F1 2009: The year in stats (Part 2)

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In a year of remarkable reliability Heidfeld set a new record for finishing races

The final part of our look at the 2009 F1 season in numbers will shed some more light on which were the best-performing drivers, and looks at how 2009 compared to other F1 seasons.

Plus there’s a recap of all the major records broken in 2009 – from the youngest ever F1 driver to the first-time champions.

Season records

Different winners6 (Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Rubens Barrichello, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen)
Most wins by individual6 (Jenson Button)
Different pole holders8 (Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello, Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Jarno Trulli, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Giancarlo Fisichella)
Most poles by individual4 (Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton)
Different drivers25
Drivers who competed in all races16
Drivers who did just one race0
Drivers who scored points19
Races in dry conditions15
Races in mixed conditions1
Races in wet conditions1
Most places gained by driver in one race16 (Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock, Australian Grand Prix)

Drivers ranked by results

Jenson Button won the world championship and he also scored more wins than anyone else. But what happens if we rank the entire grid in order of who got the best results? The table below shows the rankings.

Mark Webber moves up a pace to third at Rubens Barrichello’s expense. Fisichella moves up from 15th to 11th thanks to his second place at Spa.

Rosberg suffers the most, falling from seventh to 14th, having failed to land a big score when the opportunity presented itself at races such as Singapore. But curiously the gulf in performance between him and team mate Kazuki Nakajima is even more apparent: we can see Rosberg beat Nakajima’s best finishing position on no fewer than 13 occasions. The same goes for Alonso compared to his two team mates.

Have a look at the 2009 F1 championship standings to make comparisons of your own:

1.Jenson Button6120312100000000
2.Sebastian Vettel4223000100001010
3.Mark Webber2420110020110000
4.Rubens Barrichello2312222101000000
5.Lewis Hamilton2121011010021001
6.Kimi Raikkonen1131020112010110
7.Jarno Trulli0122002100012100
8.Timo Glock0111012123100100
9.Robert Kubica0101001211103200
10.Nick Heidfeld0100212002410010
11.Giancarlo Fisichella0100000022221311
12.Felipe Massa0012020010000100
13.Fernando Alonso0010312112100200
14.Nico Rosberg0002420320100011
15.Heikki Kovalainen0001221100220100
16.Adrian Sutil0001000011101111
17.Kamui Kobayashi0000010010000000
18.Sebastien Buemi0000002200011013
19.Sebastien Bourdais0000000201101000
20.Kazuki Nakajima0000000021133020
21.Nelson Piquet Jnr0000000001032002
22.Vitantonio Liuzzi0000000000100210
23.Romain Grosjean0000000000001021
24.Jaime Alguersuari0000000000000111
25.Luca Badoer0000000000000100

2009 season in context

F1 2009: Retirements (click to enlarge)

For the third year in a row we saw a new record for race completion. Out of every start made by every driver, 82.06% resulted in a classified finished. In a decade F1 has gone from only having half the field finish each race to more than four out of five cars finishing.

Reliability stayed close to its record level of last year, with just 9.12% of race starts ending due to a car failure.

F1 2009: Drivers (click to enlarge)

Last year’s record for every driver starting every race was not matched due to two sackings (Sebastien Bourdais and Nelson Piquet Jnr) and two injuries (Felipe Massa and Timo Glock).

F1 2009: Pole positions (click to enlarge)

Pole positions were shared among eight drivers in 2009. That was partly because the field was generally quite evenly matched, with some teams that were not regular contenders for victory enjoying strong form at particular venues – such as Force India at Spa and McLaren at anything slow and twisty.

It was also partly because of the artificial nature of race-fuel qualifying, allowing drivers to cut their fuel load to qualify well (Toyota at Bahrian, Alonso at Spa). This will be gone next year.

F1 2009: Different winners (click to enlarge)

Strange that Button won as many races as the two champions before him, yet there are so many discussions about him being an ‘unworthy’ champion.

2009 stats and facts highlights

Race facts and stats

If a double-post on F1 stats still isn’t enough, here’s all the post-race stats analysis from every race this year:

Australian Grand Prix facts and stats
Malaysian Grand Prix facts and stats
Chinese Grand Prix facts and stats
Bahrain Grand Prix facts and stats
Spanish Grand Prix facts and stats
Monaco Grand Prix facts and stats
Turkish Grand Prix facts and stats
British Grand Prix facts and stats
German Grand Prix stats and facts
Hungarian Grand Prix facts and stats
European Grand Prix facts and stats
Belgian Grand Prix facts and stats
Italian Grand Prix facts and stats
Singapore Grand Prix facts and stats
Japanese Grand Prix facts and stats
Brazilian Grand Prix facts and statsAbu Dhabi Grand Prix facts and stats

Author information

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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18 comments on “F1 2009: The year in stats (Part 2)”

  1. Keith, this looks great. Just one thing I noticed is that Lewis Hamilton, I believe, also had 4 Pole positions (Europe, Italy, Singapore, Abu Dhabi).

