Hamilton matches Clark’s record of team loyalty

2011 Australian GP stats & facts

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Melbourne, 2011

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Melbourne, 2011

Lewis Hamilton reached an historic milestone in the Australian Grand Prix.

It was his 72nd start for McLaren, meaning he now shares the record for the longest F1 career spent driving for a single team with Jim Clark.

But while Clark took nine years to amass 72 starts for Lotus in world championship races, Hamilton has equalled the tally at the start of his fifth season.

Sebastian Vettel scored his first hat-trick of wins, adding his Australian victory to the two he scored at the end of last year. Indeed, he’s won four of the last five races.

It moves his wins total up to 11, giving him as many as Jacques Villeneuve, Felipe Massa and Rubens Barrichello.

The last time the reigning champion won the first race of the year was Fernando Alonso in 2006. That was also the last time a driver successfully defended their title.

Vettel also bagged his 20th podium finish and 16th pole position – the latter matching the totals of Kimi R?â?ńikk?â?Ânen and Stirling Moss.

Vettel’s pole position time of 1’23.529 (an average speed of 228.552kph) was the fastest-ever lap of the Albert Park circuit in an F1 race weekend, almost four-tenths faster than the previous best also set by Vettel last year.

However the fastest lap in the race (Felipe Massa, 1’28.947) was almost five seconds slower than the record set by Michael Schumacher in 2004, of 1’24.125. The Drag Reduction System, tyres that degrade more rapidly and the refuelling ban explain much of the difference.

That was Massa’s first fastest lap since Monaco 2009. He’s racked up 13 in his career, as many as Jacky Ickx, Alan Jones and Riccardo Patrese.

Until this weekend Red Bull had never been on the podium at Melbourne. Vettel put that to an end, but Mark Webber once again failed to better his first result in his home race – fifth for Minardi in 2002.

Rubens Barrichello set a new record for starting more seasons than any other driver. He has raced every year since 1993, giving him a record 19 seasons, beating the previous record of 18 set by Graham Hill.

Assuming the FIA’s decision to exclude Sauber from the results is upheld, Paul di Resta became the 70th driver to score a world championship point in his first race.

That mark should have fallen to Sergio Perez. Instead he and team mate Kamui Kobayshi became the first drivers to be disqualified from a race since Lewis Hamilton at the same circuit two years earlier.

Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Melbourne, 2011

Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Melbourne, 2011

Vitaly Petrov scored his first Formula 1 podium – and the first for a Russian driver – in his 20th start.

The return of Pirelli meant we had our first non-Bridgestone win since Alonso won for Renault on Michelin tyres at Suzuka in 2006. Pirelli made their first appearance in an F1 race since Australia 1991 and won their first race since Canada 1991.

Spotted any other interesting statistics and facts from the Australian Grand Prix weekend? Share them in the comments.

F1 Fanatic’s 2011 season statistics pages will be launched ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

2011 Australian Grand Prix


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171 comments on Hamilton matches Clark’s record of team loyalty

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  1. This is the article I have most been waiting for!

  2. Louis said on 28th March 2011, 8:43

    Didn’t David Coulthard stay with McLaren for 8 years?

    • Meander said on 28th March 2011, 8:47

      Coulthard didn’t spend his entire carreer at one team though. Hamilton (so far) has.

      • Louis said on 28th March 2011, 8:53

        Oh. Who’s to blame for the ambiguity?

        • Louis said on 28th March 2011, 8:57

          Looking at Twitter, I’m not the only one who understood the article wrong. So… *looks at the author*

          • Andy W (@andy-w) said on 28th March 2011, 9:27

            I am with you mate, this article isn’t particularly well articulated (a rarity for F1 Fanatic)

          • I agree, it is always be the author’s fault when I don’t understand something.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th March 2011, 9:47

          I think the second sentence spells it out quite plainly:

          “the record for the longest F1 career spent driving for a single team”

          What exactly about that is confusing you?

          • fordsrule (@fordsrule) said on 28th March 2011, 11:03

            How many races did Schumacher do with Ferrari? Or doesnt that count as he has driven for other teams? Same as Hakkinen.

