2009 Belgian Grand Prix facts and stats

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Kimi Raikkonen has now won 18 F1 races
Kimi Raikkonen has now won 18 F1 races

OK, we all know about Force India’s first points.

But which driver reached his points century at Spa? And which are the only two drivers to win more Belgian Grands Prix than Kimi Raikkonen? Here are the facts and stats from yesterday’s race.

Kimi Raikkonen won his first Grand Prix in 26 races – his last win as at last year’s Spanish Grand Prix.

It was his fourth win in the Belgian Grand Prix, all of which have come in the last five races at the track. He was also leading last year’s race before crashing out with two laps to go.

Only two other drivers have won the Belgian Grand Prix more than four times: Michael Schumacher (six) and Ayrton Senna (five). All of those were on the modern Spa circuit. Jim Clark also won the Belgian Grand Prix four times from 1962-1965 on the old, 14.1km circuit.

It was Raikkonen’s 18th win. He has more than any other driver in F1 today bar Fernando Alonso, who has 21.

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest lap, the second of his career, in addition to the one he scored at Silverstone.

It was a huge weekend for Force India. On Saturday Giancarlo Fisichella gave them their first ever pole position. Before then their best qualifying position had been seventh, set by Adrian Sutil at the Nurburgring this year.

The last time this outfit started from pole position was in the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in 1999, when Heinz-Harald Frentzen put Jordan at the front of the grid.

In the race of course, they scored their first points and first podium finish. They also led a race for the first time – but only for four laps behind the safety car at the start.

Fisichella made it to the podium for the first time since the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

The first-lap pile-up brought Jenson Button’s points-scoring streak to an end after 11 races in the top eight. Nico Rosberg now has the longest running streak of points finishes with eight.

It was also Lewis Hamilton’s first failure to finish a race this year (though of course he was disqualified at Melbourne).

Like Fisichella and Raikkonen, Robert Kubica scored his best result of the year, with fourth.

Heikki Kovalainen has now scored exactly 100 points in his Formula 1 career.

We’ve now had six consecutive races with different winners (Button, Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Barrichello and Raikkonen) and five with different pole sitters (Vettel, Webber, Alonso, Hamilton and Fisichella).

Have you spotted any interesting facts and stats from the Belgian Grand Prix? Share them in the commenets.

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96 comments on “2009 Belgian Grand Prix facts and stats”

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  1. First time a mercedes blowing up since fuji last year.

    1. It didnt blow up, it was a oil leak that caught fire.

  2. Terry Fabulous
    31st August 2009, 7:31

    Kimi Raikkonen continues to be a spoiler for Force India’s Fun – See Monaco last year and China this year where he and Sutil came together knocking Adrian out of point.

    Kimi was also the man who beat Fisichella when he got his last podium.

    For a moment, this could have been the second time this season where a team scores their first ever point with a win after Brawn in Melbourne.

    1. That was Suzuka 2005. Fisi’s last podium came there in 2006 when he was beaten by Alonso and Massa.

      1. Terry Fabulous
        31st August 2009, 10:36

        Ah Yes, My Bad… thank you Dan

  3. Finally a Heidfeld finish worth mentioning!!

  4. Terry Fabulous
    31st August 2009, 7:35

    Unpopular as this may be, I think it is time to admit that this team is not Jordan and has not been for some time.

    Eddie left in 2004 and since then it has been Midland, Spyker and now Force India.

    The BBC love to pipe on about Jordan DNA but by that reckoning, Brawn has Ferrari DNA with Barichello and Big Ross in the team.

    1. It’s still the same factory, and I imagine many of the staff are still there. Obviously drivers and senior management have changed along with the name, but there’s probably dozens of engineers and mechanics that stuck with it.

      Same with Torro Rosso / Minardi, and BMW / Tyrell.

      The DNA isn’t defined by two people, hence your Ferarri analogy doesn’t hold.

      1. Terry Fabulous
        31st August 2009, 10:44

        Yes only two people…
        But what people!
        Ross Brawn, the man behind Schumi’s domination of the early part of this decade.
        And Reubens, a man who.. a man who… well a man who drove the other car!

        Just as Brawn do not have Tyrell in their veins, i think the time has come to admit that Force India is not a product of Jordan.

        It is a product of the the guys who run the team, design the car, and call the shots with the strategy. They have totally changed the identity of the team.

        1. Grace Lovvorn
          31st August 2009, 13:46

          And Reubens, a man who.. a man who… well a man who drove the other car!

          That just made my day! :) It must have been hard for Rubens to make an impression when his teammate was the almighty Schumi!

        2. I agree Terry. We don’t see BBC going up to Jackie Stewart saying how great it is when Red Bull win because they were Stewart 10 years ago.

      2. Same with Torro Rosso / Minardi, and BMW / Tyrell.

        Tyrrell was bought by Craig Pollock and transformed into B.A.R. which later became Honda and is now Brawn.

