Williams end second-longest F1 victory drought

2012 Spanish Grand Prix stats and facts

Kimi Raikkonen, Juan Pablo Montoya, Rubens Barrichello, Interlagos, 2004Pastor Maldonado became the 104th different driver to win a round of the world championship.

He added Venezuela to the list of countries that have produced race winners, becoming the 21st different nation to do so.

Maldonado also scored his first pole position, something 96 different drivers have achieved. He inherited first on the grid after Lewis Hamilton was penalised, costing McLaren what would have been their 150th pole position.

Williams’ wait for a win

Williams are no strangers to victory in F1 – this was their 114th and Maldonado is the 15th different driver to have won for them.

But it’s been a long time since their last taste of success: Juan Pablo Montoya’s win in the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix. This was also the last race before F1 Fanatic came into existence!

Williams ended one of the longest victory droughts ever for an F1 team. They failed to win in the intervening 130 races they started. But it falls well short of the record set by Ligier, who went 223 races without a win between Jacques Laffite’s victory in Canada in 1981, and Olivier Panis’s Monaco Grand Prix triumph in 1996.

Here are the five longest victory droughts for F1 constructors:

Team Win Next win Gap
Ligier 1981 Canadian Grand Prix 1996 Monaco Grand Prix 223
Williams 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix 2012 Spanish Grand Prix 130
Tyrrell 1978 Monaco Grand Prix 1982 Las Vegas Grand Prix 70
Renault 1983 Austrian Grand Prix 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix 64
Ferrari 1990 Spanish Grand Prix 1994 German Grand Prix 58

Williams also had a 54-race win-less streak between the 1997 Luxembourg and 2001 San Marino Grands Prix.

Two other teams in F1 today with long gaps between wins are McLaren (49 between Adelaide 1993 and Melbourne 1997, and 44 between Fuji 1977 and Silverstone 1981) and Mercedes (40 between Monza 1955 and Shanghai 2012).

There have been longer win droughts in terms of duration, but these were set by teams who left the sport and returned. Such as Honda, who went 39 years between John Surtees’ win at Monza in 1967 and Jenson Button’s Hungarian Grand Prix win in 2006, though the team did not participate between 1969 and 2005.

Likewise Mercedes ended a 57-year wait for another victory this year, but did not compete as a full constructor between 1956 and 2009.

Most different winners at the start of the season

Maldonado became the fifth different driver for a fifth different team to win a race at the start of the season. The only other season this has ever happened was 1983:

Race 1983 Winner 2012 Winner
1 Brazil Nelson Piquet, Brabham Australia Jenson Button, McLaren
2 USA West John Watson, McLaren Malaysia Fernando Alonso, Ferrari
3 France Alain Prost, Renault China Nico Rosberg, Mercedes
4 San Marino Patrick Tambay, Ferrari Bahrain Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
5 Monaco Keke Rosberg, Williams Spain Pastor Maldonado, Williams

In 1983 the sixth round was won by Prost. If a different driver or team wins the next race it will set a new record for most consecutive winners at the start of the season. Given Lotus and Sauber’s strong start to the year, it is not out of the question.

We have now had seven different winners in the last seven races, including Lewis Hamilton’s win in Abu Dhabi and Mark Webber’s in Brazil at the end of last season.

The record for most consecutive different winners is nine. Here are the longest streaks:

First race Last race Number Winners
1961 French Grand Prix 1962 French Grand Prix 9 Giancalo Baghetti, Wolfgang von Trips, Stirling Moss, Phil Hill, Innes Ireland, Graham Hill, Bruce McLaren, Jim Clark, Dan Gurney
1982 German Grand Prix 1983 French Grand Prix 8 Patrick Tambay, Elio de Angelis, Keke Rosberg, Rene Arnoux, Michele Alboreto, Nelson Piquet, John Watson, Alain Prost

More Spanish Grand Prix stats and facts

Romain Grosjean set fastest lap for the first time in his career. A different driver has set fastest lap in every race this year including both Lotus drivers, although neither of them have won a race.

His team mate Kimi Raikkonen led a race for the first time since his comeback – the last time he led was at Monza in 2009.

Kamui Kobayashi equalled his best-ever finish with fifth, which he also scored in last year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Mark Webber’s run of four consecutive fourth-place finishes came to an end. He also failed to score for the first time in ten races.

