Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, Sepang

Mercedes go three years without a win in Malaysia

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

Max Verstappen took the second victory of his Formula One career on the day after his 20th birthday. He is the 75th driver to win more than one race, joining Valtteri Bottas who took his second win in Austria.

For the time being at least, Verstappen is among a rare group of drivers who’ve won more than one race despite never having started from pole position. That list is topped by Eddie Irvine, who never started from pole position but won four races. Irvine scored his final win in the first Malaysian Grand Prix in 1999; Verstappen’s victory yesterday will be the last in Malaysia for now.

Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas, Sepang International Circuit, 2017
2017 Malaysian GP in pictures
The other drivers who won multiple races without starting from pole position are Bruce McLaren (four), Peter Collins and Johnny Herbert (three each), Pedro Rodriguez and Maurice Trintignant (two each). But it’s hard to imagine Verstappen will never start a race from pole position.

Verstappen’s team mate Daniel Ricciardo won three races before taking his first pole position in Monaco last year. And Michael Schumacher made it to five wins before his first pole in the 1994 Monaco Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton took his ninth pole position of the season which means he has won the Pole Position Trophy for 2017. It’s the third year in a row he’s claimed the award, which was introduced in 2014 and first won by Nico Rosberg. Had the trophy been awarded since the beginning of the world championship Hamilton would also have won it in 2008 and 2012, and shared it with other drivers in 2007 (Felipe Massa) and 2009 (Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button).

Hamilton took his fourth consecutive pole position in Malaysia and equalled Schumacher’s record of five at the Sepang circuit. It was the 70th pole position of his career. He took two-and-a-half seconds off the track record for Sepang but fell short of breaking the 90-second lap time barrier by 0.077 seconds.

Kimi Raikkonen missed out on pole position by 0.045s, which is the sixth time this year pole has been decided by less than a tenth of a second. Unfortunately he didn’t get to start from that position due to his pre-race power unit failure. He has therefore failed to complete a lap in either of the last two races. The last driver to suffer this was Felipe Massa, who didn’t get beyond lap one at Silverstone and Hockenheim in 2014.

Go ad-free for just £1 per month

>> Find out more and sign up

With Vettel starting from the back of the grid due to technical problems in qualifying, Red Bull seized the opportunity to get both their cars home on the podium for the first time this year. The 2017 season will end with Sepang being the only track where Mercedes have failed to win in the last three years.

This is unfortunate for Mercedes given that their title sponsor Petronas is Malaysian. At least they won’t have to worry about it next year as the race isn’t on the 2018 F1 calendar.

Hamilton did finish second, however, which is his 20th consecutive points-scoring finish. The all-time record of 27 is held by Raikkonen.

Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams, Sepang, 2004
Montoya’s 2004 lap record fell to Vettel
Verstappen’s race-winning time of one hour, 30 minutes and 1.29 seconds is the shortest ever seen for a full-length Malaysian Grand Prix. The only shorter race was the 2009 running which lasted 55 minutes as it was reduced in distance from 56 laps to 31 due to heavy rain and poor visibility.

From 20th on the grid Vettel made light work of the field as he climbed to finish in fourth place, setting a new lap record on the way. He made up 16 places which is the most of any driver this year. Team mate Raikkonen hasn’t finished more than one place higher than his starting position all season.

Malaysia’s last race was the first for Pierre Gasly as Daniil Kvyat suffered a mid-season ousting for the second year in a row. Gasly had to endure the sapping Sepang heat without a drink, much as Kvyat had to at Singapore in 2014. And in an unusual parallel, Kvyat’s demotion was immediately followed by a win for Verstappen, just as was the case in Spain last year.

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.

2017 Malaysian Grand Prix

Browse all 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix articles

43 comments on “Mercedes go three years without a win in Malaysia”

  1. It’s the first time since Bahrain that Hamilton is on the podium, but didn’t win
    It’s the third time on a row that Bottas finished 5th in Malaysia

  2. Verstappen has won all the races where Kvyat has been demoted (Barcelona 2016 RB->Toro Rosso; Sepang 2017 Toro Rosso->no seat).

    1. @nmsi That’s mentioned in the article!

      1. Indeed it was as a last sentence. I’d better read the articles full then.

    2. Can Kvyat get demoted to F2 then F3 and a few more times all the way to lawnmower races :-)

    3. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
      2nd October 2017, 14:05

      And in an unusual parallel, Kvyat’s demotion was immediately followed by a win for Verstappen, just as was the case in Spain last year.

      @nmsi he already said that dude.

    4. Others would have worded it as follows: “Kvyat’s demotion was immediately followed by a win for Verstappen, just as was the case in Spain last year.”

  3. Sauber launched their new taxi service this weekend called saUBER

    1. Isn’t UBER banned in Austin? They should be careful!

      1. Guessing the proposals for a race in London have taken a blow due to their upcoming Uber ban

  4. It’s the first time this season that McLaren scores points in consecutive races.

    1. No it isn’t, Alonso finished 11th

      1. Oops, misread your comment

    2. Yes, Stoffel Vandoorne was 7th in both races, so scored 6 points each time, meaning he has contributed more points to the team’s total score than his illustrious team mate.

