Vettel breaks 60-year-old record with eighth win

2013 United States Grand Prix stats and facts

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Circuit of the Americas, 2013Sebastian Vettel became the first driver in Formula One history to win eight consecutive rounds of the world championship with victory in the United States Grand Prix.

He broke a record which has stood for 60 years, when Alberto Ascari took his seventh win in a row driving a Ferrari 500 in the Argentinian Grand Prix. His winning streak had begun the previous year.

Nine years ago Michael Schumacher took seven wins in a row at the wheel of another Ferrari, the F2004.

But Vettel and his Red Bull RB9 now hold the record for most wins in consecutive races:

Rank Driver Wins Sequence began Sequence ended
1 Sebastian Vettel 8 2013 Belgian Grand Prix ?
=2 Alberto Ascari 7 1952 Belgian Grand Prix 1953 Argentinian Grand Prix
=2 Michael Schumacher 7 2004 European Grand Prix 2004 Hungarian Grand Prix
4 Michael Schumacher 6 2000 Italian Grand Prix 2001 Malaysian Grand Prix
=5 Jack Brabham 5 1960 Dutch Grand Prix 1960 Portuguese Grand Prix
=5 Jim Clark 5 1965 Belgian Grand Prix 1965 German Grand Prix
=5 Nigel Mansell 5 1992 South African Grand Prix 1992 San Marino Grand Prix
=5 Michael Schumacher 5 2004 Australian Grand Prix 2004 Spanish Grand Prix

Alberto Ascari, Ferrari, 1952Ascari went on to extend his winning streak to nine races in a row after missing the 1953 Indianapolis 500, which counted towards the world championship. Note also that all the other races in the 1952 and 1953 world championships were run to Formula Two regulations instead of Formula One.

Victory for Vettel in the final race of the year would not only tie Ascari’s record of nine wins in consecutive races entered by a driver, it would also tie Schumacher’s record of winning 13 races in a season. Schumacher won 13 out of 18 rounds in 2004, Vettel has one extra race in which to achieve that feat.

Red Bull are also gaining on McLaren’s record for most wins in consecutive races. They went undefeated for 11 races in a row in 1988 while Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost cleaned up in the devastating MP4-4.

Vettel recorded his 38th win (he’s now three behind Senna in terms of total victories), 44th pole position (needing 21 more to catch Senna) and 22nd fastest lap – the latter moving him one ahead of Fernando Alonso and among the top ten drivers who set the most.

This was Vettel’s eighth hat-trick of win, pole and fastest lap, which means he now has as many as Prost. Ahead of him lie Juan Manuel Fangio, with nine, Jim Clark on 11 and Schumacher’s distant tally of 22.

Finally, his first win in America means the Hungarian Grand Prix is the only remaining race he is yet to win.

More United States Grand Prix stats and facts

There were mixed fortunes for the two Finnish drivers in the race. Heikki Kovalainen failed to score on his return to F1 for Lotus and so increases his already record string of point-less races to 61.

However Valtteri Bottas claimed the first points of his F1 career with eighth place. He is the 323rd driver to score in the world championship.

Romain Grosjean scored his sixth podium finish of the year meaning he now has more than Lewis Hamilton. Curiously, both Lotus drivers have more podium finishes this year than both Mercedes drivers, yet Lotus trail Mercedes in the constructors’ championship.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2013 United States Grand Prix

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Images ?? Red Bull/Getty, Pirelli

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101 comments on Vettel breaks 60-year-old record with eighth win

  1. kpcart said on 18th November 2013, 11:47

    i reckon can keep this going into next year :)

  2. Andrew Simmons said on 18th November 2013, 11:49

    Congratulations. Does this make it the 4th most dominant car in history? Mclaren won 15 races out of 16 in 1988, Ferrari won 15 out of 18 in 2004, 15 out of 17 in 2002, , Upto yet Vettel has 13 out of 18 and will win Brazil so thats 14 out of 18.

    What a car!