Five drivers have completed all 293 racing laps so far this year: Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg and Kimi Raikkonen.

Without penalties, Hamilton would have started every race from the front row so far. A gearbox change penalty dropped him to seventh in China, and his exclusion from qualifying this weekend left him last on the grid.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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112 comments on Williams end second-longest F1 victory drought

  1. Lachie (@lachie) said on 14th May 2012, 14:00

    One strange fact I noticed after looking at the points table is that there are more winners in the rest of the table than there are in the top 5. Can’t expect that’s a regular occurrence. Indicative of consistency being key this year methinks.

  2. Dan Brown (@danbrown180) said on 14th May 2012, 14:08

    Well, I never knew F1Fanatic was this old. I like the retro designs :)

  3. Andrew81 (@andrew81) said on 14th May 2012, 14:14

    This season is definitely throwing up a lot of stats. I have a few that are related to those in the article:
    – Keith mentions that if a new driver/team wins in Monaco it will set the record for most different winners at the start of the season, just to clarify, the driver record can be broken even if it is a different driver from the same team, such as Hamilton, Webber or Schumacher, because both the driver and team record stand at 5.
    – The ‘number of consecutive different winners’ stat is missing the 9-race streak from Monaco-Switzerland 1982. In addition to the 8-race streak Keith mentions, another 8-race and 7-race streak can be derived from that 1982-3 period, while there was also a 7-race streak from Monaco-Austria 1977.
    – You could also add the 5-race streak of different constructors winning, which has only been beaten twice, with 7-race and 6-race streaks in the 1982-3 period, though there have been nine other 5-race streaks.
    – To continue the race leader stats… Maldonado became the fourth driver to lead his first lap in 2012, after Perez, di Resta and Grosjean. Only four seasons outside the 1950s have seen more drivers do this. We have had 10 drivers from 8 teams lead laps so far; while 10 drivers isn’t rare (the record is 15, reached 6 times including 2008), only three seasons have seen more than 8 teams lead, with 10 in 1975 and 9 in 2003 and 2008. The only established team not to have led a lap yet is Toro Rosso; the highest they have run is third (Vergne for one lap in Malaysia).
    – And fastest lap stats… five drivers from four teams is fairly average over a whole season, but it looks like they could go to anyone this year, so expect this number to end up among the highest. 2009 holds the joint record of 10 different drivers in a season, but only in 1975 have as many as 8 teams got the accolade. We’ve also had two drivers set their first fastest laps so far, but this is fairly common over a season.

    A few other stats:
    – Not only is Brazil 2004 the last time Williams won a race, but also the last time that Williams and Ferrari appeared together on the front row, with Barrichello heading Montoya on the grid that day
    – As well as the different winners streak, we now have a 4-race streak of different polesitters. I’m not sure of the record, but this streak is the longest since Britain-Belgium 2009 (5 races).
    – And an unrelated bonus that I found while compiling these, 5 different teams led the 2008 Canadian GP at various points, while only 5 different teams led every lap of the races from Abu Dhabi 2009-Australia 2012 inclusive, and the fifth team (other than McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes) was Toro Rosso, who led only one lap in Canada 2010 (who are, coincidentally, the only established team not to have led a lap this year). The mixed up grid this year really did end a two-year domination by a select few teams.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th May 2012, 15:35

      @andrew81 Regarding the 1982 one I didn’t want to include overlapping streaks. Great work though!

    • ledzep4pm (@ledzep4pm) said on 14th May 2012, 22:10

      With regards to 5 teams leading every lap from Abu Dhabi 09 to Australia 2012, it’s very suprising if true, I would have said that surely a Renault/Lotus lead at least one lap, with a few podiums you would have thought they lead at some point during a pit stop phase

  4. Montas said on 14th May 2012, 15:04

    This is the tenth year of Williams-Renault partnership (1989-1997, 2012) and Williams has managed to win at least one race each year.

  5. sumedh said on 14th May 2012, 15:36

    A Red Bull driver was lapped in the Barcelona race.
    When was the last time this happened? I think Australia 2009 when Vettel crashed on the last lap but was a classified finisher might count as one.

  6. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 14th May 2012, 16:37

    Only Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton have scored points at all races so far.

    At this time last year, 5 drivers (Vettel, Webber, Button, Hamilton and Alonso) had scored points at all 5 races, which shows how unpredictable this season have been.

