Jenson Button, McLaren, Montreal, 2011

Button scores tenth win in longest ever race

2011 Canadian GP stats & factsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jenson Button, McLaren, Montreal, 2011
Jenson Button, McLaren, Montreal, 2011

Jenson Button won the Canadian Grand Prix by taking the lead on the last lap.

The last time that happened was the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix, when Kimi R??ikk??nen passed Giancarlo Fisichella to win.

Button was the first driver to win having only led the final lap since Fisichella’s victory in the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Nelson Piquet won the Canadian Grand Prix 20 years ago in similar fashion, passing Nigel Mansell’s stricken Williams on the final lap to claim victory.

Button became the 32nd F1 driver to score ten Grand Prix wins. He now has as many as James Hunt, Ronnie Peterson, Jody Scheckter and Gerhard Berger.

He scored his third victory for McLaren, all of which have come in races affected by rain.

And he achieved his fourth fastest lap, putting him level with Jo Siffert, Jean-Pierre Beltoise, Patrick Depailler and Jean Alesi.

No points for Alonso and Hamilton

Fernando Alonso started from the front row for the first time since Singapore last year. But his string of 12 races in the points came to an end in the race. Likewise Lewis Hamilton failed to score for the first time in ten races.

Hamilton’s failure to finish means only Button and the two Red Bull drivers have completed the race distance in every Grand Prix this year.

Pastor Maldonado and the Lotus, Virgin and HRT drivers are yet to complete a race distance this year.

Michael Schumacher equalled his best result since returning to F1 with fourth. He now has as many points in the championship as team mate Nico Rosberg.

Eighth place was Jaime Alguersuari’s best result of his career and first points of 2011.

Toro Rosso had both cars in the points for the first time since the 2009 Australian Grand Prix.

Vitantonio Liuzzi gave HRT their best-ever result with 13th place. It moves them up from last in the championship to 11th, ahead of Virgin.

Longest race ever

The 2011 Canadian Grand Prix was officially the longest race that counted towards the world championship.

Total race time (including the suspension, which does not count towards the two-hour time limit) was 4hr 4’39.537, over an hour and a quarter longer than last year’s similarly disrupted Korean Grand Prix.

Previously the longest world championship round had been the 1951 Indianapolis 500, which took 3hr 57’38.050. The longest F1 race was the 1954 German Grand Prix, which lasted 3hr 45’45.800.

Vettel’s domination

Had Vettel won, he would have equalled Michael Schumacher’s feat of six wins and one second place in the first seven races.

He may have lost the battle but he’s emphatically winning the war – see the championship points graph for evidence of that. He has led 352 of the 442 laps so far this year, 79.6% of the total.

Team mate Mark Webber is yet to lead a single one, and has only spent four laps in front of his team mate all year.

Vettel’s sixth pole position of the year was the 21st of his career. Only nine drivers in F1 history have set more pole positions than Vettel.

If he were to take pole position in all the remaining races this year – which judging by what we’ve seen so far is not out of the question – he would move up to third on the all-time list:

Most career pole positions

Driver Poles
1 Michael Schumacher 68
2 Ayrton Senna 65
3 Jim Clark 33
4 Alain Prost 33
5 Nigel Mansell 32
6 Juan Manuel Fangio 29
7 Mika Hakkinen 26
8 Niki Lauda 24
9 Nelson Piquet 24
10 Sebastian Vettel 21

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

In particular, can anyone work out who was the last driver before Button to win a race having been last on at least one lap?

2011 Canadian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Pirelli

99 comments on “Button scores tenth win in longest ever race”

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  1. That Vettel Pole Positions statistic is rather terrifying when you consider how young he his.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      13th June 2011, 13:02

      I dread to think what would happen if Red Bull keep giving him a good car for a few years.
      The next Schumacher indeed.

    2. I would put money on Vettel beating Schumacher’s record by the time his career comes to an end.

      1. So would I. Schumi took the wins record from Prost early on in his career, but only took the pole record from Senna in 2006, at Imola of all places.

    3. First man to 100? He’s staying at Red Bull for now, so is Adrian Newey and the calendar’s getting bigger…

      1. His words about wanting to surpass Schumachers records is starting to seem a real target by now! Another 2 years and he might well be beating Schu for the most poles already.

      2. Well, Hamilton was seen the RBR trailer over the weekend. Ripening of such discussions could qualify Vettel’s statistical projections.

