Emerson Fittipaldi and Clay Regazzoni, here with Niki Lauda, went into the last race of the season at Watkins Glen, level on points, but Regazzoni quickly dropped down the field with handling problems, so Fittipaldi’s fourth place gave him the championship.
For the Brazilian, it was a second title after the one obtained in 1972 with Team Lotus.
It was the first world title for McLaren, and the first of many for a team sponsored by the Marlboro cigarette brand.
It was a hard fought season, with many different race winners. Fittipaldi, Peterson (fantastic in the aging Lotus 72) and Reutemann each won three races, Jody Scheckter and Niki Lauda two each, Regazzoni and Hulme, who retired of F1 at the end of the season, one each.