Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2016

Hamilton retains best reliability rate of any champion

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

Lewis Hamilton had good reason to be frustrated after retiring from the lead with an engine failure on Sunday.

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Sepang International Circuit, 2016
Raikkonen wouldn’t mind having Hamilton’s reliability rate
It followed a string of faults earlier this year. However it was the first time this season either Mercedes had dropped out of a race due to a technical failure.

It may come as some consolation to Hamilton to learn that he has had the most reliable cars during his career out of all of Formula One’s 32 world champions. Sunday’s DNF was the 11th time in his 183 starts so far that he has not been classified due to a technical problem. That’s a failure rate of just 6%.

The driver with the next-lowest failure rate is Sebastian Vettel on 8.7%. The other three world champions on the grid are Fernando Alonso (10.1%), Jenson Button (11.3%) and Kimi Raikkonen (13%). You can find the figures for past world champions here.

Nico Rosberg has also enjoyed an excellent finishing rate. In his 201 starts he’s had just 14 non-classifications due to technical problems: a failure rate of 7%. But even if Hamilton’s W07 broke down in each of the five remaining races, he would still have the highest reliability rate of any world champion.

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Hamilton’s retirement and Vettel’s first-lap assault on Rosberg meant Mercedes missed a chance to equal McLaren’s record for the most consecutive wins by a team for the second time this year.

The Spanish Grand Prix also could have been their 11th win in a row, but Hamilton and Rosberg collided on the first lap and retired. On Sunday Hamilton’s engine failure scuppered their chances of winning for the 11th race running, although Mercedes power did achieve its 150th consecutive points-scoring finish.

It also postponed their constructors’ championship celebrations. Mercedes went into the race needing only to preserve their existing points lead over Red Bull to seal the title, but against the run of play this year they failed to do that. They will win the title at Suzuka this weekend unless Red Bull out-score them by 23 points.

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Sepang International Circuit, 2016
2016 Malaysian Grand Prix in pictures
Daniel Ricciardo joined Dan Gurney, Bruce McLaren and Eddie Irvine as a four-time F1 race winner in Malaysia on Sunday.

With team mate Max Verstappen following him home second, they gave Red Bull its first one-two finish of the V6 hybrid turbo era. Their last came at the final race of the V8 engine era, when Sebastian Vettel led Mark Webber home at Interlagos in 2013.

Ricciardo became the fourth different driver to win a race this year, something we haven’t had in the past two seasons. However for the third year running only two different teams have won races so far.

Rosberg claimed his 20th fastest lap and Hamilton took the 57th pole position of his career. This was also Hamilton’s 100th front row start, something only two drivers in F1 history have achieved, the other being Michael Schumacher. Hamilton has started 56.4% of his races from the front row.

Jolyon Palmer became the third different driver this year to score their first F1 points, joining Stoffel Vandoorne and Pascal Wehrlein.

Jenson Button, McLaren, Sepang International Circuit, 2016
Button reached his 300th start
Finally, Jenson Button marked his 300th grand prix by qualifying and finishing inside the top ten. He is only the third driver in F1 history to start 300 races. Rubens Barrichello did 326 between 1993 and 2011, and Michael Schumacher started 306 from 1991 to 2012.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2016 Malaysian Grand Prix

Browse all 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix articles

181 comments on “Hamilton retains best reliability rate of any champion”

  1. Fab article Keith. No other website or media outlet has taken this sensible stats led approach to enginegate!

    1. +1! Really a great article @keithcollantine!

      1. +2
        Hats off for putting things into perspective! This is the kind of quality that brought me to this site, because it’s so hard to find elsewhere.

    2. “Sunday’s DNF was the 11th time in his 183 starts so far that he has not been classified due to a technical problem. ”

      That’s a terrible selection criteria.

      This year, that means he’s got 1 failure. It doesn’t count two qualifying sessions wrecked by technical failure (China, Russia), and it doesn’t count Baku, where the car was misconfigured by the team, but they weren’t able to tell him, and it ignores (probably rightly so) Spa, where his starting position was compromised by the penalties from replacing the previously failed components.

      In 2015, you’re ignoring Bahrain, where he had brake-by-wire failure 2 laps from the end of the race, but counting Singapore.

      It means in 2014, you’re ignoring Germany and Hungary, and counting Australia and Canada.

      That’s 10 failures that affected his race (Bahrain didn’t change his position, but it was a technical failure) in the past three years, but your statistic ignores 6 of them.

      1. So Hamilton has been actually extremely lucky that his problems have not ended more of his races.

        1. Excellent point KaIIe.

      2. None of which matters because I haven’t taken any similar failures into account for his rivals, so the basis for comparison is entirely fair.

      3. Have to agree with this. It’s not like it’s 96 (20 years ago) when Hill and Villeneuve each failed to finish 4 times from 16 (25% of starts) & won 12 of the 16 races with only one exception when both finished (both scored points in Belgium). All cars are simply more reliable than they were even 20 years ago and in this context a small number of DNFs across Hamilton’s career is simply a reflection of how reliability has generally improved in the 11 years prior to his F1 debut. However, practice issues are far more important – before, you could simply swap and engine out with no compromise on the weekend or future races – no longer the case since 04.

        With Alonso, Button and Raikonnen starting years prior to Hamilton and Vettel (01, 00, 02 vs 07), when engines didn’t have to last multiple sessions (engines lasting a race weekend started in 04, 2 races from 05) I don’t think it’s fair to compare their reliability record with Hamilton or Vettel – I’m taking all retirements for the following numbers since I can’t separate car failure from driver error but in the case of Button, he retired from 21 of his first 67 races (31.3%) to the end of 2003, compared to 38 of the next 233 races (16%). The point is that since 2004, mechanical failures are far less common and even with a 21 race season, one failure is a far bigger blow than it was since it was pretty likely that your opponents would have a race DNFs in numbers far greater than today – counting on a DNF isn’t a viable strategy anymore since it is possible to run a 21 race season with just one or 2 mechanically caused DNFs, rather than even the 90s where 8 DNFs wasn’t uncommon.

        I think that the loss of engines in practice has to be counted now that engines have to last multiple races and all sessions in each weekend when used – especially when it results in finishing but having to start from down the field or having to take extra engines in a future race. It is far less likely (though obviously still possible) that Nico will have a mechanical problem in the next 5 races having not yet had one (haven’t seen Malaysia yet but it sounds like he was blameless for the 1st corner incident – none of his other poor finishes this season in Spain, Monaco, Canada, Germany and Austria were mechanical issues) – Hamilton can still recover to win but a Nico retirement will help make it more interesting, otherwise another Nico win may well seal the title – and arguably because Hamilton lost those engines early in the season in practice sessions.

    3. Teddy Cologne
      4th October 2016, 19:30

      A load of nonsense….reliability must be considered against his sister car, his team-mate, season by season. Not for different cars, different engines, different rules…

      Its like comparing the speeds of drivers across decades in different machines!

      utterly meaningless statistic, only good for deflecting obvious
      bias against Lewis…and where’s your data?

      How about a comparison of intra-season reliability between Lewis and team-mates… Lewis and direct competitors…and show the raw data ;)

      1. Oh, look. We’re all biased against Hamilton. Even his team doesn’t like him.

  2. not compared to his teammate this season,,and thats what matters.
    also its not just about the amount of mechanical issues,its when you have them.
    for example,having mechanical issues in fp1 is not the same as having mechanical issues in quali and the race.

    1. A bit of a weird example. The mechanical issues taken into account are restricted tot the one’s in races.

  3. I’m hoping people understand the context of ‘Hamilton has the best reliability rate of any champion’, but I think that’ll be cast out of the window very quickly.

    1. Indeed. His failure rate needs to be taken in context of the average failure rate for the field he is competing in. Comparing failure rates in the modern age versus cars from a decade or more ago when clearly engineering and manufacturing processes have developed beyond recognition, is meaningless.

