2009 Malaysian Grand Prix facts and stats

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nick Heidfeld: eight second places, still no wins
Nick Heidfeld: eight second places, still no wins

The Malaysian Grand Prix will be remembered as one of the shortest F1 races ever.

But Jenson Button will recall it as the first race where he started from pole position, set fastest lap and won the race. Here’s more of the stats and facts from the Sepang race.

Jenson Button scored his third win, giving him as many victories as world champions Mike Hawthorn and Phil Hill, plus Peter Collins, Didier Pironi, Thierry Boutsen, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Johnny Herbert and Giancarlo Fisichella.

Button also scored his first ‘hat-trick’ – winning from pole position with fastest lap. Felipe Massa is the active driver with the most hat tricks – four. It was Brawn’s first fastest lap as well.

Nico Rosberg led a Grand Prix for the second time in his career – the first time was at Singapore last year.

Timo Glock scored his second podium and his first third place finish. He finished second at the Hungaroring last year. It was Toyota’s tenth podium in 124 races.

Nick Heidfeld extended his record for most second places without a win – he now has eight.

Ferrari continued their worst start to a season since 1992 by failing to score for the second race in a row. If they fail to score five points or more at China it will be their worst start to a championship since 1986.

Half-points were handed out for the first time since the 1991 Australian Grand Prix. On that occasion the previous points system was still in use, with the top six (Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, Gerhard Berger, Nelson Piquet, Riccardo Patrese and Gianni Morbidelli) getting 5-3-2-1.5-1-0.5 points respectively. Jarno Trulli therefore became the first driver to score 2.5 points in a race.

This development means F1 has an opportunity to match its 1984 record of the championship being won by half a point. On that occasion Niki Lauda beat McLaren team mate Alain Prost by the smallest margin ever.

It was the third shortest race ever by duration, at 55 minutes, 30.6 seconds. The two shorter events were Australia 1991 (24m 34.899s) and Spain 1975 (42m 53.7s) – the latter was stopped early because of an accident that killed two spectators.

By distance it was the fifth shortest race of all time at 171.8km. The other two races in which less distance covered were Monaco 1984 (stopped early because of heavy rain) and Austria 1975 (ditto).

Neither of this year’s races ended at racing speed – the first time this has ever happened.

Heikki Kovalainen gave McLaren deja vu by spinning out of the race on the first lap at turn five – the same way his Finnish predecessor Kimi Raikkonen dropped out of the 2006 race, following damage incurred in contact with Christian Klien.

Spotted any more interesting or unusual statistics? Post them in the comments…