That was Rosberg’s final year in Formula 1 and while he endured a win-less season struggling to get the most out of the MP4-2C, Prost clinched his second championship title.
Rosberg spent the previous four seasons with Williams. The team signed him after Alan Jones suddenly announced his retirement late in 1981.
Rosberg joined the world championship-winning outfit having previously driven for minor teams. He won the title in his first year with the team, coming out on top in the turbulent 1982 season after a single win at Dijon.
Over the following seasons he added more wins but as Williams made the switch from Cosworth to Honda turbo power Rosberg found his car was first reliable but short on power, then powerful but lacking reliability.
With the benefit of hindsight, he left the team at exactly the wrong moment, just as the Honda engine was coming good.
Prost came close to succeeding Rosberg as champion in 1983. But his warnings to Renault that they were falling behind in the development race fell on deaf ears, and Nelson Piquet grabbed the championship from him at the final round.
After switching to McLaren, Prost fell short again in 1984. This time by the narrowest-ever margin of half a point, to team mate Niki Lauda. He finally delivered his first title the following year.
While Rosberg arrived at and left McLaren within a year, Ayrton Senna proved a tougher challenge for Prost, beating him to the 1988 title. Prost turned the tables the following year, but controversially collided with Senna at Suzuka to seal his third title.
Prost moved on to Ferrari in 1990 and was in the running for the title once again – until Senna took the opportunity to remove him from the race and the championship at Suzuka.
After a dire 1991 Prost was dropped by the team and spent a year on the sidelines waiting to get a drive for Williams. He won on his return in 1993, wrapped up a fourth title with the dominant FW15C, and then retired for good.
Which of these drivers should go through to the next round of the Champion of Champions? Vote for which you think was best below and explain who you voted for and why in the comments.
|1985, 1986, 1989, 1993
|Second in title year/s
|Michele Alboreto, Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna, Ayrton Senna
|McLaren, Renault, Ferrari, Williams
|Theodore, ATS, Wolf, Fittipaldi, Williams, McLaren
|Notable team mates
|Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell
|Jacques Laffite, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost
|Modern points per start1
|% car failures2
|Modern points per finish3
|Lost ’83 title by two points and ’84 title by half a point
|Four years with minor teams before sudden promotion to Williams
|Controversial clash with Senna sealed third title
|Won more races in 1985 than title-winning 1982 campaign
|Returned from sabbatical to clinch fourth title with Williams
|Retired after winless 1986 with McLaren
1 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of races they started
2 The percentage of races in which they were not classified due to a mechanical failure
3 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of starts in which they did not suffer a race-ending mechanical failure
Which was the better world champion driver?
- Keke Rosberg (5%)
- Alain Prost (95%)
Total Voters: 601
Read the F1 Fanatic Champion of Champions introduction for more information and remember to check back tomorrow for the next round.
You can still vote in the previous rounds of Champion of Champions. Find them all below:
Champion of Champions
- Ayrton Senna voted Champion of Champions by F1 Fanatic readers
- Champion of Champions in stats
- Champion of Champions Final: Senna vs Schumacher
- Ayrton Senna vs Juan Manuel Fangio
- Michael Schumacher vs Alain Prost
- Ayrton Senna vs Jack Brabham
- Juan Manuel Fangio vs Jackie Stewart
- Alain Prost vs Niki Lauda
- Jim Clark vs Michael Schumacher
- Jack Brabham vs Lewis Hamilton
Images © Williams/Sutton