2009 British Grand Prix stats and facts

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Probably the worst McLaren since 1981
Probably the worst McLaren since 1981

McLaren have failed to score point for four races – the first time that’s happened since 1981.

But it’s all good for Sebastian Vettel, who joins the ranks of F1 drivers to score a ‘hat-trick’ in a Grand Prix. Here are the stats and facts from the British Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel scored the third win of his career, giving him as many victories as Giancarlo Fisichella, 1958 world champion Mike Hawthorn and 1961 world champion Phil Hill, among others.

Vettel also scored his first ever fastest lap (which was also the first for a Red Bull) and fourth pole position. That gave him his first ever hat-trick of a win from pole position from fastest lap, something only 42 other F1 drivers have achieved. Of the current crop, six other drivers have done so: Felipe Massa (on four occasions), Fernando Alonso (three), Rubens Barrichello (two), Leiws Hamilton (two), Kimi Raikkonen (two) and Jenson Button (one).

Had he not lost the lead to Mark Webber for three laps, Vettel would have become only the 21st driver to have won a race from pole position, setting fastest lap and leading every lap. The reintroduction of refuelling in 1994 has made this ‘grand slam’ especially difficult to achieve, and no driver on the grid today ever has. Here are the 20 drivers who did, and how many times they achieved it:

Drivers with the most ‘grand slams’

1 Jim Clark 8
2 Alberto Ascari 5
3 Michael Schumacher 5
4 Jackie Stewart 4
5 Ayrton Senna 4
6 Nigel Mansell 4
7 Nelson Piquet 3
8 Juan Manuel Fangio 2
9 Jack Brabham 2
10 Mika Hakkinen 2
11 Mike Hawthorn 1
12 Stirling Moss 1
13 Jo Siffert 1
14 Jacky Ickx 1
15 Clay Regazzoni 1
16 Niki Lauda 1
17 Jacques Laffite 1
18 Gilles Villeneuve 1
19 Gerhard Berger 1
20 Damon Hill 1

Brawn GP passed the 100 point mark for this year, but Jenson Button failed to finish on the podium for the first time this season. That ends his streak of seven in a row.

Kazuki Nakajima scored the best qualifying position of his career with fifth, his previous best was tenth (twice).

McLaren: It just gets worse

McLaren failed to score for the fourth race in a row. You have to go back to the start of the 1981 season to find a comparable barren patch: the team ended 1980 failing to score at Watkins Glen in America, then started 1981 point-less in the first four rounds of 1981 at Long Beach (USA), Jacarepagua (Brazil) and Buenos Aires (Argentina).

To put that into perspective, neither Lewis Hamilton or Heikki Kovalainen had been born by then, and none of those four tracks have been on the F1 calendar for at least a decade. Their drivers during those events were Alain Prost (1980), John Watson (1980 and 1981) and Andrea de Cesaris (1981).

2009 F1 drivers' championship - top four (click to enlarge)
2009 F1 drivers' championship - top four (click to enlarge)

Was Silverstone a turning point for Red Bull? If Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber have now got faster cars than the Brawns, then the hunt is on to see if either of them can overhaul Jenson Button. Button is 25 points ahead of Vettel and 28.5 clear of Webber with nine rounds remaining.

Spotted any more interesting stats and facts from the British Grand Prix? Post them below.

More F1 statistics

45 comments on “2009 British Grand Prix stats and facts”

