Vettel can win the championship in Singapore

2011 Italian GP stats and facts

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monza, 2011

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monza, 2011

Sebastian Vettel can win the championship with five races to spare at Singapore.

He matched Kimi Raikkonen’s tally of wins in Italy while Red Bull drew level with Tyrrell.

Read on for more stats and facts from the Italian Grand Prix.

Vettel on course for the title

Vettel’s 18th victory puts him tied for 13th on the list of all-time winners with Kimi Raikkonen.

This was the 23rd win for Red Bull, who have now won as many races as Tyrrell, and are tied for eighth on the list of all-time winners. It was their first victory in the Italian Grand Prix, and the first for a Renault-engined car since Johnny Herbert’s with Benetton in 1995.

Vettel set the 25th pole position of his career meaning he has been on pole position for exactly one-third of the races he has started. He is now eighth on the list of drivers with the most pole positions.

This was Vettel’s tenth pole position of the season. With six races to go he is closing in on Nigel Mansell’s record of 14 in one year, from 1992.

He can win the world championship in Singapore if he leaves with a lead greater than 125 points. He’s currently 112 ahead, so he needs at least a podium finish to achieve it, with his various rivals finishing well behind him.

If he does that, and wins the title with five races to spare, it will be one of the earliest championship conclusions ever. The earliest championship victories in terms of the number of races remaining are:

Driver Races left
2002 Michael Schumacher 6
1992 Nigel Mansell 5
2001 Michael Schumacher 4
2004 Michael Schumacher 4

This is particularly impressive given that the relative value of winning in points terms fell when a new points system was introduced in 2003. However, applying the last two championship points systems to this year’s results yields a similar situation each time.

Red Bull, however, will have to wait until at least Suzuka to get their hands on the constructors’ championship trophy.

Vettel has now led 521 laps this year from a total of 778 (66.97%). That means he’s already in the top ten for most laps led in a season.

If he continues at this rate he will beat the record for most laps led in a season, which stands at 694 and was set by Mansell in 1992. The highest proportion of laps led in a season is 71.47%, set by Jim Clark in 1963.

Five champions in the top five

Mark Webber posted Red Bull’s first retirement of the year. That leaves Vettel as the only driver to have completed every race this year, and every racing lap to boot.

Jaime Alguersuari achieved his best finish in an F1 race with seventh place. He is the fifth driver to finish in the points from 18th on the grid this year.

In his second race for Renault, Bruno Senna scored the first points of his F1 career with ninth place.

Vitantonio Liuzzi was out-qualified by his team mate for the first time this year.

Virgin have set a new record for most F1 race starts without scoring a point.

Their cars have started 32 races since the beginning of last year without finishing in the points. See the Belgian Grand Prix stats and facts for more on this.

Vitantonio Liuzzi started his 75th Grand Prix, as did Vettel. One did rather better than the other…

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap, the 11th of his career, putting him level with Mark Webber.

The Italian Grand Prix had the fewest pit stops of a race so far this year: 35. Prior to that the lowest was 44 at Melbourne. The highest was 85 in Hungary.

Finally, the top five finishers in the race were all previous world champions. If anyone can provide any examples of that happening in the past, or any occasions where there have been more world champions in the top finishing positions, please share them in the comments.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2011 Italian Grand Prix

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93 comments on Vettel can win the championship in Singapore

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  1. spankythewondermonkey (@spankythewondermonkey) said on 12th September 2011, 8:52

    for the sake of the championship i hope this doesn’t happen. hope and reality are 2 different things though. i fully expect it to be all over in 13 days time.

    • David B (@david-b) said on 12th September 2011, 9:08

      I’m afraid the fun will be in the races themselves, not in the championship result. The championship is done, I think.

      • TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 12th September 2011, 10:35

        I’ve really forgotten about the title this year. It’s fun to watch the races for what they are and they all seem to be amazing this year.

        I don’t think any race other than Valencia has received less than 7/10 on Rate the race.

      • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 12th September 2011, 10:54

        I’m hopelessly optimistic, but even I gave up on the title after Spa. That was, for me, the nail in the coffin. Just as he’d given us a little bit of hope, he came out and dominated the race that traditionally hasn’t suited Red Bull. And what happened this weekend was terrifying. My focus is fully on 2012 now, unfortunately.

    • With Alonso’s form in Singapore I think the inevitable will be postponed for two weeks.

      • Though something about Vettel winning the title in Singapore is very interesting – after winning his first title in Abu Dhabi he would become champion in the dark again – noone has ever done it once, let alone twice.

        • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 12th September 2011, 20:06

          That’s an interesting observation. I think you’re right about Alonso’s form. If Vettel wins, he needs Alonso to place 4th or worse, which seems unlikely unless something happens in the race. Who knows though, if Hamilton does well and gets 2nd, Webber gets out of his slump and gets 3rd, then it’s done.

    • Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 13th September 2011, 8:19

      The driver championship is over even if Vettel does not start the remaining 6 races he will be champion.

      His lead is 112 points and all season long Webber, Hamilton, Button and Alonso only have been taking points from eachother.

      In the scenario that Alonso finishes 2nd in each race and the other 3 each win 2 races Vettel will be champion regardless of what anyone else does.

      Only twice this year his championship lead decreased that was in China lead shrunk from 24 back to 21 and again 3 points after Germany from 80 back to 77.

      7 – 24 – 21 – 34 – 41 – 58 – 60 – 77 – 80 – 77 – 85 – 92 – 112

      FYI Vettel has more points that all not top 3 team drivers combined, Vettel 284 – all non top 3 team drivers 283

      • Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 13th September 2011, 8:26

        Singapore results => Vettel Champion again
        Vettel 1st
        Button/Webber 3rd or lower
        Alonso 4th or lower
        Hamilton is out if Vettel wins

        So best thing Hamilton can do to keep championship alive is avoid finishing 2nd

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th September 2011, 8:27

        I suspect you said “will” there for emphasis, but just to be clear, Vettel can be champion without finishing all the race but it’s not certain – if it was he’d be champion already!

        Vettel has more points that all not top 3 team drivers combined, Vettel 284 – all non top 3 team drivers 283

        That’s a good stat!

        • Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 13th September 2011, 8:46

          Theoratical you are right – in reality there is no chance at all that Vettel loses the championship even if he stays at home.

          None of the chasers have obtained enough points over 6 consecutive races this season to bridge their gap to Vettel.

          Best score over 6 consecutive races:
          Vettel = 143 points (Australia-Monaco)
          Alonos = 103 points (Valancia-Italy)
          Button = 93 points (Malaysia-Canada)
          Webber = 88 points (Canada-Belgium)
          Hamilton = 85 points (Australia-Monaco)

          Alonso is closest contender but still 9 points short and least likely to gain most points as Ferrari is now 3rd fastest team.

          • Yes, that’s true but there has always been Vettel there. If you are creating a scenario where he isn’t there, then you must assume all other drivers would make a few more points per race.

            Anyhow, it would still be difficult, unlikely even, for anyone to win the championship without Vettel there, and impossible with him racing.

  2. The two Saubers completed together exactly the race distance.

    Kobayashi completed 21 laps (32 to go)
    Perez completed 32 laps (21 to go)

  3. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th September 2011, 9:07

    Hispania were very briefly in the points when Tonio Liuzzi went off the road before the chicane.

    • Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 12th September 2011, 9:22

      You could almost say he retired from a points paying position if you really wanted to twist things. Or if you were Joe Saward.

    • Haha, I like this – but technically he had cut the corner and would’ve had to give the position back… ;)

    • David B (@david-b) said on 12th September 2011, 9:27

      Funny but true.
      A very dangerous crash.
      As something similar has also happened in moto racing at the some spots I think that Monza owners should lay down tarmac where there is the grass. It is too dangerous as it is now.

      • No they shouldn’t, call me old fashioned, but I hate the tarmac all around the track, where is the punishment if a driver runs wide? If they make a mistake, that should be it. Either out of the race, or having to visit the pits, or at the least lose positions.

        • David B (@david-b) said on 12th September 2011, 9:41

          In general I tend to agree with opinions like yours (tracks need to be more demanding and punishing).
          But that point is really dangerous. May be another solution could be to start closer to the chicane, so that they get there with a lower speed.
          The problem at Monza is that the foirst corner is exactly perpendicular to the straight, so if you go on the grass and loose control you exactly crash in the group, coming from the side.

          At the end, the cause is that stupid and horrible chicane!!!

          • Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 12th September 2011, 10:07

            So in that case simply build a barrier on the right side of the track before the chicane.

            This barrier would have caught and stopped Luizzi before getting to the chicane or atleast bounced him back onto the racetrack straight.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th September 2011, 10:10

            build a barrier on the right side of the track before the chicane.

            For drivers to hit at 350kph? Can’t see that happening.

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 12th September 2011, 11:03

            For drivers to hit at 350kph? Can’t see that happening.

