Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014

Rosberg sets fastest ‘fastest lap’ since 1996

2014 Belgian Grand Prix stats and factsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014Daniel Ricciardo is now a three-times race winner. That means he’s won as many races as at least two world champions – Mike Hawthorn (1958) and Phil Hill (1961).

Ricciardo remains the only driver to have capitalised on the dramas at Mercedes to score a win of his own this year. The upshot is he has now won 25% of the races this year despite leading just 9.6% of the laps raced.

Ricciardo also gave Red Bull their 50th F1 win, and scored the 38th for an Australian driver. That means Australians have now won as many F1 race as Argentinians have.

He’s also been in the points for the last ten races in a row. Only Fernando Alonso has a long streak at the moment, having scored in the last 15 rounds.

Following his setback earlier in the race, Nico Rosberg fell short in his attempt to catch and pass Ricciardo, but did add another pole position and fastest lap to his tally. He now has 11 poles and nine fastest laps – the latter putting him level with Jacques Villeneuve, Denny Hulme and Ronnie Peterson.

Sunday’s race must rank as one of the biggest missed opportunities by a team in F1. The Mercedes cars were over two seconds faster than their rivals in qualifying, and Rosberg’s fastest race lap was 1.902 seconds faster than the next best. Not since the 1996 Spanish Grand Prix, when Michael Schumacher lapped 2.218s faster than any of his closest pursuers, has any driver been that much quicker than his rivals in a race.

For all the intrigue and innuendo surrounding his collision with Lewis Hamilton, the salient detail as far as Rosberg is concerned is he left Belgium with a 29-point lead over his team mate.

With a win currently worth 25 points (double points season finale notwithstanding), Rosberg’s lead is the equivalent of 1.16 wins. Under the 2003-09 points system he would be leading by 1.5 wins, and using the points system before that his lead would be 0.9 wins. You can compare more points systems and work out how the championship could be decided using the updated Points Calculator:

No champion on the podium

Nico Rosberg, Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014Valtteri Bottas took third place after a late pass on Kimi Raikkonen. This was significant, as it meant there was no world champion on the podium.

This last happened at the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix, when Mark Webber led home eventual champion Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica. This year’s Australian Grand Prix was a champion-free podium, but Ricciardo’s disqualification promoted Jenson Button to third in the final classification.

Raikkonen at least enjoyed his best result of the year so far – fourth – and finished in front of his team mate for the first time this season, becoming the last driver in the field to do so this year – with one obvious exception.

That would be Andre Lotterer, who made a surprise F1 debut in place of Kamui Kobayashi, though he completed only one lap before his Caterham broke down.

Lotterer became the first driver to contest a round of the Formula One world championship using the number 45. Brian McGuire used the number at the 1977 British Grand Prix but failed to get through pre-qualifying. Aside from that, the number appeared on several occasions at the Indianapolis 500 in the fifties, which counted towards the world championship but were not Formula One races.

Making his debut at the age of 32 years and 287 days, Lotterer was the oldest rookie in an F1 field since Giovanni Lavaggi started the 1995 German Grand Prix for Pacific, aged 37 years and 191 days.

Lotterer impressed by comprehensively out-qualifying team mate Marcus Ericsson. He lined up 21st on the grid, three places behind Nico Hulkenberg who started from the second-lowest grid position of his career. The only time he started lower than 18th was at the 2012 Italian Grand Prix, where he lined up 24th after has broke broke down during qualifying.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

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Images © Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Red Bull/Getty