Vettel joins Stewart as sixth most successful driver

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix stats and facts

Jackie Stewart, Tyrrell, Zolder, 1973Sebastian Vettel’s Malaysian Grand Prix may not have been popular, but it raised him ever higher among the ranks of the sport’s most successful drivers.

It was the 27th victory of his career, drawing him level with Jackie Stewart. Vettel’s fellow thrice-champion took 99 races to rack up that many wins – the Red Bull driver needed four more.

The pair are tied for sixth place on the list of drivers who have won the most races. It puts Vettel three wins behind Fernando Alonso, who is F1′s most successful active driver.

Vettel joined Alonso and Michael Schumacher as three-times winners of the Malaysian Grand Prix – no one has won it more times than that.

It was the thirteenth one-two finish for Red Bull – out of those Vettel led ten and Mark Webber led three, though that is a touchy subject at the moment. Vettel also claimed his 38th pole position.

200 appearances for Webber and Alonso

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Sepang, 2013Two drivers marked their 200th participations in F1 race weekends but neither were happy with the outcome.

Webber lost a potential victory to his team mate in a row over team orders. And shortly after Ferrari marked Alonso’s 200th race weekend participation, he retired from the race on lap two. The only consolation to be drawn from this is at least Ferrari have got better at counting how many races their drivers have been in.

Both Alonso and Webber have appeared at 200 races but only started 198. Neither driver took the start at Indianapolis in 2005 due to the mass withdrawal of Michelin runners. And both failed to start one race each during their first seasons with Minardi.

Alonso retired with a gearbox failure after the initial start of the 2001 Belgian Grand Prix. But that race was abandoned and a new race declared, which Alonso could not start. The following year in Spain Webber and team mate Alex Yoong did not start the race as both Minardis were withdrawn due to rear wing faults.

Lewis Hamilton may not have been too pleased to be on the podium, but it was the 50th appearance of his career, as well as his first for Mercedes.

Hamilton led home fourth placed Nico Rosberg, giving Mercedes their best combined result since they returned to F1 as a factory team in 2010.

Sergio Perez and his Sauber successor Nico Hulkenberg scored their first points for their new teams as well. Perez also set the race’s fastest lap, the second time he has done so in his career.

60 in a row for McLaren

Sergio Perez, McLaren, Sepang, 2013It may have been a rough start to the year for McLaren but they have maintained their run of consecutive races in the points – which is already a record – to 60.

Ferrari have scored for the last 50 races in a row and need five more to match their best-ever streak which began at the 1999 Malaysian Grand Prix and lasted until the same race four years later.

However Force India’s best-ever run of ten consecutive races in the points came to an end.

As for drivers, Kimi Raikkonen finished in the points for the 19th race in a row, and needs five more to match Michael Schumacher’s record of 24. The next race on the calendar is at the only track where he failed to score last year: Shanghai.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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98 comments on Vettel joins Stewart as sixth most successful driver

  1. joker said on 25th March 2013, 16:10

    The 2 laps that Button lead the race mean that 2013 is the 33rd consecutive season (record) that McLaren leads at least one lap in a season.

  2. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 25th March 2013, 16:10

    It’s now 4 races in a row where Alonso has been outqualified. I’m not sure this has ever happened!

    Felipe Massa also now has more points than the Spaniard, I believe this hasn’t occurred since China 2010.

    This is the first time JEV has finished in the points where he didn’t finish in 8th place.

    It was the first double failure to finish for Force India since Japan 2010.

    4 points from the first two races is the worst amount for McLaren since 2009, where they had 1 point (in old money) from Hamilton’s 7th place in the half-point Malaysian Grand Prix. In today’s money that would count for 3 points.

  3. medicine_man (@vettel81) said on 25th March 2013, 16:14

    So it was Mark’s 200th GP. Now I understand everything.. This was silly from Seb. The season is long and 7 points never decide the WCD.

    • tmax (@tmax) said on 25th March 2013, 16:19

      @vettel81 1 Point decides the WDC, you can ask Massa, Alonso and Hamilton :)

    • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 25th March 2013, 16:26

      A gap of less than 7 points have decided the WDC twice in the three full seasons the new points system has been implemented, in 2010 (4 points) and last season (3 points).

