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Can Rosberg emulate Alonso?

Steven LynchMarch 25, 2014
Can Nico Rosberg go on to win the title after his victory in Melbourne? © Getty Images
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I was wondering about the effect of a good start to the season under the new regulations. How often has the winner of the first race under new regulations gone on to win the F1 title? asked George Porter

I'll have to confine the answer to major changes in the regulations - specifically engine size - otherwise we'd be talking about almost every season.

The major changes, as far as engines go, have been in 1954 (when the capacity was limited to 2.5 litres), 1961 (1.5), 1966 (3.0), 1989 (3.5-litre normally aspirated, after the domination of lower-capacity turbocharged engines), 1995 (3.0), and 2006 (2.4).

The new 2014 regulations limit the engine size to 1.6 litres, turbocharged. Only in three of those six years did the driver who won the first race end up winning the championship - but recent precedent is on the side of whoever triumphs in Melbourne, as the last two to do it were Michael Schumacher in 1995 and Fernando Alonso in 2006.

The other one was Juan Manuel Fangio, who won the season opener in 1954. The non-title-taking first-race winners were Stirling Moss (1961), Jackie Stewart (1966) and Nigel Mansell (1989).

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