Another record falls to Vettel after first perfect win

2011 Indian GP stats and facts

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit

Vettel dominated in India

Sebastian Vettel had his first ever perfect result in the Indian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver started from pole position, set fastest lap, and led every lap on his way to victory.

He is the 22nd driver to achieve this feat, also called a ‘Grand Chelem’.

Two other drivers on the grid have achieved this in the past: Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso:

Rank Driver/s Perfect results
1 Jim Clark 8
2 Alberto Ascari, Michael Schumacher 5
4 Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna, Jackie Stewart 4
7 Nelson Piquet 3
8 Jack Brabham, Juan Manuel Fangio, Mika Hakkinen 2
11 Fernando Alonso, Gerhard Berger, Mike Hawthorn, Damon Hill, Jacky Ickx, Jacques Laffite, Niki Lauda, Stirling Moss, Clay Regazzoni, Jo Siffert, Sebastian Vettel, Gilles Villeneuve 1

Vettel’s pole position gave Red Bull a record 16th in a single season. It was the 28th pole of his career.

He scored his 21st career win and set fastest lap for the ninth time, the latter putting him level with Denny Hulme, Ronnie Peterson and Jacques Villeneuve.

Vettel also set a new record for most laps led during a season. He’s now led 711, beating the previous record held by Nigel Mansell.

At this point I must correct an error I made in the previous stats and facts article and on Twitter yesterday. I originally credited Mansell with leading 694 laps in 1992. In fact he led 692*, so Vettel surpassed his record after lap 42, not lap 44 as I said yesterday.

Year Driver Laps led Total laps % led
2011 Sebastian Vettel 711 1007/1133 70.61
1992 Nigel Mansell 692 1036 66.8
2004 Michael Schumacher 683 1122 60.87
1994 Michael Schumacher 646 1046 61.76

The question now is whether Vettel can also beat the record for highest percentage of laps led in a season – 71.49% by Jim Clark in 1963. To do that he needs to lead at least 99 of the remaining 126 laps in Abu Dhabi and Brazil.

Vettel has finished in the points for the last 19 races in a row – the second-longest streak of all time. He needs five more to match Michael Schumacher’s record of 24, which lasted from the 2001 Hungarian Grand Prix to the 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix.

Felipe Massa failed to finish in his 150th race start. This brought his run of ten consecutive points finishes to an end. Alonso has finished the last ten races in the points.

Massa also became the 18th driver to receive a penalty in a race this year. The only drivers who have started every race without receiving a penalty are Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg, Vitaly Petrov, Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli.

McLaren are now confirmed in the runner-up position in the constructors’ championship. They last won the constructors’ title in 1998, and have finished in second place seven times since then.

India became the 30th country to host a round of the world championship. F1 has now races in three of the world’s five most populous nations: China (population 1.3bn), India (1.2bn) and Brazil (196m). This will grow to four with the return of the United States Grand Prix (313m) next year. The most populous country without a race is Indonesia (242m).

Review the year so far in statistics here:

Have you spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the Indian Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.

*This was because I had Mansell down as having led 51 laps of the French Grand Prix that year, instead of 49. That race was stopped and restarted, with the remainder of the race run on aggregate time. Mansell took the lead on the track immediately after the restart, but it wasn’t until two laps later that he was also leading on aggregate time.

2011 Indian Grand Prix

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92 comments on Another record falls to Vettel after first perfect win

  1. is there any driver who won every practice, and get a grand chelem on same GP?

  2. Hairs (@hairs) said on 31st October 2011, 10:01

    the explanation for the change in reported numbers on Nigel’s laps led is without doubt the most tedious thing I’ve read in years. :-) Your work ethic for this sort of thing is creditable, Keith!

  3. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 31st October 2011, 10:05

    Two or three of Schumacher’s were during the re-fuelling era weren’t they? Really it’s surprising this is Vettel’s first, given his form this year – goes to show how special a Grand Slam result is.

    Might be wrong but I think it’s the first time the reigning world champion has won a new race since Bahrain 2004?