      • Traverse (@) said on 25th March 2013, 16:41

        This is why what Vet did was the correct decision. Why gift points to Webber? He’ll only waste them.

        • cg22me (@cg22me) said on 25th March 2013, 18:41

          Of course…
          In that case, every driver should give Vettel their points, because clearly they are all going to waste them if Vettel is destined to be the champion again…

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 25th March 2013, 18:45

            @cg22me – No, because these people are competing against Vettel. On the other hand, it’s Mark job to race Vettel and everyone else, which he usually does well (hence 9 wins). But Red Bull’s best chance for the driver’s championship is obvious.

          • cg22me (@cg22me) said on 25th March 2013, 21:48

            I get your point in theory…
            But I imagine many people could say the same about Alonso vs. Massa, and to an extent, this year so far, they are reasonably well matched.

            Basically, even if there is an “obvious” choice, is it really fair to dismiss the ulterior this early on in the year?

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 26th March 2013, 0:53

            Well, fair point. It isn’t “obvious” this year yet, so it is arguably unfait to dismiss them.

            But still, Massa and Webber have to match or beat their teammates far more often to convince me that they are genuinely evenly matched with their teammates, rather than just going through a rare hike in form.

  4. tmax (@tmax) said on 25th March 2013, 16:15

    Nice Land marks for Vettel, Webber and Alonso although each of them will remember this day for different reasons.

    I did not realize Vettel is so close to Alonso as far as wins are concerned.

  5. codesurge (@codesurge) said on 25th March 2013, 16:16

    Hamilton led home third placed Nico Rosberg

    Think that should be fourth, as much as Hamilton thinks that Rosberg should have been on the podium instead. :)

  6. himmatsj (@himmatsj) said on 25th March 2013, 16:26

    “Vettel joins Stewart as sixth most successful driver”

    Oh, come on. The number of race wins should not be a barometer to judge how successful or otherwise a driver is!

    • mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 25th March 2013, 16:34

      Yeah, especially since Stewart sat in a race-winning car from his very first race. (/sarcasm)

      With 27 out of 100 (JS) or 27 out of 103 (SV), it’s close enough to call.

    • dkpioe said on 25th March 2013, 17:24

      ?? are you being sarcastic? success judged by wins in such a sport is the most basic barometer to go by – as the drivers themselves say that what they aim to achieve is wins. success is one thing, i think you are trying to talk about a barometer of skill – which does not always equal the baometer of success.

    • The number of race wins should not be a barometer to judge how successful or otherwise a driver is!

      That’s a bit pedantic. Race wins is one possible (and the most commonly used) measure of a drivers success.

      Unless you were kidding and I missed it, in which case “Oops”.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 25th March 2013, 19:51

        I would say that most common is championships rather than race wins.

        • Most drivers have not won any championships, which rather limits its utility in comparing different drivers. Championships are used in comparing champions, often. Though even there you can get a pretty heated argument going over whether Prosts 4 WDC’s make him better than Senna with 3, and so on.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 25th March 2013, 23:50

            There’s the issue of confusing success and quality. Prost’s number of championships definitely makes him more successful as an F1 driver.

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 25th March 2013, 22:07

      The ‘most succesful’ driver isn’t necessarily the ‘best’ driver: there is of course a strong correllation between the two, but drivers like Stirling Moss, who is regarded as one of the best drivers in F1 history, is less succesful than a lot of other drivers in F1.

    • Ivano (@) said on 26th March 2013, 1:17

      Wins write history in this sport. Not opinions, fan love, or the what if’s and but’s.

    • The number of wins is certainly one measure, even if it’a not the only one.

      Jackie Stewart is living proof, however, that you don’t have to be ruthless to the point of abandoning all principles – as Gerhard Berger suggested was the case when defending Vettel this weekend – in order to be a great champion.

