Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2016

Rosberg extends career-best winning streak

2016 Australian Grand Prix stats and factsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nico Rosberg scored his fourth consecutive victory yesterday, extending his best-ever winning streak in Formula One.

At the next round he has a chance to win a fifth race in a row which would be a rare achievement. Two years ago Lewis Hamilton became only the seventh driver in F1 history to do it.

However if Mercedes take another one-two in the next round, that would be a unique achievement. No teams has ever had more than five consecutive one-twos in world championship rounds. Ferrari have had five-in-a-row twice, in 1952* and 2002, and Mercedes did the same in 2014. The silver cars also had four consecutive one-twos prior to withdrawing from Formula One at the end of 1955.

Rosberg’s win was the 15th of his career which means he has now won as many races as Jenson Button. His season-opening victory means someone other than Hamilton is leading the drivers’ championship for the first time since the 2014 Italian Grand Prix, when Rosberg headed the table.

Hamilton had dominated proceedings in Melbourne prior to the start of the race, leading all three practice sessions and all three phases of qualifying, yet he didn’t lead a single lap of the grand prix.

His first pole position since last year’s Italian Grand Prix was the 50th of his career, making him the third driver to reach a half-century after Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. With 20 more races to go, Senna’s tally of 65 pole positions and Schumacher’s all-time record of 68 could fall to Hamilton before the end of the season.

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2016
Ricciardo equalled the best result for an Australian at home
The fastest lap fell to Daniel Ricciardo. This was the fifth of his career, putting him level with Giueppe Farina, Carlos Pace, Jody Scheckter, Didier Pironi, John Watson and Michele Alboreto.

Ricciardo equalled the best result for an Australian driver in their home race with fourth place, where Mark Webber also finished in 2012. In the 20th anniversary of Melbourne’s first race as Australia’s round of the world championship, the country is still waiting to see one of its drivers score an official podium finish.

Webber unofficially went up onto the podium in 2002 after taking a shock fifth place for Minardi on his debut. And Ricciardo, of course, was on the podium two years ago before being disqualified from second position for a technical infringement.

The race ended the long-running practice of drivers only having two dry-weather tyre compounds available. Surprisingly as many as nine drivers used all three types during the race: Rosberg, Massa, Sainz Jnr, Verstappen, Palmer, Button, Nasr, Wehrlein and Ericsson.

None of the three rookies in the field scored points, but Rio Haryanto became the first Indonesian driver to contest a round of the world championship. With almost 250 million inhabitants, Indonesia is the fourth-largest country in the world by population. It is the largest of those to have an F1 driver after Alexander Rossi of the USA (population 320 million) lost his seat to, ironically, Haryanto.

Gene Haas, Romain Grosjean, Albert Park, 2016
Haas: One point in old money
But the most important milestone of the race was undoubtedly newcomers Haas scoring points on their debut. The significance of this should not be understated. No completely new teams have even tried to come into F1 in the previous five seasons. The three which arrived in 2010 were all a long way off the pace and two of them disappeared without ever scoring a point.

Sixth place was the best result for a completely new team (as opposed to a team with a new identity such as Brawn in 2009) since Toyota 14 years ago. To put that into perspective, Toyota was and remains one of the world’s largest car manufacturers and came into F1 with a budget vast enough for it to spend an entire year testing.

For those of us who began watching Formula One before the points system was extended to award the top eight and later the top ten, Haas taking a top-six finish has added significance. In old money, Romain Grosjean earned the team a deeply impressive point.

Have you spotted any other noteworthy stats and facts from the Australian Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.

*If we ignore the 1952 Indianapolis 500, which was a round of the world championship but was not run to F1 rules, Ferrari had six consecutive one-twos that year. However note that Ferrari did enter Alberto Ascari in that race.

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69 comments on “Rosberg extends career-best winning streak”

  1. It is the first time in forty years that an American team has finished a F1 race in the top six: John Watson in the 1976 United States Grand Prix was the last occurrence.

    11th place for Jolyon Palmer is two places higher than his father managed on his F1 debut. Max Verstappen’s fifth on the grid is higher than his father ever managed.

    Daniil Kvyat failed to start the Australian GP for the second year in succession. Kimi Raikkonen retired from the race for the second year in succession due to issues out of his control.

