With just four races left in the 2016 season and 33 points between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, it may be looking good for Nico but it isn’t over yet. There are several cases where drives have come back to win or at least make it a very close championship. You may not be considering this season or the last two as the most exciting championships in Formula 1 but if that’s the case, what were the most exciting? Here are the top ten:
1976– There is a reason that Ron Howard chose the 1976 season to make his movie, Rush, and that’s because it was a thrilling season. The title was won by James Hunt in his McLaren with 69 points over Niki Lauda in his Ferrari with 68 points. Niki says he never regretted parking his car in Japan in the rain.
1986– In a McLaren, Alain Prost beat Nigel Mansell in a Williams with 72 to 70 points respectively. It was a time when the FIA reduced the amount of allowable fuel and the season saw several drivers run out of gas…including Alain Prost at Hockenheim.
2007– Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari narrowly beat the new kid, Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren, for the title with 120 to 119 points respectively and it was the season that signaled the coming of Lewis Hamilton. As a rookie, he nearly won his first title in his first season in F1. IT also happens the be the last title Ferrari have won.
1958– Mike Hawthorn was pedaling his Ferrari to 42 points and it was enough, by a single point, to deny Stirling Moss a championship in his Vanwall. Moss would never win a title and is considered, among many, to be the best driver never to do so.
1962– The battle between BRM and Lotus was in full swing and Graham Hill managed win the title over Jim Clark. It was an odd year in which a “walk-out” by Ferrari’s engineering team due to personality differences led Enzo Ferrari to withdrawal from the last two races. A shame as Phil hill had won the first three races of the season and was looking good for a title run.
1994– Michael Schumacher beat Damon Hill 92 to 91 points and scored his first title but the season would be marred by the tragic death of Ayrton Senna and that loomed over the paddock for many years to come.
1964– It may be mind-boggling but John Surtees has never been knighted and that’s very strange given he won the title—as well as a motorcycle championship—over Graham Hill 40 to 39 points respectively. John did so in a Ferrari while Graham was driving for BRM.
1968– Graham Hill took the title over Sir Jackie Stewart, 48 to 36, in a Lotus. While Lotus secured both drivers and constructors titles that year, it lost Jim Clark to a tragic death in an F2 race in Germany. Also, Stewart’s Matra MS10 made an incredible showing and his victoy by over 4-minutes in the rain and fog at the Nurburgring is considered one of the greatest drives of all time.
1984– Niki Lauda took his McLaren to victory by beating Alain Prost by just .5 of a point! It was an incredible year that saw a red-flagged race pay half points and Lauda narrowly took the title over teammate Prost.
1988– Ayrton Senna is at the top of many fan lists and no secret that his victory over arch rival, Alain Prost, in 1988 was one of his best. Beating his McLaren teammate 90 to 87 was a dream come true for Senna as he considered Prost the main motivation as to why he raced.
Are any of these amongst your favorites? Maybe you have a season that you felt was one of the most exciting in F1 history? Let us know which season you feel should be on this list.