Champion of Champions
The second Champion of Champions quarter-final features two drivers who were team mates at McLaren for two years.
During their time together Niki Lauda won his final championship title in 1984 and Alain Prost claimed his first the following year.
These are also both drivers took time out of the sport and made successful comebacks.
It looked like Lauda had quit for good when he told Bernie Ecclestone he was leaving Brabham as practice began at Montreal in 1979. He had already agreed terms to continue driving for the team, and his change of mind potentially cost him two years in cars capable of winning the championship.
Ron Dennis convinced Lauda to make a comeback with McLaren in 1982. He won twice in his first year back and once McLaren arranged a deal to use Porsche turbo power he was on his way to world title number three.
It came after a season-long battle with Prost which Lauda won by the smallest-ever margin of half a point. The following season Lauda was dogged by unreliability and retired for good.
Prost’s 1992 sabbatical and 1993 comeback was characteristic of his approach to the sport. He bided his time until the seat he wanted at Williams became available. When he got his hands on the car he emulated Lauda by winning a title on his return.
And both can also talk about championship near-misses. Lauda’s terrible crash at the Nurburgring in 1976 arguably cost him the title that year.
And 1984 wasn’t Prost’s first or last taste of missing out on the title by a small margin: he lost to Nelson Piquet by two points the previous season and was runner-up to Ayrton Senna in 1988 and 1990
So these are two champions with a lot in common. But which of these drivers should go through to the Champion of Champions semi-finals?
Vote for which you think was best below and explain who you voted for and why in the comments.
|Alain Prost||Niki Lauda|
|Titles||1985, 1986, 1989, 1993||1975. 1977, 1984|
|Second in title year/s||Michele Alboreto, Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna, Ayrton Senna||Emerson Fittipaldi, Jody Scheckter, Alain Prost|
|Teams||McLaren, Renault, Ferrari, Williams||March, BRM, Ferrari, Brabham, McLaren|
|Notable team mates||Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell||Carlos Reutemann, Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost|
|Wins||51 (25.63%)||25 (14.62%)|
|Poles||33 (16.58%)||24 (14.04%)|
|Modern points per start1||12.48||7.85|
|% car failures2||16.58||34.50|
|Modern points per finish3||14.96||11.99|
|Notes||Lost ’83 title by two points and ’84 title by half a point||Badly burned in 1976 crash, withdrew from title-deciding race in heavy rain|
|Controversial clash with Senna sealed third title||Clinched second title for Ferrari in 1977 then left team|
|Returned from sabbatical to clinch fourth title with Williams||Ended two-year retirement to return to McLaren and win third title|
|Bio||Alain Prost||Niki Lauda|
1 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of races they started
2 The percentage of races in which they were not classified due to a mechanical failure
3 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of starts in which they did not suffer a race-ending mechanical failure
Which was the better world champion driver?
- Alain Prost (79%)
- Niki Lauda (21%)
Total Voters: 630
Read the F1 Fanatic Champion of Champions introduction for more information and remember to check back tomorrow for the next round.
Have you voted in the previous rounds of Champion of Champions yet? Find them all here:
Champion of Champions
- Ayrton Senna voted Champion of Champions by F1 Fanatic readers
- Champion of Champions in stats
- Champion of Champions Final: Senna vs Schumacher
- Ayrton Senna vs Juan Manuel Fangio
- Michael Schumacher vs Alain Prost
- Ayrton Senna vs Jack Brabham
- Juan Manuel Fangio vs Jackie Stewart
- Alain Prost vs Niki Lauda
- Jim Clark vs Michael Schumacher
- Jack Brabham vs Lewis Hamilton
Images © Honda (Prost), Gary Faulkenberry (Lauda)