          • Puffy (@puffy) said on 28th March 2011, 11:19

            I must admit to being slightly confused when I first read it as well. I think in part because it’s such an obscure statistic (still interesting though, just not the first thing that springs to mind). It doesn’t really show team loyalty, what it shows to me is that Hamilton was fortunate enough to start his Formula 1 career for a very competitive team.

            I would have phrased it as “… driving for only one team”, since I don’t feel that amassing X starts for a single team excludes having started for others.

            I feel like this is going to come across as annoyingly grammar-nazi’ish, I hope not. Although I do find it interesting how language can be interpreted in so many ways.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th March 2011, 11:23

            I think in part because it’s such an obscure statistic

            Given the recent hyped-up talk about Hamilton upping sticks to Red Bull I thought it was quite pertinent.

          • Puffy (@puffy) said on 28th March 2011, 11:46

            Obscure, not irrelevant. It’s just an unusual record since when I think of a record, I think of something that someone would need to come a long and break. However in this case, the record would no longer be a record if Hamilton raced for another team, it wouldn’t be broken, just cease to be a record. My point was that because of the unusual nature of the record, it wasn’t the first thing that sprung to mind. :)

            As a complete change of subject, is there a limit on the depth of a comment tree, since I notice I can’t reply to the above comment.

          • Louis said on 28th March 2011, 12:28

            Obviously I and a lot of your readers were confused because our brains probably interpreted “F1 career” as career within the F1 team, not within F1 as a whole.

            I would’ve written it as “the record for the longest F1 career spent entirely driving for one team”, but hey, maybe I should make my own F1 site, with blackjack!

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th March 2011, 12:36

            Fair enough (and nice Futurama reference, someone knows how to get around me…)

          • David BR said on 28th March 2011, 12:59

            It’s kind of difficult to phrase for sure, but the statistic is relevant given the talk of a move to RBR, say, and Lewis’s own insistence on loyalty (including the recent chat with Whitmarsh).

            Loyalty is admirable but not when it’s blind. And given McLaren have almost been his ‘parents’ I get the feeling that a move elsewhere would be good for Hamilton’s development, however good the McLaren car this year or next.

          • Adrian Sutil would also be matching Lewis and Jim had Spyker not been bought out in 2007 (assuming the team had survived this long without the buyout).

          • mfDB said on 28th March 2011, 15:16

            I had to read it twice because my mind automatically thought ‘career’ and not ‘single team’, but it was quite clear after reading it a second time…..

          • Daniel said on 28th March 2011, 19:07

            I also had the same impression reading the article. But I admit the text is perfect and I read it too fast at first. I also remembered Schumacher’s 100+ starts with Ferrari, but then I realized he was talking about drivers who raced for only one team during their whole careers.

            That’s a funny record: it’ll be ‘provisional’ until Hamilton retires, because if he ever drivers for another team, he loses it.

          • Fixy (@fixy) said on 14th April 2011, 13:50

            Keith don’t be touchy. Everyone can do mistakes and you can (not in this case though) make confusing sentences.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th April 2011, 14:10

            I wasn’t being touchy, I was literally asking what wasn’t clear. I took care to write the article as clearly as possible and I was disappointed some people were confused.

            Frankly, I think the eagerness to make a correction explains some of the confusion.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th March 2011, 8:47

      Read the article again…

      • zerogee said on 28th March 2011, 9:12

        Because Keith is in a slightly obtuse mood…(he’s either tired and grumpy or typing ‘read it again’ with a sly grin on his face)

        Scribe has, it by the way, but I’ll be long-winded.

        Lewis has ONLY ever driven for McLaren in F1 the same way that Jim Clark ONLY drove for Lotus.

        So…

        While Michael Schumacher was at Ferrari for donkey’s years and *won* 72 races for Ferrari (he started alround double that amount), he also drove for Benetton and now Mercedes (and, some might say, the FIA), Lewis has been with one team his entire career and has matched Jim Clark’s single-teamedness.

