British F3, Silverstone, July 1990
The two Mikas, Hakkinen and Salo, were the class of British F3 in 1990. I was best of the rest, but I beat them fair and square on the Silverstone National circuit.
The key to winning in F3 is to lead at the end of the first lap. I didn’t do that at Silverstone, but my first-lap pass on Hakkinen taught me what I needed to take the lead the next time around.
I made my move on Hakkinen at Brooklands at the end of the long straight. I was so late on the brakes in my Bowman Ralt, Mika and I touched — but we made it.
Paul Stewart had a small lead, but now I knew how late I could brake at Brooklands and pulled the same move a lap later.
Salo closed right up at the end, but I just held on. It was my only win in a season in which I had eight other podiums — but it could have been a different story had I been out in a new Ralt RT34 rather than an RT33.
It was a good win, but the Fuji International at the end of the season was my best F3 race. Michael Schumacher and I sped away in the final, but my VW-Spiess engine cut out. It then picked up again, I broke the lap record chasing him and was just about to make a move on the last lap when it died for good. If it hadn’t, this column might have been called ‘The day I beat… Michael Schumacher’.