Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2017

Hamilton is only the third driver ever to score a home ‘grand slam’

2017 British Grand Prix stats and factsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton’s domination of the British Grand Prix produced a wealth of statistical talking points, so much of this weekend’s Stats and Facts will be concerned with his achievement.

Let’s start with the big one: this was Hamilton’s fifth ‘grand slam’ and the first time he’s won his home race by taking pole position, leading all the way and setting fastest lap. Grand slams aren’t exactly rare – 61 of the 966 world championship races have been won this way (6.3%). But it’s only the fifth time (0.5%) a driver has done it in their home race.

The other two drivers to have taken home grand slams are both British and both did so twice. Jim Clark took grand slam British Grand Prix wins in 1962 (at Aintree) and 1964 (at Brands Hatch), while Nigel Mansell did so at Silverstone from 1991 to 1992.

Jim Clark, Lotus 25, Silverstone, 1965
Clark took two ‘grand slams’ at home
Clark has the most grand slams at any venue with eight. Hamilton has drawn level in second place with Mansell and Michael Schumacher on five. The only other active drivers to have taken grand slams are Sebastian Vettel (four) and Fernando Alonso (one).

This was Hamilton’s fifth victory in the British Grand Prix. Only one driver has taken more wins in their home race: Alain Prost won the French Grand Prix six times.

However when it comes to winning in one’s own country things get a little more complicated as from time to time countries hold races which have different titles. For instance Schumacher won the German Grand Prix four times but he also won the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring five times, giving him a total of nine wins in Germany.

Hamilton’s fifth British Grand Prix win ties him with Clark and Prost for the most wins in this race (and note Mansell also won five times in Britain, one of which was the European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch). Hamilton also tied with Prost as the most successful F1 driver at Silverstone with five wins.

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A new track record for Silverstone’s post-2010 configuration was established by Hamilton during qualifying. His 67th pole position leaves him one shy of Schumacher’s all-time record of 68. Hamilton also broke the lap record during the race, knocking two-tenths of a second off Alonso’s benchmark from 2010 with a 1’30.621.

Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, Silverstone, 2017
Kvyat is in danger of getting a ban
Mercedes took their 70th win in Formula One. They won’t be able to catch Lotus, on 81, for fourth place on the all-time list this year. However the recent news Petronas will continue as a title sponsor indicates the team will be around to win races for several more years to come.

Fifth on the grid for Nico Hulkenberg was Renault’s best starting position since they returned to F1 at the beginning of last season.

Stoffel Vandoorne out-qualified Fernando Alonso for the first time this year despite his team mate being quickest in Q1 after an audacious run on slick tyres on a drying track. Hulkenberg continued his excellent qualifying run: In all nine qualifying sessions where both Renault drivers have set times he has always been quicker than Jolyon Palmer.

Aside from his late race tyre failure it was a good weekend for Kimi Raikkonen. He out-qualified Vettel for the third time in five races and also was ahead of his team mate at the chequered flag for the first time since last year’s Singapore Grand Prix, 16 races ago.

Finally, Daniil Kvyat became the second driver ever to reach nine penalty points. Vettel was in the same situation at the previous race in Austria but went back down to seven points ahead of the British Grand Prix. The same won’t happen for Kvyat until the United States Grand Prix in October, so he has the threat of a race ban hanging over him for the next seven rounds.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2017 British Grand Prix

Browse all 2017 British Grand Prix articles

108 comments on “Hamilton is only the third driver ever to score a home ‘grand slam’”

  1. Haters are going to hate, but statistics are proving Hamilton an all time great driver. A marmite personality, but then so was Schumacher, with his “killer” temperament, in his day (something looming in Vettel?). Keep it going, Lewis!

    1. Lewis greatness is undeniable.

      1. You don’t have to convince me, a believer since Turkey 2006!

        1. That was a hell of a race. Ran a Monza-spec car around Istanbul Park, so he could take it to Piquet. It backfires initially, with the spin, but then he makes up like a dozen places in 20 laps, increases his championship lead over Piquet and sets an FLap the best part of a second quicker than anyone else.

      2. I’m looking at the percentage rates and despite having the number one engine supplier his whole career, Lewis looks good but not one of the real greats. Senna, Clark and Fangio’s greatness was achieved in much fewer races not even at their peak let alone trohpy hunting in their twilight.

        1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
          17th July 2017, 18:10

          Big Joe, all those drivers had massively superior cars for most or all of their careers. Lewis is an all time great.

          1. ALL great drivers have had the best cars. By any measure Lewis is, without a doubt, one the handful of the greatest drivers in F1 history.

            FTR, the stat that distinguishes Clark are his percentages: 33 poles and 25 wins in only 70+ races, bearing in mind that he only raced 6 full seasons. Also, the Lotus’s were famously unreliable. If Clark’s cars had even 1/4 of the reliability of Lewis’s Mercedes, he would have won at least 2 more titles and his stats wold have been staggering. And those are just his F1 stats: Clark dominated in several other series, from Cortina’s to the Indy 500. Of course those were different times and it’s hard to compare such vastly different eras.

          2. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
            17th July 2017, 20:43

            Also, the Lotus’s were famously unreliable.

            Kenny, famously unreliable and famously quick. In an era of unreliable cars, they weren’t that exceptional in terms of unreliability, but they certainly were in terms of speed. In ’67 they produced a monster, but lost to a more reliable Brabham – but it wasn’t Brabham himself who won that year – thanks to poor reliability – his teammate edged it. Using much the same reasoning as you, Brabham calculates that he should have retired with 5 titles! Notwithstanding, Clark probably is the best contender for the title of best ever.

        2. For those that achieved greatness faster than Hamilton… Real ace for them.

          Does not mean Hamilton is not a real great.

          Stats wise having a long carrer is also a decent stat.

          Every year he had a winning car, atleast he won in it. Second only to MSC in poles and victory in about equally long carrer…

          If that is not stat enough for being an all time great, then what is?

    2. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
      17th July 2017, 15:24

      +1

      And he’s a much cleaner racer than Schumacher ever was.

    3. If you stick around long enough you’ll break records. Senna, Clark and Moss were all denied of this new type of ‘greatness’ and the likes of Mansell sufefred a horrendous DNF rate.