  7. sato113 (@sato113) said on 25th March 2013, 16:29

    Hamilton led home fourth placed Nico Rosberg, giving Mercedes their best combined result since they returned to F1 as a factory team in 2010.

    nice stat

  8. wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 25th March 2013, 16:42

    Here’s what I noticed:
    It is now 49 races since any team apart from Red Bull finished 1-2. There have been 7 1-2 finishes since then and Red Bull have clinched them all.
    In the old(2003-2009) points-paying system, McLaren would’ve got zero points, their worst start since 2000.
    Nico Hulkenberg and Lewis Hamilton maintained their 100 % points-finish record at Sepang.
    This was Felipe Massa’s first front-row start since Bahrain 2010.
    There were more, but my memory’s failed :(

    • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 25th March 2013, 16:44

      Also, for the first time since 2010, no rookie has opened their points account after 2 races..

      • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 26th March 2013, 5:47

        Some more stats which I forgot:
        1. Lotus’s 3rd 6-7 finish in 9 races.
        2. Romain Grosjean finished ahead of Kimi Raikkonen for the first time in the last 15 races.
        3. Sergio Perez emulated his McLaren predecessor Lewis Hamilton in taking the fastest lap in his second start for the team, both at Sepang.
        4. The last 3 race weekends have had at least one official session to be disturbed by rain. Considering that the next weekend is Shanghai, there’s a pretty good chance of making it 4.
        5. Fernando Alonso’s last non-podium points finish was back in Hungary last year. That’s 11 races now(and counting…)

  9. Sankalp Sharma (@sankalp88) said on 25th March 2013, 17:01

    Can anyone confirm: Perez’s first points since signing for Mclaren? — It’s taken a long time, if that’s the case.

  10. Dan_the_McLaren_fan (@dan_the_mclaren_fan) said on 25th March 2013, 17:07

    For the third year in a row, Pastor Maldonado fails to finish the first two Grand Prix of the season (though he was still classified in last year’s Australian GP).

  11. Traverse (@) said on 25th March 2013, 17:11

    @keithcollantine
    I don’t know if this is the correct place to post this, but I just read that Robert Kubica was involved in a crash yesterday. Thankfully he’s ok. Here’s the video on the sky news website: http://news.sky.com/story/1069164/lucky-escape-for-robert-kubica-in-rally-crash

    • pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 25th March 2013, 17:26

      As ever, Kubica’s an accident waiting to happen. It’s about time he hung up his helmet and thanked his lucky stars he’s (just about) made it through alive. Always quicker than he is capable of driving…

      • Traverse (@) said on 25th March 2013, 17:36

        I’m going to call him “The Cat” from now on because he definitely has 9 lives. Although if you count his crash at the Canadian gp in 2007, the rally crash that ended his F1 career and this recent one yesterday, he has 6 lives left!

        • @hellotraverse
          interesting, but rather scary cause nobody dare to think what happen to him after his 9th crash.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 25th March 2013, 18:48

          @hellotraverse – It’s unfortunate he keeps having these accidents. He could have been up there with some of the best in F1 today (though some overrated what he had already done in F1 in my opinion).

          • Traverse (@) said on 25th March 2013, 19:05

            I agree with you regarding him being overrated. He definitely had the talent and potential to become a WDC, but alas, we’ll never know now. I do cringe when people refer to Kubica as if he’s a 5-time WDC, it does my head in (such as when Alonso said that Kub was better than him).

          • John H (@john-h) said on 25th March 2013, 21:30

            While I completely sympathise with Kubica and I am sad he’s not in F1, only one person decided to do rallying in the off-season and that was Kubica himself. I guess relative to Kimi and Webber you could say he has been unfortunate I guess, but drivers fully focussed on F1 should be staying away from getting injured in the off-season. Perhaps I’m being too harsh, but you could also argue he is fortunate to still be alive… based on both of these crashes.

  12. 23kennyboy23 said on 25th March 2013, 17:39

    Not that Hamilton can take too much credit for it but it’s already impressive that mercedes have their best result 2 races into him being here. They’re on the up.

    • Traverse (@) said on 25th March 2013, 18:37

      You’re right, the Hamilton effect has already kicked in. This is the kind of progress that only a top driver can bring to a team, which is precisely why Mercedes broke the bank to acquire him (a fact that almost certainly played a part in Brawn’s decision yesterday to halt Rosberg’s podium push).

