2012 in statistics part one: The year in context

2012 F1 season review

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Interlagos, 2012In the first part of F1 Fanatic’s look at the year in statistics, here’s how 2012 compared with previous seasons.

It includes a look at how the team mates at the top four teams have compared since 2010, updated statistics on all the world champions and how ever-increasing reliability is changing the championship.

Three years of the same drivers in the top teams

The last three season have been unusual in that the four most successful teams – Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes – have all had unchanged driver line-ups.

With two of those changing for next year, let’s take the opportunity to compare how they all did.

This was also the first three years where points were awarded down to tenth place, so their points hauls have been compared as well:

Team Driver Qualifying average Race average Wins Poles Points
2010 2011 2012 2010 2011 2012 2010 2011 2012 2010 2011 2012 2010 2011 2012
Red Bull Sebastian Vettel 2.0 1.2 5.0 3.6 1.5 4.4 5 11 5 10 15 6 256 392 281
Mark Webber 2.5 3.7 5.8 4.0 3.3 6.1 4 1 2 5 3 2 242 258 179
Ferrari Fernando Alonso 5.8 4.5 6.1 4.5 3.4 3.2 5 1 3 2 0 2 252 257 278
Felipe Massa 7.8 5.7 9.8 7.1 6.3 8.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 144 118 122
McLaren Lewis Hamilton 5.2 3.5 4.3 3.7 3.7 5.3 3 3 4 1 1 7 240 227 190
Jenson Button 6.9 4.4 6.4 4.4 3.0 6.8 2 3 3 0 0 1 214 270 188
Mercedes Michael Schumacher 9.9 10.3 9.6 8.6 8.2 10.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 72 76 49
Nico Rosberg 7.4 7.5 9.4 6.5 7.6 8.7 0 0 1 0 0 1 142 89 93

The most closely-matched team mates during this time have been the McLaren pair. Lewis Hamilton has held a clear upper hand in qualifying, though Button has reduced that margin of superiority in the race. He scored more points than Hamilton in their three years together, though Hamilton’s two car failures while leading this year helped tip the balance in Button’s favour.

Fernando Alonso’s domination of Felipe Massa at Ferrari is starkly illustrated in these numbers. However Massa’s string of zeroes through the ‘poles’ and ‘wins’ column would have a one in it had he not been ordered to hand victory to Alonso at the Hockenheimring in 2010. This year was his worst yet, scoring 43.8% of Alonso’s points haul, the worst of any driver during this period.

The gap between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber has varied considerably. The pair were closely matched in 2010 but Vettel was miles ahead in 2011. This year Webber was on a par with his team mate in the first half of the season but dropped off badly in the second half.

Michael Schumacher reduced the gap to Nico Rosberg in 2011 only for it to increase again this year. But here too technical faults played a significant role: Mercedes’ five non-finishes due to technical failures this year all occurred on Schumacher’s side of the garage.

World champions

Here’s F1 Fanatic’s data on how the world champions compare at the end of the 2012 season.

To rank them, all their finishing results were tallied using the current points system, and averaged against the number of races which they did not fail to be classified in due to a technical failure. This method was first used for the Champion of Champions series.

Michael Schumacher’s win rate fell from 36.7% to 29.7% during the course of his comeback, but it remains higher than that of any of the remaining world champions.