  4. Girts (@girts) said on 31st October 2011, 10:20

    Buddh International Circuit has become the 30th Grand Prix circuit for Michael Schumacher, that is, he’s driven on 30 different circuits while participating in F1 races. Rubens Barrichello has raced on 29. I’m not sure if 30 is the all-time record but it is very likely.

    • Girts (@girts) said on 31st October 2011, 13:33

      Looks like these figures are wrong. I decided to prove the stats myself and counted at least 32 GP circuits where Schumacher has driven during his F1 career. One should never trust the TV commentators!

  5. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st October 2011, 10:23

    The only drivers who have started every race without receiving a penalty are Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg, Vitaly Petrov, Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli.

    Petrov had one at the start of the Indian Grand Prix.

  6. RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 31st October 2011, 10:26

    Whilst Schumi’s stats are during the re-fueling era, which made the Grand Slam almost impossible, Clark’s are unreal. I have always admired Jimmy and find it a bit sad that his legacy is not as well remembered as Fangio and Stewart. When you think of the real greats around that time (pre 70s) I always put Clark as the greatest despite Fangio’s undoubted greatness. Even in Scotland there is very little on him but a great deal on JYS. JYS obviously has a greater longevity and was a genius but its stats like leading 71% of the season and 8 grand slams in 73 races (with high attrition rate in the Lotuses of the day) that is simply beyond belief.

    • 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 31st October 2011, 10:36

      Obviosuly there were no pit stops in Clarks era (which makes the lead every lap bit easier) but 8 in 73 races is amazing. As you said, given how fragile the cars were then he wouldn’t have wanted to go for too many Fastest laps at the end of races

      • RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 31st October 2011, 10:39

        Yeah, I completely agree man, that’s why Senna’s FL ratio is so low, when your in the lead what is the point stressing the car into a fastest lap, Clark did it effortlessly.

    • Ilanin (@ilanin) said on 1st November 2011, 11:25

      Clark started 72 races, finished 45 (though was classified 50 times) of them, and won 25 of those. Of the 20 he didn’t win, 11 of them were in his first two seasons in F1 where Clark was still learning his craft (Clark started racing in 1956 and was competing in F1 by 1960, so it’s not entirely surprising he took a couple of years to get the hang of it), and the Lotus was a bit underpowered compared to much of the competition (the only people to win in a Lotus prior to 1962 were Stirling Moss, in favourable conditions and driving the best races of his life, and Innes Ireland, rather fortunately (Moss and Brabham both retired from ahead of him, and Roy Salvadori and Graham Hill had to do so while closing rapidly on the lead).

      In five of the remaining nine races he had some kind of mechanical failure causing him to lose speed or have to come into the pits to have it fixed, and two of the remaining four were in the 1966 season where he was racing a 2-litre engined car in a 3-litre engined formula.

      From 1962 until his death, if Clark’s car was capable of winning, he won, or he broke down – other results were vanishingly rare. It’s pretty incredible.

  7. Chalky (@chalky) said on 31st October 2011, 10:42

    Vettels pole was his 13th this season. His engineer called that one out to him over the radio. Senna 13, Prost 13, Vettel 13.
    Only Mansell has managed 14 poles in a season (1992).
    However Mansell, Senna & Prost all had 16 race seasons.

  8. Vettel had pole position, had fastest lap, led every lap, broke the record for laps led in a season — all this can mean only one thing!

    Button is definitely Driver of the Weekend. ;-)

  9. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 31st October 2011, 11:01

    A notable mention must go to Adrian Newey. He developed both of the cars that held the most laps led record. The FW14B, the legendary car of the 90’s that Mansell drove to the record and clinched the title with in 1992 and the RB7, the ever dominant Redbull machine that Vettel also clinched the title with while surpassing Mansell’s record. The only question is…. will Vettel pass Clark’s record, I believe he will. We should have a competition, closet margin guessed wins!

