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??ikk??nen 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


Browse all 2011 Australian Grand Prix articles

Image ?? Pirelli, Renault/LAT

Advert | Go Ad-free

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

  1. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 28th March 2011, 10:41

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

    An amazing stat when you think of how much we were slagging him off last year!

    • Hare said on 28th March 2011, 11:14

      I love that guy. His response to getting the trophy, he said he was going to go to sleep with it. He did an incredible job!

      What a time to step up to the plate. He didn’t get to 4th out of luck, he was 6th on the grid to start with. He showed some prope nous, and I for one, don’t think he’s getting enough noise made on his behalf what what he’s acheived, and when he’s acheived it.

      ( stats are from memory, memory may be corrupted ;) )

      • Ben N said on 28th March 2011, 11:19

        He’s always made good starts though!

        I must say I was a fan on his after Malaysia last year – but gradually went off him mistake after mistake… Glad he’s doing well now though!

        • Hare said on 28th March 2011, 11:25

          Yeah I know what you mean, I had similar feelings. But my goodness how he’s pulled his socks up :)

      • Alex Bkk said on 28th March 2011, 13:00

        Yeah… what you said about the trophy and the luck. He ran a great race.

    • Alex Bkk said on 28th March 2011, 12:56

      I do like the guy but I’ve been given him a pretty hard time. I promised I’d stop ragging on him if he brought it home in the position that he started.

      Well, he got a great start, ran a good race and ended up with a podium.

      Congrats to Pet! There now my soul is pure again… :)

  2. Did yesterday’s race break the record for most pit-stops?

    • Ben N said on 28th March 2011, 11:17

      I don’t know – but I doubt it did – there were 44 pit stops – which I think has probably been beaten in a dry-wet-dry-wet etc race… though I think this record will be beaten at a circuit such as Montreal.

  3. Hare said on 28th March 2011, 11:27

    72 races?! My old uncle Owen was loyal to Watford FC for nigh on 82 years! That’s real loyalty for you!

    • Hare said on 28th March 2011, 11:30

      YOung ones today eh? They renew their phone contract and they consider that loyalty.. what’s the world coming too? I don’t know… Brrrbrbrbrhuurumph

    • Chippie said on 28th March 2011, 12:32

      Hare – are you a fellow Watford fan?

  4. stubie said on 28th March 2011, 11:29

    So here’s a stat question:

    Interesting podium % stat on Lewis

    had me thinking, with him on podium…

    We know Lewis has won every year in his career?
    Has any other driver won every year of their careers? (or at least first four years?)
    Has any other driver been on podium every year in their careers?

    • Brendan said on 28th March 2011, 12:57

      schumi won races in every FULL season(so not 91) that he competed in i think. Before his comeback.

      that pretty impressive!

      senna must be quite similar. cos he didnt do all the races in his first full season at toleman did he?

      prosts cant be bad either. tho in 91 he didnt win, but again he didnt finish the season.

      • stubie said on 28th March 2011, 13:45

        according to stats, Senna raced full season at Toleman and didn’t win in that year.

        Prost also had first season at McLaren, but not sure if that was complete season

        • Brendan said on 28th March 2011, 15:37

          i thought he missed some once he signed for lotus, i might be wrong tho.

        • Brendan said on 28th March 2011, 15:37

          i thought he missed some once he signed for lotus, i meam missed races for toleman. due to contract issues.

          could be wrong tho

    • Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 28th March 2011, 13:17

      You can add Vettel to that list as well
      2008 Toro Rosso – 1 wins in 1st full year
      2009 Red Bull – 4 wins in 2nd year
      2010 Red Bull – 5 wins in 3rd year
      2011 Red Bull – 1 win so far in 4th year

      Fangio excluding 1952 year won every year
      Drivers with 6 or more consecutive years within atleast 1 win
      Jackie Stewart – 6
      David Coulthard – 7
      Stirling Moss – 7
      Jim Clark – 7
      Nelson Piquet – 8
      Ayrton Senna – 9
      Alain Prost – 10
      Schumacher – 13

  5. devotee said on 28th March 2011, 11:57

    2011 is the 31th consecutive season (record) that McLaren leads a race for at least one lap.

  6. devotee said on 28th March 2011, 12:09

    Does anyone know how many points Massa gained in total after others drivers dsq?

  7. axosf1 (@axosf1) said on 28th March 2011, 12:18

    A boring stat but with Vettel winning the race, Germany now has two drivers to win at Albert Park joining Finland also with two Albert Park winners.

  8. Chippie said on 28th March 2011, 12:41

    David Coulthard turned 40 over the race weekend, Schumacher made a comeback at 41, watch this space.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 28th March 2011, 13:43

      I really doubt it. He’s busy with other things.

    • Oliver said on 28th March 2011, 14:55

      Coulthard was just an ok driver. Nothing extraordinary about his talent. Only a team interested in going backwards will sign him on. But for luck, even Klien trounced him in terms of performance. Results though is another matter, as you can always bump your team mate from behind to claim the points.

  9. Gaston said on 28th March 2011, 13:18

    It’s the first time that Vettel is leading the drivers’ standings before the end of the Championship. Woo hoo!

  10. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 28th March 2011, 13:22

    Like Sergio Perez, Kubica also made his debut with Sauber and was disqualified in his first race too. I think Perez will have at least as bright future as Kubica’s.

  11. Pete said on 28th March 2011, 13:26

    How many starts does Sutil have?

    • Pete said on 28th March 2011, 13:28

      I just looked it up, he’s got 72 as well. And would be tied if his team hadn’t changed ownership.

  12. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 28th March 2011, 13:43

    “The return of Pirelli meant we had our first non-Bridgestone win since Alonso won for Renault on Michelin tyres at Suzuka in 2006.” Probably not an unexpected win ;)

    A good bunch of interesting facts!

  13. Ral (@ral) said on 28th March 2011, 14:23

    Anoraks. The lot of you.

    (but it’s really interesting, please keep ‘m coming! :) )

  14. The Edge (@the-edge) said on 28th March 2011, 14:24

    the thing is how many rookies go straight into a top seat?

    yep…2

    and out of them how many are the best in the world?

    yep…just 1…lewis

    I don’t see him or Seb moving on any time soon

  15. Oliver said on 28th March 2011, 14:58

    Hulkenberg is the first former GP2 champion to lose his F1 race seat. Only one former champion didn’t make it to F1 after his win.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.