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  2. They need a mp4-24b to get them out of this hole. if it doesn’t happen,we the mclaren fans are in for a major embarrassment. The car is a beautiful example of absolute flawed design.this can be made a case study of how to not build a car for others. The car is an absolute pig. its rear end is flawed as a pig’s snout. The last time that this happened was in the early 80’s. but that was an transitional period, when ron’s project four merged with late teddy mayer’s mclaren international. at least in that case there was a silver lining in the form of ron dennis, but now that ron is gone,things can only get worse. whitmarsh yesterday left me really shocked & disappointed when he was interviewed by BBC. The man was so callous. He almost has accepted defeat. In the other keith article about why mclaren see-saw every other season, i totally agree with him when he mentions that given the team’s resources & the depth in the design dept this shouldn’t be happening. I’m totally appalled by martin whitmarsh’s handling of the situation. Being an engineer himself( worked at BAE, before joining mclaren in 1989)he must be able to connect with the engineering dept,in particular the design dept. What mclaren are doing reminds me of my engineering college days, when i was so immersed in my favorite subject called control systems, did exceedingly well,in fact topped the dept in that subject, but in that process flunked in the next subject. Now tell me what use is it being the topper in one & failing in the other? mclaren are the most inconsistent team i’ve come across. They as keith says blow hot ‘n’ cold. martin whitmarsh cannot give the excuse that they were too busy to develop this year’s car due to last year’s events. That is an immature excuse. Unless they hire adrian newey as the problem is technical & not managerial i cannot see mclaren improving in the near future.

  3. It seems that having a good or the best engine has never been so irrelevant as this year.

  4. A miss there.

    Fernando Alonso did a grand slam at Monza 2007, correct me if I am wrong.

    1. i remember juan pablo montoya doing the same at the 2003 german grand prix.

    2. He only did a hat-trick

  5. One interesting fact from the weekend was that this was the first time Red Bull have ever scored points at Silverstone. They broke their duck with style! :-)

  6. Re Mclaren, not sure about Whitmarsh, unproven. I was never convinced by Ron D. He could talk the talk but I think he wasn’t the greatest team manager. There were some obvious mistakes through his time. Look at the whole 2007 season, well-mamaged? Nul points.

    1. I think he managed it reasonably. If what he says is true, then the second he heard about the spygate thing he told the FIA to minimise the damage. I don’t know what else he could have done.

    2. I thought they had points only to be removed due the incident.

  7. Grand Slam? I thought it would be called a treble.

    I think a good Grand Slam idea would be Monaco, Home Win and the Championship.

    Hamilton did it last year, Alonso in 2006 too I think?

    1. Sure, why not add the Eurovision song contest while you’re at it?

      1. and the Confederations Cup

      2. I like Hamsters

  8. Nice idea, but a bit of a problem for Kubica, Buemi and the Finns and Alonso gets two chances.

    1. Yeh true

    2. Only 4 drivers without a home race? That must be a record…

      1. You sure do love your records

        1. I sure do… though it can’t be a record because there were even fewer home races last year while Coulthard was driving instead of Buemi. How silly of me.

  9. What, no mention of Nick Heidfeld this week!!! :D

    1. Just as i typed it. :)

  10. Heidfeld is still finishing races. Not to curse him, but wonder when his record will end.

    1. I still think the Nick Heidfeld record is a bit false. He may have been classified as finishing for all these races, but he definitely retired towards the end of the 2007 Japanese GP.

  11. Five 1-2’s in the first 8 races- that may well be a record…

    Button- Barrichello, Australia
    Vettel- Webber, China
    Button- Barrichello, Spain
    Button- Barrichello, Monaco
    Vettel- Webber, Britain

    1. Really ruins the idea of how much more input the driver is having this year doesn’t it

      1. 2007 was also a good year for 1-2s.

  12. Tommy B, anyone who thinks differently knows nothing about F1. If you put Rosberg, Sutil, Trulli, Kubica or even Bourdais into a Brawn or RBR they would be in the top 4. F1 has always been about the car being responsible for 95%+ of the performance, especially since aerodynamics became the number one technical aspect of F1 design.

    Look at Button – he did nothing over the last two years because his cars were crap. Look at him now. And just the opposite is happening with Lewis and Alonso – they won world championships in great cars, they are now battling for 16th in rubbish cars this year.

    If FOTA really want to spice things up radically reduce downforce – 10% of current levels or less. That would remove the problem of following another car through the quick corners AND reduce costs through less money needing to be spent on wings etc. In addition, aero work would switch to drag reduction rather than downforce production – something that has more real-world relevance for road cars.

    The plus for us as fans would be the cars would be closer and the drivers championship would be exactly that – the best driver would have a better chance of winning, regardless of his/her car.

