Jenson Button, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2011

Button is 11th driver to hit double century of starts

2011 Hungarian GP facts and statsPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Jenson Button, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2011
Jenson Button, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2011

Jenson Button became the 11th driver to participate in 200 F1 races in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Michael Schumacher, Jarno Trulli and Rubens Barrichello are also in the 200 club – and Barrichello is the only driver so far to have reached 300.

Here are the other drivers who reached a double century of Grand Prix stars.

Most F1 races started

Driver Races started Years
Rubens Barrichello 315 1993-
Michael Schumacher 279 1991-2006, 2010-
Riccardo Patrese 256 1977-1993
David Coulthard 246 1994-2008
Jarno Trulli 244 1997-
Giancarlo Fisichella 229 1996-2009
Gerhard Berger 210 1984-1997
Andrea de Cesaris 208 1980-1994
Nelson Piquet 204 1978-1991
Jean Alesi 201 1989-2001
Jenson Button 200 2000-

Button’s 11th Grand Prix win puts him level with Jacques Villeneuve, Felipe Massa and Rubens Barrichello.

Sebastian Vettel took his 23rd career pole position.

It was his eighth pole position this year. The most in a single season is 14 (Nigel Mansell, 1992), so with eight races left he can still claim the record.

Felipe Massa set fastest lap for the second time this year and the 14th time in his career.

Seventh place was Paul di Resta’s best finish so far in his first season so far.

McLaren scored points for the 30th race in a row and Ferrari did likewise for the 20th consecutive Grand Prix.

But Renault failed to score for the first time this year. The last time the team didn’t have a car in the points was last year’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Button wasn’t the only driver to reach a milestone in Hungary. Nico Rosberg became the 60th F1 driver to start over 100 races.

The remaining drivers on the grid who have passed that mark are Nick Heidfeld, Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber and Felipe Massa.

Only ten drivers have started more races than Rosberg without winning one:

Most F1 races started without a victory

Driver Races started Years
Andrea de Cesaris 208 1980-1994
Nick Heidfeld 183 2000-
Martin Brundle 158 1984-1996
Derek Warwick 146 1981-1993
Jean-Pierre Jarier 134 1971-1983
Eddie Cheever 132 1978-1989
Pierluigi Martini 118 1985-1995
Mika Salo 110 1994-2002
Philippe Alliot 109 1984-1994
Jos Verstappen 107 1994-2003
Nico Rosberg 100 2006-

Toro Rosso also reached their 100th Grand Prix start, and it was the 100th race for the current V8 engine formula.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2011 Hungarian Grand Prix

Browse all 2011 Hungarian Grand Prix articles

112 comments on “Button is 11th driver to hit double century of starts”

    1. now that the points have been changed so much it seems a bit silly to even note such statistics. minardi may well have had top 10 finishes in the past, when there were 26 cars on the grid.

      similarly, di resta is being lauded for his points finishes but in the 90s he wouldn’t be considered so great. same with perez and anyone who finishes 7th-10th. it’s just not the same as, for example, alesi finishing 4th on his debut, or villeneuve and hamilton on the podium.

      just my £0.02

      1. You have to remember that fields are a lot tighter and more reliable now though. Back when there were less points paying positions, the slower teams usually only scored points in races of high attrition when there were regularly less than a dozen finishers. Now with 20 cars regularly finishing each race, scoring points has to be done as a result of race pace and smart driving…

      2. But he’s not driving in the 90’s, he’s driving in the ten-ties. It’s a bit wrong to compare points finishes now to points finished 20 years ago as F199player has done (althoug it’s an interesting stat), but not’s not wrong to congratulate Di Resta on his points finishes this year.

      1. Only a handful of drivers started more than 100 races before winning their first one. They are Webber (130 races), Barrichello (123), Trulli (119), Button (113) and Fisichella (110). Alesi won on his 91st attempt.

    1. Spain 2004 was Schumacher’s 200th entry, but only his 199th start (he didn’t start France 1996). Schumacher’s 200th start was Monaco 2004, where he famously crashed.

      1. Unlike Heidfeld, it looks like Nico will get one though. Mercedes will eventually deliver a machine capable of winning races. I wish they’d hurry up and do it, I know Schumi has still got the ability to win and Rosberg does too!

        I’ll go against the gran and say Heidfeld does as well, Renault just isn’t quite there.

