Fifth pole in a row puts Vettel in sight of Senna’s record

2011 Turkish GP stats and facts

Ayrton Senna, McLaren, 1989

Ayrton Senna, McLaren, 1989

Could Sebastian Vettel match or beat Ayrton Senna’s record of eight consecutive pole positions?

Vettel set his fifth in a row in Turkey this weekend and Red Bull have taken pole in 19 of the last 23 races.

The last driver to set pole in five consecutive races was Fernando Alonso in 2006.

Ayrton Senna set the record for most consecutive pole positions between 1988 and 1989.

Here are the drivers who’ve set more consecutive pole positions than Vettel – quite a few of whom also did so in cars designed by Adrian Newey:

Most consecutive pole positions

Driver Poles Races
Ayrton Senna 8 1988 Spanish GP – 1989 United States GP
Ayrton Senna 7 1990 Spanish GP – 1991 Monaco GP
Alain Prost 7 1993 South African – Canadian GP
Michael Schumacher 7 2000 Italian GP – 2001 Brazilian GP
Niki Lauda 6 1974 Dutch – Italian GP
Ayrton Senna 6 1988 Brazilian – United States GP
Ayrton Senna 6 1989 Belgian – Australian GP
Nigel Mansell 6 1992 South African – Monaco GP
Mika Hakkinen 6 1999 British – Italian GP

Victory number 13 means Vettel enters the top 20 drivers who’ve won the most races, tied with Alberto Ascari and David Coulthard.

Vettel has also led over 80% of the laps so far this year.

While his team mate wins everything else, Mark Webber has bagged fastest lap in the last three races. He now has nine, as many as Denny Hulme, Ronnie Peterson and Jacques Villeneuve did in their F1 careers.

The pair gave Red Bull their ninth one-two finish. The three other teams who have scored more one-twos are a long way ahead: Williams (33), McLaren (47) and Ferrari (81).

The race saw 81 pit stops, even more than was witnessed at the famed 1993 European Grand Prix at Donington Park when on-off rain caused some drivers to make more than half-a-dozen stops each.

Five drivers have out-qualified their team mates in all four races so far this year: Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg, Heikki Kovalainen and Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Alonso finished in the points for the tenth race in a row.

None of the Cosworth-engined cars have scored points so far this year.

On lap 22 Jenson Button started the 10,000th lap of his career. He is the eighth driver to do so.

Most laps raced

Driver Laps
Rubens Barrichello 15784
Michael Schumacher 15121
David Coulthard 12394
Jarno Trulli 11652
Giancarlo Fisichella 11509
Riccardo Patrese 11346
Alain Prost 10540
Jenson Button 10036

Spotted any more interesting stats and facts from the Turkish Grand Prix? Post them in the comments.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

2011 Turkish Grand Prix

Browse all 2011 Turkish Grand Prix articles

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96 comments on Fifth pole in a row puts Vettel in sight of Senna’s record

  1. Leeh1987 said on 9th May 2011, 10:12

    This is why they shouldn’t have DRS at all in Quali. The fact that the red bull DRS system gives a greater speed advantage than Mclaren is a massive advantage in quali as the DRS can be opened whenever whereas its clear to see that the Mclaren is much closer in race pace. Quali would be a lot closer without DRS

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 9th May 2011, 10:32

      I agree, this was my fear at the start of the year.. The current DRS qualifying rules only distinguish between drivers within the same team and in some case when two teams have a similar-performing car.

      I must be the only one to think the DRS rules are fine in the race (apart from the actual placing of the zones) but the qualifying rules are flawed!

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 9th May 2011, 10:34

        Or rather, I think I’m the only one.

        • GameR_K said on 9th May 2011, 10:37

          Considering that the Mercedes DRS is the best of the rest(apart from the glitches they suffer), they should be storming the grid. But ofcourse we all know that it is not enough. So maybe you can point out what this ‘greater speed advantage’ is.

