Behind the Ferrari-versus-McLaren-and-maybe-BMW battle for the constructors’ championship is an even closer battle for fourth place in the F1 teams’ title race.
Toyota, Red Bull and Renault have been the closest contenders for the honours this year, with Williams falling back and Toro Rosso making a late surge.
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Here’s how the battle for fourth place has developed this year:
Williams’ double points finish at Melbourne put them second in the championship early in the season but they haven’t had both cars in the points in the same race again since.
Red Bull took over fourth place but Toyota were never far behind them and soon passed them, bolstered by podium finishes for Jarno Trulli (France) and Timo Glock (Hungary). Red Bull haven’t scored a point since Magny-Cours.
Renault were making a rapid recovery but stalled at Valencia – possibly for the same engine-related reasons as Renault. A major talking point at Valencia was the form of Toro Rosso, boosted by their Ferrari engines. But they are surely too far behind to join in the battle for fourth barring some kind of freak result.