      1. Nigel Mansell seriously? Pffft.

        1. Sticky Steve
          18th July 2017, 11:13

          Mansell would have been 3 times world champion without 2 very fine line pieces of bad luck. Pffft!!
          In which case he would have been looked upon completely different light.

          Throw in reliability and a little bit of bad luck for Senna and Prost you have a 5 time world champion pfft.

          Easy to be an expert on drivers using stats without having seen them competing.

      2. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
        17th July 2017, 18:13

        If you stick around long enough you’ll break records.

        Ah yes, the great Felipe Massa, the great Rubens Barrichello, the great Jean Alesi, …

        1. zildjiankev
          17th July 2017, 18:26

          Hahahaha, exactly.

        2. @tgu – Point taken, but if Rubens didn’t have MSC next to him, BAR would have been a 2x WDC without any assumptions or hypotheticals necessary as the 2002 and 2004 cars were mighty. Rubens was a clear second in 2002 despite 5 non-finishes (3 DNF, 2 DNS) and another finish outside the points. He didn’t score in 35% of the races and was in no threat of falling to #3. And given number one status at Ferrari (which is the only assumption one needs to make for the two titles) he could be a 3x WDC.

          One could argue that it was the car, not Rubens. But that’s sort of the point. Put a good driver in the best car and usually the only way they aren’t WDC is if their teammate is. So if you put a really good driver, a great driver, a really great driver (depending on how you rate HAM) in the best car, titles follow.

          1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
            17th July 2017, 19:54

            @hobo, I completely agree. But the fact that Schumacher won in 2002 and 2004 doesn’t make him less great, he was given the opportunity to drive those cars because of his talent.

            To put it another way, Barrichello wouldn’t be a 2xWDC if Schumacher had not driven for Ferrari, because Ferrari would have been sure to employ some other star (Hakkinen/Raikkonen/Button) who would have had the edge – especially with Ferrari’s #1 driver strategy. Barrichello was a superb driver, but there were other drivers that bit better which Ferrari would have chosen to lead the team. People don’t win multiple titles by being lucky, dominant teams always try to secure the best drivers.

          2. @tgu – Yes, completely agree that MSC brought with him the support (in people and resources) to allow that to occur. I simply mean that once those teams are in place, many drivers can win. Like when MSC broke his leg. If he had broken his leg in 2002 or 04, Rubens is a WDC. If Hamilton had a big issue with Mercedes in 2013/14 and left (a la Alonso’s first stint at McLaren), we’d be looking at very possibly 3x defending Rosberg.

            I think you are a bit wrong on your last point though. People DO win multiple titles by being lucky, and miss out on them by being unlucky. Seb was very, very close to losing two titles to Alonso over his four year run. Raikkonnen was unlucky with failing wings to not have another title or two. And Hamilton was a bit lucky that MSC was wishy-washy on signing a new contract for 2013+. Had MSC stayed, Hamilton would be a 1x WDC and some combination of MSC and ROS would have taken the last three. Is it all luck? No, of course not. But it is part of it, in my opinion.

          3. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
            17th July 2017, 20:58

            @hobo

            Like when MSC broke his leg. If he had broken his leg in 2002 or 04, Rubens is a WDC.

            And I would have cheered!

            I think you are a bit wrong on your last point though. People DO win multiple titles by being lucky, and miss out on them by being unlucky. Seb was very, very close to losing two titles to Alonso over his four year run.

            Sure, people don’t always get the career stats their talent deserves, but I was making a subtly different point, i.e. there aren’t any multiple WDCs who just got lucky. Some single WDCs certainly did, but lightning has never (thus far!) struck twice.

            And Hamilton was a bit lucky that MSC was wishy-washy on signing a new contract for 2013+. Had MSC stayed, Hamilton would be a 1x WDC and some combination of MSC and ROS would have taken the last three.

            Rosberg would have beaten Schumacher in 2014 and Schumacher would have promptly retired. Or (less likely), Schumacher would have beaten Rosberg and retired with his 8th title in a blaze of glory. In either scenario Hamilton would be a shoo-in for the vacant seat come 2015. But Hamilton didn’t join Mercedes because Schumacher was wishy-washy, but because Brawn/Lauda were desperate to secure him ahead of their predicted breakthrough upon the new rules formula: they knew they’d have a winning package, but they needed the best driver available to ensure it was maximised.

          4. @tgu –

            Sure, people don’t always get the career stats their talent deserves, but I was making a subtly different point, i.e. there aren’t any multiple WDCs who just got lucky. Some single WDCs certainly did, but lightning has never (thus far!) struck twice.

            That’s fair enough. But again, luck comes into play more than once for some good drivers. It just happens to swing to other good drivers as well.

            Rosberg would have beaten Schumacher in 2014 and Schumacher would have promptly retired. Or (less likely), Schumacher would have beaten Rosberg and retired with his 8th title in a blaze of glory. In either scenario Hamilton would be a shoo-in for the vacant seat come 2015. But Hamilton didn’t join Mercedes because Schumacher was wishy-washy, but because Brawn/Lauda were desperate to secure him ahead of their predicted breakthrough upon the new rules formula: they knew they’d have a winning package, but they needed the best driver available to ensure it was maximised.

            I tend to think MSC would have stayed if he had got a taste of the 2014 car regardless of outcome, but that is conjecture. However, had he won, I firmly believe he’d still be in the car unless he was forced out. And I doubt Merc would be rushing to force out a German 10x WDC from a German-owned team.

            But to the last point, there are at least a few sources that indicate that Schumacher’s delay in 2012 to sign for the following season(s) are what led to Merc looking elsewhere. Here is one (link).

          5. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
            17th July 2017, 22:04

            @hobo Thanks for the link, but from the article –

            It goes on to suggest that the German legend “gambled heavily” by delaying a decision over his 2013 plans as “he imagined himself in a safe position” given it was only recently that Mercedes fancied its chances of luring Hamilton away from McLaren.

            That sounds to me like Mercedes had already made overtures to Hamilton before Schumacher chose to keep the team waiting. I do agree with you that they were very reluctant to force Schumacher out, but it seems to me that they’d already decided Hamilton was their best bet.

