Charles Leclerc could leave Imola having broken two F1 records, if his Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend proves to be faultless.
The Ferrari driver has already built up a 34-point lead in the World Championship, with two wins to his name after three races.
His near-perfect start to the season has seen him pocket 71 points from a possible 78 – and with the first F1 Sprint of the season set to be held this weekend, there is potential for him to add more than ever to his tally.
If events go his way, Leclerc could hold the most points ever after four rounds of an F1 season (105), along with the most commanding lead (43+ points).
Rosberg's record there for the taking
The current record is held by Nico Rosberg who, after winning the first four rounds of the 2016 season, was 43 points clear of title rival Lewis Hamilton with 105 points to his name.
His exceptionally-high points tally - and record - was helped by 2010's change to the points-scoring system that saw the reward for victory lifted to 25 points.
From 2019 onwards, an extra point has been awarded for the driver who has completed the fastest lap of the race (so long as they place inside the top 10 come the chequered flag).
And thanks to the F1 Sprint, Leclerc has more points than ever before available to him during the first four race weekends of 2022.
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Drivers' World Championship lead after four races (since 2010)
|Season||Leader after R4||Points total||Points lead||Eventual WDC|
*If Leclerc wins the F1 Sprint, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and completes the fastest lap of the race.
Omens looking positive for Leclerc
Since the current points-scoring system was introduced, only five times has a driver boasted a points lead greater than 15 following the opening four races of a new season. On all five occasions, that driver has gone on the be crowned World Champion.
However, only on four of those occasions has the driver proved uncatchable, with Rosberg having been reeled in and passed by Hamilton in 2016 before the German returned to the top by the end of the season.
Leclerc has the potential to break Rosberg's record this weekend, should he romp to complete glory on Ferrari's home soil.
But, with the 34 points up for grabs matching that of his current World Championship lead, a failure to score at Imola could see his entire advantage wiped out.
Formula 1 standings 2022
||Red Bull Racing||454|
||Red Bull Racing||305|
||Mercedes AMG F1||275|
||Mercedes AMG F1||240|
||Alfa Romeo Racing||49|
||Aston Martin F1 Team||37|
||Scuderia Alpha Tauri||23|
||Aston Martin F1 Team||18|
||Scuderia Alpha Tauri||12|
||Alfa Romeo Racing||6|
||Aston Martin F1 Team||0|
||Verstappen & Pérez||759|
||Sainz & Leclerc||554|
||Hamilton & Russell||515|
||Alonso & Ocon||173|
||Norris & Ricciardo||159|
||Bottas & Zhou||55|
||Stroll & Vettel||55|
||Schumacher & Magnussen||37|
||Gasly & Tsunoda||35|
||Albon & Latifi||8|
F1 Podcast: Can fast but fragile Red Bull respond to Leclerc's charge?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Thomas Maher look back over the Australian Grand Prix, where Ferrari's Charles Leclerc triumphed and Red Bull's Max Verstappen retired.