Vettel’s five in a row as Alonso breaks points record

2013 Japanese Grand Prix stats and facts

Fernando Alonso at least found one thing to be cheerful about after seeing the world championship slip further away in the Japanese Grand Prix:

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali hailed Alonso’s appearance at the top of F1’s all-time points scorers chart as “proof of his extraordinary talent and something which makes us very proud”.

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Suzuka, 2013Alonso’s formidable talent has already earned him two world championships and more race wins than all bar four drivers in the sport’s history. But, as explained here before, the greatest points haul achievement is meaningless.

This is for the obvious reasons that finishing places today are valued much more highly than they used to be and there are far more races in the season. Today’s calendar is pushing 20 races per season and 101 points are distributed at each round. F1’s inaugural season in 1950 had just seven races with a total of 24 points available at each.

So what does the fact that Alonso has reached 1,571 points, surpassing Michael Schumacher’s 1,566 at the top of the table, actually tell us? Little more than that they are both extremely good F1 drivers, something we already knew.

However we can make an attempt to address the shortcomings of the statistics. This table compares the results of all the world champions, plus the top 25 points scorers who never won a title, by adjusting all their points to the current system and by averaging that total against the number of races they competed in:

Name Starts Points Modern points* Modern points per start*
Fernando Alonso 211 1571 2414 11.44
Michael Schumacher 306 1566 3890 12.71
Sebastian Vettel 116 1351 1541 13.28
Lewis Hamilton 125 1074 1452 11.62
Jenson Button 243 1059 1683 6.93
Mark Webber 211 996.5 1311 6.21
Kimi Raikkonen 190 963 1882 9.91
Alain Prost 199 798.5 2483 12.48
Felipe Massa 187 794 1328 7.1
Rubens Barrichello 323 658 1897 5.87
Ayrton Senna 161 614 1881 11.68
David Coulthard 246 535 1726 7.02
Nico Rosberg 143 525.5 670 4.69
Nelson Piquet 204 485.5 1688 8.27
Nigel Mansell 187 482 1509 8.07
Niki Lauda 171 420.5 1343 7.85
Mika Hakkinen 161 420 1382 8.58
Gerhard Berger 210 385 1417 6.75
Jackie Stewart 99 360 1109 11.2
Damon Hill 115 360 1091 9.49
Ralf Schumacher 180 329 1096 6.09
Carlos Reutemann 146 310 1131 7.75
Juan Pablo Montoya 94 307 825 8.78
Graham Hill 175 289 1053 6.02
Emerson Fittipaldi 144 281 994 6.9
Riccardo Patrese 256 281 1111 4.34
Juan Manuel Fangio 51 277.64 873 17.12
Giancarlo Fisichella 229 275 940 4.1
Jim Clark 72 274 839 11.65
Robert Kubica 76 273 488 6.42
Jack Brabham 123 261 939 7.63
Nick Heidfeld 183 259 727 3.97
Jody Scheckter 112 255 896 8
Denny Hulme 112 248 940 8.39
Jarno Trulli 252 246.5 810 3.21
Jean Alesi 201 241 1033 5.14
Jacques Villeneuve 163 235 853 5.23
Jacques Laffite 176 228 921 5.23
Clay Regazzoni 132 212 820 6.21
Alan Jones 116 206 707 6.09
Ronnie Peterson 123 203 731 5.94
Bruce McLaren 98 196.5 745 7.6
Eddie Irvine 146 191 789 5.4
Stirling Moss 66 186.64 616 9.33
Michele Alboreto 194 186.5 767 3.95
Jacky Ickx 114 181 680 5.96
Rene Arnoux 149 181 699 4.69
John Surtees 111 180 656 5.91
Mario Andretti 128 180 671 5.24
James Hunt 92 179 629 6.84
Heinz-Harald Frentzen 156 174 780 5
John Watson 152 169 734 4.83
Keke Rosberg 114 159.5 595 5.22
Patrick Depailler 95 141 551 5.8
Alberto Ascari 32 140.14 446 13.94
Mike Hawthorn 45 127.64 468 10.4
Giuseppe Farina 33 127.33 447 13.55
Jochen Rindt 60 109 358 5.97
Phil Hill 47 98 365 7.77

*Split points scores due to shared drives or reduced race distances have been counted as full points scores.

