2010 in stats part one: records and races

2010 F1 season review

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The first part of F1 Fanatic’s review of 2010 in stats looks at how F1 changed in 2010 and reviews some of the key records from each of the 19 races.


Drivers, 1992-2010

The addition of three new teams meant more drivers were able to compete in F1 this year. We saw the most drivers complete a full season in a decade.

Race winners

Winners, 1992-2010

One of the elements that made it such an exciting season was how evenly the wins were spread between drivers. No-one won more than five races – the lowest since 1999.

Pole positions

Pole positions and pole sitters, 1992-2010

With qualifying unaffected by fuel loads for the first time since 2002, pole position became a truer test of who was the quickest over a single lap. More often than not it was Sebastian Vettel, who took pole in ten out of 19 races.


Retirements, 1992-2010

Reliability has been gradually improving but the influx of new teams and the loss of the likes of Toyota meant it took a hit in 2010. But expect it to creep up again next year.

2010 stats and facts highlights

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Bahrain, 2010

Bahrain Grand Prix

  • Fernando Alonso wins on his debut for Ferrari
  • Lotus start their first race since Adelaide 1994
  • Virgin and HRT start their first races
  • Vitaly Petrov, Nico Hulkenberg, Bruno Senna, Karun Chandhok and Lucas di Grassi start their first races
  • Rubens Barrichello matches Graham Hill’s record of starting races in 18 consecutive seasons

Australian Grand Prix

  • Red Bull qualify both cars on the front row of the grid for the first time
  • Mark Webber becomes the first Australian driver to set fastest lap in his home race
  • Jenson Button scores his first win for McLaren

Malaysian Grand Prix

  • Three different teams win the first three races – Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull – for the first time since 1990 (McLaren, Ferrari and Williams)
  • Mercedes finish on the podium for the first time since Monza 1955
  • Lewis Hamilton starts from his lowest ever grid position in F1 – 20th
  • Jaime Alguersuari and Nico Hulkenberg score their first points in F1
Jenson Button, McLaren, Shanghai, 2010

Chinese Grand Prix

  • McLaren score their first one-two since Monza 2007 (Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton)
  • The first one-two for a pair of British drivers since Melbourne 1999 (Eddie Irvine and David Coulthard)
  • Vitaly Petrov scores his first point and becomes the first Russian to do so

Spanish Grand Prix

  • Mark Webber leads a race from start to finish for the first time
  • The 40th world championship Spanish Grand Prix

Monaco Grand Prix

  • Webber becomes the first driver to lead two consecutive races throughout since Kimi Raikkonen in 2005 – in the same two events
  • Webber leads the championship for the first time in his career
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Istanbul, 2010

Turkish Grand Prix

  • Vitaly Petrov set the fastest lap for the first time in his career. It is also the first for a Russian driver
  • Ferrari’s 800th Grand Prix start

Canadian Grand Prix

  • Hamilton becomes the fifth different driver to lead the world championship in a season, which has never happened before
  • Hamilton has started all three Canadian Grands Prix he’s raced in from pole position
  • McLaren score their first back-to-back one-two finish since the 2000 French and Austrian Grands Prix with David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen
  • Three world champions stood on the podium at the end of the race, which hadn’t been seen since the 1991 United States Grand Prix (Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Nelson Piquet)

European Grand Prix

  • Michael Schumacher has his lowest finish in an F1 race: 15th
  • The 500th F1 race start for Lotus

British Grand Prix

  • The worst result for Ferrari since the 1978 French Grand Prix
  • Sakon Yamamoto starts his first race since the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix

German Grand Prix

  • The 100th consecutive race without a win for Williams
  • Sebastian Vettel takes pole position by 0.002s over Alonso – the smallest margin between the first two on the grid since Raikkonen out-qualified Schumacher by the same gap at Monza in 2006

Hungarian Grand Prix

  • 100th F1 race start for Red Bull
Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2010

