I have just bought the January 2002 issue and feel compelled to put pen to paper.
Firstly, I would have to say that, in my view, Senna’s first lap at Donington in 1993 is the best single lap ever. I was standing at the bottom of the Craner Curves, and the view as the pack came into sight is one I will never forget. It was worth braving the cold, wet weather just to say that I was there.
Another one of my personal favourites is Keke’s 161mph pole position lap at Silverstone in 1985. I have a photograph of the Williams as it exited Copse at the start of the lap. Clearly visible are two very thin plumes of exhaust smoke coming from the back of the car. It was clear that this was to be an all or nothing lap, and witnessing history in the making was, as it was with Senna in ’93, an absolute joy. Then there is Nigel Mansell. That final lap at Brands in 1985, when he made sure of his first Grand Prix victory; Silverstone in ’87, when he made Piquet look like a beginner; the same circuit, in the wet, in ’88, where he finished second in a far slower car; Hungary in ’89. All would make my top 10.
Mansell’s pursuit of Senna at Monaco in 1992 was an awesome sight too, with neither giving an inch and yet neither, despite their history, even thinking of putting the other into the barrier.
I think that you would have done better had you split the article into greatest drives and greatest single laps, as it seems unfair to put Fangio’s race drive ahead of Senna’s Donington lap.
I am, Yours etc, Ian Giles, Solihull, West Midlands