      1. Yeah, well, if you look at the champion who started later than Hamilton (Vettel) then Hamilton is still ahead. And all the other currently driving champions, as well as Lewis teammate, have had worse reliability over their careers than Hamilton has had.

      2. hardly. also take into consideration Hamilton has had a top 2 car in nearly every season he has been in f1.

        1. This is a fact that many fans love to refute…they’d throw in a 2009 in there..

        2. That’s true. But why do teams building the fastest cars want Hamilton?

    2. Not to mention the fact that it’s not just about the race-ending failures.

      Remember Germany 2014 when his brakes failed sending him into the wall in qualifying, not only did it ruin his qualifying, but it smashed his gearbox to bits, handing him even more penalties for replacements, as a random example. Or, more recently, Singapore, where he missed a lot of running in practice because of a hydraulics leak and suspension issue. That won’t be noted in any race-ending ‘mechanical statistics’, but it had a major effect on his ability to score points on Sunday.

      1. Massa 2008 Hungary blow up then a dominante Singapour ruined by a team error. Hamilton could be said to have won a title due to issues out of Massas control. This season maybe a title lost but 2008 was one gained by luck if we are going to argue what ifs with reliability. Its just balancing itself out.

        1. agreed, history repeats itself

  4. Excellent article, just shows no need to be downbeat. Hamilton’s failure is hardly on the terminal level that ended Schumacher’s 2006 chances. Still all to play for.

    1. Absolutely. In the old system it would only be 9 points in it! Nothing!

    2. How is it all to play for though. Assuming Merc finish 1-2 for the rest of the season, Lewis has to be the 1 in every single race or else he won’t win the championship. One 2nd place finish and Nico finishes first in that race and Lewis finishes 2nd in the title battle. This has put him behind the 8 ball for sure. He has to be darn near perfect to win this title. Is it possible he does that? Sure. But we still have his biggest bogey track yet to come- Brazil.

      1. @deidunxf1 I wouldn’t assume they’ll finish 1-2 over the final five races. They’ve only done it four times in the first sixteen races. Besides, if Nico drops out next race and Hamilton wins. Points lead goes back to Hamilton.

  5. I believe that Red Bull’s 1-2 was the first non-Mercedes 1-2 of the hybrid era.

    1. @tdog That is (a) correct and (b) well spotted. :)

      1. @geemac Crofty or brundle said so during the race though IIRC

        1. Ah, I see. I was watching the C4 broadcast and I don’t recall them mentioning it.

  6. I’d be interested to see for those champions, what percentage of these failures were when they were leading the race – in other words when it causes the most pain. No conspiracies here, just curious who’s had it happen at the worst times.

    I realise that there’s an element of a champion tends to be at the front a lot so the odds of a failure happening at the front are higher, but for example, Button probably had a number of failures when driving the Earth Honda and had no chance of even scoring points anyway or was even remotely involved in a championship fight.

    Some drivers have had the misfortune of a car failure while leading comfortably, eg. Massa (in Valencia ’08 I think – I know not a champion, but he was a contender that year), and off the top of my head Hamilton in Malaysia this year, Singapore and Abu Dhabi ’12 I think… Vettel probably had a few in the Red Bull era too.

    1. Another WDC to add to your list:
      Think Raikkonen could have been WDC a couple of more times if it hadn’t been for some of the many mechanical malfunctions he has experienced through his career while leading a race.
      What comes to mind is especially the period he had at McLaren, in their super fast and superbly Newey designed cars, that unfortunately were so fragile at the same time…

    2. From gut feeling I would say that Kimi suffered most of those (a lot of it with Mercedes engines going bang at McLaren) @cdavman

    3. Jin Clark would have been a 4x WDC but for failures in the last races of ’62 and ’64 when he was in a championship winning situation

    4. to say that retiring from the lead of the race “causes the most pain” is disrespectful to all the other drivers on the grid, especially ones who fight for say 12th place and retire, having given their best. Hamilton doesn’t even have to give his best to be first.

      1. I think even those drivers, retiring from 12th place, would agree that retiring while leading causes more pain…

      2. Probably does cause more pain due to a world championship being on the line

      3. There is always someone talking about disrespect. What in gods blue skye are you on about!!!!!!! Are you watching F1s main battle or are watching Gp2s fight for last?

    5. @cdavman I believe Vettel had technical problems at Britain ’13 and Valencia ’12 while leading. Worst one I can think of is Mika Hakkinen losing an engine while leading on the final lap in Spain ’01.

    6. @cdavman Massa’s was in Hungary 2008, just a painful two laps from the finish.

      Also, had Hamilton not broken down from the lead in Singapore 2012, Alonso would have been world champion that year, not Vettel.

      I guess it’s fair to say if reliability and cars didn’t break down the champions would be completely different. But it is what it is, there are too many what ifs to actually reliably say what would have happened if these things didn’t occur.

      1. @strontium
        “Also, had Hamilton not broken down from the lead in Singapore 2012, Alonso would have been world champion that year, not Vettel.”
        Then he possibly wouldn’t have signed the Mercedes contract and then Rosberg would have been a multiple world champion. Too many what ifs indeed.

  7. You can only compare failures relative to other drivers in that year, not across different eras.

    This article is actually pointless and if anything is dismissive and is intend to somehow soften the blow of what his happening NOW.

    1. This is stat and facts article which only purpose is to state stats and facts that happened during the race weekend. While the article title probably makes you think it’s about Hamilton engine blowup last race, it’s truly isn’t.

      That being said, it would be interesting if @keithcollantine made an separate article comparing failure rates of world champions vs their main competitors. It seems one of the hottest debate every year (Vettel vs Webber, Hamilton vs Massa, and of course Hamilton vs Rosberg for example).

    2. It would be unwise to make the mistake of thinking there is any natural justice in reliability.

    3. It’s hardly meaningless, as it rather gives the lie to claims that Hamilton unduly stresses his cars.

      But you are quite right that as far as this season’s ‘luck’ is concerned, only this season’s stats are meaningful.

    4. Yeah, we need real articles from real websites that make up stories about red bull developing their own engine.

    5. What happened is that someone had an engine blow-out this past Sunday, something which is apparently so rare these days that people are refusing to believe that engines can break… Honda, Vettel and the STR’s don’t count. 1st Merc engine to break on a Sunday this season, to me it goes to show that a merc breakdown can and will happen again, it’s just less common than in other manufacturers and overall rare these days. Analysing Merc’s reliability record from the start of this era, you realize nothing particularly strange is happening, that said Ham did have some strange glitches in practice and qualifying.

      1. @peartree Has VET’s engine blown up this year?

        1. In the formation lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

        2. @davidnotcoulthard Bahrain, formation lap.

          1. @davidnotcoulthard Raikkonen’s turbo also failed, it slipped my mind, perhaps because we’re looking at engines not turbo’s, PU components anyhow. You’re all doom and gloom, it could be just as soon as this weekend Nico has a bad start or somebody punts him or he suffers a failure of sorts and we all forget about the malaysian GP. It’ll be just like 2014.

        3. @peartree @f1infigures I can’t believe I forgot about that!

    6. kng11: I guess that by your criteria history itself is “actually pointless and if anything is dismissive and is intended to somehow soften the blow of what his happening NOW.” A very narrow view of the sport.

  8. The article and most of the comments miss the point of Hamilton’s frustration – that the significant differential in reliability between his cars and Rosberg’s this year has given him a significant disadvantage in the title race.

  9. “But even if Hamilton’s W07 broke down in each of the five remaining races, he would still have the highest reliability rate of any world champion.”

    That’s not true, Nico Rosberg will then hold that record ;)

    1. Unless he has breakdowns too – you know, to make it seem like the God of luck has a sense of humour.

    2. Rosberg is not (yet) a member of the F1 World Champion club… so the original statement is still true.

      More pointedly, I’m interested in reliability rate of champions *in the year which they won the Championship”; using Hamilton’s reliability during is McLaren era is not relevant to is Mercedes time. Essentially, how many mechanical DNFs can one afford and still win at the end of the year?