Belgian Grand Prix

Italian Grand Prix

  • Alonso becomes the first Ferrari driver to win his first race for the team at Monza from pole position since Niki Lauda in 1974

Singapore Grand Prix

  • Alonso scored his first perfect result: winning from pole position, setting fastest lap and leading every lap
  • Christian Klien made his first F1 start since the 2006 Italian Grand Prix
  • Nick Heidfeld made his first F1 start since the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Japanese Grand Prix

  • Schumacher finished in the points for the 200th time in his career

Korean Grand Prix

  • At two hours, 48 minutes and 20.810 seconds, this was the longest race for 50 years

Brazilian Grand Prix

  • The race with the most finishers since the 1952 British Grand Prix.
  • Nico Hulkenberg gives Williams their first pole position in 100 races. He is the sixth-youngest driver to start a race from pole position
  • Red Bull win the constructors’ championship for the first time ever
  • Red Bull follow Brawn as the second consecutive new winners of the constructors’ championship, which last happened with BRM and Lotus in 1962 and 1963
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

  • Vettel emulates Giuseppe Farina and Kimi Raikkonen by going from third to first in the championship at the final round
  • Vettel leads the world championship for the first time and becomes the sixth leader of the year – increasing the record
  • Vettel is also the youngest ever world champion

2010 F1 season review

Browse all 2010 F1 season review articles

Image © Ferrari spa, www.mclaren.com, Ferrari spa, Williams/LAT, Red Bull/Getty images

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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42 comments on “2010 in stats part one: records and races”

  1. Excellent stats Keith, but didn’t Petrov set his first fastest lap in China? And Kubica in Canada?

    1. No Petrov set his first fastest lap in Turkey.

      1. Sorry, I’ve got that wrong, but wasn’t Kubica’s fastest lap in Canada his first?

        1. And only.

          1. Shouldn’t that be in the list then?

  2. Nice work – very illuminating graphs.

    I like how you can see that things like Mechanical failures and other DNFs have been on the decline for nearly 20 years – evidence of progress!

    And how unusual Vettel’s 10 podiums are

    1. You mean Vettel’s 10 poles?

    2. Looking at that stat, it does explain, why it makes sense to give points up to 10th place.

      15 years ago finishing the race almost gave you a top 10 finish, so about half of the people finishing the race got points.
      Nowadays only rarely we have less than 80% finishing, making points hard to get for backmarkers.

  3. I’d have easily done without the last 3 stats. :D

  4. 2010 just didn’t have enough pole sitters and race winners in my eyes. Both 2008 and 2009 had more of those. The difference in performance of Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari compared to the midfield teams was massive compared to last year for instance (bar the first third of the season).

    In 2008 BMW and Renault were able to threaten the top teams (even Toro Rosso managed to win once). Similarly in 2009 Ferrari and McLaren managed to spoil Brawn’s and RBR’s party sometimes. In 2010 Renault and Mercedes were fighting at most for the lower podium places, even if everything went their way, i.e. their car was exceptionally good and the top teams ran into trouble.

    Let’s hope that 2011 will equalise car performance again. I remember how last year often less than a second covered everyone in Q1 and Q2. Even without the new teams, that was not the case this year.

  5. Schumacher in the points for the 200th time…Wow, just wow. Puts Barrichello’s’s 300 races doing nothing to shame

    1. Yeah, if we ignore the fact that is it quite possible that Barrichello will have the 200 point finishes by the end of next year.

      1. That’s true – if Barrichello’s is able to finish 60 times on top ten next year.

        1. Yeah, he’s currently got 138 points finishes from 303 grands prix. Schumacher has 202 points finishes from 267 grands prix. Barrichello’s finished in the points in 45% of his races while Schumacher’s been in the points in 75% of his. For comparison’s sake Hamilton has scored in 73% of his races, Alonso in 68%, and Vettel in 61%. Hamilton has the highest average of points in races entered, but the new points system skews all-time records in favor of younger drivers in that regard… Given that points were only awarded up to 6th place for much of Schumacher’s career, that makes his percentage over drivers like Alonso and Hamilton all the more impressive.

