If he does well at Red Bull Alex Albon could be the first driver racing under an Asian flag to win a world championship Grand Prix. Every other continent (except Antarctica, obviously) has produced a world champion but Asia still awaits its first race winner.
On a similar theme, 2019 will year will increase F1’s longest wait for a non-European world champion to 21 years. The 2000s was the first decade in which all the world champions were European, and the 2010s will be the second. Previously the longest gap between non-European champions was the six years between Senna in 1991 and Villeneuve in 1997.
This is a far cry from the late 1970s and 1980s. The five seasons from 1978 to 1982 produced champions from five continents – Andretti, Scheckter, Jones, Piquet and Rosberg. For three consecutive seasons there wasn’t even a European driver finishing in the top 3 of the championship – 1979 (Scheckter, Villeneuve, Jones), 1980 (Jones, Piquet, Reutemann) and 1981 (Piquet, Reutemann, Jones).
There have only been three non-European race winners this decade (Webber, Maldonado and Ricciardo), another record. In the 2000s there were four: Barrichello, Montoya, Massa and Webber.
Pastor Maldonado’s victory in the 2012 Spanish GP is the only by a South American this decade.
No North American driver has won a Grand Prix since 1997.