        3. Sticky Steve
          18th July 2017, 11:57

          Massa signed up to be number 2 when he got his chance he won 2 races to Lewis zero in the first part of 2007 and wasnt his fault he lost the wdc to Lewis in 2008

          1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
            18th July 2017, 14:01

            While Massa’s number 2 status was evident in 2006, it came into question after Schumi’s first retirement. He was pretty close to Alonso, Hamilton and Kimi in ’07, excelled in ’08 and was level with Kimi in ’09, until his injury. While he may not be an all-time great driver, he is definitely among the best of those who started their F1 careers in the early 2000s.

    4. Rick (@addvariety)
      17th July 2017, 18:43

      @inkpen99 True! I’m not a Hamilton fan, but I do respect his achievements and where he came from. However, his personality has significantly changed over the last few years, undeniably so. That’s what I find more and more annoying about him, ESPECIALLY since he’s such a great driver and on his way to make a name for himself among the all-time greats.

      1. The Skeptic
        17th July 2017, 21:33

        Which aspect of H’s personality is so annoying?

        – his willingness to talk directly to fans?
        – his thoughtful ideas (e.g. inviting Billy to join him)?
        – speaking his mind (e.g halo)?
        – his whining on the radio? Where do grosjean and Vettel stand?
        – his belief in himself as the best?

        1. I think its more Lewis Hamilton fans telling others how to think that put people off.

          1. Or is it that the Hamilton fans constantly defending against a barrage of hatred ?

    5. In the FASTEST car, lewis started his career in the fastest car not a Minardi!!!

      1. Lewis, Button, DC all started their F1 careers in the Fastest cars and what do they all have in common????

        1. Sticky Steve
          18th July 2017, 16:32

          Dad’s who bought them very very expensive 8th birthday presents.

  2. Kvyat is at the risk of race ban for 7 rounds! Oh dear.. Gasly must be getting a seat-fitting done I presume

    1. If the rumours (yet to be verified by a source I trust personally!) are to be believed then Gasly may be getting ready anyway once Sainz goes to replace Palmer…

      We could see two new faces in the Toro Rosso cars before the end of the year. Not sure who’s logically next in line after Gasly.

      1. We could see two new faces in the Toro Rosso cars before the end of the year

        Interesting.. So, Sainz may leave before the end of the year. That’s quite a surprise.

        And then what happens to Kubica? Sainz, Hulk and Kubica can’t all be going to Renault.

        1. There were a number of rumours flying around at Silverstone that this was Palmer’s last race and Sainz was to move mid-season to replace him from Hungary onwards.

          I’d love to see Kubica return, but if I was in charge of Renault and could choose between Kubica (as he is now) or Sainz, I’d pick Sainz personally. Maybe inconsistent, but worth half a season to evaluate him and certainly better than Palmer.

          I’d be more worried for Sainz, who would be up against Hulkenberg; against whom he’d need to compare favourably to keep his seemingly dwindling reputation intact. I rate him highly and think he’s been overdriving from frustration generally, but I think the incidents so far this year have caused his stock to fall.

          1. Kubica needs to test a 2017 car before he can even be considered for a drive, which may or may not happen in 2018. I would have Sainz on a 6 month contract, get Kubica in for a few FP sessions and go from there.

            Heck, we might even have Hulkenberg going to Ferrari next year, then they will need both Sainz and Kubica.

          2. I would think Kubica would be a better mid season change. They aren’t going to score a point with Palmer all year anyways, so they have nothing to lose. It will give Kubica enough time to get to grips with the new machines, and his evaluation of future potential should be finished by then. If Kubica, isn’t up to the mark, they can aim for Sainz for 2018.

            A mid season move for Sainz would be expensive. They’d have to pay top dollar to release him immediately. Money that could be better spent on just making sure they’re moving car development in the right direction.

        2. Sainz, Hulk and Kubica can’t all be going to Renault.

          Unless Kaltenborn does first!

          1. Brilliant!

          2. COTD?

      2. IMO Sainz isn’t going anywhere before the end of the year. While Sainz wants to go and it also seems that RB are happy(ish) to let him go, it isn’t actually in the interest of either party for it to happen so soon.

        From the RB perspective:
        Sainz is gone sooner or later for them. They have Max and Dan on long contracts and won’t lose either without a fight. That leaves Carlos nowhere to go in the RB camp for a while. From their end though, they see money to be made in selling him. Fair enough too as they have invested in getting him here. If they wait it out, he will leave anyway, so why not make some money in the short term and promote a new driver. It suits both them and Carlos for this to happen.
        However, losing Sainz right now is not good for them. They need points as points = FOM money. They also know that even if Carlos is unhappy, he will still drive the best he can as he is trying to sell himself right now and needs to do well. A new driver is unlikely to get the points that a motivated Sainz will for the rest of the season.

        From the Carlos camp
        If he goes to Renault this year, he will land in a team with an established top tier driver (Hulkenburg). The best he can hope for is to get on par with Nico. To expect to do more when coming into a team with a top driver with a car that is difficult to drive is foolish. Carlos knows that if he doesn’t match Nico this year (which is likely) will only hurt his credentials. As a result, he would be much better advised to start next year at a new team. Plus the asking price or Carlos right now might be $8M while it might only be $6M for a start next year. (TBH, I have little idea what the real asking figures are)

        1. The teams don’t get money from FOM for points , but for ranking in the WDC.

          I’m pretty sure Sainz believes he can beat or at least be on par with Hulkenberg right away. Max Verstappen sort of did moving to Red Bull taking on Ricciardo and Ricciardo most certainly did beating Vettel quite comprehensively in his first season there.

          Sainz still thinks (pretends) he’s better than Verstappen, so technically he’d be better than all of those.

          1. Teams get money for WCC points. WDC gets them nothing but kudos.

          2. @patrickl, a proportion of the payments that FOM gives to the teams is based on their ranking in the Constructors Championship (I’m not sure why you’re referring to the WDC) – that is where the real money is to be made in the sport.