    • Great car (since the summer break, it’s been the best Red Bull ever I think) and a great driver at the helm. Also, the other two records I think were with other truly great drivers in Prost, Senna and Schumacher.

    • mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 18th November 2013, 12:00

      Most successful, possibly, but there is more to domination than only one driver winning ‘all’ the races.

      • Are you referring to Webber, or something more obscure? Webber has made the right decision to retire, he’s clearly not able to to compete with Vettel over a full weekend anymore. If he were at his best then it’s not unreasonable to assume he’d be taking the second step and occasionally the top step at most races.

        • He’s talking about active suspension williams cars which were at times more than 2 seconds clear of the field in quali. That’s domination. You can will all races in a season by 1 second and be called successful, bot not dominant.

          • LoudHoward said on 19th November 2013, 6:52

            Considering how restrictive the regulations are these days, the current state of domination is doubly impressive imo.

      • Andrew Simmons said on 19th November 2013, 16:04

        The problem with your comment, is that 1 driver has won all the races while the other driver has ha over 11 mechanical faults, yet is STILL 6 points off Hamilton who is 3rd in the championship. They are over 200 points ahead as a team, which is 8 race wins ahead, and both cars have been on the podium 22 times. 10 poles and a further 9 2nd place starts and 6 front row lock outs.

        The car is extremely dominant.

    • Commendatore (@commendatore) said on 18th November 2013, 12:09

      Yes, yes, impressive stuff from Vettel and most importantly the RBR car, but still, not as impressive as the fact that M.Schumacher would’ve scored 13 consecutive victories in 2004, had Montoya not crashed into him in the tunnel during the safety car period at the 2004 Monaco GP! ;)

      • @commendatore I’m not too sure whether Schumacher actually deserved that victory anyway if he had attained it and he did lock his brakes, but absolutely: 7 followed by 5 is no mean feat, to put it very mildly.

      • PeterG said on 18th November 2013, 17:00

        M.Schumacher would’ve scored 13 consecutive victories in 2004

        Im not sure he’d have won that race anyway.

        Schumacher had to make 1 more fuel stop so would have needed to pull out a 15-20 second gap & only had around 10 laps of fuel left to do it. Given how fast Trulli had been that weekend & how Schumacher’s pace hadn’t been brilliant through the rest of that race there’s no way he’d have pulled the gap to retain the lead.

      • BJ (@beejis60) said on 18th November 2013, 18:00

        @commendatore Well, by your logic, VET “should have won” Hungary if he wasn’t held up by BUT. VET also “should have won” GBGP if it wasn’t for his gearbox. Lastly, VET “should have won” at Monaco if the streets weren’t so narrow and ROS didn’t defend so well, bringing his total to 13 in a row, 14 if he wins in Brazil and 16 wins on the season…

      • kpcart said on 19th November 2013, 11:09

        err… Schumacher crashed into Montoya, he was following too close in the tunnel, and also Schumacher was not really on target to win that race, so don’t blame Montoya.

    • MattDS said on 18th November 2013, 12:13

      Well this is certainly one of the most dominant streaks ever, but I’d say the FW14 might have been just a bit better. It won 10 from 16 races but probably should have been more if not for some errors or racing incidents that lost a possible win, of which Vettel basically had none this year.
      Also the FW14 scored more 1-2’s.

      But you’re forgetting some very dominant cars from before the “modern” era.
      1950: Alfa Romeo won all races.
      1952: Ferrari won 7 out of 8.
      1953: Ferrari won 8 out of 9
      1955: Mercedes.

      There are probably more.

      • Andrew Simmons said on 19th November 2013, 15:58

        I tried to keep to the modern era purely because I dont think its fair to compare the 50s to the current day, based around teams, budgets and so forth.

  3. Chad (@chaddy) said on 18th November 2013, 11:54

    Vettel only has 3 hat-tricks?

  4. this was grosjean’s first f1 race without a world champion for a team-mate

  5. spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 18th November 2013, 12:14

    Congrats to Seb. I hope but I don’t see how others can close the gap in 2014 :( .