        Here’s hoping Lewis leaves the sport in a much less unfortunate way than Jimmy Clark…

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th March 2011, 9:21

        Good thing you warned. I had to read that three times to get it :-(

        I bet Hamilton is not feeling like moving away from them right now.

      • Maciek said on 28th March 2011, 12:51

        I’ll agree to an extent with the complainers, but only a bit: it’s a nitpicky thing to complain about, it’s not too hard to figure out what it means and it’s a tricky thing to word concisely. Maybe: “record for the longest career spent driving with his first F1 team” hmm, not that great, maybe: “record for the longest F1 career spent driving for his original team”? No offense though, Keith – your writing is excellent, especially given how much you produce in the days surrounding a race weekend!

        • snowman said on 28th March 2011, 13:52

          excellent article as usual but agree is a bit confusing, couldn’t figure out how the Hamilton stat was right until read some of the comments!

      • Haha, this is like with the iPhone and the death grip – you’re holding it wrong.

        There’s nothing wrong with the article, you’re all reading it wrong!

  3. Ferrero (@ferrero) said on 28th March 2011, 8:51

    This is the first time since Turkey 2009 that the leader of the World Championship has won a race (if you consider Vettel the leader, as by virtue of the #1 on his car he was listed first coming into the weekend).

  4. Didn’t Senna stay at McLaren for 6 years, totalling some 96 GPs?

  5. Stephen Jones (@aus_steve) said on 28th March 2011, 8:55

    wow.. didn’t even think of this

  6. Enigma (@enigma) said on 28th March 2011, 8:55

    So double DSQ yesterday, Hamilton in 2009, and there was also Barrichello in 2008. So the last 3 disqualifications all happened in Melbourne.

    And on another note, I remember watching my first GP2 Asia race in Qatar in 2009, and I remember only 4 people – Hulkenberg winning, Perez and Petrov on the podium, and Kobayashi crashing massively at the start. According to wikipedia, D’Ambrosio and Maldonado raced in that season as well. And who of those 6 is the only one not racing in f1 this year? Yep, the race winner…

  7. Dave Blanc said on 28th March 2011, 9:09

    What about Chandok for the quickest time taken to write off their car in a F1 season? I can’t recall a quicker one…

  8. Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 28th March 2011, 9:12

    Perez, like Kubica, finished 7th on debut but was subsequently DSQ’d on a technicality. (Kubica was disqualified after Hungary 2006 for an underweight car IIRC)

    • Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 28th March 2011, 9:13

      Also both were driving for what is effectively the same team…

      • OEL said on 28th March 2011, 9:23

        Wow, Sauber must learn to avoid that…

        • verstappen said on 28th March 2011, 10:35

          Yeah, however in the case of Kubica it was more a communications failure: they should have advised him to get the ‘pick up rubber’ by driving over the marbles after the race. That would’ve added the extra weight he needed. At least, that’s what Niki Lauda said at the time and I cannot imagine him to be wrong…

          • Damon (@damon) said on 28th March 2011, 10:57

            Well, we all know one has to do it after the race :) Too bad Kubi didn’t (or he simply forgot) and his team failed to advise him appropriately as all other teams do.

          • phildick (@phildick) said on 28th March 2011, 12:35

            Not entirely true. The final examination by Sauber revealed that Kubica’s fire extinguisher was damaged and leaked out during the race, thus causing the underweight.

          • Damon (@damon) said on 28th March 2011, 14:36

            Oh, I didn’t know that, Phildick!

      • Paul Gilbert said on 28th March 2011, 13:36

        And on both occasions Felipe Massa scored the fastest lap and was eventually classified 7th.

    • DVC (@dvc) said on 28th March 2011, 9:38

      How many drivers have been disqualified from their debut race?

  9. DVC (@dvc) said on 28th March 2011, 9:37

    I believe this is the first time since Diniz and Hill for Arrows, that two drivers have finished outside the 107% while the rule was in operation. Hill was allowed to race. Can anyone say when the last time both drivers from a team participated in qualifying but failed to qualify, and weren’t allowed to race?

    • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 28th March 2011, 10:16

      Probably the two Pacific’s at some stage in 1994…that my friends was a woeful team! Seeing as Australia was the last race in 94 I’ll say Austaralia!

      • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 28th March 2011, 10:29

        The 107% rule has only been in operation since 1996. I think both Fortis fell foul of it on a few occasions that season before the team eventually folded.

        But I believe the last time two cars from the same team fell outside 107% and weren’t allowed to race was the much-beloved Mastercard Lola team, at Melbourne in 1997.

      • ajokay (@ajokay) said on 28th March 2011, 10:31

        Nope, it was the 2 Orange Arrows cars in France in 2002

        • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 28th March 2011, 10:32

          Well remembered. I’d forgotten about that one. They deliberately drove incredibly slowly so they wouldn’t have to race, as they couldn’t afford to.

          • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 28th March 2011, 10:38

            That was such a farce. Arrows were never a very good team but it was still sad to see them dying so publicly

          • ajokay (@ajokay) said on 28th March 2011, 11:01

            However, the last driver (rather than both members of the same team) to not qualify was Alex Yoong in Germany 2002 – the race after France 2002 (see first comment).

          • RIISE (@riise) said on 28th March 2011, 16:24

            Arrows were an awesome team with an awesome livery.

      • Damon (@damon) said on 28th March 2011, 10:40

        Haha, GeeMac – Hill and Diniz were teammates in 1997, therefore 1994 couldn’t have been the last time since 1997. :)

        And just looking at the Australian GP in Melbourne:
        In 1996 – both Forti-Fords of Badoer and Montermini didn’t qualify
        In 1997 – both Lola-Fords of Sospiri and Rosset didn’t qualify

        Both Fortis failed to qualify together as many as 5 times in 1996.

        This also happend to Minardi and Arrows in the French GP of 1999. But all four drivers were allowed to race.
        Exactly the same thing (with the same lack of consequences) happend to Minardi and Arrows in the Belgian GP of 2001.

        And the last instance of two cars from one team not qualifying was in 2002, when the Arrows team deliberately failed to qualify for the 2002 French Grand Prix due to financial problems.

    • Sorry guys, but Hill qualified inside the 107% time at the Australian GP in 1997, just, but he did.

      However, your stat is still correct, I believe, as both the Mastercard Lolas failed to qualify

    • Magny-Couers 1999 was the last time before Magny-Couers 2002 that 2 or more drivers finished outside the 107% when the rule was in operation. Five drivers (Damon Hill’s Jordan, both Arrowses (Pedro de la Rosa and Toransuke Takagi) and both Minardis (Luca Badoer and Marc GenĂ©) were outside the 107% rule. The wet/dry session had made it difficult to judge timings for doing fastest runs and some had other problems (notably, Damon Hill got through 3 engines in the qualifying hour, which may itself be a record). All five were allowed on the grid, but they were arranged in race number order. This meant that the unlucky Minardis, despite setting a faster time than the Arrowses, ended up starting behind them on the grid.

      Probably just as well for Hispania that F1 is steering clear of France this year ;)

      • Just to add insult to injury, Takagi managed to get disqualified from the race anyway. Damon and Marc were among the numerous retirements, but Luca overtook Pedro in their battle for the last two finishing places (10th and 11th) in the race.

      • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 28th March 2011, 16:25

        I thought it was Spa 2001, when loads of drivers were caught out by the track drying late on…. Frentzen qualified 4th for Prost!!

  10. dam00r (@dam00r) said on 28th March 2011, 9:38

    However the fastest lap in the race (Felipe Massa, 1’28.947) was almost five seconds slower than the record set by Michael Schumacher in 2004, of 1’24.125. The Drag Reduction System, tyres that degrade more rapidly and the refuelling ban explain much of the difference.

    And V10’s.

    • Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 28th March 2011, 10:43

      Actually to add – since 2007 the Australian fast lap got slower but qualifying lap got quicker. In 2007 FLAP was 0.091 seconds quicker than qualifying lap in 2011 FLAP was 5.427 seconds slower than qualifying

      FLAP
      2007 1.25.235
      2008 1.27.418
      2009 1.27.706
      2010 1.28.358
      2011 1.28.947

      Qualifying
      2007 1.25.326
      2008 1.25.187
      2009 1.24.783
      2010 1.23.919
      2011 1.23.520

  11. BrawnGP said on 28th March 2011, 9:39

    Cant beleieve some people cant understand the article!

  12. Oliver said on 28th March 2011, 9:44

    Statistics like consecutive wins or first win when you are the only one competing as a tyre supplier, are just so pointless but of course that shouldn’t stop them proudly claiming the win, after all they competed for it. :-)

  13. Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 28th March 2011, 9:58

    Petrov is the first podium debutant for an incredible 41 races, since Sebastian Vettel at the 2008 Italian GP.

    It’s incredible to think there were no new podium finishers in the topsy turvy 2009 season in particular, but unless my brain is letting me down there wasn’t. Here’s a list of when all of the 2011 drivers have taken their first ever podium, or best result:

    Vitaly Petrov: Australia 2011
    Sebastian Vettel: Italy 2008
    Timo Glock: Hungary 2008
    Nico Rosberg: Australia 2008
    Heikki Kovalainen: Japan 2007
    Lewis Hamilton: Australia 2007
    Felipe Massa: Europe 2006
    Mark Webber: Monaco 2005
    Jenson Button: Malaysia 2004
    Fernando Alonso: Malaysia 2003
    Nick Heidfeld: Brazil 2001
    Jarno Trulli: Europe 1999
    Rubens Barrichello: Pacific 1994
    Michael Schumacher: Mexico 1992
    Adrian Sutil: N/A (best result 4th Italy 2009)
    Narain Karthikeyan: N/A (best result: 4th US 2005)
    Kamui Kobayashi: N/A (best result: 6th x 2)
    Tonio Liuzzi: N/A (best result: 6th x 2)
    Sebastien Buemi: N/A (best result: 7th x 2)
    Jaime Alguersuari: N/A (best result: 9th x 2)
    Paul di Resta: N/A (best result 10th Australia 2011)
    Jerome D’Ambrosio: N/A (best result: 14th Australia 2011)
    Pastor Maldonado: N/A (best result: DNF Australia 2011)
    Sergio Perez: N/A (best result: DSQ Australia 2011)

    And other drivers to take their podium over the last 10 seasons:

    Nelson Piquet jr: Germany 2008
    Robert Kubica: Italy 2006
    Tiago Monteiro: US 2005
    Takuma Sato: US 2004
    Kimi Raikkonen: Australia 2002

    I’m sure I’ve made some mistakes/ omissions. If so, feel free to correct me!

  14. dutch in sweden (@dutch-in-sweden) said on 28th March 2011, 10:25

    I stand corrected

  15. Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 28th March 2011, 10:36

    I know it is boring stat/record and likely will be broken every race till Kubica is back or Heidfeld kicked out.

    Heidfeld extended his record of most race starts without a win to 175

    MSC podium % dropped from 61.6% back to 57.0% since his return – 2nd active driver is Hamilton with 51.4% and 3rd is Alonso with 39.4%.

    With help of new point system Hamilton now broke through the 500 career points barrier and is ranked 9th with Button at 549 7th, Barrichello at 654 4th, Alonso at 841 2nd and Schumacher at 1441 1st

    • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 28th March 2011, 10:44

      Talking of boring stats, Nick Heidfeld’s run of consecutive race finishes is already back up to 5…

      • james_mc said on 28th March 2011, 18:17

        Aaah curse you stoopid Flanders! I was going to jump in with that one!

        Reminds me of my favourite statistic from the 2009 Japanese GP Facts and Stats:

        Nick Heidfeld has now finished one (1) race in a row, closing in on his previous record.

    • Klon (@klon) said on 28th March 2011, 11:39

      Heidfeld extended his record of most race starts without a win to 175

      Which he still doesn’t have, Andrea De Cesaris is 39 entries ahead.

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