Hamilton leads his 1,000th lap in F1

2011 Abu Dhabi GP stats and facts

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Lewis Hamilton recorded his 17th Grand Prix victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, putting him 15th on the list of all-time winners.

He also became the 17th driver to lead 1,000 laps in his career. Until this race he had led progressively fewer laps in every year he had been in F1.

Here’s how many laps he’s led in each season so far:

Year Laps led
2007 321
2008 294
2009 182
2010 100
2011 150
Total 1047

Hamilton took the lead after Sebastian Vettel retired. That means Vettel can no longer match Michael Schumacher’s record of winning 13 races in a season from 2004, nor Jim Clark’s record of leading 71.47% of laps in a season in 1963.

Hamilton and Vettel have quite an affinity for the Yas Marina circuit. They have locked out the front row of the grid for all three Abu Dhabi Grands Prix and led 146 of 165 laps at the circuit.

Vettel matched Nigel Mansell’s record for the most pole positions in a season. Both set 14 – Mansell in 16 races in 1992, Vettel in 18, with one still remaining this year.

His non-finish also means there are no drivers left who have finished every race this year. He and team mate Mark Webber are the only drivers to have finished 17 races this year.

Webber also set the 12th fastest lap of his career, giving him as many as Alberto Ascari, Jack Brabham, Rene Arnoux and Juan Pablo Montoya. It was his sixth fastest lap of the year, meaning he will definitely set the most of any driver this year.

This was the first race without a Red Bull on the podium since the Korean Grand Prix last year, which was also Vettel’s last race retirement.

Kamui Kobayashi scored his first points since the German Grand Prix.

Pastor Maldonado received two penalties in the race, meaning he has now received five over the course of the season which ties with Hamilton for the most received by a single driver. Maldonado has had a further two penalties in qualifying – one of which in Abu Dhabi for an engine change – and Hamilton one:

Williams had their worst ever starting positions for a race – 23rd and 24th.

Their previous worst was in the 1975 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen where Jacques Laffite and Lella Lombardi qualified 21st and 24th respectively. Incidentally, neither driver started that Grand Prix – Lombardi’s ignition failed and Laffite got visor cleaning fluid in his eye and couldn’t race.

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 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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108 comments on Hamilton leads his 1,000th lap in F1

  1. Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 14th November 2011, 8:26

    I believe Alonso now has a trophy from every track currently on the calendar – though obviously that will change with the addition of Austin next year.

  2. Girts (@girts) said on 14th November 2011, 8:38

    He and team mate Mark Webber are the only drivers to have finished 17 races this year.

    I think Alonso has finished 17 races as well, his only retirement came at Montreal.

  3. Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 14th November 2011, 8:41

    Comparison on constructor points between 2010 and 2011 based only on the first 18 races in both years
    Red Bull 607 vs. 469 = +138 points
    McLaren 482 vs. 421 = +61 points
    Ferrari 353 vs. 389 = -36 points
    Mercedes 159 vs. 202 = -43 points
    Renault 72 vs. 145 = -73 points
    Force India 57 vs. 69 = -12 points
    Sauber 42 vs. 68 = -26 points
    Toro Rosso 41 vs. 44 = -3 points
    Williams 5 vs. 11 = -6 points
    New teams 0 vs. 0 = same
    Only Mclaren and Red Bull have more points 18 races into the season that last year – the main reason I would say is reliability as unless a major jump is made the outside top 3 teams are always fighting over what is left and will in most cases only score when there are accidents or reliability issues witht the top 3 teams.
    Top 3 teams have 79.3% of the points (70.4% in 2010) and 91% of the max possible points (1-6 finish every race).

    If you look at top 6 finishes of non top 3 team you have:
    In total 18 times with total points 176 – last year that was 34 times with total points 361 points.
    In 2011 there were 11 DNS of top 3 vs. 21 DNS in 2010.

    • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 14th November 2011, 8:47

      What a fantastic stat!! Well done and thank you!!

      It’s quite impressive to see that McLaren have more points from 18 races this year than RedBull did from 18 races last year. It just shows how much they have both upped their game over everyone else.

    • Jubameister said on 14th November 2011, 8:50

      That has to be wrong. For example Williams scored 69 points last year so i don’t know where you got that 11 from. Even if you only calculated the first 18 races.

    • As the top 3 teams’ gap from the lower teams has increased, and Mercedes no longer have score podiums, and Renault have significantly dropped-off as of late, and Ferrari are less evenly matched to McLaren and Red Bull, and as Massa gets no results and Button and Vettel are awesome, it’s pretty obvious.
      Nonetheless thanks for sharing!

