Sebastian Vettel came within three-thousandths of a second of a perfect race result at Japan.
It was the 25th Japanese Grand Prix that counted for the world championship and – happily – the 21st at Suzuka. More facts and stats below.
Vettel has now won four Grands Prix, which is the same number won by Dan Gurney, Bruce McLaren and Eddie Irvine.
Vettel has won all four of his victories from pole position. This was his fifth start from pole, matching Giuseppe Farina, Chris Amon, Clay Regazzoni, Patrick Tambay and Keke Rosberg’s tally.
The Red Bull driver dominated the Grand Prix, leading every lap of a race for the first time in his career. It means his team have now led a total of 1,198km, moving them past the 1,000km mark.
He came very close to achieving the perfect Grand Prix result of a win from pole, leading every lap and setting fastest lap. But team mate Mark Webber beat his time by 0.003s with mere minutes of the race left to run. (Read more: Japanese Grand Prix fastest laps analysis)
That was Webber’s second fastest lap, giving him as many in his career as Vettel plus 13 other drivers.
McLaren team mates Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen each started their 50th Grands Prix, the pair having made their F1 debuts at Melbourne in 2007. Hamilton has finished more than half of them – 26 – on the podium, and has scored exactly 250 points – an average of five points per race, equal to a fourth place finish.
Kovalainen, meanwhile, saw his six-race streak of points finishes come to an end.
With two races to go every team has scored at least five points. The last time every team’s minimum score was higher was in 2005, when last-placed Minardi had seven points, all scored in the farcical United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis.
The Japanese Grand Prix returned to Suzuka for the 21st F1 championship race at the track. It is now F1’s 12th most-visited track, moving ahead of Watkins Glen. Adding the four Grands Prix at Fuji, this was F1’s 25th championship event in Japan.
As ever, if you’ve spotted a cool fact or stat from yesterday’s race, please post it in the comments.
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