Thursday, December 13, 2012

Formula 1 Numbers Game continues...

This all began late last year - which seems a million miles away, when I was unawares that Thee Truly Scrumptious ‘Juan, aka Jarno Trulli was setting a bit ‘O history during the inaugural Indian GP weekend by starting his 250th Grand Prix...

Trulli’s feat gained him entrance into the elite 250-start club, of which only three F1 drivers have preceded him; with ‘Rubino (Rubens Barrichello) leading the Hit Parade with a staggering 322-starts. Rubens is followed by his arch-nemesis ‘DER TERMINATOR, nee Michael Schumacher at 307-starts, while fellow countryman Ricardo Patrese was the first ever F1 driver to crack the 250 GP starts barrier by ending his career with 256-starts; which therefore leaves Trulli P4 currently on the all time starts brigade with 252...

Driver                                                                Starts
1. Rubens Barrichello             322
2. Michael Schumacher          307
3. Ricardo Patrese                  256
4. Jarno Trulli                          252
5. David Coulthard                  246
6. Giancarlo Fisichella            229
7. Jenson Button                    228
8. Gerhard Berger                   210
9. Andrea de Ceasris              208
10. Nelson Piquet                    204

As to think when I started watching Formula 1 a quarter century ago... Cracking the 200-starts barrier was considered extremely difficult to accomplish - along with being major news... As ironically, both la Scuderia’s Fredrico Suave & Red Bull’s Mark ‘Handlebarz Webber will both reach this exclusive plateau early next season. With Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is currently on 197-starts and Webber at 196-starts respectively...

Meanwhile, la  Scuderia’s Felipe Massa, also at the inaugural Indian GP was having a most fraught 150th Grand Prix outing; first fighting a fluttering front wing controversy - followed by a huge shunt  when he ripped off his front tyre upon causing his right side suspension to break after pounding over  what he deemed a “Sausage-like” Kerb during ‘Q2 qualifying! (Turn-8) Then on lap-32 of the race, retired from suspension failure after the front left side let go - NO idea of this was due to the prior day’s impacts?

(Massa’s 150th GP start - race weekend goes amuck!) Front wing flutter; ‘Qualie crash; Pinball “Argie-bargie” with his best Mate “JAGUAR, (Lewis Hamilton) again, resulting in a Drive-thru penalty before another front suspension breakage; left vs. right...

Yet thankfully, as we all know, Felipe’s form has massively improved over the 2012 season, highlighted by finishing on the podium in his home race of Brazil, after having played a dutiful Wingman and scoring points to help ensure Scuderia Ferrari clinched second place in this year’s Constructors championship over arch rival McLaren... 

And then there’s the 12-year old KID according to ‘Juan Formula Uno aficionado in Arizona... Who I’ve likened calling Master ‘Zebb, a.k.a. Sebastian Vettel who became  the first driver to ever lead 700-laps in a season; breaking BLOODY ‘NIGE’s (Mansell) 19yr record of 693 during the 2011 season.

Sebastian also tied ‘Schuey (Michael Schumacher) for 2nd most wins in a season last year with eleven; as Schumacher claimed eleven  wins in 2002 before setting the current record of 13-wins in 2004.

Vettel also broke another Mansell record last year by eclipsing Il Lione’s previous record of 14-poles in ’92 when Sebastian claimed fifteen with the all conquering Red Bull RB7...

2012 Season Highlights
Hockenheim: Hamilton’s 100th GP-start. Toro Rosso’s 100th GP w/Ferrari power...

Fittingly, Schuey’s 300th GP Start occurs at Monza, Italy where he was once beloved by la Tiafosi...

Hungarian Grand Prix equal’s McLaren’s 150th Pole position.

K-Squared’s (Kamui Kobayashi) career first F1 podium at Suzuka makes him only the third-ever Japanese driver to podium, second at Suzuka; first was Aguri Suzuki in 1990! With ‘Taku-san (Takuma Sato) finishing third at the 2004 USGP...

Webber steals le Reggie’s 200th Pole Position from thee Lone Ranger, nee teammate Sebastian Vettel at Korea...

Vettel returns the favour by storming to his fourth consecutive win at India, surpassing the late Jimmy Clark for most consecutive laps led in a season - en route to sweeping three wire-to-wire victories: Japan, Korea and India, which also marks le Reggie’s (Renault) 150th Grand Prix victory...

And “Louise ‘JAGUAR” Hamilton scored his 25th pole at Abu Dhabi; securing McLaren’s 75th pole position with Mercedes power - which equals one-third of this haul, which possibly could be one of Lewis’s last poles for awhile? As I’m still thinking perhaps Mercedes has dovetailed its 2012 car development in favour of producing a better ’13-spec chassis...

And the Hits just keep on coming! As Master ‘Zebb, aka Sebastian Vettel becomes the youngest-ever triple world champion! And only the third driver in history to claim a Hat-trick in doing so, behind the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio and ‘DER TERMINATOR, nee Michael Schumacher...

Lewis Hamilton’s very popular victory at Circuit Of The Americas equals his 21st win, exceeding Mika the Finn Hakkinen’s total at McLaren...

While I’d been wunderin’ awhile what the most debutant winners in a season was after we potentially had three this year, if Nico Hulkenberg could have pulled off the shocker at Sao Paolo... Instead leaving us with just two first time winners this year: Mercedes Nico Rosberg and Williams Pastor Maldonado.

As ironically the feat of most different plus first-time winners occurred exactly 30-years ago in 1982, when we had eleven different winners along with five debutant winners atop the podium...

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