    4. yes nearly as many as his age.

      Also Button’s win probably beats Watson’s in USA because he gained 20 places in half the race, rather than 21 in the whole race.

      Not that Watson’s was bad or anything.

    5. When you look at it as a pole/races percentage, it’s even more impressive!

      Fangio: 29/52 = 56%
      Clark: 33/73 = 45%
      Senna: 65/162 = 40%
      Vettel: 21/69 = 30%
      Schumacher: 68/276 = 25%
      Mansell: 32/191 = 17%
      Prost: 33/202 = 16%
      Hakkinen: 26/165 = 16%
      Lauda: 24/177 = 14%
      Piquet: 24/207 = 12%

      I took the race numbers from Wikipedia so might not be 100% accurate.

      1. Those are slightly skewed because of the years of race-fuel qualifying but very impressive still!

        1. For sure…let’s face it, there was a time when drivers had special less durable but more highly tweeked quali engines that got yanked after quali in favour of the race engine for Sunday…they also tried quali with a one-hot-lap (with a warm up lap before and a cool down lap after), one-car-at-a-time format too…so there’s a way to compare the stats by just looking at the number itself, and then there’s delving into the circumstances that led to the numbers.

          Example, I’m so glad that SV, whose numbers are now climbing and being compared to the likes of MS, isn’t a bully on the track with a contracted subservient as a teammate, there to not compete against him. I just hope to not hear confirmation of Briatore’s opinion that his driver MW is being purposely held back on the team. I want my WDC’s to want to win fair and square, not because their teammate (and main rival when the car is dominant) was handcuffed somehow.

          1. I’m so glad that SV… isn’t a bully on the track with a contracted subservient as a teammate

            Schumi didn’t have a contracted subservient as a team-mate as Rubens has made absolutely clear on a number of occasions. As far as I can tell Mark Webber is in exactly the same position as all of Schumi’s team-mates – the contracts may say they’re treated equally but in reality Mark is as much of a number two driver at Red Bull as Rubens was at Ferrari and it’s obvious to anyone with eyes that the team is set up with the sole intention of helping Seb retain the WDC. Mark is there to make up the numbers and help the team win the WCC but he’s never going to be given the equipment or support he needs to go out and become WDC while he’s at Red Bull unless Seb has an accident or injury that keeps him out of F1 for a few months.

            I’d personally question Seb not being a “bully” on the track too, the guy has made plenty of dodgy manoeuvres in his short time in F1 and the following blog sums up what some people think of his driving:

          2. You didn’t notice Red Bull put Vettel in front of Webber in Spain? They pitted Vettel first despite him being behind.

          3. @Mike – By the first corner Vettle was 2nd, Webber 3rd and Alonso 1st. So, tell me which Spain are we talking about?

          4. @beneboy – that was really funny. Last year’s thread and for such a hot topic its 2 pages long.

      2. Low fuel quali for vettel 16/26 @ 61%

        Hamiltons pole ratio is 15/78 @ 19%, which is woth going on that list

        1. beneboy…please listen to RB’s post race interview from Austria 02 when he let MS take the ‘win’ with metres to go and after which he said he was just obeying his contract…I do realize that at times RB was towing the political line at Ferrari and denied such things, but on this occasion among others when his patience was tried, he did admit it…he has also said that once he leaves F1 he will write a tell-all book and he has said that we don’t know the half of what went on at Ferrari when he was there with MS.

          As to SV, sure he’s had a few misjudgements, but he’s got a long long way to go to get anywhere near the unethical crap that MS pulled season after season…let’s give SV the full career that MS has had before we judge how SV will be over a career…for now the judgement is imho that SV is an angel compared to MS. But sure, when I see MW pull over for SV with metres to go for the ‘win’, or see SV dliberately drive into other drivers like MS did to JV and DH, in an effort to call himself a ‘champion’…when I see him move people right off the track or do things like MS did to RB along the pit wall at high speed last year, then I’ll go along with your ‘SV is just as bad’ argument…until then…MS proved his badness all the way from 94 with DH to 06 in Monaco parking his car on the track in quali, with a hundred incidents in between, to last year with RB…I predict SV, nor any other driver will ever touch MS for rude and unethical and unsporting behaviour.

