2009 Chinese Grand Prix facts and stats

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nick Heidfeld continues to run away with F1's least exciting record
Nick Heidfeld continues to run away with F1's least exciting record

There have been 806 rounds of the F1 world championship – and yesterday Red Bull became only the 34th team to win a race.

All the stats from China below including a first for Lewis Hamilton, a career best for Mark Webber, and Nick Heidfeld on the verge of a new record.

Red Bull scored their first pole position, first F1 win and first one-two all in one weekend. They are the 34th different team to score a win, 22nd to score a one-two and 38th to score a pole position, and did so at their 74th attempt.

Sebastian Vettel joins the ranks of the multiple winners with his second career victory. Like the first, it was scored from pole position in a wet race that started behind the safety car. He also passed the 50 career points tally, reaching 51m and achieved his second pole position.

Mark Webber scored his best result to date with second.

On only three occasions this year has a car failed to reach the classified race distance because of a mechanical problem – and twice its driver was Felipe Massa.

Heikki Kovalainen completed his first racing lap of 2009 after failing to get beyond lap one in the first two races.

Jenson Button has finished on the podium for three consecutive races, matching his personal best which he achieved on three separate occasions in 2004.

Nick Heidfeld extended his record of consecutive classified finishes to 31. His run of consecutive finishes (i.e. still running at the end of the race as opposed to completed at least 90% distance) is now 23, putting him one short of Michael Schumacher’s record.

Lewis Hamilton finished sixth for the first time in his F1 career. The only points-scoring place he has never finished in is eighth.

Sebastien Buemi made it into Q3 for the first time and qualified a career-best tenth.

With no points from the first three races, this is Ferrari’s worst start to a season since 1981.

Nelson Piquet Jnr still hasn’t out-qualified Fernando Alonso in 21 races.

In six runnings of the Chinese Grand Prix, three have been significantly rain-affected: 2006 (Michael Schumacher won) and 2007 (Kimi Raikkonen won) and this year’s race. This likely makes it the venue with the highest probability of rain.

Next up is Bahrain which, like Shanghai, joined the F1 calendar in 2004, but as it holds its race in a desert has never seen a wet race and isn’t likely to. That said, look what happened to the Moto GP in Qatar last week….

Got any more cool facts and statistics from the Chinese Grand Prix? Post them below.

50 comments on “2009 Chinese Grand Prix facts and stats”

Jump to comment page: 1 2
  1. ILoveVettel
    20th April 2009, 7:54

    Sutil retired from 6th place with 6 laps remaining…….
    In Monte Carlo last year, he retired from 4th place with 4 laps to go…….

    1. Ooh, spooky misfortune symmetry, like it.

    2. Sush Meerkat
      20th April 2009, 10:36

      more spooky misfortune symmetry, in the rain in Monaco Sutil crashed out with Kimi reigning world champion behind him, in China in the rain he crashed out with Lewis reigning world champion behind him

  2. Sebastien Buemi is the next star of formula 1 along with Vettel, they both were recruited by RedBull.

  3. Thank you for that report Keith. What a great race. It was always possible for anyone to fall off until the very last corner. The stars for me were Vettel of course, great driver and personality; his aching team mate Webber; Button who must have set a first by tyre-warming on the straight while well into a stint; Rubens who got there in the end somehow; Buemi for seeing off much more experienced drivers; Hamilton for giving it his all; Kovalainen for giving us some reason to hope he may yet be worth his seat (compared to others such as Davidson)and everyone else who stayed on the track to the finish but including Massa whose elastic snapped despite his best efforts.

    1. Massa really impressed until his motor gave up the ghost. I’m sure everyone was thinking he wasn’t going to keep the car on the lake!

  4. For me the most important “Chinese Grand Prix facts & stats” is that the PARTY IS OVER FOR BROWN GP, they must work very very hard to stay infront.

    1. How is that a stat Erico? And I think you’re wrong. I think the track suited the red bulls, as did the rain. If you’re a betting man, now is the ideal time to throw some money behind Brawn.

    2. The rain just didn’t give the Brawn an advantage in terms of the floor design. As most races, I presume, will be dry this season I think you’ll find the Brawn party is very much still ongoing.

  5. Sush Meerkat
    20th April 2009, 10:31

    second time a Rookie Torro Rosso driver has slammed into the back of a Red Bull driver in the rain, behind a safety car in China.

    1. Wasn’t that Japan? Vettel into Webber in Fuji, 07?

  6. Despite hearing ‘God Save the Queen’ on the podium, I believe it was the first time an Austrian team won a Grand Prix. (Red Bull Racing have an Austrian licence, IIRC.)

