1. Ayrton Senna, 1988 – won by 3 points versus Alain Prost

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1988 was the breakthrough year for Senna, as he won his first Championship, pipping the in-form Alain Prost by three points.

Senna won the championship even though he did not score the most points over the course of the season. This was due to only the points gained in each racers’ best 11 races being counted. Thus, even though Prost won seven races and came second in seven more, Senna won by virtue of having better finishes.

  1. Sebastian Vettel, 2012 – won by 3 points versus Fernando Alonso

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Vettel entered the final race-day in Brazil, 13 points ahead of his closest rival Alonso. While Alonso had an outside chance, most people saw Vettel winning his third Championship in a row without a lot of difficulty.

Coming out on the track, the racers found themselves in a tricky situation. The tarmac was wet, but not so much that they would think to use wet tyres, but also not quite dry, that they would get grip using the slicks. Chaos ensued, with many racers crashing in the first half of the race. Alonso held on, motivated by the erring Vettel behind him. But after many racers retired, Vettel found himself in 6th, which was enough to win the Championship, as Alonso lost the race to Jenson Button, coming in second.

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