Pos Name Wins (%) Poles (%) Fastest laps (%) Car failures (%) Points/finish
1 Juan Manuel Fangio 24 (47.06%) 29 (56.86%) 23 (45.10%) 17.65 20.79
2 Alberto Ascari 13 (40.63%) 14 (43.75%) 12 (37.50%) 18.75 17.15
3 Jackie Stewart 27 (27.27%) 17 (17.17%) 15 (15.15%) 32.32 16.55
4 Jim Clark 25 (34.72%) 33 (45.83%) 28 (38.89%) 29.17 16.45
5 Giuseppe Farina 5 (15.15%) 5 (15.15%) 5 (15.15%) 15.15 15.96
6 Alain Prost 51 (25.63%) 33 (16.58%) 41 (20.60%) 16.58 14.96
7 Ayrton Senna 41 (25.47%) 65 (40.37%) 19 (11.80%) 20.50 14.70
8 Michael Schumacher 91 (29.74%) 68 (22.22%) 77 (25.16%) 10.78 14.25
9 Sebastian Vettel 26 (25.74%) 36 (35.64%) 15 (14.85%) 9.90 13.67
10 Mike Hawthorn 3 (6.67%) 4 (8.89%) 6 (13.33%) 22.22 13.37
11 Jochen Rindt 6 (10.00%) 10 (16.67%) 3 (5.00%) 55.00 13.26
12 Lewis Hamilton 21 (19.09%) 26 (23.64%) 12 (10.91%) 5.45 12.41
13 Fernando Alonso 30 (15.31%) 22 (11.22%) 19 (9.69%) 8.67 12.33
14 Niki Lauda 25 (14.62%) 24 (14.04%) 24 (14.04%) 34.50 11.99
15 Nigel Mansell 31 (16.58%) 32 (17.11%) 30 (16.04%) 32.62 11.98
16 Jack Brabham 14 (11.38%) 13 (10.57%) 12 (9.76%) 34.96 11.74
17 Kimi Raikkonen 19 (10.86%) 16 (9.14%) 37 (21.14%) 16.00 11.60
18 Mika Hakkinen 20 (12.42%) 26 (16.15%) 25 (15.53%) 24.22 11.33
19 Denny Hulme 8 (7.14%) 1 (0.89%) 9 (8.04%) 25.89 11.33
20 Damon Hill 22 (19.13%) 20 (17.39%) 19 (16.52%) 14.78 11.13
21 Nelson Piquet 23 (11.27%) 24 (11.76%) 23 (11.27%) 24.51 10.96
22 Phil Hill 3 (6.38%) 6 (12.77%) 6 (12.77%) 27.66 10.74
23 John Surtees 6 (5.41%) 8 (7.21%) 11 (9.91%) 44.14 10.58
24 Jody Scheckter 10 (8.93%) 3 (2.68%) 5 (4.46%) 18.75 9.85
25 James Hunt 10 (10.87%) 14 (15.22%) 8 (8.70%) 29.35 9.68
26 Emerson Fittipaldi 14 (9.72%) 6 (4.17%) 6 (4.17%) 25.69 9.29
27 Graham Hill 14 (8.00%) 13 (7.43%) 10 (5.71%) 33.14 9.00
28 Mario Andretti 12 (9.38%) 18 (14.06%) 10 (7.81%) 39.84 8.71
29 Alan Jones 12 (10.34%) 6 (5.17%) 13 (11.21%) 28.45 8.52
30 Keke Rosberg 5 (4.39%) 5 (4.39%) 3 (2.63%) 38.60 8.50
31 Jenson Button 15 (6.58%) 8 (3.51%) 8 (3.51%) 11.40 8.03
32 Jacques Villeneuve 11 (6.75%) 13 (7.98%) 9 (5.52%) 22.70 6.77

Season data, 1992-2012

After a year in which most of the winning was done by one team and one driver, 2012 saw a much closer field and a lot more variation in terms of who was doing the winning.

Eight different drivers won races during the year, the most since 2003. The most races won by a single driver was Sebastian Vettel’s five.

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/stats.csv

1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Number of races 16 16 16 17 16 17 16 16 17 17 17 16 18 19 18 17 18 17 19 19 20
Different drivers 37 35 46 35 24 28 23 24 23 26 23 24 25 27 27 26 22 25 27 28 25
Different winners 5 4 4 5 4 6 4 6 4 5 4 8 5 5 5 4 7 6 5 5 8
Most wins by individual 9 7 8 9 8 7 8 5 9 9 11 6 13 7 7 6 6 6 5 11 5
Different pole sitters 3 3 7 4 3 6 4 4 4 5 3 6 7 9 6 4 6 8 5 3 7
Most pole positions by individual 14 13 6 7 9 10 9 11 6 11 7 5 8 6 6 6 7 4 10 15 7
Different lap leaders 5 5 7 8 8 11 6 11 5 7 6 13 11 11 11 12 15 13 8 8 13

Reliability, 1992-2012

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/stats.csv

1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Classified finishers 44.89 52.91 46.17 50.24 50.29 56.88 57.95 52.56 58.56 60.7 57.97 66.88 72.5 74.2 69.19 75.13 77.72 82.06 76.97 81.36 83.54
Mechanical failures 27.14 24.03 25.9 31.1 24.27 24.6 26.42 29.55 25.13 27.01 29.12 24.38 16.94 11.44 18.18 13.64 8.7 9.12 13.15 10.75 7.71
Other DNFs 27.97 23.06 27.93 18.66 25.44 18.52 15.63 17.9 16.31 12.3 12.91 8.75 10.56 14.36 12.63 11.23 13.59 8.82 9.88 7.89 8.75

F1 teams continued to improve their reliability in 2012 and several drivers finished every race without suffering a race-ending mechanical failure.

With one of the teams that had the most failures this year – HRT – off the grid in 2013, expect it to improve further. But the major change in the regulations coming in 2014 will likely increase the number of retirements, at least temporarily.

Although there were several high-profile crashes during the year the number of retirements for reasons other than technical failure was not unusually high. There were 38 non-classifications due to accidents compared to 37 technical failures during races plus Petrov’s failure to start in Silverstone due to an engine problem.

