Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2012

The facts of Vettel’s crushing superiority

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

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2012Visitors to the first two Indian Grands Prix might be left wondering whether anyone other than Sebastian Vettel is allowed to be at the front of an F1 race.

He repeated his feat from last year of starting from pole position, leading every lap and winning the race.

All that was missing from this crushing display was the fastest lap of the race. He did his best to secure that, setting a new fastest lap on his final tour.

However Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and Bruno Senna all beat it with their final laps, leaving Vettel’s the fourth-quickest lap of the race.

Even so, this was another peerless performance from Vettel and Red Bull. It was his fourth consecutive win and the team’s third consecutive front-row lock-out.

Vettel matched his previous feat of winning four races in a row through the last two races of 2010 and the first two of 2011. Only five drivers in F1 history have managed to win five or more races in a row:

Driver Wins First race Last race
Alberto Ascari 9* 1952 Belgian Grand Prix 1953 Belgian Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher 7 2004 European Grand Prix 2004 Hungarian Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher 6 2000 Italian Grand Prix 2001 Malaysian Grand Prix
Jack Brabham 5 1960 Dutch Grand Prix 1960 Portuguese Grand Prix
Jim Clark 5 1965 Belgian Grand Prix 1965 German Grand Prix
Nigel Mansell 5 1992 South African Grand Prix 1992 San Marino Grand Prix

Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Imola, 1989*This span of races includes the 1953 Indianapolis 500, which counted towards the world championship, which Ascari did not enter.

For the third race in a row, Vettel led from start to finish. This last happened in 1989, when Ayrton Senna led every lap of the San Marino (pictured), Monaco and Mexican Grands Prix.

Vettel has been in the lead ever since Lewis Hamilton pulled over with gearbox failure on lap 23 of the Singapore Grand Prix: a total of 205 laps.

There are only four longer streaks of consecutive laps led in F1 history. They belong to Ascari (in 1952), Senna (in 1988 and 1989) and Mansell (in 1992). See the last edition of stats and facts for details.

This was the seventh race Vettel has led from start to finish. Only five drivers have managed more than that:

Driver Races
Ayrton Senna 19
Jim Clark 13
Jackie Stewart 11
Michael Schumacher 11
Nigel Mansell 9
Alberto Ascari 7
Alain Prost 7
Sebastian Vettel 7

Vettel now has 35 pole positions to his name, but needs another 30 to draw level with the next driver in front of him on the list: Ayrton Senna.

Red Bull scored their third consecutive one-two in qualifying – the first time they have achieved this. The last team to score three consecutive front rows was McLaren in the 2007 Monaco, Canadian and United States Grands Prix.

By scoring his 26th win in his 98th race Vettel could match Jackie Stewart’s career record of 27 wins in 99 races in the next race.

Red Bull can also win the constructors’ championship for the third year in a row in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This will happen unless Ferrari take five points out of their lead or McLaren reduce it by 15.

Lots of landmarks

Vettel’s win was the 150th for a Renault-engined car. Here’s how many of those wins have been scored by different constructors:

Teams Wins
Williams 64
Renault 35
Red Bull 34
Benetton 12
Lotus 5

McLaren recorded their 150th fastest lap. It was the eighth of Button’s career, putting him level with James Hunt, Gilles Villeneuve and Ralf Schumacher.

And it was the 100th fastest lap for a Mercedes-powered car. The vast majority of those were set by McLaren, who’ve racked up 82 since their alliance with Mercedes began in 1995. The rest were set by Mercedes themselves (12), Brawn (4) and Force India (2).

More Indian Grand Prix stats and facts

McLaren scored points for the 55th race in a row, equalling the all-time record held by Ferrari. However, as noted here before, when Ferrari did the same points were only awarded down to sixth place for the majority of races.

Paul di Resta finished in 12th place for the third race in a row – the first time this has ever been done by a driver in F1.

Mercedes have still not scored any points in the three races since Hamilton’s move to the team was announced. Nor has Sergio Perez scored since McLaren signed him for 2013.

Finally, Michael Schumacher set a new record for the most laps completed by a Grand Prix driver. He has now logged 16,644 racing laps, eclipsing Rubens Barrichello’s tally of 16,631. The next-highest driver who is still competing is Button on 11,826.

2012 Indian Grand Prix

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Images ?? Red Bull/Getty images, Honda

110 comments on “The facts of Vettel’s crushing superiority”

  1. I’m surprised a lot of those ‘consecutive’ records weren’t set/broken during the Schumacher/Ferrari domination years. I was only young, but all I seem to remember from those days is a red car a loooong way out front.

    1. @soundscape Refuelling will have masked a lot of that. That leads to an interesting question, though – if you counted all the laps where Schumacher was the ‘net’ leader into account, would he have had a longer streak?

      1. This is why stats mean absolutly nothing to me. They are entirely pointless unless combined with context.

        1. Best tool, to make your opinion “true and valid”, even with context.

  2. “crushing superiority”

    my favorite kind! :D

  3. Vettel just continues to impress me. It’s not even like he personally had had a good run of form to coincide with the power of the RB8, he’s been brilliant all year, especially at Spa. People will always point towards the car being the best, which it is, but this year Vettel has really stood out for me more so than ever before. He’s a good all-round driver and a deserving triple world champion (assuming Alonso doesn’t surprise us).

    1. I like the guy, he is pure racer, grew up with a steering wheel in his hands. For some reason, my one single turn-off point is his screaming after he wins. He is most likely sincere and emotional, but it feels way to awkward to me.

      1. Well, for all he knows, that could be his last ever win, so he wants to enjoy them when he has an opportunity.

  4. I believe Schumacher also had a run of 5 victories at the start of the 2004 season (in addition to his other 2 streaks mentioned above). claims 151 fastest laps for McLaren (possibly a non-works McLaren?).

  5. *Vettel moved into 7th in the all time wins list on 26, one in front of Clark and Lauda, one behind Jackie Stewart.
    *Vettel joined Schumacher and Alonso as the only drivers to have scored over 1000 points in their career.
    *Vettel moved into a clear third on the pole and win in the same race record after taking his 19th (!), behind Schumacher and Senna.
    *He has now spent 205 laps in the lead, since Hamilton retired in Singapore, 100 less than Ascari’s record from 1952.
    *Raikkonen is on a streak of 14 consectutive points finishes, has only failed to score once out of this year’s 17 races, and is the only driver to have completed every lap. He will break the record of most finishes in a season (18) and most points finishes (17) if he keeps this up.
    * Aswell as Paul di Resta having three consectutive 12th places (first time ever), his team-mate Hulkenberg had finished in the position behind Raikkonen in the last three races.
    *The Indian GP marked exactly 500 races since John Watson and Niki Lauda charged through the field at Long Beach in 1983 to take a 1-2 after starting 22nd and 23rd. Sadly, the HRT team failed to deliver.

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