When F1 team-mates fight for the title



Niki Lauda and Alain Prost (1984)

The most contrasting styles in a title battle between team-mates in this list, and it was the experience of Niki Lauda which proved decisive in the end.

Far less explosive than one of Alain Prost’s later McLaren partnerships, the fight with Lauda was rarely a direct one on the track. Lauda acknowledged he didn’t have the single-lap pace to threaten Prost in qualifying, so focused on race strategy to sustain his championship attempt. Prost was only on pole on three occasions - winning each time - but Lauda never started form pole and only outqualified Prost once, with the gap often over a second.

The crucial race was to be at Monaco, where Prost controversially won from Senna in treacherous conditions in a race which was stopped early, causing half points to be awarded. Those half points would prove crucial as Lauda finished the season in superb form with a run of three wins, three second places and a fourth place in the final seven races, while Prost won four but retired from the other three (all won by Lauda).

In the end the gap between the pair was just half a point as Lauda - starting from 11th - secured the title with second place behind Prost in the Portuguese Grand Prix. Perhaps the experience rubbed off on Prost, who dominated the following season to take his first championship as Lauda struggled for pace and retried at the end of the year.