The midfield battle often provides a lot of excitement in Formula 1. This year, the fight seems to be as hot as it has ever been in the pinnacle of motorsport. Racing Point Force India’s Sergio Pérez is currently ‘leading’ the battle of ‘best of the rest’ since he is sitting behind the six drivers from the top teams.
Comparison Between The 2017 and 2018 Midfield Battle
Comparing the World Drivers’ Championship from last year and the current season is a hot topic. The midfield mayhem is proving to be as competitive as the WDC was in the early stages.
The fight between Racing Point Force India, Renault, Haas F1 with teams like Toro Rosso and Sauber following closely, will probably be decided in the season finale at Abu Dhabi.
Last year, the midfield battle was pretty competitive. With Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull ahead of the rest since 2016, Pérez has taken the “best of the rest” prize the last two seasons, scoring 101 and 100 points consecutively.
The Mexican edged his midfield rivals by 16 and 13 points in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
In 2017, 83 points separated Pérez’s seventh place in the standings with the 15th position. In 2018, only 32 points separate the seventh and fifteenth position in the table. Definitely, a bruising fight among the drivers of the midfield teams.
Pérez has 53 points in 2018. The Mexican is tied with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Renault’s German Nico Hulkenberg. The Mexican occupies the seventh place due to his third-place finish at Azerbaijan.
Behind the three drivers tied in seventh place, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso follows closely with 50 points, while Esteban Ocon has scored 49 points in his Force India-Mercedes. Renault’s Carlos Sainz (39 points), Haas’ Romain Grosjean (31), Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly (28), and Sauber’s Charles Leclerc (21) are the midfield drivers in 2018.
Like last season so far in 2018, only one podium was scored by a car outside of the top three teams and at the same Grand Prix: Williams’ Lance Stroll in 2017 and Pérez in 2018, both in Azerbaijan.
Despite Pérez leading the midfield fight, the Mexican has scored points in nine races out of 17. Last year, the Mexican had 14 points finishes after 17 races.
The driver with the most points finishes in the current season (out of the top three teams) is Renault driver Carlos Sainz. Also, the Spaniard is the driver with most consecutive points finishes in the season with six (from China to France).
Constructors’ Championship Battle
Although Force India-Mercedes drivers have 102 points between them, the team’s economic and legal situation over the summer has prevented them from leading the constructors’ fight in the middle of the grid.
Renault is the current leader behind Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull with 92 points. Haas F1 sits behind the French team with 84 points. McLaren has 58 points, and Racing Point Force India has 43 points in only five GPs.
Toro Rosso and Sauber are far behind with 30 and 27 points, respectively
If Racing Point Force India continues at their current pace, they might return to the fourth place in the constructors’ championship and win the midfield battle for the third year in a row.
The Last Word
Pérez and his teammate Ocon should be favoured to overcome their midfield rivals after the checkered flag at Abu Dhabi since the Force India has shown tremendous pace at most of the races after the summer break. However, taking into account the amazing midfield fight during 17 races in 2018, nothing should be taken for granted for the last four races.
Don’t forget Alonso. His McLaren might not be a competitive car, but he’s just 3 points off of Pérez’s tally. The Spaniard might finish his current stint in Formula 1 with a “best of the rest” trophy.
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