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. SamS said on 20th April 2009, 15:51

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

  2. Richard said on 20th April 2009, 16:42

    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

  3. antonyob said on 20th April 2009, 16:57

    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!

    • 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.

    • Richard said on 20th April 2009, 18:04

      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

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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?

  7. 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?

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

    ^^^good question

  9. 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%

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

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