F1 2018: How Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull wins help equal a record
It's 1987 all over again with F1's Big Three each taking two wins so far
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 01/06/18 10:12am
Daniel Ricciardo's victory for Red Bull in the Monaco GP means the opening two months of the 2018 Formula 1 season have matched a record last set over 30 years ago.
For the first time since 1987, three teams have each won two races from the season's opening six rounds.
Red Bull's Monaco win followed Ricciardo's first of the year in China, while Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton in Azerbaijan and Spain - and Ferrari - Sebastian Vettel in Australia and Bahrain - have also claimed two apiece so far.
The last time such a split happened was 31 years ago when McLaren (Alain Prost), Williams (Nigel Mansell) and Lotus (Ayrton Senna) were the three teams and drivers to equally share the victories between them across the first six grands prix.
F1 1987 v F1 2018
|1987: First six races||Winning team||Winning driver|
|1. Brazilian GP||McLaren||Alain Prost|
|2. San Marino GP||Williams||Nigel Mansell|
|3. Belgian GP||McLaren||Alain Prost|
|4. Monaco GP||Lotus||Ayrton Senna|
|5. Detroit GP||Lotus||Ayrton Senna|
|6. French GP||Williams||Nigel Mansell|
|2018: First six races|
|1. Australian GP||Ferrari||Sebastian Vettel|
|2. Bahrain GP||Ferrari||Sebastian Vettel|
|3. Chinese GP||Red Bull||Daniel Ricciardo|
|4. Azerbaijan GP||Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton|
|5. Spanish GP||Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton|
|6. Monaco GP||Red Bull||Daniel Ricciardo|
This is only the 11th season in the proceeding 31 years that at least three teams have won one or more grand prix after six rounds.
And only twice in that time, 2012 and 2013, have four or more teams won at least one in opening half-dozen events.
So who is the title favourite?
Although Hamilton, Vettel and Ricciardo have each triumphed twice since the season began in Australia two months ago, the Mercedes driver has had the more consistent results and leads his Ferrari rival by 14 points in the Drivers' Championship heading to next week's Canadian GP.
Ricciardo, who retired in Bahrain with a mechanical fault and Azerbaijan after colliding with Max Verstappen, is 38 points back.
Hamilton is the current bookmakers' championship favourite, with the Englishman priced at 1/2 with Sky Bet while Ricciardo is third-favourite at 18/1.
However, neither of the championship's current top-two are viewing the title fight as an exclusive duel between them like last year.
"The battle is between all three teams and all six drivers," Vettel told Sky F1 after finishing second to Ricciardo in Monaco.
When's the Canadian GP on Sky?
The key TV times and how to watch Sky F1's exclusively live coverage from Montreal
Hamilton, who was third in the Principality, said: "It is definitely a three-way fight.
"Seb is still the strongest. Their car has worked well all season so far. But it is a three-way fight and Red Bull will continue to get stronger through the year."
And Hamilton's prediction of a season-long battle for supremacy between the grid's 'Big Three' teams is shared by F1's motorsports managing director Ross Brawn.
"For now, we can enjoy this season that promises to be closely contested right down to the wire," said Brawn.
"The first six races of the year have produced three different winners from three teams, who have each won twice.
"The last time we saw something similar was in 2013, when we had four winners from four teams.
"That's positive for the rest of the season as uncertainty generates more interest in Formula 1 and the top three teams are definitely more evenly matched than at any time in the hybrid power era."
Can Ferrari or Red Bull deny Lewis Hamilton a fourth consecutive win in Montreal? Watch the Canadian GP exclusively live on Sky Sports F1 from June 8-10. Get Sky Sports F1.
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