The fight for the Formula 1 world title is very often led by two drivers from different teams, although on some occasions there have been epic rivalries between teammates, as happened in 2016 between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. However, it is common to see that there is a first sword and a squire who defends him from his enemy, leaving the way clear to achieve the championship.
With those scenarios, since the beginning of the 2010s and the change in the scoring regulations [until 2009 the maximum points for winning a race was 10], we have had several battles that will remain in the history books, but it is interesting to see how they developed and why at certain times they could have been seen as lost when the opposite finally happened.
The greatest comebacks to win the F1 World Cup
2022 season: Max Verstappen recovers 46 points over Charles Leclerc
In the 2022 season, Charles Leclerc seemed to be the driver with the most options to win the world title in Abu Dhabi, as the Monegasque began with several victories that took him to the first step of the general classification. The Ferrari remained the strongest and most versatile single-seater at the start of the year, but the lack of reliability played tricks on it and it lost points until it fell behind Max Verstappen in the standings.
Leclerc enjoyed a 46-point lead over the Dutchman at one point in the year, at the Australian Grand Prix (third round of a 22-race season), when the Monaco rider climbed to the top of the podium in Melbourne for the second time during the campaign. However, at the Japanese Grand Prix, and with four races to go before the season closes, the Red Bull team became two-time world champion, making any effort by Ferrari useless.
Season 2012: Sebastian Vettel recovers 44 points over Fernando Alonso
Curiously, something similar happened with a Prancing Horse and Milton Keynes car, since in 2012 , Fernando Alonso led the world championship in the German Grand Prix (with 10 races to go) with an income of 44 units over Sebastian Vettel. That was not an impediment for the German to embark on a comeback that ended in Brazil with his third consecutive championship, leaving long faces in the Maranello box when they thought they would have conquered the world title when they saw the German upside down in the first lap in interlacing.
2010 season: Sebastian Vettel recovers 31 points over Lewis Hamilton
Vettel garnered the three-time championship by 3 points over the Asturian, but it was not the only time that the former Red Bull starred in a climb to first position. Two years earlier, in 2010 , Lewis Hamilton dominated with an advantage of 31 units over the German himself, in the Belgian Grand Prix (there were five races left), but from there, the Briton gradually deflated until he finished fourth in the final round of Abu Dhabi, behind even Alonso and Mark Webber, although he had a slim chance of having won the world championship at Yas Marina had there been a combination of results.
2014 season: Lewis Hamilton recovers 29 points over Nico Rosberg
The now seven-time champion of Mercedes was also one of the names that dominated the covers in 2014 , and despite having won his second title in that campaign, he had to overcome a distance of 29 points over his teammate Nico Rosberg. The Briton was that distance from the German at the Austrian Grand Prix (there were 11 races left), but after a tight fight that ended in Abu Dhabi with the German having problems in his car, he took his second world crown.
2012 season: Lewis Hamilton recovers 25 points over Sebastian Vettel
In this list of comebacks we must also include that of 2017 by Lewis Hamilton himself over Sebastian Vettel, and that is that the Englishman managed to close a 25-point gap that reached its highest point in the Monaco Grand Prix, where he at that time Ferrari driver took the victory. However, there were then 14 races left) and the one with the silver arrows was reducing the distance until he was proclaimed world champion in Mexico, two before reaching the end of the season.
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