Double Champions And The Third Season


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Sebastian Vettel has won the title twice in a row. So what happened in the third season for all of those that have also done it? Well, read on...

1. 1952-53 Alberto Ascari
With the Formula changing from Formula Two back to Formula One for the 1954 season, Ascari left Ferrari for Lancia. However, Lancia weren't ready until the last race of the season, and thus Ascari only raced 4 times in 1954 (for Maserati and Ferrari). He retired from all four races, too, but scored a one-seventh share of the fastest lap point at Silverstone and the fastest lap point in Lancia's debut at Pedralbes, where he also took pole position.​
2. 1954-55 Juan Manuel Fangio
After Ascari's death in 1955, the Lancia family got into financial trouble. Thus their racecars came into the hands of Ferrari, where the D50 was run by Enzo for the 1956 season. Juan Manuel Fangio signed for Ferrari in the wake of the Le Mans disaster and Mercedes' subsequent widthdrawal. Fangio won in Argentina (shared with Musso), Britain and Germany to give him a significant lead going into the Monza race. He would have won the Championship without the famous car swapping with Peter Collins. And he won the 1957 title too...!​
3. 1959-60 Jack Brabham
A change in the rules to a 1.5 litre formula for 1961 left the Cooper team's previous advantage evaporated; Ferrari would dominate the season - only at Monaco and the Nurburgring would they lose - to Stirling Moss and Rob Walker's entered Lotus. There would be 6 retirements for Brabham over the 8 races with only one pole position, in the last race at Watkins Glen which went ahead without Ferrari. His two finishes saw him score 4 points, and he left to form his own team that winter.​
4. 1985-86 Alain Prost
1986 was the year of Williams, surely. They won the Constructors Championship by a huge margin, but Mansell and Piquet simply squabbled too much amongst themselves, allowing McLaren's dominant number 1 to sneak in and take the title. In 1987, Prost still took advantage of his opportunities, winning three races, but Ayrton Senna and Lotus were more consistent, pushing Prost down to fourth in the Championship. Mansell and Piquet still squabbled at the top, and Piquet was able to become a triple champion. Prost would have to wait until 1989...​
5. 1990-91 Ayrton Senna
Senna and McLaren were able to hold off the charge of Williams towards the end of 1991, but for 1992 McLaren (and everyone else) were to be nowhere in comparison to Williams. Senna and Berger were able to take wins for McLaren at the slow (Monaco, Adelaide, Budapest) and the fast (Monza, Montreal), but most circuits saw Mansell domination. Senna was to finish fourth in the Championship behind both Williams and a promising young German at Benetton...​
6. 1994-95 Michael Schumacher
It was 40 years since Fangio had followed a double Championship by decamping to Ferrari. Schumacher left Benetton for pastures new in 1996, and would soon be accompanied by the RBs - Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne. It is considered one of Schumacher's greatest F1 achievements that he managed to win races in the F310 including the win at Monza which was so coveted by Ferrari. He scored 59 of 70 points for the Scuderia that season, but it was clear that the rebuilding job was far from complete...​
7. 1998-99 Mika Hakkinen
While Hakkinen was dominant in 1998, he'd got away with it in 1999. Were it not for Schumacher's leg-break he surely would have won the title! McLaren did not score in the first two races of 2000, but soon picked up consecutive one-twos in Britain and Spain. Unfortunately for Hakkinen, David Coulthard then launched into the best form of his F1 career, winning in France and Monaco. They took full advantage of Schumi's DNF in Austria but a track invader thwarted them in Germany. Thus when Schumacher returned to form, he could win the last 4 races of the season, ultimately aided most by Hakkinen's DNF at Indianapolis. However, he did have that overtake at Spa!​
8. 2000-01 Michael Schumacher
We thought Schumacher won the 2001 Championship dominantly, but this perhaps was partly down to Williams and McLaren failing to find a single coherent challenger. 2002, however, saw Ferrari dominate to an utterly absurd level. Ferrari won 14 of 16 races, Schumacher 11 of them. There were controversies, but Schumacher was never in any doubt. He went on to win 2003 by a whisker and 2004 in even more dominant style.​
9. 2005-06 Fernando Alonso
Alonso sought pastures new in 2007, heading off to McLaren. They had the best driver, they had the best car. Unfortunately for Alonso, rookie team-mate Lewis Hamilton was a talent. Hamilton took a lot of praise for his consistency (!) at the start of the season, and as he started to beat Alonso, the Spaniard lost his head. Daft moves in Spain and Canada saw points lost. This all came to a head in Hungary, where Alonso blocked Hamilton after a team orders dispute. He was stripped of pole; in the aftermath McLaren were found guilty of spying on Ferrari. After all this upset, though, both McLaren drivers were within a point of taking the title, but it was the cool head of Kimi Raikkonen who steered his Ferrari to the crown.​
10. 2010-11 Sebastian Vettel
He's not moved teams, there have been no regulation changes and there is no change of team-mate. Whether McLaren or Ferrari can comeback at him this year is yet to be seen, but he has every chance of becoming just the third man to take the titles three years in a row. (And the youngest, obviously!)​
Great article TBY.

