- James Hunt, 1976 – won by 1 point versus Niki Lauda
The 1976 championship is one of the most documented in racing history (re : Rush), and rightly so, as it was a fierce title race. No one could have rightly guessed the winner all season, as it all came down to the wire in Japan.
Reaching the final race day, Lauda was leading Hunt by three points, but extremely bad weather forced the Ferrari driver and many others to retire, citing “undriveable” conditions. But Hunt did not withdraw, and finished the race bagging third position, which was all he needed to claim the spoils.
- Michael Schumacher, 1994 – won by 1 point versus Damon Hill
Although for many the 1994 season was one of the most tragic, due to the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger, it was also the breakout season for Schumacher (albeit a controversial one), getting him the first of his record 7 championships.
All throughout the season Damon Hill and Schumacher shared the spoils, bagging podiums one race after another. But on the final day, during the 35th lap, Schumacher appeared to turn in aggressively, momentarily contacting Hill’s car. The German’s car then flung into the air and was badly damaged, ending his race. Hill’s car appeared to be fine, but after a while it was found that his left wishbone was broken, and he subsequently had to retire. This handed Schumi his trophy, amidst cries of foul play by the other teams.