Nico Rosberg heads to the Spanish Grand Prix knowing that victory will see him draw level with Michael Schumacher and Nigel Mansell with the most consecutive race wins to start a Formula 1 season.
The Mercedes driver has been in dominant form in 2016, turning the tables on team-mate Lewis Hamilton as he raced to victory in Australia, Bahrain, China and Russia.
Should Rosberg triumph in Barcelona on Sunday, the German would join compatriot Schumacher (2004) and Mansell (1992) as the only drivers to have won five races to start a season. No driver has ever won six in a row to begin a campaign.
9 MAY, 2004: #SPANISHGP
5th race of the season, 5th win
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 9, 2016
Having ended the 2015 season with wins in Mexico, Brazil, and Abu Dhabi, Rosberg has already elevated himself into an elite group of drivers who have won five or more consecutive races.
Joining Rosberg in achieving the feat are Sebastian Vettel (nine), Schumacher (five, six, and seven), Alberto Ascari (seven), Mansell, Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, and Hamilton (all five).
But while Rosberg may share such illustrious company when it comes to consecutive wins, there is one glaring omission from his CV that all the other drivers possess: A World Championship.
Having already raced out to a 43-point lead, Rosberg has earned the tag of favourite to claim the 2016 title, but he isn’t getting caught up in such predictions.
“It’s not something I could have expected – winning the first four races of the year,” the German said.
“It’s been a great start but 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. Sport is all about ups and downs and being mentally prepared to bounce back stronger when they come.
“With a season this long you have to just take things race by race. There are 425 points still up for grabs – and anything can happen yet.”
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