  10. Is it possible to compare championship contending years only?

    I reckon Seb would have a higher reliability by a small margin.

    Great article though to dowse the flames of conspiracy!

  11. Hamilton says: “Oh Nooo, Nooooo!!”

    1. LOL. COTD in my book!

  12. No wonders here. The cars are more reliable since V8 replaced V10, significantly more reliable since V6 replaced V8, which is 1 of the main reasons why all kinds of records were broken in the last years. Hamilton is about to grab 2nd place in many statistics regarding the most important records. Reliability played an important role here, but also the fact that the champs have more and more rounds and that he had a champ winning car from day 1 in F1.

    1. The biggest improvement in reliability was between 2003 and 2005 though, when engines had to last longer. But there is definitely a trend towards better reliability, and therefore the statistics are quite meaningless indeed.

  13. While it’s surely true that Hamilton’s luck isn’t as bad as he would make us believe, isn’t just looking at race classification simplifying things a little bit too much? We only have to look at this season to see the difference… surely we can all agree (objectively) that saying Hamilton is only 1-0 in DNFs to Rosberg simplifies things too much when we consider the start of the season and the engine penalties?

    Also, DNF stats have meaning relative to the era, and not to historic world champions. In this regard, only the comparison to Vettel, Alonso and Button really makes any sense. Much better would be to look at reliability against teammates since 2007. I have a memory of this being done at some point on F1F though?

    I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong and my bias towards Hamilton is getting in the way of things.. but this seems like a tad ‘bad science’ to me!

    1. I guess most of Hamilton’s fan base will not like the facts being presented as they are here in this article.
      Facts. Plain and simple. Numbers don’t lie, as some say. But agreed, there are various ways how the same numbers could be represented.
      Don’t know if its Hamilton himself or his fan base (or both?) that appear to monger more loudly than the average driver/fan base whenever there is just the tiny bit going less than optimal for him. But one certainly gets the impression that he is simply not winning the WDCs in the years he have competed in so far, mainly because he gets a faulty car or being unfairly treated. Some other drivers just shake their head and say ‘that’s racing’ and move on. I for one was very surprised to see that Hamilton has lowest score among all drivers on DNF caused by mechanical failure!

      1. “Facts. Plain and simple. Numbers don’t lie, as some say”..

        Oh but numbers do lie

        1. people lie, numbers can’t. The title of this ‘post’ is misleading at best and a flat out lie as it is unbounded and doesn’t respect scope. Don’t hate Keith too much though, apparently he has ads or something, not that I would know :)

          1. @xsavior The title is factually correct and reading the article sets out exactly the basis for this. At no point is it suggested that Hamilton has the best reliability rate on any measure you care to choose and against all drivers. The article simply confirms that he has the best reliability measured in terms of race ending mechanical failures of all WDCs to date.

            As soon as you start trying to do any other measure which allows for grid-penalties, lost places in qualifying etc it moves away from fact and becomes speculation so whilst you have expanded the range of mechanical impacts you would necessarily move away from the solid ground of fact (and no doubt be attacked for that by anyone who decides they don’t like the conclusion).

            The only reason that the headline might seem misleading is if it is read with a preconceived idea that it is trying to convince you his overall reliability this year is better than Rosberg’s. It doesn’t say that, indeed as Rosberg isn’t a WDC he is quite clearly excluded by the headline. So in this case the lie/misconception is caused by your own preconceived ideas and is separate from the facts.

          2. @jerseyf1, thanks for not taking too long to lie, I don’t have the time to read your whole post.

            the title reads as follows. “Hamilton retains best reliability rate of any champion”

            you ignored what I said, pulled an imaginary title out of your bum, and then proceeded to flog me with something that didn’t/doesn’t exist. Have a good day. You lose.

      2. Numbers don’t lie, but they can be made to show different things, and tell alternative truths by viewing them differently, or depending on context Cyber.

        The facts are there, and the article gives context to the cries of unfairness about Hamiltons bad luck.

        But as @john-h and others mention, the cars have become more reliable. Also, a DNF isn’t the only problem to have; in addition a problem doesn’t always lose a driver the same amount of points; and finally, it matters greatly how much direct competitors gain from it.

        I think that perhaps could have gotten more attention here, but in the end, for me the main message @keithcollantines shows here remains that, heartbreaking as it can be, luck and mechanical issues have always been an influence on the championship.

        I suspect the very fact they are now a less common factor than they used to be is partly why people react so strongly now.

        And yet, most of us like to see unexpected results. But perhaps not so much when a favoured driver is the victim :-)

      3. “Facts. Plain and simple. Numbers don’t lie, as some say”

        Statistics can be made to show most anything you want. Really the stat presented here (Mechanical DNFs/Number of Starts) is just to simplistic to say anything useful. As others have mentioned comparing across eras is meaningless but there are other issues too:

        -Not all DNFs are created equal: Imagine if Jenson Button had the same career failure rate he does now, but they all occurred in 2009. Good bye WDC.
        -Qualy (and practice matter): We can easily see just from Hamilton’s 2014/2016 seasons that it isn’t just what happens in the race that matters. Practice is also a tricky yet interesting aspect to consider, especially given the fact that failures during practice matter more now I’d argue than previously, due to limited testing and gearbox/engine penalties.
        -Not all issues result in a DNF: Look at Rosberg in Abu Dhabi 2014, no DNF to go in the stats books but he went from a guaranteed 36 point score to 0. See also Red Bulls inability to make a working KERs system at the end of the V8 era.
        -The figures themselves are only meaningful with context: The raw number says nothing about the effect on the driver in question. A DNF from a non point scoring position doesn’t matter (in fact some drivers who regularly race in a non points scoring position will probably have a slightly inflated DNF rate due to teams retiring the car). A DNF from the lead is painful. A DNF where you main competition also DNFs isn’t the end of the world, but DNF while your competition wins and that is so much worse.

        I think there is a very interesting article in there if someone had the time/ability to really do a proper analysis of the data/effects.

    2. @john-h
      Hey, these are just statistics, not some fountain of wisdom from which you can extract some meaningful answers to adjust your view or form a realistic view on F1. Just watch the actual races and try to enjoy the show

      1. Ok, thanks for the advice!

  14. “Hamilton has started 56.4% of his races from the front row.”

    That’s another way to say #Blessed in every tweet… tho #56.4%ofmyracesfromthefrontrow might consume too many characters.

    It does show, however, how good Hamilton’s cars have been since he debuted. Something probably no other driver has enjoyed.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      3rd October 2016, 14:54

      @fer-no65 that’s akin to saying that Messi can score 1 goal per game in 90% of his games. Is it because Messi is good, is it because his shoes are better or is it because the goalies are bad?

      You just went with the 2nd and 3rd choices… How many times have Messi’s shoelaces come undone as he was running alone to score a goad and he tripped over them? When did the shoe explode and burst into flames as Messi was about to win the World Cup for Argentina? I can go on but I thought we had enough levity for the day:-)

      1. @freelittlebirds I’m not saying Hamilton wasn’t responsable for that achievement, but unlike football, or any other sport, the cars these guys drive have a inherent importance in their performance. Hamilton debuted in a championship contender car, and spent most of his career in contention for wins, except the first half of 2009. Compare that to Alonso, or Vettel, who had to start their careers at Minardi and Toro Rosso… they spent a whole season before they could even dream of starting a race in the front row.

        So to summarize, all I’m saying is that Hamilton is very good, and his cars were also very good, so he was able to achieve that. Just like Schumacher.

        1. Actually if you look for the times spent with team mates then only one who has had equal front row starts than Hamilton is Rosberg – 52 vs 52. And i can say from the top of the head at least 5 times Hamilton has had mechanical error or started from the back row in v6 era due to car or engine letting him down. I can’t recall any of this happening to Rosberg (though 2014 Austria comes on mind when Hamilton ruined Rosbergs chance for front row..)
          Of course Alonso, Kovalainen and Button aren’t really known as excellent qualifiers, the first and last are more known as excellent race readers.