          • Leeh1987 said on 9th May 2011, 10:55

            The Mercedes car is not really competetive in race pace. The DRS of the Merc obv aided quali as Rosberg was a sitting duck in the race with as he struggled with race pace because fundementaly the merc isn’t good enough. DRS put the merc in an grid position that in terms of race pace is false. I believe quali should mirror race pace. What im saying is that if the DRS wasn’t so significant cars wouldn’t get stuck behind slower cars on sundays and quali would be a lot closer

          • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 9th May 2011, 10:56

            Maybe you can point out how we know Mercedes’ is the best too?

            I think the point about Red Bull is their downforce creates so much drag, with the DRS in use everywhere they can somewhat have the best of both worlds (to an extent).

          • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 9th May 2011, 10:57

            Sorry, I misread what you said and get your point.

          • bosyber said on 9th May 2011, 15:06

            Merc is often mentioned to be most powerful in that it sheds most drag, but that doesn’t mean it is the best, ie. most effective, over a race weekend, as it might mean they can’t use it as often as for example Red Bull. Also, they had those design-fault induced aero issues, and practical problems with it working at all. That rather muddles the picture.

        • plushpile said on 9th May 2011, 13:14

          If you want quali to match race pace then you want to watch a procession.

          • Leeh1987 said on 9th May 2011, 14:05

            It can’t possibly be as boring as watching Vettel do an early fast lap in Quali 3 and then get out the car knowing no-one can come close to his time. It’s all very YAWN knowing that red bull will definatley be on pole

          • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 9th May 2011, 14:41

            We don’t need DRS for quali and race pace to be different. It’s been different for decades.

    • VXR said on 9th May 2011, 11:24

      The fact that the red bull DRS system gives a greater speed advantage than Mclaren is a massive advantage in quali

      Then McLaren have to ask themselves: Why is it that Red Bulls DRS system does that? As do all of the other teams.

      This is F1, not GP2.

      The DRS are not a standard spec part. Some are better than others. Make a better one.

      • Leeh1987 said on 9th May 2011, 11:44

        DRS was introduced as an overtaking aid. There is no overtaking in quali so in my opinion it shouldn’t be used in quali.

        Mclaren have a larger flap that yields more downforce and less DRS Potential. Red bull are the opposite in this sense but if DRS was banned in quali i believe RBR would still have the same spec due to the car bing slow in a straight line in general.

        This would even up quali and and raceday and make it more entertaining rather that Vettel getting Pole and running off in the distance whilst the rest of the cars lose time battling it out to get in front of slower cars that start in a false position due to DRS in quali

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th May 2011, 11:50

          This would even up quali

          The FIA should not introduce rules just to disadvantage one team that has done a good job.

          Using DRS well in qualifying is a challenge for drivers and it’s great to watch. Vettel, for example, has often been spotted opening his earlier than Webber.

          I think it’s great how it allows us to see the difference between drivers and there’s no good reason to stop using it in qualifying.

          The races, however, are a different matter. There were yet more ‘motorway passes’ yesterday and I don”t think that’s a good thing for F1.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th May 2011, 13:19

            I agree on that account. It was great seeing Vettel open it at the end of turn 8 (not after the turn, just after the 3rd apex).

            THat is a very nice show of who can/dares. Although the massive downforce of the red bull cars does get highlighted by this in qualifying.

          • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 9th May 2011, 14:46

            But it doesn’t really show the quality of the drivers, except between cars that have a similar performance. Between cars that have a clear difference in downforce/traction, it actually makes the drivers count for less and exacerbates the difference between the cars.

            @VXR I don’t think any team really has that much of a better system (the angle is prescribed by the regulations, after all), but the characteristics of the cars lead to DRS being a greater influence. For example HRT and Virgin probably aren’t getting that much more speed.

        • VXR said on 9th May 2011, 12:49

          Play to the rules.

        • tjs said on 9th May 2011, 16:29

          mclaren are free to design a new DRS then. but the real difference between the 2 is their engine mapping. RBR lean towards gearing that favours qualifying, that is, having 7th gear open enough to gain from the DRS on every straight. in the race this means their gearing is a little compromised (at the straights with no DRS) so mclaren and others appear to catch up on race pace.

