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

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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. Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 15th October 2013, 15:12

    Out of curiosity, anyone know who holds the record for most laps led without having won a race? After Grosjean’s stat, I started wondering.

  2. Loup Garou (@loup-garou) said on 20th October 2013, 9:06

    Vettel would be trounced by Gilles.

    On what evidence are you basing this arbitrary statement? Simply that GV was one of the drivers from the past? This feeling that some past s-&so would have trounced his/her present opposite number is common in any sport but is totally baseless. In fact, more often than not the converse is true because of improved levels of fitness etc. With F1, successful drivers in GV’s era often had cars that were ridiculously more powerful than the competition and with the rules more relaxed, they could try out alomst any innovation to win a race. Tyrell once even brought in 6-wheeled cars and got P1 & P2 because the conditions suited that set-up. Most top drivers demanded and usually got what they wanted, something that modern drivers are seldom capable of doing.

  3. Michael Brown (@) said on 24th October 2013, 3:42

    The last time both Saubers finished in the points was the 2012 Italian Grand Prix (2nd and 9th)

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