    Lewis Hamilton will go down in history as the only man to win pole position through the simply woeful elimination qualifying format (until someone decides it’s a good idea again).

    1. Oh, and another one: Lewis Hamilton’s pole time around Melbourne was in fact quicker than Michael Schumacher’s pole time in 2004.

      1. And only a few months ago we were all complaining how slow F1 had become with the 1.6 V6 Turbo PU’s.

        1. Not that it’s a huge issue for me personally, but the cars are still much slower during the race. Lap record is MS’s in the 1:24’s and this weekend DR had fastest lap and it was in the 1:28’s. I don’t necessarily ‘need’ to see the cars as fast as they were 10 or so year’s ago, but it is symbolic nonetheless. It symbolizes that in spite of the quali times, there is far too much conservation during the race in F1 these days and not enough sprint. The drivers are not taxed enough. We don’t have enough of a sense that these are gladiators performing a great feat. For me that can come with higher speeds and less conservation, but it can also come with speeds akin to what we are getting, but with close racing, and it would seem, not that I was expecting anything different this year, drivers are still handcuffed in dirty air too much.

          1. @robbie I think we largely agree.
            I just want to sprook up these PU’s and the sprint they can do. Hamilton’s pole time (1:23.837) was not even that much slower than the total lap record at Albert Park (1’23.529 by Sebastian Vettel, 2011)

          2. And that was in full blown diffuser times…

            Turns out these lame PUs are for all intents and purposes excellent at providing speed.

            We just need better aero then stabilize rules, only introduce tiny changes when science shows it will improve close racing.

          3. I really do not get the constant fuss about ‘power’

            The single biggest effect on current lap times is the TYRES

            even the aero reg changes are largely nullified since Shumi times. Any decent engineer will tell us that was long ago caught and exceeded.

            In any single type of Motorsport the tyres make the defining difference. Any racer knows that. Imagine our happiness when Pirelli once again tell us what the cannot do for 017!


        2. My friend, 12 years after… I’d expect to be much quicker, safer and thrilling, not just a little faster… I am not impressed that it took 12 years to be faster than a 2004 car.

          1. you should be impressed that a v6 with heavier cars is faster than a v10 on lighter cars, though

      2. Its a good feat. But if I remember correctly the qualifying times in 2004 were still with race fuel etc, right?

        1. Yeah it was done with race fuel @bascb but then again they had unlimited fuel flow back in 2004, as well as significantly lighter cars. I just thought that it was worth a mention.

          1. And almost twice the engine capacity of the engines in 2004. Whether you like or hate the new engine rules, you have to admit that these engine are massively impressive. Imagine if they had all of these gizmos and knowledge on one of those archaic 3L engines. 1500BHP or more. Yikes! F1 doesn’t stand still for long.

            I had a teacher at uni quite a few years ago now in about 2000, that said that internal combustion engines had progressed more in the previous 10 years (The 90s) than they had in the 100 years before that. Surely the last 10 years blow that statement well out of the water. F1 must have a fair bit to do with that. It’s so much more than just exploding fuel in a cylinder now and these engines are at the forefront of that research. Complicated? Yes. Impressive? Yes and Yes.

        2. Sure @craig-o, and I think it’s perfectly fine to point out the remarkable feats of this generation of cars with all the downtalking they get from the promotor and many TV pundits as well as far too many drivers.

          As @michharrold mentions, we can really see clear progress in combustion engines and things like the K and H elements of energy re-use to get more out of the energy available. And the current cars cerainly fit in that picture

          1. oh Sorry Mick, that should be @mickharrold

          2. You are completely correct – these engines are astoundingly efficient. More gains in two years than say 100 years previously.

            Like I said earlier – it would be nice if we could perhaps show similar gains in tyre technology instead of working backwards!

          3. You’re all missing the point.

            No one ever doubted that these stupid ‘PU’s could produce loads of power. Anyone who knows anything about turbo charged engines will NOT be impressed with the power outputs. When the boffins were first mucking about with turbo’s they were getting over 1500bhp out of 1L engines.

            The point, and the whole point, is that these power units SOUND LIKE CRAP! F1 is supposed to be LOUD! Engines SCREAMING!!!!