      • 23kennyboy23 said on 25th March 2013, 19:16

        It’s one of those things where if you invest a lot in staff in the engineering dept. etc you may as well go all out rather than waste it on a driver who can’t do the car justice. I’ve a huge amount of respect for nico but I feel, until he has a chance to prove himself, he’s still an unknown quantity when it gets down to championship crunchtime.

      • John H (@john-h) said on 25th March 2013, 21:33

        I actually think Rosberg has just as much pace as Hamilton, but in the crucial moments at times he has not delivered – I think Hamilton seems to keep his cool a bit better in certain situations. I really think it’s going to be a close battle though – certainly closer than Nico vs Schumacher that’s for sure.

  13. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 25th March 2013, 17:39

    It was the thirteenth one-two finish for Red Bull – out of those Vettel led ten and Mark Webber led three, though that is a touchy subject at the moment

    As much as people don’t like it, statistics just register the “cold numbers”, such as Rubens-assisted Schum victories, crash-gate assisted victories, Michelin-assisted podium for Jordan at Indy, etc, etc

    • Traverse (@) said on 25th March 2013, 18:07

      That is what F1 is all about, the facts. Whether we like it or not emotions play no part in winning. Too many people are judging the situation from an emotional standpoint, rather than a factual one. When we lavish praise on Schumi and reminisce his 91 race wins, we don’t subtract the Barrichello assisted wins, or disregard his 1994 WDC because he crashed into Hill. History remembers only the facts, and the fact is, Vettel won yesterdays GP. FACT.

      • bemob said on 25th March 2013, 18:36

        Rather, I would say statistics is about the facts. F1 on the other hand is about being on the limit. Emotion, winning and glorious defeat are all a part of it.

      • Ilanin (@ilanin) said on 25th March 2013, 18:46

        Actually, most evaluations of Schumacher I’ve seen mention both of those issues. History is not a list of numbers and placings.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 25th March 2013, 18:51

          ilanin – True, but I see little (fair, non double standard) reason for people to downplay the young German we have now.

          • Peter Cotterill (@stigrennfahrer) said on 25th March 2013, 22:55

            I completely agree with you here. Formula One is a complex sport, rewarding success for teams and individuals. If an individual is at a top-end team (VET at Red Bull, HAM at McLaren since childhood, MSC at Ferrari between 2000 and 2004, Senna at McLaren etc), then of course they are more likely to win!

            I sometimes despair of the double standards of some people who will in the same breath criticise Vettel for being supported by the Red Bull hierachy, then praise Hamilton for being an amazing driver (despite being supported by the same sort of scheme with the same sort of connotations and, until this season, backing).

            In pure fact, Vettel has won 27 Grands Prix. He has won three World Driver’s Championships…in a row. He is a very successful driver, and success always provides division.

        • Traverse (@) said on 25th March 2013, 18:57

          @ilanin
          My post was a response to people saying that Rosberg and Webber actually finished 3rd and 1st respectively, when clearly they didn’t.

      • When we lavish praise on Schumi and reminisce his 91 race wins, we don’t subtract the Barrichello assisted wins, or disregard his 1994 WDC because he crashed into Hill.

        And when we lavish praise on Senna we don’t knock him for winning all three of his WDC’s in what was, by a huge margin, the best car on the grid at the time.

        • Traverse (@) said on 25th March 2013, 19:45

          And when we lavish praise on Senna we don’t knock him for winning all three of his WDC’s in what was, by a huge margin, the best car on the grid at the time.

          Exactly!! So why does everyone feel the need to constantly belittle Vettel by saying that he’s only a 3-time WDC because he had the fastest car? If Senna deserved his championships, surely Seb deserves his.

          • DelendaEstAmbulando said on 25th March 2013, 21:18

            If Senna deserved his championships,

            That’s a huge “if”.

          • Drezone said on 26th March 2013, 1:03

            Senna also proved he could race in an inferior car i.e. 1993 just like Alonso last year

            Put vettel in the Mercedes and see if he’s still a triple champion

          • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 3rd April 2013, 16:15

            (@omarr-pepper) +1.
            (@hellotraverse)

            When we lavish praise on Schumi and reminisce his 91 race wins, we don’t subtract the Barrichello assisted wins, or disregard his 1994 WDC because he crashed into Hill

            Actually, I do. I also disregard 2004 and 2002 in parcticular, and do the same for 2011.