    2. I’m totally with you on this Terry. I understand the point – the origins of the original original team and all that but its always a moot point.
      The only reason they’re banging on about it is because that irritating little man with his little hobbyist pub band, Eddie Jordan is one of the primary TV presenters.
      If he wasn’t around it may have been mentioned around the start of the season, once and then no more.
      Indeed it is getting embarrassing, the more success FI have the more we hear about the Jordan DNA when it clearly has had absolutely nothing to do with it for a very long time.
      Stupid little ego maniac. I wish David Coulthard would punch his lights out the next time Jordan refers to a current incident with reference to one of Coulthard’s bygone slip-ups.

    3. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
      31st August 2009, 16:43

      Yes the team hasn’t been Jordan for a long time, it’s Mallyas team now but most of the mechanics have been there since the Jordan days and endured the hardships of the midland and spyker days,even high ranking guys such as Ian Phillips and Mark Smith. There was even a former tyrell, now Brawn mechanic who celebrated his 500th grand prix at belgium. My point is that while this is mallyas “victory” I think that Edddie can take a little bit of credit as it was he who brought this team together in the first place, such as Sauber did with BMW, Ken Tyrell with Brawn and Stewart with Red Bull.
      One more thing I think I’d prefer the grid today if the teams were never sold on.
      Instead of It would be
      Ferrari Ferrari
      Mclaren Mclaren
      Williams Williams
      Brawn Tyrell
      Renault Toleman
      BMW Sauber
      Force India Jordan
      Torro Rosso Minardi
      Red Bull Stewart
      Toyota Toyota
      Anyone else agree?

  5. Looking at the Finnish GP victories, this ended one stat:
    Before this race it was:
    All Rosberg victories (5)
    All Häkkinen victories (20)
    All Räikkönen victories (17)
    Only Kovalainen victory (1)

    So, Finnish driver had not won a race after someone else Finnish had won after him. Of course, Rosberg and Häkkinen had retired already when the followers scored their first wins.

    Jenson Button had his fifth race in a row without podium finish. If he wins the championship, it’s the first time as the champion has done so. Jochen Rindt didn’t get podiums in last five races of 1970 but we all not the circumstances around that: He failed to finish in Austria and then had fatal accident in Italy qualifying, while there was four races to go Italy included.

  6. Kushagra Purohit
    31st August 2009, 8:20

    This was the first all Italian front row start since Australia 2005 when Giancarlo Fisichella started from the pole while Jarno Trulli started second just like here in Belgium

  7. James Bolton
    31st August 2009, 8:26

    By my reckoning the last time we had six winners in six races was at the end of the 1999 season and the first race of 2000, when Irvine, Frentzen, Coulthard, Herbert, Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher all won.
    The last time 7 different drivers won seven consecutive races was 1982 to 1983 with Arnoux, Alboreto, Piquet, Watson, Prost, Tambay and Rosberg.

    We’ve also had 5 different drivers on pole in the last 5 races. This last happened in 2005 when Raikkonen, Heidfeld, Trulli, Button and Alonso sat on pole between the Monaco and French GP’s.

  8. When was the last time there were no classified britidh finishers in a grand prix?

    1. Interesting question. Not that easy to figure out, but I’d think back to a time when there were fewer brits on the grid, then find a race when they DNF’ed.

      My first thought was the infamous Belgian GP of 1999 when EVERYONE crashed at the star. But most jumped into the spare car and there were 3 brits in the top 6 (Coulthard, Irvine and Hill) so that’s no good.

      Engaging the noodle a little more, I’m going to cheat and volunteer 2005 United States Grand Prix. There were only two Brits in the field that year – Button and Coulthard – and neither started the race! :)

      1. It was belgium 1998

        1. True. My mistake

      2. Yorricksfriend
        1st September 2009, 17:31

        Belgium 98 ? Damon Hill won that race so no dice there :P

    2. OK, the real answer is 2006 European GP. Again, only Button and Coulthard and both retired.

      Gotta love Wikipedia :)

  9. Sush Meerkat
    31st August 2009, 8:54

    with Massa out of action i’ve noticed all the Ferrari guys stepping up to fill in for him in the For Sure championship, even Chris Dyers in on it.

    1. Yorricksfriend
      1st September 2009, 17:32

      ditto Kimi Raikkonen.

  10. Has a team ever had a car win and come last of the remaining runners?
    Kimi – 1st
    Luca – 14th (last)

    1. good spot

      1. I’ve checked from 2004 to 2009 and can’t find anything.

        1. 8/10/61…17/6/62….21/7/62….19/6/60…19/8/73…12/1/75. I imagine there are more, but got bored searching

          1. are these dates???

          2. Yorricksfriend
            1st September 2009, 17:44

            Yes they are dates, the races he mentioned –
            Watkins Glen 61, Spa 62, Britain 62, Spa 60, Austria 73 and Argentina 75. Although a lot of the ones from the 60’s were back when there were teams with well over 2 cars. And Austria 73 wasn’t actually a race where two cars book-ended the race.

