2009 Chinese Grand Prix facts and stats

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.

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50 comments on 2009 Chinese Grand Prix facts and stats

  1. matt said on 20th April 2009, 19:18

    Are we aware of which engines teams are using? Has one team used the same engine for three races and another used a different one each time?

    • FIA quietly dropped the 3 race rule in January. Teams have 8 engines which can be used in any sequence.

    • matt said on 20th April 2009, 23:36

      Yeah I know I was just wondering if anybody actually knows the sequence that teams are using them in. Are some teams doing 2 or 3 races then a new one or using a different one for each of the first 8 races? Would just be interesting to see who raced in China or Malaysia with an engine that had already been used. And how obvious will it be come the end of the season how many(if any) fresh engines each team still has?

  2. HounslowBusGarage said on 20th April 2009, 20:18

    Keith (or somebody) could you put this in context-

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

    How many team entrants have their ever been in Formula 1 racing?
    My question is effectively, what are the statistical odds of any entrant winning a GP?

  3. Polak said on 20th April 2009, 20:40

    ^^^good question

  4. Richard said on 20th April 2009, 21:53

    well theres been 198 constructors (source statsf1.com) but i dont know if that includes teams who didnt build their own chassis etc but it’ll be close enough

    so 34/198 around 17%

  5. Obster said on 20th April 2009, 22:09

    Interesting stat about Button.
    I was watching the 2004 season highlight DVD last week-Button usually finished 2nd to 4th-right behind the Ferrari’s and sometimes Montoya/Williams.
    I had forgotten that Honda had ever been that reliable or that close to the front…

  6. Lenny said on 20th April 2009, 23:52

    When teams win their first Grand Prix its usually a one-two e.g. Jordan at Spa ’98, BMW last year, Brawn in Melbourne and Red bull yesterday! Also can anyone tell me what percent of teams win their first race in the wet.

  7. Eduardo Gigante said on 21st April 2009, 1:16

    Of the active teams in F1, Red Bull is the one who took the longest to win, claiming a victory in their 74th attempt. Here is the list:

    Red Bull – 74 GPs
    Williams – 50
    Toro Rosso – 49
    BMW – 42
    Renault – 25
    McLaren – 14
    Ferrari – 9
    Brawn GP – 1

    Force India has yet to win a race after 21 attempts.

  8. Daniel said on 21st April 2009, 2:23

    Obster: In 2004, Button’s team was still named BAR (British American Racing), but your right at least about the engine: it was Honda already…

  9. Yorricksfriend said on 21st April 2009, 5:06

    We have yet to have a race winner or pole sitter this year whose name doesn’t include a double T
    …Button, Vettel

    Christiano Da Matta would be kicking himself that he’s no longer in Formula 1.

  10. CJD said on 21st April 2009, 8:48

    Matt’s question on engine use was interesting. ITV always seemed to know who was on which engine of the two race cycle so there is a source somewhere. BBC seemed to know that most would change engines for Malaysia but McLaren would use the Oz engine. Hunt that source!

  11. iBlaze said on 21st April 2009, 11:36

    I think one of the most interesting things to come out of the Chinese GP was this…

    We’ve now had 7 different teams winning in the 21 races since the beginning of the 2008 season. (McLaren, Ferrari, BMW-Sauber, Toro Rosso, Renault, Brawn GP, Red Bull Racing).

    That is exactly the same amount of teams that won a race in the 171 races and 10 seasons from 1998 to 2007. (McLaren, Ferrari, Jordan, Stewart, Williams, Renault, Honda).

    We’ve also had 4 teams win for the first time in the 21 races since the beginning of the 2008 season. (BMW-Sauber at Canada 08, Toro Rosso at Italy 08, Brawn GP at Australia 08, Red Bull Racing at China 08).

    In the 171 races and 10 seasons from 1998 to 2007, we only had 3 teams win for the first time. (Jordan at Belgium 98, Stewart at Europe 99, Honda at Hungary 06).

    Surely this is a sign that F1 is at it’s most competitive level for a long time.

    • Clare msj said on 21st April 2009, 20:33

      Thats a brilliant fact about the number of different teams winning since 2008 and in the ten years before 2008. Definitely a fact to make me smile :D

      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.

      Which one are they officially counting for this record I am confused – the classified finishes or the actual finishes? I thought it was the classified total – cos they talked about him beating the record last year. On BBC they said his classified finishes, and then referred to his total of actual finishes – which was technically wrong as his consecutive classified finishes is different his actual. On ITV I think they were using his total of classified finishes when they talked about it once(which is the total I prefer to use because it is even more impressive :P)

  12. _Ben_ said on 21st April 2009, 23:26

    Fisicella has not scored a point in 23 races, the longest drought of this 13 year F1 career.

    Sebastian Bourdais has only finnished ahead of his team mate once in F1. Last time out in Malaysia.

    Kovalainen finnished in front of Hamilton for the first time since Monza last year.

    As well as being Ferrari’s worst start to a season since 1981 this is Felipe Massa’s worst ever start and Kimi Raikkonens worst since 2004

    Kubica has not failed to score in 3 races since the end of 2006

    Barrichello has not finished 4th in a race since Hungary 2006 when Button scored his madien F1 win.

    Timo Glock has been in the points for the last 5 races.

    This was the first time Fernando Alonso has finnished in 9th place F1

    And last of all on the 27th of April it will be a year since Kimi Raikkonen last won a grand prix, how the great have fallen….

  13. Jonny said on 23rd April 2009, 21:52

    The most common driver name this year is Sebastian (or Sebastien depending on how you spell it :p) – and they all drive for a Red Bull Team – besides, I think Seb Webber sounds cool :D. Anybody know what Brendan Hartley’s middle name is? If it’s Sebby I’ll eat my hat.

  14. Mire said on 25th April 2009, 12:53

    About Sebastians …

    I think the three last drivers that have scored points on their maiden G.P. are our Sebastians (given Sébastien is the french for Sebastian) :
    – Sebastian Vettel (USA, 2007), 1 pt
    – Sébastien Bourdais (Australia, 2008), 2 pts
    – Sébastien Buemi (Australia, 2009), 1 pts.

    And they all eventually drove for Toro Rosso (Vettel 1st point was for BMW).

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