2011 F1 statistics part 3: Stats and facts highlights

2011 F1 season review

Bahrain International Circuit, 2004

No race: Bahrain was dropped

There were supposed to be 20 races on the calendar in 2011, but the cancellation of the Bahrain round cut that to 19. Nonetheless, this equalled the longest calendar ever in F1 – and there are 20 races on the schedule once more in 2012.

Last season saw the arrival of Pirelli and so the first win for an F1 car on tyres other than Bridgestone since Fernando Alonso’s triumph for Michelin at Suzuka in 2006.

But the year belonged to Sebastian Vettel. Had it not been for some uncharacteristic car trouble in the final races his statistical domination of the season would have been even greater.

Here’s a look back on some of the statistical highlights and curious facts from the 2011 season.

Australian Grand Prix

The season began with Lewis Hamilton matching – and then exceeding – Jim Clark’s record for the longest F1 career spent entirely with the same team. Clark started all of his 72 F1 races for Lotus, Hamilton has now been at McLaren for all of his 90 starts.

Rubens Barrichello claimed the final record for career longevity he did not previously hold. By starting the Australian Grand Prix he had now participated in 19 F1 seasons, beating Graham Hill’s previous record of 18.

Paul di Resta became the 70th F1 driver to score a point in his first race. Had Sauber not been disqualified from the results, Sergio Perez would have claimed that distinction.

And Vitaly Petrov scored his first podium finish – and the first for a Russian in Formula 1.

Malaysian Grand Prix

Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Nick Heidfeld, Sepang, 2011

Always the bridesmaid: Heidfeld on the podium in Malaysia

The other Renault driver was on the podium in Malaysia – Nick Heidfeld, who set a new record for most podium finishes without a win. His 13th appearance on the rostrum without making it to the top step exceeded the record held by Stefan Johansson.

Just two races into 2011, Vettel’s lead of 24 points was a greater margin than any championship leader enjoyed throughout 2010.

Chinese Grand Prix

Hamilton became the first driver to win the Chinese Grand Prix twice.

Having failed to score in the first three races of the year, Williams were off to their worst start to a season since 1979.

The race also saw a new record for the most finishers with 23 – but that would be bettered before the season was over.

Turkish Grand Prix

Vettel became the first driver to set pole position in five consecutive races (beginning at the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix) since Alonso in 2006. He repeated the feat later in the year between Hungary and Japan, and at the time of writing has set pole position in the last three races in a row.

Jenson Button became the eighth F1 driver to complete 10,000 racing laps.

Spanish Grand Prix

Mark Webber became the first driver to start the Spanish Grand Prix from pole position and not win it since Michael Schumacher in 2000.

Following his disappointment in Australia, Perez finally scored his first career points. The last Mexican to do so had been Hector Rebaque 30 years earlier in the Dutch Grand Prix.

Only four drivers finished the race on the lead lap, the fewest since the 2008 British Grand Prix.

European Grand Prix

The European Grand Prix saw a new record for the most finishers in an F1 race as all 24 starters saw the chequered flag.

Canadian Grand Prix

The Canadian Grand Prix was the longest F1 race ever held. A substantial rain delay meant total race time was 4hr 4?39.537. With the FIA introducing a four-hour time limit on races this year, don’t expect it to be broken any time soon.

Button became the 32nd driver to score ten Grand Prix wins.

Monaco Grand Prix

2001: Schumacher gives Ferrari their last win at Monaco

2001: Schumacher gives Ferrari their last win at Monaco

McLaren became the second team to lead 10,000 laps in Formula 1. The other is, of course, Ferrari.

However Ferrari failed to win the Monaco Grand Prix for the tenth year in a row.

British Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo made his F1 debut. Together with Mark Webber it meant an F1 race had two Ausatralians in it for the first time since Alan Jones and Vern Schuppan raced at the Osterreichring in 1977.

Button made his 200th F1 race appearance (but not his 200th start).