            It would depend on how they did it. If they had several sets of tyre barriers separated by a few metres, it could slow the car down gradually over a distance of 50 metres or so, rather than a sudden stop like Perez in Monaco. But having said that, I am another one that hates tarmac run-off, but if it’s on the inside of a corner, drivers aren’t going to use it to get away with mistakes. I could just about put up with tarmac on the inside of corners open to t-bone situations.

            On another note, didn’t something very similar happen in free practice back in 2004 with a Jordan and a Minardi at that very corner?

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th September 2011, 11:19

            If they had several sets of tyre barriers separated by a few metres, it could slow the car down gradually over a distance of 50 metres or so, rather than a sudden stop

            I don’t think this is realistic.

            If the tyres are sufficiently anchored they’re going to cause very high deceleration in a car hitting them at up to 350 kph. If they’re not, where are the tyres going to go once the car’s hit them? Onto the track? Into the crowd?

            They tried something like this in 1996 at Monza and it was never used again. I think that’s because the idea isn’t right for F1.

            But it’s not an easy one to solve. Gravel increases the risk of a car flipping, tarmac is less useful when a car has a stuck throttle or brake failure.

            There have been some worrying crashes here. Remember Stephane Ortelli and Alain McNish in the LMS race in 2008:

            Only last year they altered the entry kerb to reduce the risk of a driver being launched over the front of another car:

            Kerbs eased at Monza for safety reasons

          • Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 12th September 2011, 12:27

            I propose a giant ramp is built which propels the out of control car into the air and over the circuit. Above the circuit will be a giant net, which will catch the flying car and absorb all of the energy. The car and driver will be unharmed, the net gently lowered to the ground and the driver can make his way back to the pits for repairs.

            Ok, maybe not. As it’s the inside of a chicane and is somewhere very unlikely for a car to end up unless it’s totally out of control, tarmac would be best. Sadly it would also look disgusting, but when safety is involved you can’t worry about the aesthetics, even at a place like Monza.

          • What about lenghtening the pitwall to the first chicane? That way the crash wouldn’t happen, though Liuzzi would probably still take someone out, but it would be safer. The pit exit should be on the exit of the first chicane.

          • Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 12th September 2011, 14:59

            Honestly I put the onus on Liuzzi more than the track itself. He knew he’d run out of track when it took that far to the right. Hence the deserved penalty. It’s one thing to be opportunistic, it’s another to be foolhardy.

          • Why can’t it just be a sand trap…..tarmac would be lame

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 12th September 2011, 18:16

            If the tyres are sufficiently anchored they’re going to cause very high deceleration in a car hitting them at up to 350 kph. If they’re not, where are the tyres going to go once the car’s hit them? Onto the track? Into the crowd?

            I was thinking several rows of tyres with those conveyor belt things keeping them together. Only when you hit the first row, it slides back into the second row, and then the third etc. until the all of the rows are stopped by a concrete or armco barrier. I don’t think it would be entirely unsafe, but perhaps a little impractical. But safety isn’t to be taken lightly and I’m sure the FIA are thinking of something as we speak.

  4. Eight wins in a season from Vettel is the highest number of wins for one driver in any season since 2004.

  5. Well we have seen in history that teams F1 teams go through patches of dominating. We saw it with McLaren and Ferrari… It seems that it’s red bulls time presently, as a McLaren fan it is painful.

    The RB7 is truly a masterpiece of a car, and Vettel has fully capitalised on this.

    Moving away from Vettel and Red Bull, it really has been a great season to watch.

    • Hamish said on 12th September 2011, 9:51

      Even with Vettel in the equation its been a good season to watch. Some of his qualifying laps have been simply amazing.

  6. Damon (@damon) said on 12th September 2011, 9:45

    “Mark Webber posted Red Bull’s first retirement of the year.”
    Hah, this surprised me.

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 12th September 2011, 11:07

      Really? Not me! The only reliability problems they’ve had is KERS issues. Other than that, the car has been invincible in the year that their rivals most needed unreliability.

      • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 14th September 2011, 13:39

        It was the first thought that came in to my mind when Webber hit the wall. Given that you can’t put it down to mechanical failure, it makes you wonder if Vettel can get through an entire season without a single DNF.

  7. AdrianMorse said on 12th September 2011, 9:49

    I strongly suspect Vettel’s current tally of 284 points will not be matched by any driver this year. In fact, the driver most likely to score 112 or more points from the remaining six races…is Vettel.

  8. paulguitar (@paulguitar) said on 12th September 2011, 9:52

    Vettel has done and is doing an amazing job, hats off to him.

    I can’t help wishing we could have Hamilton or Alonso in the other Red Bull, though, so we could get a really good idea of just how good he really is.