            THAT is why people hate these power units, not what size they are, not whether they are turbo or not or how ‘green’ they are. If they sounded like a screaming V8 or V10 no one would care! But they don’t, and that’s the problem.

            They should call it the Dyson F1 world championship!

      3. So Hybrids can be fast…

      4. @craig-o It’s worth pointing out for the benefit of those who may not realise that Schumacher’s 2004 time isn’t the record.

    2. 11th place for Jolyon Palmer is two places higher than his father managed on his F1 debut. Max Verstappen’s fifth on the grid is higher than his father ever managed.

      And Rosberg upping his father by winning in Australia twice. @craig-o Which for both was their last win and their last entry!

      Is this the first time we have “F1 sons” racing?

      1. four F1 sons racing.

        1. TBH, I find that annoying a little bit. It’s all a bit off topic here, so sorry, but it does annoy me a bit. We talk about pay drivers all of the time, but we never seem to complain about sons of successful fathers doing well. It’s not the same as crappy pay drivers getting onto F1, but it is similar in a way. I hear Mick Schumacher is the next on the radar.
          Is the sport so elite now that you can’t get in unless you have a father to show you the ropes? I am not saying that Verstappen, Sainz, Rosberg and Palmer (sort of) aren’t good drivers, but for sure they got the training of their fathers and good F1 contacts to ensure that they rose the ranks quickly.
          It just seems that you are either a pay driver or a son of someone important these days. There are only a few that get in by talent alone without either money or good pedigree.

          So my stat is “Drivers who started f1 less than 10 years ago but are still in f1 and are here by talent only”
          Vettel, Ricciardo, Kvyatt (Possibly some money there), Grosjean, Bottas, Wehrlein, Hulkenburg
          That’s 6.5 out of 22.

          If you go for all drivers and forget the 10 year thing, you can add,
          Hamilton, Massa, Button, Alonso and Raikkonen

          That makes it 11.5 out of 22. Just over half of the drivers either didn’t get here solely because of money or a father in the know. And this is the most talented field that may ever have graced F1. Hmm. All I can say is that my dad is a bad dad for not being in F1 in his lifetime. Damn him for being one of the best marine engineers in Australia. I could have been one of the greats I tell you!

          1. Mick Schumacher is not good enough to make it to F1 and certainly not the talent Max Verstappen is @mickharrold.

            Off course getting racing spoon fed from early on helps a lot (just compare those who started early with karts to those that started only in their teens) and having money available (Palmer, Rosberg, Sainz and Verstappen all had that too) cerainly helps too, and both the contacts and having a recognizable name will open some doors.
            But i think that Max is a good example of showing that at least a part of it is just “being a good breed” especially because his mother is clearly of racing pedigree too. Afterall it is what we do with race horses (and dogs etc.) too – taking parents who are good racers to breed the next generation of even better racers.

            Looking at it like that, we can only hope that we get more female racers into motorsport so that we can look forward to a next generation of even better drivers (eh, that would probably not be great for the sport would it?)

          2. good one – @bascb

            taking parents who are good racers to breed the next generation of even better racers.

          3. It would be great if F1 could get back to not needing pay drivers to the extent that it now does. But as to nepotism, I don’t know that anything can stop that. Of course if a kid has an F1 dad and wants and loves to race, the potential for a career is vastly greater for them than an unknown with no connections. That’s just the way it is. But that is also no guarantee that they will be good enough and actually make it to F1. You need more than ‘just’ an in, the money, and an in-house expert. Talent still matters. If after all that you don’t have ‘it’ you won’t be getting an F1 ride no matter who or what you know. It still has to translate to the track. I would suggest there is better odds a youth with F1 insiders in the family would be under more scrutiny than someone with an irresistibly large cheque book.

        2. Nice stat!
          I may be wrong, but I think that three sons racing against each other has only happened in three seasons: 1994 (Damon Hill, Christian Fittipaldi, and David Brabham), and 2008-2009 (Nico Rosberg, Kazuki Nakajima, and Nelson Piquet Jr.).
          It almost happened last year in Australia, except for Kevin Magnussen’s engine failure before the race began.
          In 2007 three sons competed in the same season (Nico Rosberg, Kazuki Nakajima, and Markus Winkelhock), but not all against each other.