          1. How superficial F1 fans can be?

            MS almost never drove a bad car, even when he came into F1 through Jordan, Mercedes promptly replaced Moreno with him in Benneton saying Moreno’s “looks wasn’t compatible” with the team (probably just a very bad joke but which says a lot about MS’s friends).

          2. MS almost always drove a bad/not-the-best-in-the-field car

        2. Must have screwed up my counting, because I was at 185 point finishes.

          1. You can check the points finishes of any driver in the history of the sport at gpguide.com. For Rubens: http://www.gpguide.com/Driver.aspx?driverId=71&year=2010 scroll down to the Career Profile section, then look at the tallies at the bottom of Race Completion Performance. Points finishes are listed over to the right as “in the points.”

  6. The most impressive and interesting stat that someone mentioned on another page is this:

    At no point during the season did the Championship Leader actually win a race! Can anyone think of another time that this has happened?

    1. Yep. That was a shocking stat. I think thats the 1st time its ever happened.

    2. Even more scary by the fact that it was actually the Turkish grand prix in 2009 that the championship leader won a race. So thats 29 races where the championship leader has not won the race.

    3. And the fact that the Championship winner never lead the championship throughout the season is equally baffling, even though he was the favourite throughout most of the races. (until an engine blow, a crash etc)

      1. Assuming Vettel doesn’t win in Bahrain next year, this stat may well continue as well

        1. Except in Bahrain Vettel won’t technically be leading the 2011 championship, and that will be a 2011 race, so even if he did win there I think the stat would stand.

          1. I think it will continue, since Vettel will start with car no. 1, so if nobody scores points that race and finishes the exact same number of laps, he’ll still be the championship leader.

  7. In fact, the Championship leader hasn’t won a race since Turkey 2009!

    Long may it continue… two championships that nobody wanted to win!

    Makes for nice close tables!

  8. ‘But expect it to creep up again next year.’

    I think you mean we can expect retirments to creep down next year.

    1. he was talking about reliability

  9. First British 1-2 since Austria 1999. Eddie Irvine won, Coulthard finished second. In Melbourne Eddie won and Frentzen was second.

    Good work on the stats though, very interesting reading.

    1. Since ‘Austria’ not ‘Australia’ try to read more carefully.

  10. Looking at the top graph, I’d like to know how many drivers actually have a series championship to their name.

  11. Vettel became the third WC after Hunt and Scheckter who have lead the championship for only one race.

    1. Not Scheckter, Surtees.

  12. The safety car led 66 laps, putting Maylander 6th in the tally of laps led.

    Hamilton and Vettel account for 50% of pole positions over the last 4 years.

    1. I like this safety car stat, it deserves a place somewhere.

  13. For Hungary, Webber’s 150th race was won by him.

    Worthy stat?

  14. Everytime Vettel was heading to lead the championship, (other than Abu Dhabi of course) something has gone wrong. Bahrain, Melbourne, Turkey, Hungary, Korea.

    I think I got them all

  15. Lotus start their first race since Adelaide 1994? you mean wannabe lotus??

  16. The Abu Dhabi podium featuring the newly crowned world champion and the most recent two world champions strikes me as a pretty rare thing. I think I read something about that last happening in the 80s. Does anyone know if that is the case?

  17. In last race of ’88 (Adelaide)

    Winner: Prost, WDC of 86
    Second: Senna, WDC of 88
    Third: Piquet, WDC of 87

  18. Craig Woollard
    1st December 2010, 16:21

    At Germany, Hamilton beat Schumacher’s record for most points in a season, although the new scoring system helped him of course ;)

  19. The last 5 years have produced 5 different drivers winning the championship for 5 different teams:

    2006 – Alonso, Renault
    2007 – Raikkonen, Ferrari
    2008 – Hamilton, McLaren
    2009 – Button, Brawn
    2010 – Vettel, Red Bull

    This had not been see since the late 70s, early 80s.

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