          1. Russia 2014 puncture, engine failure in title decider 2014, brake failure on last lap Austria this year, I am sure there are more.

            Raikkonen 2005 has to be the most bad luck where were the conspiracies then?

          2. “Russia 2014 puncture, engine failure in title decider 2014, brake failure on last lap Austria this year, I am sure there are more”

            None of those were in qualifying which I believe is nmsi’s point.

      2. @freelittlebirds football and F1 don’t give good comparisons, football is, like F1, a team sport, however unlike F1, a team does not affect a players ability to run fast and pass properly. An F1 car directly affects the speed and handling.

      3. Every team sport has many things beyond the athlete’s control, and so Messi’s scoring rate is not the same with Barcelona and Argentina. “Equipment” is almost irrelevant in football (but not entirely, just check the “Jabulani” controversy), but tactical and technical reasons are just as important in football as a good equipment is in motorsport.

        Neymar couldn’t beat Barcelona while leading Santos in the FIFA Club World Cup in 2011 (they were thrashed 4-0), but joined Barcelona few years later and won the FIFA Club World Cup with them in 2015.

        In every sport, with some notable exceptions, the best athletes tend to go to the best teams on the long-term, so Hamilton always had a great car because he always deserved it, he didn’t ‘get there by chance, like Coulthard with Williams in 1994.

  15. I must apologize for my inability to see how this is a fair comparison. Granted, Hamilton has had the greatest reliability over the duration of his career, but his current misfortunes have been around the reliability of his Mercedes power unit in comparison to other Mercedes power units during the same era and same season. how does it help us comparing the current reliability of the V6 hybrid era vs reliability or lack thereof faced by MSC in 1994? This is why all other journalists have comapred Hamiltons engines reliability to the other 43 engines supplied by the same manufacturer.

    A smarter approach would have been to compare the reliability of past WDC’s cars vs the cars of their team mates in the same era. ie reliability of Rosbergs car vs Hamilton’s car. MSC’s car vs Massa’s car. because they raced in the same era and you can compare like for like.

    1. “A smarter approach would have been to compare the reliability of past WDC’s cars vs the cars of their team mates in the same era. ie reliability of Rosbergs car vs Hamilton’s car. MSC’s car vs Massa’s car. because they raced in the same era and you can compare like for like.”

      But that is not inline with the narrative we are pushing.

  16. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    3rd October 2016, 13:25

    It also shows just how reliability has improved over the years. F1 engineers and designers are stunningly incredible.

    1. They are indeed – But driven entirely by the FIA regulations demanding that the car components are re-utilized over a number of races during the season. I still enjoyed the racing more in the ‘old days’ where the engineers/designers made all the specs based on a MTBF of around 2 hours racing to be really cutting edge. And if they didn’t do it, their competitors would – and winning all the glory.
      Today its all too predictable and R&D locked up for the entire season. Too much eco Toyota Prius driving around as Scalectrix, to conserve fuel and tires.

  17. Anthony Marte
    3rd October 2016, 13:26

    Well… I know of Hamiltons failures that have been classified because of the 90% rule. Keith, it would be better if you take into account the DNFs in Qualy and DNFs that have been classified.

    Just this year Hamilton has had 2 DNF in qualy, wich affect his results, and also in 2014 he had many technical problems in Qualy.

    1. Anthony Marte
      3rd October 2016, 13:28

      Also, I do not know any other driver who has had more DNFs while leading a race, out of my mind comes Abu Dhabi 2009, Singapore 2012, Abu Dhabi 2012, Silverstone 2013, Australia 2014….

      1. look up how Kimi faired when he was at McLaren, especially in 2004 Anthony. Those were probably a huge part in why Kimi then signed with Ferrari.

      2. I’d be interested to see how many DNFs Mansell had while leading, I imagine that might challenge Hamilton’s tally.

        Here’s Hamilton’s record (the collisions were not his fault)

        Singapore 2012 (Gearbox)
        Abu Dhabi 2012 (fuel pressure)
        Brazil 2012 (collision)
        Australia 2014 (engine related)
        Canada 2014 (Brake failure)
        Belgium 2014 (collision)
        Monaco 2015 (Pit stop mistake)
        Malaysia 2016 (Engine)

        I’ve not counted bodged pit-stops that have cost him victory, there’s a few of those too I think.

  18. All Hamilton is complaining about is his engine related problems.. And drew a number out of his head of the problems he had against all the other Mercedes ENGINES in the grid, THIS SEASON.. Although the article is very interesting in realizing how far better reliability is nowdays, it offers nothing to the specific reason Hamilton is moaning about… And in my opinion a broken engine is a broken engine no matter when it happens.. If it happens on Friday or Saturday free practice it screws your setup and race pace , if it happens on qualy it screws your race but not your championship points entirely (especially when driving a Mercedes) and if it happens on race day it screws your championship fate… An engine problem screws your weekend.. That’s about it..

  19. The WDC is contested over one season, right?

    Keith, would it be possible to publish statistics of reliability for this season?

    Given the current situation and ‘conspiracies’, I think those would be more relevant.

    1. True. Context of this kind would be more useful.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      3rd October 2016, 14:37

      That’s sarcasm by the way – how did I do?

    3. Go and do the research, prepare an article and send it to editor@f1fanatic.co.uk to maybe see it published @stubbornswiss.

      This is not an article specially on the subject of Hamilton and his reliability (we’ve had a few of those in the past though), it is about stats and facts for the last race, so that would be completely out of the scope, and almost certainly not something @keithcollantine would put together overnight after the race!

      1. Oh dear, seems I hit a nerve there @bascb.

    4. Keith needs to include all sessions, not just the race.

  20. I remember back on 2007 2008 when Keith was a bit of a Hamilton fan. The turnaround is actually quite frightening.

    Come on Keith, you know this is a load of rubbish. You give no context of what the reliability was like for these other world champions teammates in title winning years, level of competitiveness of machinery, which eras the issues happened in and you do not mention non race DNF related mechanical issues that still were very costly in comparisons to teammates etc.

    How many of the DNF’s of the other champions happened when they were in poorer cars where it means less to DNF than it does to DNF in competitive machinery? I mean look at Alonso? How many issues has he had on his return at McLaren where it means nothing? Or when JB struggled in teams before he got his chance at Brawn in 2009?

    Hamiltons had loads of relevant issues that have cost him wins and titles. How about you do a comparisons between world champions that factors in issues that have cost them significant results? DNF’s while fighting for non podium spots is less significant.

    1. Spot on. Not to mention 5 retirements in 2012 from lead positions which handed the battle to Vettel and Alonso with 3 retirements total between them. His luck is awful.

    2. I think you are being very unfair to Keith there @neonracer. THis is not an article going in depth about Hamilton and retirements. This is a roundup of stats, that also include the interesting information that compared to all other champions currently driving Hamilton has certainly not had the worst reliability.

      Also, I must say that i am quite upset when people pointing out factual information are deemed to be “against” someone because of it. Now it is Hamilton fans saying so, in the past they were Alonso fans, Vettel fans and probably others.

      1. +2, on both points @bascb

  21. What a pointless article. You may as well compare the reliability of cars today and in previous eras and the results will be hardly surprising. It would be beneficial, rather, to compare Hamilton’s reliability with the current field, particularly those that run Mercedes engines. Alas, the results will not be consistent with the author’s agenda.

  22. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    3rd October 2016, 14:29

    I don’t think the article takes into account “team reliability” issues which include pit stop errors, strategy calls etc.

    It also doesn’t take into account qualifying reliability car issues which can screw up your race.

    It also doesn’t take into account other sorts of unreliability such as his clutch this year and the unreliability of his teammate’s driving over the past 3 years :-)

    It fails to take into account when those DNFs occurred and the points lost to his competitors when the engine failed, the number of times it happened while he was leading as well as the championships possibly lost due to reliability or the extra effort Lewis had to put to make sure he won the championship during the year.