          1. Also happened in 1993: D Hill, C Fittipaldi (Emerson’s nephew but Wilson’s son) and Michael Andretti raced each other

    3. A hair to split
      21st March 2016, 13:26


      Not quite. His 2015 DNF can be traced back to his first pit stop, where briefly let go of his clutch, causing his rear tyres to rotate while they were being fitted. This in turn caused damage to one of the wheel hubs, which worsened beyond repair when the tyre came off during the second pit stop. Ferrari did mis-manage the situation, sending him back on track with a loose wheel, but ultimately, their mistake did not consist of not fitting the tyre to the car. In fact, they should’ve retired the car right away.
      It may seem nit-picky, but Ferrari’s mistake wasn’t the cause of Räikkönen’s DNF. It only masked Räikkönen’s initial mistake, that, while seemingly small, sealed his fate early on.

      In that respect, his Aussie DNF was similar to his COTA DNF, where he was able to continue for several laps after hitting the wall, before his car started overheating. This also lead many to believe his DNF was down to reliability issues, when it really wasn’t.

  2. Fun fact: In their first ever race, despite scoring a handsome amount of points, Haas F1 Team’s pit crew has yet to be called into action!

    PS: I saw this somewhere else, though it may add something here.

    1. making them the first ones to finish a full race without making any pitstops in some 20 years?

      1. I recall Mika Salo finished 5th in Monaco in 1997 without making any pitstops. I’m not sure if it has happened since.

        1. Well to be fair, that race hit the two hour limit after 62 out of 78 laps.
          Heinz-Harald Frentzen did at Brazil 2003 which was halted at lap 54 out of 71 due to Alonso’s crash.

          In terms of the race going full distance (though we did lose that lap at the beginning for Kyvat’s grid problem), I’d say you would have to go back to the pre-refueling era to find a driver going the whole race without pitting I would imagine.

          1. indeed @walsh-f1, we would have to look back to pre refeuling for that.

        2. Gerhard Berger won 1986 in Mexico without pitting

      2. Haas must be the first team ever to finish a race in the points on their DEBUT without making a pitstop.

  3. Regarding your side note on the Ferrari streak in 1952. Im sure that was during the world championships formula 2 years (52 – 53 IIRC) so none of those races were run to f1 regs.

    1. They were run to F1 regulations, just not with F1 cars.

    2. Good point. Those fifties seasons have many traps for the anorak!

      1. I got lucky, had been reading a book about racing post ww2 the other day. Drivers getting 0.13 points for splitting fastest lap, changing drivers if their car was out and other madness! And to think some people think Bernie is responsible for all the crazyness in f1

  4. Wait, weren’t Chandok and Karthikeyan part of a country with 1,200,000,000 people, ahead of both Rossi and Haryanto?

    1. @mashiat Indeed they were (India) – but they aren’t racing in F1 this year and they weren’t racing in F1 last year, which is what that part of the article refers to.

  5. Thousand rage tweet emerge after Haryanto had to stop his first F1 race.
    Second most rage tweet came from unsatisfied Verstappen fans.
    Toro Rosso do nothing but Manor tweet thank you massage for fantastic Indonesian fans :D
    Manor got most loved tweet in their history.

    1. and Rio Haryanto got a record amount of votes in the FIA poll for driver of the day @ruliemaulana!

      1. @bascb Let’s hope Rio social media account not publish F1Fanatic DOTW link then ;)

        1. Well, first of all, you have to have a F1Fanatic account to vote here, so that would mean people would have to at least sign up before voting @ruliemaulana. But yeah, if Indonesians become F1Fanatics en masse, then that would certainly a factor in futurur polls!

          And off course it also ensures you cannot simply vote numerous times (you would have to make as many accounts. And Keith would be able to see what e-mail adresses are tied to those too in case he saw something curious happening)

  6. The last race to not have the German anthem played on the podium was Belgium 2014. For god sake can someone else win a race please!!!

    1. You mean like Finnish and Italian anthem at Spa 2016? That would be great…

      1. Exactly. I would cry out of happiness if that were to happen.

        1. Please let this happen!

      2. the Marseillaise and Star Spangled Banner, if they can organise another no-stop race for Grosjean!

