Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014

Mercedes’ dominant start is record-breaking

2014 Chinese Grand Prix stats and facts

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014Lewis Hamilton’s 25th grand prix victory was also the first time he has won three grands prix in a row.

This is a feat which has only been achieved by his fellow world champions with one exception: Stirling Moss, who won the last two races of 1957 and the first of 1958.

With 25 wins, Hamilton has now edged the great Juan Manuel Fangio out of the top ten race winners and moved level with Jim Clark and Niki Lauda.

Hamilton’s 34th pole position puts him on his own in fourth on the all-time list. Ahead of him are Sebastian Vettel (45), Ayrton Senna (65) and Michael Schumacher (68).

As Hamilton also led every lap, the only thing keeping him from his second ‘grand slam’ was the fact Nico Rosberg took fastest lap. That was the seventh of his career, putting him level with Jacques Laffite.

However Hamilton did become the first driver to win the Chinese Grand Prix three times. The only other driver to have won it more than once is Fernando Alonso, the 2005 and 2013 winner.

Alonso can lay claim to an unusual statistic at this track: he remains the only driver to have completed every lap of all 11 Chinese Grands Prix. Of course due to an error this race only ran to 54 laps instead of 56, though it should be noted Alonso also completed the two laps that didn’t count.

Jenson Button has been classified in every Chinese Grand Prix, but unlike Alonso hasn’t gone the distance in every race. He has completed 612 laps to Alonso’s 614, having finished a lap down in 2011 and again this year.

For Mercedes this was their 17th race victory, giving them as many as BRM and putting them equal tenth in the all-time winners list.

They have dominated the first four races of the year in a manner never before seen in Formula One: they have taken every pole position, fastest lap and race victory, and led every lap. The Mercedes W05 has achieved something the Ferrari F2004, Williams-Renault FW14B, McLaren-Honda MP4-4 or any of F1’s other great cars did not do.

It was their eighth one-two – only Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Red Bull have more – and their third in a row. One more would equal their 1955 achievement of four consecutive one-two finishes. Those were scored by Moss, Fangio and Piero Taruffi.

Mercedes engines also notched up their 100th consecutive points finish, a streak which began at the same race in 2008.

At this early stage in the season with sophisticated new engines, we already had 20 our of 22 cars classified at the finish – a remarkable achievement by F1’s teams.

Among them was Max Chilton, who on the day before his 23rd birthday extended his record streak of consecutive finishes at the start of an F1 career to 23 races.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2014 Chinese Grand Prix

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Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

114 comments on “Mercedes’ dominant start is record-breaking”

  1. “Lewis Hamilton’s 25th grand prix victory was also the first time he has won three grands prix in a row.

    This is a feat which has only been achieved by his fellow world champions with one exception: Stirling Moss, who won the last two races of 1957 and the first of 1958.”

    Wow? So statistically, if you can win three races in a row in a season and you’re not a champion. You’re likely to be at the end of that season. That is a very cool statistic.

    1. Can Hamilton also become only the fourth (Ascari (Germany–Holland 1952), Clark (France–Germany 1965) and Vettel (Singapore–Korea 2013)) to get two Grand Slams in a row?

    2. There are occasions where driver has won three races in a row during the season and not won the title that year, although they have won the title some other year: Jones 1979, Senna 1989, Prost 1990, Mansell 1991, Hill 1993 and 1994, Schumacher 1998 and 2006.

          1. @matt90 I did not really write it out or calculate it but I guess that it would still see a very high corelation. Maybe in if next race is boring too, I’ll grab a pen and paper an do the math.

  2. One might say that Max’s record streak of consecutive finishes at the start of his f1 career, is largely in part to being at the back of the grid and obviously not over compensating for lack of machinery.

    1. @dragoll One might also say that his contemporaries have similar statistics and they’re not doing anywhere near as well.

      It says a lot for Marussia’s reliability and Chilton’s ability to stay out of trouble, be it fighting for position (when it happens) and not getting involved with faster cars lapping him.

      1. I’m impressed with Chilton’s consistency. Let’s not forget you have to be supremely talented just to drive an F1 car near or at its limit.

        Max hasn’t demonstrated raw speed at any time but a safe pair of hands for sure. I’d say he’s setting himself up as a permanent test driver. Not a bad job by any stretch but I’m sure any F1 driver would swap it for even just a Marussia/Caterham seat…

  3. The last race to be cut short was the 2009 race at Sepang, and similarly to that race, half points were awarded. This has been the fourth race in a row that half points have been awarded, a record, beating the previous record set in 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix.

      1. Ahh, yes, sorry, my memory failed me.
        It was Singapore 2012 that was cut to 59 from of 61 laps.

        Though I am quite sure about the half points streak being a record, as I went trough the whole history of results to check.