    His DNFs are pretty dramatic and you could easily argue his qualifying DNFs are more dramatic than just about anyone’s race DNFs while leading. Even his clutch issues are way more important than anyone’s DNFs as they are championship defining issues.

    1. I would challenge Keith to do a statistical analysis for the last 10 years, how many grid drops each driver has taken due to mechanical reliability. Lewis reliability was worse than his teammate in 2012, 2014 and this year, 2015 was mix and match, but his problem last year had to do with the development course which suited his teammate more, surprise surprise.

  23. This is a very unimaginative article. Comparing failure rates across seasons makes absolutely no sense.

    1. actually its very imaginative, because failure rate isn’t well defined.

  24. an interesting article mr keith would be how many points has nico gained on a weekend when lewis has had engine troubles. be it in Practice, Qualifying or in the race. feel free to do the same for Hamilton, how many points has he gained in a weekend where Nico has hit mechanical gremlins. like for like. same era, same engine, same manufacturer.

  25. Mercedes hasn’t won a race in 2016 in which the Hard tyre was used (by any team).

    1. Nice stat. @coldfly

      Also nice that someone has taken the time to contribute a stat to an article about stats.
      Anyone else care to contribute to what is normally a fun bi-weekly article?

      Or maybe just some more vitriol…

      1. @eurobrun yes!

        If what Ben Edwards said is correct, it’s the first time a driver has ever scored points in their 300th race. Neither Schumacher or Barrichello did.

        1. Cucamest (@kevincucamest)
          4th October 2016, 0:22

          @strontium He would have been mistaken because both Barrichello and Schumacher scored points on both their 300th involvement and 300th start.

          Schumacher:
          300th involvement: 7th – Belgium 2012 (Where he celebrated his 300th GP)
          300th start: 6th – Italy 2012

          Barrichello:
          300th involvement: 10th – Hungary 2010
          300th start: 6th – Singapore 2010
          Interestingly, Barrichello did not score points at the race at which he celebrated his 300th GP: at the 2010 Belgian GP, after crashing into the back of Alonso. (I presume he left out Imola 1994, where he participated but never qualified, but included Spain 2002 and France 2002, where he qualified but never started.)

    2. If you want more ‘silly F1’ driver statistics, then you have Hans Heyer. He signed up for the 1977 German GP with a Penske chassis from the previous year. He had NO single-seater experience, so it wasn’t a surprise to see him not qualifying for the race. Heyer didn’t settle and decided to enter the race anyway! He managed to run 9 laps at Hockenheim and retired due to a transmission failure. Mind you, BEFORE the officials understood what had happened and the disqualified him from the race.
      So Hans Meyer must have the most bizarre F1 stats of any driver ever:
      1 DNQ, 1 DNF and 1 DSQ. All in a single race, and his only entry ever in F1 !! ;o)

  26. Very interesting premise.

    While this is definitely one valid way of looking at the data, wouldn’t it be equally appropriate to look at reliability of champions in the year they won the WDC? That would give a better indication of how the odds due to technical failure were stacked against them.

    Not every champion started off in top-tier team, so their earlier career might have been sullied by technical failures in the lower teams. A telling example would be Button’s case – no point in calculating his career’s technical reliability when it might be more appropriate to look at just his Brawn’s reliability.

    1. Or Alonso/Minardi, for that matter.

      (Hate the absence of an edit button!)

  27. Malaysia is the first track to hand Mercedes multiple defeats in the turbo era.

    1. @gitanes Hungary was there first.

  28. BT52B (@eduardogigante)
    3rd October 2016, 16:38

    First race since Belgium in 2014 to not have a european winner (RIC also won that one).

    1. @eduardogigante The last time a non-European won that also wasn’t an Australian? Think we’d have to go back to Massa?

      1. BT52B (@eduardogigante)
        3rd October 2016, 21:09

        @xtwl No, the one, the only Pastor Maldonado has that honor (Spain in 2012).

  29. To everyone wanting comparisons between teammates, within seasons, here is some cursory stats. Yes, they are from Wikipedia so take as many grains of salt as you need, but they are probably very close to actuals.

    The “stoppages” listed below include DNFs, DNSs, and races where the driver was classified but did not finish (I included the latter because it is often due to technical issues, but no, I did not dig into every non-finish).

    Over their four years together at Mercedes (2013-2016), Hamilton has one fewer in-race technical stoppage than Rosberg at 7-8. I think it should be 7-9 as Rosberg’s Abu Dhabi glitch really forced him down the finish order, but he did finish.

    From 2010-2013, Vettel had 7 stoppages to Webber’s 10. And from 2000-2004, M Schumacher had 8 to Barrichello’s 19.

    To a point made by many, no, these do not take into account issues in practice or qualifying, or when the failures happened within the race (e.g. from the lead) or probably lots of other various angles from which to look at them. But it is very clear (to me) that Hamilton is not getting short-changed or a string of bad luck heretofore unseen in the history of the world. Bad seasons happen. In the final year of the V8s—what should have been their most reliable—Webber had 4 stoppages to Vettel’s 1. Rosberg had 3 to Hamilton’s 1. Things happen. Move on.

    1. @hobo beautifully put, well done, and thank you for actually doing some research and putting some stats into perspective rather than just whinging about how “irrelevant” the statistics supposedly were.

      1. @strontium – Cheers. They require caveats, but wanted to throw something up to frame the discussion.

    2. That is such a sneaky post @hobo. Of course Hamilton is getting ‘short changed’ THIS YEAR. He’s not interested in 2004, or 2014. And nobody is claiming the absurd extreme you’re pretending to cite about the ‘heretofore unseen in the history of the world’.

      And do you really believe an insanely driven multiple WDC, that we watch because they’re extra-ordinary and NOT like us, ought to be all laissez-faire about losing the championship to a big disparity in reliability? And just ‘move on’? No you don’t. You’ve used a classic example of fake stats, that don’t in fact cover the current situation.

      1. I dunno if it’s sneaky but it sure doesn’t cover the situation. Seriously, how many times do people have to say, reliability this year, during all aspects of a race weekend compared to his team mate? Only one of them has had to take grid penalties, this year. Painting it any other way is disengenous.

      2. @lockup @jabosha – Nothing sneaky was intended, I assure you. I’m not anti-Hamilton and who wins the WDC isn’t going to impact me. I would agree that Hamilton has had more reliability issues this year, but the reason that I focused on the race stoppages that I did–apart from being easier to check quickly–is because that is where points are actually scored.

        One (such as yourself perhaps) may argue that while the race is where points are scored, practice and qualifying sessions also impact the race and thus points. I totally agree. But we have seen both Merc drivers come from the back for podiums, so a bad Friday or Saturday doesn’t mean that they are going to lose more than 7-10 points. And if practice sessions were so important, Hamilton wouldn’t be considering sitting out to protect his engine for Sundays (http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns34951.html).

        My “move on” comment was for the people here saying there was a conspiracy. Lewis can be upset or not, that’s not my concern. But fans who have no incentive other than their interest in the sport/team/driver should be able to see how crazy the conspiracy ideas are.

        Vettel has had 4 race stoppages this year to Kimi’s 2, and I don’t see any claims that Ferrari is undermining Seb. Hulkenberg has had 4 to Perez 2, but that’s just chalked up to bad luck. Hamilton has had 2 to Rosberg’s 1, THIS YEAR, and unless someone has any other proof that Merc is actually setting up Hamilton for failure, I will continue to find the idea ridiculous. Just as you should do as you please.

        1. My “move on” comment was for the people here saying there was a conspiracy.

          Ah apologies @hobo, I read it the other way. I agree with you.

          1. @lockup – No worries, and cheers.

      3. @lockup Well no, it’s not ‘sneaky’ as it pertains to this very article @keithcollantine has put together about all Champions, not just about LH this season.

