Vettel equals record for best start to a season

2011 Monaco GP stats and facts

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monaco, 2011

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monaco, 2011

No driver in F1 history has made a better start to a season than Sebastian Vettel has over the first six races of 2011.

Five wins and a second place from the first six races is as good as any driver has done at the start of a season.

Here’s how he stacks up so far against the drivers who made the best starts to a season:

Year Driver 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
2011 Sebastian Vettel 1 1 2 1 1 1
1994 Michael Schumacher 1 1 1 1 2 1 1
1992 Nigel Mansell 1 1 1 1 1 2 DNF
2009 Jenson Button 1 1 3 1 1 1 1
2002 Michael Schumacher 1 3 1 1 1 1 2
1965 Jim Clark 1 NE 1 1 1 1 1
1969 Jackie Stewart 1 1 DNF 1 1 1 2
2004 Michael Schumacher 1 1 1 1 1 DNF 1
1954 Juan Manuel Fangio 1 NE 1 1 4 1 1
1952 Alberto Ascari NE DNF 1 1 1 1 1

DNF: Did not finish; DNS: Did not start; NE: Not entered

Read more about those drivers’ achievements here.

Vettel started from his 20th career pole position, which gives him as many as Fernando Alonso and Damon Hill.

It was his 11th consecutive front row start and Red Bull’s seventh pole position in a row.

His 15th race win puts him on a par with Lewis Hamilton.

For Red Bull it was their 20th victory. They are ninth in the list of all time winners, behind Tyrrell with 23.

Jenson Button gave McLaren their 10,000th lap in the lead of a race. They are only the second team to achieve this, the other being Ferrari.

McLaren also scored points for the 25th race in a row – the entirety of the Button-Hamilton partnership.

Remarkably for two of the most famous and prestigious names in motor racing, Ferrari have not won the Monaco Grand Prix in the last ten attempts. Here’s how they’ve fared since Michael Schumacher last won for them in 2001:

Year Highest car Driver
2002 2nd Michael Schumacher
2003 3rd Michael Schumacher
2004 3rd Rubens Barrichello
2005 7th Michael Schumacher
2006 5th Michael Schumacher
2007 3rd Felipe Massa
2008 3rd Felipe Massa
2009 3rd Kimi R??ikk??nen
2010 4th Felipe Massa
2011 2nd Fernando Alonso

Mark Webber set the tenth fastest lap of his career, four of which have come this season. He now has as many as Graham Hill, John Surtees and Mario Andretti.

Kamui Kobayashi achieved his best ever finish with fifth place.

Williams finally scored their first points of the year courtesy of Rubens Barrichello.

The safety car made its first appearance of 2011.

Despite a troubled race, Lewis Hamilton finished in the points for the tenth time in a row, Fernando Alonso has been in the points for 12 consecutive races.

Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen and Vitantonio Liuzzi are the only drivers who have out-qualified their team mate in every race this year.

Vitaly Petrov failed to reach Q3 for the first time in 2011.

Mercedes failed to score for the second time this year.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2011 Monaco Grand Prix

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95 comments on Vettel equals record for best start to a season

  1. Paul Gilbert said on 30th May 2011, 12:42

    I believe Jim Clark’s DNS should be NE (he was busy winning the Indy 500). Curious fact about that race (Monaco 1965) – only 2 of the 17 drivers in that race (Lorenzo Bandini, Jo Bonnier) had a flag featuring a colour other than red, white or blue.

    This race is the first to have been red flagged for a reason other than rain since Brazil 2003 (when Webber crashed and Alonso then crashed into the wreckage). The last dry race to be red-flagged was Belgium 2001 (Luciano Burti had a crash early on).

    Interestingly, this is not the first time that a potential 3-way battle for the lead at Monaco has been ruined by a red flag – in 1984, Stefan Bellof and Ayrton Senna (both of whom are sadly no longer with us) were rapidly catching Alain Prost in the rain, but the race was red-flagged before they reached him. On this occasion only half points were awarded, and Prost ended up missing out on the title (to Niki Lauda, who failed to score in Monaco) by 0.5 points. Whether or not Senna or Bellof would have won the race had it gone the full distance is of course one of the great unknowns of F1.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th May 2011, 12:58

      I believe Jim Clark’s DNS should be NE

      Yes it should be, have changed it.

    • Damon (@damon) said on 30th May 2011, 16:56

      Curious fact about that race (Monaco 1965) – only 2 of the 17 drivers in that race (Lorenzo Bandini, Jo Bonnier) had a flag featuring a colour other than red, white or blue.

      Oh, man, that’s one of the sneakiest trivia ever!

  2. jess said on 30th May 2011, 13:05

    He is alot better than he was last year that is for sure. He has come a long way from when he started at lill redbull. I hate to see someone become number 2 driver but lets be honest at this stage in the game it looks as though Seb is their best shot over Webber hands down.

    • Ross said on 30th May 2011, 13:24

      Its been made quite clear in from Red Bull themselves that the RB7 was built around Seb, so it would be an even greater challenge for Web to be beating Seb. Not to mention that is seem Vet can’t put a foot wrong this year. Swings and roundabouts.

  3. debaser91 said on 30th May 2011, 13:12

    I think the dominance Vettel is currently displaying is another reason for Hamilton’s outburst yesterday. His frustation was evident; Vettel’s equalled him in career wins and looks nailed on to win the title, and Hamilton knows full well if he was in that second Red Bull he’d be competing and pushing Vettel very hard every week.

