Vettel achieves his second perfect result

2012 Japanese Grand Prix stats and facts

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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80 comments on Vettel achieves his second perfect result

  1. Gridl0k said on 8th October 2012, 14:07

    Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso continue to be on the podium, but never together.

    • Kyle (@hammerheadgb) said on 8th October 2012, 14:22

      The last race in which none of these three appeared on the podium was the 2010 Australian Grand Prix (Button, Kubica, Massa). This means that the last 51 podium ceremonies featured at least one of the trio, but they are yet to appear together.

      • brny666 said on 8th October 2012, 14:56

        This has to be my favourite fact. Although the way things are going at Merc this might just come to an end sometime next year, but hopefully not.

      • sumedh said on 8th October 2012, 17:02

        In those 51 races, 29 races have featured atleast two of the three. 6 of them feature HAM and VET, 16 of them feature ALO and VET and 7 of them feature HAM and VET.

        The closest we came to having these three on the podium was the 2011 Australian Grand Prix where VET was 1st, HAM 2nd, and ALO 3rd, only 1.2 seconds behind 3rd placed Petrov.

        Arguably, we also came close during the 2010 European Grand Prix when the safety car ruined only Alonso’s race and not Hamilton’s and during the 2012 Canadian Grand Prix when VET and ALO went on a one-stop strategy mid-way through the race.

        • Gridl0k said on 9th October 2012, 15:35

          I’m glad someone has done some numbers on this, saves me the effort! It’s so statistically unlikely, as far as I can see, that its almost freaky.

  2. sumedh said on 8th October 2012, 17:09

    Contrary to all fans pointing out Webber’s gearbox woes as counter to Vettel’s race-ending failures, Webber has had just two gear box penalties all season!

  3. Bleu (@bleu) said on 8th October 2012, 17:18

    Pedro de la Rosa had his 100th Grand Prix start, at least by a methot I mostly use. Some stats may list him at 99 due to 2000 Monaco GP where he didn’t take part in the restart. But anyway, 100th start happens about 13 years and 7 months after his first start, which is a new record. Thanks to much less races during his F1 tenure, Jack Brabham was the earlier leader with about 13 years and 3 months.

    Another HRT driver gets also important milestone. F1Rejects forum has followed statistic about most laps driven on the last position. In that category Narain Karthikeyan is the new all-time leader, as he surpassed Christijan Albers during the Japanese GP.

  4. Correct me if I am wrong (or if someone has already noticed this), but isn’t this the first time since 2004 that the three drivers on the podium were from three different continents? The last time this happened, I believe, was during the American Grand Prix of that year, with Schumacher, Barrichello and Sato on the podium (ironically, the same nations present now).

    • sumedh said on 8th October 2012, 18:13

      Three drivers from three continents happened in the 2009 German Grand Prix. Vettel, Webber and Massa stood on the podium.

      But this could be the first time in ages that an Asian driver stood on the podium.

  5. paulgilb (@paulgilb) said on 8th October 2012, 23:25

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

    According to and Wikipedia, Jacky Ickx has 14 fastest laps:

    Vettel is now just 4 shy of Alonso – both in points and laps led in 2012.

    First circuit at which Vettel has managed 4 poles, first at which he has managed 4 podiums, and first at which he has managed 3 wins. It appears somewhat odd that he failed to win last year (although he did only need a point for the title), given that it was his most dominant season to date.

    Two-thirds of Japanese podiums have come on home soil. This ratio is only beaten by Monaco with 100% (their only podium being Louis Chiron in Monaco 1950).

    First time Schumacher has finished a race outside the points in 2012. Alonso is now the only driver not to have finished outside the points this year (in fact, he has scored points in every race in which he has got past the second corner).

    Hamilton ends his win-DNF pattern – it is the first time he has finished somewhere other than 1st since Silverstone.

    Glock’s best qualifying since 2010.

    • F1fanNL (@) said on 9th October 2012, 1:52

      Red Bull’s pit stops were poor here last year.
      Button set a fast in lap and his team helped him in front with a much faster pit stop. With the pitstop alone he gained almost 1.4 seconds.
      Vettel’s fastest stop was almost half a second slower than Button’s slowest stop that day.

      And then there’s the case of the McLaren being the fastest car that weekend only missing out on pole because they left it too late for Hamilton to set a laptime and because Button isn’t that good a qualifier.

  6. Himmat said on 9th October 2012, 5:40

    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.

  7. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 9th October 2012, 6:00

    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.

  8. xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 9th October 2012, 7:57

    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.

  9. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 9th October 2012, 13:56

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

  10. paulgilb (@paulgilb) said on 9th October 2012, 23:22

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

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