        This whole discussion has been borne of LH’s issues this year but just as importantly his own comments throughout. He is the one fanning the conspiracy theorists flames going back earlier in the season when he claimed he and Nico’s crews were swapped ‘for no apparent reason’ which was ‘sneaky’ in itself as he knows Mercedes does nothing for no apparent reason. Mercedes ended up issuing a letter to the public defending the whole staff, to try to quell the conspiracies that LH contributed to. Earlier this week he was quoted once again going on about the crew swap and how inexplicable it was. Fast forward to his post-race comments and he is still inviting the conspiracy theorists along for the ride until he then claims he meant ‘some higher power’.

        Would that be the same higher power that had Nico spun around in T1, gifting him the same potential win he’s claimed Nico has been ‘gifted’ on occasion? So ready to sweep Nico’s effort away as ‘gifted luck’ in those situations but when a ‘gift’ is taken away from him ‘someone’ doesn’t want him to win.

        I think it is LH’s comments that have been sneaky and disingenuous, and this ‘higher power’ talk is just him covering up for what he really feels but shouldn’t have said. And I think that is why Keith, who doesn’t believe in higher powers, nor do I, has decided to show that LH can’t really complain over a career, and therefore can’t very well substantiate some convenient ‘divine intervention’ to cover up his own sneaky verbiage, when one looks at how well off he has had it in F1. If LH was to genuinely believe in a higher power conspiring against him, how does he explain Nico being spun? One minute the Gods are for him and the next they’re against? Over a career they’re for him, but suddenly against? No…LH is the real sneak here. Slapping his team in the face one minute and praising them the next.

        1. @robbie Saying the mechanics were switched is no different than @keithcollantine presenting the factual statistical data about Lewis’ reliability; if you choose to read further in to either of them that’s on you. As someone who grew up in church, (atheist now) the first time he opened his mouth I knew he was referring to God [see giant cross on his back]. Religious people don’t think about others in relation to their ‘blessing’ or ‘trials and tribulations’; there is no rational in beliefs. So he’s not concerned with Nico in relation to said beliefs; again if you were well read on Christianity or believed at some point this would be elementary. Read the story of Job and how ‘God’ tested him; a lot of religious people draw parallels to that very idea in their lives. Just because you don’t understand religion doesn’t make all religious statements and motives disingenuous.

          1. @darth-ecclestone I think you are downplaying the way LH spoke about the mechanics switch as in ‘for no apparent reason’ which he had to know was going to be inflammatory.

            As to the first time he opened his mouth and you knowing he was speaking of God, I knew that too….but it wasn’t the first thing out of his mouth, and that’s my only issue. It was disingenuine because it seemed like he was covering his tracks after trying to blame ‘someone’ and the crew swap ‘for no apparent reason’. The ‘higher power’ seemed an afterthought. Some religious people might have said this must be God’s plan for me…or I have faith etc etc. not ‘someone’ doesn’t want me to win.

        2. Well it would have been sneaky @robbie, if @hobo had been addressing Hamilton as I incorrectly took it. But he wasn’t, so it wasn’t. Just another internet misunderstanding, now resolved.

          As it is there’s no need for you to be triggered by “sneaky”. I am not making any allegations about your admiration for Nico Rosberg :)

          1. @lockup Fair comment. I actually saw the dialogue you were having after posting my post and wished I had seen it beforehand and so would have worded things differently too.

        3. @Robbie Your analysis on Hamiltons comments, well done. I understand where he’s coming from, emotion. Doesn’t make what he did, right. He so emotional, he’s talking about not practicing some, for the remainder of the season, which further degrades the Mercedes brand and certainly places his confidence in the brand at zero, publicly, for a third time counting your analysis.

          I’m not going into how stupid/destructive his line of thinking is in detail. Just adding another strike against his actions towards Mercedes. Much as I hate the brand is more important than anything in F1, it is what it is. He needs to be reeled in or fired IF neccesary.

    3. @strontium @lockup @jabosha @keithcollantine – And just to drive the point home that I’m more interested in the stats and disagree that stats are just skewable data that can say whatever one wants. This is the sort of stuff that I do in my spare time. And one of the stats I’ve tracked has to do with HAM vs ROS and removing the impact of DNFs and DNSs.

      I take the total points scored (P), and divide that by the number of races finished (RF = RS-D) where D is race DNFs and DNSs combined, and then multiply that by the total number of races in a season (RS). So, it is the average points scored when they finish a race times the total races in a season to get a sense of what their average would have given them across a total season. ((P/RF)*RS)

      The result is that ROS would have finished ahead of HAM in 2013; 2014 and 2015 would have been similar to how they ended–HAM would have won by more in 2014 and ROS would have been closer in 2015; and ROS would be ahead, though by less, this year so far. The average over the almost 4 whole seasons is that HAM outscores ROS by 0.9pts per race. So there is already very, very little between them. Any issue will tip that, and this year it has tipped toward ROS. After 3 years of tipping toward HAM, it is difficult to understand why the only conclusion some can reach is that things are unfair or being manipulated.

      While this doesn’t refute claims that failures outside of Sunday impact points, it does indicate to me that ROS is having a more competitive year than he has in the past or HAM is having a less dominant year.

      1. I called the comparisons that are not like for like within context, disengenous, someone else called your post sneaky, not me. I’m not saying one way or the other as far as conspiracy at all. As for your Vet vs Kimi, take reliability as a whole during the race weekend gives the picture, not a picture. People are paying more attention not just because their fans of Hamilton. It’s affecting the championship too much for peoples liking. It certainly is for me.

        It also seems (I could be wrong) like you’re brushing aside reliability as a whole again when talking about losing points. All points are crucial. As John McEnroe said, You cannot be serious bringing up that article about practice. The guy is on the back foot of the championship through no fault of his own and is desperate to mitigate reliability problems. Something else goes wrong, he’ll incur more penalties, thus losing the championship. Sometimes I think people who watch proffessional sports don’t have a clue how important winning is to some of the competitors. Have you ever competed for any type of championship, I mean an actual chance to win the championship? I have, it’s dang stressful and highly emotional. Put it on the world stage and you’ve got serious pressure on yourself to win. Hamilton is a winner as Seb and Kimi, you think these guys like not being competitive? Their miserable when they don’t win, that’s why we heard GP2 engine last year. Practice is important but he has no confidence in the car at all. Something which you couldn’t say about him two races ago. Wear and tear hurts engines thus he’d rather try winning from a more comprimising position. I think he’s stupid for skipping practices if he does, don’t you?

        Part of the reason Ham is having a less dominant year is reliability during race weekends. Not just your cherry picking stats. Second time, your posts do not reflect what is actually happening. You are being disengenous.

        1. @jabosha – If you looked at the stats I track, as mentioned above, you would see that I am not being disingenuous. We may disagree, as it seems we do, but I’m actually trying to see around the impact that DNFs and DNSs have with HAM and ROS. I’ve looked at each season, not just this one. I’ve seen how non-finishes can impact points and where a driver finishes at the end of the season. And I even state that my calculations do not refute claims such as yours.

          However, the average points per race difference between the two drivers has been close every season. So when one of them does have issues, it is very difficult to remain ahead. Thus, with HAM having more issues this year–which was already conceded–it is not surprising that he is behind.

          To be clear, again, I am not saying that HAM should shut up or has no reason to complain. I am not that interested on the drivers’ feelings or mentality and can understand how he would be frustrated. I can also grasp why people (especially HAM fans) are disappointed, down, upset, looking for explanations. I just don’t recall such conspiracies on other teams.

          I’m not cherry picking stats, these are just what I have tracked in the past. When I started looking at them I had no clue that non-race failures would be an issue, nor do I know of good ways to track that data. Whereas the stuff I do have is readily available. But think about this.. race starts between the two have often dictated who will win the race this season. So when one of them has wheel spin or bogs down, they generally don’t win (maybe they never win this season, I’m not going back to look, I’m basing this on memory). Yet both have driven from the back of the pack to get a podium or close to it. What that indicates to me–and we can differ on our conclusions–is that a clean start is at least as significant of an indicator of race finish position as start position is. I haven’t done the analysis and I’d love to see if that holds or not. My point is that I still don’t think non-Sunday issues have been as problematic as Sunday issues have been, and those are not wildly different between the two drivers.