    1. Yes, I believe it should have been the Austrian anthem, though maybe there’s a piece of paper somewhere that says that Red Bull is English. If not then it’s not the first time they got it wrong – they did the same to Jordan (playing the British anthem for Damon Hill and then not the Irish anthem for Jordan, presuming them to be the same) at Belgium in ’98.

    2. Pitpass has an article on this: the Chinese indeed played the wrong anthem.

      By the way, I also remember in Australia 1999, when the officials played the Irish anthem for Eddie Irvine, very much a British subject.

  7. Oh, and it was the 2nd time a junior Toro Rosso driver hit a Red Bull driver from behind while running behind the Safety Car, albeit this time both men were able to continue.

  8. This year Vettel in first race crashed while being 2nd, in second race he was far behind and then retired, and won third race to score first points this season.

    Last year Massa in first race was far behind and then retired, in second race he retired while being 2nd, and won third race to score first points in that season.

    1. Toby Bushby
      21st April 2009, 0:52

      Vettel was 3rd when he crashed in Oz.

  9. Isn’t it the first race also that Kimi finished this season.

    Is Vettel the first driver to change teams, simply by changing overalls. Or to change teams while still driving the same car.

  10. The most interesting thing thrown up has to be how do the Red Bulls manage 2+ secs per lap in the wet. Has to be a technical advantage there as well as a couple of brilliant drivers. I have to admit I expected them to trip over each other in the event of them running at the front. But they ended up quite far apart…

  11. Imagine what will Red Bull can do after incorporating DD diffusers!

  12. Stat 1
    Lewis overtook Kimi twice without being penalised for “not giving him time to recover”
    Stat 2
    Someone muzzled the stewards. Beneficiaries were Kubica for failing to stop a speed boat in a lake. Vettel for persistantly behaving like a nice kid and Button for showing good manners in praising him.

    1. Haha brillliant; both stats.

    2. Toby Bushby
      21st April 2009, 0:55

      That raises an interesting question. When was the last time a full distance race (not the full weekend) occured without a penalty being given or exclusions after the fact?

  13. Sush Meerkat
    20th April 2009, 13:23

    Stat 2
    Someone muzzled the stewards. Beneficiaries were Kubica for failing to stop a speed boat in a lake. Vettel for persistantly behaving like a nice kid and Button for showing good manners in praising him.


    Also, Mark Webber didn’t allow the alloted two full races before overtaking the Brawn after coming off at turn 13.

  14. Vettel is one of only 5 drivers who scored the maiden victory for different teams! Beside Vettel there is Fangio aswell with 2 wins (Mercedes, Maserati)!

    But the leaders of the list are Stirling Moss (Vanwall, Cooper und Lotus), Dan Gurney (Porsche, Eagle, Brabham) and Jackie Stewart (March, Matra, Tyrrell) who were able to achieve that with 3 teans…

  15. Hi all. A little off-topic but I just wanted to say how I enjoyed Mike Gascoigne’s presence at the BBC last weekend.

    I really like Eddy Jordan but mike was so insightful that perhaps the beeb should have a rethink.

    Great commentary on a great, technical race.

  16. Trulli failed to get any points in China again, since F1 has been racing he has not scored one point on the track

  17. The pole sitter has won every race this season. And for the last 5 races.
    Vettel China
    Button Malaysia and Australia
    Massa Brazil
    Hamilton China

  18. Any stats available on number of overtakes this season versus last season? Or even a league table of drivers with the highest number this year?

    After it being such an issue for so many years and now seemingly sorted, i cant find any stats on the web anywhere!

    1. I saw a lap chart for the Australian GP where Lewis overtook on 19 occasions. Keith’s work here should enable the same sort of study though the two wet races look more like a fairisle sweater and are harder to unravel. You probably need to keep a note of pit stops to weed out passing a car in the pits, but some reorts record them. I need to print Keith’s diagrams much larger but they are the key to true understanding of physical moves, meaning that other factors affect the why of it.

    2. CJD problem with lap charts it only notes changes on position at end of lap you dont know if someone overtook but was overtaken by the same car or was overtaken by someone else, you would expect the FIA/f1 overtaking people to be analysing these figures to prove their changes worked

  19. Who saw Flavio Briatore’s face during Martin’s walkabout? Musical friends ask me if this is the first time that anyone has auditioned for “I Pagliaci” on an F1 grid.

  20. Well put Richard but I cannot see another way of doing it unless FIA release stats since race coverage does not show us everything. Is it true to say that we have all seen a lot more overtaking this year under wet and dry conditions in all areas, straights, different types of corners, not much evidence of turbulence etc? 3 races are not enough to come to a conclusion but does it look promising?

Jump to comment page: 1 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.