            Right now, there is a quite tight battle for 5th to 8th in the WCC – Toro Rosso is currently 6th, 8 points behind Williams, but only 4 ahead of Haas and 7 ahead of Renault. Now, the Motorsport website claimed that, when the teams received their payments for this year, they claimed that Haas’s share for finishing 8th was $19 million, whilst Williams received $33 million for their 5th place – that masks the fact that there is a sharper drop off between 6th and 7th though, where payments dropped off from $31 million to $23 million.

            From the point of view of Red Bull, with Sainz being the driver who has pulled in the bulk of Toro Rosso’s points (29 out of 33) this season, @mickharrold is right that they are better off keeping hold of him if they can. With small differences in points leading to large changes in WCC ranking, if a new driver came in and struggled to score points, and if Kvyat was unable to lift his performance, then falling to 7th or 8th in the WCC is quite likely.

            At that point, the lost prize money (around $12 million) would be more than the money they might be paid if Renault bought out Sainz’s contract (the claimed $8 million figure), leaving them worse off overall – so, in that respect, it looks like a fairly easy decision for Red Bull.

        2. I agree, a move by Sainz to Renault doesn’t seem consistent with Chris Horner’s recent very adamant comment stating they were invoking their option to keep him at Scuderia Toro Rosso next year. Of course, that would mean a transfer fee was required, but one would have been required anyway if a team wanted to employ him this season. Kvyat, on the other hand, looks like a driver who might benefit from a move to another team, but with 9 demerit points and a race ban hanging over his head, and a current season record that is just a bit better than Palmer’s, it makes a mid season transfer unlikely.
          It is hard to know what to make of Palmer’s unfortunate brake failure during the Parade Lap at Silverstone. This was a workshop error, so he shouldn’t be blamed for that, but one can’t but help suspect he will.
          Somewhere in the background is Renault’s current Reserve driver, Sergey Sirotkin. I don’t see the point in having a Reserve Driver if you aren’t prepared to use him, so if Palmer is going to be moved to the Reserve bench then surely Sirotkin is the person who should be given first chance to drive in his place. I don’t see how Palmer could accept a role on the Reserve bench without a good reason, e.g. serious sickness, but regardless, if he looses his seat I don’t see much future for him in F1.

          1. That’s an interesting idea, and it has a recent precedent, if not in F1. Indycar’s Schmidt Peterson Motorsports replace Mikhail Aleshin for the next race, without him having serious sickness or anything like that. He just did not perform as expected, so they give him “time off” and get another driver into the seat. Renault might do the same without paying Red Bull their transfer money for Carlos, plus Sirotkin already knows the team and the car.

      3. Niko Kari would be next in line after Gasly in the Red Bull Junior Team, he’s racing in GP3 and just got his first podium. I don’t think he’s ready for F1 though. I personally like them to bring one of the old guys like Vergne back unless they can get someone outside their own driver program, which would be not be very Red Bull like.

  3. No driver has won races back-to-back in the first 10 races this year, which have been shared between Vettel (3), Hamilton (4), Bottas (2) and Ricciardo (1). This also happened in 2012, when we had to wait 15 rounds for a repeat winner (Vettel, who then won four on the trot). Has any year ever seen a season with no back-to-back winners?

    Having shared the podium at four of the first 5 races, Hamilton and Vettel have not stood next to each other during the previous 5.

    Bottas currently has a better (mean) average finishing position than Hamilton (2.66 to 2.8).

    Also amused me to note that Lance Stroll remains the only driver without a Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull to score a podium…

    1. @ben-n

      Has any year ever seen a season with no back-to-back winners?

      Yes, although not since 1974.

      As recently as 2013 it took until round 12 to get a back-to-back winner and in 2012 it took until round 15.

    2. “Has any year ever seen a season with no back-to-back winners?” Yes, at least 1961 and 1974. In more recent times, there were a few close ones (1983 and 1985, spoiled by Piquet and Mansell, respectively).

  4. Yes, these seasons did not have back to back winners.
    1958 (11 rounds)
    1961 (8 rounds)
    1974 (15 rounds)

  5. It’s interesting that in what is arguably a much less dominant car for Hamilton/Mercedes compared with the last three years that he has completed three of his five grand slams to date in the first half of this year. He is the fourth driver to complete three grand slams in a year (after Ascari in 1952, Clark in 1963 and 1965 and Mansell in 1992) and if he can manage one more in the second half of the year he would be the first to achieve four in a season.

    However, as Ascari’s three in 1952 was out of only eight races including the Indy 500 (37.5%) Hamilton would need another 5 grand slams this year to exceed Ascari’s feat in percentage terms!

    Ascari did take pole, fastest lap (jointly) and won his home grand prix that year but did not lead all of the race laps, so was very close to another grand slam at his home race.

    1. @jerseyf1 Well, it’s not too surprising really, since Mercedes’ policy in 2014-2016 when it was only a two horse race that the car in front would pit first, meaning that they almost never led every lap of the race.

    2. Sundar Srinivas Harish
      17th July 2017, 15:32

      Well, until this year, Lewis had a teammate who was well-settled at Brackley and was highly rated (except by his haters).

      Another bit of trivia: Hamilton is one of 7 drivers who have achieved their grand slams with a single constructor. The other 6 did it with 2 different constructors, but no one has ever scored a slam with more than 2 constructors.

      1. who was jim clarks second team?

  6. Hope we get to see Ham and Max in equal machinery. That would be an epic season

    1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
      17th July 2017, 15:43

      I’m a Hamilton support but I think he’s lost that wheel to wheel edge compared to his earlier career. The last time I saw that Hamilton was Abu Dhabi 2014… But he is a more complete driver now for sure, if not quite as exciting.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        17th July 2017, 16:11

        @offdutyrockstar I believe it’s the cars that are making it harder for him to pass. The Mercs don’t seem to be doing well in dirty air.

        1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
          17th July 2017, 16:14

          @freelittlebirds maybe, I mean we havent seen any scintillating passing from Bottas or Rosberg in previous years either, just DRS steamtrains.

          1. Hamilton has probably learned that going all out and risk scoring no points at all is not a good idea. Unless he is directly fighting the adversary for the championship.

            Look at the last race where Vettel fought hard with Verstappen and Bottas and ruined his tyres twice ultimately killing his own race result.

            Hamilton fights hard when he has nothing to lose (see season 2011) or when he really has too.