          1. Rubens was ordered to move over in Austria but it wasn’t in his contract that he was number two. You said Schumi had “a contracted subservient as a teammate” – this isn’t true as there was no contractual obligation.
            I’ve listened to what Rubens said after Austria and what he’s said about it since and he was clearly ordered to move over by the team but he has repeatedly insisted that when he signed his contract there was no contractual obligation making him number two driver.

            This is Rubens on Top Gear and he talks about this from 2:00 to 3:30:

            In my opinion this is no different to the situation Webber finds himself in, his contract may not state that he’s number two but he is quite obviously the number two driver in the team and the team is set up with the primary objective of keeping Seb WDC and the team WCC.

            I never claimed Seb was “just as bad” as Schumi, merely pointing out that he hasn’t been an angel in his F1 career so far and is far from blameless on the track.

            Schumi doesn’t even get close to the drivers and team owners from before the 90s in terms of unsporting and unethical behaviour; most of the greats in F1 were cheats and liars by today’s standards. Prost purposely took out Senna to win the WDC and Senna repaid the move to win it himself. Ecclestone was a cheater as was Colin Chapman but to be fair most team managers/owners have pulled off their fair share of cheating over the years as have most of the drivers and a few of the officials too (cough-Jean-Marie Balestre-cough).

            Even in recent times we’ve had Briatore ordering one of his drivers to crash on purpose to help his team mate, engineers and designers moving teams and taking secret design blueprints and all other sorts of documents with them too.

            All Schumi ever did was play the game the way everyone else did. Things may have improved a little recently but F1 is full of cheats and the biggest cheaters are normally found towards the front of the grid.

    6. Certainly. The guy will get much nearer the top still. Seeing him in the same list as all those drivers is something else. he has much to be proud of.

      1. But the problem is that all of those drivers earned it 100%, with Vettel i am not sure, since really no one knows how good the car is. what i mean is that i wish that Hamilton or Alonso would have the Redbull for a couple of races, then we will see its true performance and judges Vettel’s performance.

  2. I believe it’s the first time Schumacher has been ahead of Rosberg in the championship since his return.

    1. Technically they’re on the same number of points.. but yeah.. this is the closest he has been to his teammate since the start of the 2010 season.

      1. Well people people say Hamilton beat Alonso in 2007, and they finished equally.

        1. Why did I say people twice??? Where’s the edit button?

          1. Maybe you were referring to REAL people? LOL.

      2. I thought the one who had the best finish / most wins was in front? Whats Rosberg’s best finish this season, 5th? So I would have thought that Schumacher is, technically, ahead?

        1. Yeah, Schumacher has the better best result, and so should be in front of Rosberg.

          1. Spot on. I was thinking that. Saves me looking it up though ;)

      3. Schumacher has had a wonderful race, he deserved a podium.

    2. I think Schumacher was ahead of Rosberg after the Malaysian Grand Prix. Of course it doesn’t really count as it was only race two of the season.

  3. DeadManWoking
    13th June 2011, 13:19

    Button’s official average speed for the race was 46.520mph, a bit slow compared to Will Power’s 206.396mph winning average over a similar distance in the second of 2 Indycar races at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night 8)

    1. assuming Hamilton was the only DNF at the time of the red flag, surely that makes Hamilton have by far the fastest average speed!
      unfortunately for him, it was too short lived

      1. DeadManWoking
        13th June 2011, 13:45

        Yes 83.632mph and with the 2nd slowest fastest lap at 1:37.761!

    2. Nowadays , much will depend on the car he has each year .

    3. which is a bit slow compared to Tom Burkland , who in 2008 broke the piston-engined, wheel-driven record for the flying mile, recording a speed of 669.319 km/h . Not sure where we heading here though ?

  4. just a stupid little numbers sequence…
    stewards investigated incidents involving cars 2 & 3
    then cars 3 & 4 and then cars 4 & 5 … and many in between

  5. Vettel’s sixth pole position of the year was the 21st of his career. Only nine drivers in F1 history have set more pole positions than Vettel.

    That is a weird statistic. Somehow, you’d think there would be more.

    1. Less and less races the further back you go, more competitive qualifying.

      1. And no Adrian Newey designed Red Bulls! :P

        The fact that there hadn’t been a pass for the lead on the final lap since that famous weekend 6 years ago until this weekend shows how great this race was.

  6. I’ve found a couple…
    *Button’s fastest lap was two seconds faster than the third fastest lap of the race, set by Petrov.
    *Petrov has now scored more points this year than he did in all of 2010.
    *The last two races combined took about 6 hours 14 minutes, the four previous races took a combined time of about 6 hours 23 minutes.