          1. I don’t have claims, only facts to this season. Hamiltons reliability over the course of this season has affected his championship point scoring opportunities through no fault of his own, end of fact. I’d be arguing the same for anyone. Your Vet and Kimi situation would be the same. You cannot just take Vet or Kimi’s stoppages, DNF,DNS and that’s it. You have to include reliability over the course of this season for both. Without including this, yes you’re cherry picking and being disengenous. Why would anyone just use a set of stats that tell only part of the picture and then use those stats to justify the situation as it isn’t happening?

            We’re done here.

  30. All of Verstappens podiums have been at a race where Rosberg received a time penalty (Great Britain, Germany, Malaysia) or made contact with Hamilton (Spain, Austria)

    1. +1 – a very interesting and funny stat – thank you

  31. If Hamilton had Räikkönen’s 2005 reliability, he would have realised what Mechanical problems are.

  32. I know what I am about to say will be meaningless for the same ones that share Alonso’s logic (whenever he uses the whatifs to say he could be 4WDC now if it hadn’t been for his bad luck in 2010 and 2012, but doesn’t want to see 2006’s Schumacher DNF in Suzuka as “good luck for him”)… I mean, people cry out Lewis is having bad luck to challenge for the championship “fairly”, but seem not to remember that in Abu Double race (well, it had the fallacy of the double points) but that final race, it was Nico who suffered the mechanical problems. So it denied him the possibility to challenge Lewis for an (unfair if Nico had won, but) official WDC.

    1. Nobody forgets Abu Double (though believe me I’m trying, what a farce), they (Rosberg included given the interviews he did after the race) just have the sense to know that he had already realistically lost the championship before the mechanical problems started.

      1. Nobody is disputing that, but it’s easy to not realise that had it been Hamilton’s car then Rosberg would have won. I think that’s what @omarr-pepper is saying

        1. Nothing in @omarr-pepper post makes a reference to Hamilton suffering the engine failure instead I take your point he could have meant that.

          But then you are opening the “if game” can of worms. For instance yes if Hamilton had suffered the failure instead of Rosberg then Rosberg would have been WDC, but if Rosberg’s car had failed in Australia instead of Hamilton’s Rosberg wouldn’t have even been in contention going into Abu Dhabi, double points or not.

    2. Mocho_Pikuain
      3rd October 2016, 22:59

      Let’s see if i can make this clear enough for anyone who reads it. Alonso didn’t win 2006 Championship because Michael had an engine failure in Suzuka. He would have still taken it by one point. And Fernando had an engine failure too in Monza while beeing 5th (4 points), after the infamous penalti he got there. So no, all in all, he would have won it, with or without the engine failures and even with the penalty he should have never had.

      1. And if pigs could fly…

  33. Lol, what an awesome article….

    Is Lewis then the driver who complains most ubfaitly about unreliability of all champions?

  34. This was only the third race in last 6 years without a world champion on the podium. The other two being Melbourne and Spa 2014 (although the former saw JB inheriting a top three finish following Danny Ric’s disqualification after the podium ceremony).

    1. Good spot. Like that one!

  35. Missing information that would be critical – 1) These stats over a course of a year they won a championship is more important that over the course of a career. 2) What was the reliability of competitors? 3) someone mentioned, When did these failures take place and what what the net points effect on a championship outcome. Too many spurious variables for the stat to be truly relevant.

  36. I think the article takes too simplistic an approach, by merely looking at DNFs. Technical issues are not limited to those that cause DNFs: Hamilton fans will point to numerous occasions when his car had issues – hydraulic problems, for example, causing the driver to cut short a FP session or not push to the max in a race – that did not result in a DNF, but which meant that he could not really race as well as his teammates were. By stripping out such issues, the article presents a true but misleading account whose focus is only cases where a driver did not complete a race.

  37. Reliability isn’t just about DNFs though is it?

    He’s only had about 5 completely reliable race weekends this season and won them all.

    Conversely the only time Rosberg has won has coincided with Hamilton’s mechanical issues.

    Give them both reliable machinery and Hamilton wins 9 times out of 10.

  38. I’m not suggesting Mercedes are sabotaging Hamilton, but if they don’t favour Nico why did they let him use the undercut to take the lead from Hamilton in Austria?

    1. You actually are suggesting that. You may not be saying it explicitly, but you are suggesting it may be the case.

      But, to your point, if they favor Nico, why would they allow Lewis to change pit strategies in Singapore that would allow RIC to put Nico under threat?

      1. Because they wanted a 1 -2 finish? Hamilton’s strategy was never going to threaten Rosberg and they didn’t expect Ric to pit else they would have covered it.

        I don’t think Merc did make Hamilton’s engine go bang actually, they can easily fix the results by giving him a dodgy clutch or something.

        1. nah, if they are infact intentionally sabotaging him, they would have to keep changing methods. Expect a slow pitstop/bad strategy in the future. If I were thinking about how to do Lewis in, I would make it so he came out behind ROS, some how, and ROS dominated him all race. Because people need to believe in ROS, and the whole show is a confidence game every way you cut it.

          ROS doesn’t have the confidence of the fans, he only favors those guys who have issues with HAM, and then there are some suck ups who can identify with him. ROS doesn’t have the speed or the presence, so in the last 5 or so races, he would have to dominate Lewis. Just hope it rains, cause thats something Merc can’t control.

      2. Oh and you didn’t answer the question, why did they give Nico the lead at Austria?

        1. why don’t the Stewards actually punish ROS for ‘breaking’ the rules that often?

          interesting questions.

        2. It wasn’t an undercut, it was a change of tyre strategy that put Rosberg ahead. However, why did they then allow Hamilton to try to ‘undercut’ him at the second round of stops? With Rosberg driving a damaged car from Vettel’s blowout, and then developing brake problems, it was the time Hamilton gained at the second stop that put him in a position to drive into Rosberg on the last lap, ultimately costing the team a 1-2 and Rosberg’s points difference for the race went from +7 to -13.

          Mercedes have their own rules about pit stop strategy, yet they often bend them for Hamilton for no reason. He was not under pressure from behind. It is just that he complains so much over the radio at every perceived slight, they end up doing things to favour him to, dare I say it, “keep him happy” :P

  39. Maybe it was covered before, but doesn’t the longest winning streak belong to Ferrari? Not including the Indy 500, it is 14 from 1952 SUI to 1953 SUI

    1. Cucamest (@kevincucamest)
      4th October 2016, 0:33

      @andrewt You are correct it would be, but this streak was interrupted by two Indy 500s, which were part of the championship at the time. Just like Ascari won 9 races in a row between Belgium 1952 and Belgium 1953 if you don’t include the Indy 500 (putting him tied at the top with Vettel), but most stats only list him for having won 7 races in a row because of the Indy 500.

      1. @kevincucamest Thanks for the reply. I handle those 11 Indy 500 races separately from the regular GPs in the stats. Obviously noone can be blamed for not winning a race he didn’t even enter, but I have to agree, that those 11 GPs are still counted as part of the 950something GPs overall. And on the other hand, the Mercedes guys have to climb that hill again, which might be a bit trickier with the recovering Red Bulls and the 2017 rule changes, maybe they won’t be that close ever again.

  40. I think your stats reflect modern F1 (well the last 10 years as average) being more reliable. There is correlation between similar reliability percentages and years active in F1.

  41. All 3 drivers to have scored their first points in 2016 have done so with a 10th-place finish in the first 3 days of a month.

    Bottas’ best result since his podium in Canada.

    Hamilton, Rosberg and Ricciardo have all finished on the podium in 5 of the last 6 races.

    Ericsson’s joint-best result of the season.

    4th time Alonso has finished 7th in the last 6 races (2 of those coming from dead last on the grid).

    Wehrlein’s best finish since his 10th in Austria.

