Spanish Grand Prix 2007 facts & statistics

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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8 comments on Spanish Grand Prix 2007 facts & statistics

  1. About the “losing a gear” thing – I forget which race it was but Senna once lost a gear while leading and managed to disguise the fact so skillfully that the second guy (again not sure, but I think it was Prost) never realised that Ayrton had a problem and so did not push. Senna won.

  2. Certainly Niki Lauda did it in the 1984 Austrian Grand Prix. Nelson Piquet behind him was cruising but because he didn’t realise Lauda had a problem, he didn’t push, and could have won.

    I think when Senna did it he was actually stuck in a gear. At Brazil in 1991 he won his home race for the first time while stuck in either sixth or fifth, with Riccardo Patrese closing in on him as rain began to fall…

  3. Yes, that would be the one. Trust the Master to go one better and actually be stuck in a gear… ;)

  4. Number 38 said on 14th May 2007, 15:41

    Stuck in gear……and still managed a win……this is not a new concept; at the ignaural race at Lime Rock Park (1959) Roger Ward raced a direct drive, open wheel USAC midget against the likes of Geo. Consatines Aston-Martin DBS, Bill Spears and Bill Lloyds Ferraris, Walter Hansgen Jaguar and the midget WON! I myself tried running a direct drive sprint car there but lost……to another sprint car! When given a choice I like gearboxes but don’t think there’s NO advantage in single speed transmissions. And didn’t Coulthard finish yesterday’s race without 3rd speed?

  5. But you must admit that there’s a difference between a car designed for only one gear and another that has many but is suddenly reduced to one, Number 38. The driver’s task is then to keep the thing moving at a pace sufficient to fool everyone else that nothing is wrong while making sure that enough revs remain to get out of the slow corners and not to over-rev it on the quick bits. Not an easy thing in a car designed for six or seven gears…

  6. Journeyer said on 15th May 2007, 4:05

    Ah, the factory teams. Red Bull-Renault beats Renault-Renault. Williams-Toyota beats Toyota-Toyota. Super Aguri-Honda beats Honda-Honda. I mean, come on! The manufacturers have a heck of a lot more money, but they don’t seem to be using it very well. This race may be an exception more than a rule, but if this keeps up, will these 3 manufacturers decide to reduce their involvement in the sport?

  7. I think not,Toyota and Renault are contracted to F1 till 2012 while Honda may sign an agreement soon(depending upon GPMA’s status).

  8. Nathan Jones said on 15th May 2007, 8:23

    all it proves is that these manufacturer’s are not doing a good job!

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