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Mid-season Wrap: When Numbers Get Serious...

EVENT COUNTDOWN

ALBERT PARK

12-15 MARCH 2015

We live in digital days, and when it comes to digits, there is only one that counts in Formula One – and that, of course, is 1. Number 1 in a race, number 1 in the world…

But we can have fun with some other numbers as well, especially in a year when the drivers are free to pick their own, so let’s see how they all stack up as we wait for the second part of the 2014 World Championship season.

11: the number of races so far, from Australia to Hungary. Five long-hauls and six European rounds – to be balanced in the second part of the year by… 8 more races, with two in Europe and six long-hauls, unless we acknowledge Russia as a part of Europe even though it’s a fairly long haul from the UK, where so many teams are based, to the Black Sea!

3: the number of race-winners so far. Be honest: would you have picked this trio – Hamilton, Rosberg and Ricciardo – before the season began? Yes, we expected Mercedes dominance in the new-look F1 with their advanced hybrid technology and the evidence from pre-season testing. But did we think Sebastian Vettel would reach the mid-year break without a victory to add to the 39 he has accumulated since his breakthrough in Monza back in 2008?

5: the number of times Lewis Hamilton has won so far, including a four-race streak from Kuala Lumpur to Barcelona to make up for the disappointment of his retirement in the season-opener right here in Australia.

4: that’s how many times Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg has won this year, though the German has not yet managed to string two wins together and establish any convincing dominance over the Englishman.

3: it’s the number on Dan Ricciardo’s car, and surprisingly to some, it’s where the West Australian sits in the World Championship. How well has Ricciardo done to rebound from the searing disappointment of disqualification in the opening round, when he stood and lapped up the Australian cheers on the Melbourne podium after finishing second on the road? Debate rages over whether a driver should be penalized when his car is at fault, as the RB9 was when its fuel flow exceeded the stringent new rules. But hey, it’s a team sport…

2: is the number of times Dan has already won in his first year with the ‘senior’ Red Bull Renault team where he took the place of departed compatriot Mark Webber. The breakthrough for Ricciardo came in Montreal, backed up by a similarly cool and collected performance to win in Hungary, dispensing with Hamilton’s Mercedes and Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari in a beautifully executed finish to his race in Budapest.

57: was the number of races it took Daniel to notch up that elusive maiden victory in Montreal. That’s 93 starts fewer than it took Mark, who waited the longest time of any driver who has stood on the top step of a World Championship podium.

275: with 25 points on offer for the driver who finishes first in any race, that’s the total they have been fighting for. At the moment it’s Rosberg, thanks to four wins, five second places, one 4th and one non-finish, who leads on 202 from Hamilton on 191 and Ricciardo on 131.

16: that’s how many drivers have scored World Championship points in 2104 to date. Which means, in turn, that… 6 drivers have yet to score – Sutil, Ericsson, Maldonado, Gutierrez, Chilton and Kobayashi. So it’s been a dismal season so far for Sauber, with no points on the board and a battle with Caterham over the wooden spoon for 2014.

33: of the 33 podium places to date, Rosberg and Hamilton have annexed 18 (nine apiece), Ricciardo has five, Bottas three, Sebastian Vettel two, and one each has been taken by Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Kevin Magnussen and Sergio Perez.

1111: with 101 points available in total at every race, that’s the number shared among the 11 teams so far in 2014. Actually it’s nine teams: the two yet to score are Sauber and Caterham, with the latter being the only current team yet to score a point in this or any other season. Marussia managed it for the first time thanks to Jules Bianchi’s fine effort in finishing ninth in that most demanding of arenas, Monaco.

83: that was the number of races it took Marussia to score that maiden point. They made their debut in 2010 under the Virgin banner. So Caterham is the only one of the so-called ‘new’ teams (the other, HRT, disappeared two seasons ago) still to chalk up a point.

4: the number of teams with more than 100 points in the World Championship this season. Tops are Mercedes, of course, on 393, a country mile clear of Red Bull Renault on 219. Ferrari and Williams are the other teams in the leading quartet. It’s also the number of drivers with over 100 points each: Rosberg, Hamilton, Ricciardo and Alonso.

10: was the number of races Nico Hülkenberg strung together ‘in the points’ from the season’s start, but retirement in Hungary meant Force India’s German driver lost his 100% record in 2014. So the one driver to have racked up points at every race this year is Alonso.

3: it’s also the number of times Valtteri Bottas has been on the podium after scoring his first top-three finish for Williams in Austria, and backing up with two more in the following two rounds at Silverstone and in Germany.

1: the number of races it took young Dane Kevin Magnussen to score his own first F1 podium. Kevin was just 21 when he finished third for McLaren in Melbourne – a position that improved to second when Ricciardo was excluded from the result. It’s also one podium more than his Dad Jan Magnussen achieved in his own F1 career with McLaren – one race in 1995 – and Stewart. Kevin hasn’t scaled those heights again, with seventh his highest position in the other races in the first part of the season.

What it all adds up to: Rosberg or Hamilton for the title, Ricciardo to win again before the season is over, and Mercedes to wrap up their first Constructors’ Championship with a few furlongs to spare!

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