With the 2010s coming to an end, Crash.net counts down the top 10 Formula 1 grands prix of the last decade.

10. 2017 Singapore Grand Prix

What drama the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix conjured up.

Lewis Hamilton entered the weekend with a slender three-point margin over Sebastian Vettel in the championship standings, and looked set to lose his lead when he could only qualify fifth on the grid, with Vettel storming to pole for Ferrari.

The Briton said he was “in need of a miracle” to have any hope of turning things around on Sunday - and he got one when the heavens opened, leading to F1’s first wet night race in Singapore.

In one of the most dramatic starts in the history of any F1 race, Max Verstappen, Vettel and his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen all collided on the run to the first corner in damp conditions, with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso also caught up in the carnage as an innocent bystander.

Hamilton avoided the chaos to move up to second and remarkably found himself in the lead of the race by Turn 4 when Vettel spun around all by himself and clattered the wall following the damage picked up after being hit by Raikkonen.

Both Ferrari drivers retired on the spot and Hamilton took full advantage to claim an unlikely victory - his 60th grand prix win in a race that went to the full two-hour race limit after three Safety Car periods.

The result proved a decisive moment in the 2017 title battle as Hamilton opened up a 28-point lead over Vettel, with Mercedes surging into a 102-point buffer over Ferrari.

9. 2012 European Grand Prix

The Valencia Street Circuit had seen little action over the years following its introduction to the calendar in 2008, but that all changed during a crazy race at the 2012 European Grand Prix.

After a strategic error from his Ferrari team left Fernando Alonso only 11th on the grid, the Spaniard made brilliant early progress and found himself in contention for the win after running longer into the race compared to his rivals.

A late Safety Car aided his recovery as the pack bunched up and polesitter Sebastian Vettel saw his comfortable 20-second buffer instantly eroded. Things would get worse for the Red Bull driver when he lost drive shortly after the restart and retired.

Having already pulled off a move on Romain Grosjean’s Lotus for second place, Alonso inherited the lead after Vettel’s issue and went on to secure his second win on home soil, adding to his triumph at the 2006 Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona.

A late collision between Pastor Maldonado and Lewis Hamilton enabled Michael Schumacher to profit as he moved up to third and completed the podium to become the oldest driver to appear on the rostrum since Jack Brabham, at the age of 43 years and 173 days. It marked the best result of his comeback since 2010 and would be the last podium finish of his career.

Alonso subsequently left Valencia with a 10-point lead in the championship over Mark Webber.

8. 2018 German Grand Prix

The 2018 German Grand Prix will go down as one of the most dramatic races of the V6 hybrid era - and the decade) - with the Hockenheim round being the scene of one of the key moments that defined the 2018 season.

Vettel started from pole and controlled the early stages as he looked to capitalise on chief title rival Hamilton starting down in 14th after a hydraulic failure in qualifying.

Hamilton made strong early progress up the order and found himself in third after running long into the opening stint of the race, which turned on its head when the rain began to fall on Lap 44.

A switch to a fresh set of Ultrasoft tyres proved a masterstroke by Mercedes as Hamilton excelled in the slippery conditions before Vettel found himself sliding off the track and into the barriers on Lap 52.

Confusion reigned as a Safety Car was deployed with the leaders circulating in the final sector. Mercedes initially called Hamilton in for a stop, but changed its mind at the last minute as Hamilton was told to stay out. He subsequently cut across the infield grass sector at the pit lane entry to return to the circuit but avoided a penalty.

After bailing out of the stop, Hamilton found himself in the lead. He immediately had to defend from Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas at the restart as the pair ran wheel-to-wheel before Mercedes called off the fight to ensure a 1-2 finish on home soil.

Hamilton’s unlikeliest of wins was one of his best and resulted in a 38-point swing in his favour in the championship during a race that arguably acted as the catalyst in Vettel’s 2018 downfall.

7. 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Another unforgettable race came in Azerbaijan in 2017, which christened the 6km circuit being dubbed as “wacky Baku”.

Following a relatively mundane debut under the European Grand Prix banner in 2016, Baku exploded into life in its second year on the calendar with one of the craziest grands prix in history.

It was action-packed and incident-filled from the start as Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen collided on the opening lap, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo dropping down to 17th after being forced into an early pit stop.

A series of Safety Car periods followed amid a plethora of incidents and the first major flashpoint occurred on Lap 19 when Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel came to blows behind the Safety Car.

Vettel complained Hamilton had brake-tested him and proceeded to drive alongside the Briton and allow his car to hit Hamilton’s for a second time. Vettel was subsequently handed a penalty for the incident with Hamilton found blameless. Hamilton later said Vettel had “disgraced himself” with his actions as tensions rose between the two title rivals.

