Schumacher is oldest driver on podium since 1970

2012 European Grand Prix stats and facts

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Valencia, 2012Fernando Alonso scored his 29th Grand Prix win in Valencia, consolidating his position as the fifth most successful driver ever in terms of race wins. He needs two more to match Nigel Mansell’s tally.

It was his second win on home ground, the other coming in the 2006 Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Alonso won from 11th on the grid. He has previously won from a lower grid position: 15th at Singapore in 2008, though we all remember the particular circumstances of that race.

20 races in the points for Alonso

Lewis Hamilton’s ejection from the race at the hands of Pastor Maldonado leaves Alonso as the only driver to have scored points in every race this year.

Alonso has now scored in the last 20 races in a row, a streak which began at last year’s European Grand Prix. He is four races away from equalling the record set by Schumacher, who finished in the points for 24 races in a row between the 2001 Hungarian and 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix.

For all bar two of the races in Schumacher’s streak, points were only awarded down to sixth place; for the latter two points were awarded down to eighth. For the duration of Alonso’s streak, points have been awarded down to tenth place. During that time Alonso has had a seventh and a ninth-place finish.

So we’re not really comparing apples with apples here. Nonetheless, Alonso’s consistency is highly impressive, and the cornerstone of his championship bid.

Vettel matches the greats

Sebastian Vettel claimed the 33rd pole position of his career, equalling the tallies of F1 greats Jim Clark and Alain Prost. Clark’s 33 pole positions stood as the record from 1968 to 1989, when Ayrton Senna beat it at that year’s United States Grand Prix.

For comparison, Clark set his 33 poles in a 72-race career, Prost started 199 races, Vettel 89. Vettel’s strike-rate is therefore much closer to Clark’s.

Only Senna (65) and Michael Schumacher (68) have set more pole positions in F1 history than Vettel.

Vettel led the first half of the race comfortably before retiring. He has now led the most laps of anyone this year – 119, followed by Alonso on 108.

Schumacher ends wait for podium

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Valencia, 2012Following the race a stewards’ investigation raised the possibility that Schumacher might be stripped of his first podium finish since his comeback. Fortunately for him, nothing came of it.

He therefore kept the 155th podium finish of his career. His last came in the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix, which he won, 100 races ago. However, Schumacher only started 48 of those.

Schumacher is the 11th different driver to finish on the podium this year – four more than there were in the whole of last season.

At 43 years and 173 days old, Schumacher was the oldest driver to step onto an F1 podium since Jack Brabham finished second in the 1970 British Grand Prix.

Two races prior to that Brabham poked fun at those urging him to retire by showing up on the grid wearing a false beard and resting on a cane. I think we need to see some similar antics from Schumacher…

More European Grand Prix stats and facts

Nico Rosberg set the fastest lap for the third time in his career – the last time he did so was in the 2009 Australian Grand Prix.

He now has as many fastest laps as father Keke, as well as Jochen Rindt, Tony Brooks, Bruce McLaren, Jean-Pierre Jarier, Chris Amon, Richie Ginther and (including the Indianapolis 500) Bill Vukovich.

It was Rosberg’s first fastest lap for Mercedes, and their tenth of all time. This was the first time the modern Mercedes team had set a fastest lap – their last was achieved by Stirling Moss at Monza in 1955.

Nico Hulkenberg scored his best F1 career finish to date with fifth place.

Maldonado collected his fifth penalty of the year. This was his second for a driving infringement, the other three were for gearbox changes. He’s already had as many penalties as last year, and just one fewer than the record of six set by Hamilton last season.

McLaren were the quickest team in the pits for the first time this year – and, not for the first time, one of the slowest.

Alonso, Rosberg and Kimi Raikkonen are now the only drivers to have completed all 498 racing laps this year. The other Lotus of Romain Grosjean has covered the least: 293.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2012 European Grand Prix

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99 comments on Schumacher is oldest driver on podium since 1970

  1. THOMF1S (@thomf1s) said on 25th June 2012, 11:02

    Between them, the three men on the podium had on every world championship beyween the years of 2000 and 2007

    • Girts (@girts) said on 25th June 2012, 11:17

      And this was the fifth time when Alonso, Raikkonen and Schumacher shared the podium and the second time when they finished in this order. The first time it happened was at the 2005 French Grand Prix.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th June 2012, 13:43

      And all three of them have driven for Ferrari and for the Enstone squad, and all of them have had Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes powerplants in their careers!

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 25th June 2012, 15:58

      They finished in order from the most recent to have driven for Ferrari (Alonso: 2010-12, Raikkonen: 2007-09, Schumacher: 1996-2006). Also, All three have been Massa’s team mates at Ferrari, and actually Schumacher was replaced by Raikkonen who was replaced by Alonso at Ferrari. They also finished in order from the youngest to the oldest (Alonso: 1981, Raikkonen: 1979, Schumacher: 1969).

