Malaysian Grand Prix 2007 Statistics & facts

Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Sepang, 2007Which two drivers haven’t finished a race so far this year? And which two teams at Sepang saw both their drivers qualifying in exactly the same positions as they had for the first round?

Find out and then bore your friends rigid with everything you know about the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Both McLaren drivers and both Toyota drivers repeated their Melbourne qualifying positions in Sepang: Fernando Alonso second, Lewis Hamilton fourth, Jarno Trulli eighth and Ralf Schumacher ninth.

Also, the same three drivers that finished on the podium in Melbourne did so in Sepang, but Alonso, Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen all finished in different positions.

David Coulthard and Christijan Albers are the only two drivers yet to finish a race in 2007. Albers has managed only 17 out of 114 racing laps (14.9%).

At Melbourne Raikkonen ended his personal win drought which dated back to Suzuka 2005. At Sepang, Alonso ended McLaren’s win drought which dated back to that same race. McLaren’s last victory in Sepang was also scored by Raikkonen, in 2003, his maiden victory.

It was McLaren’s first win with a V8 engine since Ayrton Senna’s last Grand Prix victory at Adelaide in 1993. That was also the last time the team used a Ford-Cosworth engine, or indeed any V8 engine before they became mandatory last year.

McLaren’s 45th win with Mercedes is more than they achieved with any other engine partner. They won 43 races with Honda from 1988-92, but eight championships came their way in those years, while they have won three with Mercedes.

Rubens Barrichello, Honda, Sepang, 2007Robert Kubica lost more places than anyone else, falling from seventh to 18th. Rubens Barrichello achieved the opposite feat by gaining the same number of places, rising from 22nd to 11th.

Only two drivers that scored points in Melbourne failed to do so in Malaysia – Ralf Schumacher and Nico Rosberg – and the latter was set to until his Williams failed.

Alonso finished on the podium for the fifth race in a row, and Giancarlo Fisichella scored points for the seventh consecutive race.

Lewis Hamilton set his first ever fastest lap in a Grand Prix and, at 22 years and 91 days old, is the fourth youngest driver ever to do so. Nico Rosberg set this record last year at 20 years and 228 days at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Coincidentally Hamilton’s team mate Fernando Alonso is second, McLaren team founder Bruce McLaren third, and Raikkonen fifth.

BMW and Williams were again the only team to use non-race drivers on Friday: Sebastian Vettel and Kazuki Nakajima respectively. Again it was the more experienced drivers, Nick Heidfeld and Alexander Wurz, who missed the Friday running.

Naturally it was Alonso’s first win in anything other than a Renault. There are five Grands Prix on the calendar this year he has never won: USA, Turkey, Italy, Belgium and Brazil. He has also won two events not on the calendar this year: the San Marino and European Grands Prix.

The Malaysian Grand Prix is the second race he has won twice, the other being Bahrain, which is the next stop on the calendar.

Felipe Massa has qualified last and first for the first two rounds of the season – I haven’t been able to conclusively prove that this has never been done before, but I suspect that it is. If I’m wrong, the comments form is below…

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2 comments on Malaysian Grand Prix 2007 Statistics & facts

  1. Strictly speaking, Massa did not qualify last in Australia – it was the penalty for changing engines that put him there. I cannot remember anyone who qualified last for one GP and first for the next but I’ll bet that John Watson must have come close while he was with McLaren. He holds the record for coming from lowest place to win a GP – 22nd on the grid at Long Beach, 1983, to first. There were a few more entrants in those days so he wasn’t dead last at the start, however.

  2. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th April 2007, 7:35

    True. It’s a shame to think that at present (and for many years) there are so few teams in F1 that Watson’s record has been in no danger of being broken.

    Happily that changes next year though.

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