With the departures of Michael Schumacher and Pedro de la Rosa over the winter, Mark Webber assumes the mantle of the oldest driver on the grid in 2013.
An unmistakable sign of the 36-year-old's increasingly veteran status it may be, but make no mistake, the competitive fires burn as fiercely in the tenacious Australian as ever and his sights remain trained on working out a way to topple Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel from the top of the F1 tree and win that elusive first world title.
The last driver from his homeland to become World Champion was Alan Jones in 1980 and Webber's parallels with his countryman stretch far beyond nationality - both being tough, no-nonsense racers who finally enjoyed success after years spent paying their dues.
Webber made his junior karting debut when he was 14, and in 1993 became New South Wales state champion. He made his Formula Ford debut the following year, and continued to make a name for himself with a series of impressive performances.
He moved to F3 in 1997 but despite testing for Arrows and Benetton, Webber had to wait until 2002 for his F1 debut with fellow Aussie Paul Stoddart's Minardi team in 2002. Joyous scenes followed in Melbourne, where Webber finished fifth in his first outing.
He failed to score points again that year but switched to Jaguar nonetheless for 2003, before leaving the following year and spurning the chance to join Renault - who went on to become title winners in 2005 and 2006 - instead opting to follow Jones and race for Williams.
He scored just one podium finish with Williams at Monaco and matters deteriorated further in 2006 when Webber scored just seven points and finished 14th in the championship.
Team and driver parted ways and Webber sought to establish momentum once more at Red Bull (who ironically had bought out Jaguar) but the story was much the same as the team struggled with poor reliability.
Webber was joined by rising star Vettel for 2009 but his preparations for the new season were dealt a blow when he suffered a broken leg in a mountain biking accident. Even so, Webber soon shook off any ill-effects and after finishing second behind Vettel in both China (Red Bull's first win) and Great Britain, his first pole position and win finally came in the German Grand Prix.
That breakthrough success, and an even more competitive Adrian Newey-designed car, spurred the Australian on in 2010 and for much of the year it seemed that he, rather than Vettel, was set to deliver Red Bull their first World Championship. Wins in Spain, Monaco, Britain and Hungary saw him lead the standings with just three races to go but a crash in the wet in Korea proved costly and he was ultimately pipped to the post by his team-mate in the Abu Dhabi finale.
That last-gasp disappointment seemed to linger into the following season and this time he was simply blown away by the sister car, winning one race to the now double World Champion's 11.
That head-to-head record, and Webber's increasing years, led to much speculation prior to last season that 2012 was likely to be his last year at Red Bull. But he had another one-year contract extension in his pocket by July after brilliant wins at Monaco at Silverstone briefly saw him again appear as the team's most likely title winner.
Like 2010, his challenge somewhat faded though, as Vettel rediscovered his best form in the final flyaways, and Webber was left to watch on again as his team-mate clinched world title honours.
With Vettel having achieved three titles on the spin, many will feel the die is now firmly cast at Red Bull heading into 2013. Yet having put up a much better fight to the sport's current benchmark last year - particularly in qualifying - Webber will still feel he has at least one more crack at F1's ultimate prize left in him.