Vettel wins five races in a row

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2013Sebastian Vettel’s inexorable accumulation of race victories continued in Japan, but this one was special. It was his fifth consecutive grand prix win, something only five other drivers in F1 history have achieved.

He joins Alberto Ascari, Michael Schumacher, Jack Brabham, Jim Clark and Nigel Mansell in scoring five in a row. The last of those drivers to do so was Schumacher, who on separate occasions in 2004 won seven and five races consecutively.

Ascari holds the records for wins in consecutive world championship starts (nine) and races (seven). The Ferrari driver won seven races in a row in 1952 and 1953, did not compete in the 1953 Indianapolis 500 (which counted towards the world championship) then won a further two races in a row.

Suzuka remains Vettel’s stomping ground – he now has four wins in five starts at the track. He failed to continue his 100% pole position record at the track though that was most likely because his KERS had failed.

However he started from the front row for the seventh race running, something Lewis Hamilton also achieved this year.

If Vettel is victorious once more in India he will be the third driver in F1 history to win six races in a row – not to mention being the third driver to win four world championships in a row, joining Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio.

Ferrari poised to match McLaren record

Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Hockenheim, 2010Esteban Gutierrez scored the first points of his F1 career with seventh place. He is the first rookie driver this year to claim his first points.

That means Brian Henton is once again the only F1 driver to have set fastest lap in an F1 race but never scored a point. Henton did so for Tyrrell in the 1982 British Grand Prix.

Ferrari claimed points for the 63rd race running which means in India they can tie McLaren’s record for most consecutive points finishes by a team, which they set earlier this year. Ferrari have scored in every race since the 2010 German Grand Prix.

However Ferrari lost the record for most pole positions by an engine builder to Renault. Mark Webber’s pole position was their 209th, moving them one ahead of Ferrari. More details on that in last week’s Stats and Facts.

Webber scored the 12th pole position of his career 364 days after his last once in Korea. It gives him as many as Gerhard Berger and David Coulthard. Coincidentally Webber’s 18th fastest lap also put him level with Coulthard, his previous team mate at Red Bull.

Webber out-qualified Vettel for the first time this year and Max Chilton also lapped quicker than Jules Bianchi in qualifying, meaning no driver has a perfect score against their team mate in qualifying this year.

Red Bull have now had at least one car on the podium for the last ten races in a row.

This was the sixth race Romain Grosjean has led. He headed the field for 26 laps at Suzuka having previously led a total of 12 laps in his career.

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.

2013 Japanese Grand Prix

Browse all 2013 Japanese Grand Prix articles

Images ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Red Bull/Getty

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125 comments on Vettel’s five in a row as Alonso breaks points record

  1. Bleu (@bleu) said on 14th October 2013, 14:02

    It was only Vettel’s second victory where he led less than half of the laps. The previous one was Malaysia 2013, which remains his worst percentage of race laps led (37,5%) while now he led 41,5% of laps.

    Top 3 wins and other current 20-win drivers:
    Schumacher 19/91
    Prost 19/51
    Senna 7/41
    Vettel 2/35
    Alonso 13/32
    Hamilton 3/22
    Räikkönen 8/20

    Of course, leading only few laps doesn’t mean it was bad performance. Using Kimi as an example, his smallest percentage of lead laps in the race he won was Japan 2005, undoubtedly one of his best victories.

  2. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 14th October 2013, 14:12

    Just wondering @andae23 @keithcollantine , are “old paces with no points” included? Let me explain. If Fangio (to mention as an example) was 7th in a race (and got no points for that, regarding the points system back then ), do you give him the 3 points (he didn’t get) in the chart? Because nowadaysn Gutierrez can get 3 points with that, but Fangio couldn’t.

  3. F1Rollout (@f1rollout) said on 14th October 2013, 14:12

    Didn’t Schumacher compete with Alonso in 2010 – 2012? Then how come this is meaningless. From 2007-2009, Schumacher did not compete but then the points system was not so different than the one used in Schumacher era. Also Schumacher has been racing since 1991 whereas Alonso only joined in 2001. The record is not as meaningless as it has been depicted on the blog. Yes we cant conclude that Alonso is a better driver based on this stat, but calling it meaningless is not correct.