  4. Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 14th November 2011, 8:52

    I was quite upset seeing Vettel spin off – not such to do with being a Vettel fan but more being a stat & record fan.

    His retirement meant a whole load or records disappeared in terms of wins, podiums, laps lead, % points a real shame as it likely will be another decade before we see again such a dominance from 1 driver.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 14th November 2011, 9:18

      Vettel’s pole record is impressive, but Mansell’s is even more. 14/16 (87,5%) vs. 14/18 (77,7%), if Vettel lands the pole in Brazil he will make 15/19 (78,9%).

      • I think when you consider Nigel Mansell’s car was over a second and sometimes nearly two seconds quicker than his own teammate Riccardo Patrese in the sister car at some tracks that it is incredible that he didn’t achieve 16/16 pole positions, and only won 9 races.

        I think Vettel’s is more impressive, the Red Bull is the quickest car but he has had nowhere near that advantage at most tracks, and at some Mclaren have looked quicker but Vettel just pulled pole out of the bag.

        • Ilanin (@ilanin) said on 14th November 2011, 10:47

          He won nine races, finished second three times, and had four retirements (though one of those was probably his fault).

          Of his three second places, he was leading at Monaco before being forced to pit by what was thought to be a puncture but was actually a loose wheel nut, and he was catching Schumacher rapidly at Spa when he had an engine misfire – it was only in Hungary he actually lost on something resembling pace.

        • JCost (@jcost) said on 14th November 2011, 14:09

          2 seconds faster than Patrese? That would make his performance more impressive wouldn’t it?

          • Mansell was typically a second ahead of Patrese in the other Williams, and then there was another second to Senna in the Mclaren. That’s 2 seconds to the third placed car! That would cover the top 12-14 cars nowadays.

            Mansell had such a car advantage over the rest of the field, and Patrese was the definite number 2 within the team and wasn’t as good a driver anyway that I am surprised Mansell wasn’t on pole at every race.

            Vettel has generally had a couple of tenths advantage at most tracks, but nowhere near the car advantage Mansell had. I find Vettel’s more impressive because qualifying is more competitive nowadays than in 1992 and he has still stuck it on pole 14/18 sessions.

    • vjanik said on 14th November 2011, 13:21

      i think most people would disagree with you. hopefully next year the championship will not be so one sided and we will see different people winning and being on pole.

      schumacher’s ferrari era was impressive from a stats point of view, and great for schumi fans, but for the rest of us it was a bit dull to see the same car/driver dominate for 5 years.

      i think the new rules for 2013 will change the pecking order. Red bull will have a tougher time to remain on top.

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 14th November 2011, 14:51

      I agree, it wasnt just about the race,I think every F1 fan was specting to se if Sebastian will be able to do what Schumacher and Clarks did. So there were 3 records gone in 1 punture? Man If I felt like somebody have just punch me I bet Sebastian an the team were about to cry…

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 14th November 2011, 21:43

        He appeared to be remarkably composed under the circumstances. Going into the race he had 88% of the possible points, beating Schumacher’s 2002 record of 84.71%. If he wins in Brazil he can only achieve 84%, putting him second on that list as well as second in number of wins in a season. Would’ve been cool to see him tie the number of wins record and beat the percentage of points record. Oh well. There’s always next year.

    • Juan Pablo Heidfeld (@juan-pablo-heidfeld-1) said on 14th November 2011, 16:54

      Oh no, a race without Vettel dominating.

      Its much more exciting if no one matches the most in one season stats as it is usually boring

      • Alonso and massa same car but alonso is super first vettel and webber same car but still vettel beats webber , that was the same to mansell and patrese 2sec adrift big gap.

    • Scalextric (@scalextric) said on 15th November 2011, 4:48

      I don’t think the records disappeared, they merely stayed where they already were, so to speak.
      I assume you mean the possibility of them being broken this year disappeared, much to the delight of the current holders, however.

  5. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th November 2011, 9:45

    That means Vettel can no longer match [...] Jim Clark’s record of leading 71.47% of laps in a season in 1963.

    Assuming for the moment that Vettel will lead all 71 laps at Interlagos, what was the minimum number of laps that he would have needed to lead in Abu Dhabi to beat Clark’s record?

  6. With a 3rd place finish in Abu Dhabi 2011, Button is confirmed as Mclaren’s top driver for this season. It’s the first time Hamilton finished behind a team mate in F1. Interestingly, Hamilton will have car numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 in successive seasons (2009-2012).