German Grand Prix

Vettel had a slightly off weekend at home – failing to start from the front row or finish on the podium.

This meant his streak of consecutive front row starts was halted at 14 – the fifth-highest of all time, but some way off Ayrton Senna’s record of 24.

His streak of podium finishes (11) and races led (13) also ended – he holds the third-longest runs for each of these.

Hungarian Grand Prix

Jenson Button, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2011

200th start: Button in Hungary

Button became the 11th driver to start 200 F1 races. Appropriately enough, the race was the scene of his 11th Grand Prix victory.

Renault failed to score for the first time since the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix – but not for the last time in 2011.

Belgian Grand Prix

Virgin matched the record for starting the most races without scoring a point. It had previously been held by RAM, who started 31 races from 1983 to 1985 without scoring.

By the end of the year Virgin had started 38 races without scoring. But as they become Marussia next year HRT could soon take this undesirable milestone from them.

Pastor Maldonado finished in tenth place and scored his first career point. He became only the second Venezuelan to do so, joining Johnny Cecotto, who took a point for Theodore at Long Beach in 1983 by finishing sixth.

Nico Rosberg led the 60th lap of his F1 career. Only four drivers have led more laps in world championship races without winning one.

Italian Grand Prix

The top five finishers in the Italian Grand Prix were all previous world champions, something which had never happened before in Formula 1.

Vettel equalled Kimi Raikkonen’s tally of wins and Red Bull matched Tyrrell’s – but both had more wins to add before the end of the year.

Singapore Grand Prix

Vettel led every lap of the race for only the third time in his career – but Button kept him from scoring his first perfect result.

Japanese Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2011

42 and he's still got it: Schumacher leads at Suzuka

Aged 42 years and 279 days, Michael Schumacher became the oldest driver to lead a race since Jack Brabham in the 1970 British Grand Prix.

Vettel won the championship with four races to spare. Only on two occasions has the title been decided sooner: Schumacher won in 2002 with six races to spare and Nigel Mansell won in 1992 with five races left.

Lotus finished a race with both cars on the lead lap for the first time since then 1987 Japanese Grand Prix.

Korean Grand Prix

Hamilton became the only driver in the whole of 2011 to beat Red Bull to pole position. He out-qualified Vettel by 0.222s.

The last driver to do so had been Nico Hulkenberg in the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix.

McLaren started their 700th race.

Indian Grand Prix

Having threatened to do so on several previous occasions, Vettel finally scored his first perfect result. He set pole position, led every lap, won the race and set fastest lap. He is the 22nd driver to do so in F1 history.

Felipe Massa started his 150th race (though Ferrari incorrectly claimed he had actually done so one race earlier).

India became the 30th different country to hold a round of the world championship.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Hamilton became the 17th F1 driver to lead 1,000 laps.

There was no Red Bull on the podium for the first time since the 2010 Korean Grand Prix.

Brazilian Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Rubens Barrichello, Interlagos, 2011

Ferrari celebration: But no podium for Massa in 2011

Massa became the tenth driver to start 100 races with the same team. Two other drivers have started more races for Ferrari than him – Rubens Barrichello (102) and Schumacher (180).

However he also became the first Ferrari driver since Didier Pironi in 1981 to complete a season for the team without finishing on the podium.

Vettel broke Mansell’s record for most pole positions in a season with his 15th of the year. However this year featured 19 races, whereas Mansell set pole in 14 out of 16 rounds in 1992.

It was Renault’s 300th and – for now, at least – last F1 start.

2011 F1 season review

Browse all 2011 F1 season review articles

Images ?? Tilke Gmbh, Renault/LAT, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, McLaren, Daimler, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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51 comments on 2011 F1 statistics part 3: Stats and facts highlights

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd January 2012, 12:40

    @keithcollantine

    By the end of the year Virgin had started 38 races without scoring. But as they become Marussia next year HRT could soon take this undesirable milestone from them.

