Spanish Grand Prix facts and stats

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Webber matched Brabham as Australia's most experienced F1 driver

The wins continue to pile up for Jenson Button and Brawn GP – and Nick Heidfeld continues to grind out astonishing, if unspectacular, consistency.

It was also a landmark race for Mark Webber, who matched three-times champion Sir Jack Brabham as the Australian driver to have started the most races. Here’s the facts and stats from the Spanish Grand Prix.

Jenson Button hit the five wins landmark, giving him as many as world champions Keke Rosberg and Giuseppe Farina, plus Clay Regazzoni, John Watson and Michele Alboreto.

He finished on the podium for the fifth race in a row and scored his sixth career pole position. Button has now led exactly 250 laps in his career.

Rubens Barrichello claimed the fastest lap, his 17th. He has more than any other active driver bar Kimi Raikkonen, who has more than twice as many (35).

Brawn GP achieved their second one-two finish.

Mark Webber scored the fourth podium finish of his career. He also made his 126th start, tying Sir Jack Brabham’s record for most start by an Australian driver. Like Brabham, Webber has participated in 128 rounds, but failed to start twice (Spain 2002 and USA 2005).

Brabham won 14 races and was champion in 1959, 1960 and 1966. While Webber has been in F1 for eight years, Brabham’s career spanned 16 seasons from 1955 to 1970 (though he started only one each in 1955 and 1956).

Felipe Massa finally got some points on the board with sixth place. This is his worst start to a season since 2005, when he scored two points for Sauber in the first five races.

Kimi Raikkonen has now not won a race for a year. He had his worst qualifying result since the 2006 season-opener at Bahrain, when he started 22nd.

McLaren had their worst qualifying performance since the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix, when Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya started 17th and 18th.

Heikki Kovalainen suffered his fourth race-ending mechanical failure in a McLaren in 23 starts for the team. Lewis Hamilton has had none in 40 starts (and nor, for that matter, did Fernando Alonso).

Adrian Sutil was eliminated on the first lap, just as he was at this track last year, when he collided with Sebastian Vettel at turn four.

Robert Kubica failed to score for the sixth race in a row (including the final race of 2008) making this his longest point-less streak. He previously failed to score between the 2006 Chinese and 2007 Malaysian Grands Prix.

Nick Heidfeld continues to stretch his longevity records, with 25 consecutive race finishes and 33 consecutive race classifications. Heidfeld celebrated his 32nd birthday on race day.

Spotted any more stats and facts from the Spanish Grand Prix? Make sure we don’t miss them – post them in the comments.

Read more: Championship standings after Spanish GP

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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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45 comments on “Spanish Grand Prix facts and stats”

  1. How many “for sure” during this GP weekend?

    Maybe we have another record to set…

    1. Sush Meerkat
      11th May 2009, 17:05

      I know Hamilton dropped that bomb two times in a row, For sure for sure he did.

  2. is phillepee massa running a car powered by a turo engine?????

    1. Mussolini's Pet Cat
      11th May 2009, 19:17

      Is who, running a what?

  3. Another thing important to note is that Jenson Button has been having one of the most successful starts to a season ever by any driver!

    Best first-5-races streaks in history:
    1992 Mansell: 1-1-1-1-1-(2)
    2004 Schumi: 1-1-1-1-1-(ret)
    1994 Schumi: 1-1-1-1-2-(1)
    2002 Schumi: 1-3-1-1-1-(1)
    2009 Button: 1-1-3-1-1-(?)

  4. This is Ferrari’s 4th race in a row when they’re making mistakes and/or have mechanical failures. That is after being one of the most reliable cars and the strategy example in the past few years.

  5. Keith, to follow up on Webber-Brabham, Peter Windsor also mentioned in yesterday’s unilaterals that Webber took 3rd place 50 years to the day since Sir Jack’s first Grand Prix win (at Monaco).

  6. Ferrari are still experiencing their worst start to a Grand Prix season ever. Even though they have now scored 6 points, they did so with two 6th places. In 1980 however, they took a 5th and a 6th place, scoring 3 points, while in 1981 they took a 5th and a 4th place, scoring 7 points.

    On the forum I read that with Button, Barrichello and Webber, we might have seen the most experienced podium ever, with a combined total of 556 starts (Button 158, Barrichello 272 and Webber 126).

    1. On Ferrari: I discovered that the 1993 season was as bad as the current one: two 6th places from the first 5 races (which was also for the other seasons, of course).

    2. This year’s Australian GP podium, of Button, Barrichello and Trulli, was more experienced.

  7. Can someone explain to me the difference between race finished and classifications?

    1. Finish a race is easy: if you cross the finish line at the last lap, you’ve finished. Being classified, however, requires you to cover, IIRC, 90% of the race distance.