  4. Interesting to know that the W05 is in some statistical respects better than those famous cars before it.

    Rectification: Jenson Button finished a lap down in the 2008 Chinese Grand Prix instead of the 2011 one.

    1. In fact, the W05 remains unbeaten in any race this season, and led every single lap.

      Another quite unusual stat: The race in China was won by three different drivers in the last three years, all of which stood on the podium on sunday (2014 Hamilton, 2012 Rosberg, 2013 Alonso). Last time that happened was last year in Silverstone (2013 Rosberg, 2012 Webber, 2011 Alonso).

    1. @spoutnik I think it is much more than RB ever did in the last 4 years. There were a few races where Vettel was as far ahead as the Mercedes are now, but these were exceptions.

      The other major difference is indeed the engine freeze. RB had their advantage due to good aerodynamics. In principle, all teams could copy most of the inventions as they were often visible. And to some extent this also happened. This year, a large part of the advantage seems to stem from the Mercedes engine. If so, it will be very hard if not impossible for Renault and Ferrari to catch up.

      1. The other Mercedes teams should be able to catch up though!
        Williams, Force India & McLaren should all be challenging Mercedes for the top spot, especially McLaren.

        re fuel consumption, that Ferrari doesn’t look too bad. I expect they’ll be the number 2 team at the next race.

      2. It is incorrect to assume that a large part of Mercedes’ advantage this year comes from the engine. The next Mercedes engine powered car after the WO5s was almost a minute behind at the finish line. (Nico Hulkenberg – +54 seconds)

        I think credit is due to their engineers for a job well done on aerodynamics and tyre usage after the rapid tyre degradation we have witnessed in the last couple of years.

  5. Each of Hamilton’s victories this year has some vague significance. Malaysia was his first win either at that track or the 2nd round of a season. Bahrain was his first win at that track. China was his first win at the 4th round of a season.

    Spain and Brazil are the only countries on this year’s calender where he has raced before but never won (although his win in Japan was at a different track). Vettel is the only current driver with a more complete record, having never won in Hungary.

    1. Alonso, despite having more total victories, has a much less complete record (not helped by having raced in Austria before, but too early in his career to have a proper shot at it). He hasn’t won in Austria, USA, Brazil, Belgium or Abu Dhabi.

    1. Hamilton has been saying the car is what lets him win,
      he would not win if it wasn’t for the car? pretty simple really.
      if Seb could jump in this car he would likely win,
      if Alonso jumped in this car he would win,
      no point in going on about it anyone of those 3 drivers would win in this car,
      but Hamilton is the driver and he will win.

      1. @lethalnz Someone made the comment in the last year or two that the best driver in the worst car couldn’t catch the worst driver (on the grid) in the best car. Said person predicted there may only be a 1s gap between best and worst driver in equal machinery whereas best and worst car could be 3s or more per lap.

        1. If you don´t count some Pay-drivers at the end of the field, and if you are able to give the drivers a setup to their liking, it might be half a second maximum between worst and best paid driver. The difference between best and second-best machinery seems double as big, not to mention the worst. However, drivers are not only responsible for speed, but also for overtaking, not getting overtaken, and keeping the car intact through the race.

    2. How many drivers are there in the Mercedes team? Why is it that Rosberg didn’t win? Unlike Mark Webber who’d sometimes see several drivers between Seb and him, Hamilton had Rosberg just behind. And if it were not for Lewis, despite their huge advantage, Mercedes would only have one pole this season. So the engineers built the car and Hamilton drove it to victory. It’s a shame he had to retire in Australia. He’d have 4 in a row.

      1. others would say Alonso would have won all 4 miles ahead of Rosberg, or that Vettel would have 4 poles and 4 dominant wins by now. Hamilton and Rosberg is like a Montoya/Ralf Schumacher driver partnership to me, they wont get the best out of the car every single weekend, but will win when they have the fastest car, and that is what they are doing now.

      2. How many drivers are there in the Mercedes RedBull team? Why is it that Rosberg Webber didn’t win? Unlike Mark Webber who’d sometimes see several drivers between Seb and him (was that Esb’s fault?), Hamilton had Rosberg just behind. And if it were not for


        Seb, despite their huge advantage, Mercedes RB would only have one zero pole this last season. So the engineers built the car and Hamilton Vettel drove it to victory.

          1. cmon, i love jenson but he did not keep up with hamilton, he scored similar amounts of points but as the first 4 races of the season between the two merc drivers has shown, points do not accurately represent performance.

            The qualifying record between hamilton and button was fairly embarassing for the latter.

