Will it be a glorious celebration of a worthy champion? Or yet another of F1’s sensational championship controversies?
Here’s a collection of 17 of the most memorable F1 title deciders on video – with the original commentaries where possible – from Fangio to Alonso…
1951 – Juan Manuel Fangio vs Alberto Ascari vs Jose Froilan Gonzalez
Fangio wins his first championship.
1962 – Graham Hill vs Jim Clark
Graham Hill is champion in South Africa as Jim Clark retires.
1967 – Denny Hulme vs Jack Brabham
It was a Lotus one-two but Denny Hulme won the championship from team mate – and team boss – Jack Brabham.
1969 – Jackie Stewart vs Jochen Rindt
Stewart won a thrilling dash to the line at Monza to clinch the championship as well.
1976 – James Hunt vs Niki Lauda
The notorious championship decider at Fuji Speedway in 1976 where Niki Lauda, blinded by spray, withdrew from the race and James Hunt finished third to snatch the title.
1980 – Alan Jones vs Nelson Piquet
A controversial clash between title duellists Alan Jones and Nelson Piquet saw the race stopped and restarted. Piquet retired from the second race, losing the title to Jones.
1981 – Nelson Piquet vs Carlos Reutemann
Piquet had his revenge on Williams in 1981, taking the title from Carlos Reutemann in the final round.
1983 – Nelson Piquet vs Alain Prost
Piquet’s seocnd title in 1983 came after rival Alain Prost retired from the season finale.
1985 – Alain Prost vs Michele Alboreto
Prost picked up enough points to win the championship at the European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch after Michele Alboreto was forced to park his Ferrari.
1986 – Alain Prost vs Nigel Mansell vs Nelson Piquet
F1’s last three-way title decider was won by Alain Prost after Nigel Mansell suffered a sensational tyre failure.
1989 – Alain Prost vs Ayrton Senna
The first of the great acrimonious title duels. Ayrton Senna went to pass Alain Prost late in the race, but Prost turned in and hit his team mate. Senna got going again, but was controversially disqualified, making Prost champion.
1990 – Ayrton Senna vs Alain Prost
Senna didn’t mess around in 1990, taking Prost off at the first opportunity, sealing the championship for himself.
1994 – Michael Schumacher vs Damon Hill
Schumacher’s variation on the ‘eliminate your rival’ approach was a little more subtle…
1997 – Jacques Villeneuve vs Michael Schumacher
…but not always effective.
1998 – Mika Hakkinen vs Michael Schumacher
It all went wrong for Schumacher in the last race of 1998. Already delayed by having to start from the back, a puncture halfway through the race finally killed his title hopes.
2000 – Michael Schumacher vs Mika Hakkinen
Finally, in 2000, Schumacher ended Ferrari’s 21-year wait for a drivers’ champion, winning the title in style at Suzuka.
2006 – Fernando Alonso vs Michael Schumacher
It was Alonso who ended Schumacher’s five-year reign as champion, and this year he could win a third consecutive championship.
Photo: Renault media / LAT Photographic
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