Motorsport

The most dramatic F1 season final races

By Jack Bantock, CNN

Updated 1019 GMT (1819 HKT) December 10, 2021
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1974: Emerson Fittipaldi (L) and Clay Regazzoni (R) entered the last race of the season in the US on equal points -- the first time in F1 history that this had happened. Brazil's Fittipaldi, whose grandson Pietro is a reserve and test driver for Haas, took the championship with a fourth place finish. Eric Marrapodi/CNN
1976: James Hunt (pictured) won the title by a point over Niki Lauda on a rain-soaked track in Japan. The dramatic season -- in which Lauda suffered a near-fatal fiery crash -- was the subject of 2013 film 'Rush.' The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images
1984: Niki Lauda (L) won the championship by 0.5 points -- the smallest margin in F1 history -- over Alain Prost (R) in Portugal. Lauda had trailed Nigel Mansell in the race, but the Brit retired with brake issues, moving Lauda to second to win the title over Prost. Shutterstock
1986: Needing only a podium finish to win a dramatic, three-way fight for the title in Australia, British driver Nigel Mansell suffered a tire blowout, allowing Alain Prost to take victory over Mansell and Nelson Piquet. Roger Gould/Getty Images
1994: Having been separated by just a point heading into the final circuit in Australia, Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill collided on lap 36, retiring both from the race. The collision was ultimately deemed a racing incident by stewards, and Schumacher won his first championship. Melchert Harry/picture alliance/Getty Images
1997: Perhaps the most infamous F1 season finale of all-time, championship leaders Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve collided as the Canadian sought to overtake in Spain. Schumacher retired from the race as Villeneuve finished third to win the title, and the German -- subsequently deemed by the FIA to have caused an avoidable accident -- was disqualified from the championship. AFP/Getty Images
2003: Michael Schumacher survived a final day collapse in Japan. Needing a top-eight finish to secure the title, he started 14th on the grid but managed to claim eighth in testing conditions to take the title over Kimi Raikkonen. Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images
2007: Kimi Raikkonen (front) won the title by a point over Lewis Hamilton (L) and Fernando Alonso (R) in Brazil. Hamilton had led heading into the final day, but a gearbox problem meant he could only finish seventh, with Raikkonen taking pole to secure a famous win having arrived in Brazil in third place in the championship. Antonio Scorza/AFP/Getty Images
2008: Hamilton won his maiden world title by a point in Brazil, pipping Felipe Massa. The Brazilian looked to have won a famous victory on home soil, but the Brit overtook Timo Glock on the final corner to claim the fifth place he needed to take the championship. Mark Thompson/Getty Images
2010: Sebastian Vettel (L) beat Fernando Alonso to the title in Abu Dhabi in a finale that began with four drivers eligible for victory. Alonso only needed a fourth place finish to take the title, but finished seventh. Paul Gilham/Getty Images
2012: Vettel fought back from last on lap one to finish sixth in Brazil, taking the title ahead of Fernando Alonso by three points. In the process, he became F1's youngest triple world champion. Paul Gilham/Getty Images
2016: Nico Rosberg took the title from Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi with a podium finish, despite the Brit taking pole. A week later, Rosberg retired from F1. Peter J Fox/Getty Images