      3. Unlike Mark Webber who’d sometimes see several drivers between Seb and him, Hamilton had Rosberg just behind.

        Erm, doesn’t that just underline how utterly dominant car Hamilton has? Besides, even Rosberg would have 4 wins in a row, if he didn’t have Lewis as a team mate.

        No, I’m not trying to take anything away from Lewis. He’s been overshadowing Rosberg and capitalizing with Mercedes’ dominant car brilliantly. But at the same time we should remember that he’s indeed driving a super dominant car. He’s basically just racing against his team mate.

    3. Not to an extent where they tried to claim that Vettel didn’t actually win. So no. And people who did bandy about that cliché don’t understand F1 and are/were best ignored.

    4. @omarr-pepper Like you said, many people were used to attack Seb claiming he was EBD dependent and his titles were all down to his car (I completely disagree) but his current form is gold for “haters” because the 4xWDC is being beaten by Ricciardo and Seb must change that ASAP; otherwise, the words of Fernando Alonso (last year) will be sound like prophecy:

      He is 26 years old, so when he will have a car like the others, if he wins, he will have a great recognition and be one of the legends in F1. When one day he has a car like the others and he is fourth, fifth, seventh, these four titles will be bad news for him because people will take these four titles even in a worse manner than they are doing now. So there are interesting times for Sebastian coming.

    1. yeh, this could end up being the most dullest year ever, many fans wont care because they hate vettel so much and just like the change, but the engine advantage Mercedes have over Ferrari and Renault is ridiculous. Hamilton said last year he would not like to be in a overly dominant car, and said fans find it boring and its bad for the sport, yet today he is quoted as saying he is happier then he has ever been…

        1. he should want the others to catch up. With ferraris redbulls and mclarens (lol wishful thinking on the last one maybe) snapping at mercedes heels it’s going to take more points off rosberg who will fall into their clutches more readily

          As it stands merc is so domanant now that even outperforming rosberg significantly still lets rosberg come second and be a threat if hamilton has more mechanical dnfs.

          Hamilton wants the merc to be just good enough that he can win consistently with it but his teammate occasionally struggles to get on the podium

  6. For the second time in his career, Pastor Maldonado has finished two races consecutively in the same position (alongside with Italy and Singapore in 2011, in 11th place. He has finished two races in a row in the 2014 season in 14th place).

    First race since Britain last year that McLaren have failed to finish in the top 10 in either qualifying or the race.

    First time since 1985 that the Enstone-based team (Toleman/Benetton/Renault/Lotus) have failed to score points in any of the first four rounds. It should be noted that only one car for one race was entered in the first four races that year. In 1983 however, two cars were entered in the first four races and no points were scored.

    Only four drivers, Rosberg, Alonso, Hulkenberg and Bottas have scored points in every race so far this season. Only the first two have finished on the podium.

    Longest wait for a podium for Alonso since 2011 from the first race of the season. Strangely, he has the same number of points at this stage as he did that year.

    Adrian Sutil recorded his third retirement in a row. This has not happened since 2008 (Singapore, Japan, China); he has never had four in a row.

    Nico Rosberg has already equalled the most number of podiums in a season for him, with four, the same number he scored last season.

    For the first time since 2004, Kimi Raikkonen has failed to achieve a top-6 finish in the first four races.

    1. I’ve gone on the record here saying yes. I haven’t put any money down, though.
      Hamilton has dominated his teammates in qualifying, except for Alonso. But Rosberg is no slouch, and the team is committed to giving him every bit of data from Hamilton’s side of the garage that he wants. (Will this stop after Hungary or so?) Also mechanical gremlins could pop up. I say he has a 50/50 chance.

    2. Assuming RBR don’t get any pole positions this year, Hamilton would need eleven over the remaining fifteen grands prix just to equal Vettel’s record. Seems like a tough task, although with the pace of the Mercedes it’s not impossible.

    3. It’s Hamilton’s chance this time, to beat all Vettel records except for the “youngest” ones. Hamilton is equally best driver on the grid, and deserved more than his statistics.
      Pole Position, and even Number of wins, fastest laps, hat-tricks of Vettels all can be broken only this season, till Merc has dominant car.

      He has won 3 already, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he get at-least 10 / 19 this year. And 10+ pole positions.

      Hamilton is really good driver, even Alonso admitted that according to him the best driver on the grid from the rest. Don’t forget Hamilton won at-least once in every car he’s driven since start of his career. Rookie season is something different as well.

    4. @george, well, to beat Vettel’s record he’d have to score 12 more pole positions this season, which means that he would have to beat Rosberg 15-4 in qualifying, at least. Last year he 11-8 up on Rosberg, so this year he would have to do considerably better (and Rosberg worse).

