Perez is first Mexican in points for 30 years

2011 Spanish GP stats and facts

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Sergio Perez, Sauber, Barcelona, 2011

Sergio Perez scored the first points of his F1 career. He did, of course, finish in the points in Australia, before Sauber were disqualified.

He is the first Mexican driver to score in F1 since Hector Rebaque finished for Brabham in the 1981 Dutch Grand Prix.

Mark Webber broken Sebastian Vettel’s five-race streak of pole positions.

He started from first place for the seventh time in his career, as many as Jacques Laffite and Jenson Button.

But Webber’s lead was short-lived and he is still yet to lead a lap in 2011. Vettel, meanwhile, has led 223 out of 294 racing laps this year (75.85%).

It was the first time the pole sitter has failed to win the Spanish Grand Prix since 2000, when Michael Schumacher started from pole and finished behind Mika Hakkinen.

Vettel started from the first row of the grid for the tenth race in a row. Only four drivers have managed more consecutive front row starts:

Driver Front rows Races
Ayrton Senna 24 1988 German – 1989 Australian Grand Prix
Damon Hill 17 1995 Australian – 1996 Japanese Grand Prix
Alain Prost 16 1993 South African – Australian Grand Prix
Nigel Mansell 15 1986 Australian – 1987 Mexican Grand Prix
Mario Andretti 10 1978 Belgian – United States East Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel 10 2010 Singapore – 2011 Spanish Grand Prix

Vettel won his 14th race which puts him level with multiple champions Graham Hill, Jack Brabham and Emerson Fittipaldi. It was his seventh win in nine starts – and he retired from one of those while leading.

He now has 118 points after five races – he needed twice as many starts to surpass that score last year.

Kamui Kobayashi finished tenth for the third race in a row and Jerome D’Ambrosio finished 20th for the third race in a row.

There were only four drivers left on the lead lap by the end of the race. That’s the fewest since the 2008 British Grand Prix, when Lewis Hamilton, Nick Heidfeld and Rubens Barrichello were the only drivers to complete all 60 laps.

Felipe Massa, Michael Schumacher, Jarno Trulli and Narain Karthikeyan have been beaten by their team mates in every qualifying session this year.

Pirelli supplied their hard and soft tyre for the first five races. Staying true to his reputation for being kind on his tyres, Jenson Button spent the most laps on the soft compound during races: 199 laps.

Sebastien Buemi got the most use out of the hard tyre, managing 136 laps on the more durable compound.

Pirelli’s hopes the new hard compound tyre introduced this weekend would reduce the number of pit stops were not realised. There were 77 in Spain compared to 81 in Turkey.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

Spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the Spanish Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

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    Image © Sauber F1 Team

    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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    64 comments on “Perez is first Mexican in points for 30 years”

    1. i ate taco’s for dinner on saturday night.. coincidence?

      also, 1st ever Catalunyan GP to not be won by the Pole Sitter? i think its the first for 11 years.. i could be wrong

      1. It’s in the article.

        1. oh yeah.. i’m blind

      2. Yeah, it was the first since 10 races that the polesitter did not win.

    2. Ok Keith you seem to have missed the most amusing stat of all.

      When was the last time a race leading car got lapped?

      I just can remember anything except donington 93 when prost lead for a few corners before being taken by senna before the end of lap 1, but prost had mech issues.

      But to lead 20 laps and get lapped with 3 laps to go, that too without any apparent mechanical issues is something else.

      1. Past occasions when it happened have often been because a car had a mechanical problem.

      2. Last year at Brazil the driver on Pole got lapped.

    3. Sergio Perez scored the first points of his F1 car


      1. Fixed, thanks.

        1. Of course, it is true that he’s scored his first points in an F1 car!

          Really glad to see the Sauber consistently in the points this year. Kamui’s doing a really good job of making their car 4th or 5th best, somewhat, especially with so many teams fighting at or near the front. Although for all that, it still leaves them 6th in the constructors championship with only a quarter of the points of 5th place Mercedes.

          Real shame about their Australia DSQ’s from 7th and 8th, their best of the year so far.

          1. What’s great about Sauber is they kind of surprise everyone towards the end of the race. At the beginning the pace doesn’t look fantastic, then they slowly real everyone back in. At Turkey for example, Kobayashi didn’t seem to be making the progress people expected, but then by the time half of the race was completed, he was on his way up.

            Impressive stuff

            1. That’s partly because Kobayashi has a tendency to use the hard tyres at the start, and then go for softs and use the extra grip and his Gran Turismo overtaking techniques to charge up the field while everyone else is using the hard tyres last.

            2. I was surprised when eddie jordan named sauber as the team to watch, in the bbc’s f1 preview. I guess he really does know his stuff..

    4. No safety car for 5 races in a row now. No rain also for 5 races in a row. Still, we haven’t had one boring race.

      Alonso spent 26 laps on the same tyre, is that the longest stint in 2011 by one of the front running teams?

