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F1 reaches the midpoint of its latest triple-header at the Dutch Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen aiming to extend his championship lead with a career first.
The Red Bull driver arrives at his home race with a 93-point advantage in the drivers’ standings over team-mate Sergio Perez, with Charles Leclerc 98 points adrift with just eight races remaining.
The Ferrari driver claims he has now thrown in the towel on his F1 titles hopes.
But who do the stats favour ahead of this weekend’s event at Zandvoort?
Max Verstappen has never won four consecutive grands prix. Last week’s success in Belgium was the third time he has topped the podium at three successive races, setting him up for another opportunity on home soil.
The Dutchman’s success at Zandvoort last year granted access to an elite club, with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg the only other drivers to have won their home race in the hybrid era.
Kimi Raikkonen currently holds the record for the most races finished in F1 after taking the chequered flag on 278 occasions.
Alonso is now just one shy of this, meaning he could equal the 2007 champion’s total this weekend.
The Dutch GP is one of the oldest events on the calendar, making its debut in 1952.
This weekend will be its 32nd running, with all the races taking place on the same site although the layout has been heavily revised over time.
IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500 may be renowned for featuring cars running at high speed on banked corners, but it has nothing on Zandvoort.
At the seaside circuit, turn three features 19-degree banking, with the final corner at 18 degrees. This is twice as steep as its American counterpart.
With passing considerably easier in the current generation of machinery compared to last year’s cars, the coming race will be a true test of F1’s improvements.
We have already mentioned the narrow layout and this makes passing extremely difficult, something highlighted by the fact that 74 per cent of races have been won from the front row.
René Arnoux and Niki Lauda, who won in 1983 and 1985 respectively from 10th on the grid, have at least shown progress is possible.
This being said, second is the preferred starting position, with 11 pole-starters retiring from 31 races to date.
Double world champion Jim Clark tops the honours list at Zandvoort with four wins between 1963-67. Lauda and Jackie Stewart are tied on three.
Zandvoort features the third shortest lap time on the F1 calendar, with Verstappen’s pole from last year clocking in at one minute 08.885secs.
Of the events on the current calendar, only the Red Bull Ring and Interlagos can beat this.
At 4.259km, the track is also the second-shortest on the calendar after Monaco.
Over 90 per cent of the overtakes last year were completed in the DRS zones, with 71 per cent of them achieved going into the first corner.
The DRS has been extended this year.
Sundaram Ramaswami -Twitter/Instagram – @f1statsguru
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