      Stupid statistics start here
      Their car numbers were 5, 9 and 7. Ferrari has had all these numbers on their cars during these three drivers’ period with the team. Raikkonen was no. 5 in 2007, Schumacher in 1997 and 2006, and Massa had no. 7 in 2010 with Alonso as team mate.
      This podium also featured all the “regular” drivers that drove for Ferrari from 2006 apart from Massa. They are also the last three world champions to have driven for Ferrari. They are also all of the world champions who drove for Ferrari since 1992.

      • alexf1man (@alexf1man) said on 25th June 2012, 17:51

        When did Ferrari have number 9? You’re right about Schumacher, Alonso has had number 5 in 2011-2012, but Raikkonen had 6 in 2007 (Massa had 5) as he was new to Ferrari that year.

        As for the Enstone team, Alonso had number 5 in 2005 and Schumacher in 1993-1994 (before the modern numbering system).

        Also, all three drivers won titles when the Enstone team had the WDC the previous year (Schumacher in 1995, Alonso in 2006, Raikkonen in 2007)

      • Fixy (@fixy) said on 26th June 2012, 10:10

        I didn’t do any research but I think the 7399 days (or 20 years, 3 months, 2 days) between Schumacher’s first and last podium are a record.

  2. sumedh said on 25th June 2012, 11:04

    If we leave the first team that the podium finishers drove for (Minardi, Sauber, Jordan), these three have driven for the same teams:
    Alonso: Renault, Mclaren, Ferrari
    Kimi: Mclaren, Ferrari, Lotus/Renault
    Schumi: Benneton/Renault, Ferrari, Mercedez.

    Alonso, Kimi and Michael have shared a podium 6 times. Alonso has won all the 6 races!

    This is the highest number of world titles that we have seen on the podium ever! 10.. if we get a podium of Alonso, Vettel, Schumi, this record will be broken..

    Of the 6 WDCs on the grid, these three are the older ones, the newer WDCs are Hamilton (2008), Button (2009) and Vettel (2011).

    Alonso was screwed over by the SC in the 2010 race. This year, it helped him big time..
    MSC was screwed over by his car’s unreliability in 2012 so far. This race, he benefited from others’ unreliability.

    Karma…

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 25th June 2012, 12:41

      Alonso: Renault, Mclaren, Ferrari
      Kimi: Mclaren, Ferrari, Lotus/Renault
      Schumi: Benneton/Renault, Ferrari, Mercedez.

      Mercedezzz is not the same as McLaren, though at the time McLaren was Mercedes’ main team.

    • Drop Valencia! said on 9th July 2012, 12:19

      We did have a Senna / Prost / Shuie podium, but that was only 6 or 7 WDC at the time…

  3. Girts (@girts) said on 25th June 2012, 11:07

    Not a very interesting fact but still: In 2012, no driver, who has set the best lap time in FP3 on Saturday, has went on to win the race on the next day.

  4. MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 25th June 2012, 11:19

    Are you sure that Brabham’s “cane and beard” joke happened in 1970? Because according to formula1.com it was 1966:

    Prior to the 1966 Dutch Grand Prix, his first race after his 40th birthday, ‘Geriatric Jack’ Brabham hobbled onto the starting grid at Zandvoort, wearing a long false beard and leaning on a cane. [...] Tossing aside his beard and cane Brabham proceeded to win that race [...]

  5. plushpile (@plushpile) said on 25th June 2012, 11:19

    What was the retirement rate yesterday?
    Must be one of the highest for years.

    Certainly in stark contrast to last year where all 24 cars finished.

  6. Enigma (@enigma) said on 25th June 2012, 11:26

    - After 7 different winners, Alonso’s now the first driver to repeat victory in 2012. Same goes for 2nd place – Kimi is now the first driver to finish 2nd twice in 2012.
    – Alonso is the only driver to win from outside the front row this year – and he’s done it twice.
    – The 6 world champions have all been on the podium in this year’s Australian and European GPs.
    – The 3 have won the title in 8 consecutive years. They’ve shared the podium for the 5th time, with Alonso always being the winner.

  7. Metal Mr. L (@metalluigi) said on 25th June 2012, 11:34

    Webber has finished 4th in more than half the races this year (Melbourne, Sepang, Shanghai, Sakhir, Valencia). The winner of any Grand Prix this year has not finished any higher than 5th in the following race.

