2008 French GP Stats and Facts

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Here’s a look at the facts and statistics from the French Grand Prix including another new world championship leader.

Plus Kimi Raikkonen edges closer to a new record and Lewis Hamilton hits a career low.

Saturday saw Ferrari claim their 200th pole position – you can read a full statistical breakdown of that achievement here: Ferrari’s 200 pole positions.

Felipe Massa scored his third victory of the season giving him more wins this year than anyone else, and matching the three wins he scored last year. It was his eighth career victory, giving him as many as Jacky Ickx and 1967 world champion Denny Hulme. He also leads the world championship for the first time in his career.

Massa has also finished second and fifth eight times but his most frequent finishing position is, unusually, 11th, where he’s finished 10 times.

Fastest lap went to Kimi Raikkonen for the fifth consecutive races. That equals the second-best record for consecutive fastest laps held by Michael Schumacher, and is two off the all-time record held by Alberto Ascari that dates back to 1953. It was his 30th fastest lap, tying him for third place on the all-time list with Nigel Mansell, but 11 behind Alain Prost in second.

In a reversal of last year, Raikkonen took pole position and led the first lap, but finished second behind Massa.

A Ferrari finished in the points for the 40th consecutive race. It was their third consecutive win at Magny-Cours, each time with a different driver: Michael Schumacher, Raikkonen and Massa.

Jarno Trulli scored Toyota’s first podium since the 2006 Australian Grand Prix, when Ralf Schumacher finished third. Trulli’s last podium was even longer ago – the 2005 Spanish Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso has not finished in the podium in any of the eight races so far this year. His most recent podium drought of the same length was in 2004 between the Malaysian and United States Grands Prix. However he did score his 500th career point.

Lewis Hamilton started from his worst qualifying position in F1 – 13th – and is now fourth in the drivers’ championship, the lowest he’s ever been. He also failed to score in two consecutive F1 races for the first time ever.

Nelson Piquet Jnr scored points for the first time in F1 and also had his best starting position, ninth.

Aided by the penalties for both the McLarens, the drivers in seventh, eighth and ninth on the grid were each in their best starting positions of the year: David Coulthard, Timo Glock and Nelson Piquet Jnr respectively.

Four different drivers have led the championship in the last four races: Raikkonen, Hamilton, Kubica and Massa:

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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9 comments on “2008 French GP Stats and Facts”

  1. Yay! Kimi!
    What a Team!
    What a Car! (even broken)
    What a Drive!
    Some lucky Fan got an amazingly HOT souvenir when the manifold flew of the car.

  2. I am glad to see that we are onto our fourth leader of the Championship, proving that there is no dominant force this year.
    And it was good to see Toyota up with the big boys, benefitting from BMWs strange lack of performance. All we need now is for Renault, Red Bull and Honda to improve in the last part of the season to give Ferrari some more opposition…..

  3. @DG

    No dominant force? What are you talking about? Ferrari have won 5 out of 8 races so far. They might have won in OZ if not of the reliability problems and they had a faster car in Monaco and in Canada, Kimi was setting fastest laps. They destroyed the competition in France. Ferrari is as dominant as they can be and there is a good chance that 2008 will rival 2002 or 2004.

  4. Terry Fabulous
    23rd June 2008, 12:40

    Lewis, Kimi and Felipe each have 2 did not scores.

    Kimi out of points at Monaco and hit by Lewis in Canada.
    Felipe hit DC in Aus and lost control in Sepang
    Lewis hit Kimi in Canada and out of points in France.

    So each has had a crash and had a dud race.

  5. Terry, you missed Lewis’ dud race in Bahrain, where he hit the back of Alonso’s car.

    Internet, Ferrari’s 2008 will not rival 2002 or 2004 by any means. But it may be on the same level (competition-wise) as 2001 or 2003, depending on how the 2nd half of the season pans out. But either way, Ferrari won both those years.

    I also mentioned in the other thread that Ferrari have now won here for 6 of the past 8 races and 8 of the past 12 races here. In contrast, Renault, Williams, McLaren, and Jordan have each won 1 race in that 12-year period.

    Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the first race since Turkey that did not see the SC come out.

  6. Massa is the first brazilian to win in France since Nelson Piquet’s victory in 1985, when the race was held in Paul Ricard, which makes Felipe the first brazilian winner in Magny-Cours.

  7. It’s the first time Massa has won a race, having not started from pole position.

    Journeyer – It was Bahrain when the safety car wasn’t featured. Turkey saw the safety car come out when Fisi smashed into Nakajima.

  8. James B – In fact, Massa had already won in Bahrain starting second, alongside pole-sitter Robert Kubica, who he overtook just after the start…

    Still, it was the first time Massa won having not emerged first in the first corner…

  9. Terry Fabulous
    25th June 2008, 3:34

    Spot on Journeyer! Well spotted.

    And it was the second time in two races that the race winner admitted in the press conference that he wasn’t the fastest and had a bit of luck in the win.

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