F1 2018: The best Opta facts ahead of the new season
The 2018 Formula One season is just around the corner and there is plenty at stake beyond the drivers' and constructors' titles.
While Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are heavy favourites for those respective honours, personal milestones will be reached and records broken across the grid over the course of the campaign.
So here, with the help of Opta, we bring you 10 fascinating facts to get you ready for the season opener in Melbourne next weekend.
- There are 21 races on the 2018 calendar, the most ever in an F1 season.
- Lewis Hamilton has been on pole position in 23 of the 26 different grands prix he has raced at in his F1 career, only missing out in Turkey, India and France.
- If Mercedes win the constructors' championship this season it will be their fifth title in a row; only Ferrari have won more consecutive titles (six, 1999 to 2004).
- Ferrari have been runners-up in the constructors' championship (17) more often than they have won it (16).
- Sebastian Vettel is only one podium away from his 100th in Formula One and is just four wins away from equalling Alain Prost (51) in third place on the all-time list of most race victories.
- Fernando Alonso (world champion in 2005 and 2006) and Kimi Raikkonen (2007) are enduring their worst winless streaks in F1. The Spaniard has gone 89 races and the Finn 94 without a win. The longest gap between race wins is 99 (Riccardo Patrese).
- Alonso is nine races away from 300 in F1, while Sebastian Vettel is two away from 200 and Valtteri Bottas needs three to reach 100.
- If Alonso starts 17 races this season, he will move into second spot on the all-time list of most F1 starts, overtaking Michael Schumacher (307) and Jenson Button (306) and only behind Rubens Barrichello (323, Alonso currently on 291).
- McLaren are the team with the second-most races (821) to their name, while Renault are the engine suppliers with the second-most races (598) to theirs.
- No driver in F1 history has driven more races without reaching the podium than Nico Hulkenberg (135).