    • 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 31st October 2011, 12:27

      So he needs to lead all of Brazil and half of Abu Dhabi, or all of Abu Dhabi and most of Brazil or most of both. At Brazil its possible but Mclaren might be good round Abu Dhabi and if Hamilton can put it together, he could be a thorn in Vettels side round there.

  10. Sergey said on 31st October 2011, 11:12

    Keith do you have stats on any other grand chelems achieved at inaugural GPs? I think it is quite an achievement to have a perfect weekend on a track where everyone is even footed (bar the cars).

    • Racer (@racer) said on 31st October 2011, 12:43

      Here’s a complete list: Juan Manel Fangio got the Grand Chelem at the inaugral Monaco GP in 1950. Alberto Ascari got it at the inaugral GPs at Rouen and Zandvoort, both in 1952, and Argentina in 1953. Stirling Moss got it at the only GP at Monsanto in 1959. Jim Clark got it at the inaugral GPs at Brands Hatch in 1964 and Clermont-Ferrand in 1965. Jackie Stewart got it at the inaugral GP at Paul Ricard in 1971. Clay Regazzoni got it at the inaugral GP at Long Beach in 1976. So officially Vettel’s was the first for 35 years and the 10th overall. However Mansell got it at South Africa 1992, which was the first race at the revised Kyalami which had little in common with the original.

  11. tobinen (@tobinen) said on 31st October 2011, 11:14

    I’ve never heard of a “Grand Chelem” until now. Anyone know the origin of the phrase?

    • marcusbreese (@marcusbreese) said on 31st October 2011, 11:38

      It means Grand Slam in french, I think it just refers to taking accolade available.

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 31st October 2011, 11:47

      Preliminary googling suggests it comes from the card game whist, a forerunner of bridge, where it means taking all of the (thirteen) tricks. Keith’s usage of the word Chelem seems to suggest that the French version is the original, from which ‘slam’ is derived. However, the French Wikipedia article on Grand Chelem seemed to say (my French is pretty poor) that Chelem is derived from the English Slam!

      • Trix (@) said on 31st October 2011, 22:15

        You are absolutely right: we refer to this as the “Grand Chelem” because of the implication of France in the history of Formula 1. However, the phrase is derivative of the English bridge term “Grand Slam” through the process of typical French phonetic translation (with slight adaptation, of course). It is not even a century old.

        The “Grand Chelem” represents also other major sports achievements in France (such as in tennis and in rugby).

  12. David Livingstone said on 31st October 2011, 11:28

    He’s the youngest ever to achieve a Grand Chelem as far as I know.

    • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 31st October 2011, 11:46

      Indeed. Was supposed to point this out.

      And the guy’s just 24! He gets his first Grand Chelem a whole year younger than Michael Schumacher (the previous youngest guy to win it). Although I think Vettel needed more GPs to achieve his first compared to Schumacher.

    • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 2nd November 2011, 13:12

      Yes, youngest driver ever to get a Grand Slam! For me looks really impressive to see that this kind of victory is so hard to get that even famous names like Alain Prost are not on the list. or probably the reason is that on Prost’s times, to get a long gap over the second was practically impossible due to good duels… well but Mansell can prove me wrong.
      Looks like the only way to get a Grand Slam is to have a superb car which has also the best endurance talking about tyres or about fuel efficiency (in refuelling times) and no doubt Red Bull is bringing the best machine to do it! but even though it’s so hard to get the Grand Slam that in all this year domination Vettel – RBR have “just” one

  13. Txizzle (@txizzle) said on 31st October 2011, 12:22

    Maybe we should just change the name to V1 instead of F1. :(

  14. GameR_K (@gamer_k) said on 31st October 2011, 12:29

    Looking for the guy who does the Damon Hill-Vettel comparison. Miss those stats.

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 31st October 2011, 14:23

      @icthyes, you’re up! (@GameR_K – Icthyes is a bit of a legend…)

      • kierran (@kierran) said on 31st October 2011, 17:44

        Doing a straight comparison between Hill and Vettel’s first 79 grands prix gives the following numbers. (Note Damon had 65/79 races in the Williams, Sebastian’s only had 53/79 races in the Red Bull)

        Hill, 79 races, 21 wins, 20 poles, 19 fastest laps, 41 podiums, 1331 laps led.

