Rosberg becomes F1’s third second-generation race winner

2012 Chinese Grand Prix stats and facts

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

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Images ?? Williams/LAT, Daimler

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

  1. Fernando Cruz said on 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…

  2. Fernando Cruz said on 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)

  3. Kirill (@) said on 18th April 2012, 22:22

    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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