    • Nick (@npf1) said on 14th October 2013, 14:34

      Schumacher also competed against Senna and Prost, both of whom got only 9 points instead of 10 for a victory. Schumacher finishing second in a race in 2006 got him 1 point less than Prost winning a race in 1986, but 2 points more than Schumacher finishing 2nd in a race before 2003. The point tables have changed so much, it is a very uneven comparison by any standard. Heck, I bet some people will use the ‘Alonso started in 2001, so he did a lot of races with old points’ as an argument in favor of him once Vettel surpasses his points total. (Which is likely to happen due to him probably having a longer career than Alonso, even if Alonso beats him for the remainder of his career.)

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 14th October 2013, 14:39

      @f1rollout – It is pretty meaningless because Schumacher’s vast majority of points were under the 10 points for a win system. Just look at the points when converted: 2414 vs. 3890. Look at the system now: Massa has 90 points this year and scored 144 in 2010, the same tallies Senna and Schumaacher won the 1988 and 2002 championships with respectively.

  4. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 14th October 2013, 14:31

    Personally I feel that the best indicator of talent is the Win percentage.

    • Nick (@npf1) said on 14th October 2013, 14:37

      I think it all comes down to subjectivity. I mean, Hakkinen dominated the 2001 Spanish Grand Prix, but it didn’t add to his win percentage, as his engine failed on the final lap. That doesn’t make him 0.6% less talented.

      It is a good indication, but I think drivers like Jean Alesi or Stefan Bellof were a lot more talented than their win percentage.

      • ferrox glideh (@ferrox-glideh) said on 15th October 2013, 3:27

        Good point about subjectivity. Gilles was no Vettel, but who was more exciting? At the top of the sport, the statistics that one chooses to analyze become a subjective tool. Of course, winning is the name of the game, but give me a brilliant display of panache any day. That being said, these F1archives statistics articles and commentaries are the highlight of my race weekend. Well done everybody!

        • Robbie said on 15th October 2013, 5:51

          Vettel would be trounced by Gilles.

          • RAMBOII said on 16th October 2013, 11:20

            Based on what? The fact that Villeneuve was already beaten by some of his own teammates, let alone fight for the championship?

            Villeneuve was a great driver, but by no means the greatest in history.

          • Robbie said on 16th October 2013, 19:56

            What could anyone base such a thing on other than pure conjecture, and it is my opinion that Gilles Villeneuve was a monster driver and would have done incredible things in F1 had his career not been cut short. I think he did awe-inspiring things with much less equipment and at a much more dangerous time in F1 where bravery and nerve was much more necessary than it is for SV et al today.

  5. Webbo (@webbo82) said on 14th October 2013, 14:37

    @keithcollantine thanks very much – that’s a stunning table. Tremendous job, I could stare at it for hours.

  6. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 14th October 2013, 15:56

    How many years will Alonso keep driving? That’s the question, as well as having the same great driving skills, because I really want to see him going well, not having 3 final years where he can hardly gets points, like Schumacher. I would prefer to see him just as much as Hakkinen, he retired when he still had good skills on him.

  7. f199player (@f199player) said on 14th October 2013, 16:40

    With Lewis Hamilton’s retirement, Max Chilton is the only driver to finish every single race this season. Both the Mclarens have been classified in every race but Chilton is the only driver to finish every race.

  8. Mudzis said on 14th October 2013, 18:41

    Great job for the table about points. Thank you very much!
    But there is one very important table to be made in the future!
    This kind of table about wins!
    Yeah, we know Schumacher has 91, but it is not a serious comparison when one driver gets 16-20 GPs per season, but the other just 7 GPs per season like in 1950.
    Comparison concerning wins similar to this one about points is the thing to be done the sooner the better!

  9. paulgilb (@paulgilb) said on 14th October 2013, 22:51

    4th win, 5th podium for Vettel at Suzuka – the most successful track for him in both respects.

    Vettel has already scored more points in 2013 than he managed in 2012.