            And when we lavish praise on Senna we don’t knock him for winning all three of his WDC’s in what was, by a huge margin, the best car on the grid at the time.
            Exactly!! So why does everyone feel the need to constantly belittle Vettel by saying that he’s only a 3-time WDC because he had the fastest car? If Senna deserved his championships, surely Seb deserves his.

            Because he beat Prost, that’s why. It’s the almost direct equivalent Alonso being at RB, and him beating Alonso.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 25th March 2013, 19:56

          I agree with your point, but Senna did have Prost for a team mate for one of those years, which does make it an impressive feat.

          • @matt90 this is very true, so perhaps we need a Vettel/Alonso partnership at Ferrari then? ;)

            Still though, I find it disrespectful that people say Newey’s won the drivers championship the last three years.

        • Ilanin (@ilanin) said on 25th March 2013, 21:42

          Two of them. The Williams FW14 was definitely faster than the McLaren for the majority of 1991; on the other hand it was less reliable. In any case, I don’t think his car gave Senna an *advantage* over Mansell.

      • Drezone said on 26th March 2013, 0:57

        Facts will be read by people who have no memory and read books and use Internet for stats but keen followers will remember the facts of Schumacher cheating for his first world championship and Senna’s death may have taken away his 94 & 95 titles

        Just like vettel only deserving 2011 title

        2010 he was lucky Ferrari stuffed up last race after red bull didn’t back webber and backed vettel and almost gave Ferrari title

        2012 Alonso losing by only 3 points in an inferior car

        They might not be stats but they are still facts by the avid follower

        Everyone knows webbers race in Malaysia which is probably why most people on this forum voted him driver of the race

        • Ivano (@) said on 26th March 2013, 1:28

          You forgot Senna cheating by robbing Prost in 1990.

          And nope, Vettel deserved all 3 titles and that’s why he won them.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 26th March 2013, 3:57

          Facts will be read by people who have no memory

          Fiction, would be for people with no memory.

          2010 he was lucky Ferrari stuffed up last race after red bull didn’t back webber and backed vettel and almost gave Ferrari title

          2012 Alonso losing by only 3 points in an inferior car

          That’s BS. Ferrari stuff up 1 race, and we ought to forget the rest of the season? Webber has no mechanical DNFs, still can’t outscore his teammate, and the team should back him?

          In 2012, though Alonso drove a great season, so did Vettel, in a car that was less reliable than the Ferrari, and had less speed than the Mclaren. It was a competitive season between at least 3 teams. The winner “deserved” it as 2nd place would have “deserved” it, had he won.

          Everyone knows webbers race in Malaysia which is probably why most people on this forum voted him driver of the race

          To be honest, Vettel never wins DOTW anyway, for whatever excuse. Doesn’t mean he didn’t deserve his 3 world titles and 27 wins.

          And Schumacher won the championship in 94, and did so even more convincingly in 95. Don’t disrespectfully play the pointless “if” game.

      • Ivano (@) said on 26th March 2013, 1:23

        As for the Rubens assit wins comment, that’s really a biased emotional view. Cause then we have the Berger assist wins for Senna. The Johannson assist wins for Prost… Oh, and the Patrese assist wins for Mansell. The list is endless, we might as well strip every driver of their wins, and give the trophies to their team mates.

  14. OEL F1 (@oel-f1) said on 25th March 2013, 17:56

    This is the first time as a Ferrari driver Felipe Massa has more points than his team mate after the two first races of a season (he was ahead of Räikkönen in 2009 both none of them had scored any points).

    • OEL F1 (@oel-f1) said on 25th March 2013, 18:01

      In fact, the only time before that he has managed to out score his team mate from the 2 first races was in 2004 with 1 point to Fisichella’s 0.

    • alexf1man (@alexf1man) said on 25th March 2013, 18:31

      Both in Australia and Malaysia, the last 15 races (1999-2013) have only been won by European drivers (Eddie Irvine, Michael Schumacher, Ralf Schumacher, David Coulthard, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Giancarlo Fisichella, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel)

  15. Probably a new record for the use of the word “obviously” in the post-race press conference (more than 50 instances, including the podium interviews).

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