Formula 1 countdown. There are currently just 6 days before the Abu Dhabi Grand prix that signals the end of a wretched 2018 seasons for the Williams Formula 1 team.
That Grand Prix will be the last time a Williams FW41 turns a wheel in anger and most likely the last time Lance Stroll (and possibly Sergey Sirotkin) straps himself into a Williams Grand Prix car before he joins Racing Point Force India for 2019.
Based on an average of Williams car launch dates from the last five years, we have a mere 81 days to wait until Williams launch their 2019 F1 challenger the Williams FW42 (on or around the 8th of February 2019).
Looking forward to next season, there are just 91 days until Formula 1 pre-season testing begins at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona on the 18th February 2019.
Pre-season testing concludes in 102 days, on the first of March, at which point we’ll have a good idea of how competitive the 2019 Williams FW42 is, and how the season is likely to pan out for the team.
The first Grand Prix of the 2019 Formula season will be held on the 17th March (St. Patrick’s Day!) which is 118 days from today.
What could be the very last British Grand Prix, and Williams home race will take place at Silverstone on the 14th July 2019, 237 days from now.
Without wanting to get ahead of ourselves, the final race of the 2019 season will take place in 337 days time on the 1st of December(!) 2019, the first time a Formula 1 race has been held in December since 1963.
This bit is just for fun (and wholly innacurate)
It’s a mere 38 days until Williams announce Nikita Mazepin as their second driver.
However, after an underwhelming season where Mazepin is trounced by his impressive team-mate George Russell, it’s 238 days until Williams replace him with serial replacer and fellow Russian Daniil Kvyat: having been given the boot by Red Bull for a record fourth time 14 days previously.
In 99 days time, Sergio Perez addresses Lance Stroll by his first name for the last time. ‘From now on it’ll be Sir to you, you scruffy little Mexican.’
For the remainder of the season, all of Perez’s tyre allocation is given to Stroll resulting in 1-stop strategies for Sergio at every race, with a long first stint on softs followed by a dash to the finish on intermediates, irrespective of the weather.
Perez still finishes the season ahead on points, at which point, Perez is sacked and replaced by Stroll’s 12 year old sister.
It’s 132 days until Williams score their first points at the Bahrain and 160 days until Williams next trouble the podium with a third place finish for George Russell at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku, scene of Williams’ last trip to the podium in 2017.
It’s 116 days until Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly’s first heated argument in the Red Bull garage and Christian Horner having to defend them, saying they’re ‘not bad lads’ and blaming it on ‘too much orange squash’.
In 166 days time, Kimi Raikkonen’s Sauber team will be permanently banned from talking to him on the radio during a race. This keeps his mechanics on their toes as they have to guess when he’s coming in to change tyres, and which compound tyre he wants.
Renault officially withdraw from Formula 1 in 180 days from now, with their 47th engine failure of the season, they simply can’t produce engines at a quick enough rate to continue.
It’s 293 days until Sebastian Vettel does his annual ‘surrendering of the championship lead to Lewis Hamilton’ with a string of mistakes that will eventually lead to the Brit winning his sixth F1 World Championship and Vettel’s sacking from Ferrari, to be replaced by the without-a-drive Daniel Ricciardo at the end of the season.
355 days time, and Liberty announce a race in downtown Tikrit. ‘Iraq has always been a key component of us future-proofing our business and our brand going forward from a bang for your bucks perspective, and in going after the low-hanging fruit we’ve demonstrated our blue sky thinking’ said Sean Bratches, while Chase Carey added ‘Any fool who throws money at us gots demselves a Grand Prix!!’
The circuit is comprised of two four mile straights, formerly runways, joined by a hairpin at each end. They don’t bother building any grandstands. Spa and Suzuka make way for it to be included on the 2021 calendar.
And yes, there’s very little happening in the world of F1 at the minute.