    Does this mean that the FIA no longer recognises Virgin as a constructor? What does it mean for Renault and Lotus? I know any results scored by Caterham will be given to Caterham, but what about Renault? Will their use of the Lotus name be recognised as an individual constructor, or a continuation of Fernandes and Chapman?

    The reason why I’m asking is because there is a bit of debate going on over at Wikipedia. I’m a regular there, and for some reason, people have decided that the Virgin, Renault and Lotus pages will simply be renamed Marussia, Lotus and Caterham, as opposed to creating new pages. They seem to be under the impression that the FIA will consider Marussia to be a continuation of Virgin, and that the same will apply to Renault/Lotus and Lotus/Caterham. As a professional jouranlist (we use you a lot for references), are you able to shed some light on this? Does the FIA consider Marussia, Lotus F1 and Caterham to be different constructors to Virgin, Renault and Team Lotus?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 2nd January 2012, 13:51

      @prisoner-monkeys

      Without wishing to get dragged into a dreary Wikipedia row, I think the FIA entry list makes it pretty clear (under the constructor column) that Virgin is now Marussia, etc…:

      http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/f1releases/2011/Pages/f1-entry-2012.aspx

      And then of course’s there’s this:

      http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/f1releases/2011/Pages/f1-names-2012.aspx

      Which is also how we know that Force India will remain officially Force India and not Sahara Force India.

      And to anticipate another question, yes, I will get around to amending the F1 Fanatic team information pages linked below accordingly!

      • Proesterchen (@proesterchen) said on 2nd January 2012, 13:57

        … and there is the question of Williams’ title sponsor, old & entry list ’12, none as seemingly this moment, or someone else entirely, as speculated.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd January 2012, 22:19

        Without wishing to get dragged into a dreary Wikipedia row

        We’re not that bad. We’re just trying to decide the best way forward. We can’t create a new page for Marussia whilst simply renaming the Renault page. Not without a good reason. Since everything is a little unclear – mostly because of Renault becoming Lotus and Lotus becoming Caterham and whether or not the FIA will treat them as the same Lotus – we’re talking things over. The F1 editors are actually some of the best on Wikipedia.

    • egsgeg said on 2nd January 2012, 13:53

      Ideally you would want more than one name for each page. For example, if some one goes to the reno F1 page, they should get the entire reno history, as well as the newer Lotus 2012 info. If some one looks for the Lotus 2012 info, they should get the Reno F1 and Lotus 2012 info.

      Fans follow the teams, not the brands.

      • Alex W said on 3rd January 2012, 0:06

        Wikipedia isn’t for fans.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 3rd January 2012, 2:58

        If some one looks for the Lotus 2012 info, they should get the Reno F1 and Lotus 2012 info.

        If the FIA considers them to be separate constructors, then Wikipedia needs to have a page for each constructor. The question being debated is whether or not the FIA considers them to be separate, because after the political crisis of 2009, the Concorde Agreement was amended to use parts of the 1997 Agreement until 2012. An unintended consequence of this was that it became very difficult to change a constructor name without losing one’s claim to the television rights pay-outs at the end of the year. In order to preserve their positions, the teams would stage gradual buy-outs, so some people were under the impression that results would be assigned to the old teams rather than the new.

  2. Girts (@girts) said on 2nd January 2012, 12:58

    The season began with Lewis Hamilton matching – and then exceeding – Jim Clark’s record for the longest F1 career spent entirely with the same team. Clark started all of his 72 F1 races for Lotus, Hamilton has now been at McLaren for all of his 90 starts.

    This record is a bit strange as it will vanish as soon as Hamilton joins another team, which is quite likely to happen sooner or later.

    A very nice statistics review. I think I’m gonna spend the whole month of January looking back at the 2011 season as I got my copy of the season DVD just today and Autocourse is still on the way.

  3. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 2nd January 2012, 13:25

    The top five finishers in the Italian Grand Prix were all previous world champions, something which had never happened before in Formula 1.

    I didn’t know that. Good stat!