    • Ilanin (@ilanin) said on 14th November 2011, 10:48

      Why do you assume McLaren will switch the numbers around on their cars for next year?

      • Alex (@smallvizier) said on 14th November 2011, 11:43

        Traditionally, whoever gets more points receives the lower car number.

      • minnis (@minnis) said on 14th November 2011, 11:45

        It isn’t McLaren’s decision – it’s the numbering system.

        The pairs of numbers get handed to the order in which the constructors finished in the WCC. Last year, McLaren were second, so had 3+4, Ferrari had 5+6 etc. The driver who finished the year ahead in the standings is automatically made the lower number, and given the red camera pod.

        There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule. The reigning world champion will have number 1 on his car no matter what team he is. If he doesnt go to the WCC, then the WCC get 3+4.

        So, assuming there are no shock changes in the lineup for next year, we will have:
        1 – Vettel (WDC)
        2 – Webber (WDC’s teammate)
        3 – Button (McLaren next highest, BUT beats HAM)
        4 – Hamilton (BUT beats HAM)
        5 – Alonso (Ferrari next highest, ALO beats MAS)
        and so on.

        Also, if the world champion retires after winning, the number 0 is used instead of number 1.
        The number 13 is also never used – it jumps from 12 to 14.

        I am unsure of the rules for aquiring new drivers, but I believe when one driver stays and one driver is brought in, the driver that has stayed is automatically the lower number.
        Hope this helps.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th November 2011, 11:50

          The driver who finished the year ahead in the standings is automatically made the lower number

          No they aren’t, that is at the team’s discretion. Most teams do this, but not all.

          For example, Michael Schumacher is number seven at Mercedes this year and Nico Rosberg is number eight but Rosberg finished ahead of Schumacher in the standings last year.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th November 2011, 13:12

            Not to mention the way Ferrari gave Massa the number 7 last year as a symbol of the team rallying around his recovery.

          • that’s an interesting hisotry. My sense is that Hamilton will not contest the matter and will happily give the 3 to Button. In one sense it aids his attempt to reset his career. After 5 years in the sport, the first time a year when people are not either expecting him, with equal measure of hysteria, to win the title or fall on his face.

            It is interesting then to wonder what would have happened at McLaren in 2008 had Alonso not flown the coup. I believe technically, on hair-spliting count-back, Hamilton could have claimed the red roll hoop, but I don’t think Aonso would have been convinced, and would have put forth another theory of how to assign the numbers.

          • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 14th November 2011, 15:27

            Not to mention McLaren has precedent to keep the drivers numbers as they are. In 2003, DC had car number 5, while Kimi had car number 6. Kimi walloped DC that year (runner-up to MSC), but they retained DC and Kimi in their original car numbers for 2004.

          • @keith collantine From what I’ve heard (think it was Martin Brundle talking about it at the beginning of the year) Schumacher specifically asked Rosberg if he could have the number 7. I forget the reason, but it had something to do with MSC not liking odd numbers (whether for bad luck or something else). Seeing how Rosberg will likely finish ahead of MSC and MSC being so much closer to him in the standings, I can see Nico keeping the #7 for himself 2012.

        • Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta) said on 14th November 2011, 12:13

          The FIA only directly determines what pair of numbers a team gets (constructors’ title) and who has number 1 (the driver’s champion). By extension, this means the FIA also determines who gets 2 or 0 (2 goes to the team-mate of a current world champion, while 0 goes to whoever takes over the seat that the current world champion has vacated, if the champion in question left F1 in the process). Otherwise, which of a team’s drivers gets the lower number at non-championship-winning teams is determined by whose name is written first in that year’s entry form.

          The team entry form has to be in before the end of November in a given year unless it’s a new team, meaning the drivers who move teams later automatically have to have a team’s higher number because their slot would originally have been given as “TBA” and the other one as the name of whoever was staying. Drivers who complete transfers earlier may be in a position to negotiate (especially when a very successful driver signs for a team that has a rookie or someone known to be less good than them).

          Occasionally the FIA will switch round which of a team’s drivers has which number but only at the team’s request and only in rare circumstances. Rosberg/Schumacher in 2010 is the most recent example of such a switch – Schumacher was announced after the entry form was received, so needed dispensation to take the lower number that he would traditionally be expected to have as a seven-time world champion.

  7. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 14th November 2011, 11:01

    That’s why I was wondering what was missing on the podium!