  8. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 25th June 2012, 12:07

    I believe that McLaren has improved their pitstops considerably. Jenson’s stops were pretty good and Lewis’ were on two extremes. The slowest stop which was 14.xx stationary was due to an equipement failure (front jack) which can happen to any team. Since McLaren’s equipment failure comes on the back of a few dreadful stops, it is believed that the trend continues at McLaren. Where in reality, I see them having got the better of the problems.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th June 2012, 12:14

      The jack failure was a weird one. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. Hamilton was lucky to get away without any damage to his car.

      • Ral (@ral) said on 25th June 2012, 12:23

        Sky commentators were saying they’d had the same failure with the front jack in practice and they knew it was on the edge because it was an expiremental jack design.

        I can’t help but think that they could have gone for the .4 or .5 of a second slower but safe jack until they’d gotten the rest of their pit-stops spot on.

        • Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 25th June 2012, 12:38

          Well you never know with equipment mate. Secondly, it is possible that McLaren, after the problems in practice (as reported) might have changed to a spare jack.

          One interesting I noted in BBC forum where they showed the onboard of Lewis’ pitstop error, the second guy with the spare jack looked inexperienced with it. He didn’t lift the jack properly for at least 4-5 seconds till he was signaled to lift higher still. If anybody can view the footage and offer views, I’ll be glad.

          • Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 25th June 2012, 14:17

            Yes it looked like the guy on the right lifted the car up by its front wing in the end! Do teams always have someone ready to step in with a spare jack? Or were McLaren taking extra precautions with their new kit? As PM said, it’s rare to see the jack fail like that – maybe the second guy hadn’t been called on before in a race situation.

          • Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 25th June 2012, 20:30

            Teams generally do have spare jacks. Also I noted that McLaren have changed their jacks after Monaco.

            Also, one guy on the left of the car was trying to lift the car by it’s suspension? What is going on?

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 26th June 2012, 2:30

        @prisoner-monkeys, but nothing to do with “luck” right?

    • Aditya Banerjee (@) said on 25th June 2012, 18:30

      I think it was the fastest stop of the non-refuelling era since the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix(Rosberg’s pitstop)- 2.7s.

  9. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th June 2012, 12:13

    I have to admire some of the obscure-but-fascinating statistics the blog members manage to produce every two weeks.

  10. Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 25th June 2012, 12:13

    *More like missed records*
    Vettel failed to win 3 successive grand prixs at the same venue repeating his earlier failure at Suzuka last year.
    Vettel also failed to achieve a grand chelem. Had he achieved a grand chelem he would also have been the youngest to do it twice(Think Senna at 31 holds that record)

  11. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 25th June 2012, 12:14

    I wonder if it’s ” mission accomplished” for Schumacher’s comeback?

    Now that he’s been on the podium, could it change his mind about whether to carry on? He was clearly moved by it on the radio, then hugging all the team members within reach, and with an emotional Alonso too it made an amusing contrast with Kimi…

    • Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 25th June 2012, 12:30

      2 more retirements ahead and Schumacher could have won the race. First thing Kimi grabbed after the anthems was the champagne but had to wait because the other 2 were interested in a group photo

    • Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 25th June 2012, 13:39

      Are you serious? He hasn’t made a comeback just to finish in 3rd place and celebrate on the podium. He is back with a clear intention of winning the world championship.

      Whether he would stay in 2013 or not will depend on the performances of the team and his own motivation. One thing I am certain is that he won’t go beyond 2013.

  12. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th June 2012, 12:24

    This one isn’t so much a statistic as it is a picture, comparing yesterday’s podium to another one seven years ago.

    Pay particular attention to the facial expressions.

  13. TheNikii (@thenikii) said on 25th June 2012, 12:30

    While equalling Prost’s pole tally, Vettel was just a month and a day older than the Professor was in his first race. And he’s almost 6 months younger than Schumi was when scoring his first pole. Seems that Vettel will brake pole record still in his twenties.
    And it was the oldest podium since Mansell’s last win in 1994 Adelaide where Michael clinched his first title.
    Interestingly on average podium drivers were more than 10 years older than they were 2 weeks ago in Canada.

  14. andae23 (@andae23) said on 25th June 2012, 12:37

    - The three drivers on the podium have all driven for Ferrari in the past or present. The last time such a podium occurred was the 2008 Brazilian GP (Massa, Räikkönen and Alonso). If you don’t count drivers that hadn’t driven for Ferrari at the time (like Alonso in 2008), the last time an all-Ferrari podium occurred was the 2002 Italian GP (Schumacher, Barrichello and Irvine).

    – The average age of the podium was 35 years and 8 months, making it the oldest podium since the controversial 1994 Australian GP (Mansell, Berger and Brundle), with an average age of 37 years and 3 months.

    – With again 3 world champions on the podium, it doesn’t look like we will see a race without world champions on the podium soon. The last time this happened was 74 races ago, at the 2008 Canadian GP (Kubica, Heidfeld and Coulthard).

