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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