      At this point in the season, it may be tempting to completely write off Rosberg, but consider:
      – Nico is leading the championship,
      – he outqualified Hamilton in the only dry session this year,
      – he was faster in the race in Bahrain as well.

      Strictly speaking, only the second point is relevant to the pole position discussion, but my general point is that I expect them to remain closely matched.

  7. Second time that Hamilton, Rosberg and Alonso stood together on the podium since 101 races ago at the 2008 Singapore GP.

    15th time that a race was held on catholic Easter day, the first time since 2010, and the first time in China.

    Brazil had the most Easter races with 5, then Malaysia 3, San Marino and Argentina 2, China, Britain and Europe (Donington) 1. The first time a race was held on Easter was the 1985 Brazilian GP.

    The last 5 Easter races were won by different drivers. Michael Schumacher has (of course) the most wins on Easer with 3, the last one at the 2003 San Marino GP, exactly 200 races ago. Alain Prost has two wins , no other driver has more than one.

  8. I feel Mercedes record breaking start is not in the same league as the other cars mentioned, because of one thing – ENGINE HOMOLOGATION – the stupidest thing you can do for a new engine formula. in the v8 era it worked as they just cut 2 cylinders off and the engines were very close to parity. in the older eras, engine development was allowed. now, we are locked into a Mercedes domination – I am not looking forward to this. YES- engine homologation saves money, but after 12 days testing it was far too early to lock in the new engines. F1 is changed now for ever, not longer will we see the best car win, we will see the best car – powered by Mercedes win – which is team Mercedes at the moment. OK – Some people will say “but it is the whole package” – but this year it is not, as previously the engines were pretty much on parity – so the “package” was building the best car – and car developing is allowed over the whole season. NOW – the package is dominated by the engine – and the engines are not on parity and can not be developed throughout the season. F1 has shot itself in the foot. they wanted to get away from one teams dominating the championship, but now one team will dominate more then ever before – mark my words, the only thing that can prevent Mercedes from winning all the races now is retirements.

      1. That is certainly true – the manufacturers sold the idea to the FIA by claiming that development would be cheap as they’d just be cutting two cylinders off the engine, but only Toyota did anything vaguely like that (and even they slightly modified the cylinder bore and stroke).

    1. The best car is winning. The engine is a component of the car – other teams have the same engine yet aren’t doing as well. And there is still work that can continue on the engine – just not the hardware. Getting the software to get everything to work together has massive scope for improving the engines.

      F1 has saved itself with these engines. They are now the pinnacle of motorsport technology, instead of archaic “MOAR POWAR” (even though they had less) V8s. I love the sound of V8s, but sound does not make a race car.

      And if the pace of a car is purely down to the engine, kindly explain how Red Bull are fighting amongst a bunch of Mercedes powered teams, and beat all bar one of them last race.

  9. I was thinking, we’ve been hearing the German national anthem for a few Grand Prix in a row, 18 times consecutively in fact (with either Mercedes/Rosberg/Vettel winning), but where does this run compare to previous years…

    I’ve been scouring the history books and found that Germany’s current run is sixth in the “record number of consecutive airings of a national anthem on an F1 podium” stat. :D

    6. 2013 Monaco GP – 2014 China GP
    Germany: Deutschlandleid: 18 times
    Constructors: Mercedes
    Drivers: Rosberg, Vettel

    5. 1962 British GP – 1964 German GP
    UK: God Save the Queen: 21 times
    Constructors: Brabham, BRM, Lotus
    Drivers: Clark, Hill, Surtees

    4. 1972 Austrian GP – 1974 South African GP
    UK: God Save the Queen: 22 times
    Constructors: Brabham, Lotus, Mclaren, Tyrrell
    Drviers: Stewart

    3. 1968 British GP – 1970 Belgian GP
    UK: God Save the Queen: 25 times
    Constructors: Brabham, BRM, Lotus, March, Mclaren)
    Drivers: Hill, Stewart

    2. 1985 Austrian GP – 1987 Mexican GP)
    UK: God Save the Queen: 37 times
    Constructors: Benetton, Lotus, Mclaren, Williams
    Drivers: Mansell

    1. 990 Japan GP – 1994 British GP
    UK: God Save The Queen: 58 times
    Constructors: Benetton, Mclaren, Williams
    Drivers: Hill, Mansell

    1. The thing I distinctly dislike about these new age teams, is that they pretend to be German or Austrian, and yet, their team has nothing to do with it. It’s just the money. 4/5 of personnel is British, with no more than 1% probably from the “home” country.
      Mercedes has both chassis and engine factories in Britain. Red Bull has chassis in Britain and engine in France. Last team that had chassis made in England, but had a different anthem that still made sense, was Renault, since they had their engine manufactured in France, so it was just as legit to choose the French anthem as the British one.

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