      1. The rain, and the safety car could both change in Monaco!

    5. Perez is first Mexican to score for 30 years


      Also, Steve Slater pointed out on the commentary here that this race might have been one of very few where a driver who’s led the race at one point (i.e, Alonso) ends up getting lapped later on. How many times has this happened before? At all?

      1. shows Slater is not having that good a memory.

        Remember Prost being lapped in ’93 after he led the first lap? Certainly not the first time, but it was some time back.

        1. And let us not forget about Markus Winkelhock in the Spyker only a few years back (2007?), great gamble to start on wets made him lead before he got passed by everyone and was lapped.

          1. Oh yeah, one-lap-wonder Winkelhock! Where is he these days?

            Sure, I guess it has happened on a number of occasions before. But Alonso led for the first twenty laps! Which probably puts him atop the list of drivers to get lapped after covering the maximum distance (as a % of total race distance) in the lead of a grand-prix. As obscure, unsatisfying and unimpressive a statistic that may be, it’s a stat nonetheless :D

    6. Jelle van der Meer (@)
      23rd May 2011, 9:30

      Vettel has overtaken Hamilton in % wins – Vettel has 20.9% vs. Hamilton 19.7% => despite not having won since his comeback MSC is still far out at 33.2%

      Vettel now made it into the top10 of all time point scorers surpassing Massa => obvious due to higher points per race available the top 10 is now dominated by active drivers. Prost 3rd, Senna 5th, Raikonnen 7th and Coulthard 9th are the only not active.

      Vettel has the most poles per race of any active driver with 28.4% yet far off Fangio’s 54.9%, 2nd is MSC with 24.8% and 3rd is Hamilton with 23.7%

      1. Nice stats!

      2. Paul Gilbert
        24th May 2011, 23:05

        Just noticed that Michael Schumacher has won exactly 1/3 of the races that he has started (91 wins from 273 starts).

    7. What if Pirelli had not brought the harder tyres, would that have meant some cars 5 stopping? Or just more cases of having the tyres completely shot at the end of the race/end of their stints.

    8. I couldn’t help but giggle at the title of this thread….

    9. Every race except for 1996 at Catalunya has been won from the front row (Schumacher, started 3rd)

    10. 24 consecutive front rows for Senna and people whinge that quali is boring now ;)

      1. I’m actually surprised that one M. Schumacher is not in that list of most consecutive front row starts.

        1. Michael was never the best qualifier really, he often fueled quite high anyway as others went light to build an early gap.

          We all know how the races turned out anyway. Qualifying meant nothing if you had the correct race strategy.

        2. Same thought here.

    11. Keith, this is one of my favourite parts of the post Grand Prix roundup. The stats and facts are always fascinating to look at and thanks for taking the time to come up with some great ones.

      1. You’re welcome :-)

      2. Steve Calvert
        23rd May 2011, 12:31

        Yes, thanks Keith.

        I can’t wait to see Perez next year here in Austin, Texas.

    12. As the BBC pointed out, it’s the first time Felipe has failed to finish this race.

      It’s the first time in a decade (someone feel free to correct me) that the pole man has not won this race.

      Seb’s win here was the first time he’s ever finished ahead of his team mate at this track and he’s only outqualified his team mate once here and that was Webber in 09.

    13. The Polish commentators brought up an interesting stat during the race.
      The pitstop times for each team have been compared, and it turns out the fastest teams in the pits are:
      1. Mercedes
      2. McLaren
      3. RedBull
      4. Sauber
      5. Force India

      Most interestingly, Ferrari were only the 7th fastest.

      1. These were the averages from the first 4 races of the season.

      2. I saw a story last week that claimed Red Bull were fastest. Haven’t had a look at the data myself yet.

        1. If I remember correctly the TV graphics showed Vettel as having a 2.9 in Turkey :)

        2. I’d expect it’ll be heavily dependent on how you average the times, Keith. Quite a lot of teams have had long stops due to stuck wheel-nuts or similar (and of course then there’s the issue of nosecone changes as well), so the fastest team if you take the mean time will probably be somebody who’s not had anything go badly wrong.

          The median pit-stop time for each team might be more informative.

        3. Yeah, I think I saw that as well. And the pitstop times from both Turkey and Spain were faster than McLaren for certain.

          Mercedes was good last year, but not too sure about this year.

      3. Most interestingly, Ferrari were only the 7th fastest.

        I’m surprised they were even 7th. Some of their pitstops really have been dreadful this year.

      4. I thought Ferrari were 12th ;)

    14. McLaren passed the bar of 10.000 laps in lead.

    15. Nice to see a stat with Damon Hill in because that’s the benchmark I’ve been using for Vettel’s 3-year performance (comparing to Hill’s 1994-1996 years).

