Nine most explosive F1 title-deciding finales including Schumacher driving on two wheels ahead of Hamilton vs Verstappen

IT will go down to the final race.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen go head-to-head in Abu Dhabi level on points in the drivers' standings.

It promises to be the most exciting F1 race in years, with the winner taking all.

But we've seen explosive title-deciding finales in the past that have had motorsport fans on the edge of their seats.

Here's nine of the best that have gone down in history.

Juan Manuel Fangio, 1956

Monza was the venue for the final race of the 1956 season.

Three drivers were in contention for the tile, Ferrari's Fangio and Peter Collins, as well as Maserati’s Jean Behra.

Behra was forced to retire, while it looked dicey for Fangio when a broken steering arm forced him into the pits.

However, in an incredible moment of sportsmanship Collins gave him his car to finish second and claim the crown.

John Surtees, 1964

Again, it boiled down to the final race – this time in the heat of Mexico City.

British drivers Surtees, of Ferrari,  BRM’s Graham Hill and Lotus’ Jim Clark were all vying for the World Championship.

Clark led for 63 of 65 laps until his engine failed on the final lap.

Hill could have been champion, if Lorenzo Bandini hadn't driven into the back of him and dropped out the points places.

Surtees, in the end, got through to finish second and pip Hill by one point in the standings.

Emerson Fittipaldi, 1974

This was the last and only other time two drivers have been level pegging on points going into the final race in the World Championship.

However, it wasn't quite the Grand Prix at Watkins Glen with a damper problem meaning Fittipaldi's rival  Clay Regazzoni finished in 11th.

The Brazilian finished fourth, winning his second title by three points.

However, the win was overshadowed by the fatal crash of Austrian racer Helmuth Koinigg.

James Hunt, 1976

So good, and involving two great personalities, it made the astonishing film Rush.

Niki Lauda and James Hunt fought it out at the 1976 Japanese Grand Prix in a thrilling climax to the season.

Lauda, who two months earlier had a suffered the horror fiery crash at the German Grand Prix, retired on lap two because of the horrific weather conditions.

Hunt, however, prevailed in the rain and managed to finish third to get the four points he needed to be champion.


Michael Schumacher, 1994

It was a move that looked like it belonged in an action movie.

Adelaide was the setting for Britian's Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher to lock horns and even cars.

The German was leading when he turned sharply at the East Terrace corner on lap 36.

He then pulled sharply across Hill, who tried to work his way up the inside as they approached the next corner.

Schumacher was knocked onto two wheels and out the race. However, Hill's suspension forced him out allowing him to win over his Williams rival by one point.

Jacques Villeneuve, 1997

Another unsavoury incident involving Schumacher that saw him disqualified from the year's drivers' standings.

Williams' Villeneuve was behind the Ferrari driver by one single point as they headed to Jerez.

On lap 48, Villeneuve spotted Schumacher had left the door open for him to pass, but he sharply turned into him – ricocheting off the Williams car and into the gravel.

Schumacher couldn't get out, and the Canadian went on to finish third.

Lewis Hamilton, 2008

The most extraordinary final lap in Hamilton's driving career.

Lewis went to the Brazilian Grand Prix leading by seven points from Felipe Massa.

Massa was brilliant and won the race – his second ever home win.

However, Hamilton saw Timo Glock slow down and zipped past him right at the end to claim fifth and four points for his first title.

Sebastian Vettel, 2012

Interlagos, again, provided a remarkable season finale.

Vettel and Fernando Alonso were up against one another – with Vettel leading by 13 points in an era when 25 points were given for a win.

Alonso fought hard, going from sixth in the grid to end up with a respectable second placed finish.

Vettel, however, performed a miracle after dropping from 22nd following a crashwith Williams' Bruno Senna.

He somehow finished sixth to claim his title.

Nico Rosberg, 2016

Hamilton has previous in Abu Dhabi, this time with Rosberg who led by 12 points going into their battle at the Yas Marina circuit.

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Needing just a podium finish, Hamilton started the race from pole and won it.

However, Rosberg was keen to sit just behind his team mate to secure the title.

Afterwards, the German-Finnish driver announced his retirement from Formula One.

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