Y2K title race closest for 26 years!

This years' Formula One World Championship is the closest for over 25 years!

Y2K title race closest for 26 years!

Rubens Barrichello's German Grand Prix victory has brought him to within 10 points of his Ferrari team-mate Michael Schumacher, and with the McLaren duo of David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen sandwiched in-between, just two points behind the German, you have to go right back to 1974 to find a closer title battle at this stage in the season.

Back then, just eight points covered the top four after the German Grand Prix. Clay Regazzoni's Ferrari led Jody Scheckter's Tyrrell by three points, with Emerson Fittipaldi's McLaren and the Ferrari of Niki Lauda in hot pursuit. At the end of that season, Fittipaldi pipped Regazzoni to the title by just three points, with Scheckter in third and Lauda 17 points adrift in fourth.

Although it is ultra-close at the top, Ferrari and McLaren are the only teams in with a shout at either the drivers' or the constructors' titles - in fact, the remainder of the field is severely lagging behind. Benetton's Giancarlo Fisichella is the closest placed driver from the rest of the bunch - and he's a full 40 points (or four wins) from Barichello's fourth place.

Not once in the last twenty years have two teams pulled so far away from the field by this point in the season, yet still been so close at the top. This year, the gap between first and second is just four points, while the third place team, BMW Williams, is 76 points behind.

Two years ago, during the first real installment of the red and silver show, the two rivals were 60 points ahead of the rest at this stage of the season - but then, McLaren sat a further 26 points above their Italian rivals, and eventually finished 23 points in front. You have to search the records back to 1991 to find a closer top two at this stage. Back then, Williams and McLaren had just one point separating them, but McLaren ended the season 14 points ahead.

It's little consolation to the nine teams who aren't McLaren or Ferrari, but if the stats are anything to go by, and with six races still to run, Formula 1's Y2K championship is shaping up to be a classic.

shares
comments
Ross Brawn Q&A
Previous article

Ross Brawn Q&A

Next article

No Anti-Schumacher Conspiracy, Says Manager

No Anti-Schumacher Conspiracy, Says Manager
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022