Top 5 closest F1 Championships

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Will the 2016 championship race go down to the wire?

Lewis Hamilton won back-to-back Grands Prix in the United States and then Mexico to keep his F1 Drivers’ Championship hopes alive.

The Brit’s Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg leads the way with 349 points and could secure the title with a victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Hamilton is 19 points adrift of Rosberg with just the two races remaining but a win in Brazil would see the battle for the Championship go down to the final race in Abu Dhabi.

Here’s a look at the closest Championship finishes in Formula One history.

2007 – 1) KIMI RAIKKONEN (110) 2) LEWIS HAMILTON (109), 2) FERNANDO ALONSO (109)

In his first season in F1, a 22 year-old Hamilton had joined the ranks at McLaren to partner defending champion Fernando Alonso. The team-mates went on to challenge for the Championship with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in a three-horse race.

Hamilton was in the lead with 107 points, heading into the final race in Brazil. Alonso had 103 points while Raikkonen was on 100.

The Englishman was tipped to secure an unprecedented victory in his debut season but issues with the car’s gearbox rained on his parade. He could only muster a seventh place finish.

Raikkonen ended up taking the chequered flag to seal the Championship by a single point as a third-place Alonso tied with Hamilton.

1976 – 1) JAMES HUNT (69) 2) NIKI LAUDA (68)

The 1976 season was one dominated by a rivalry so enthralling that it inspired the hit 2013 sports drama film Rush. James Hunt and Niki Lauda reveled in a rivalry that was rife with controversy and stunning racing in equal measure.

The duo went into the Japan GP with Lauda leading by three points but the defending champion ended up retiring from the race due to bad weather conditions.

Hunt however, placed third in the final race of the season to win the Championship by a point.

1984 – 1) NIKI LAUDA (72) 2) ALAIN PROST (71.5)

Lauda secured what is the narrowest Championship win in history. Competing with his younger McLaren team-mate Alain Prost, Lauda realised he couldn’t match him for pace but a supreme strategic understanding saw the veteran keep up.

The Monaco GP was shortened by a red flag with drivers being awarded only half the points and that proved to be Prost’s undoing.

Prost won the final race but finished second in the Championship which Lauda won by a remarkable half point.

1981 – 1) NELSON PIQUET (50) 2) CARLOS REUTERMANN (49)

Both drivers were incredibly consistent throughout the season and put in some great performances. There was no separating them.

The telling moment came in the final race of the season in the United States. Nelson Piquet went past Carlos Reutemann on lap 17 and placed fifth to register two points and win the title by a point.

1994 – 1) MICHAEL SCHUMACHER (92) 2) DAMON HILL (91)

The 1994 season was marred by the fatal accidents of three-time F1 champion Ayrton Senna and Austrian Roland Ratzenberger in San Marino.

However, it also feature one of the closest title races and one which was settled rather controversially. Michael Schumacher was in the lead by a single point heading into the final race in Australia with Damon Hill on his tail.

The German seemingly damaged his car against the wall which on lap 36 which prompted Hill to taje his opportunity to overtake him.

However, Schumacher collided with Hill as he came up alongside him, damaging his front-left suspension and forcing both drivers to retire.

As a result, Schumacher won his maiden driver’s title by one point.

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Hamilton, Rosberg pick same tyres for Brazilian GP

F1i 2/11/2016
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Pirelli has announced the tyre choices made by each team for the upcoming Brazilian Grand Prix, with Mercedes title rivals Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton set to receive the same compound allocations.

As part of new-for-2016 regulations, teams can now pick from three different compounds, with an allocation of 13 sets per driver.

Of those 13 sets, Pirelli will select two sets that have to be allocated for the race (of which a driver must use one set), while a set of the softest available compound may only be used in Q3. Teams are then free to choose the remaining ten sets.

F1’s official tyre supplier has nominated its hard, medium, and soft compound for the race at the Autodromo José Carlos Pace, with all teams favouring the softest, yellow-marked rubber.

One set of softs must be available for use in Q3 should a team reach it, while one set of the hards and one set of the mediums must be retained for the race, although only one of those two race sets has to be used.

Rosberg and Hamilton have opted for one hard, four mediums and eight softs. Meanwhile, the Red Bull and Ferrari drivers will receive one less set of softs with seven apiece.

Williams has gone for the most aggressive strategy, with Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa set to get nine sets of the softest compound available

Overall, the Brazilian GP tyre selection reveals little variety up and down the field and within the teams. Indeed, only the Ferrari and Haas pairings differ in their allocations.

It is worth noticing that most drivers will only have one set of hards for the entire Interlagos event.

All teams had to make their selections 14 weeks in advance.

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IN PICS: Hamilton wins Mexican GP

Sport360 staff 31/10/2016
Hamilton is ramping up the pressure on Mercedes team-mate Rosberg.

Hamilton, who recorded his second triumph in seven days following his masterclass in the United States, is now 19 points adrift of Rosberg with just two races remaining.

The championship battle remains out of the Briton’s control, however, after Rosberg survived a lunge from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to cross the line in second place.

Indeed Rosberg will now secure his maiden title if he wins the Brazilian Grand Prix in a fortnight’s time. The German can even afford to finish second and third at the remaining two races to clinch the crown.

Verstappen finished third ahead of Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, but the former was given a five-second elapsed penalty for leaving the track at turn one and refusing to give the place to Vettel. The German was subsequently bumped up to third.

Hamilton, 31, revealed earlier this week that he is relishing the challenge of usurping his Mercedes team-mate Rosberg at the top of the championship standings.

And the Briton has been in inspired form from the get-go here, comfortably faster than Rosberg in practice and qualifying before claiming the 51st victory of his career with a dominant display in front of 135,000 fans on Sunday.

Hamilton’s season has been plagued by engine troubles and slow starts but, for the second race in succession, the triple world champion got the perfect getaway to retain the lead on the near 1,000-metre run down to turn one.

But perhaps preoccupied with keeping Rosberg behind, Hamilton locked his front-right tyre and ran on to the grass. He essentially missed out the opening four turns before rejoining the track but, as Rosberg and Verstappen banged wheels behind him – a coming together which was declared a racing incident following an investigation by the stewards – he remained in the lead. Despite being bumped on to the grass, Rosberg retained second ahead of Verstappen.

Esteban Gutierrez, Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein then tripped over one another with the latter sustaining significant damage to the front of his Manor. His race was over, and the safety car was deployed with debris scattered across the track.

When the race restarted on lap four, Rosberg failed to threaten Hamilton, and from there the show was all but over. Vettel, on a longer first stint, led for 12 laps but, after he pitted at the end of lap 32, and Hamilton was released back into the lead, it was only a matter of the world champion nursing his Mercedes home, which he did to fine effect.

Hamilton took the chequered flag a distant eight seconds ahead of Rosberg to move alongside four-time world champion Alain Prost, into second on the all-time winners’ list. Only Michael Schumacher has tasted more victories in Formula One’s long history than the man from Stevenage.

For Rosberg, second could yet be enough as he bids to emulate his father Keke, the 1982 world champion, and win the title. In a race of little drama, Verstappen attempted to pass Rosberg on lap 50 after the German came unstuck while lapping Carlos Sainz, but Verstappen failed to make his move stick.

There was controversy late on, too, after Verstappen was stripped of his podium place following a timed penalty which promoted Vettel to third and Daniel Ricciardo to fourth.

Verstappen, who only discovered he had been penalised as he prepared to step on to the podium, was adjudged to have left the track and gained an advantage.

Jenson Button, the 2009 world champion, crossed the line in 12th with British rookie Jolyon Palmer 14th.

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