  8. BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th November 2011, 11:07

    This really is one of the most fun part of the weekend analyses @keithcollantine!
    Good work from @jelle-van-der-meer for those points comparisons as well, also shows how its hard to keep up :-)

  9. Mauricio said on 14th November 2011, 11:23

    This joke of a driver Felipe Massa runs only for the pacycheck. The guy is always the last of the six front running cars, he is about to set a new “record”: the only Ferrari driver who run a full-season, since 1981, to not get at least one podium finish! And he is much, much more submissive to Alonso than Barrichello was to Schumacher. sad, very sad.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th November 2011, 13:15

      Mauricio, I don’t know how long you’ve been following Formula 1, but Felipe Massa hasn’t quite been the same since his accident in Hungary back in 2009.

      • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 14th November 2011, 14:35

        I’m sorry PM but that’s no excuse at all.

        Felipe has had more than two years to get over the Hungary accident and if he hasn’t got over it by now then it really is time he made way for someone else.

        Felipe was hardly blowing people away before the accident either, in 2009 his results were:
        DNF, 9th, DNF, 14th, 6th, 4th, 6th, 4th & 3rd

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th November 2011, 14:46

          @beneboy

          Felipe was hardly blowing people away before the accident either

          How about his world champion team mate, whose results were:

          15th, 14th, 10th, 6th, DNF, 3rd, 9th, 8th & DNF

          OK, Massa was not “blowing him away”, but he had out-scored him 22-10.

          • Well I am probably not the only one who finds it odd that Raikkonen’s results improved immeasurably once Massa was unfortunately injured and he was the obvious number one driver.

            Maybe Massa deserved higher priority within the team after 08, who knows but I don’t feel Ferrari were backing Raikkonen to the full in early 2009.

          • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 14th November 2011, 16:25

            @Keith Collantine

            Fair point, but Kimi was far from happy in 2009, so much so that he quit the sport entirely at the end of the season.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th November 2011, 16:34

            @debaser91

            I am probably not the only one who finds it odd that Raikkonen’s results improved immeasurably once Massa was unfortunately injured

            The simple, realistic and non-conspiracy-theory explanation would be that the car improved. As was evident even before Massa’s crash, as tends to happen when a massively well-resourced team produces a poor car, and as was also the case at McLaren that year.

            @beneboy I think that’s being rather too charitable to Raikkonen. He still had a year left on his Ferrari contract but they didn’t want him:

            http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2009/12/19/montezemolo-explains-alonso-raikkonen-switch-denies-santander-link/

    • If that is true it is a remarkable stat, especially given that Alonso has finished no less than 10 times on the podium this year. Also because Ferrari had some much weaker years than this one since 1981. His weak performance yesterday was more or less typical—weak qualifying, weak racing, and some kind of gaffe. The only thing lacking was an unhinged rant about Lewis Hamilton.

      As far as “never been the same since 2009,” that is not actually an excuse anymore. It will be 2012 in a minute. If you are going to put an asterisk behind every single result of an athlete, because of an injury or something or another, the notation doesn’t mean anything at all. The star is to denote unusual or temporary factors.

  10. devotee (@devotee) said on 14th November 2011, 11:31

    First time a driver retires on the 1st lap with a puncture that was not caused by a collision.

  11. PJ (@pjtierney) said on 14th November 2011, 11:32

    Vettel’s drop of 23 places on the first lap is the biggest in history, is it not?

  12. alexf1man (@alexf1man) said on 14th November 2011, 12:00

    And Jenson Button finished third in Abu Dhabi for the third consecutive year.

    • I am curious as to if he would had been able to challenge Alonso for second place if it was not for his KERS issue. Either way for the problems he had during the race it was a tremendous achievement.

  13. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 14th November 2011, 12:04

    Laffite got visor cleaning fluid in his eye and couldn’t race

    LOL, that’s a bizarre incident!

  14. Darren Hagan (@blankfrank) said on 14th November 2011, 13:39

    Williams had their worst ever starting positions for a race – 23rd and 24th.

    Their previous worst was in the 1975 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen where Jacques Laffite and Lella Lombardi qualified 21st and 24th respectively

    Apologies for nit-picking but this was a different Williams team (Frank Williams Racing), which was later purchased by Walter Wolf and then merged with Fittipaldi.
    The current Williams (Williams Grand Prix Engineering) is a different team.

    Patrick Neve actually started 26th in a March chassis entered by Williams GPE in the 1977 British Grand Prix.

  15. Tony (@ootony) said on 14th November 2011, 14:10

    This now means that Hamiltons car numbers over the last 3 and next year are
    2009
    1-As world champion
    2010
    2-As Button the world champs team mate
    2011
    3-As second constructor lead driver
    2012
    4-As second constructor second driver
    right?
    Not a good trend

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