      1. However you’ll be aware alonso’s performance is still overall better, if I recall there was an early race where he was 7th (6 points) before retiring late in the race and canada another point towards the last lap, plus the unlucky retirement in singapore when running ahead of vandoorne again.

        I think vandoorne didn’t miss any points through blameless incidents or failures, but rather threw away a couple of points with monaco crash.

  5. Is this the first time a team (Ferrari) have entered two cars into qualifying only for one not to take part in the session, then enter two cars into the race only for the other car not to take part in the session?

    1. Not entirely correct – Vettel took part in Q1 as he completed 1 lap although didn’t set a time.
      Same applies for Raikonnen on Sunday, he completed 1 lap although didn’t set a time nor took part in formation lap nor start.

  6. Hamilton and Vestappen (likely others as well) have won at least 1 race in every F1 season they’ve competed in so far.

    1. Being this young and all, you might be forgetting that Verstappen was competing in F1 in 2015 as well! :)

    2. No, verstappen hadn’t won a race in his first season with torro rosso

    3. This is not true for VER: in his first season (2015) he didn’t win any race.

    4. As others have pointed out that is not true.

      By winning on Sunday however Verstappen reclaims his position on the list of drivers who have won a race in every season they have had a race winning car. The other active F1 drivers on the list are his teammate Ricciardo and the 2 Mercedes drivers Hamilton and Bottas.

      1. Was wondering when vettel didn’t win while having a race winning car, looks like his problem is his bad 2014 season, where ricciardo won hungary by overtaking hamilton and alonso in the last laps and vettel had no wins all seasons in red bull.

        1. Yep 2014.

    5. Indeed, Hamilton is still the only driver in history to win in every season he has competed, excluding single season drivers.

      Schumacher held that statistic too during his first F1 stint (1992-2006) though.

      1. Schumacher didn‘t win in 1991, so it‘s gotta be „full season“.

      2. Hamilton’s also had a pole position every season.

  7. The number 10 has become the first number to be chosen and used by more then driver since 2014. Having originally been chosen by Kamui Kobayshi it sat unused for the possibility of his return. It became available again this year and was chosen by Pierre Gasly as his personal number.

    Other personal numbers that are available again are 4, 25, and 99. (17 is retired)
    Teams numbers used in races that can be used again by other drivers are 36, 40, 45, 46, 47

  8. The first time Kimi didn’t start a race he had qualified for since the infamous 2005 US GP.

    The first time that an official lap record from overall the fastest season (2004) of the refuelling era has been beaten in race conditions, i.e., when it really matters. I didn’t expect that to happen as the previous record is from 2004 unlike the Red Bull Ring and Spa ones that are from 2003 and 2009 respectively.

  9. digitalrurouni
    2nd October 2017, 15:22

    It is quite interesting how all the armchair pundits were saying Mercedes would walk the race in Sepang and were drawing comparisons to Silverstone. F1 is so endlessly fascinating. Great stats in this article!

    1. Thanks very much!

  10. As the article mentioned, Kimi didn’t complete a lap two races consecutively, but does anybody know when the last time a driver failed to make it to turn 1 (intact) two races in a row?

    1. Felipe Massa in 2014, Silverstone and Hockenheim, I think. Might be wrong.

  11. Hamilton finds himself in a rather advantageous position, with Mercedes latest fluctuation in performance, and the up turn for Ferrari and Red Bull, all he’s required to do in the last five races is manage to win one then secure the final place on the podium for the remaining four and the title is his. This would seem like a very achievable feat, so Ferrari will be hoping that luck comes into play, because them just upping their game is no longer enough.

    1. Ferrari are hoping Red Bull resurgence continues – but they gotta finish in front of the Red Bulls.
      Mercedes are probably hoping they can have at least one really dominant weekend – but when did they last really have one ?

  12. Hamilton’s 6th podium in Malaysia – the most of anybody (M Schumacher, Alonso, and Vettel all have 5).

    First track at which Verstappen has finished on the podium twice.

    3rd year in a row that Ricciardo has started 4th in Malaysia.

    First race this year to see 18 actual finishers (although Italy had 18 classified finishers). Most finishers in a race since Mexico 2016 (21).

    Verstappen is still younger than Vettel was when he took his first victory.

    First season with 5 different winners since 2013.

    4th time Vettel has started dead last – he has scored points on all 4 occasions.

    Ocon is the first driver to finish all of his first 24 GPs.

    First time since 2014 that there was an empty slot on the front row.

    First track at which Red Bull have won 5 times.

    3rd track (after Melbourne and Monza) at which Hamilton has managed all 4 turbo-era poles. At both Melbourne and Sepang he only won 1 of those 4 races.

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

    1. The bit about Ocon is false, Max Chilton has had 25 consecutive finishes from the start of his career

  13. First time we got a live demonstration of how Monisha was going to fit 3 drivers into the 2 Saubers :)

    1. Priceless ☺

  14. @keithcollantine I was wondering if it was the first time drivers have collided in the slow down lap?

  15. First time when Whiting blinked before pushing the green button.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.