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.

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