    It’s also interesting to note that last year 16 drivers scored points in the first 5 races which was a lot in it’s own right, while this year 18 drivers (all teams bar the newer ones) have done so. So rather than variation within the top 10 places, it’s more of a question of how much a team drops in performance relative to previous races…

    • MW (@) said on 14th May 2012, 16:56

      Ya got there ahead of me @Fer no.65 !

      It does go to show what a treat we’re getting this year in terms of an unpredictable and very even points battle.

  7. MW (@) said on 14th May 2012, 16:45

    Both Hamilton and Alonso are the only drivers to have finished in the points in every race so far.
    It was down to just the two of them after Bahrain…

    It’s hard to know who’s going to win this one..

  8. Darmanos said on 14th May 2012, 17:05

    Fantastic article F1F, you just helped me get 15 minutes closer to the time I’m supposed to leave the office! (not proud of it)

  9. michaeldobson13 (@michaeldobson13) said on 14th May 2012, 17:14

    Of the 15 podium spots, there have been 9 different people on the podium, 3 of whom have never been on the podium before. The only teams to have had both drivers on the podium are Lotus and McLaren

  10. andae23 (@andae23) said on 14th May 2012, 17:15

    Though hosting the Spanish GP since 1991, Maldonado was the first driver ever to get his first victory at the Circuit de Catalunya.

    It’s the first time since 1975 the Spanish GP welcomed a new GP winner: at Jarama 1975, Jochen Mass won his first and sole GP for McLaren. (At least since 1950) it has never happened before that a driver took his first ever pole and win during the Spanish GP.

  11. MattB (@mattb) said on 14th May 2012, 18:00

    Interestingly, Hamilton’s fastest lap was slower than both Caterhams’ fastest laps. Probably to do with tyres, but that’s not a stat I was expecting!

    • JennaB said on 14th May 2012, 19:23


    • Joao Pitol (@) said on 16th May 2012, 21:26

      Because he did a 2-stopper.

      With no refuelling, fastest race lap is easy if you just stick new boots on in the last few laps (cf Grosjean, Barcelona).

      Running a long final stint, Hamilton’s tyres were very old by the time the car had lightened up and the fuel had burnt off, so his fastest lap didn’t reflect his average race pace.

  12. Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 14th May 2012, 18:20

    In 1983 the sixth round was won by Prost. If a different driver or team wins the next race it will set a new record for most consecutive winners at the start of the season. Given Lotus and Sauber’s strong start to the year, it is not out of the question.

    I have a good feeling about Lewis’ chances in Monaco. I also wouldn’t rule out a Schumacher resurgence or Kimi finally coming good…

    Is it 2 weeks time yet??

    Loving this F1 2012!!

  13. Casanova (@casanova) said on 14th May 2012, 18:20

    Apologies if some or all of this has already been pointed out – at William’s last win in 2004, the victor was also a South American, who shared the podium with Raikkonen and a Ferrari driver chasing a win at his home race. All three podium finishers led the race at some point (Alonso and Raikkonen led both races but won neither). Both races had the victorious Williams and the Ferrari on the front row.

    I dug a bit further… in the 2004 race, Button retired early and Schumacher fought back from a poor grid position to take 2 points. In the 2012 race, Schumacher retired early and Button fought back from a poor grid position to take 2 points.

    Red Bull might be sore from having to replace the front wings of both drivers in Spain 2012, but in Brazil 2004 they fared even worse (in their previous guise as Jaguar), as their two cars collided with each other. Mark Webber was with the squad on both occasions.

    Both races had 9 finishers on the lead lap, and team-mates finishing together in 8th/9th and 12th/13th. Both races had drivers from 11 different nations finish the race, with the first 6 drivers all being of different nationalities on both occasions. In each race, the 2nd-highest German finisher finished 7th, and was in a tight battle for position right to the flag. The reigning champion received a penalty in both race weekends (in fact, so did Michael Schumacher himself).

  14. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 14th May 2012, 19:09

    I don’t know if these stats have been mentioned, but:

    – The last time Williams won, both a Ferrari and Raikkonen were on the podium, as happened yesterday :)
    – I believe, the only driver to have been in the points every race is Lewis Hamilton.

  15. cjpdk (@cjpdk) said on 14th May 2012, 19:51

    Question – isn’t it the “Caeser’s Palace Grand Prix”, rather than the “Las Vegas Grand Prix”?

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