Two major milestones will be marked at this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix: Mercedes GP’s Nico Rosberg will notch up his 100th Grand Prix start, while McLaren’s Jenson Button will mark his 200th Grand Prix, five years on from achieving his maiden F1 win with Honda at this very circuit.
“I can’t believe I’ve already knocked up a double-ton of F1 starts because I don’t feel a day older than when I made my debut back in 2000!” Button, who made his F1 debut with Williams at Albert Park, exclaimed.
“After a premature end to my race at the Nürburgring, I’ll be hoping for better luck at the Hungaroring. The MP4-26 was very competitive in Monaco a couple of months ago and I hope it will be a similar situation this weekend because the Hungaroring has many of the same performance criteria.”
Button will become just the eleventh driver in the sport’s history to achieve this milestone. Only Rubens Barrichello (314 starts), Michael Schumacher (278) and Jarno Trulli (243) have more Grand Prix experience of the drivers on this year’s grid.
Rosberg’s F1 debut was a memorable one, it occurring at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2006 with Williams, where he set the race’s fastest lap.
And while Button has gone on to notch up several race wins – admittedly taking until his 113th start before breaking his duck – Rosberg has managed just five podium finishes in his 99 starts to-date.
“I’m looking forward to the weekend in Budapest as I like the Hungaroring very much and I’m hoping for a better time than in 2010 when, unfortunately, I didn’t finish the race,” Rosberg said in the team’s race preview press release.
“We need to work on our race setup to see what improvements we can make, as the car that I had in qualifying in Germany was better than the one that I had in the race. I’m sure we can do it and take another small step forward.”