    Fewest classified finishers since Monaco.

    Every team has now had at least 1 mechanical DNF and at least 1 non-mechanical DNF this season.

    Mercedes have finished 1-2 in exactly half (27/54) of the races in the turbo-hybrid era.

    9 out of 18 Malaysian GPs have seen a team manage a 1-2.

    First time since Canada that the leader at the end of lap 1 did not win the race.

    Ricciardo keeps alive his record of none of his wins coming from the front row (despite having started from the front row 7 times).

    Baku is now the only current circuit on which Mercedes have never locked out the front row.

    Thanks to statsf1.com and magnetimarelli.com for some of the above.

  42. “But even if Hamilton’s W07 broke down in each of the five remaining races, he would still have the highest reliability rate of any world champion.”

    Wrong, because that would confirm Rosberg as the champion and he would then have a higher reliability rate, unless he also had at least 3 failures himself.

  43. As the infamous quote states
    ‘There are lies, damn lies and then statistics.

  44. Apologies in advance but i have to speak out. This article has bent down to planet f1 level. First of all a poorly constructed statistic that is not a milestone or even an interesting fact and that happens to be plain irrelevant. Never expected this from this site.

  45. I think we’d better analyze the stats this way:
    1- “Bad luck” is just the case when a driver LEADING the race and very probably would have won it without the technical problems. Examples: Vettel (Bahrain, Australia, Korea 2010, Valencia 2012, Silverstone 2013), Hamilton (Singapore 2012, Malysia 2016), Schumacher (Suzuka 2006, France 1997), Hakkinen (Spain 2001), Kimi (Germany, Europe, Imola 2005), Montoya (Brazil and Germany 2001) and many manyy mores in 1990’s and 1980’s and even before.
    2- Button had many retirements in last two years. Alonso had from 2015 so many DNFs and in his Minardi years. The same applies to Senna in his Lotus years or Mansell in early Williams. So, my point is we cannot draw a clear conclusion from general stats like these.
    3- Only blaming “LUCK” has two interpretations for me: if I win, I earned / merited the victory, and if I lose, it was my bad luck not good job by the others (I have posted a similar post before on Alonso claimed he was unlucky).
    4- LH should better stop talking “LUCK” nonsense which theoretically could cost people’s job at Mercedes, because all these suggests there are people who cannot assemble the car perfectly. Besides, we can never know how the drivers error in driving and handling the car can contribute to all those retirements mentioned above.

  46. It’s like saying Man United are very lucky having the lowest amount of injuries throughout the seasons of the Premier League prior to this year but having a player injured every week during the current season.

    Bad comparison and not relevant at all to this season….

  47. Weserstrase
    Hamilton’s car’s engine first time blow up in this season and wooow sabotage ucc…
    It wasn’t easy to saw how that engine blow up from first place but it was even harder for Rosberg
    on Silverstone, when he had gear issue and he drop down to third, how hard is that? When you are fastest but suddenly you have issue and you drop down to third. Hamilton have very good luck rate. 2008 title, 2015 title he have won these titles because of very good luck rate :)

    1. Must be the luckiest guy on the planet.
      Almost 50 wins purely by luck.
      Good grief.

  48. Statistics can be used to turn a cat into a dog.
    Of what use is a reliable engine if you only keep coming last or keep starting from the back.
    An organisation with 10 employees with an average monthly salary of 12000 pounds, yet not a single employer can be found earning 12000 pounds.

  49. A popular joke about the statistical “average” involves the statistician who put his head in an oven and his feet in a freezer, saying, “On average, I feel fine.” (cit).
    Statistics and numbers do lie, indeed.

  50. Many fans have clearly challenges with accepting non-emotional numbers.

  51. This does not paint the full picture as it only deals with DNFs and spans each champions careers in all cars and we all know that some cars are more reliable than others. However one thing it could show is that if he has had fewer faults with his car in comparison to other champions then it dispels the notion, which some are suggesting, his problems are caused by his driving technique. In addition this could also show that Lewis Hamilton is right to expect that there should be fewer technical problems as cars become more reliable and this puts more perspective to the question why his car is having a disproportionate higher number of problems in comparison to seven other drivers using Mercedes engines, never mind other cars in general. However the real question is, how much those issues have affected outcomes of races and a drivers points tally. This season if you compare how many points Lewis has lost in comparison to his nearest rival (Nico Rosberg) as a result of his car developing faults. So for in 2016 Rosberg has had 0- DNFs and has not had to start from the back of the grid due to an engine penalty. These two factors alone could probably wipe out Lewis’s deficit to Nico, but when we factor in the recurring power unit and hydraulics issues it could mean that Lewis Hamilton has lost about sixty points or so far over the season, a difference that would quite easily erase Rosberg’s points tally advantage.

    1. Exactly, what’s the point of only looking at DNF’s. These days they mostly finish the race, so not being able to run in the qualification or having a clutch that doesn’t work on the grid is what costs the points.

      Hamilton was 43 points behind at some point and almost all of it was due to issues like that.

      Clickbait is probably the term we’re looking for.

      1. Well…what’s the point of only isolating LH’s issues this year and claim without them he’d be way ahead, when in fact Nico has had issues too, and was also taken out by LH while leading a race.

        Keith chose to isolate Champions not being classified in races due to technical issues ending their day, over the years. Therefore it is an apples to apples comparison. Of course a thousand other stats can be thrown in the mix but Keith chose to isolate this. And it is interesting and telling.

        I don’t know for sure of course but I suspect this is Keith’s answer to the concept LH brought forward that a ‘higher power’ doesn’t want him to win. Keith doesn’t believe in a higher power, nor do I, and I just wonder if this is Keith’s way of ‘asking’ LH where this anti-success higher power that is against him has been throughout his career, as it seems to have been absent when you compare like incidents as happened to him the other day to similar incidents for him in all his years in F1.

        This is not clickbait. This is a specific set of stats that show LH has nothing to complain about overall, and has no basis for claiming some ‘higher power’ is against him. Seems to me his higher power was on his side when it (the higher power) arranged for Nico to be spun in T1.

        1. “This is not clickbait. This is a specific set of stats that show LH has nothing to complain about overall”

          No that’s not how it works. The stat is far too limited to draw any conclusion from.

          Lets say you drive home from work everyday, Monday to Friday and every day without fail your car breaks down. Then someone comes along researching stats on car break downs but only wants figures for Sunday. Do you have “nothing to complain about”? After all according to the “stats” you have never had a breakdown.

          Looking at just race day DNFs is so limited as a stat it is laughable and you don’t have to go any further than Hamilton’s 2016 to see that. He has lost between 18 and 67 points to Rosberg this season due to failures not covered by the “DNF on race day” stat. That is not an insignificant margin of error.

  52. Curious to see BUT and ALO finish rate prior to Honda supplying McLaren.

    1. It is curious to observe how much disagreement this summary of DNF stats can cause among fellow posters.
      Keith has done a fine job in clearly stating the scope and definitions of his reporting out.
      Summary all based on matter of fact numbers on DNF results from F1.
      You cant argue about them.

      What you can argue about, is the interpretation of the numbers…

  53. While I appreciate the point the article is trying to make, I think it is more a case that you can prove anything with statistics.

    In F1 you would expect that the most recent World Champions have the best reliability, but then this stat only includes technical failures where the driver has not been classified in the race.

    It won’t include when a driver has a non-race ending car problem or one which means they retire before the chequered flag but are still classified.

    In Hamilton’s case it won’t include the engine failures he had earlier in the year which occurred in qualifying or the penalties he had at Spa due to having lost those engines.

    Also in Hamilton’s case, I don’t know the figures for the season in question but I seem to recall that in 2012 there were quite a few team mistakes which wouldn’t count as technical DNFs, such as problems at pit stops. I think these played a large part in him deciding to leave McLaren, as from the outside at least it seemed to be that even when McLaren had the quickest car, which they did for parts of that season, they still couldn’t get everything else right and mount a proper title bid.

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