Keke Rosberg, Williams, Adelaide, 1985

Rosberg becomes F1’s third second-generation race winner

2012 Chinese Grand Prix stats and factsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Keke Rosberg, Williams, Adelaide, 1985Nico Rosberg scored his first Formula 1 race victory at his 111th attempt in the Chinese Grand Prix.

Rosberg is the third son of a former world championship race winner to win a race himself: the others being Damon Hill (son of Graham Hill) and Jacques Villeneuve (son of Gilles Villeneuve).

However Keke Rosberg is the first Grand Prix winner to see his son win a race – Graham Hill and Gilles Villeneuve died before their sons followed in their footsteps.

Of the three father-and-son teams, the Hills have three world championships and 36 race wins between them, the Villeneuves one world championship and 17 race wins, and the Rosbergs one world championship and six race wins – so far.

Only four drivers took longer to achieve their first wins than Nico Rosberg did:

Driver First win Starts
Mark Webber 2009 German Grand Prix 130
Rubens Barrichello 2000 German Grand Prix 124
Jarno Trulli 2004 Monaco Grand Prix 117
Jenson Button 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix 113
Nico Rosberg 2012 Chinese Grand Prix 111

One other driver took more than 100 starts to score his first win: Giancarlo Fisichella (110).

Rosberg’s father was also a comparatively late bloomer, scoring his first F1 win at his 63rd attempt in his fifth season. He scored his last F1 win in the 1985 Australian Grand Prix (pictured) when Nico was four months old.

The younger Rosberg became the 103rd driver to win a race. The last new winner was Mark Webber in the 2009 German Grand Prix.

Rosberg also became the 95th driver to start a race from pole position. His last win and pole position in any discipline came in his final GP2 appearance at Bahrain in 2005, when he won the championship.

Mercedes scored their first win since their return to the sport as a full constructor two years ago.

Juan Manuel Fangio, Piero Taruffi, Mercedes, Monza, 1955Their last race win and pole position came in their final appearance in their previous incarnation, when Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1955 Italian Grand Prix from pole position (pictured). They now have ten Grand Prix wins, giving them as many as Alfa Romeo.

The Chinese Grand Prix continues to produce different winners. In nine races he have seen eighth different victors: Rubens Barrichello, Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton – the latter driver the only one to have won more than once.

In a weekend of firsts, Kamui Kobayashi set the fastest lap of the race, becoming the 120th driver to do so. This was also the first fastest lap for Sauber as an independent constructor (they scored two as BMW-Sauber).

Third on the grid was Kobayashi’s best qualifying position to date. Michael Schumacher started second, his highest starting position since his comeback, and the 116th front row start for the driver who has made more than anyone else.

The first three races of the season have all seen Lewis Hamilton finish third and Webber finish fourth.

Sixth for Romain Grosjean gave him the first points of his F1 career, and Pastor Maldonado got his first points of the year with eighth.

That means Felipe Massa is the only driver outside of the ‘small three’ teams who is yet to score this year.

Williams had both cars in the points for the first time since the 2010 Korean Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo has been more than half-a-second quicker than team mate Jean-Eric Vergne in qualifying this year. But Vergne has spent 142 out of 170 laps ahead of his team mate.

As last year, the race had 23 finishers. Only one race has seen more finishers – last year’s European Grand Prix, where all 24 runners were classified. The only other race with 23 finishers was also last year, in Japan.

The high number of finishers is a worry for Caterham, who need at least a 14th and 15th place to move ahead of Marussia into the lucrative top ten in the constructors’ championship.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2012 Chinese Grand Prix

Browse all 2012 Chinese Grand Prix articles

Images ?? Williams/LAT, Daimler

88 comments on “Rosberg becomes F1’s third second-generation race winner”

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  1. Hi. Call me a boring old fart if you like but the picture at the top of the article is not of Keke Rosberg, it is Nigel Mansell in ‘Red 5’ FW10. If it is the 1985 Australian GP from Adelaide, then Mansell, who appeared to have jumped Ayrton Senna’s JPS Lotus off the start, retired with transmission failure after completing just one lap and Rosberg went on to win, but in car No 6, the third car in the picture.

  2. Paul Gilbert
    16th April 2012, 23:22

    Rosberg and Hamilton have monopolised 1st and 7th on the grid this season.

    This is the 3rd time in the last 5 years that a driver who has failed to score in the first 2 races has won race 3 – and both Massa in 2008 and Vettel in 2009 finished runner-up to an English driver in the championship.

    Hamilton is leading the championship despite not having finished a race higher than 3rd – has this ever happened before?

    Both HRTs started and finished in the same positions as in Malaysia. The Marussias have started 20th and 21st in all 3 races, and Petrov has started 19th in all 3 races.

