Formula One (F1) is one of the most thrilling and unpredictable forms of motor sport. Throughout its history, it has seen some truly remarkable races, drivers and teams trading positions and fighting it out to the finish line.
But there have been some seasons which stand out above all others as the most exciting in F1 history. These iconic moments have become part of the lore of F1, and are still remembered today. Here, we take a look back at some of the most legendary battles, upsets and incredible performances from F1’s most thrilling seasons.
1984 – The Year of Senna vs Prost
The 1984 season was a memorable one for many reasons. It saw the emergence of a young Brazilian by the name of Ayrton Senna, who would go on to dominate the sport for much of the decade. It also saw the rivalry between Senna and fellow French driver Alain Prost reach new heights.
Senna and Prost battled for the championship throughout the season, with Prost initially leading the way. However, a number of controversial incidents meant that Senna eventually took the title in a dramatic finale at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
The 1984 season was one of the first to feature high-tech cars, and it showcased just how competitive the sport had become. It was a thrilling battle between two of the greatest drivers of all time, and one that will be remembered for years to come.
1994 – Schumacher’s Dominance Begins
The 1994 F1 season saw the emergence of one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport: Michael Schumacher. The German driver had already made a name for himself in the early part of the decade, but this was the season where he truly began to dominate.
Schumacher was unstoppable in 1994, winning nine of the sixteen races and finishing second in four more. His dominance was so complete that he even managed to win the championship before the final race of the season.
The 1994 season was not only memorable for Schumacher’s dominance, but also for the tragedy of the death of Ayrton Senna in the San Marino Grand Prix. This was a reminder of the dangers of the sport, and a stark contrast to Schumacher’s dominance.
2008 – Lewis Hamilton’s First Title
2008 was a huge year for Lewis Hamilton. After impressing in his debut season in 2007, he went on to become the youngest ever F1 champion in 2008.
At just 23 years old, Hamilton became the first black driver to win the championship and the first rookie to do so since Jacques Villeneuve back in 1997. His performance throughout the season was simply breathtaking, and he won five races to take the title by a single point ahead of his teammate, Felipe Massa.
The 2008 season also saw the emergence of a number of other drivers, including Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel. But it was Hamilton who stole the show, and the 2008 season will always be remembered as the one where he announced himself as one of the greatest drivers of all time.
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2012 – Vettel Makes History
2012 was another remarkable season for F1, with Sebastian Vettel becoming the youngest ever triple world champion. Vettel had already won the title in 2010 and 2011, but this was the season where he truly showed his dominance.
Vettel was simply unbeatable in 2012, winning an astonishing 13 of the 19 races and finishing on the podium in every single one. His dominance was so complete that he wrapped up the title with three races to spare.
The 2012 season was also notable for the introduction of the Drag Reduction System (DRS), which allowed drivers to adjust the angle of their rear wing to reduce drag and gain an advantage on straights. It added an extra element of strategy to the sport, and made for some thrilling racing.
2018 – Hamilton vs Vettel
The 2018 season saw a thrilling battle between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel for the championship. After a difficult start to the season, Hamilton turned things around and put together an incredible run of form to take the title.
The battle between Hamilton and Vettel was a classic and featured some memorable moments. From their on-track battles to their off-track rivalry, it was a fascinating contest between two of the greatest drivers of all time.
The 2018 season was also notable for some other noteworthy performances, such as Daniel Ricciardo’s victory in the Chinese Grand Prix and Max Verstappen’s dominant performance in Austria. However, it was the battle between Hamilton and Vettel which will be remembered for years to come.
Formula One is one of the most exciting sports in the world, and it has seen some truly incredible seasons over the years. From Ayrton Senna’s emergence in 1984 to Lewis Hamilton’s dominance in 2018, there have been some truly memorable moments and legendary battles.
These are just some of the most exciting F1 seasons of all time, and there are many more which could have been included. But these are the ones which will remain firmly in the memory, and which will continue to be talked about for years to come.