    I laughed at Kovalainen’s rubbish performance. It’s a shame Valsecchi could not have the seat as he probably would have done better. When they saw he would definitely be out of the points they even tested a front wing or something.

    • PeterG said on 18th November 2013, 17:02

      Heikki’s pace wasn’t helped by a KERS failure.

      They also changed his front wing due to a loss of downforce which he suffered very early on. This may have been caused by debris stuck in the wing (Something that happens too often in the Pirelli-era due to the extra marbles they produce).

    • Erzen (@xenif1) said on 18th November 2013, 18:54

      Dude, they’ll basically move from one car to the other, as they do every year, but next year the new cars will be very different compared to the actual ones, i expect a more exciting season than the 2012 one :)

  6. SP (@jb001) said on 18th November 2013, 12:17

    I thought Ascari’s 9 race run is still officially recognized as the F1 record?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 18th November 2013, 17:55

      @jb001 I don’t know what you mean by “officially recognised” but it is mentioned in the article.

      What we have here are two different records. One is a record for most wins in consecutive rounds of the championship and one is a record for most consecutive wins by the same driver.

      • SP (@jb001) said on 18th November 2013, 18:05

        I guess it doesn’t really matter, since Vettel is a strong favourite for the Brazilian GP which would give him 9 consecutive wins anyway.

      • Hyoko said on 19th November 2013, 0:54

        Unfortunately in the 50’s Indy 500 was officially part of the F1 championship, which made for a lot of absurd F1 records. I am particularly annoyed by Lee Wallard’s, who started only 2 so-called “F1″ races (Indy 1950 and 1951) and won 1 of them (1951), that is 50% of wins/race started, a bit over Fangio’s 46.15%, a shame because Fangio has all the good percentage records, way above Schumacher (but Wallard entered 1954 and DNQ so he got only 33.33% wins/race entered, well below Fangio).

        Indy 500 and the rest of the F1 races were really worlds apart. It is not just that the cars and specs were wholly different, the drivers also were. In Indy 1953 (the gap in Ascari’s 9-win sequence) there were 33 drivers and not a single one of them entered a single race in the rest of the F1 championship, and vice versa, there were 82 different drivers in the 8 non-Indy F1 races in 1953 but none of them entered Indy 1953 (true, Ascari entered Indy 500 in 1952, and DNF by the way, but this was a very rare exception to the general rule).

        So Ascari’s 9 consecutive wins is “almost” a 9 consecutive F1 races win sequence, because only in officialdom the Indy 500 race was a F1 race. Most likely, Vettel will win next race in Brasil and get a 9 consecutive F1 races win sequence for the first time, officially speaking. But for those of us who never accepted Indy 500 as true F1 races, Alberto Ascari was already there.

  7. iAltair (@ialtair) said on 18th November 2013, 12:27

    From the way it is right now, if Vettel cruises off to early victories next year, a fifth consecutive WDC is inevitable. And with that he will tie with Michael Schumacher for the most number of consecutive WDC in history.

  8. Chad (@chaddy) said on 18th November 2013, 12:36

    I think Vettel’s ability to win at so many different tracks is as impressive as any of this other records. I hope he can win Hungary soon, and next year sure brings a few new circuits into the mix. I wonder what the record of different track location wins is, although I’m sure Schu holds it.

    I also think that Vettel really needs to win at the Hockenheimring, so right now he seems to be missing two places; obviously this is a different measure from the one quoted though.

  9. Sumedh said on 18th November 2013, 12:43

    The only track on which Vettel hasn’t won is now Hungaroring (after 6 attempts, 5 of them in a car that was capable of winning). So it seems our all conquering World Champion does have a bogey track.