    1. First one; meh.

      Second two; very interesting!

  7. Has any driver credited with leading a lap spent less time in the lead than Felipe Massa on lap 20.

    1. Also for the overtake counters was that two overtaking manoeuvres or one failed attempt?

  8. I believe this might be the race with the most Safety Cars ever at six deployments, although two were used for starting and re-starting the race!

    1. I believe it is the record. I think the previous record was five safety cars at Brazil 2003.

    2. Interesting. But I want to know what the maximum number of stops (including drive-throughs) made by the winner of a Grand Prix is. Jenson must be close.

      1. I think Jenson has the record too. Without drive-throughs I think it’s Senna at Donington and Schumacher in France at 4.

  9. When was the last time two consecutive grands prix have seen a red flag?

    1. 1998, France and Canada

    2. and when was the last time Mclaren won a simple lights to flag victory? (with no overtaking or extraordinary events)

      HAM-singapore 2009??? (Canada 2010 involved some overtaking for the lead by Hamilton, so no that ‘simple’ really)

  10. Hill v Vettel (updated):

    – 18 wins over 49 races, 36.7%
    – 18 pole positions, 36.7%
    – 35 front-row starts, 71.4%
    – Pole-to-win ratio 7/18, 38.9%
    – Wins from not staring on pole ratio 11/18, 61.1%

    – 14 wins over 43 races, 32.6%
    – 20 pole positions, 46.5%
    – 28 front-row starts, 65.1%
    – Pole-to-win ratio 10/20, 50%
    – Win from non-pole ratio 4/14, 28.6%

    1. Oh I should have said these are taken over 1994-1996 for Hill and 2009-2011 for Vettel. Both have had similar amounts of time in a dominant position (Hill one less in a dominant car but with weaker opposition, so it evens out), so I thought it would be fun to compare them.

      So far, Hill has a better record for victories, front-row starts and winning off of pole whereas Vettel is doing better with pole positions and converting them into wins. Might have to add some points stats in there too sometime.

    2. Awesome, Icthyes, keep them coming.
      Alonso’s 04-06 seasons would be adequate there too, wouldn’t they?

      1. Indeed! Thanks for the suggestion :)

      2. Seconded. Vettel’s “win from non-pole” reinforces the feeling that vettel is great at running away with a race from the front, but not so hot at coming from behind to win.

        1. Not supported by the figures, you could easily argue that Hill’s pole position figures for a dominant car (especially given Vettel only had the dominant car for 2 of the 3 years) are actually poor.

          Remember, only one of these guys was fired for underperforming his car over the period in question!

          1. Hill only had the dominant car for 1 year though.

            In 1994 either something was up with the Benetton, or they were at least equal. In 1995 they were more or less equal. Whereas Vettel has arguably had the best car apart from the odd off-day since Silverstone 2009.

            Considering Hill was racing against the man who holds the record for most pole positions and has never had a reputation for being a pole king, I think his pole stat stands up quite nicely.

            And of course, Hill was fired after 1995. Short-sighted and even Sir Frank Williams has admitted it was a mistake.

    3. but Vettel has 21 pole positions and 15(?) wins.

      1. Yeh but I’m only comparing two 3-year periods. Vettel got his first in 2008. Hill’s won more than 18 races after all!

    4. Icthyes,

      Hill’s wins from non-pole figure is wrong, looks like it should be 11/31 = 35.4%, not significantly different to Vettels.

      Also, why does the analysis exclude 1993 figures for Hill, wan’t he in a dominant car then too. I may have missed the original figures posted so perhaps I’m missing something relevant.

      Particular periods of time being selected to demonstrate something is not really adequate because the years can be picked to give the required conclusion. Using whole career figures is imperfect (take Schumi for example, who is in the process of destroying his stats) but I think it’s the only true measure of the full picture including being good enough and smart enough to get into the right car at the right time like Fangio, Senna and Prost.

      1. Actually it isn’t wrong, it’s just confusing wording. The stat is for the percentage of wins won that were won from not being on pole. Because if you notice, vettel’s would also be wrong.

        1993 was Hill’s rookie year, plus he was racing against Prost and Senna – hardly fair comparison to Vettel’s last three seasons!