    First time Grosjean has finished 3rd without Raikkonen finishing 2nd.

    First non-mechanical retirements for a Marussia and a Mercedes in 2013. McLaren are now the only team without such a retirement.

    Massa has now finished in every position from 3rd to 10th at least once this year.

    Vettel would already have clinched the title under the pre-2003 scoring system (he would be 47 ahead with 40 remaining).

    100th consecutive race with at least one German driver in the points (last race without was France 2008).

    Both 1-2 finishes for Red Bull this year have come in a race where Vettel collided with another driver on the first lap (the other driver retiring partly as a result) and one driver in the field ignored team orders.

    And some from

    No front-row start for Hamilton in Suzuka (although he did have 2 poles in Fuji) – Buddh is the only other such current circuit.

    First time this year that Hulkenberg has managed back-to-back top 10 starts (interesting that Gutierrez beat him to it).

    Bottas’s best dry qualifying.

    Sutil’s worst start since Brazil 2010.

    The last time that Red Bull both locked out the front and scored a 1-2 was Korea 2012 (exactly a year ago to the week) – on both occasions Webber was on pole and Vettel won.

    Vettel & Webber have managed 14 1-2’s, equalling Prost & Senna at McLaren, but way behind M Schumacher & Barrichello at Ferrari (24).

    First time this year that Vettel lost a place at the start.

    First time Grosjean has led ‘on merit’ – all other lead laps were during pitstops.

    Suzuka has never been won from the second row.

    Alonso’s 70th consecutive race without a mechanical DNF.

    First time Hulkenberg has managed 4 consecutive points finishes.

    Button’s worst result at Suzuka.

    Perez is the first driver since Mark Blundell not to manage a podium finish in his first 15 starts for McLaren.

  10. Jorge Lardone (@jorge-lardone) said on 14th October 2013, 23:12

    “Alonso’s 70th consecutive race without a mechanical DNF.”
    I wonder if there is another driver with such a record like this!

  11. @keith, I miss Luigi Fagioli in the points/race table (not so much Wallard, who really wasn’t a F1 driver)

    Split points scores due to shared drives or reduced race distances have been counted as full points scores.

    Let’s apply that to Luigi Fagioli, he entered seven races, DNF’d once, and made 6 podiums: third once, second four times, plus 1 victory, shared with Fangio.

    By your reckoning Fagioli got 112 points in modern money, exactly 16 points / race

    Back then they gave half the points for shared drives, hence that would have been 99’5 points by my reckoning, or 14.21 points race.

    By both reckonings, he was better than Ascari, and second only to the great Fangio… Unless we consider Lee Wallard, who entered the 500 Miles twice when they counted for the F1 championship, won one and finished sixth in the other. That is 33 modern points, or 16.5 per race, better than Fagioli but still worse than Fangio.

    Anyway we look at it Fangio got the most modern points/race, but Wallard topped him in victories/race (1/2) and Fagioli in podiums/race (6/7).

    • Jelle van der Meer said on 15th October 2013, 8:32

      Keith has already given the answer in his article: “This table compares the results of all the world champions, plus the top 25 points scorers who never won a title”

      In my opinion any driver with less than 10 races should be excluded from stats as not a fair representation.

  12. Fair enough, I agree to leave out the one-hit-wonders like Dorino Serafini (100% podiums, but only one race) and the 500-miles-only drivers. But I have a soft spot for Fagioli, he drove just 7 races in F1 only because he was already over 50 when it all started. His pre-F1 records are also top-notch. Too bad almost nobody remembers him, he was no Fangio but his consistence was second to none.

  13. MarkM (@mpmark) said on 15th October 2013, 13:50

    these points records are absolutely useless information due to the fact of the large point changes and number of races over the course of F1. They tell us nothing.

    ex: Alonso’s 2 world championships compared to Schumachers 7 and Alonso has more points… really pointless

  14. MarkM (@mpmark) said on 15th October 2013, 14:14

    breaking the “all time” points record is not something I’d be bragging about…

  15. Another Stat i noticed
    Its been 62 Races a 1-2 Finish was achieved by any team other than Redbull. Germany 2010 was the Last race and it was achieved by Ferrari back in 2010.

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