Further evidence of a "big three" team dominance is clear when looking at the results from 2017. Of the 20 races in total on the calendar last year, only the Williams of Lance Stroll managed to break the pattern, with a third place finish last June, also around the streets of Baku.
It may be no coincidence that Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull are the teams with the biggest budgets, and subsequently are the ones taking the chequered flag on a more regular basis.
Mercedes leads the way with its outlay, spending approximately $450 million a year. Contrast that with Sauber who has the smallest pot of cash, at roughly a quarter of that number.
When those budgets were translated into points for 2017, Mercedes amassed 668, a long way in front of Sauber, propping up the field with just five. Its sixth place finish for Charles Leclerc on Sunday was its best result in 50 races, already taking its total to double that of last year.
Still though, that leaves the likes of McLaren, Renault and Williams battling it out to be the best of the rest, which may not mean they end the season with a trophy, but reassessing their objectives does at least keep them competitive. All the while knowing they are still capable of causing the odd surprise.
Managing Director of Renault Sport F1 Cyril Abiteboul exclusively told CNBC: "Every single thing can count. Bad start, bad pit stop, bad strategy, the wrong engine at a certain time. That can make a difference in the very marginal battle that we have to fight and deliver in to top the midfield."
Earlier this month, the sport's new owners Liberty Media tabled its proposals for Formula One for the start of the next decade, with some of those big-spending pacesetters potentially being pulled back into the pack.