Korea’s first Grand Prix was the longest for 50 years (Korean GP facts and stats)

Start, Korea, 2010

Korea’s first ever Grand Prix was always going to have a place in the history books.

But taking near three hours to complete, it also became the longest world championship race since 1960. Read on for more stats and facts from the Korean Grand Prix.

Alonso’s Korean Grand Prix win has the hallmarks of a tipping point. He’s now won more races than any other driver this year – five – and he set his fifth fastest lap of the year too, which is two more than anyone else.

Considering his win rate this year, it’s interesting to note three drivers have led more laps than Alonso in 2010:

Driver Laps led
Mark Webber 315
Sebastian Vettel 273
Jenson Button 130
Fernando Alonso 126
Lewis Hamilton 100
Felipe Massa 42
Nico Rosberg 16
Sebastien Buemi 1

But he has completed more laps than any one else this year: 994 out of a possible 1,003 so far. Next highest is Michael Schumacher with 952.

This was his 26th win, putting him alone in sixth place on the all-time wins list. Has 18th fastest lap matches David Coulthard’s career total.

Some of his career stats match up with his Ferrari predecessor Kimi R??ikk??nen at the moment: 155 starts from 157 appearances resulting in 62 podium finishes.

For Sebastian Vettel it’s another tale of pole position but no win – the seventh time that’s happened to him this year having taken nine pole positions over the course of the season.

He’s now had 14 pole positions, giving him as many as Rubens Barrichello, along with Alberto Ascari, James Hunt and Ronnie Peterson.

He retired from the lead with a mechanical failure for the second time this year – the same thing happened to him at Melbourne.

The drivers who’ve been let down by their cars the most so far this year are Bruno Senna and Jarno Trulli, each with seven non-finishes caused by car problems (Trulli crashed at Monaco but was still classified).

Vitantonio Liuzzi finished sixth, equalling his best ever career finish. He was sixth at Shanghai for Toro Rosso in 2007. Schumacher matched his best finish of the year with fourth place.

Twelfth place is the lowest position Jenson Button has finished in since his Honda days – he was 13th at Interlagos in 2008.

There were no points for Red Bull for the first time since last year’s European Grand Prix. That leaves McLaren as the only team to have scored in every race this year.

Nick Heidfeld has now scored as many points in the last three races as Pedro de la Rosa did in the first 14 – albeit with a rather more reliable car.

Mercedes marked their 300th appearance at an F1 weekend as an engine supplier, of which they started 299 races (excluding Indianapolis 2005).

Longest race since 1960

Because of the long stoppage, this was one of the longest races of recent times. Races rarely approach the two-hour limit (introduced in 1989, the 200-mile limit coming 18 years earlier), although they got close in Singapore this year.

The suspension at Korea meant the rule allowing the race duration to be extended was activated, and the race took two hours, 48 minutes, 20.810 seconds to complete.

The wet Monaco Grand Prix two years ago hit the two-hour limit and the year before that a downpour at the Nurburgring saw a race suspension and a total race time of two hours and six minutes.

You have to go back 50 years to find a championship round that took longer to complete. The Indianapolis 500 counted towards the title then, and Jim Rathman won that year’s race a time of 3:36’11.36.

To find a race run to F1 rules that took longer you have to go back one race further, to that year’s Monaco Grand Prix. Stirling Moss won that race, completing 100 laps in 2:53’45.5.

Find the updated 2010 season statistics here.

Spotted any more interesting stats and facts from the Korean Grand Prix weekend? Share them in the comments.

2010 Korean Grand Prix

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119 comments on Korea’s first Grand Prix was the longest for 50 years (Korean GP facts and stats)

  1. I think Vettel will better Schumacher’s most pole position record some day. He is 23 years old, and he already has 14 pole positions under his belt.

    • Baracca said on 25th October 2010, 10:25

      Maybe but it depends on the car also. I don’t believe that the ridiculous advantage RBR has had in quali sessions all this year will continue indefinitely.

    • LewisC said on 25th October 2010, 12:50

      Shame there aren’t points for pole any more, isn’t it… The race is on Sunday, Seb. ;)

  2. Not sure whether it deserves to be posted here, but the Korean Track is the 68th track that has held a Formula 1 championship race since 1950.

  3. colin grayson said on 25th October 2010, 10:48

    nobody notice that the unluckiest driver after vettel was rosberg ? mercedes clearly got the set up just right for the conditions and I reckon that rosberg was heading for at least a podium finish as things worked out ; just look at where schu finished !

    maybe I am wrong but were mercedes adjusting the front suspension settings during the red flag period ? ross strikes again perhaps ?

  4. mastakink said on 25th October 2010, 10:58

    Keith, for your historical stats..

    With an average speed of 109.997 kph, is this the slowest GP ever?

    I know it’s not the ‘true’ averege speed during the race, but it’s the official average speed posted by FIA, obtained dividing the total time (almost 3 hours) by the total length (300 kilometers).