        Particular periods of time being selected to demonstrate something is not really adequate because the years can be picked to give the required conclusion.

        Except it’s not ‘selective’. These years are “like-for-like”, as I explained in my second post. if I was being selective, would I not include 1993 and 2008 so the figures would be skewed more in favour of Hill?

    5. Thanks for sharing, Icthyes. :)

  11. How many on track overtakes did Button manage during the race (both including and excluding the tangles of Webber, Hamilton & Alonso).
    It must be well north of 20?

  12. * Previous time as two successive races were red-flagged was in Canada and France 1998, both on the first lap

    * It was first race since Italian GP 1980 where there was two drivers over 40 years of age: Schumacher and de la Rosa. In Italy 1980, it was Vittorio Brambilla and Mario Andretti. Italy 1988 came close: Jean-Louis Schlesser was a day shy from his 40th birthday while Rene Arnoux was 40.

  13. The last 8 sessions have all been red flagged, surely this must be a record? Canada Race, Qual, FP3, FP2, FP1 then Monaco Race, Qual and FP3.

  14. As the announcers on German TV were unsurprisingly quick to point out, Vettel’s pole was the 100th for a German driver.

    1. M. Schumacher 68
      Vettel 21
      R. Schumacher 6
      Frentzen 2
      Heidfeld 1
      Hulkenberg 1
      Von Trips 1

    2. maxthecat12
      13th June 2011, 16:16

      Aww bless em, only 103 behind the Brits :D

      1. How many Brits does it take to get 203 pole positions?

        It’s not a joke, I’d be interested to know! I would guess that it’s a more than double the number of Germans it took to get 100?

    3. Paul Gilbert
      13th June 2011, 18:36

      Prior to 1994, the only pole Germany had managed was in Monza 1961 – and we all know what happened there…

      The duck was only broken in Monaco 1994 – the race after *that* weekend…

  15. 6 Safety Cars – Most ever in a GP

    Button winning with 6 trips to the pitlane, surely that’s a record too

    Vettel’s on his 9th consecutive podium, and 7th since the start of the season. Schumacher has I believe 21 consecutive podiums with 17 (100%) from the start of the season, could this be beaten?

    Red Bull (5) and McLaren (2) are the only teams to win a race this season. McLaren (1988) and Ferrari (2002 and 2004) hold the record for most wins in a season (15)

    Red Bull also on 100% pole record so far this season. Williams and McLaren (1993 and 1988) respectively hold the record at 15

    1. Forgot to add Red Bull (2010) onto the last one

  16. I believe its the 1st race won by someone qualifying outside the top 6 since Alonso (who started 15th)in Singapore 2008. (And of course he was helped by the safety car a bit too…)

    Excluding that race it goes back to Japan 2005 where Kimi Raikkonen won from 17th. He is also the last person, before Button to win after qualifying in 7th place. That was also in Canada, and in 2005.

    1. was buttons win from hungary in 2006 from P14 without SC (cant remmebr that long ago)
      but if you mean fully dry conditions, then Kimis would surely be the last.

      1. Just checked. Button did start 14th at Hungary 06. he had a 10 place grid penalty for an engine change after qualifying 4th. It was wet and there was a safety car.

        so the last people to win starting lower then 6th before JB are:

        Alonso – Singapore 08 – starting 15th
        Button – Hungary 06 – starting 14th (He did qualify 4th)
        Raikkonen – Japan 05 – starting 17th
        Raikkonen – Canada 05 – starting 7th

        That’ll teach me to double check my sources in the future!

        1. And of course that Alonso result is arguably dubious given the whole crashgate element.

  17. Keith, I’m amazed you can write all these great articles before, during and after a race. It would take me a week to write just one and it wouldn’t be nearly as good. Each one of your pieces is in-depth with unique analysis and excellent insights. I’ve been following your site for about 4 years now, and it is truly unique and stands out above all the others.

    Are there 20 Keiths running around writing, traveling and appearing on The Flying Lap?

  18. Has Maylander in the SC lead more laps than anyone but Vettel yet
    I can think of Alonso leading 20 or so
    Button 30 or so
    Maylanders must have led 20-25 this year

    1. He has definitely led to many laps.

      1. I think he’s led 26 in the last 2 GPs
        But i agree he led a few too many yesterday

  19. Too bad that Massa led one lap during the stops, because otherwise Vettel would have shared stat with Mansell (1991 Canada) by leading all laps but last.

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