Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monaco, 2011

Vettel equals record for best start to a season

2011 Monaco GP stats and factsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

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

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

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

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

          1. 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.

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

  3. 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?

    1. Spa 2001 to your first question.

  4. 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

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

      1. 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.

    2. 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.

      1. 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.

  5. 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.

    1. Having the fastest car in the race and not winning is shooting yourself in the foot.

  6. Vitaontio

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

  7. Starting to feel a bit like 92 :/

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

  9. 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.

  10. Not Kobayashi, got DSQ in AUS

    1. He still finished, he just wasn’t classified.

  11. “Jenson Button gave McLaren their 10,000th lap in the lead of a race. ”

    This is wrong, Lewis Hamilton gave McLaren their 10.000th lead lap at the previous race.

    1. Sorry but I’m going to believe Keith on this one, especially as he’s in good company including Martin Brundle and, oh yes, Martin Whitmarsh:

        1. That’s not an official site.

          Again, I hold the word of the McLaren Team Principal in an official press release as holding slightly more authority.

          1. McLaren Team Principal is a human and he can make mistakes.

  12. Vettel is homing in on the title like a bull to a red flag.

  13. Was this the first time that the podium consisted of drivers who have all won races with atleast two different teams?
    I tried to think back to a previous example of such a feat occurring but couldn’t find any. I guess it has indeed been really long.

    1. Paul Gilbert
      31st May 2011, 23:14

      Italy 2009 had Barrichello, Button, Raikkonen (it could be argued that Button had only won for the same team in 2 different guises, but Honda and Brawn are officially considered different teams).

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