Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

The greatest Formula One championship battles

Alberto Ascari v Juan Manuel Fangio, 1953 Two of the greats of Formula One. The pair dominated the first decade of the sport before Ascari tragically died racing at Monza in 1955 - both drivers still occupy the top two places in the race entry to race win table. One of their closest championship battles came in 1953. The championship consisted of just nine races and Alberto Ascari won five of them in a very powerful Ferrari. But after a poor start to the season that saw several retirements, a rise in Fangio's form as the season progressed and a few non-finishes from Ascari ensured a tight finish. When the penultimate race of the season arrived in Switzerland the Italian driver knew he could claim the title with a victory. It proved to be anything but easy, Ascari (car no. 4 in picture) trailed Fangio (car No. 50 in picture) but the Argentine was forced to retire. It seemed the title would go to the Ferrari driver before he begun to struggle with engine problems, dropping back to 4th. However, he dramatically forced his way back to the front of the grid to win his second title in a row by six points.

The title race goes down to the wire in Brazil on Sunday after Sebastian Vettel failed to finish 15 points ahead of rival Fernando Alonso at the US Grand Prix.

There have been some great battles over the years from Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill in 1965 to Ayrton Senna against Alain Prost in 1989.

We look back at some classic Formula One tussles that saw competitive rivalry turn into fierce battle.

^^Click 'More Pictures' to launch our guide^^

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