    I think over a season I would even pick Hamilton for the title (marginally). What is certain is he’d be closer to Vettel than Webber is at the moment

    • VXR said on 30th May 2011, 13:20

      Hamilton’s other problem is that he’s also got pressure from his team mate with regard to overall points scored. Something that Alonso and Vettel can relax about to some degree.

    • Ross said on 30th May 2011, 13:25

      Button showed that they can challenge Red Bull, the mistakes Ham made in the McLaren, he would of made in the Red Bull as well.

      • debaser91 said on 30th May 2011, 13:36

        The Red Bull is a quicker car than the Mclaren. Yes Mclaren have closed the gap but the Red Bull still has the edge.

        Hamilton overdrove his car massively this weekend because he was trying to force a result that just wasn’t possible, he gets it wrong from time to time but I would be surprised if Button beat him over the course of the season, Lewis is just that bit quicker.

        VXR you raise a good point that Button is certainly competitive against Hamilton, he has stepped up since he won his title and Vettel (this season) and Alonso will usually finish ahead of their teammates so there is less pressure definitely.

        I would be fascinated to see how Vettel would behave if Hamilton was his teammate, it won’t happen but we saw Alonso throw his toys out of the pram when Lewis proved to be capable of matching him in the same car, I would love to see how Vettel would react in that situation.

  4. VXR said on 30th May 2011, 13:16

    Vettel has lost only 7 points out of a possible 150 from 6 races. And some would say that he only lost those points due to a poor strategy.

    I think that more records will be broken this season.

  5. smithyF1 (@smithyf1) said on 30th May 2011, 13:22

    I think we will have to get used to this dominance from Vettel. It pains me to say this; as I really thought that it would be the year of the British in Formula One this year!

  6. snowman said on 30th May 2011, 13:39

    Vettel has probably also attained the record for luckiest weekend ever after Monaco!

  7. BBT (@bbt) said on 30th May 2011, 13:42

    Mclaren will win the next two races (they should of won the last two).

    • VXR said on 30th May 2011, 13:55

      Should’ve, Could’ve, Would’ve has no place in F1.

      • BBT (@bbt) said on 30th May 2011, 14:12

        Yes it does. The point is they have the pace to win and they will.

        • VXR said on 30th May 2011, 14:21

          My point being that there will be more ‘Could’ve, Should’ve, Would’ve’ arguments when they don’t.

          • BBT (@bbt) said on 30th May 2011, 19:43

            Well there shouldn’t be ;-)
            Are you saying they don’t have the pace to win?
            If they don’t win one of the next two on merit they will only win when the others self destruct and Vettel will have won the championship by the summer break.
            In the last two races they have had much better race pace and I mean much better. A lot of luck, some skill and a car fast out of the corners onto the straight are what has saved RBR.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 31st May 2011, 1:21

            They have the pace to win, but their team and drivers screw up more than Vettel and Red Bull.

  8. TheNikii (@thenikii) said on 30th May 2011, 14:14

    BTW when was the last dry race that got red flagged? There must be something since tragic Imola ’94, I just don’t know.
    Oh and has any race been restared with just 7.7% of distance to go?

  9. mild7nick said on 30th May 2011, 14:27

    I actually think Mclaren are capable of the kind of comeback that Red Bull achieved in 2009 even if it will prove to be too late.

    The problem with Mclaren is that a quick car isnt enough for them, even with that they manage to shoot themselves in the foot as proved in qualy this weekend when they threw away any chance Lewis had of a shot at winning.

    They are too clever for their own good, you can tell its a team dictated by a red tape culture. They dont think on their feet enough to outfox Red Bull. China being the exception

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 30th May 2011, 14:59

      When you have a “quick” car that’s still up to a second slower, you have to gamble. Sometimes gambles don’t work out.

      • VXR said on 30th May 2011, 15:11

        The thing is that there was no need to gamble. There was no real benefit in saving a set of tyres. Which was more than demonstrated during the race.

        In the meantime, the Vettel steam roller, rolls on.

    • Klaas said on 30th May 2011, 15:51

      I think the next 2-3 races are crucial for the championship. If Vettel raises his finger in all of them, the other teams will stop developing their current car and turn to 2012. It will be interesting to see if Vettel can beat Hamilton to Montreal pole.

      • Adrian J said on 30th May 2011, 20:27

        I think Vettel might get pole in Montreal, but I’ll stick my neck out and predict a McLaren 1-2.

        In race pace they’re just so much faster in a straight line that they’ll nail the RBR’s down Montreal’s long straights.

  10. VXR said on 30th May 2011, 14:42

    The problem with Mclaren is that a quick car isnt enough for them, even with that they manage to shoot themselves in the foot as proved in qualy this weekend when they threw away any chance Lewis had of a shot at winning.

    One side of the garage chose to take a gamble. That side of the garage ‘all’ agreed on the strategy. It didn’t pay off. That’s not ‘McLaren’ shooting itself in the foot.

  11. Fixy (@fixy) said on 30th May 2011, 15:33

    Vitaontio

    Already Vitantonio isn’t a wonderful name, let alone Vitaontio

  12. d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 30th May 2011, 16:17

    Starting to feel a bit like 92 :/

  13. Alfalfa (@alfalfa) said on 30th May 2011, 17:03

    In the first 6 races of the season, 6 drivers have scored in the points each time: Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Button, Alonso, Kobayashi

  14. Bleu said on 30th May 2011, 17:09

    While thinking that in Monaco attrition rate is usually bigger than average, I noted that before the race we had nine drivers who had finished every race – and we still have: Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Button, Alonso, Heidfeld, Sutil, Kobayashi and Buemi.

  15. Kimster said on 30th May 2011, 17:12

    Not Kobayashi, got DSQ in AUS

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