Close, but….

Sergio Perez’s run to second in the Malaysian GP has me thinking about other occasions when a great race has resulted in a finish off of the top step of the podium:Jim Clark, 3rd Monza 1967 – Following a puncture Clark made up an entire lost lap to retake the lead, only to fall back to 3rd with gearbox problems.

Gilles Villeneuve and Rene Arnoux, 2nd and 3rd  Dijon 1979 – Famous as the one occasion when two F1 cars actually raced against each other, with passes, re-passes, wheel banging and mutual respect.  Great stuff.

Ayrton Senna and Stefan Bellof, 2nd and 3rd Monaco 1984 – Senna’s Toleman was catching Prost’s McLaren when the red flag came out, but who remembers that Bellof’s Tyrell was catching them both?

Rene Arnoux, 2nd Dallas 1984 – On a day that Prost, Lauda and Piquet all crashed, with a track surface made of porridge, Rene raced his Ferrari from last to second and got to meet Sue Ellen on the podium.

Alain Prost, 2nd Mexico 1986 – Finished 2nd despite a car “as bent as a banana”.  The 6 points turned out to be handy come the Championship showdown race in Australia.

Michael Schumacher, 2nd Spain 1994 – In his first F1 incarnation with Benetton, the German finished 2nd despite being stuck in 5th gear for most of the race.

Damon Hill, 2nd Hungry 1997 – I was never a Hill fan, but you can’t deny the achievement of almost winning in an Arrows – something the team didn’t do on 367 other occasions.

Lewis Hamilton, 2nd Turkey GP2 race 2006 – Not an F1 race, but one of the best comeback drives you’ll ever see.  Look up the highlights on You Tube.

Michael Schumacher, 4th Brazil 2006 – What a great way to end an F1 career; after a puncture, ‘Schumi’ drove from 19th to 4th place, including putting his Ferrari replacement , Kimi Riakkonen, well and truly in his place.

Giancarlo Fisichella, 2nd Belgium 2009 – The last time, pre-Perez, when a middle-to-back ranking team almost won a race.



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