TOP 10: DOMINANT CHAMPIONSHIP WINS
For every season a title fight goes down to the wire, there's another that's wrapped up early. Here's our top 10.
10) JUAN MANUEL FANGIO - 1954
The F1 calendar was much more bare back in the early days of Formula 1, therefore it was more difficult for one driver to establish his dominance, but this didn't stop Argentine great Juan Manuel Fangio. Not including Indy 500, Fangio won 6 of the 8 races during the season whilst securing 3rd and 4th in the other two races. The funny thing is at that time the championship only accounted for a driver's top five drives, so one of his wins didn't even matter! There was also a point for the fastest lap, meaning that Fangio's 42 points is just three away from perfection.
9) JACKIE STEWART - 1969
Stewart's third title in 1973 was a fairly close affair, but his first two were pretty dominant runaways. Never surrendering the championship lead, Stewart took victory in 6 of the first 8 races which was enough to hand him the title with three races still to go. Stewart's overall tally of 63 is pretty impressive, but even more so when you consider he had three retirements throughout the year.
8) JACKIE STEWART - 1971
Just two years after cruising to his first title, the Scot completed his brace with victory in 1971. Interestingly, the season once again had 11 races, and once again Stewart wrapped up the title after just eight. Another similarity was Stewart's points total, achieving just one fewer point than in 1969. Stewart started quickly again with 5 wins from the first 7 races. The only difference between the two campaigns is that Stewart qualified much better in 71'. He took 6 pole positions and only started outside the top 4 once.
7) MICHAEL SCHUMACHER - 2001
To the surprise of probably no one, this isn't the last time Schumacher features on this list. Title number 4 was won with another four races and two months still to go in the season. After four races it seemed as if a Coulthard/Schumacher title fight could occur as they were level on points, but from here Schumacher went on an unbelievable run as he took 78 points out of a possible 100 from his next 10 races. 2001 was also his best year for qualifying as he took 11 pole positions.
6) SEBASTIAN VETTEL - 2011
After a thrilling finale to the 2010 season, people were excited at the prospect of another close season in 2011. That wasn't to be. In 2010, Sebastian Vettel won the title at the final race ahead of three rivals who all stood a chance of winning, but in 2011 he was unstoppable as he secured his second title. His 15 pole positions in a season is a record and he managed to convert this into 11 victories.
5) MICHAEL SCHUMACHER - 2004
2003 was the closest Schumacher had come to not winning the drivers championship in 4 years, however any optimism that the other drivers had for 2004 was quickly washed away. Schumacher failed to win just one of the opening 13 races and the inevitable was sealed in race 14 with a second place at Spa. He finished the season with 148 points, the highest achieved in the old points scoring era.
4) SEBASTIAN VETTEL - 2013
After his monumental effort in 2011, it was always going to take a lot for Vettel to top it, but he did just that in 2013. Whilst he didn't quite have the same monopoly on pole positions, he did achieve more wins and more points. His 13 wins is tied for best all time (9 of which came in succession) and 397 points is also a record.
3) JIM CLARK - 1963
Jim Clark asserted his dominance fairly on in the 1963 season and it led him to his first of two drivers' titles. He started on pole for 7 of the 10 races and went on to win 7 too. The rules at the time were that only the top 6 drives in a season counted towards the championship, meaning Clark had one win and two other podiums that didn't count. His points tally of 54 was impressive, but this would have been 73 otherwise, 41 higher than anyone else.
2) NIGEL MANSELL - 1992
After coming so close on previous occasions, Mansell finally won the drivers' championship he coveted in 1992 and he did so in emphatic fashion. He won each of the first 5 races and didn't look back from there as he became the first man to achieve over 100 points in a season even with a total of 4 retirements. The fact that Mansell either retired, finished 2nd or finished first in every race during the season is testament to his overwhelming pace.
1) MICHAEL SCHUMACHER - 2002
In 2002, Schumacher didn't take as many poles as he did in 2001 and took 4 fewer points than he would in 2004, but his margin of victory is astounding enough to make this number one. Schumi ended up 67 points clear of teammate Rubens Barrichello and 94 clear of anyone else. This is largely due to the consistency he showed in terms of podiums - he achieved a perfect 17 out of 17. Unsurprisingly, the title was over very soon in to the season, just 11 races in.