With the shortened 2020 Formula 1 season about to open in a couple of days, fans, as early as now, are anticipating frenetic wheel to wheel racing come July 5.
Smart money is on Lewis and Mercedes still ruling the roost, but, Ferrari and Red Bull are looking at knocking the Brackley boys off the top spot and prevent a record setting year for Hamilton and the Silver Arrows.
Here are some interesting trivia on the current season:
Should Charles Leclerc or Max Verstappen derail the Mercedes juggernaut, either of the two could become the youngest world champion in the history of Formula 1. Outgoing Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel currently holds the distinction at 23 years and 134 days old, when he took the title back in 2010. Verstappen will turn 22 (Sept 30) this year while Leclerc will be 23 this year (Oct 16).
Most race starts
The current holder of the record is Reubens Barrichello, the Brazilian started 322 races in his career, which a few years ago seemed unassailable. Then Kimi decided to return after a two-year hiatus, the 2007 champ has done 312 races so far, and with Liberty Media looking at adding on to the eight race 2020 calendar, Raikkonen could eclipse Reubens this year as the most experienced driver in F1 history.
Most point scoring races
The record is held by Michael Schumacher, who has scored in 221 out of 308 races; this could be equaled by Kimi and Lewis, both of whom have 213 point scoring races, although, Hamilton has a better chance than Raikkonen at taking this honor, with the latter still driving for Alfa Romeo.
Lewis Hamilton is just seven wins shy of the record held by Michael Schumacher (91); last year, pundits already tipped the Brit to break the record, but due to Covid-19 wreaking havoc on the F1 calendar, Lewis might need another year to surpass Michael. Then again, Liberty Media could spring a surprise and come up with a 15-race calendar to accommodate the clamor from organizers, fans, and, sponsors.
Another stat that Lewis could surpass this year is the number of podium finishes, which is currently held by Schumacher at 155. The Briton needs only four appearances to equal the German, which is extremely doable given his current form.
The biggest record that Hamilton is looking to equal, is for the World Drivers Championship; Lewis currently sits on six titles; the Brit needs this season to go according to plan, for him to win title number seven, which will put him at par with the great Michael Schumacher. A decade ago this stat was considered impossible to match, but, I guess no one told that to Lewis.
Successive Constructors title and Front row lockouts
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 is also in the hunt for two records this year. Ferrari and Mercedes are tied with six consecutive Constructors titles (Ferrari 1999-2004), (Mercedes 2014-2019); with Bottas and Hamilton still in top fighting form, it would take a brave man to bet against Mercedes taking the Constructors title this year. Meanwhile, in the front row lockout department, the Silver Arrows are just one behind the Scuderia who hold the record at 65 front row lockouts, this should be the easiest record for the Brackley team to surpass, but, the team should never count out Ferrari or even Red Bull who are out to try their best and supplant them from their lofty pedestal.