Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, McLaren, 1989

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

2011 Turkish GP stats and factsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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”

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

    1. Check the list – it’s both!

      1. 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?

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

        2. 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).

          1. debaser 91
            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.

  4. Andrew White
    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.

    1. 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.

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

  6. 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.

  7. Mark Hitchcock
    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”.

    1. ah, of course I should have checked the F1fanatic results rather than the F1.com ones :P
      A gap of 0.031

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