    1. I am with you clay… but I dont think best car is worth quite 95%… more like 85 or perhaps even a bit less… (i know its quibbling…). You have to have the right driving style, a great team behind you, make very few mistakes and then have a healthy heaping of luck to be a world champion.

      But I think your wrong about Alonso. He did not have a “great car” in 2005 and 2006. At Renault he had a decent, reliable car that he brilliantly got the most out of and a bit of luck when the “best” cars on the grid ran into some trouble.

      I also think that its important that your driving style matches your good car. Button is smooth as silk and the brawn is responding to that. Alonso is a terrific starter and much of his success was because of the 05, 06 Renaults responding to his driving style.

      Alonso and Button have also had excellent teams from the top down which means they have not missed out on opportunities for winning when they have presented themselves. Alonso in 05, 06 and button in 09 just have not made any mistakes.

      I guess I am responding to the canard that you will always win with a great car… its a bit more complicated than that.

      Kimi at Macca had the best car but it kept blowing up. Flippy made mistakes last year in the “best car” that cost him dear. Something about the shoemakers driving style tore up the tires in 05. Stupid squabbling by the team cost Alonso the championship in 07.

      Your team needs to be functioning perfectly and You need to be the kind of driver that fits the car and you need to have a bit of luck too… You dont get the champaign showers unless all those elements are present and well shaken by a great driver.

    2. So you are agreeing with me yes?

      Yeah I know its always been the car, the Button and Hamilton swap of success is a prime example… Even if the papers can’t see it’s the car and not the driver that’s doing so well.

      I agree with you on reducing downforce. Wet races have low downforce and it closes up the field and reduces the effect of being in a poor car. Just look what Vettel did in Monza and Sutil in Monaco Last year.

  13. F1 Outsider
    22nd June 2009, 14:54

    Less notable is that this was Massa’s best ever finish at Silverstone.

  14. Two things.

    One, it should be noted that Jenson almost got a Grand Slam this year in Australia. He missed out because Nico Rosberg did the fastest lap, 0.314 faster than Jenson’s.

    The other is that the hardest to get record is what is called the Triple Crown of Motorsport. That is winning the Monaco Grand Prix, the 24 hours of Le Mans, and the Indianapolis 500. The only person ever to have done this is Graham Hill.

    1. Another thing I found interesting is that this is the first time the Austrian national anthem has been played during an F1 podium ceremony since Gerhard Berger won the 1997 German Grand Prix.

      1. I found it disheartening that it is as long, if not longer, than the Italian national anthem.

        1. It was pretty dull and seemed to almost end about 6 times!

      2. Second time Robert -China os the first time

        1. China would have been the first time, but the race organizers played the British national anthem instead.

  15. Vettel heard 3 different constructor’s anthem on his 3 wins.
    Monza – italian
    Shanghai – british
    Silverstone – austrian

  16. Need we mention Heidfield’s continuation of classified finishes? I didnt think so either!

    Silverstone has been the coldest race of the year so far too. I think at best, temperatures reached a balmy 17C this weekend…

  17. Fernando Alonso finished P14, his worst classified finishing positing in a Formula One Grand Prix since Silverstone, Round 11 of the 2001 Championship with Minardi, where he finished P16.

  18. when was the last time we saw a dohnut at the end of the race? Id never seen it. I thought the FIA’d give Lewis a fine. Maybe they have bigger problems…

    1. Last time I remember seeing it on TV was Kimi in Belgium, 2007.

  19. James Bolton
    23rd June 2009, 13:37

    There’s been 7 different winners in the last 7 British Grands Prix. (And 9 different winners in the last 10.)
    Also 4 different constructors have won in the last 4 years.

    When he was interviewed in the race build-up on BBC, I think Murray Walker said he’d been to every BGP since 1948. Can anyone beat that?

    The last time there were only two winners in the first 8 races was 2004 – Michael Schumacher and Jarno Trulli. It wasn’t until round 14 that we had a third different winner.

    Still no McLaren or Ferrari in the top three of the constructors championship. It must be a very long time since we last had that after 8 races.

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