“Senna at Estoril 1985” – Karun Chandhok shares his take on the best wet-weather F1 drive of all-time


Wet conditions always pose a tough challenge for drivers – here’s what former F1 racer Karun Chandhok feels is the best-ever wet weather drives in Formula One.

Former Indian F1 racer Karun Chandhok believes that Ayrton Senna’s first place at the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix is the greatest conditions F1 drive of all time. The race took place amidst severe wet weather at the Autodromo do Estoril in Portugal. Senna demonstrated incredible proficiency in wet racing by finishing on top of the podium ahead of Ferrari’s Michele Alboreto and Renault’s Patrick Tambay.

Chandhok was just a 1-year-old when the race took place and it’s obvious that he didn’t watch it live. However, it’s apparent that he has watched the replay of the race several times after and the memories are vividly stuck with him. “I think the Estoril 1985 win sits above the Donington 93 one is because the Mclaren MP4/8 was actually an excellent chassis with very good active suspension and an engine with great drivability. Managing the Lotus Renault with the turbo lag and vicious power was incredible” – Chandhok wrote on Twitter, responding to a tweet which asked users to pick their ‘best wet-weather F1 drive of all-time.’

Which are some of the most memorable wet-weather drives in F1?

Senna’s drive at the 1985 Portugese Grand Prix is certainly one of the most iconic displays of driving in wet conditions. Let us now take a look at some of the other memorable wet weather drives in F1.

3. Lewis Hamilton at 2008 British GP: Hamilton started this race from the fourth position and overcame tough driving conditions and heavy rainfall to finish on top of the podium. The British racer himself ranks this race as one of the best in his F1 career.

Wet weather race F1
Lewis Hamilton at 2008 British GP

2. Sebastian Vettel at 2008 Italian GP: A young Sebastian Vettel burst onto the scene with his ‘wet-weather brilliance’ during this incredible race which saw him manage his Toro Rosso proficiently to finish on top of the podium. This was the breakthrough race in F1 for the young German driver and the rest is history.

Wet weather race F1
Michael Schumacher

1. Michael Schumacher at 1996 Spanish GP: Schumacher started this race from third place and eventually finished first after an incredible display of driving in wet conditions. Schumacher experimented with different lines and won by 45 seconds on a day more than half the field spun or crashed.

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