            This is nothing new either. He already did that in 2008 when he was on course to win from the back in Monza, but an untimely weather change meant he had to make an extra pit stop (gifting the win to Vettel). He fought his way back up from the back to go for the win, but after that he just settled down and took the points just behind Massa to at least stay save and close to him in points for the championship.

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            17th July 2017, 19:10

            @patrickl I agree, he’s definitely less impulsive. Circumstances have also put him on the back foot with Mercedes generally speaking so he has to be mindful of “squandering” points.

            I think he’s very mindful of his own luck. As history has proven, he’s going to be fighting for the championship no matter what.

          3. @patrickl in Monza 2008 he stopped making progress because his intermediates were shot.

          4. The Skeptic
            17th July 2017, 22:01

            Rosberg’s pass on Verstappen in Abu Dhabi 2016 qualifies as scintillating in my mind.

            Hamiltons pass on Bottas in China 2016 was also excellent and non DRS assisted. His passes on Rosberg in Japan 2015 (around the outside, in the wet) and USA 2014 (up the inside at the hairpin) were also great.

          5. @adrianmorse, He wasn’t even on intermediates when he made his stop. He had to stop again (for intermediates) a few laps later when it started to rain. That meant his race was already lost and he settled behind Massa.

          6. @patrickl, I know, his charge for the win was over because of that extra stop. But the way I saw it, his final stint on the intermediates didn’t go well because his tyres were no good anymore. Initially he was very quick and it looked like a podium was still on, but then he started to struggle and even had to defend (not very nicely) against Webber if I recall correctly.

      2. @offdutyrockstar I do agree with you. He’s lost a bit of nastiness in his wheel to wheel battles. He always paints inside the lines every time he’s racing one on one these days.

      3. young blood is always more aggressive. Hamilton has no chance against Max wheel to wheel. No idea about Quali. If both are in the same machine then it will probably be similar to HAM/ROS battle, lewis being ROS, and Max being HAM.

        1. Max was also a better Kart racer than Lewis.

        2. The only reason Verstappen can defend and attack freely is because he has nothing to lose. Hamilton won’t take those risks because he might lose the championship.

          If they would both be fighting for the championship it would be a much fairer fight and I doubt Verstappen would come out on top.

      4. I don’t think Lewis has lost that wheel to wheel edge. These days he rarely has to use them because he’s usually up front. He’s the pole king right now and he needs to back up his win with another one in Hungary.

  7. It’s not exactly a stat or fact (unless my opinion doubles up as a fact, which hey, I won’t have a problem with) but to pre-empt Keith, here’s my take on the driver rankings at the halfway point of the season. I’m sure there’ll be many who disagree, but I’d be interested to hear your views!!

    >> WARNING: This miiight fall in the “TL:DR” category <<

    20 PALMER Despite being the occasional victim of reliability and first-lap incidents, Palmers pace deficiency to his team-mate has been chasmal in nature, regardless of the allocation of car upgrades. Has failed to qualify ahead of his team-mate in any of the 10 Grand Prix thus far and, despite being close to the points on several occasions, many of these could have easily become points finishes were it not for his poor one-lap pace. The fact his future in the sport is in doubt is of little surprise.

    19 KVYAT The second of two drivers with big questions looming over regarding their future in the sport. Kvyat’s rise to infamy as “The Torpedo” was aided immensely by the recent incidents he caused in Austria and with his own team-mate last time out at Silverstone. Thus he is now dangerously close to a race-ban with 7 races until his penalty point tally is reduced. And with only 4 points to his name compared to his team-mates 29, he’s not exactly giving himself a leg to stand on.

    18 ERICSSON The Swede began the season with two great qualifying efforts, reaching Q2 in both Australia and China. However it didn’t take long before the Sauber emerged well and truly as the slowest car of the grid. He’s been close to the points on a couple of occasions (Barcelona and Baku) but he’s yet to bring any points to the team as his team-mate continues to be the more eye-catching of the two.

    17 VANDOORNE It’s always going to be difficult to shine when you have the most unreliable car on the grid and one of the greatest drivers of all time in the other seat. The difference in experience between the two has been on display for almost the entire half-season, with Stoffel coming out on top in qualifying on just 2 out of 9 occasions. Having said that, his qualifying effort in Silverstone was excellent and more often than not he finishes ahead of his grid position when the car behaves.

    16 MAGNUSSEN Strong points finishes in China and Baku have glossed over what has been an unspectacular year for the Dane relative to his team-mate. Can often go missing in qualifying, and needs to step it up if he’s to challenge for more points finishes.

    15 STROLL Endured a difficult start to life in F1 and over the first six races failed to hush the sounds of his detractors. However a solid 9th in Canada began to turn the tide around. At a race where so many others were falling foul of the limits, he produced an impressively composed drive in Baku to score his first podium. Despite scoring the only podium of the season for the Williams team so far, his forgettable display at Silverstone shows that there is still a lot of work ahead for the young Canadian.

    14 WEHRLEIN Unfortunately missed the first two races due to injury, but almost scored points immediately upon his return in Bahrain with a strong 11th place finish (helped considerably by other’s misfortunes, mind). However an incredible 8th in Barcelona became the highlight of his season and will have certainly raised the eyebrows of a few team principles.

    13 GROSJEAN Has brought in a series of vital points finishes for the Haas team, the best of which was in Austria where he converted an impressive 6th on the grid to a 6th place finish on Sunday. Additionally, prior to Silverstone, he failed to finish lower than his qualifying position (barring DNF’s) and has reached Q3 an impressive five times. Despite the positives he remains prone to letting his emotions get the better of him and seems magnetised towards trouble, no thanks in part to some scruffy wheel-to-wheel displays.

    12 SAINZ JNR A brilliant drive in Monaco is the stand-out weekend of the Spaniards season so far. Started the season with a run of difficult qualifying sessions compared to his team-mate but he more than answered for it on race day. Of the races Sainz has completed, he has finished in the points in every single one of them, amassing 29 of the 33 points Torro Rosso have earned thus far. His season has not been without faults, however, his first-lap antics in Canada being his most notable low-point.