  4. SundarF1 (@sundarf1) said on 2nd January 2012, 14:35

    However he also became the first Ferrari driver since Didier Pironi in 1981 to complete a season for the team without finishing on the podium.

    Says something about Ferrari’s competitiveness, ranging from rare podiums to outright domination, but never becoming as poor as Williams for example.

    • themagicofspeed (@) said on 3rd January 2012, 21:04

      @SundarF1 Ferrari came perilously close to being in Williams position in the dark years between 1979 and 2000. They finished 10th in 1980, 5th in 1981, 4th in 86,87,93, and a few 2nd and 3rd places in other years in between (all of these are their final position in the WCC.) Of course, the woeful low came in 1980, but they were WCC in 82 and 83 so they did recover – with the right circumstances Williams can too. They need a lot of investment and a good engineering team, not to mention decent drivers, though.

  5. Beyond (@lello4ever) said on 2nd January 2012, 15:38

    Just two races into 2011, Vettel’s lead of 24 points was a greater margin than any championship leader enjoyed throughout 2011.

    is that supposed to be 2010?

  6. paulgilb (@paulgilb) said on 2nd January 2012, 16:37

    I believe it was M Schumacher who started from pole and didn’t win in Spain 2000 (Hakkinen won the race).

    And Europe and Monaco are listed out of place.

    Great stuff, though!

  7. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 2nd January 2012, 17:01

    Just two races into 2011, Vettel’s lead of 24 points was a greater margin than any championship leader enjoyed throughout 2011.

    Shouldn’t that be 2010, not 2011, Keith?

  8. matt90 (@matt90) said on 2nd January 2012, 17:32

    Said this one before, but Webber ruined a ‘champions season.’ Had he not passed Vettel then all races would have been won by champions for the first time.

    Button, despite his strong 09 and 10, only beat his 2004 record for his most podiums in a season this year.

  9. Slr (@slr) said on 2nd January 2012, 18:05

    As Keith pointed out, knowing Renault they’ll probably be back as a constructor. Maybe Renualt-Nissan will take over Red Bull and rename it the “Red Bull Renault F1 Team”.

  10. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 2nd January 2012, 23:16

    Even statistics for Valencia are boring

  11. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 2nd January 2012, 23:36

    There is so much on the site now but one thing I never ever miss is Facts and Stats. It’s my absolute favourite part of the site :) Always has been, always will be.

    My favourite stat of the year has to be the Italian Grand Prix won. It was so awesome having 5 champions in the top 5 :)

  12. JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 3rd January 2012, 0:21

    How does Sutil fit in the “longest F1 career spent entirely with the same team” statistic? He has never changed team, but team ownership and name has changed during his career

    Of course if he gets the Williams (or any other) seat then he blows his chance on this one anyway.

  13. nackavich (@nackavich) said on 3rd January 2012, 6:07

    “The European Grand Prix saw a new record for the most finishers in an F1 race as all 24 starters saw the chequered flag.”

    - cementing it as one of the most boring races on the calendar…

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 3rd January 2012, 9:50

      I don’t see the correlation between the number of people who finish a race and the excitement of the racing. If all twenty-our cars had finished this year’s Canadian Grand Prix, would it have been less exciting?

      • nackavich (@nackavich) said on 4th January 2012, 3:43

        You don’t see the correlation because it was meant half-heartedly. I meant that as merely a nail in the coffin of how boring the European GP is to me and a lot of otherF1 fans. Boring track, boring racing (cumulative, not just this year) and the fact that even with every car finishing it was still dull.
        And the Canadian GP would still have been more exciting if all the cars finished, probably just because it wasn’t Valencia!

  14. KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 3rd January 2012, 17:29

    “Mark Webber became the first driver to start the Spanish Grand Prix from pole position and not win it since Mika Hakkinen in 2000.”

    Should that be Michael Schumacher, as he was on pole and finished fifth?

  15. BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th January 2012, 10:14

    As ever, the statistics keep showing us things we forgot even happened and shows the relevance of others.

    I love them!

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