Although it seems pretty pointless writing the next sentence as we all followed the 2008 season diligently, Kimi Raikkonen recently relinquished his crown as Formula 1 world champion.
Lewis Hamilton won the 2008 world driver's championship and is the youngest person to do so. Now if you couldn’t predict that last sentence, I think you’re in the wrong section.
Having said that, I took the liberty of browsing through some other Formula 1 records the 2008 drivers hold. I made a note of some of the most spectacular records, and now write them in the article before you. Just to note; these aren’t written in any particular order.
Firstly I start with a, shall we say seasoned (probably soon to be veteran), F1 driver. As many people noticed due to the celebrations, Rubens Barrichello holds the record for having entered the most Formula 1 races ever.
With 267 races under his belt, he’s not likely to be beaten for a long time, unless Patrese makes a sudden reappearance in F1.
Another record he holds, although it probably won’t give him any joy, is that he entered the most F1 races before a win. It took him 123 races before he reached the top step of the podium.
Lastly, but interestingly, he comes third in the record books for having taken a win from starting far back on the grid. In (I believe it was) Germany, Ruben’s made it from 18th on the grid to take victory.
Next up is Nico Rosberg, our half-German, half-Finn driver. At 20 years and 258 days old, he is the youngest driver to have set a fastest lap at the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Nick Heidfeld, our tyre-friendly German, holds the title for most points accumulated without a race win, 200 to be precise. I’ll bet that tastes rather bitter.
Our beloved David Coulthard is joint with Rubens at fourth for the most podiums ever, both with 62. Jenson Button has one to be rather proud of; after his first and only win at Hungary, someone noticed that he is one of two drivers who have won from a penalty position. The other was Kimi Raikkonen with his stunning win at Suzuka in 2005.
I’ll write more on that later, because Raikkonen has enough interesting records and near misses for his own paragraph.
Sebastian Vettel is another driver to add his name to the enviable race winners list of 2008. Not only this, though, he tops the list for youngest ever pole position holders at just 21 years and 71 days.
He also broke the record the next day, too, and at 21 years and 72 days, he was the youngest ever driver to claim a race win. I’m unsure as to whether he should have been allowed to drink the champagne on that podium, he’s that young.
At 20 years and 89 days, he was also the youngest driver ever to lead a race for one lap and at merely 19 years and 349 days, he is the youngest driver ever to receive points.
Fernando Alonso recently gave up one of his records. He is no longer the youngest driver ever to win a world championship. He is, however, still the youngest to do it twice, at just 25 years and 85 days he took his second title.
Another interesting record he holds is that he has scored podiums consecutively in 15 races, second only to Michael Schumacher. Lastly, before being trumped by Vettel, he was the youngest driver ever to win a race from pole, at just 21 years and 236 days.
Lewis Hamilton knocked Alonso of the top spot for youngest driver ever to win a WDC. At just 23 years and 300 days, he managed it.
He holds several other records, joint with Jacques Villeneuve on most of them. He holds the record to most wins in a rookie season with four, and is joint second with JV for the highest ever finishing position for a rookie. They were beaten only by Farina in 1950, who won the title in their debut season.
Finally, we come to our 2007 champion, Kimi Raikkonen. Twice, Raikkonen has matched Michael Schumacher's 10 fastest laps in a season, both in 2005 and more recently in 2008.
In 2005, Raikkonen also matched an unhappy record; Most wins in a season without a championship, seven to be precise. This he shares with Prost and Schumacher.
Impressively, he also comes third on the list of fastest laps of all time, with 35, behind Schmacher and Prost. He is also fourth for starting 17th on the grid and taking a race win, an incredibly memorable race at Suzuka in 2005, were he overtook the Renault of Giancarlo Fisichella on the last lap.
Lastly, he comes in second to Alberto Ascari, setting six consecutive fastest laps to Ascari’s seven.
Amazing, five of the top ten youngest drivers to win a race are still very much in action and all have contracts for next year. Vettel, of course, heads the board, with Alonso a close second at 22 years and 26 days.
Fifth is Hamilton at 22 years and 154 days; Kimi Raikkonen is behind him by a year and three days; and seventh is Kubica, who scored his maiden win at 23 years and 184 days.
Formula 1 continues to astound many, and no doubt will for some time to come. The drivers seem to grow younger each year (hint the joke), the talent ever fresher.