How to: start a Formula 1 season
If you're a Formula 1 driver, it's important from a sporting and psychological point of view to get the season off to a strong start. In the last 25 years, the driver who went on to become champion won the first race of the season 12 times (although not since 2016). And it's only happened four times during the same period that the driver who went on to become champion scored no points in the first race of the year.
So it's clear that winning the first race – or at least bringing home some decent points – is a boost to your prospects. It gets harder, of course, if you are yet to win a race. A driver winning his first race at the season-opener and then going on to become champion that year has only happened three times in the whole history of Formula 1.
It's also important to make a solid start on order to find out where you're placed relative to the opposition. Up to then it's only been testing. The first race is the only real indicator of what type of season it's going to be: a road to success or an uphill struggle.