After three seasons of brewing tensions and occasional contact between the pair, 2016 was the season Nico Rosberg finally got the measure of Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes. It took so much out of the German, he would retire in the aftermath, leaving Hamilton to reflect on a title fight lost with no prospect of a rematch.
In a partnership at Citroën between two of World Rally’s greats in the modern era, the feud between the Sébastiens would result in Ogier finding a new home at Volkswagen after the relationship between him and Loeb had grown bitter. They won 14 titles between them. No love lost though.
A spectacular airborne crash for Edwards at Talladega in 2009 (above), after contact with Keselowski, was just one of the many collisions that the pair had. They required NASCAR officials to have a word with both about on-track conduct. Yes, it was too much contact even for NASCAR’s liking.
A polar opposite from the modern intensity and tension between drivers, the 60s Formula 1 grid was a family in comparison. Clark had the pure speed, Hill a determination that bridged the gap on occasion, the pair’s friendly competition was intense on-track yet gentlemanly off of it.
A tragic 1994 season came down to Hill and Schumacher for the title. At Adelaide, the former eventually forced a mistake from the latter and opened a window of opportunity. One controversy later, Schumacher was in the barriers but as the ’94 champion, Hill also out but left without that crumb of comfort.
Born out of bad sportsmanship, Oldfield and DePalma’s disdain for one another would go on for a decade. Their feud extended beyond the track limits and into political manoeuvring also. A blocked Indy 500 drive is among the highlights of this rivalry.
Both enjoyed their separate racing successes, Foyt at Le Mans, Andretti in Formula 1 though their rivalry would ignite in America. Racing as direct adversaries in NASCAR and Indycar racing, their feud has lasted the test of time
Of the rivalries listed so far, perhaps none has come as close to physical violence as these two touring car veterans, who were both multiple-time champions by the time their most contentious moment came during qualifying at Rockingham in 2011. How many other racing rivals can say they came close to fisticuffs on television?
No longer team-mates but still fighting: Mansell and Piquet at Adelaide in 1990Photo: Motorsport Images
Their two seasons together at Williams perhaps defined both of their Formula 1 careers. The pair became fierce rivals almost immediately, as Mansell found his feet in F1 and Piquet arrived at the team. The Brazilian would take the 1987 championship despite Mansell’s better win rate.
A golden era in endurance racing during the late 60s and early 70s, Ferrari fighting with Porsche, 512 vs the 917. It was the start of a dominant period for Porsche while Ferrari focused efforts elsewhere.
14. Tom Walkinshaw Racing vs The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (1993)
Photo: Motorsport Images
TWR Jaguar Racing crossed the line at Le Mans in 1993 to finish 10th overall and win its class. The result wouldn’t stand however, as the ACO disqualified the entry post-race. Just one of the many disagreements Tom Walkinshaw had with them…
Team orders hardly make for a healthy team environment and Subaru found that out when they ordered McRae to slow so that the 1995 Rally Catalunya was won by Sainz. The Spaniard did take victory but McRae would have the last laugh in the championship that year.
A rivalry that reached a very public and bitter peak in 2007 with the Spygate scandal, Ferrari vs McLaren might have fallen away in recent seasons, but the two most successful teams in F1 history have history, a lot of it.
Mercedes had the W25 and W125, Auto Union had its V12 154, both would fight for supremacy but were head and shoulders clear of anything else in grand prix racing, failing to win only one race between 1935 and 1939.
9. Don ‘Snake’ Prudhomme vs Tom ‘Mongoose’ McEwen (1964-1973)
Both shared a Hot Wheels sponsorship deal; both would earn fame in the United States and the pair would duel in Funny Cars for supremacy, but the two figures in this racing rivalry remained friendly throughout.
Having been a stomping ground for Cosworth until Renault entered a 1.5-litre V6 turbo. Jean-Pierre Jabouille took the first turbo win in F1 in 1979 and started a trend that was adopted by the likes of Ferrari and Brabham
Rivals from 1986, the pair’s grand prix motorcycling careers commenced at the same time, both would become champions though Rainey would suffer paralysing injuries in 1993, Schwantz lost interest after his rival was no longer the one to fight
Fangio’s Maserati leads Stirling Moss in his Vanwall in the 1958 French GP Photo: Motorsport Images
The early days of Formula 1 belonged to Italian cars, but the late fifties saw British teams overthrow the red machines. The ebb and flow of power has continued: a rivalry as old as the championship itself.
Eugenio Dragoni and John Surtees did not get along. The pair would not see eye to eye on pretty much anything. So much so that when Dragoni prevented Surtees taking the start of the 1966 Le Mans race, the snubbed driver immediately left the circuit and drove to Maranello to complain to Enzo Ferrari himself; it was the end of Surtees’ tenure at the team.
Brabham’s BT46B or ‘fan car’ was a Gordon Murray creation that showed its pace instantly — swiftly followed by protests from the rest of the paddock. Team owner Bernie Ecclestone would ask Murray to remove the feature from the car in a political move as he eyed power through the Formula One Constructors’ Association
Jackie Stewart’s push for safety in motor sport led to great progress and lives saved throughout the years, but his pursuit to reduce the risks in racing was met with plenty of resistance, including from Motor Sport Magazine’s own Denis Jenkinson. In 1972, he dismissed Stewart’s campaign as “pious whinings” that had “brainwashed and undermined the instincts of some young and inexperienced newcomers to grand prix racing”.
Nuvolari leads Varzi in Milan, 1936Photo: Motorsport Images
Was Nuvolari the greatest pre-war racing driver, or was it his long-term adversary, Achille Varzi? The pair were the talents of the day; Nuvolari the instinctive, passionate racer and Varzi the calm but equally competitive rival.
The 1933 Monaco Grand Prix was an epic: the pair locked together for all but three of the 100 laps, with Varzi emerging victorious when piston failure robbed Nuvolari of the chance of victory.