At the restart, the Force India duo of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez collided, with large quantities of debris leading to the race being red-flagged.

Ricciardo had carved his way through the field with some breathtaking overtakes and moved up to second place after pulling off a double overtake on the Williams pair. Second place turned into first for Ricciardo when Hamilton was forced to pit with a loose headrest, giving the Red Bull driver a stunning win.

Bottas recovered from being a lap down to pip Lance Stroll to second by just 0.105s. The Canadian completed the rostrum to become F1’s second youngest podium finisher.

6. 2016 Spanish Grand Prix

One of the most dramatic races of the decade came at Barcelona in 2016 as an intra-team collision paved the way for a piece of remarkable F1 history.

Championship leader Nico Rosberg swept around the outside of title rival and polesitter Lewis Hamilton on the run to Turn 1 as he looked to extend his early points advantage over the Briton, but the pair came together at Turn 4.

As Hamilton jinked to the inside after getting a better exit from Turn 3, Rosberg closed the door as Hamilton took to the grass in avoidance, only to lose control of his Mercedes and spin into the path of Rosberg, spearing both drivers off into the gravel and into retirement.

That opened the door for the Red Bull pair to gain, with Daniel Ricciardo leading the way early on from new teammate Max Verstappen, who had just been promoted to the senior squad to replace the underperforming Daniil Kvyat four races into the season after making a stellar start to his F1 career.

Ricciardo later dropped out of contention with a puncture following a clash with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, while Verstappen moved into the lead after running longer into the first stint than his direct rivals.

The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen emerged behind him after the pit stop window and began to close on Verstappen in the latter stages, but the Dutchman kept his cool to pip Raikkonen by just 0.616s to claim his first grand prix win on his Red Bull debut and become the youngest victor in F1 history at the age of 18 years and 228 days.

Despite not scoring in Mercedes’ first double DNF of the V6 hybrid era, Rosberg left Spain with a 39-point lead over Raikkonen and had a 43-point buffer to Hamilton.

5. 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

The 20th and final round of the 2012 season will be remembered for being one of the craziest races of the 2010s.

Vettel entered the final round with a 13-point cushion over title rival Fernando Alonso and started fourth, with Alonso down in eighth.

Mixed conditions throughout the race added to the drama, as things got off to a frenetic start when a slow getaway resulted in Vettel dropping to seventh, before he was tagged into a spin by the Williams of Bruno Senna at Turn 4.

Facing backwards with the field charging towards him, Vettel somehow managed to continue in the race despite picking up damage to his side pods as he dropped to 22nd and dead last.

Nico Hulkenberg led for Force India after opting to stay out on slicks as light rain fell but a half-spin allowed Lewis Hamilton through into the lead, before the pair clashed as Hulkenberg slid into Hamilton’s McLaren while attempting to reclaim the lead at Turn 1, taking both drivers out of contention for victory on Lap 54.

Jenson Button subsequently inherited the lead and went on to register his last grand prix victory and McLaren’s last win in F1 to date.

Vettel turned in a remarkable recovery drive to sixth, which proved enough to pip Alonso to the title by three points, despite the Spaniard’s own charge to second.

At one stage, Alonso was on course to win his third title, but a late pass on Michael Schumacher - who retired from the sport a second time after Brazil – enabled Vettel to become F1’s youngest triple world champion.

4. 2019 German Grand Prix

12 months on from the bonkers 2018 race at Hockenheim, the German Grand Prix delivered more chaos as rain caused havoc.

Mercedes celebrated its 125th year of competing in motorsport with a special one-off livery and took pole position thanks to Lewis Hamilton’s sublime lap in qualifying.

Heavy rain before the race led to a delayed start as F1 tested out its new wet-weather standing start procedure, with all 20 drivers starting on full wets as the race distance was shortened to 64 laps.

A slow start from Max Verstappen enabled the Mercedes to scamper clear into an early 1-2 as Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen slotted into third, before a first Safety Car was signalled on the second lap as Sergio Perez spun into the barriers in the wet conditions.

The race turned on its head on Lap 29 as Charles Leclerc hit the wall on the wet ‘drag strip’ at the penultimate corner, before Hamilton also skated off and damaged his front wing en route to the pits moments later with a second Safety Car deployed.

Nico Hulkenberg crashed out of his home race at the final corner while in a strong position as Max Verstappen moved into the race lead. When the field switched onto slicks, Valtteri Bottas threw away a golden opportunity to claw back his deficit to Hamilton in the championship as he crashed at Turn 2.