    11 OCON Out-qualified and out-raced by his Mexican counterpart, but the step-up to a relatively strong team so early in his F1 career was always going to be immensely challenging for the Frenchman. Despite that he’s shown some impressive speed and has admirably scored points in all but one of the 10 races thus far.

    10 PEREZ Has had the better of his new team-mate almost all season thus far, albeit by relatively small margins. A couple of excellent drives in Spain and, whether it was morally right or wrong, showed guts in delivering a 5th place in Canada. Prone to a hot temper and the Montreal/Baku incidents show that his team-mate is certainly ruffling a few feathers.

    9 RAIKKONEN An unspectacular first half of the season but nonetheless has put in some solid drives, with pole in Monaco and a strong showing in Silverstone until that front-left tyre had other ideas. More performances like that will go a great deal towards answering his detractors both in and out of the team.

    8 MASSA Having returned from his non-retirement, was widely expected to continue his mediocre form from recent years but has instead put in some strong performances in a car that is clearly being flattered by its Mercedes power unit. His team-mate is yet to provide quite the same yardstick as Bottas did in 2016, but the impressive displays, particularly in Australia and Bahrain, speak for themselves.

    7 HULKENBERG Maintains a 100% record in qualifying against his team mate and is getting the most from a truly midfield car. Five points finishes, the most recent of which was arguably his most impressive as he qualified 5th in Silverstone and brought home 8 valuable points to the Renault team with 6th place.

    6 ALONSO Difficult to place Alonso given his never-ending breakdowns, but when the car has behaved itself he’s produced some truly memorable drives (Barcelona and Baku) and is consistently able to extract the most out of the McLaren and more. Not to mention his heroics in Q1 at Silverstone bringing one of the most intense endings to a Q1 for quite some time.

    5 VERSTAPPEN A season marred by reliability and the victim of first-lap incidents, Max continues to demonstrate his electric qualifying pace and heart-pumping wheel-to-wheel action on race-day, having produced a stellar fight to the podium in China and fending off Vettel at Silverstone.

    4 BOTTAS Despite being generally off the pace of his team-mate, Valtteri has settled in well Mercedes and has already amassed 2 victories and is currently putting in a consistent run of top-2 finishes to keep himself well and truly in the title fight.

    3 HAMILTON Strong start to the season having to contend with misfortunes out of his control (Baku headrest and Austria gearbox) and an inspiring trio of Grand Slams so far. However as with 2016 he still delivers those sub-par Saturdays (Russia, Monaco, Austria) that fail to deflect all the blame on reliability.

    2 VETTEL Excellent start to the season, making the most of having a competitive car in the early developing stages of the season. Was bossed around a bit at GB but his antics in Baku are the main reason for not having him as #1.

    1 RICCIARDO Out-qualified by his team-mate with poor Saturdays in Australia and Baku. Has had the better reliability (despite the gearbox penalty in GB) than his team mate, but amassed an astonishing 5 podiums in a row with a car that on paper should finish 5th at best.

    Bear in mind that I’m a Hamilton fan, so it wasn’t easy putting Vettel and Ricciardo in front! :P

    1. At first I was thinking “Vandoorne 17th and Magnussen 16th??” As I don’t think either of them have done that badly, just had some bad luck (for example, Magnussen was quicker than Grosjean in Austria but the car let him down in quali and race), or are up against arguably the best driver on the grid (arguably, Alonso). However, looking at it, I can’t really see anyone above who I’d put below.
      Goes to show how well I think 17 of the drivers are doing this year, and Ericsson hasn’t even been that terrible (he’s been fairly close to Wehrlein), it’s only really been Kvyat and Palmer who have been very poor. Contrasting to last year, where both Saubers, Haryanto, Gutierrez, Palmer, and to a lesser extent Massa, Button and Magnussen all had poor seasons.

      1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
        18th July 2017, 14:30

        Magnussen’s consistency is key. And the fact that he seems to have no issues (from what we can make of radio broadcasts, at least) with his brakes while Grosjean has something to say about them every weekend really shows that he has settled down in Haas – compared to the unsheathed swords that were hanging over his head in ’16 and ’14. I’d push Stroll down a notch or two to make room for Mag :P

        And I believe a 12th for Sainz is a bit flattering given the dodgy shunts in Bahrain and Canada, but I honestly can’t objectively rate anyone other than Grosjean above him ATM given that Wehrlein, Ericsson and Vandoorne are in a different level of racing altogether.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      17th July 2017, 17:31

      @ninjenius

      I would have placed Verstappen higher than Ricciardo – ultimately, Verstappen is as quick as Ricciardo as his qualifying is showing us. In the race, Ricciardo looks just above average compared to Verstappen.

      Vettel is being undone since Baku – he looks worse and worse. He talks a lot, he drives bad, he pushes everyone all the time – I’m pretty much convinced that he cannot race without pushing drivers off…

      Moaning Vettel, Vettel the Pusher, Vettel the Bully are better nicknames than Vettel the Champ or Vettel the Legend.

      Hamilton has had some bad Saturdays (not necessarily all his direct fault) but he’s had 6 poles out of 10 races with 3 drivers capable of getting pole in every race and that says it all. The other drivers simply can’t catch him with the same car and/or a quicker car.

      He’s produced some crazy laps in qualifying that defy belief. He has 5 victories out of 10 with grand slams in most of them. He might be 1 point behind but that’s not his fault.

      So my top 5 would be:

      5 Ricciardo
      4 Verstappen
      3 Bottas
      2 Vettel
      1 Hamilton

      1. Spot on, I agree with all your comments and I would chose the same top 5

      2. @freelittlebirds

        I do think that Verstappen is ultimately the faster driver and the more exciting racer of the two, and there is absolutely no doubting that Max hasn’t been given the same opportunities that Daniel has with regards to reliability. It’s just that if I did put Verstappen ahead of Ricciardo it would have been based on a lot of what-ifs (which is no fault of Max’s at all). I just felt I had to put Ricciardo ahead based on his run of podium finishes. Again, IF Max had the same reliability he very well could have gotten those podiums too, but unfortunately for him and us we’ll never know. Although I suppose using that logic I maybe shouldn’t place Alonso so highly… I don’t know haha :D

        1. And although I’m a Lewis fan I try to stay fairly grounded in terms of my praise for him. Not-so-secretly hoping that he continues to smash qualifying and race days and I’ll happily have him as #1 at the end of the season!

