9

This season could be interesting if Hamilton wins the final race of the season and Rosberg finishes 2nd or 3rd as you would have the unusual situation where the driver with most wins during the season isn't champion. Hamilton would have 10 wins to Rosberg's 9.

What I want to know is has this happened in previous seasons and can you give me some more detail?

I am aware of 2008 when Hamilton won the title with 5 wins to Massa's 6 - but Hamilton actually won the Belgian GP that year but was given a penalty that handed Massa the win, so you could argue he won the most races that season. Or at least he saw the chequered flag most times.

10

A similar case happened during the 1982 season, where five drivers (Didier Pironi, John Watson, Alain Prost, Niki Lauda, Rene Arnoux) shared the most number of wins with two wins each, while the eventual champion (Keke Rosberg) only had one.

The circumstances behind the championship were quite bizarre, though, as Pironi suffered a career-ending accident during the German GP, five races before the end of the season. Before then, he was leading the championship comfortably.

Compared to the multiple retirements and non-scoring finishes shared between the multiple race-winners, a consistent points haul throughout the season by Rosberg played a huge part in his title victory.

8

It happened in 1967.

Jim Clark won four of the eleven Grands Prix but Denny Hulme was the eventual champion with only two wins.

This is in part due to Jim Clark failing to finish four races, while Denny Hulme only failed to finish twice and scoring points in all nine other races.

5

It happened a surprising number of times in the 1980s. In addition to 1982, as cited already, it also happened in: 1983 (Prost 4 wins; Piquet champion with 3 wins); 1984 (Prost 7 wins; Lauda champion with 5 wins); 1986 (Mansell 5 wins; Prost champion with 4 wins); 1987 (Mansell 6 wins; Piquet champion with 3 wins); 1989 (Senna 6 wins; Prost champion with 4 wins).

Going much further back in history to what has long been the most famous example, in 1958 Stirling Moss scored 4 wins but Mike Hawthorn took the title with just 1 win.

In addition to scoring the most wins without taking the title in 1967, as cited previously, the great Jim Clark also did so in 1964, with 3 wins compared to the 2 of John Surtees, who won the title.

2

In addition to the various instances I cited above, I forgot another one that has been regarded for many years as a classic example: 1977, when Andretti scored 4 wins but Lauda took the title with 3. It's seen as a classic example because Andretti was in the season's outstanding car (the Lotus 78, Colin Chapman's first foray into ground effect, which he would perfect the following year with the Type 79), but he also had a large number of reliability issues and in fact would ultimately finish only third in the championship, while Lauda concentrated on racking up the points in his less advanced but more reliable Ferrari 312T2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1977_Formula_One_season

1

Across all these examples, there are basically two distinct types: first, the ones such as Lauda in '77 where a driver is not in the best car but gets the maximum possible out of it and wins the title through stealth (the absolutely supreme example of this is usually considered to be Prost in '86, when his McLaren MP4/2 was a three-year-old design but he beat the drivers of the dominant Williams-Honda to the title). The other, less well-regarded type is where the world champion takes the title with fewer wins than his own team-mate. The reasons are variable but reliability usually plays a part. In this respect, Lauda's '84 title was less impressive than his '77 one, as he had 2 wins fewer than his McLaren team-mate Prost, but fewer reliability issues. The worst example is probably Piquet in 1987, who only won half the number of GPs won by his Williams team-mate Mansell but had considerably fewer reliability issues and also got away with various mid-race spins and other driving errors. Even the three wins Piquet managed were all inherited, despite having the most dominant car, but he still took arguably the luckiest title in F1 history! It puts the arguments about Rosberg's this year into perspective although Nico's title does undoubtedly fall into this second less impressive category.

1

Not sure if he is the one winning more races without being Champ but Nigel Mansell won 7 races in 1986 to loose the title to Alain Prost because at the last race in Adelaide he had a bad rear wheel puncture at 300kph/h at the straight line that he luckily and skillfully saved to end into a huge crash.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.