Sports breeds competition, especially among fans and participants of the series. This is evident in just about every popular sporting series in the world, including (but not limited to) motorsports.
As the decades rolled on, drivers and teams alike found themselves gripped in intense battles year after year. Both vying for the opportunity to win not only the race, but the championship as a whole. Some of these rivalries lasted for years, while others only for moments. Either way, they are spectacular to watch and even better to be a part of. To showcase these moments, here are ten legendary racing rivalries (Including Ford vs. Ferrari)...
10 Porsche Vs. Ferrari At Sebring (ALMS 2007)
In this instant, this was more of a single case of intense racing. However, the actions of the drivers would be a part of a rivalry that's existed for decades. Back in 2007 during the American Le Mans Series at Sebring, Florida, Risi Competizione Ferrari and Flying Lizard Porsche faced off for the win on the last lap.
What ensued was a crazy fight for first, as both drivers battered and bashed each other to the end. Eventually, Ferrari got the upper hand by ramming the Porsche and taking the gold. Some said this move was unfair, but nothing ever came of it. As a result, Porsche was royally fumed and really put the hurt on Ferrari later on.
9 Hill Vs. Clark
During Formula One's earlier years, there were still countless rivalries worth a whole book in their own right. However, one of the best took place in the 1960s with Jim Clark and Graham Hill fighting for the championship.
Back then, safety wasn't the biggest concern for racing teams and stewards. Instead, they were just worried about winning in the fastest way possible. Of course, this made for astounding fights like Clark and Hills, in which both swapped back and forth for the titles, but would eventually be those driver's downfall.
Thankfully, modern technology allows for racers to be much more safe and free to push the limits. If only Jim Clark had the same luxuries...
8 Scuderia Ferrari Vs. McLaren (2007)
Back in the late 2000s, McLaren had their fair share of ups and downs, including the 2008 championship the following year. Before this great upset by Lewis Hamilton, though, was a controversy by the hands of McLaren.
The gist of what happened between McLaren and Ferrari is fairly easy to understand: Ferrari had a superior aerodynamic setup, which McLaren spied on and stole information about. This got McLaren in a lot of trouble, causing the team to lose their points. Needless to say, 2007 saw one of the greatest controversies in Formula One history.
7 Vettel Vs. Webber
As Red Bull was busy dominating the early 2010s (All the way up until 2014), a deep competition was brewing between the two Red Bull drivers: Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. Vettel would end up taking the four championships, but not without some fight from Webber.
If you've read Mark Webber's autobiography, you're probably aware of how Red Bull treated Mark compared to Sebastian. Regardless of Red Bull's denial of these claims, members like Helmut Marko and Christian Horner certainly favored Sebastian and (more or less) kicked Webber to the curb.
All of this would cause Webber to eventually retire from F1 to pursue a career in the WEC, which he has had significant success with. Either way, though, the seasons with Vettel and Webber as teammates never ceased to impress.
6 WEC Porsche Vs. Audi
As mentioned above, Webber's difficulties with Red Bull caused his move to the WEC. More specifically, though, to Porsche, which was caught in a heated battle between themselves and Audi for the LMP championships.
In terms of team success, Porsche is one of the most successful and victorious teams to ever participate in Le Mans or the WEC (World Endurance Championship). As such, Audi would have to work very hard for the win. Luckily for us, that's exactly what they did. Although Audi did better than Porsche in 2014 and managed to win at Le Mans, they still couldn't stop the might of Porsche's 919 Hybrid the following years.
5 Formula One 2010 Championship
The 2010 Formula World Championship was a hard rivalry to pinpoint. This is chiefly due to how many drivers and teams were in contention for the championship by the end of the season. By Abu Dhabi, there were still four potential winners: Hamilton, Alonso, Webber, and Vettel.
The entire season saw over ten different changes in the title (a record), making it one of F1's wildest seasons to date. The title was later decided during the last race, where Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel took the win. However, this was not without a spectacular fight from all participants. The 2010 championship was only the beginning for Vettel and Red Bull, though, as they would continue to dominate for the next three years.
4 Rosberg Vs. Hamilton
Once Formula One had fully transitioned into a hybrid-V6 during the 2014 season, Mercedes-AMG really found their groove, making a consecutive six constructors championships since then. Their most intense season, though, was 2016 where Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg aired their vendettas on and off track.
Many fans dubbed the 2016 fight between Mercedes' drivers Hamilton and Rosberg as "The Silver War" (also seen as a YouTube short film). The title flowed back and forth between Rosberg and Hamilton until the very end when Rosberg clinched the required points. Hamilton, of course, was not pleased. Although, he had put up a crazy fight (Too far at some points), even going as far as to destroy each other's car in an effort to overtake him (Spain 2016).
3 Ayrton Senna Vs. Alain Prost
During the '80s and '90s, Formula One bore witness to one of the best rivalries in its entire existence: Senna vs. Prost. Ayrton Senna, a highly skilled and incredibly brave driver that can take on any condition, against Alain Prost, a cold and calculated tactician who would sacrifice the battle for the war. When these two butted heads, they rocked the entire motorsports world.
Their rivalry would go on for several years (From 1988 to 1993). In that time, Senna and Prost both took personal grudges against one another for their transgressions in a race or words at a press conference. Eventually, though, after Senna's death in '94, Prost admitted to a deep admiration of Ayrton for his skill, love of the sport, and competitive nature. Sadly, we won't ever get to see what Ayrton would say now.
2 Niki Lauda Vs. James Hunt
Before there was Rosberg and Hamilton or Senna and Prost, there was Lauda and Hunt. These two really did hate each other (sort of). Kind of like with Senna and Prost, both later knew how deeply they cared for each other. Before that, though, was a competition that would cost Niki Lauda his face.
Niki Lauda drove for Ferrari, while James Hunt drove for McLaren. At the time, these were the two giants of the sport. Naturally, this would cause Hunt and Lauda to clash, and they did so gladly. Unfortunately, Lauda was severely injured during a race at the Nurburgring; giving the title to Hunt. This didn't stop Lauda, though, as he went on to earn many more championships, even after Hunt had quit.
James Hunt passed away many decades ago, but Niki Lauda recently died this year. To that day, he was still a huge part of Formula One and the Mercedes team. Every true F1 fan misses, and wishes for the return of, Niki Lauda.
1 Ford Vs. Ferrari
With the new movie coming to theaters soon, it's hard to have not heard about the classic fight between Ford and Ferrari for the Le Mans win. If you haven't, though, it's one of the greatest tales of underdog to superstar that truly showcases the power of American engineering, perseverance, and courage.
The upcoming movie, Ford vs. Ferrari, details this exact situation. During the '60s, Ferrari was creaming everyone who tried to beat them, until (Spoiler alert) Ford came along with Shelby's GT40. It was still a close race, but Ford finally took the win to the delight of G.M. and Americans everywhere. Even today, Ford still continues to use knowledge from the GT40 with their new Ford GT in races.
Hopefully, the movie illustrates just how difficult, heart-wrenching, and unbelievable Ford's victory was.