Virgin match record for most starts without a point

2011 Belgian GP stats and facts

Timo Glock, Virgin, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Timo Glock, Virgin, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Red Bull maintained their unbeaten run in qualifying, Vettel setting his ninth pole position of the year.

That was the 24th pole position of his career, putting him eighth on the all-time list, with as many as Niki Lauda and Nelson Piquet.

One race day he claimed his seventh win of 2011 and the 17th of his career. It was also his 30th podium finish.

Mark Webber set fastest lap for the 11th time.

But at the opposite end of the performance spectrum, Virgin equalled the record for most starts by a team without scoring a point.

They have started 31 races, the same as RAM did between 1983 and 1985 without scoring a point. HRT have only started 30 races having failed to qualify in Australia.

Of course, when RAM competed points were only awarded down to sixth place, and they had a best finish of eighth with Jonathan Palmer at Jacarepagua in 1984. But it’s also true that reliability was far worse then than it is now.

But that’s not to say Virgin won’t grab some points in the future, and hand this unwanted record to someone else.

Jenson Button failed to reach Q3 for the first time this year. That leaves Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and the two Ferrari drivers as the only drivers to have reached Q3 in all 12 races.

Jaime Alguersuari and Bruno Senna enjoyed their best qualifying performances to date with sixth and seventh respectively. Unfortunately Senna crashed into Alguersuari at the start, ruining both their races.

Venezuela has its second points-scorer in F1 in the shape of Pastor Maldonado, who finished tenth and claimed a point. The only previous Venezuelan driver to score in F1 was Johnny Cecotto, who finished sixth at Long Beach for Theodore in 1983.

Nico Rosberg has now led six different races for a total of 60 laps without having won one. Only four drivers have led more laps in world championship races without winning one:

Driver Laps led
1 Chris Amon 183
2 Jean Behra 107
3 Jean-Pierre Jarier 79
4 Jack McGrath 70
5 Nico Rosberg 60

McGrath’s all came in the Indianapolis 500 when the race counted towards the world championship.

Starting positions

Michael Schumacher raced through the field from 24th to an improbable fifth place.

As you’d expect, starting on pole position gives you the best chance of winning the race. But what about the rest of the starting positions?

Here’s the average finishing position each starting position has yielded this year:

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Start position Average finish
1 1.83
2 3
3 3.25
4 4.17
5 4.67
6 7.3
7 8.33
8 11
9 10
10 8.27
11 12.56
12 11.45
13 10.8
14 11.78
15 11.89
16 10.64
17 13.3
18 12.1
19 17
20 18.11
21 16.63
22 18.64
23 16.63
24 16.33

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2011 Belgian Grand Prix

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50 comments on Virgin match record for most starts without a point

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th August 2011, 6:08

    But at the opposite end of the performance spectrum, Virgin equalled the record for most starts by a team without scoring a point.

    What about Team Fernandes? They’ve started the same number of races as Virgin without scoring any points.

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th August 2011, 6:28

      That’s what I thought too; but then it occurred to me that Trulli didn’t start in 2010 Melbourne.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th August 2011, 7:08

        Jarno Trulli did not start at Melbourne in 2010; that’s correct. Heikki Kovalainen did not start at Barcelona in 2010, either.

        However, Timo Glock did not start at Shanghai in 2010 and Istanbul in 2011 – and Lucas di Grassi did not start at Suzuka in 2010.

        Hispania, surprisingly, have never actually had a DNS. The only race they failed to start was this year’s Australian Grand Prix.

        So, if we’re counting individual cars as starting a race, Team Fernandes have started 60 races without scoring a point. So, too, have Hispania. Virgin, however, have started 59 races without scoring a point.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 29th August 2011, 7:55

      What about Team Fernandes?

      There’s no such thing.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th August 2011, 8:09

        Fine, Team Lotus. I call them “Team Fernandes” because I don’t recognise their claim of being Team Lotus. Just as I refer to Lotus Renault GP as Renault.

        The point is that Team Lotus have started just as many races as Virgin, but they have no points, either. And, as I’ve demonstrated above, because Virgin have had three races where a car has failed to start and Lotus have two, Lotus have techncially entered started more races without scoring a point than Virgin.

        And from now on, I will refer to Team Lotus as Team Fernandes.

        • silencer said on 29th August 2011, 9:21

          and don’t forget Team Genii

        • Except that everyone else does recognise them as Team Lotus now, with the associated racing history, so they scored points years ago.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th August 2011, 9:50

            But that’s not the statistic. It’s most starts without points. And if you could Fernandes-Lotus as being the same team as Chapman-Lotus, then you need to consider all the results. And, as MaroonJack points out, you have to add the results from 1993 and 1994 on to the results from 2010 and 2011 – which makes 51 starts without points.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 29th August 2011, 10:01

            which makes 51 starts without points.

            No, it makes 522 starts with 1368 points.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th August 2011, 10:25

            51 consecutive starts without points. And the FIA doesn’t consider Fernandes-Lotus to be the same Lotus as Team Lotus:

            http://www.formula1.com/teams_and_drivers/teams/194/

            Their records only show the team as starting in 2010 – not 1958, when the original Team Lotus joined.

      • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 29th August 2011, 8:45

        Either way Lotus should be part of this statistic. Even if someone doesn’t want to recognize them as THE Lotus, one still has to admit that this is physically the same team, that we saw last year, despite the name change. As such, they have 31 consecutive races without a win.

        We can also go with the name Team Lotus, and forget Lotus Racing altogether. In that case we have 12 races without a point this year, 16 races without a point in 1994 and last 4 races in 1993, for a total of 32!

        Finally, if we count new Team Lotus and Lotus Racing as one and treat them as a resurrection of the old Team Lotus, as Tony Fernandes would like, then they have a total of 51 consecutive races without a point. An impressive tally indeed!

        :)

      • TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 29th August 2011, 9:36

        OK ‘Fake Lotus’ then.

  2. Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 29th August 2011, 6:08

    Vettel is now ranked shared 6th of drivers with most wins within a season as he won his 7th race this season.

    1st MSC with 13 wins
    2nd Nigel Mansell with 9 wins
    3rd Ayrton Senna, Damon Hill and Mika Hakinnen with 8 wins
    6th Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikonnen, Jacques Villeneuve, Jim Clark, Fernando Alonso and Alain Prost with 7 wins

    • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 29th August 2011, 9:23

      And only twice has a driver ever had 7 wins in a season and not won the championship. Raikonnen in 2005 and Schumi in 2006. I don’t think Vettel will join them in that sad two member club.

    • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 29th August 2011, 11:52

      Interesting stat, though it’s skewed by the fact there are so many more races these days than there used to be.

      A fairer statistic would be the percentage of races a driver has won in a season- eg Vettel is currently on 58.3% for 2011. Can anyone be bothered to work these percentages out for every champion?

      • Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 29th August 2011, 21:34

        You ask and shall get the answer Ned.

        Ranked 1st is Alberto Ascari in 1952 winning 6 out of 8 races => 75.0%
        Ranked 2nd is MSC in 2004 winning 13 out of 18 races => 72.2%
        Ranked 3rd is Jim Clark in 1963 winning 7 out of 10 races => 70.0%
        Ranked 4th is Jim Clark in 1954 winning 6 out of 9 races => 66.7%
        Ranked 5th is MSC in 2002 winning 11 out of 17 races => 64.7%
        Ranked 6th is Jim Clark in 1965 winning 6 out of 10 races => 60.0%

        Vettel at the moment with 7 out of 12 (58.3%) he is ranked 7th. Counting without further wins his score would be 36.8% which is ranked 38th.

        In my opinion the 72.2% of MSC is more impressive than the 75% of Ascari as we have seen winning a lot of races over short period is possible to maintain it is far more difficult. Button and Vettel both won 6 races early in the season but could not keep it up the whole season.

  3. Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 29th August 2011, 6:11

    With 7 races left to go Vettel already broke his own record of most points within a season, last year he won the championship with 256 points, currently he has 259.

  4. Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 29th August 2011, 6:24

    With 7 races left to go and 25 points for a win and 43 points for a teams 1&2 there are only 5 drivers left competing to be driver champion and only 3 teams for constructer champion.

    Vettel leads with 92 points with Webber, Alonso, Button and Hamilton still in the chase. Regardless of the upcoming Monza race all 5 will still be in contention.

    To win the championship Vettel only needs to stay in the top 4 in every race to guarentee his 2nd world championship => ignoring effects of better results and the chasing pack to mistakes.

    Red Bull leads with 131 points with Mclaren and Ferrari still in the chase, also here the Monza race can not put any of those 2 out of contention.

  5. Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 29th August 2011, 6:36

    Keith – correction needed – Vettel got his 24th not 23rd pole position of his career.

  6. We Want Turbos said on 29th August 2011, 6:44

    Lotus last year where A different name to this year, also as they are know Team Lotus officially they have previous wins and World Championships!! Stats also make no mention that some cars where so poor they rarely made it into races (107% rule)

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th August 2011, 7:11

      Lotus last year where A different name to this year, also as they are know Team Lotus officially they have previous wins and World Championships!!

      This year’s “Team Lotus” is treated as a separate entity to the original Team Lotus. “Team Lotus” is also treated as the same team as Lotus Racing, because the constructor name was Lotus both in 2010 and 2011. Points are assigned to the constructors, not to the team names.

  7. BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th August 2011, 9:05

    That average finishing position is very telling of how second really tends to lose out this year!

    And tenth looks like a really good one to get some solid points, probably partly due to some cars startig 10th after not running/setting a time in Q3 and therefore either being out of position (Hamilton in Monaco) or saving tyres.
    Also very interesting to see how its pretty flat between 11th-18th, with the notible anomaly of 13th and 16th being better prospects and not 18th as could be expected from drives like Webbers and Alguersuari a couple of times this year.