    1. Nice to see indeed……He’ll be driving a demo in a F1 car @ Zandvoort Masters of F3.
      It’s a deal with Red Bull, so I don’t know if it will be the Tyrell, which was mentioned earlier on sites, or a Red Bull Democar. The contacts he has with Red Bull are for his son Max.

    1. I totally agree. He’s nearly always the ‘best of the rest’ and I can’t think of the last time he did something silly whilst battling someone or had an off weekend. He’s a top class driver and if Mercedes can’t provide him with a decent car next year, I hope he seeks greener pastures.

      I’d love to see him alongside Vettel at Red Bull, but I guess that’ll never happen…

    2. I’m not convinced. Although he outscored Wurz in 2007, it was Wurz that got the team’s best results that year. Also, he’s not obliterating Schumacher to oblivion – which he should be if he is that good. He’s beating him, yes, but not by as much as I think he can be.

      1. You could argue that simply beating the most successful driver in F1 history race after race ought to be enough!

        I know what you mean, I still have my doubts about Rosberg too, but surely he can’t do much more than beat his own teammate, as he has done comprehensively every year since his debut season

          1. And a very talented one. Hamilton placed Nico in his top 3 formula one drivers alongside Alonso and Vettel just a few weeks ago. That should suffice for most here.

  1. Worth pointing out that Mika Salo gave a win to Eddie Irvine to help his championship, so he’s unlucky to be on that last list.

    Also, amazing to see that either Patrese or Barrichello has raced every season from 1977 to present! That’s 35 seasons between two drivers, and they even overlapped in 1993.

    1. Worth pointing out that Mika Salo gave a win to Eddie Irvine to help his championship

      Irvine failed, of course.

      I think there’s a lesson in that for any driver who has his race engineer in his ear telling him the team want him to pull over and let his team mate win.

      1. The wonderful thing is that Ferrari lost that championship because of their own team orders.

        In France, Schumacher fell down the field (can’t remember why) to 5th and Irvine was breathing down his neck. Ferrari told him not to overtake. He would have had one more point for Ferrari to switch the pair in Suzuka and take their first championship in 20 years.

          1. Well of course he gained more points than he lost (at least 8) but it’s an example of why team orders aren’t so clear-cut a good idea when you first use them. And moreso, poetic justice ;)

          1. If you remember, in Japan when Irvine needed Schumi’s help again, MS suddenly lost 2 seconds a lap over a period despite having the pace in quali and morning warm up. It was bizarre and i can only think he was doing it deliberately so Irvine did not win the championship.

          2. our nige- I’d say that if Schumacher returns from an injury, takes pole by 0.9 seconds, and hands over the win in Malaysia to Irvine, then he was willing to help. Irvine lost because Hakkinen was the best driver in Japan.

          3. I agree our nige, i think schumacher wanted to be the hero who won the first championship for ferrari in years. He was a sly fox back then, and look how well it worked out for him.

      1. After 11 races 17 of 24 drivers mathematically no longer can win the driver championship. Everyone except top 3 teams and Rosberg.

        Also 7 out of the 12 teams no longer can be constructor champion – Renault, Mercedes, Ferrari, Mclaren and Red Bull are the only ones that remain.

        Vettel’s lead again increased as 2nd Webber is still 2nd but lost 8 points to Vettel. He has now 77 point more than the leader last year after 11 races and is only 22 points away from his total score last year.

        MSC run in 2004 is still the most dominant winning 12 out of 13 races or after 11 races winning 10 => 250 points

          1. He would have to atleast tie Vettel on wins and no doubt he would be behind Vettel on 2nd places, which they would use as the tie breaker.

            But heck, nothing would be more exciting or unexpected than Heidfeld taking the fight to Vettel! That would make for the season of the century!

  2. Tonio Liuzzi lost some places on lap 1 for the first time this season. Until Hungary, he had always either gained some places or retained the grid position after the 1st lap. The only driver who hasn’t lost a place on lap 1 this season is Narain Karthikeyan although it’s clear why. And Narain himself probably isn’t too proud of this achievement as well :)

  3. Although nowadays 200 GPs is not that uncommon, it had been quite a big gap since the previous one – Jarno Trulli achieved his 200 in Australia 2009. The previous to reach 100 was Felipe Massa in Belgium 2008.

