The winner of the first race of the season has good chances for the world championship, because 14 times in the last 18 seasons the first winner went on to take the title.
But the second race is also important: since 1990, the world champion has won the first race of his successful world title campaign 17 times out of 18 by the second race of the season. The only exception was 2003, when Michael Schumacher won his first race in San Marino, the fourth GP in calendar.
In Formula One history, the world champion won his first race of the season by the second race 40 times out of 58.
If a Ferrari or a McLaren wins in Malaysia, the winning streak recorded by these two teams will reach 20 races since Brazil 2006. Currently the count is 10 wins for Ferrari and nine for McLaren.