        2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          18th July 2017, 13:40

          @ninjenius I think many (if not most) people would agree with you about Ricciardo’s position in the top 20 given his results and points.

          Yes, my rating was definitely based on what-ifs for Verstappen but I think he has shown that he can drive well when he needs to.

          Your top 20 looked really cool btw and I love that you added your reasonings for each spot!

          1. @freelittlebirds Thanks mate! I should have been working when I typed it up, but the top 20 was far too appealing!

      3. I would put Max in front of Seb, he has had some of the worst luck I have seen in F1 for a long time. I am not a Max fan but the lad is quick and talented and I think in the right car, destined for great things but he needs to be careful not to make the same bad decisions that Fernando has made.

    3. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      17th July 2017, 18:32

      @ninjenius I’m not going to do a top 20, just point out that if I were looking for a lead driver in my team I’d plump for either Hamilton or Verstappen – every other driver rules themselves out, either by not being fast enough (only Vettel or Alonso are) or not being able to live with a competitive teammate (which neither Vettel or Alonso can do).

      So it becomes a choice between youth and experience. Hamilton is probably a better all-rounder than Verstappen right now, but the Dutchman is at the start of his career, we don’t know how long Hamilton will continue for. That’s a tricky judgement call.

      For a support driver (note: not a number #2!) I’d pick Bottas or Ricciardo – Ferociously quick (though not quite in the first rank), but can deal with being beaten.

      As for the assumption that Vettel is better than Verstappen, well Max clearly got that better of him at Silverstone in what was clearly a slower car, just as he’s got that better of Ricciardo more often than not (barring reliability problems). The young man reminds me of Hamilton circa 2007 – a bit wild but clearly a superstar.

    4. “chasmal” – great description ;-).

    5. I feel like we haven’t really seen enough from Alonso to put him as high up as 6th (through no fault of his own) but more or less agree with everything else.

      1. Lewis is a secure headrest from making DR winless, therefore Hamilton should be #1. The team have let him down (pitting too early in Australia, headrest) and cost him 2 wins. This is actually a romp Lewis season that the points do not reflect.

        Hamilton is on the verge of passing MS pole record. Lewis is putting in legendary performances.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          19th July 2017, 14:00

          I agree!

          Add the yellow flags to that and he’s lost perhaps a pole position or two and a victory or two at the races. This has been a masterclass season from Lewis.

          I don’t know how Hamilton can fool people when he’s out there. The only other person capable of doing that is Ronaldo. Everyone thought he’s washed out or having a bad season and he goes ahead and wins the Euro, back to back Champions League, La Liga in 1 year. Don’t get me started on his matches with Bayern, Atletico Madrid, and Juventus. As Ronaldo said “you all get it wrong about me every time”and he’s 100% right :-)

  8. Hamilton has now also tied the record for the most Grand Slams in a single season (3), last person to do so was Mansell in 1992

  9. How many drivers stuck around for this length of time with the number 1 engine supplier?
    Serious question to the statistics guys, but I know it wasn’t the old school ‘greats’ such as Moss, Clark, Senna or Mansell.

    1. They all swapped teams to go to the team with the number one engine supplier. Does it matter if that engine doesn’t have the same badge?

    2. Mercedes were not the outright no.1 engine supplier before 2014 were they, or am i missing something?

      BigJoe certainly does not like Lewis Hamilton esq. does he?!!

    3. Although its true I think Hamilton holds the record for the most races with the same engine supplier, pre 2014 in the v8 era, when Hamilton won 22 races and one championship. Ferrari had the most power (Slightly I admit) and Renault was the most driveability with engine mapping and so on.

      Also Clark won his final races in the Lotus 49… you know the car that had Cosworth DFV. An engine so good it powered most of the grid for over a decade afterwards.

      Or Ayton Senna who’s three championships were powered by the 1.5L V6 Honda turbo, the “Best engine in Formula 1” which powered the Williams to victory in 1986/87 and then moved to Mclaren just in time for 1988.

      Or Nigel Mansell with his active suspension and with a pretty good 3.5 litre V10 Renault engine.

      Or the likes of Fangio and Moss who jumped in whatever car had the best engine at the time.

      1. As others have said before it’s pretty surprising really that both Mansell and Senna got the majority of their victories while using a Honda engine… Only the one they used was the best and most powerful engine in Formula 1 at the time.

      2. @addimaf1 Actually, I believe that the Mercedes had the most power.

        1. @mashiat, it depends what part of the V8 era you are looking at, as that wasn’t always the case, not to mention how you define what is the best engine.

          In 2007 and 2008, it was reckoned that Ferrari had a slight power advantage – IIRC, Vettel cited that power advantage as the reason why Toro Rosso, who also got the same engine, were much more competitive in the latter part of the 2008 season.

          However, they only had that slight advantage right at the top end of the power curve of their engine – when rule changes reduced the rev limit down to 18,000rpm from 2009 onwards, they lost that peak power advantage and, in 2009, the University of Cologne suggested Mercedes had a very slight peak power advantage (though it was very slight – just 5bhp, which is within the variation you could have from engine wear alone).

          It does seem that the question of which engine was the most powerful did ebb and flow over the next few years though, with small reliability tweaks allowing the different manufacturers to risk running their engines slightly harder, maximising the performance for longer and reducing power drop off with wear – so it’s not a clear cut question as to which was most powerful.

          However, focussing on just power alone is arguably a poor way of defining the “best” engine, as an engine can have other attributes that make it a better package overall even if it is slightly less powerful than its rivals (the TAG-Porsche engine in the 1980’s was a classic example of that).

          Whilst the Mercedes V8 tended to be one of the more powerful engine during that era, as an overall package the Renault V8 had quite a few positives. Whilst it was slightly down on peak power, Renault’s engine reportedly had a wider usable power curve than their rivals – it was also slightly more fuel efficient, enabling it to at least partially compensate for that lower peak power by offsetting it against a lower fuel load.