    Just showing that rookie classes of 1998, 1999 and then 2003, 2004 and 2005 were either weak or unlucky not to get a real break in F1.

      1. That’s not what he asked. I think he means the longest time between their first and last race, and Schumacher beats Barrichello on this one.

        I can’t think of anyone with a longer career span than Michael at the moment.

  4. Here is a cool one. I read this last year and we can add to it now.

    The driver who has been in 3rd postion out of the first corner has ended up winning the race for the last 4 years.

    2008- 1st Massa, 2nd Hamilton, 3rd Kovalainen (winner)
    2009- 1st Alonso, 2nd Webber, 3rd Hamilton (winner)
    2010- 1st Vettel, 2nd Alonso, 3rd Webber (winner)
    2011- 1st Vettel, 2nd Hamilton, 3rd Button (winner)

  5. Interesting, very few champions in this list < 30% (Schu, Piquet, Button).

    Will be interesting to see what is the number of races (or career length) where we have the highest concentration of champions.

          1. Exactly Icthyes !

            Top tier drivers would be the likes of Senna, Fangio, Schumacher, Clark & Stewart.

            Nobody else on that list even comes close to being a top driver and some of them wouldn’t even make it into the second tier – Rubens and Coulthard would make it into the third tier, at best, as would Berger even though I personally think he’s a great driver and a great guy.

  6. I have my own F1 milestone aswell, This GP was my 50th consecutive GP that Ive watched live (begining to end). Probably not as much as some other people but i’m happy with myself, Started watching in 04′

    1. Wow that is impressive! My hat is off to you. I was happy just to watch every race the last few seasons. Living in America, it’s too hard to watch them all live, but I manage to catch half of em in the early morning hours, the rest go on the dvr, godbless those things!

  7. I’m curious … Button is the eleventh driver to start two hundred races, but how many drivers on the grid have won a race at a significant milestone (like their 200th start)? We know Felipe Massa came close to winning a race one year to the day after his accident at Germany last year, but has anyone else successfully done it?

  8. Here’s one. Button won ALL his races with McLaren in “mixed” conditions.
    Australia 2010
    China 2010
    Canada 2010
    Hungary 2010
    All were races affected by rain

    1. He also won races in mixed conditions at Hungary in 2006 and Malaysia in 2009 – that makes for 6 of 11 wins in mixed/wet conditions, or 55%. I wonder if any other race winners (with, say, a minimum of 5 wins) have such a high percentage of success in the wet?

      1. also he’s won more Grands Prix starting off the front row.

        Hungary 2006, he started 14th
        Australia 2009, he started on pole
        Malaysia 2009, he started on pole
        Bahrain 2009, he started 4th on the grid.
        Spain 2009, he started on pole
        Monaco 2009 he started on pole (his last pole to date)
        Turkey 2009, he started 2nd on the grid
        Australia 2010, he started 4th on the grid
        China 2010, he started 5th on the grid
        Canada 2011, he started 7th on the grid
        Hungary 2011, he started 3rd on the grid.

    2. That’s interesting, but I don’t think rain plays a big a role as it may seem. If I remember correctly he was leading before it started to rain heavily at China 2010, and his win yesterday owed little to the weather either

        1. When Button overtook Rosberg they were still on slicks but it was starting to spit with rain, they changed to inters shortly after Button took the lead. Also, Button’s win in Malaysia 2009 owed nothing to the rain as he was comfortably leading before the downpour that caused the race to be abandoned.

          1. But they were never off slicks in the first place. It started raining on Lap 2, Button didn’t pass Rosberg (who went off in the damp) until Lap 19. Of course by then it had dried but not ideal.

            Whether or not the conditions contributed to the win beyond half the field making the wrong tyre call (that sounds familiar), we can only speculate of course.

  9. Keith,

    I love this feature of your website. The stats article after every race is my favorite.

    Here is an idea which I would love to see included in your stats:

    Driver mistakes. How has been penalized the most. Keep a running tally. Include the number of points they lost.

    Team mistakes. Who screwed up stategy and cost drivers places. Who screwed up pit stops and cost drivers either places or DNF’s.

    Keep up the good work!

  10. This list of drivers with 100 starts is going to get bigger soon with a 20 race season a 5 year career is going to get you on this list. I would expect the race list to now go to 23 or 25 with Sky now calling the shots. F1 can now look forward to a football like off season – 4 weeks at most.

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