    • Chad (@chaddy) said on 18th November 2013, 12:52

      I don’t know if it’s a bogey. His win percentage is ~32%, so if you flip a coin with a 32% chance of getting heads, there is a 15% chance, or 3 in 20, that you would not get heads in 5 flips. So even with his very high win percentage, it would be very unlikely to win at every different track on a pure odds basis. And the fact that he has 1 instead of 3 tracks left to win at, means he has relatively spread-out victories (and even more so when you factor in multiple different racing venues over the years).

      • Julian (@julianwins) said on 18th November 2013, 12:58

        I don’t think winning or losing a race is comparable to flipped coin statistics. ;)

        • Chad (@chaddy) said on 18th November 2013, 13:11

          Haha good point. But I will say that he’d have to have a win percentage around 53% for it to be more likely than not that he’d have won every track so far, and I don’t think people would like that coin very much! Anyway, I think the coin insight is sound– there are so many tracks that in 5 years it’d be improbable to have such spread out victories– and, if you believe as I assume that a driver can be particularly good at certain tracks, then the victories should be even more consolidated.

    • Well he did have a great chance of winning it in 2010 before he got a penalty behind the safety car I believe trying to help out Webber.

      2011 was wet so naturally that would be a bit skewed.

      2012 he didn’t really have a car capable of winning at that point but you are right enough, strategy kind of snookered him as was the case in 2013.

      So not so much a bogey track, just one which hasn’t played out well. It’s not one of his favourites though I imagine!

    • Hyoko said on 19th November 2013, 1:16

      The only track on which Vettel hasn’t won is Hungaroring

      Not quite true, afraid you are confusing tracks with GPs. f ex Vettel has won the German GP only this year, it was in Nurburgring, but he has never won in Hockenheim, although he raced there in 2008, 2010 and 2012. He has won the Japan GP in Suzuka but never in Fuji (having raced there in 2007 and 2008). He has also raced but never won in Magny Cours (2008) and Indianapolis (2007). And that’s it (not counting of course the dozens of tracks where he never has raced). No mean feat of course!!

      • And btw, besides the Hungarian GP the only one Vettel has raced and not won is of course the French GP, only it’s not in the present calendar and who knows if it will return (for shame, indeed)

  10. Jake (@jleigh) said on 18th November 2013, 13:08

    Yesterday was the first time Hamilton has finished a race in North America outside of the Podium positions.

  11. Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 18th November 2013, 13:31

    Great… but not that great as it seems, in my opinion. Not that ridiculous, but this is a little bit like Alonso’s MOST POINTS EVER RECORD. Cars today are lot more reliable, so I don’t quite think this record is that great as Schumacher’s record.

    • Chad (@chaddy) said on 18th November 2013, 13:39

      But if drivers don’t have control over their cars failing, the best they can do is win when the car works, and that is tough. We can say there could have been more streaks with more consistent cars, but a driver who wins a lot maximizes his chance of a long streak when things don’t fail.

      • Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 18th November 2013, 17:04

        Yes, but what I wanted to underline is that back in the day it was less likely to break records since the car were in constant update, team tried to push boundaries in every department, so more proned to fail. One could have had the fastest car on the grid by miles (see Kimi in 2005, for ex), but because the car was updated every race in every way, the chances to fail were a lot more than today. So, if a team who developed the car every time but managed to make it reliable too… it means they did a great job indeed, and deserved the prize. And I’m reffering especially at the engines.

    • Robbie said on 18th November 2013, 13:46

      Not sure what record you mean…consecutive wins? Most points ever? Either way, just thought I would remind you that MS enjoyed uncanny reliability and there are cars this very season that have been more unreliable than some of MS’s.

    • RAMBOII said on 18th November 2013, 16:38

      Schumacher had no technical issues during his 2004 streak, nor did Barrichello, so the Ferrari was pretty much bulletproof as well.

      • Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 18th November 2013, 16:56

        OK, but that is more deserved because the rules weren’t that “fix” as today, aero package apart. So, back in 2004, if a team updated an engine (more revs, more power etc, so pushed it to the max) and did not fail for 10 races in a row, that means the team did a great job indeed, better than most team anyway. Now, the engines are the same for years, so if an engine fails… that is what I call a bad job. Today, to break records, the best car is needed since the reliability is there for every team. Vettel is more than proof since now he is breaking records that resisted for 60 years. How many cars retired due to tech problems in this race ?!?! None !