    2. Mouse_Nightshirt
      11th May 2009, 15:25


  8. @ Explosiva
    Another interesting thing is: If there are, say, 2 laps until the end of the race, and there are for example only 7 cars still running – even if the last driver falls out of the race then, he will be classified and will get the points for the seventh position. :-)
    [But it is him who must have covered more than 90% of the race distance – not just the race leader.]

    1. True. It’s even so that a driver stopping from say 6th a lap from the end, but having lapped the driver in 7th, he’ll still be classified 6th, scoring 3 points.

    2. “But it is him who must have covered more than 90% of the race distance – not just the race leader.”

      No, he has to cover more than 90% of the distance covered by the winner.

    3. “But it is him who must have covered more than 90% of the race distance – not just the race leader.”

      No, he has to cover more than 90% of the distance covered by the winner.

    4. that happened in Australia 2008 where kimis ferrari died towards the end but there were so few runners he was classified 8th and got the point

  9. Using the word “from” between drivers/teams to describe race order is fast becoming the second most annoying phrase of the season behind “KERS system“.

    “Brawn from Brawn from Red Bull from Red Bull…”

    1. Quite annoying indeed. It’s Jonathan Legard’s invention, I believe.

    2. thank god it wasnt only me that wants to scream, i was watching the GP yesterday slightly hungover and it was driving me mental, why cant the man shut up with his FROM obsession!

    3. “for sure” is infinitely more annoying than both of those phrases.

    4. Well, that’s for sure.

    5. Listen to the CBBC commentary, it’s far, far better. It was the only thing that made the Spanish GP enjoyable

    6. Sush Meerkat
      11th May 2009, 17:08

      I still prefer Legard over James Allen.

    7. I hate that… Like when people say “PIN number


    8. James Bolton
      11th May 2009, 18:51

      It’s definitely a Legard thing. He also says “as they come down this start finish straight”. There’s only one start finish straight!

      Press the red button and listen to Anthony Davidson, he’s very very good and incredibly knowledgable.

  10. Obligatory “listen to star sports and steve slater then” remark :(

  11. mp4-19's world of nonsense
    11th May 2009, 19:19

    let’s remember scott speed

  12. Piquet still on his qualifying losing streak.

  13. Keith – one stat I haven’t seen mentioned much is the privateer vs manufacturers. We’ve had 5 wins by the customer teams in 2009 which I think is more in one season than we’ve had over the last decade.

  14. It’s the 13th time (record) that Jarno Trulli retires during the 1st lap.

    1. Well spotted – never noticed that before!

  15. But no privateer ever inherited hundreds of millions of dollars, and a massive industrial complex in the history of F1, from an abdicating dad.

  16. Brawn GP is now the only team to have scored a point in every race this season (both Toyota’s failed to score a point).

    I don’t know if this is a record yet, but isn’t Jenson Button on track to have the best improvement from one season to another? His tally is already 12x higher than his total number of points last season…

    1. Button may do so total-number-of-points-wise, but he won´t beat ´Keke´ Rosberg in percentage increase, or the final result: The season before the one in which Rosberg claimed the WDC he failed to score a single point!

  17. Every season a driver has won four from the first five GP, he later became the season World Champion. It happened in :
    – 1963 and 1965 (Jim Clark)
    – 1969 (Jackie Stewart)
    – 1991 (Ayrton Senna)
    – 1992 (Nigell Mansell)
    – 1994, 2002 and 2004 (Michael Schumacher)
    – 1996 (Damon Hill)
    And 4 of them were Brits !

  18. fminas:
    No, he has to cover more than 90% of the distance covered by the winner.

    Oh, sorry for telling it wrong. I didn’t know that. ;]

    @ mire
    It doesn’t look like anyone could steal the championship away from Button this season, does it?

    1. Well, Red Bull is coming with a big update for Monaco. If they win all races from then on and Webber comes behind Vettel, a lot could still happen

  19. I think Vettel could be a champ, but don’t write off Ferrari and Mclaren!

  20. Hi All,

    please can anyone advise. How did Massa end up with a points finish, I thought a driver had to finish the lap (if they are on the same lap as the race leader) and only drivers + 1 lap are allocated places even if they don’t cross the finish line.


    1. I remember ‘MAS’ appearing on the screen just before ‘HEI’ did. So he must have crossed the finish line.

    2. Massa finished the race, he ran out of fuel around turn 3 I think on the lap back to the pits.

    3. Correct. Just goes to show how urgent it was for him to lift off and let Vettel and Alonso past. :)

  21. The first three on the left side of the grid finished 1, 2, 3.

    The first three on the right side of the grid finished 4, 6, 10.

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