          That slightly higher efficiency also meant that the heat rejection from the engine, and therefore the cooling demands, were lower – that is part of the reason why Newey could package his cars so tightly in that era. Asides from that, we also know that Red Bull were able to creatively harness the engines for aerodynamic purposes with their blown diffusers, particularly the “cold blowing” technique that their rivals could not match (the “hot blowing”, whilst effectively employed by Mercedes and Ferrari, did also come with a higher fuel penalty, partially negating the success of that technique).

          That is why there were a few reports that, whilst the Renault V8 was not the most powerful engine in the field, Newey personally believed that it was the best overall package for his cars when considering its other attributes (to the point where it was claimed that he vetoed a proposal by Horner to switch to the Mercedes V8).

      3. @addimaf1, as you say, for the majority of his career Senna did arguably have the best engine in the sport at his disposal. Even before going to McLaren, he had the same Honda engine in the back of his car that the title winning Williams did when he raced for Lotus in 1987 – taking several wins that season, and even leading the drivers championship for several races.

        After that, he had an even more dominant engine in 1988 and, from 1989 through to 1991, there is a strong argument that Honda also produced the best engines – even in 1992, the RA122E was officially the most powerful engine on the grid (at 770bhp, it had a claimed 20bhp peak power advantage over the Renault V10), although there is an argument that the extra fuel consumption penalty for the Honda engine offset the power advantage.

        Even in 1994, cut short though that season was, he briefly had access to the Renault V10, the engine that many felt had become the best engine in the sport at the time. Overall, more than half of Senna’s career was spent in cars fitted with the best engines available on the grid, and he spent an extended period of time with the best engine fitted behind him.

        With regards to Clark, you can add to that the fact that, from 1962 to 1965, he had the Coventry Climax V8 at his disposal, an engine that was pretty competitive to say the least – powering the winning car in 22 out of 39 races between those short years, with Clark taking 19 of those wins.

        It’s worth noting that, in 1964 and 1965, Lotus were getting bespoke engines from Coventry Climax – they were literally one off engines designed specifically for Jim Clark to use, offering a slight performance boost over the standard engine sold to Lotus’s rivals (so he was, quite literally, getting the best engine on the grid in those years).

  10. despite his team mate being quickest in Q1 after an audacious run on slick tyres on a dry track.

    I assume this is meant to say ‘drying’ @keithcollantine , made me laugh nonetheless :D

  11. Because of the strong weekend he had, I kind of respect Ham’s decision to back off from the London event,

    some people need some space to relax their minds and focus when it is needed, I guess that was applicable for HAM.

  12. Mercedes have won the British grand prix 5 times in a row now, 2013/14/15/16/17.

  13. First time this year we have had 17 (or more) classified finishers.

    Every driver (apart from Button) has finished ahead of their team-mate at least once this year (including races where one driver didn’t finish).

    Hamilton’s 162nd points finish – equals Button.

    Raikkonen’s 2 most recent Silverstone podiums have come in years ending in 7, in races where he and Hamilton shared the front row and finished 1st and 3rd (with Hamilton’s team-mate in 2nd).

    Raikkonen’s 36th Ferrari podium – equals his tally with McLaren and Massa’s tally with Ferrari.

    Vettel’s lowest finish since last year’s British GP (excluding his DNF in Malaysia).

    Mercedes and Red Bull both have 141 podiums.

    Thanks to statsf1.com, magnetimarelli.com, and formula1.com for some of these.

  14. Lewis has had an amazing career considering the politics, bad reliability and bad luck he’s had to deal with his whole career.

    Lewis “should” have 10 additional wins and 2 more titles if he had more luck. McLaren blew it for him in 2007 and 2012. Merc qualy reliability was sketchy in 2014 and 2016. Dumb pit decisions have cost him in 2014, 2015, 2017. That’s not even counting points lost from bogus steward’s decisions.

    Lewis has always had adversity, yet has risen above it. No driver has had more fun the last 4 years and I suspect a contract extension soon.

    1. Bad reliability? Lewis literally has the smallest percentage of retirements of any champion in the history of Formula 1.

      1. @retardedf1sh You can’t really compare the reliability of a modern day F1 car to a car from the past. It is obvious that a today’s F1 cars are more reliable. A fairer comparison would be a comparison against his competitors.

      2. Name another driver who has retired due to issues outside of his control whilst leading a race – Mansell might qualify but I doubt anyone else will. I count 9 times he’s retired whilst leading due to mechanical issues (or being punted off).

        1. He’s also arguably lost 2 x WDCs due to reliability issues. So overall his reliability is good but the timing when he does have issues stinks.

      3. Lewis literally has the smallest percentage of retirements

        Retirements != reliability

        For instance take (fittingly) Silverstone 2013. Hamilton didn’t “retire” from that race, but he did lose an almost guaranteed win because of a tyre failure.
        Retirements, being only counted during Sundays race, also do not account for issues during practice or qualifying, Like his repeated ruined qualifying sessions in 2014/2016 or his 2 mechanical issues in FP2 and FP3 in Singapore last year which restricted his running and meant his car went into parc ferme with a significantly worse balance then his team mate’s.

        As they say

        “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”

      4. Not arguing with you but you need to back up your statement with facts or it becomes just your opinion.

        1. Be interesting to go back and see how many wins were lost due to mechnical or team issues and also how many wins were inherited the same way. I may do that for Hamilton and Vettel if I get time. Will report back.

          It could get a bit complicated though, ie Valencia (not sure the year) I remember Vettel was winning but had a DNF due to a technical issue and Alonso inherited that win. But then Hamilton pitted ahead of Alonso under the SC but due to McLaren doing a slow stop he lost the place. So do you count that as a lost win for Hamilton?

  15. @keithcollantine don’t you mean to write post-2009 lap record? Not post-2010?
    The configuration of the track changed after 2009 and although the start line was on the old pit straight in 2010, the layout was the same.

  16. Mansell didn’t lead “all the way” in the 1991 British GP, he lost the lead to Senna at the start and only retook the position half way around the first lap :)

    1. Esploratore
      19th July 2017, 1:11

      @louis: weird, why is it still considered a grand chelem though? Is the lead only checked every time a lap ends? So you technically could lose the place a lot of times but as long as you get in front before lap ends you’re considered to have led the race from start to finish?

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