    However, all he can do is the best he can with what he has got, and he has certainly been doing that this year.

    • It’s just puzzling how Webber fares bad against Vettel or even against Alonso who is driving 3rd quickest team car or supposedly 5th quickest car assuming RBR’s 2 and Mclaren’s 2 cars are quicker.
      And I consider Webber a decent driver who is no worse than Button nor Massa.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 12th September 2011, 10:46

        I think there’s a lot of mitigating factors if you compare him to others than Vettel. The Pirellis really don’t suit Mark’s driving style, it took him half a year just to get used to them. Then he’s (coincidentally, no conspiracies please) had a lot of the mechanical problems Red Bull have had this year (failing KERS off the line in Malaysia, for one). And then there’s been his bad starts (although his one yesterday was quite good).

        • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 12th September 2011, 11:09

          Yes, his bad starts have probably cost him second in the championship, at least.

        • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 12th September 2011, 11:11

          Yes, his bad starts have probably cost him second in the championship, at least. But his only real mechanical problems have been KERS-related, so it hasn’t affected him too much. Well, not as much as an engine failure would, for example. I like the Pirelli excuse though. As a Webber fan, I have to use whatever I can this year. I do think he’ll be back next year though. Okay, I hope he will! :P

        • I’ve seen a couple people now say Webber had a good start yesterday, and I’m confused. Didn’t he lose two places at the start?

        • Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 12th September 2011, 12:20

          The Pirellis really don’t suit Mark’s driving style, it took him half a year just to get used to them.

          I think this is one of Vettel’s strength – he can adapt to rule or tire changes more quickly that most drivers – really the driver feeling/touch that makes the difference.

          Same applies to Button’s amazing feeling how to get the optimum out of a car in changing dry/wet conditions.

  9. Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 12th September 2011, 9:55

    Vettel is now ranked shared 3rd of drivers with most wins within a season as he won his 8th race this season.

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

    In relative terms it shows

    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%

    Vettel at the moment with 8 out of 13 (61.5%) he is ranked 6th. Counting without further wins his score would be 42.1% which is ranked 27th.

    • Flying Lobster 27 said on 12th September 2011, 10:16

      Jelle, ranked 4th is “Fangio in 1954″. He won 6 races from 9 in the season, but he actually won 6 from 8 starts, and, if you don’t discount his 4 worst results (including his DNS at Indy), he had more than double the points Jose Frolian Gonzalez had in second (using that year’s points system)!

  10. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 12th September 2011, 9:59

    In terms of numbers alone (as skewed wonderfully by the 25-18-15 points system) doesn’t Vettel now have the biggest points lead in history, and biggest number of points in a season in history?

  11. Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 12th September 2011, 10:03

    Ignoring the pollution of the new point system and looking purely at the numbers.

    ALonso broke through the 1000 career point barrier – he is only the 2nd driver to do this. He has 1,001 career points, first is MSC with 1,493.

    Vettel jumped 2 places (Barrichello and Hamilton) to 5th in all time career points with 665 points.

    TOP 10 ALL TIME CAREER POINTS
    M. Schumacher 1,493
    F. Alonso 1,001
    Alain Prost 799
    Jenson Button 708
    S. Vettel 665
    R. Barrichello 658
    Lewis Hamilton 654
    Ayrton Senna 614
    K. Raikkonen 579
    Mark Webber 579

  12. Indeed this was the first time when 5 reigning/former F1 world champion finished in the top5.

  13. Carlos Santos said on 12th September 2011, 10:14

    “Vitantonio Liuzzi started his 75th Grand Prix, as did Vettel. One did rather better than the other…”

    lol

  14. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 12th September 2011, 10:15

    We had 15 race finishers, the lowest number since Australia, where 14 cars finished from 22 starters.

    Force India have overtaken Sauber for 6th place in the constructors championship. Their highest finish was 7th last year.

    Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel have got podium streaks on the go. They are both on 3.

    Red Bull have scored 13/13 poles so far this season, they look on their way to beating 15/16 set by both McLaren and Williams.

    No driver outside of the top 3 teams has set a fastest lap this season.

    If Vettel wins the last 6 races of the season, he will have won 14 out of 19, beating Schumacher’s 13 out of 18 set in 2004.

    Force India drivers have alternated scoring points for the last 4 races, Sutil in Germany and Belgium, Di Resta in Hungary and Italy.

    Alguersuari has also scored Toro Rossos best result since Buemi’s 7th at Brazil in 2009.

  15. Bulletproof reliability of Redbull…

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