But then this was both a remarkable and desperate season. It was a season of bickering, but also one of miraculous resurrections. It was the first season in years without a fatality. It saw two new races added to the schedule, Long Beach in the U.S. and Mount Fuji, and two successful new cars, the Tyrrell and Penske.
Most of all, it brought to the forefront a superb challenger and champion; a man who deserved the championship has won it, and another who merited it lost it.
Lauda will have to endure unworthy criticism, such as this from one driver: "It was a case of no guts, plain and simple." He will have to endure amateur psychiatrists suggesting that the only reason he drove so well in the first three races after his crash was because he couldn't remember the crash.
By the margin of a single point, Lauda was deposed. It was his choice not to race—and in light of Hunt's misadventures he might easily have kept the championship. Hunt took the risk and won.