        • You are aware of literally hundreds of RB reliability problems from recent years?

          • Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 18th November 2013, 18:34

            I guess they’re not doing such a great job. When parts of the car are the same for years… but they still can’t make them reliable… I think they’re not doing the best job. And I’m not talking about aero parts, of course. Anyway, it’s just my position. Great for him and his team.

          • Feuerdrache (@xenomorph91) said on 18th November 2013, 22:29

            @corrado-dub: That’s where RB and Renault are different to Ferrari and Mercedes. RB tries to engineer every single part of the car to the edge for trying to gain an advantage over others. Ferrari and Mercedes don’t risk that much.

            To have such an advantage in an era where parts are mostly the same for years, is even more remarkable as you would guess Ferrari & Co. would have caught up by now!

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 18th November 2013, 18:20

      @corrado-dub I don’t entirely agree – we’ve seen this kind of reliability from the top teams for a good decade or so now. Schumacher was able to finish every race on the podium in 2002. And as others have already pointed out it wasn’t a car failure that kept his seven-race winning streak in 2004 from being longer it was (among other things) a collision with another driver.

  12. Congratulations to Vettel, but this sure makes for some boring races.

    • Robbie said on 18th November 2013, 13:56

      Yeah unfortunately it seems a little one-sided at RBR, yet with MW allowed to compete it is a wonder (and a disappointment) he (MW) hasn’t been more of a thorn in SV’s side. At least it’s not as boring as MS/Ferrari where the decision was made in the boardroom as to who was to win. And then contrast that with another dominating era that has been cited on this topic…Senna/Prost 88…they won 15 of 16 races, so you got to pretty much expect a Mac to win the next race….you just didn’t know which driver, so you could cut the suspense with a knife…the complete polar opposite of MS/Ferrari.

  13. Whether you like him or boo him, you’ve got to admit that it takes a legend of a sport to dominate in such a way. It’s one thing to win the eight races, but to win them in such a commanding fashion is quite astonishing.

    His car is clearly the best but you can only drive what you’re given and he’s soundly beaten Mark Webber into submission these last few years.

    Comparisons to the sports greats are absolutely in order. Delighted to have been in attendance for the first race of this new record!

    • Ivan (@wpinrui) said on 18th November 2013, 14:15

      Should be whether you like him or dislike him I think; absolutely no reason to boo! :P

    • “you’ve got to admit that it takes a legend of a sport to dominate in such a way”

      Cant say I agree. I rekon half the field could do exactly what Vettel has done in his machinery. To be absolutely frank.

      The other half would do what Webber has done in that car. Good but not good enough.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 19th November 2013, 7:01

        It’s a bit silly to think that half the field would be so far ahead of the other half.

        Only the top handful drivers would be capable of dominating in such a fashion given a chance, and even then, I’d struggle to say that they would do as well as Vettel is now, based on their own current form.

      • kpcart said on 19th November 2013, 11:16

        I don’t think half the field of f1 drivers is as good as vettel, maybe in the top 4 or 5 drivers they are similar level, but then who is to say they can dominate, ie Hamilton has had a great car nearly every year and never got a streak of wins going, Webber never got a streak going in the redbull.

    • Jono (@me262) said on 18th November 2013, 23:38

      @ben-n if it was cycling I would absolutely agree with you but this is motorsport

      you must be assuming webber is in the same team? :)

  14. This was the 14th victory of Germany in the same season,
    One more than in 2004. (New record)

  15. Cornflakes (@cornflakes) said on 18th November 2013, 16:21

    Vettel has more wins than he does 2nd, 3rd & 4th place finishes put together.
    Wins = 38
    2nd = 13
    3rd = 10
    4th = 14
    38 – 37

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