Nico Rosberg will have Formula One history in his sights in Spain on Sunday.
The championship leader has won seven races in a row, including the last three of 2015, and can join fellow German Michael Schumacher (2004) and Britain’s Nigel Mansell (1992) as the only drivers to start a season with five successive victories.
The chances of that happening looked remote this time last year, when Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton had won three of the first four and was heading for a third title, but Rosberg is now 43 points clear of the Briton.
Ahead of Sunday’s race, Rosberg says: “I’m just enjoying the moment and the form I’m in, doing my best to keep it going and hoping I can carry it through to the end of the season.”
Teammate Hamilton, who went from 10th to second in Russia after his second successive power unit failure pushed him down the grid, will be even more determined to hit back.
The defending world champions says: “I’m confident they’ll get to the bottom of the problems we’ve been having. I know I’m still quick.
“I’ve known that since day one in testing and, when I’ve had clean air and a damage-free car this season, I’ve shown it on track.”
A good result in Spain bodes well for the rest of the year, says Ferrari hopeful Sebastian Vettel.
The four-time F1 champ says: “Barcelona is a very good indication of where you are with the car.”