Lauda vs. Hunt
Lauda and Hunt represent one of the most iconic rivalries in the racing world. This rivalry was so iconic that was adopted into a successful Hollywood movie in 2013 called, Rush. It is hard to argue against the decision of Hollywood executives for portraying their rivalry – after all, the entire 1976 season was nothing short of an intriguing movie plot.
James Hunt and Niki Lauda both lived their lives on contrasting principles. Lauda was dedicated, calculative, and efficient while the glamorous Hunt was a casanova that may have been a bankable movie star in a parallel universe.
In Nürburgring, Lauda luckily escaped near death but suffered life-long disfigurement as fire flames engulfed him in an accident. This happened in an accident during a race that Hunt eventually won. As Lauda could not participate in the incoming races, Hunt began to take a lead over him. Burnt but unbroken, Lauda dramatically returned to driving and the duo locked horns again. In the end, the determined Lauda lost to Hunt by a single point, but it made for one heck of a story.
Prost vs. Senna
Often considered the greatest racing rivalry in history, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna made one hell of a pair. Stats-wise, both topped the racing charts in 1989 and excelled in the Constructors’ and Drivers’ championships.
Their relationship can be at best termed as emotional, tumultuous, and disturbed. One of their heated moments occurred in San Marino, where Senna disregarded a pre-race agreement that forbade passing after the first corner when Prost was clearly ahead.
As Prost seemed destined to win the championship, Senna did not intend to surrender so easily. He dived up within the last chicane and infamously collided with Prost. As a result, he went on to win the race. However, later he was disqualified.
In the next season, the Brazilian and Frenchman fought again in Japan and set their sights on the title. As they drove into the Turn 1, Senna attempted to outpace Prost but Prost resisted with a block that went on to create familiar results – a collision occurred again and Senna became a world champion, albeit without a disqualification.
Schumacher vs. Hill
The ill-fated events that transpired at the Imola race went on to later motivate Damon Hill to win the 1994 world championship. His foe was Benetton’s young prodigy, Michael Schumacher. Their fight ended in Australia after an infamous contact during the final round of the race.
Schumacher was clearly the one at fault with his car very damaged after he continuously hit the wall. When Hill attempted to overtake him and win the title, they collided at the next corner. This mistake lead Schumacher to be crowned the champion off a technicality.
The next season, they came head-to-head with Hill erroring and again causing a collision. This resulted in Schumacher coming out as the victor for the second time in a row. After losing by such a small margin several times, Hill finally succeeded in 1996 claiming first place over Schumacher without collision.