Webber not aiming to beat Barrichello’s starts record

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Mark Webber has ruled out attempting to beat Rubens Barrichello’s record of 322 Formula One starts, despite having passed the 200 mark at the last race in Bahrain.

“I think that it’s going to be very unlikely that I will challenge Rubens’ grand prix entries from my side,” Webber told Servus TV in an interview.

“I think seventeen years in Formula One, I think that record will stay for a long time. It’s a special, special career. Very, very long.”

Webber celebrated his 200th GP start with a cake and celebration in the Red Bull garage in Bahrain (although Sebastian Vettel and Helmut Marko did not attend), and in the race he finished a solid P7 ahead of Fernando Alonso and pole-sitter Nico Rosberg.

The Australian driver, who is widely expected to leave Red Bull at the end of the season, did not comment on any rumors about his future, with many believing he could join Porsche’s endurance programme in 2014.

“I think towards the summer we will make a plan, like I always do. I have never made a plan in my future seasons in April before so I’m probably not going to start now.

“I’m still feeling very hungry, still have some very good results inside me so that’s the most important thing and I’ll focus on the next race like I’ve always done.”

Webber joined an elite club of thirteen drivers to compete in over 200 races in Bahrain, and he is widely regarded as being the second greatest Australian Formula One driver of all time, behind triple champion Jack Brabham.

F1 2017 driver review: Max Verstappen

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Max Verstappen

Team: Red Bull Racing
Car No.: 33
Races: 20
Wins: 2
Podiums (excluding wins): 2
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 168
Laps Led: 133
Championship Position: 6th

Max Verstappen rise as a once-in-a-generation talent continued through the 2017 Formula 1 season, even if reliability issues meant we were made to wait for his best form to arrive.

Verstappen stole the show in a wet-dry Chinese Grand Prix by charging from 16th to seventh in the opening lap before ultimately finishing third for Red Bull, yet he would not grace the podium again until the Malaysian Grand Prix at the start of October.

A combination of power unit problems and on-track clashes saw Verstappen retire from seven of the 12 races in the intermittent period, with incidents in Spain and Austria being avoidable.

Perhaps most embarrassing of all was his stoppage due to a power unit failure in front of a grandstand swathed in orange at the Belgian Grand Prix, a race tens of thousands of Dutch fans had attended to cheer Verstappen on.

But when Verstappen got things right, it was – as he frequently quoted – simply, simply lovely. There was plenty left in the tank, as proven by his sheer domination of the races in Malaysia and Mexico as he took the second and third wins of his career.

Perhaps even more impressive was Verstappen’s victory over Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo in the qualifying head-to-head battle this year, an area the Australian has traditionally been strong in. Verstappen outqualifed his teammate 13-7 – it wasn’t even close…

All in all, Verstappen once again proved that on his day, he is one of the finest talents to grace F1 in recent years. With the right car underneath him next year, a title fight is certainly possible and will be the target – but there is always room for improvement.

And that is the scary part: Verstappen is only going to get better and better.

Season High: Dominating in Malaysia after an early pass on Lewis Hamilton.

Season Low: Crashing out on Lap 1 in Austria.