From third to champion: Vettel matches Farina and R??ikk??nen

Abu Dhabi GP stats and facts

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Abu Dhabi, 2010

As well as becoming the youngest ever world champion there are a few other remarkable points about Sebastian Vettel’s championship victory.

First of all, he had never led the championship at any point in his career until he won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He was level with Mark Webber on points after Monaco, but Webber’s greater number of wins meant he was ahead.

He is only the third driver in the history of the world championship to win the title having gone into the final round in third place in the standings. The other two were Giuseppe Farina in 1950 and Kimi R??ikk??nen in 2007.

The season ended with the top four drivers covered by just 16 points. That’s the closest it had been since the Canadian Grand Prix, following which Hamilton, Button, Webber and Alonso were covered by 15 points, with Vettel a further four behind.

At no point during the season did the driver who was leading the world championship win a race. That last driver to do so was Jenson Button at Istanbul last year.

Vettel succeeds Button as the 32nd world champion. For more on his accomplishment as world champion see here:

He is the fifth different driver in as many years to win the world championship. The last comparable streak was from 1976 to 1982 when there was a different world champion for seven consecutive seasons: James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Mario Andretti, Jody Scheckter, Alan Jones, Nelson Piquet and Keke Rosberg.

Vettel began the weekend with his tenth pole position of the year and the 15th of his career. He has now set as many pole positions as Felipe Massa, but in 62 starts to Massa’s 133.

This was his tenth career victory, giving him as many wins as James Hunt, Ronnie Peterson, Jody Scheckter and Gerhard Berger.

Lewis Hamilton beat him to fastest lap, setting the eighth of his career, giving him as many as James Hunt, Gilles Villeneuve and Ralf Schumacher.

McLaren scored points in every race in 2010.

There will be more on the records that were broken this year in the 2010 F1 season review. You can find more statistics from this season here:

And you can compare how every driver performed compared to their team mate throughout 2010 here:

Spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.

2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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77 comments on From third to champion: Vettel matches Farina and R??ikk??nen

  1. Paul Gilbert said on 15th November 2010, 13:19

    Other World Champions to have led the championship only once are John Surtees and James Hunt.

    Have there been any other champions who were behind their team-mate in the standings going into the last race of the season?

    Also, Vettel is unbeaten at Abu Dhabi (as well as being unbeaten at Suzuka) – how many other drivers are unbeaten at a circuit (excluding circuits which only hosted 1 GP)? Schumacher at Aida is one that springs to mind.

  2. This will (hopefully) mark the last race where people for some reason ask “what is the points situation in the old points system”.

  3. Oh, also, congratulations to Vettel. He wsan’t top of my list of people I would have liked to have won it, but he has been absolutely magnificent these past 6 races and seems to have been the only one of the 5 contenders to have stepped up their game towards the end instead of going all accountant-like with the points.

  4. Einar AI said on 15th November 2010, 15:37

    You did not mention that we had five different champions from five different teams in the last 5 years.

    2006 Alonso – Renault
    2007 Raikkonen – Ferrari
    2008 Hamilton – McLaren
    2009 Button – Brawn
    2010 Vettel – Red Bull

  5. ciaran said on 15th November 2010, 16:34

    If the 1991-2002 points system was used,the standings before Abu Dhabi would have been:
    ALONSO 81 (5 WINS)
    WEBBER 76 (4 WINS)
    VETTEL 74 (4 WINS)
    HAMILTON 70 (3 WINS)

    After Abu Dhabi it would have been:
    VETTEL 84 (5 WINS)
    ALONSO 81 (5 WINS)
    WEBBER 76 (4 WINS)
    HAMILTON 76 (3 WINS)

  6. Raymond said on 15th November 2010, 19:00

    I could be wrong on this count, but for the 2nd year running the reigning WDC has won 2 races. The NEW WDC has lead his teammate in 3 1-2s, and he has been lead by his teammate in 1 1-2.

  7. Paul Gilbert said on 15th November 2010, 23:11

    Does Vettel hold the record for shortest length of time between 2 wins? The last 2 races occurred in consecutive weekends, with Abu Dhabi being a lot further east than Brazil, so there was only 165 hours (approximately) between the races.

    • sato113 (@sato113) said on 16th November 2010, 2:26

      Hamilton won Canada and USA in 2007 on consecutive weekends.

    • sato113
      6 hours time difference between brazil (- 2 GMT) to Abu Dhabi (+4 GMT)

      less than 6 hours time difference between Canada/Montreal and USA/Indy.

      paul, not sure if Brazil-AbuDhabi was the shortest lenght of time between 2 GP’s.

  8. Paul Gilbert said on 16th November 2010, 22:16

    Sakon Yamamoto has competed in exactly 7 races in each year that he has competed in F1 (2006, 2007, 2010).

  9. Raymond said on 23rd November 2010, 14:46

    Both Red Bull drivers as well as the team went one better in the standings

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