    – This is the third race in succession with three different engine suppliers on the podium (Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault). The last time such a streak occurred was in 2009: the Singapore, Japanese and Brazilian GP all saw a mix of Renault, Mercedes, Toyota and BMW on the podium.

    – Continuing on engines, Michael Schumacher has now scored podiums with four different engine suppliers: Ford Cosworth, Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes. He becomes the 18th driver ever to do so, joining the likes of Senna, Prost, Surtees, Fangio, Mansell and Lauda. Barrichello leads this list with podiums for six different engine suppliers (Ferrari, Ford Cosworth, Hart, Honda, Mercedes and Peugeot).

    – Alonso has finished on the podium on home soil for the eighth time. This puts him in third on the all-time list. Michael Schumacher heads this list with 12 podiums in Germany, from Prost with 11 podiums in France.

    – Five years and eight months was the interval between consecutive podiums for Schumacher, his last being the 2006 Chinese GP. Only Alexander Wurz had a larger interval between consecutive podiums: the 1997 British GP and 2005 San Marino GP were separated by almost eight years!

    – The last time a GP was won from 11th or further back was again Alonso at the infamous 2008 Singapore GP: he started 15th. If you wish to disqualify Renault from that event, the last time was Jenson Button at the 2006 Hungarian GP, which he won from 14th. The last time the GP was won from exactly 11th was Coulthard in the 2003 Australian GP

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 25th June 2012, 13:00

      - I just noticed all three drivers on the podium have also race for Benetton/Renault/Lotus in the past. The last time such a podium occurred was the 2006 Chinese GP (Alonso, Schumacher, Fisichella), which is also the race in which Schumacher scored his last podium.

    • sato113 (@sato113) said on 25th June 2012, 13:04

      - With again 3 world champions on the podium, it doesn’t look like we will see a race without world champions on the podium soon. The last time this happened was 74 races ago, at the 2008 Canadian GP (Kubica, Heidfeld and Coulthard).

      i’m afraid you’re wrong! the 2010 Monaco GP had Webber, Vettel and Kubica on the podium. none of them were world champions.

    • paulgilb (@paulgilb) said on 25th June 2012, 18:22

      - Five years and eight months was the interval between consecutive podiums for Schumacher, his last being the 2006 Chinese GP. Only Alexander Wurz had a larger interval between consecutive podiums: the 1997 British GP and 2005 San Marino GP were separated by almost eight years!

      Wurz’s podium in San Marino only came after Jenson Button was disqualified – his gap between actual appearances on the podium extends to Canada 2007.

    • katederby (@katederby) said on 25th June 2012, 18:31

      With again 3 world champions on the podium, it doesn’t look like we will see a race without world champions on the podium soon.

      Between them Grosjean,Perez and Webber have been on the podium 6 times so far this season so it could happen any time soon.

    • Kim K said on 27th June 2012, 17:33

      - Alonso has finished on the podium on home soil for the eighth time. This puts him in third on the all-time list. Michael Schumacher heads this list with 12 podiums in Germany, from Prost with 11 podiums in France.

      That is a record not everyone can challenge for. There is no race in Finland for instance

  15. Minardi (@gitanes) said on 25th June 2012, 12:49

    I wonder when the last time the top 4 drivers on the grid all failed to score points?

    • Don M. said on 25th June 2012, 13:08

      When is the last time that the start positions of the podium finishers totalled as high as 28?

      Also, the average starting position of the top 5 finishers was 11th!

    • sato113 (@sato113) said on 25th June 2012, 13:08

      yes it the grid seemed to completely reverse…

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 25th June 2012, 13:11

      That would be the 2005 USA GP, the Bridgestone GP: Trulli on pole, from Raikkonen, Button, Fisichella and then Schumacher in fifth.

    • Bleu (@bleu) said on 25th June 2012, 13:14

      In the infamous 2005 United States Grand Prix, top 4 of the grid was along the drivers who didn’t start. Schumacher qualified 5th, Barrichello 7th while the Jordans and the Minardis were filling positions from 17th to 20th. Before that the previous such race was Monaco 1996, where Schumacher, Hill, Alesi and Berger all retired in different parts of the race.

      • paulgilb (@paulgilb) said on 25th June 2012, 18:10

        Something related to that: the drivers who were running in the top 4 in the early laps (Vettel, Grosjean, Hamilton, Kobayashi) all failed to finish (although Hamilton was still classified). I’m pretty sure the last time that something like this happened was Canada 2005 (when Fisichella, Alonso, Button and Montoya were the early top 4, with eventual winner Raikkonen in 5th). Similar things must have happened in eras of lesser reliability.

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