Fernando Alonso won his second consecutive drivers’ championship on 22nd October 2006 when he finished second behind race winner Felipe Massa while his title rival Michael Schumacher finished fourth.

Alain Prost won his third championship on 22nd October 1989 after controversial penultimate race in Japan where he famously colided with Ayrton Senna in lap 47.

Fernando Alonso, Renault, Brazilian GP, 22 October, 2006

Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher at the 2006 Brazilian GP (Photo: f1fansite)

Fernando Alonso had ten points lead over Michael Schumacher before the final race of the championship after hearthbreaking engine failure in Suzuka and needed only one point in the case Michael won the race.

Michael had problem in qualifying and started 10th and dropped to 19th after small contact with Fisichella punctured his tyre. Seven time world champion had a brilliant comeback though and fought back to fourth place in his last race for Ferrari.

Felipe Massa won the race, first time on his home soil, and Kimi Raikkonen drove his last race for McLaren.

Fernando Alonso finished second and won the title with 13 points more than Michael Schumacher and Renault won second consecutive title just five points ahead of Ferrari.

Alain Prost, McLaren Honda, Japanese GP, 22 October, 1989

Senna i Prost nakon sudara pretkraj utrke. Prost je blokirao ambiciozan Sennin pokušaj na kočenju u posljednju šikanu, nakon čega je došlo do sudara McLarenova dvojca. Senna je nastavio i pobijedio, ali je diskvalificiran zbog neispravno odvožene šikane te je prvak postao Prost. (22.10.1989.) Foto: reddit
Senna and Prost after their collision at 1989 Japanese GP in Suzuka. (22 October, 1989) Photo: reddit

The fight for the drivers’ championship in 1989. culminated at Japanese GP in Suzuka in what was one of the most controversial races in Formula 1 history.

Two best driver of their generation were team mates at McLaren Honda team that dominated again in 1989. despite the ban of the turbo engines. However, the relationship of the two drivers significantly deteriorated after the second race of the championship in San Marino after which they barely communicated.

Ayrton had significantly less chance for the title ahead of the penultimate race in Japan because he had to win in both rounds of the championship. In this case, Senna would win the title thanks to a superior number of wins, although they would both had 78 points.

Senna won a dominant pole position (Prost set the car up for the race, with less downforce), but at the start Prost went into the lead. Senna was almost lost second place by Berger. Prost led almost entire race and Senna caught him only in the lap 40. Then started an epic battle in which Senna had a car that was faster in corners, but slower on the straight.

In the 47th lap  Senna and Prost were approaching the last chicane and Brazilian ambitiously went for an attack while the Frenchman was already braking to turn. Prost decided to block Senna and they famously crashed. Although Senna managed to continue, change the front wing and win the race, Prost won the title since Senna was later disqualified because he didn’t drive through the last chicane properly. On the eve of the race Prost said that in previous duels with Senna he always left the door open for his maneuvers to avoid colliding, but he won’t do it again in Suzuka.

Senna needed victory in this race (and the next one) to keep the championship alive, but as he was disqualified, the championship was settled before the last race. McLaren appealed against the decision of the judges, but appeal was rejected, Senna was fined for 100,000 USD and suspended for six months (FIA Senna called ‘dangerous driver’).

Race winner was Alessandro Nannini – it was his first and only victory in Formula One.

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