January 3rd 2013

Countdown to 2013 Formula One season: 71 days

Birthdays:
Happy birthday to 7 times world champion, now finally retired, Michael Schumacher! He is an impressive 44 years old today!
Young IndyCar driver JR Hildebrand, meanwhile, is 24. He hasn’t won a race yet, but he was on the podium at the 2011 Indy 500.

Stat of the Day:
In the early days of Formula One, most drivers participated in several disciplines. Stirling Moss, for example, drove rallys and sports cars. John Love was the first non-Brit to win the BTCC, and he also participated in a few F1 races, including the 1967 South African Grand Prix where he finished second. Jim Clark won the 1964 BTCC, having won the F1 championship in 1963, and would win it again in 1965. He also won the Indy 500 in 1965.
In some ways, it’s rather sad that modern F1 drivers typically stick to a single discipline. That’s why the Race of Champions is so interesting. Robert Kubica was rare in that he also participated in rallys, although that put an end to his F1 career. Stirling Moss also had his F1 career ended outside the world championship. Force India’s Paul di Resta showed his skill in DTM before coming to F1, but he was prevented from participating in GP2 because of his height. Otherwise, he would probably have joined Lewis Hamilton in GP2.

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