Given Sebastian Vettel has pretty much sealed this season’s title (can anyone see him losing it?), the Badgerometer takes a look back at some of the most one-sided championships ever. Enjoy!
1985 (5 wins from 15 races, 20 points clear from best 11 results)
Prost was pipped to the title by fellow McLaren driver Niki Lauda by half a point in 1984, but the following year it was all about the diminutive Frenchman.
Even though Michele Alboreto made a challenge throughout the middle of the season, there was never any doubt who was going to win it eventually. A third of races contested that season ended up being won by the Professor, sealing the first of four championships.
1969 (6 wins from 10 races, 26 points clear)
1973 (6 wins from 10 races, 29 points clear)
Stewart, the great triple world champion, won two of his titles in a most convincing manner. The first, in 1969, was a commanding display of his natural powers of speed and car control. The second, two years later in 1971, was won by an even greater margin. It’s worth noting that in an era fraught with danger at every race weekend, Stewart managed to win 60% of the races held in a single season. Twice.
1963 (7 wins from 10 races, 25 points clear from best 6 results)
Both of Jim Clark’s world titles were won with a dominance befitting the great Scot’s enormous talent: in 1963 he won seven races to claim the championship with three rounds to spare. In 1965 he took six victories to wrap-up victory with, again, three races yet to run.
It is the former title that ranks as the more dominant. He was piloting the sublime Lotus 25, winning all but three rounds of the ten round season and recording an additional two podiums. In fact, his only failure to make the top three came at the season opener in Monaco when a gearbox failure late in the race robbed him of certain victory.
After that he won four on the trot in Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Britain (the latter three from pole) and was runner-up in Germany. He then won the Italian Grand Prix by over a minute and a half. Not bad.
A third place finish at the U.S Grand Prix was followed by a brace of season-closing wins in Mexico and South Africa, bringing the curtain down on a stunning campaign for the Clark-Lotus combo. Seven poles, seven wins and six fastest laps – a crushing victory by anyone’s standards.
1992 (9 wins from 16 rounds, 52 points clear)
There was a time when many people thought Nigel Mansell would never win a World Championship. It had eluded him since 1986 when a blown tyre robbed him of glory on the streets of Adelaide and, after that, the misery kept on coming. He crashed and had to sit out the 1987 finale and then was left sitting in a fast yet unreliable car in 1991. It all seemed a step too far.
Then it all changed. 1992 found Mansell sitting in an Adrian Newey designed masterpiece and the first five races proved a doddle. After an epic losing battle with Senna at Monaco and a retirement in Canada, the winning resumed. By mid-season Mansell had scored 86 points from a possible 100. Second place in Hungary secured Mansell’s much coveted World Championship; a dream the Brit had cherished for 8 years. For one whole season, Nigel Mansell was untouchable.
2002 (11 wins from 17 races, 44 points clear)
Remember the 2002 Formula One season? If you’re not a fan of either Ferrari or Michael Schumacher you’d be forgiven for having wiped it from your memory. The awesome combination of the German driver, the Scuderia’s technical dream team and a subservient number two in Rubens Barrichello allowed Schumacher to effortlessly steamroller the championship.
Coming off the back of two straight titles Michael entered 2002 as clear favourite for another crown, but no one could have predicted how good he’d be: 11 wins from the 17 races run, five runner-up finishes and one third place made for a clean sweep of podiums for the season. To put this into perspective, not even Sebastian Vettel will manage that this year.
Nor will he seal the title as early as his countryman did: Michael was champion as early as July’s French GP, passing Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap to take the win and championship glory. It sealed his fifth world title, unquestionably his most dominant and, in our view, the most crushing in the sport’s history.