We’ve reached the one-third mark of the 2018 world championship, and it’s been a wild ride since day one. Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, the two favorites to win the championship, are both vying for a fifth world title. This would tie them with Juan Manuel Fangio and cement one of their names in the pages of Formula 1 history.

Hamilton in Azerbaijan

With that being said, Vettel and Hamilton are far from being the only competitive drivers this season. Hamilton and Vettel’s teammates have also been driving consistently, especially Valtteri Bottas, who is currently third in the points leadership behind his teammate Hamilton after a second place finish in Canada last weekend.

Other notable names of the season so far are both members of the Red Bull Racing team, albeit for very different reasons. Daniel Ricciardo, aka The Honey Badger, has had two surprise victories in Shanghai and Monaco, respectively.

Daniel Ricciardo’s trademark Honey Badger decal on his helmet

Until his fourth place finish in Canada, he was third in points leadership. F1’s resident rockstar has had some spectacular races and some incredible overtakes, and everyone will be watching him in the coming races. He is definitely a future world champion, it’s just a matter of when.

Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen, on the other hand, has had a less than spectacular season. He’s finished in third place for two races, one of which was last weekend in Montreal. But he’s also managed to make contact with or crash directly into another driver, usually resulting in a retirement from the race for either him or the unlucky driver that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

What’s truly a pity is that Max is a massively talented driver, especially for being 20 years old. Another future world champion? Helmut Marko seems to think so.

In other news, the McLaren team has had a truly brutal seven races. He has managed to not make a podium once this season, even with veteran driver and double-world champion Fernando Alonso at the helm. This is hardly the first time the British racing firm has faced woes on the track. They haven’t been competitive since 2008 when Lewis Hamilton was racing for them. Canada was the second consecutive retirement for Fernando Alonso this season after his gearbox failed in Monaco.

Alonso in Monaco moments before his gearbox is destroyed

Alonso has been considering a future in Formula E and has also been competing in the 24 hours of Le Mans endurance races for Toyota. His future, and indeed the future of McLaren in F1, is unclear after a miserable start to 2018.

 

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Image credits:

Title: express.Co.UK

Image 2: The Daily Trust

Image 3: Twitter

Image 4: Jalopnik.com

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