Michael Schumacher, Felipe Massa, Suzuka, 2011

Schumacher is the oldest driver to lead since 1970

2011 Japanese GP stats and factsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Michael Schumacher, Felipe Massa, Suzuka, 2011
Michael Schumacher, Felipe Massa, Suzuka, 2011

Michael Schumacher officially led a race (by completing a lap in the lead) for the first time since the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix. At 42 years and 279 days old he is the oldest driver to lead a race since Jack Brabham in the 1970 British Grand Prix.

It was the 142nd Grand Prix he’s led and makes him the eighth different driver to lead a race this year.

Here’s all the stats and facts from the Japanese Grand Prix.

Vettel notched up his 27th career pole position to put himself on his own in seventh place on the all-time list. It was his 12th of the year, putting him two short of the all-time record of 14 in a season (which was set when there were 16 races rather than 19).

He finished in third place for the first time this year, having only previously finished in first, second or fourth. This was his 14th podium finish this year, leaving him three short of the all-time record (which was set when there were 17 races).

He held tenth place for one lap during the race which is the lowest position he has occupied in a race all season. To put that into perspective, Vitantonio Liuzzi and both Virgin drivers have started every race this season without completing a lap inside the top ten.

Vettel won the title with four races to spare, which is one of the earliest ever conclusions to the championship:

Driver Races left
2002 Michael Schumacher 6
1992 Nigel Mansell 5
2001 Michael Schumacher 4
2004 Michael Schumacher 4
2011 Sebastian Vettel 4

For more statistics on Vettel’s second world championship victory, see here:

Jenson Button scored the 12th victory of his career, which was his fifth for McLaren and his first for the team in a dry race.

Button now has as many wins as Mario Andretti, Carlos Reutemann and Alan Jones.

He also set the sixth fastest lap of his career, giving him as many asJose Froilan Gonzalez, Mike Hawthorn, Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Emerson Fittipaldi, Carlos Reutemann, Jacques Laffite and Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

Kamui Kobayashi started from a career-best seventh on the grid – despite not setting a time in Q3.

Mark Webber made his best start to a Grand Prix in seven races. He didn’t make up any places but, more importantly, he didn’t lose any, as he did in the previous six rounds.

The new-era Lotus finished a race with both cars on the lead lap for the first time. The last time they did this in their previous incarnation was at Suzuka’s first Japanese Grand Prix in 1987.

Mercedes were the quickest team in the pits for the sixth time this year. Only Red Bull have done better, achieving the fastest turnaround seven times this year. McLaren and Ferrari have done so once each.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2011 Japanese Grand Prix

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Image ?? Mercedes