        Vettel, 79 races, 21 wins, 28 poles, 9 fastest laps, 35 podiums, 1357 laps led

        • 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 31st October 2011, 21:32

          Unlike Damon Seb didn’t make a horlicks of 2 titles (94 he had ample opportunity against Schumacher who was banned for 3 or 4 races) and 95 when he spun off whenever the car didn’t pack up.
          And Seb won’t go to a backmarker team purely for the $$$
          And Seb had better opposition

          • kierran (@kierran) said on 31st October 2011, 23:11

            Seb hasn’t messed up winning a title yet, but very nearly did last year, and in 2009 should arguably have been closer to Button.

            Its interesting how similar the stats are for Vettel v Hill, but Hill had a more dominant car (on average) and for an extra year at Williams than Vettel has so far at Red Bull.

            At the moment, Seb seems to be trying to chase down as many of Schumacher’s records as possible. Having had only 9 fastest laps so far, its the only major stat where he’s a long way behind where Schumacher (24 FL’s) was at the same stage in his career. Perhaps that could be the reason he seems so concerned about getting fastest laps at the moment.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 31st October 2011, 21:31

      Hello @gamer_k it’s certainly nice to be remembered and appreciated, thank you!

      During the seasons of 1994-1996 Hill racked up these stats:
      – 18 wins over 49 races, 36.7%
      – 30 podiums, 61.2%
      – 18 pole positions, 36.7%
      – 35 front-row starts, 71.4%
      – Pole-to-win ratio 7/18, 38.9%
      – Ratio of victories won from not starting on pole 11/18, 61.1%
      – Races won from all non-pole starts 11/31 35.5%
      – Points percentage 257/490 52.4%

      Over the course of 2009-present, Vettel’s in comparison look like this:
      – 20 wins over 53 races, 37.7%
      – 34 podiums, 64.2%
      – 27 pole positions, 50.9%
      – 37 front-row starts, 69.8%
      – Pole-to-win ratio 15/27, 55.5%
      – Win from non-pole ratio 5/20, 25%
      – Non-pole to win ratio 5/26 19.2%
      – Points percentage 294/530 55.5%

      Points are calculated to 10-6-4-3-2-1 system

      • Trix (@) said on 31st October 2011, 22:18

        Impressive, Pisces!

        I had no clue you were keeping Hill-Vettel tabs. Interesting. *takes notes*

        • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 31st October 2011, 22:54

          Well I figured Damon would be as good a barometer as any when dealing with someone driving in a top, but not totally unbeatable car!

          • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 1st November 2011, 5:45

            Those statistics are really incredible. This leads me to two thoughts; One, that Hill was and still remains underrated, and Two, that I hope Vettel can continue on with far more success than Damon was able to do so.

          • Trix (@) said on 1st November 2011, 8:54

            It’s a great comparison, Icthyes. Surely it showcases both Hill & Vettel in a new-ish light with regards to their cashing in on the dominance capacities of their car.

            It takes more than firing the engine to get the work done.

          • Ilanin (@ilanin) said on 1st November 2011, 10:36

            The basic difference, as I see it, between Hill and Vettel, is that Sebastian started driving open-wheel racers when he was about 8, whereas Damon did so in his early twenties. Therefore, Hill’s career at the top was extremely short whereas Vettel’s is likely to be rather long.

      • GameR_K (@gamer_k) said on 1st November 2011, 6:48

        Thank you :)

  15. matt90 (@matt90) said on 31st October 2011, 13:21

    As @Enigma has pointed out before, we are only 2 races from getting the first season where only world champions have won every race. Normally this would show a lack of competition, and that is true to an extent, but as that means 4 race winners from 3 teams (showing some amount of competition) I think it mainly shows the calibre of the champions we have.

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