The battle for the world title in Formula 1 between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton has a conclusion similar to the one that happened in 1974. Then the last two contenders for the title started the final race with exactly the same number of points. These are Emerson Fittipaldi and Clay Regazzoni, who finished the season in the United States.
Fittipaldi, the Brazilian from McLaren, settled the duel with the Swiss from Ferrari in his favour. There were fifteen races that year. Red Bull driver Verstappen and seven-times world champion Hamilton of Mercedes will battle for the title on Sunday in Abu Dhabi. Both have 369.5 points after 21 of 22 races.
It is the 30th time since the creation of Formula 1 in 1950 that the decision is made in the final race. It was also very exciting in 1984. Then Austrian Niki Lauda won the title by half a point over Frenchman Alain Prost. Eight times the rider has won the championship title by just one point. It happened in 1958, 1961, 1964, 1976, 1981, 1994, 2007 and 2008.
The most exciting conclusion in recent years was in 2016, when German Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) finished 5 points ahead of teammate Hamilton. The Briton had already lost the title in 2007 by one point to the Finn Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari). A year later, he avenged by winning the championship by one point over Brazilian Felipe Massa (Ferrari).
In the unlikely scenario of a tie after Sunday’s race, the world title goes to Verstappen. The Dutchman won nine titles this season, compared to Hamilton’s eight. In the same starting position in 1974, Fittipaldi finished fourth in the closing race. That was enough for the title as Regazzoni only finished 11th.
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