  5. Mark Young said on 25th October 2010, 11:08

    The WDC has been decided at Brazil every year since 2005.

    • yep its interesting how even moving an event from end of season some years that the title still somehow decides its self at the same track, for years it was suzuka now brazil.

      in 05 it was 3 from the end. 06,07,08 it was last and 09 & 10 it was one from last.

    • Brazil is perfect for the title deciding race and I think everyone is with me in hoping the record continues this year :P

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 25th October 2010, 19:20

        Um. No. I think the majority of fans want to see as many drivers in contention as long as possible. It keeps the sport interesting.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th October 2010, 19:03

        Actually I would love it to see 4 drivers still with a good shot at winning it in Abu Dhabi.

        Just imagine having different possibilities during the race and Lewis risking an overtake on Fernando or Vettel barging into Mark to stop him from winning it. Or even Button winning it to enable Hamilton to have a chance to overtake Vettel for the WDC.

  6. M Sakr said on 25th October 2010, 12:04

    According to the man himself, this was Alonso’s first win in the rain!! Believe it or not!

    • sato113 said on 25th October 2010, 12:29

      nope, europe 2007.

    • I think he would say it was a wet-dry-wet race rather than a fully wet race. But it’s still amazing to think he hasn’t actually won that many times in changable or wet conditions, although Hungary 2006 was one of his finest drives.

  7. It’s not a 200 mile limit, it’s a 300km limit!

  8. Paul Gilbert said on 25th October 2010, 13:33

    This is the second time that Alonso has won a race with an official winning time of over 2 hours (the other being the aforementioned 2007 European GP).

    It is also the second time that he has won the race immediately before the Brazilian GP after the leader’s engine failed (in both cases he took the lead in the Championship as a result).

    Plus he is becoming a bit of a night-time specialist – 3 podiums from 3 races in Singapore, and now a brilliant piece of driving in diminishing light. And we still have Abu Dhabi to come…

    And I am sure this has been pointed out before, but Vettel’s retirement seemed very similar to what happened in Bahrain – Alonso passed him just as Martin Brundle commented that his car sounded sick, and Hamilton and Massa also ended up on the podium.

    And as for Red Bull, I believe the last time a team managed a double DNF despite locking out the front row was McLaren in Australia 2000 (they also managed this feat in Australia 1999). However, a more recent case of a double DNF for a team that ran 1st and 2nd for a while was Renault in Canada 2005.

    And finally, this is the second time this season that Hamilton has gained as a result of losing a place – in Canada he was jumped by Vettel after a botched pit stop, and we know what happened next…

  9. If my hunch is right then Lap 4 was the slowest lap in the history of Formula 1.

  10. Andrew White said on 25th October 2010, 15:22

    Alonso leads the championship for the first time since Australia. The championship lead has now changed nine times between five drivers (with Vettel having never led!).

    Red Bull seem to be cursed by their 1-2 finishes. In the following race they have always done badly this year (China, Turkey, Korea).

    After Button’s 12th place, Webber is now the only man to have not finished outside of the points this season. The only time he has not scored has been when he’s retired. Heidfeld also has this record, but has only competed in three races.

    In the last three races there have been 26 retirements (of which two were classified). This is more than there were in the previous six races (25 from Europe to Italy).

    The Korean race was longer than the British and Italian races combined.

    Alonso was the first driver to win from off the front row since China.

    If Red Bull outscore McLaren by 16 points in Brazil, they will clinch the Constructors’ Championship. Finishing 1-2 would be enough to do this.

  11. Hey, I thought Alonso overtook Vettel just before his engine blew up?
    How come everyone seems to think that Alonso was gifted a victory from vettel’s engine failure? And also, Hamilton outbraked himself and went wide, allowing Alonso through… That was no gift either….

    • Pete Walker said on 25th October 2010, 17:01

      Vettel’s engine was already on the way out as he ran down the S/F straight – both commentators and Stefano Domenicali noted it sounded sick on the run down to T1…

    • sato113 said on 25th October 2010, 17:55

      I wonder if HAM could have won had he not let Alonso through. I think ALO would have got him later anyway tbh.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 25th October 2010, 19:28

      As Pete said, Vettel’s engine was already toast. It just hadn’t burst into flames. I didn’t notice it at the time and thought Vettel looked suspiciously laid back about letting Alonso by, but as soon as the showed the replay there was already smoke starting to pour out the back of the RB6 at that point. Vettel let Alonso through on the racing line because he knew he couldn’t defend and was likely done for.

  12. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 26th October 2010, 2:11

    The headline says it all… Well done to all of the Europeans who stayed awake to watch such a long race! :)

  13. Another stat: after this GP, effectively Ferrari has won 100% of the Korean GPs celebrated to date :p

  14. Paul Gilbert said on 26th October 2010, 17:30

    McLaren’s 450th podium.

    This race (Michael Schumacher’s 267th race) came exactly 7000 days after his first (thanks to Wikipedia for that one!).

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