Interesting that only the 2 giants of the sport (Fangio and Schumie) have ever managed the fabled 3 in a row. Although if you think Senna should have been champ in 89 he should have joined them. Out of the rest on their only Prost and Brabham ever won the title again even if it did take Brabham another 6 season to do it.

If Alonso is going to follow in the footsteps of Brabham he needs to win the title this year and if he doesn't only Niki Lauda has gone longer between titles and lets remember Lauda retired for 2 years inbetween.

As for Vettel - no one has done the 3 in a row without then getting the 4 in the row! Are we only half way through the Vettel era of dominance? Right now I can believe we are - where that leads all the others I don't know.
Interesting that only the 2 giants of the sport (Fangio and Schumie) have ever managed the fabled 3 in a row. Although if you think Senna should have been champ in 89 he should have joined them.

It is interesting to debate the "should have beens" because Prost should have been 1984 Champion as well, but the one that I always think is the most glaring is that Fernando Alonso should have won the 2007 Championship. He made so many daft mistakes but still lost out by only a single point. And quite frankly Clark should have won the 1964 Championship!

However, we're talking about three-times-in-a-row champions and we have only Fangio and Schumacher. That really does underline what an achievement it would be if Vettel was to do it. I think there is another motorsport series that tells you what happens if a guy named Seb dominates...

The lesson from the past though is that domination rarely lasts...
*frantically tries to ignore the worms*

I take your point about Vettel not having won when not in the best car (apart from hit Toro Roso win) but if you think about it the only world champion in the current field who has a won a title without being in the best car is a guy named Schumacher.

Oh my god yet more worms! sorry Brogan!
That's the problem, it's highly unlikey to win a championship when you're not in the best car and as I said I just don't think Red Bull will have the best car this season.
Which doesn't mean it's impossible or even unlikely.
Eventually someone will be the first to do so.

Of course not. It is still one hell of an undertaking though.

No-one has ever won three in a row at their first attempt.

Thinking about it, Fangio sort of did, because he didn't attempt to win three-in-a-row in 1951-53 because he was injured for the whole 1952 season. I may be overthinking this...
I think it's made for Vettel to achieve it, simply because of the head start Red Bull have had since 2009 they are quite a bit ahead of their rivals come every season. There's not been any major rule changes, he's got the team, he'll probably have the car, his team mate is out of sorts, and also, he's a great driver.
......and the boy does like to break his records and rack up them stats! No one has ever 6 in a row! He'll have his eye on that soon enough!
True, but everything's unachievable until its achieved the first time...

False, everything is unachieved until it is achieved first time. Only some things are unachievable and they are the things that will never be achieved first time, or any time.

Edit] fixed all my bloody auto spell stuff.

And for clarity, in the sober light of day: Because something has not been achieved, does not make it unachievable. That would be a total paradox and nothing would ever be achieved.
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