The five best Formula One battles of all time

What have been the best Formula One battles over the years? F1 fans have been enthralled by numerous drivers as they battled it out for a place on the podium. It is almost impossible to narrow them down to just 5 races. Below is a list of the best F1 battles in history from my point of view.

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#5 Ayrton Senna vs Nigel Mansell, 1992 Monaco Grand Prix

After attainingvictories in the first five races of the season, Mansell in his Williams had been in splendid form, which was even more apparent in Monaco, wherehe took pole by over a minute, ahead of Ayrton Senna.

Nigel Mansell lead the race up until lap 70, but then suffered a loose wheel nut and was forced into the pits, emerging behind Ayrton Senna.

Mansell, on fresh tyres, set a lap record almost two seconds quicker than Senna's and closed from 5.2 to 1.9 seconds in only two laps.

The pair duelled around Monacofor the final three laps, but Mansell could find no way past, finishing just two-tenths of a second behind the Brazilian.

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#4 Nigel Mansell vs Nelson Piquet, 1987 British Grand Prix

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The 1987 British Grand Prix at Silverstone is remembered for the relentless charge by Nigel Mansell for his victory over his teammateNelsonPiquet.

Piquet led most of the race. By lap 12 Mansell was struggling with a vibration caused by a missing wheel weight, which had become detached and fallen from the car.

Mansell rejoined the race some 29 seconds behind Piquet, with 28 laps remaining.

On fresh rubber, Mansell began an epic charge which saw the lap record broken 11 times.

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By lap 62, the two cars were nose to tail and on lap 63, Mansell performed his now famous 'Silverstone Two Step' move, selling Piquet a dummy on the Hangar Straight and then diving down the inside into Stowe Corner.

It was Mansells third victory of the season.

#3 Mika Hakkinen vs Michael Schumacher, 2000 Belgian Grand Prix

After winning back to back world championships in 1998 and 1999, Hakkinen was now facing an ever improving Michael Schumacher, who as a serious threat to his title ambitions.

When F1 arrived in Belgium for the 13th race of the season, Hakkienen was ahead of Schumacher in the championship table by a mere 2 points. The semi-wet conditions due to rain suited Schumachers wet car more than Hakkinens dryer car. Schumacher took the lead mid way through the race.

In the final stages of the race, Hkkinen was using his straight-line speed advantage to good effect as he aimed a move up the inside of Schumacher.

In typically robust fashion, Schumacher was going to have none of this and almost forced Hkkinen onto the grass at over 200 miles an hour.

The Finn was unimpressed with that manoeuvre. He would not have to wait long for payback, in fact the very next lap at the same spot. As he and Schumacher were about to lap Ricardo Zonta, Schumacher went around the BAR driver to the left but Hkkinen went around Zonta's right and outbraked Schumacher.

Michael Schumacher put in a good drive but in the end, he could not contain a simply faster Hkkinen.

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#2 Juan Manuel Fangio vs Mike Hawthorn V Peter Collins, 1957 German Grand Prix

Juan Manuel Fangiotook on two Ferrarisof MikeHawthorn and PeterCollins for a first place finish.Fangio needed to extend his lead by six points to claim the title with two races left in the season.

Fangio had started with half-full tanks, since he expected that he would need new tyres half-way through the race. In the event, Fangio pitted on lap 13 with a 30-second lead, but a disastrous stop left him back in third place and 50 seconds behind Collins and Hawthorn.

Fangio came into his own, setting one fastest lap after another, culminating in a record-breaking time on lap 20, a full eleven seconds faster than the best the Ferraris could do.

On the penultimate lap Fangio got back past both Collins and Hawthorn, and held on to take the win by just over three seconds.

This performance is often regarded as the greatest drive in Formula One history, and it was to be Fangio's last win.

#1 Gilles Villeneuve vs Rene Arnoux, 1979 French Grand Prix

GillesVilleneuve and ReneArnoux, in their tussle for second place at the 1979 French Grand Prix, produced what can beremembered as one ofthe greatest second place finishes in F1 history.

Jean-Pierre Jabouille was on his way to take first place, but people wereconcentrating on the battle developing behind him, for second place.

As Villeneuve and Arnoux exchanged places five times within a span of just two laps, it was jaw-dropping for those witnessing it.

Eventually Villeneuve got the upper hand and finished just ahead of Arnoux, to take the chequered flag in second position.

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The fact that it is still remembered among F1 fans with the same enthusiasm as 30 years ago, makes it even more legendary.

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