Verstappen went on to score his and Red Bull’s second win of the season despite making five pit stops and spinning, with Sebastian Vettel pulling off a stunning recovery drive from the back of the grid following an engine problem in qualifying.

Meanwhile, Daniil Kvyat celebrated the birth of his daughter with a shock podium for Toro Rosso as Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon came to blows late on.

Robert Kubica would go on to score Williams’ only point of the entire season after a post-race double disqualification for the Alfa Romeo duo moved him up to 10th, with Hamilton also promoted to ninth to retain his points lead over Bottas.

3. 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton turned in a wet-weather masterclass with a faultless drive to dominate on his way to winning his first-ever Brazilian Grand Prix to keep his title hopes alive ahead of Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, though that tells just a fraction of the story of the race.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen – then 19 – was the real star of the show as he claimed a remarkable third behind the Mercedes duo, having staged a magnificent comeback to complete the podium.

Verstappen had already pulled off some sensational passes in the horrendous conditions but a Red Bull strategy mistake meant he had to visit the pits with less than 20 laps to go for full wet weather tyres, putting him down in 14th.

But the Dutchman carved his way through the field with ease as he recovered to take third in a three-hour-long epic that goes down in history as the longest F1 race to be held at Interlagos.

Both Rosberg and Verstappen each survived a hairy aquaplane moment coming up the hill out of the final corner as their cars got sideways, while the likes of Marcus Ericsson and Kimi Raikkonen were less fortunate, the latter causing a red flag after spraying debris across the track following a heavy hit with the wall along the start-finish straight.

Felipe Massa also fell foul of the conditions at the final corner as he crashed out of what was meant to be his last Brazilian GP before retiring, prompting emotional scenes as he walked through the pit lane greeted by a guard of honour with the Brazilian flag draped over his shoulders.

2. 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

The 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix will go down for one of the greatest wheel-to-wheel scraps for victory as Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg diced it out under the lights in the first night race to be held at Sakhir.

An enthralling battle began when Hamilton overtook polesitter Rosberg into the first turn having made a better start. Rosberg came back at Hamilton multiple times throughout the race but at each time to no avail as Hamilton held firm.

Rosberg initially edged back ahead during his first attack on Lap 18 by diving down the inside at Turn 1, but Hamilton fought back to reclaim the position with a sweet switchback manoeuvre at Turn 4 as the pair got within inches of each other.

Mercedes split strategies between its drivers as Rosberg pitted for Soft tyres, before an incident between Pastor Maldonado and Esteban Gutierrez resulted in a Safety Car period after Gutierrez’s Sauber was launched into a barrel roll.

Hamilton’s 10-second lead was subsequently evaporated, though both Mercedes drivers were told to bring the car home in one piece prior to the restart. Hamilton had his work cut out given he was on Medium tyres compared to Rosberg’s Softs, which theoretically saw the Briton at a substantial disadvantage - only for both drivers to defy team orders on engine mode usage to gain more power.

During a late sprint to the finish, Hamilton somehow covered off numerous attacks from Rosberg to resist his teammate and win a thrilling battle - dubbed the ‘duel in the desert’ - as Sergio Perez claimed a surprise podium for Force India in third.

1. 2011 Canadian Grand Prix

An all-time classic in Montreal will go down as one of the greatest races of all-time - meaning it rightfully earns its place in number one spot in our countdown.

The astonishing race began under Safety Car conditions with heavy rain leaving the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve saturated.

Sebastian Vettel defended well from Fernando Alonso early on to hold his lead while Mark Webber was tapped into a spin by Lewis Hamilton, who left the road for a second time and fell behind McLaren teammate Jenson Button.

The duo then clashed along the start-finish straight as Button appeared to squeeze Hamilton into the wall, a collision that forced Hamilton into retirement with broken rear suspension.

Button had already pitted once for intermediates and was handed a stop-go penalty for making up ground too quickly under Safety Car conditions, dropping him down to 15th.

The race was suspended on Lap 26 for over two hours as heavy rain and thunderstorms hit in what marked an unprecedented scenario. Vettel once again led at the restart, while Button fell to last place after picking up a puncture in a clash with Alonso.

A perfectly-timed switch to slicks aided Button’s remarkable fightback through the field as he scythed his way back up the order. Late moves on Webber and Schumacher saw Button up to second, before he closed in on Vettel and forced the German into a critical error on the last lap, enabling Button through to snatch an unlikely and stunning victory.

With a total time of four hours, four minutes and 39 seconds, the race was the longest in F1 history. Button set the record for making the most pit stops (six) for a grand prix winner, while the race also had the highest number of Safety Car deployments, with six outings for Bernd Maylander.

Luke Smith and Haydn Cobb also contributed to this ranking.

 

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