Spanish Grand Prix 2007 facts & statistics

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes, Barcelona, 2007It’s another historic day thanks to Lewis Hamilton – the rookie driver having taken the championship lead in his fourth race without even winning one yet.

But if this were 2002 Felipe Massa would be leading the title race. Read on for all the killer stats from the Spanish Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton now leads the drivers championship only four races into his F1 career and despite not having won a race yet. He is the youngest driver to do so since Bruce McLaren – who of course founded the team Hamilton races for.

Felipe Massa might be feeling a bit put out that he’s won two races and is only third in the championship. Using the points system from 2002 – Massa’s first season in F1 – he would be leading with 23 ahead of Alonso and Hamilton on 22.

No one has ever won the championship without winning a Grand Prix. Keke Rosberg was champion in 1982 with only one victory – the Swiss Grand Prix at Dijon (in France – that’s a whole other story). He beat John Watson and Didier Pironi who each scored two.

Ferrari have won three of the first four races yet aren’t leading either championship. In fact they lost more ground to McLaren in Barcelona despite winning the race – a feat that wasn’t possible until 2003.

Hamilton has stretched his consecutive podium finishes to four – a record in itself for a rookie and better than anyone else has managed this year. Despite not having won a race yet he has led every race he has started for a total of 18 laps.

Four drivers this year have retired from more than one Grand Prix with the car failure. Each of the Red Bull pilots has had two mechanically-induced retirements, and David Coulthard came very close to having his third. Three of the four Red Bull cars failed in Barcelona, which at least was one better than in Bahrain.

David Coulthard, Williams-Renault, Barcelona, 1994Coulthard’s dogged run to fifth despite having lost a gear was reminiscent of a similar feat at Catalunya 13 years ago. Michael Schumacher finished an astonishing second despite being with fifth gear for the last third of the race in 1994 – which was also Coulthard’s Grand Prix debut.

Although Coulthard is the oldest driver in F1 – and sick of being reminded about it – Rubens Barrichello has started more races.

Super Aguri scored their first ever point – and are now ahead of Honda in the constructors championship.

Honda have fallen to ninth, and they haven’t ended a season that low since the team’s disastrous debut season as BAR when they scored no points. By way of commiseration, only two years ago they took until the 10th round of the season to score any points, and ended the year sixth.

It was the first time Giancarlo Fisichella failed to score since last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Massa-Hamilton-Alonso podium was the second youngest ever at an average of 24 years, 8 months and 24 days, behind only that of the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix (Alonso-Raikkonen-Juan Pablo Montoya).

The track on which the teams test more than any other ironically saw more mechanical retirements than any race so far this year – seven, from a total of 16 for the whole of 2007 so far.

The Circuit de Catalunya has recently been a very strong predictor of the drivers’ championship winner. In the ten races since 1997 eight of the winners have gone on to win the title. The only exceptions wee Mika Hakkinen in 2000 and Kimi Raikkonen in 2005.

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