    1. Indeed he did – added.

      1. and also Keith, ‘Alonso at Spa‘ should be Alonso in Hungary.

  2. Every time I see a picture of the BMW I swear when they were making the front assembly they had the nosecone upside down when they attached the wing.

    Strange that Button won as many races as the two champions before him, yet there are so many discussions about him being an ‘unworthy’ champion.

    Imagine the conniptions they would have if a Mike Hawthorn scenario happened.

    1. The problem with Button is that one cannot help but think that his performance was a bit mediocre for a WC. He won his races when Brawn was clearly ahead of the pack. When the other teams caught up with them – dobble deck defuser for everybody – he became a also run. Sometimes, Brawn GP would still be the team to beat, but in the last 10 races, the performance of the WC was lackluster at best – his qualis were downright awful. What saved him was the competition being even more awkward. In sum, it was a championship in which the least incompetent won….He deserves the title (he score most points) but he is a forgetable WC in a historical sense.

  3. Add Red Bulls first win to the list.

  4. Sorry to be thick about this, but would you kindly explain what the “Drivers ranked by results” table is measuring, and how it does so?

    1. Yeah I couldn’t make sense of that either.
      Also, a couple of small mistakes I spotted:

      In the last paragraphy, it says Button won as many races as the previous two champs. In fact, he won more than Hamilton (unless you count Spa 2008 which he was the rightful winner of)

      In the paragraph after Drivers 92-09, it says that everey driver in 2008 competed in every race- but Sato and Davidson only started the first 4

      1. 1 = first places
        2 = second places
        3 = 3rd places

        so Jenson had 6 wins, 1 second, 2 thirds
        Vettel had 4 wins, 2 seconds, 2 thirds
        Webber had 2 wins, 4 seconds, 2 thirds

        Because Barrichello had 2 wins but only 3 seconds he drops behind Webber due to 1 less second place.

        1. Thanks for the explanation.
          I had thought that this chart was intended to demonstrate something new. It seems that all it’s doing is ranking drivers by wins, with 2nds and if necessary 3rds used as tie-breakers.

          1. The “Drivers ranked by results” table shows what would happen if Bernie had his “medals” idea implemented. That was supposed to happen in ’09. Barrichello and Rosberg would have been shafted for being consistent, while Fisichella would have made a huge leap up the standings.

  5. Another similliarity – In Interlagos the brazilian rival for WDC had pole position in both years, and in both years the previous WDC was third.

  6. I think the graph on reliability from 1997 to 2009 is interesting.

    Ferrari’s dominance earlier this decade was built on their great reliability, as well as having the fastest car and driver. In subsequent seasons the other teams have also improved their reliability so now it isn’t a surprise if every car finishes the race, whereas the reverse would be true in the 1990s and previous decades.

    Also when the points system was changed from 10-6-4-3-2-1 to 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1, and when the rules came in awarding penalties for engine failures, reliability became even more important for teams.

    So while it still maybe true that it is easier to make a fast car reliable than a reliable car fast, I don’t think it is as easy to win a Championship with a fast but fragile car as it once was.

  7. “Strange that Button won as many races as the two champions before him, yet there are so many discussions about him being an ‘unworthy’ champion.”

    Slightly wrong. Hamilton has won only five races last year. Many people might count Spa as a win for him, but the statistics say otherwise.

    1. I believed everyone understood by now that it’s not the number of victories that’s the unworthiness debate is about. Summary stats will never help you out on that anyway.

  8. Well, in fact Button won more races (six) than Hamilton did (five) in 2008…
    It would be more precise to say Button won as many races as the driver with most wins on the past two seasons (Massa in 2008, runner-up with 6 wins and Raikkonen in 2007, champion with 6 wins)

  9. Button is a ‘worthy’ champion.

  10. Iaun Henderson
    18th November 2009, 6:34

    Re the ‘Drivers ranked by results’ table. Could it also show DNF’s for each driver.

Comments are closed.