A look at some key stats and milestones to watch for in the coming weeks...
Our 250th Race (ish)
We’re shortly going to be celebrating our 250th Formula One Grand Prix in Monaco. We’re not particularly feeling our age but it’s undeniable that we’re no longer the yappy young pups biting the ankles of our elders. Which race to count as our 250th depends on your point of view. The Spanish Grand Prix will be the 250th race since our debut in Albert Park, for the 2005 Australian Grand Prix. If you leave out the debacle of Indy 2005, at which we did the formation lap but neither car took the start, then Monaco is our 250th. With the greatest of respect to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which is our Formula One second home, we’re choosing to celebrate in Monaco.
Frankly, we were hoping to have this one nailed by now. We’re now stuck on 149 following Daniel's magnificent victory in China. We took our first victory here, all the way back in 2009, and we’ve seen heroics since then, including Lazarus-like recovery drives to the podium from Mark Webber (18th to third in 2011) and Max Verstappen (16th to third, last year). In fact, they’re the only two drivers in the history of this race to have got on the podium starting outside the top ten.
60th Pole Position
This one might take a little longer to achieve. We’ve got 58 pole positions – but only one so far in the hybrid era, Daniel’s herculean effort at Monaco in 2016. We’re looking out for a rainy day or a track with plenty of corners to nudge that number northwards.
A pole position for Max would also make him the youngest driver to start from P1. Sebastian Vettel’s currently got that one locked down, memorably taking pole for Toro Rosso at Monza in 2008 at the tender age of 21 years and 72 days. Max needs to be on pole sometime before Monday, December 10, 2018 to add it to his collection of ‘youngest driver to etc, etc., records – ie any time this season.
150 starts for Daniel & 75 starts for Max
Daniel’s started 132 races so far in his career, which means, if all goes well, the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – the final race of the season – will mark his 150th. Also, not the biggest of milestones but later on this year Max should be celebrating his 75th grand prix start. He’s on 63 at the moment so, he should achieve that particular mark in Singapore.