      – 18 wins over 49 races, 36.7%
      – 18 pole positions, 36.7%
      – 35 front-row starts, 71.4%
      – Pole-to-win ratio 7/18, 38.9%
      – Wins from not staring on pole ratio 11/18, 61.1%

      – 13 wins over 41 races, 31.7%
      – 18 pole positions, 43.9%
      – 26 front-row starts, 63.4%
      – Pole-to-win ratio 9/18, 50%
      – Win from non-pole ratio 4/13, 30.8%

      Not really sure if there’s a point to all this but it’s interesting to follow.

      1. That’s an interesting comparison!

    16. Lol, the title makes me giggle, i didn’t realize Mexicans where such bad lovers :D

      1. HounslowBusGarage
        23rd May 2011, 13:11

        LOL. I really, really did not read the headline that way until I read your post!

      2. The title’s changed! I did not fully understand your interpretation, but I think my idea is correct ;)

    17. The last two GPs in Spain have featured the same drivers in the same order: Vettel, Hamilton and Button.

      (Europe 2010 and Spain 2011)

      1. on the podium anyway.

        9 races and 8 months since a top three team other than Red Bull has been on pole*

        *Williams in Brazil doesn’t apply as they are no longer in top 3

    18. Keith, do you have access to all of the safety car events per season since 1993? Yes, i’m bragging on about this but it’s interesting stat for me. We’re looking at one of the safest seasons in years. No safety cars in 5 races, that is remarkable.

      Also, how many times did Safety car appear at Monaco? How are the statistical chances of an uneventful Monte Carlo GP this year? I’d also like to get to know that.

    19. 3 consecutive title winners on the podium:
      Button – 2009
      Hamilton – 2008
      Vettel – 2010

    20. I’m surprised noone has yet noticed that Vettel is off to one of the best starts to a season ever!

      Mansell 1992 – 1,1,1,1,1
      Schumi 2004 – 1,1,1,1,1
      Schumi 1994 – 1,1,1,1,2
      Vettel 2011 – 1,1,2,1,1
      Button 2009 – 1,1,3,1,1
      Schumi 2002 – 1,3,1,1,1

      1. Well, one has to mention – or add to the top of that list – Jim Clark’s 1965s’ season start:

        The ‘x’ stands for the Monaco GP that Clark didn’t win, because he didn’t even participate in the race weekend.
        So, the best first 5 races by a driver in a season:

        1. Clark 1965* – 1,1,1,1,1,(1)
        2. Mansell 1992 – 1,1,1,1,1,(2)
        3. Schumi 2004 – 1,1,1,1,1,(DNF)
        4. Schumi 1994 – 1,1,1,1,2,(1)
        -. Vettel 2011 – 1,1,2,1,1,(?)
        6. Button 2009 – 1,1,3,1,1,(1)
        -. Schumi 2002 – 1,3,1,1,1,(1)

        And if Vettel wins the next race, his start to the World Champioship campaign would be tied for the second best ever in the first 6 races of the season:

        1. Clark 1965* – 1,1,1,1,1,1
        2. Mansell 1992 – 1,1,1,1,1,2
        -. Schumi 1994 – 1,1,1,1,2,1
        -. Vettel 2011 – 1,1,2,1,1,1
        5. Button 2009 – 1,1,3,1,1,(1)
        -. Schumi 2002 – 1,3,1,1,1,(1)

        [* – didn’t participate in the 2nd GP of the season]

        1. Oops, that should’ve been a tie in the best of five:
          1. Clark 1965* – 1,1,1,1,1,(1)
          -. Mansell 1992 – 1,1,1,1,1,(2)
          -. Schumi 2004 – 1,1,1,1,1,(DNF)

    21. We’ve had five different third place finishers in the five races so far: Petrov, Heidfeld, Webber, Alonso and Button.

      Talking of third places, when Vettel came third in FP2, it was the first time he came third in any F1 session since finishing third in the Hungarian GP last year.

      The Spanish GP was the longest this year and also had the smallest gap between first and second since Singapore 2010.

    22. Good facts as always!

      I know there were less races in years gone by but it’s crazy to see Vettel matching the likes of Hill and Fitipaldi on race wins.

    23. Heidfeld and D’Ambrosio the only drivers to have finished every race higher than their qualifying position? Karthikeyen too for every race he has participated in.

      1. Actually it’s only Heidfeld, not a bad record I think!

      2. Re. Karthikeyan, seeing as he starts last every time, his achievement isn’t quite as impressive as Heidfeld’s…!

    24. Sebastien Buemi & Adrian Sutil are the only 2 drivers to finish every race this year and not get a podium.

      Every driver who has had a podium finish has finished every race.

    25. Sebastien Buemi & Adrian Sutil are the only drivers to finish every race and not have a podium finish.

      All the drivers who have had a podium finish have finished every race.

    26. Nick Heidfeld climbed from 24th to 8th, a climb of 16 places, the highest this year…

      Webber only climbed 15 places in China, and Kobayashi gained 14 in Turkey…

    27. Keith, any idea when was the last time that both Ferrari were lapped?

      1. I think is 2008 British GP

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