Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2012

Vettel achieves his second perfect result

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

Sebastian Vettel dominated the Japanese Grand Prix, scoring a perfect result for the second time in his F1 career.

Vettel took pole position, led every lap, set fastest lap and won the race. He first achieved the feat in the Indian Grand Prix last year.

He became the 11th driver to score a grand slam on more than one occasion. Of the 873 races that have counted towards the world championship so far, 52 of them (5.9%) have resulted in grand slams:

Rank Driver/s Perfect results
1 Jim Clark 8
2 Alberto Ascari, Michael Schumacher 5
4 Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna, Jackie Stewart 4
7 Nelson Piquet 3
8 Jack Brabham, Juan Manuel Fangio, Mika Hakkinen, Sebastian Vettel 2
12 Fernando Alonso, Gerhard Berger, Mike Hawthorn, Damon Hill, Jacky Ickx, Jacques Laffite, Niki Lauda, Stirling Moss, Clay Regazzoni, Jo Siffert, Gilles Villeneuve 1

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2012On Saturday Vettel set the 34th pole position of his career, moving him ahead of Jim Clark and Alain Prost. That leaves only Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna who have set more pole positions than the Red Bull driver, with 68 and 65 respectively.

In his four appearances at Suzuka, Vettel has never failed to start from pole position.

The last driver to start four consecutive races at the same track from pole position was Schumacher, who managed five in a row at the Circuit de Catalunya in the 2000 to 2004 Spanish Grand Prix. Schumacher did the same at Suzuka between 1998 and 2002.

Vettel’s 24th win of his career puts him level with Juan Manuel Fangio. It took the ‘Maestro’ 51 starts to reach that number, while this was Vettel’s 96th. He also became the first driver this year to win two consecutive races.

This was Vettel’s 13th fastest lap, giving him as many as Jacky Ickx, Alan Jones, Riccardo Patrese and team mate Mark Webber

Webber started alongside Vettel, giving Red Bull their first front row lockout of this season. They did so seven times last year and have started one-two on 16 occasions in total.

New faces on the podium

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Suzuka, 2012Vettel was joined on the podium by two drivers who had not previously finished in the top three this year. There are now 13 different drivers who have finished on the podium this year, compared to seven last year.

Felipe Massa ended a podium drought which stretched back to the 2010 Korean Grand Prix 36 races ago.

The longest ever gap between two podium finishes by the same driver is 129. That was between Alexander Wurz’s first podium in the 1997 British Grand Prix and second in the 2005 San Marino Grand Prix (awarded after Jenson Button was disqualified). However Wurz only started 50 of those races.

Earlier this year Schumacher scored his first podium in 100 races, of which he’d started 48.

Kamui Kobayashi reached the podium for the first time in his F1 career. Like Aguri Suzuki in 1990, he did so in his home race. The only other time a Japanese driver has finished on the podium was Takuma Sato at Indianapolis in 2004.

Kobayashi also achieved the highest qualifying position for a Japanese driver in their home race with third.

More Japanese Grand Prix stats and facts

Schumacher started 23rd on the grid, as team mate Nico Rosberg did last year at Suzuka. Rosberg climbed to tenth and Schumacher alsmot repeated the feat. He finished 11th, within a second of tenth-placed Daniel Ricciardo.

Romain Grosjean became the first driver this year to receive a ten-second stop-go penalty following his collision with Webber. These are uncommon penalties – just three were handed out last year.

Vitaly Petrov received his first penalty of the year, a drive-through for failing to obey blue flags. That leaves just three drivers who have participation in every race weekend without receiving a penalty: Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo and Timo Glock.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2012 Japanese Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images, Sauber F1 Team

80 comments on “Vettel achieves his second perfect result”

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  1. So just to be sure, does a Grand Slam include leading EVERY single lap of the race or not? I thought it was just pole, FL and win.

    1. It says so in the second paragraph.

  2. At this point in time, I don’t think anyone can truly look at themselves and say that anyone other than Vettel is the title favorite.

    Vettel has over each of his rivals either a car advantage (Alonso, perhaps Raikkonen) or a points cushion (Hamilton), and it will be difficult to overhaul him from there.

    Taking a look at the races since the summer break, Vettel is the man on form. Aside from a penalty in Monza, Vettel has raised his game to equal that of Alonso in the last four races. P2 in Spa behind the quick McLaren, and back to back wins in Singapore and Suzuka. He did get a penalty in Monza, but up to that point, he would probably have finished fifth, behind Hamilton, Perez and the Ferraris.

    We could be seeing at the youngest 3 time world champion, and only the 3rd champion to ever clinch 3 consecutive titles.

    1. Vettel tied Fangio’s win tally in Japan and we could see him equalling Fangio’s consecutive WDC result in 2014 at the age of 26.

  3. I think it’s amazing how many perfect weekends Clark has had; 8 from 72 races, and had he had a more reliable car, then I’m sure it would have been a lot higher.

  4. I heard Vettel shed a tear when he was compared to Fangio, bless :)

  5. Every time a Japanese driver has finished on the podium, a Brazilian driver has finished 2nd.

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