  2. Keith, these guys here report only 73 pitstops at Istanbul:

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th May 2011, 10:33

      I could barely read the page so I’ll have to take your word for it that’s what they’re saying.

      The FIA’s pit stop summary says there were 82 visits to pit lane.

      One of those was Pastor Maldonado’s drive-through penalty. I can’t account for a figure of 73.

  3. Dan_the_McLaren_fan (@dan_the_mclaren_fan) said on 9th May 2011, 10:47

    4th race this year, and still not a single SC period. Was there a season when a SC appeared later than that?

  4. Chippie said on 9th May 2011, 10:58

    Am I right in thinking that this is now 6 races without a safety car? Anyone know the records on these things?

  5. devotee said on 9th May 2011, 10:59

    Nurburgring 2007 had more pit stops than Donington 1993.

  6. Bleu (@bleu) said on 9th May 2011, 11:41

    Adrian Sutil and Sergio Perez finished the race with a gap of 0,031 seconds.

  7. Oliver said on 9th May 2011, 14:46

    Might have already been posted in some form but here is the extent of recent Vettel domination:

    Last 9 race results (until Monza):

    Win, Second, Win, Win, Win, Win, (Engine Fail from P1), Win, Second.

    Last 9 Qualifying results (again until Monza)

    Pole, Pole, Pole, Pole, Pole, Second, Pole, Pole, Second.

  8. Keirdre (@keirdre) said on 9th May 2011, 14:53

    Great stats Keith.

    Red Bull’s ninth one-two finish is beaten by three teams…do you mean three active teams, or are they actually fourth in the all-time list?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th May 2011, 15:04

      Check the list – it’s both!

      • Keirdre (@keirdre) said on 9th May 2011, 15:07

        Interesting! They’ve done that incredibly quickly. I can’t believe Brabham, Lotus or Benetton didn’t achieve more.

        Sorry for a being a donut Keith – but where’s the list?

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th May 2011, 15:09

          In the article (it’s not a full list, just those they’re behind).

        • All were guilty of having a clear #1-#2 setup in their teams for the most part. That usually meant the #2 driver was nowhere near the #1 driver’s pace. Of the three teams, only Brabham had a pairing of two world champs (Brabham-Hulme). Clark, Piquet, and Schumacher never had future world champs as teammates (and of the three, Schumacher came closest to having one in Massa).

          Another factor is the lower reliability rates in previous decades (esp. in the case of Lotus).

          • debaser 91 said on 9th May 2011, 19:42

            Clark and Graham Hill were 1-2 in the first race of 1968 for Lotus. Pretty sure if Jim Clark hadn’t have died they would have had several more that season.

  9. Andrew White said on 9th May 2011, 15:01

    Sebastian Vettel’s championship lead of 34 points is the largest since the end of the 2004 season (correct me if I’m wrong). Under the previous points system, his lead would be 14 points.

    Mark Webber’s results this year have been 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd. So maybe he’ll win in Spain?

    No driver has finished second or third more than once, and Mark Webber is the only one to have one of each.

    Vettel’s 2011 tally of 93 points was not reached until after seven races last year, coincidentally this was the Turkish GP.

    • Random statistic – Martin Brundle a 6th, a 5th, a 4th, a 3rd, and a 2nd in his 1994 season with McLaren, but didn’t win a race. He failed to score in all other races that year.

  10. Hamish said on 9th May 2011, 16:05

    You would have to go back to China 2010 to see a driver win from lower than 3rd on the grid (Jenson Button, 5th)

  11. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 9th May 2011, 20:49

    These fact pages are impressive. I wonder if Button realises he has now covered over 10,000 laps? I wonder if Vettel knows he’s making progress on Senna?

    Brilliant stuff.

  12. Mark Hitchcock said on 9th May 2011, 22:55

    There were two cars who crossed the line 0.0 seconds apart according to the live timing. I think it was Sutil and Perez.
    Surely it must have been one of the closest finishes ever. I’m not sure exactly how far apart they were when they crossed the line because on the race results they both just appear as “+1 lap”.

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