      3. Naah. If this is gonna be the last race in Monza, please a German-Italian national anthem duo. PLEASEEE!!!

  7. Lewis getting more poles than Schumacher will be an impressive achievement. Both drivers benefit from driving class of the field cars and Lewis has the chance to score more poles because seasons are getting longer but it is noteworthy if he ever beats Schumi’s “ridiculous” poles record.

    1. Well for number of years Schumi enjoyed strange quali formats.

      Saying that Lewis is now 30ish… If he proceeds to go at it properly for 7-10 years… Who knows.

  8. Rosberg is just 1 win away from Stirling Moss, so unless he wins the title this season, Rosberg will most likely become the most successful F1-driver of those who haven’t won WDC by the end of this season. It was about a time someone broke that record, as Moss only drove 67 races.

    1. As your talking about a still active driver, it was taken for a while by Mansell, cant remember exactly when, but he then won the 1992 title so Moss got it back

      1. Yes, Mansell had 21 wins at the end of 1991, which was a fair comparison. He had 29 at the time he clinched the title.

    2. @diceman @bleu
      The story goes that after Nigel Mansell overtook Stirling Moss’ record, Stirling rang Nigel and thanked him for taking the record away from him. A few years later, after his title win Nigel returned the call to ‘officially hand the record back’.
      Think it’s in Mansell’s autobiography.

  9. Previous driver (before Kvyat) to take part in the qualifying and not starting the race two years in a row on the same circuit was Narain Karthikeyan as he failed to qualify in 2011 and 2012 due to 107% rule.

    Before that I think we have to go to Andrea Montermini in Barcelona – he actually never got to start the race there in his three participations.

  10. Why doesn’t Schumacher’s pole in Monaco with Mercedes doesn’t count as his 69th?

    1. Schumi was found guilty of causing a collision with Bruno Senna, and received a 5 place grid penalty, so he started sixth.

    2. Because the person who has pole is the person starting the race in the front, and not who went fastest during qualifying.
      Schu got a penalty, so didnt get pole.

      1. Of course I know about the penalty. I was quite sure that you get Pole on saturday and then the penalty is applied on sunday. Did you read this for sure or you deducted it assuming @keithcollantine is always right? (Wich is not far from reality)

    3. @alfa145 Pole is actually awarded on sunday, not saturday.

  11. More cars finished this race than started last year’s race.

    Alonso’s best start in his 2nd spell at McLaren (best he managed last year was 12th).

    First time Hamilton hasn’t led a lap since Singapore.

    Massa keeps alive his record of scoring at least 1 point in every season since 2004 (Alonso and Button will have longer such streaks if they score this year).

    Vettel keeps alive his record of leading at least 1 lap in every season he has competed.

    First time since Hungary 2013 that Vettel has led more than 1 lap and not won the race.

    Red Bull keep alive their record of at least 1 fastest lap every year since 2009.

    Ferrari keep alive their records of at least 1 point every year since the Constructors’ Championship started, at least 1 podium every year since 1981, and at least 1 lap led every year since 1993.

    First time since Europe 2008 that no car with a Renault-branded engine has scored points. Curiously, Ferrari’s longest such streak also came to an end in a race which was both interrupted and shortened (Japan 2014).

    8th year in a row that at least 1 Australian driver has managed a fastest lap.

    24th Hamilton-Rosberg 1-2 (in either order) for Mercedes – equals M Schumacher & Barrichello for Ferrari.

    Hamilton is the first driver to manage 6 Melbourne podiums. Mercedes is the first team to manage 2 consecutive 1-2s in Melbourne.

    Rosberg’s 4th consecutive win – all other drivers to have managed this have been World Champions.

    1. Omg awesome stats.

  12. Hamilton continues his streak of a pole position in every full year he has competed in F1

    1. He didn’t compete in any non-full years, did he?

      1. no, 1st race was Australia 2007

  13. Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull team mates have completed only 3 laps in the last 3 years and none of them without problem.
    Kvyat couldn’t start this year or last. Vettel immediately had problems in the 2014 race right from lap 1 and retired on lap 3.

  14. First race to be red-flagged since the infamous Japan 2014.

    Also, the race before this, the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix, was the last time Guttierrez retired from the race.

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