    This race occurred on the 11th anniversary of San Marino 2001 – a race in which a German driver (in this case Ralf Schumacher) scored his first win while Michael Schumacher retired with a mechanical problem.

  3. Rosberg’s victory marks the end of the collective domination of Vettel, Webber, Button, Hamilton and Alonso. This quintet had won the last 44 races between them (you have to go back to Italy 2009 to find a different winner, when it was Barrichello for Brawn). This is the second longest period of five drivers winning; Piquet, Senna, Prost, Mansell and Berger won the 53 races between Brazil 1986 and USA 1989.

    This 44-race period was also the third longest in which only three teams (McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari) won races, behind Japan 1990-Britain 1994 (58 races, Benetton, McLaren, Williams) and Malaysia 1999-Malaysia 2003 (55 races, Ferrari, McLaren, Williams). This run was also ended on Sunday.

    The first two rows of the grid featured none of the dominating quintet and their teams for the first time since Belgium 2009, where Fisichella, Trulli, Heidfeld and Barrichello took the honours for Force India, Toyota, BMW and Brawn.

    As has been mentioned, the last six races have been won by different drivers. This trend has not lasted to a seventh race since 1983. The most consecutive races won by different drivers is nine, which happened in 1961-2 and 1982.

    Rosberg’s feat of winning the third race after failing to score in the first two is not unusual. It is the fourth time it has happened in the last decade; by Vettel in 2009, Massa in 2008 and Fisichella in 2003.

    1. very interesting observation from you ..and i suspect vettel has won the most races from the last 50 races to date?
      can someone tabulate the breakdown of this statistic please?

  4. Keith you got the wording of the article exactly right. Cudos. There have been other father and sons to win Grand Prix (e.g. Antonio and Alberto Ascari), but not World Championship Grand Prix.

  5. The Money (@pamphlett31220)
    17th April 2012, 3:04

    Nico has won the same amount of grand prix as his dad did when he won the title in 1982…

  6. Great stats! This is my favorite…

    “Felipe Massa is the only driver outside of the ‘small three’ teams who is yet to score this year.”

    This really speaks volumes for the close competition this year, but also of the disastrous form that Felipe is showing of late.

    1. Absolutely. Quite shocking. Just imagine if he was some young driver at Torro Rosso: he would have been replaced a while ago, a la Bourdais, Alguersuari, Buemi… I can’t believe Ferrari can afford to let so much time go by before replacing him.

  7. Ferrari need to get rid of Massa but I don’t think doing it mid-season is the answer. Just look at what happened with Fisi. He was doing really well with FI, but when he moved to Ferrari, the different car and no in season testing meant he was slower than Raikonnen, although he was much faster than Badoer!

  8. Will we have another new winner in Bahrain? That would be the first such streak since 2006, with Button and Massa.

  9. Nilesh Desai (@reachnilesh)
    17th April 2012, 9:54

    Lots of interesting stats..Cudnt go thru them all..

    When was the last time two first two rows of the starting grid did not have a Ferrari, Mclaren and Red Bull?

    1. Nilesh Desai (@reachnilesh)
      17th April 2012, 9:57

      Sorry, Andrew81 (@andrew81) had answered this, Belgium 2009 it was..

  10. Force India failed to break their China jinx. They have never scored in China

  11. Fernando Cruz
    18th April 2012, 19:24

    Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve, Ralf Schumacher, Nico Rosberg and Bruno Senna all belong to a family of a GP race winner and they also have another thing in common: they all drove (or drive) for Williams. But Nico and Bruno were not so lucky, as they didn’t (or don’t) drive winning Williams. Well, Williams is back in form this year in races, but only in a wet race Bruno can have some chance to win a GP with it…

  12. Fernando Cruz
    18th April 2012, 19:48

    Another thing: Nico’s father was only the second racing driver ever to win his first GP race and the F1 World Championship in the same year (not counting Farina in 1950 for obvious reasons). Denny Hulme was the first to achieve that, in 1967. Let’s see if Nico Rosberg can become the third, doing the same his father did 30 years ago… (In 1982 that was only possible after Gilles Villeneuve and Didier Pironi severely crashed)

  13. lucky number 3 for Mercedes

    from Jon Noble’s twitter (@NobleF1):
    “Nice bit of number symmetry: the three-pointed star in its third year back with the W03 won the third race of the season.”
    @BigPhilT: @NobleF1 or better symmetry is that Nico got his 1st pole, and his 1st 1st on his 111st race””
    @tombeechinor: @NobleF1 Rosberg’s 111th race = 3 ones3rd driver to win for mercedes. 3 merc engines on the podium” < and more!"

    plus, "Rosberg is the third son of a former world championship race winner to win a race himself”
    Rosberg is not only third driver to win for Mercedes, but also he’s the third driver to get pole for Mercedes
    there are three teams in the paddock with Mercedes engines

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