  11. Before the race, the front four guys on the grid had more GP starts between them than the ten drivers behind them combined.

    1. Yeah, i was thinking about the oldest top 4 qualifiers or something like that.

      Fisi, Trulli, Heidfeld, Barrichello. With all the talk about young drivers, this one proves that experience counts too.

      1. The BBC coverage provided some throw-away stats that I can’t recall. Something like “the combined age of the top four is 140 years”.

        I’m sure someone will dig it out

        1. “The drivers on the first two rows have a combined age of 140 and combined race starts of 875.”


          1. Vettel made a reference to this too, he seemed quite taken with it!

  12. The re-appearance of the safety car after spain, 6 races later.

    Probably the first time that both drivers in a team finished, one first.. another last

    1. The last two safety cars were only needed to clear up first lap accidents, so the last mid race safety car was at China. Shame really because they can make dull races much more exciting- Australia 09, Germany and Singapore 08, for example.

  13. – Connecting to Hamiltons first DNF, this was his 3rd DNF ever, one for eahc of his seasons (China 2007, Canada 2008, Belgium 2009)

    – Although Jarno Trulli had his 3rd front (with 3 different teams: Jordan 2000, Renault 2004, Toyota 2009) row in Belgium, he failed to score a point here since his 6th place from 1998 with Prost (that was his only point that year)

    – This was the second consecutive race for Mark Webber to start from 9th and finish in 9th

    – Giancarlo Fisichella finished 2nd both on his very first Belgian Grand Prix in 1997, and on his latest as well, with Jordan back in time, and now with the reincarnation of that former team.

    1. Hamilton never retired from a mechanical failure – always a crash.

      1. tho to be fair this one was not his fault at all. got bumped by alguersuari.

        1. Hamilton doesn’t crash that easily you can see… this was not his fault, China 2007 his tyres died, Canada was his fault, altough the lights weren’t easy visible)… damn good stats imo

          1. Yes, so it is Hamilton’s first retirement on the TRACK, and not in the pitlane.

  14. i don’t think this is the first time that force india has led a race… it has happened before – i think it was a rain-drenched race.

    1. Nope – it was the first time. They have all-together 4 led laps. At least forix.com says so

    2. You’re thinking of Marcus Winkelhock at the Nurburgring in 2007, but the team were still Spyker back then. Come on, any true F1 geek should know that!

  15. First time this season that webber hasn’t scored in two consecutive races

  16. Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg, Timo Glock, Nick Heidfeld, and LUCA BADOER are the only drivers who havnt retired this year yet.

  17. – Raikkonen has scored the most points in the last five races with 25. Webber and Vettel each have 24 and Button has just 11.
    – Raikkonen won from the lowest grid position this year (6th). The previous lowest was fourth by Button in Bahrain and Hamilton in Hungary.
    – Raikkonen won by 0.9 seconds. This is the closest finish since Australia this year. It is the closest win in normal conditions since the 2007 Hungarian GP, in which Hamilton beat Raikkonen by 0.7 seconds.

  18. Although this Jordan DNA thing is quite questionable:
    I think it was the best result for Jordan and its successor teams since the Brasilian GP 2003 – also won by Giancarlo Fisichella.

    1. I’d agree- but technichally they finished 3rd and 4th at the infamous race at Indy in 05, thus scoring 11 points

  19. – Kimi Raikkonen has been on every step of the podium in the last 3 races.

    – 5 races before the end of the season there are still 8 drivers with mathematical chances of winning the WDC. Had Massa scored at least a point in the last two GPs, it would have been 9 drivers.

    With the medal system, the WDC would look like this:
    Button – 6
    Vettel – 2
    Barrichello – 1
    Webber – 1
    Raikkonen – 1
    Hamilton – 1

    4 of the guys would have to win all 5 GP that are left in the season and hope Button doesn’t score many points, so they’re ahead of him in the points, being equal on wins – to win the WDC.
    Vettel would have to do the same, but with “only” 4 wins needed (without Button winning the other one), or win all 5 GPs and the WDC would be his.

    If Button won 1 of the next two GPs, without Vettel winning the other one – Button would become the new World Champion – with 3 races left in the season.

    1. According to medals,

      Button just needs to win 1 of the 5 races, irrespective of however many Vettel wins.

      Vettel can win the remaining 4 and still end up 2nd.

      1. Oh yeah, you’re correct. I’ve made a small mistake here.

        So, Button can win the WDC in the next race, by winning it, and become the new champion with 4 races to go.

        1. you reading this Bernie?

  20. Only 3 drivers went into the belgium gp knowing they had a contract for next year.

    1. Hamilton, Webber, Vettel?

    2. According to Wikipedia, 6 drivers have contracts (or at least options) for 2010:
      Webber and Vettel at Red Bull, Massa and Räikkönen at Ferrari, Hamilton at McLaren, and Alonso at Renault.

      1. Sutil at Force India also has an option for 2010, but I don’t know if it’s expired or something.

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