The second part of the the 2012 F1 season in statistics will pick out the most interesting stats and facts of the year.

2012 F1 season review


Browse all 2012 F1 season review articles

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25 comments on 2012 in statistics part one: The year in context

  1. vickyy (@vickyy) said on 14th December 2012, 10:08

    Great stuff as usual.
    Best”est” site on F1, no wonder @keith you are being followed on twitter by 5 F1 teams :)

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th December 2012, 10:43

      @vickyy Thanks very much – hadn’t noticed that about the teams on Twitter, will go have a look…

    • Xusen (@xusen) said on 14th December 2012, 11:42

      Agreed, great work Keith, I am on this more than any other and even during the off season it is worth a visit.
      Folks if you are buying f1 related presents at this time of the year, make sure you check out the shop section on here and help keep this site running.

      Another amazing stat is that Hamilton is the only driver to reach Q3 in every race of year, yet he finished 4th!

  2. Imre (@f1mre) said on 14th December 2012, 10:24

    Vettel’s race average in 2012 is 1.2 places lower then Alonso’s, both of them had two DNFs and still Vettel scores the more points???
    Vettel’s race average was 3.44444 not counting the DNFs. Alonsos was 3.277777. If I counted right.

  3. Is it just me that can’t see the points column for 2012 in the first table?

  4. ajokay (@ajokay) said on 14th December 2012, 13:34

    Great stats Keith, amazing as always. Ahh 1994… the most drivers in any one season in recent memory. I have a little almanac book at home of the 1994 season. The driver profile section is endless.

    Which season holds the record for most participants? Is it possible to exclude the Indy 500 years, as that takes the tally artificially high, I feel.

    also an error in this paragraph:

    The last three season have been unusual in that the three most successful teams

    Should be ‘four’ teams.

    • I haven’t a clue either! I suspect it would be during the 90′s, with participating car numbers often reaching the 30′s and many pay driver changes in those many awful teams – who failed to qualify frequently and then dissolved into nothingness (Pacific Racing for example).

  5. @keithcollantine

    the last three seasons have been unusual in that the three most successful teams – Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes

    I assume you mean the four most successful teams?

  6. This was my major gripe against Schumacher’s comeback: all he has really achieved is to lower his percentages. On a personal level the experience may have been valuable but the statistics will remember his comeback as a failure sadly.

  7. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 15th December 2012, 17:32

    People say Vettel has better luck than Alonso and Hamilton, but see his stats in the “car failure column”, and you can see how Lewis and Alonso have both more reliability with their cars. How far are they from Senna though! It’s incredible to see how Senna could achieve so much with so big car failure %. I wonder what woudl have happened if Senna would have raced in the modern, reliable era.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 17th December 2012, 11:55

      It helped that Senna raced in an era when the reliability was generally lower though, still quite a feat I agree @omar-pepper – Vettel probably got most of those failure from 2010, while Hamilton had a really generally reliable car at McLaren, it’s just that it failed him this year at some high-profile times when it was really costly (as opposed to when his team couldn’t do pit stops, or at Silverstone ;). Alonso has had great reliability in his years at Ferrari – that’s something they learned during the Schumacher era and retained, it seems.

  8. The most closely-matched team mates during this time have been the McLaren pair. Lewis Hamilton has held a clear upper hand in qualifying, though Button has reduced that margin of superiority in the race.

    A fascinating matchup, that. Two contrasting styles of racing driver, Button as “Steady Eddie” and Hamilton as “Roy Racer” – and they ended up in the exact same place results wise. I prefer Hamilton’s style of doing it though.

  9. Fernando Alonso’s domination of Felipe Massa at Ferrari …

    .. leaves a slightly bad taste. There is ample precedent in F1 for one driver insisting on a doormat for a teammate, so Alonso is hardly unique in that respect. But it does make this sort of teammate comparison a little meaningless.

  10. Those car failure stats are fascinating. Who would have guessed that “lucky” Vettel has had a worse failure rate than “unlucky” Hamilton? I wouldn’t. Sometimes the numbers contradict the conventional wisdom.

    • Very True. Hamilton himself thinks that he fares badly with respect to car failures. I mean he once commented on that. But Statistics shows that Vettel has double the failure rate than both him and Alonso. I would have never seen that. Even I believed Vettel had a good average there. Welll Numbers Speaks….. Thanks @keithcollantin

  11. Not related to the most recent championship results, but a clear standout for me was Jochen Rindt: more than 13 points per finish with a 55% car failure rate (yes, that really is 10x that of LH!). How do you remain motivated to deliver such a high level of performance when your car lets you down in more than half the races you start?

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