstoppable, at least most of the time. During this Grand Prix, Jenson Button took the lead in the last lap to place first in what is still the longest-ever Grand Prix on record.

7. Brazil 2008

It’s so common to see Lewis Hamilton racking up title after title, often well before the end of the season, that it’s almost boring at this point. The 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, in which Hamilton won his first title on the last lap of the last race of the season, is anything but.

8. Britain 2003

Rubens Barrichello spent much of his time at Ferrari in the shadow of the formidable Michael Schumacher. This Grand Prix saw Barrichello step out from Schumacher’s shadow to win — no easy feat — which is likely why this is his personal favorite race during his time at Ferrari.

9. Belgium 1998

Part of the reason Formula 1’s electric-powered cousin Formula E is taking off so quickly is the insane starts and finishes. This Grand Prix proves that Formula 1 has had more than its share of chaotic races as well.

10. Monaco 1982

While Brazil 2019 and Canada 2011 had their own unpredictable finishes, the 1982 Monaco Grand Prix was even stranger. How strange? The lead changed four times in the final five laps. Even if you don’t watch the whole race, be sure to watch the end.

Are You New to Formula 1?

If you’ve never watched much Formula 1 before, all these names and terms may seem unfamiliar. Don’t worry about the names, as there will always been unfamiliar names, no matter how long you’ve been watching. As for the terms, take a look at our glossary of Formula 1 terms to help you get an idea of what everyone is talking about while you watch the races.

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