    • If you consider the improvement between starting and finishing position, 18th is actually better than 16th:

      16 – 10.64 = 5.36
      18 – 12.1 = 5.9

      One would need to crunch the numbers to see what are the improvements if we take out the times when Webber and Algesuari started there; it’d probably still be a decent amount; a car starting there would have saved a set of softer tyres, normally

  8. Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 29th August 2011, 9:25

    I feel really sorry for Timo Glock, a contract signed with Virgin for 3 more years. He must be working like a madman in the hopes they can improve.

    • if he was that worried why did he sign for them so quickly?

      he is/was a good driver, surely he could get better?

  9. Dan_the_McLaren_fan (@dan_the_mclaren_fan) said on 29th August 2011, 10:03

    If I’ve counted correctly, it’s the 50th race I’ve watched in a row !

    What, nobody cares? :o)

  10. Paul Grainger said on 29th August 2011, 11:23

    lol I must’ve watched about 150 in a row…? Missed the first half of the 2006 US GP though because TV Guide was wrong :(

    Virgin will improve now that they’re using a proper wind tunnel…

  11. Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 29th August 2011, 11:56

    It’s interesting that the 10th place qualifiers tend to finish above the drivers who have qualified immediately in front of them. Why might that be? Are they drivers who sit out Q3 to save their tyres, and thus have an advantage during the race?

  12. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th August 2011, 12:00

    Does Vettel now not also have the greatest lead in the history of F1? (Though this is slightly skewed by there being 25 instead of 10 points for the win)

  13. Adrian J said on 29th August 2011, 12:15

    Has anyone done the maths yet on who needs to finish where etc in the remaining races to win the championship?

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th August 2011, 12:17

      I previously posted this comment in the championship standings article:

      Back after the amazing Spa Grand Prix with another points summary.
      Standings:
      Vettel 259
      Webber 167
      Alonso 157
      Button 149
      Hamilton 146
      There’s 175 to play for; and again, still open. Here are the gaps:
      Webber -92
      Alonso -102
      Button -110
      Hamilton -113
      It’s not possible for Vettel to wrap it up by Monza. Singapore, however… is possible.
      In Singapore, there will be 125 points to play for. So. By the Singaporean checkered flag, he has to, over the next TWO races now, outscore:
      Webber by 34 points (17 points average)
      Alonso by 24 points (12 points average)
      Button by 16 points (8 points average)
      Hamilton by 13 points (6.5 points average) – a win is 7 points; so winning the next two would knock Hamilton out of the race, even if Hamilton scores 2nd in both races.
      For him to do so by the Suzuka checkered, he has to outscore (over the next 3 races):
      Webber by 9 points (3 points average).
      Webber is the only one “above the curve” in this regard. The others, however, have to catch up a set amount of points. Vettel can let the following happen, and still win:
      Alonso has to outscore him by 1 point (.33 average)
      Button has to outscore him by 9 points (3 average)
      Hamilton has to outscore him by 12 points (4 average)
      By Korea, with only 75 points left on the table, EVERYONE is below the curve. Note that for all the stats below, if the guys outscore him by that number of points, Vettel will be champ by 1 point
      Webber has to outscore him by 16 points (4 average)
      Alonso has to outscore him by 26 points (6.5 average)
      Button has to outscore him by 34 points (8.5 average)
      Hamilton has to outscore him by 37 points (9.25 average)
      By India:
      Webber has to outscore him by 41 points (8.2 average)
      Alonso has to outscore him by 51 points (10.2 average)
      Button has to outscore him by 59 points (11.8 average)
      Hamilton has to outscore him by 62 points (12.4 average)
      By Abu Dhabi:
      Webber has to outscore him by 66 points (11 average)
      Alonso has to outscore him by 76 points (12.67 average)
      Button has to outscore him by 84 points (14 average)
      Hamilton has to outscore him by 87 points (14.5 average)
      By Brazil:
      Webber has to outscore him by 91 points (13 average)
      Alonso has to outscore him by 101 points (14.43 average)
      Button has to outscore him by 109 points (15.57 average)
      Hamilton has to outscore him by 112 points (16 average)
      So. Singapore looks unlikely, but if he can gain 9 points (over the next 3 races) over Webber, and not lose any gap towards his other contenders, he WILL be champion, by Suzuka. With FOUR RACES remaining.
      Scary isn’t it?
      Will be back for another scary update in 3 weeks time, after Monza. Ciao!

  14. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 29th August 2011, 20:18

    It almost seems as if Vettel has this wrapped up.

    The only possible situation I can see happening is what happened in 1970 or in 1982 and the driver leading the standings is unable to contest the final races… I HOPE it doesn’t happen, I don’t wish any driver injured, but he has such a crazy lead now… I know I wouldn’t want to be 92 points behind, in the same car, with just 6 races to go…

    Also, Keith, when was the last time a race was lead by 4 different constructors all in 1 race?

  15. 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 29th August 2011, 21:50

    If the 10-6-4-3-2-1 format was used, Vettel has 97, alonso, Hamilton AND Webber all have 45 and Button 44 (How close is that battle for 2nd???)

    In that system Vettel could have a chance of being Champ at Monza (with a win and low scores for his rivals)

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