Webber the sixth winner and fifth pole sitter of 2012

2012 Monaco Grand Prix stats and facts

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Mark Webber scored his eighth career win in the Monaco Grand Prix, matching Jacky Ickx and Denny Hulme’s tally of wins.

He becomes a two-time winner of the race, and the 11th driver to win the historic event more than once.

He joins Juan Manuel Fangio, Maurice Trintignant, Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard and Fernando Alonso.

Webber scored both his wins at Monaco by slender margins: 0.643s ahead of Rosberg this year, and 0.448s ahead of Sebastian Vettel two years ago, albeit under safety car conditions.

Neither of these were the closest-ever finish at Monaco: that remains Ayrton Senna’s 0.215s win over Nigel Mansell, which will be 20 years ago this Thursday.

Webber’s tenth pole position

Webber also claimed his tenth career pole position, giving him as many as Jochen Rindt.

This may seem an uncontroversial point but it inspired a surprising degree of invective in the comments from those insisting pole position belonged to Michael Schumacher. Schumacher was fastest in qualifying, but his five-place grid penalty for causing a collision with Bruno Senna in the Spanish Grand Prix relegated him to sixth.

While the significance of Schumacher being fastest in qualifying for the first time since his comeback should not be missed, this was not his pole position. That did not stop several headline-writers claiming it was.

Drivers’ tallies of pole positions are based on who is allocated pole position on the starting grid. The reason for their demotion makes no difference. There are many past examples of drivers who were fastest in qualifying not gaining pole position.

Ferrari driver Cliff Allison never started a world championship race from pole position but he was fastest in qualifying for the 1959 German Grand Prix at AVUS. As he was a reserve driver, the organisers added ten seconds to his lap time, and he lined up 14th instead of first.

Other drivers who lost pole position for different reasons include Kimi Raikkonen (engine change penalty, Monza 2005), Fernando Alonso (penalty for impeding, Hungaroring 2007) and Lewis Hamilton (excluded due to stopping after qualifying, Catalunya 2012). None of these are counted towards their pole position tallies of 16, 20 and 21 respectively.

And, of course, Schumacher himself lost pole position once before at Monaco in 2006, after infamously parking his car at Rascasse to prevent other drivers from improving their times. Nor is this counted towards his pole tally of 68.

Schumacher’s now had three penalties in his last four visits to Monte-Carlo – he was controversially demoted from sixth to 12th after the 2010 race for passing Alonso under safety car conditions at the end of the race.

Six winners in six races

Webber becomes the sixth different driver to win in the first six races – a new record. Red Bull became the first team to score more than one win this year.

While much has been made of what the number of different winners says about the state of the sport, it should be remembered that we are still well short of the record of nine consecutive different winners (see the last stats and facts for details). And the record for five consecutive different teams winning has not been broken.

We’ve also had five different pole sitters in the last five races. This last happened in 2009 between the British and Belgian Grands Prix, with Sebastian Vettel, Webber, Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Giancarlo Fisichella taking pole position.

Sergio Perez became the sixth different driver to set fastest lap this year, and the seventh different driver to do so in consecutive races.

This was Perez’s first fastest lap as an F1 driver, and only the second ever by a Mexican. The other was set by Pedro Rodriguez in the 1968 French Grand Prix, held at a soaked Rouen.

Rosbergs tie on 114 starts

Nico Rosberg started his 114th Grand Prix, meaning he now has as many starts as father Keke. Here’s how their careers compare up to this point:

Nico RosbergKeke Rosberg
Pole position15
Front row310
Fastest lap23

Lotus’s 535th race

Lotus went to town on marking their “500th race”, emblazoning it on the nose of their car and tagging their Tweets “Monaco 500”.

This was a somewhat confusing gesture as the previous team called Lotus had marked the 500th start for the famous name at the 2010 European Grand Prix.

This is, of course, another example of the thoughtless use of the Lotus name in F1 over the last three years.

While Tony Fernandes-era Lotus (2010-2011) adopted the heritage of their predecessors, the new Lotus are positioning themselves as ‘Team Enstone’. The team’s website refers to their predecessors Toleman, Benetton and Renault as the team’s history.

This explains why they called the Monaco Grand Prix their ‘500th race’. I cannot fathom the reasoning of doing this yet persisting to call themselves Lotus. By this reasoning their first race was the 1981 Italian Grand Prix – in which they, as Toleman, competed against the original Lotus.

For the record, this was the 535th race contested by Lotus (in their three different guises) in F1.

More Monaco Grand Prix stats and facts

Two drivers raced with helmet designs mimicking those of former F1 pilots: Raikkonen used James Hunt’s and Jean-Eric Vergne used Jean Alesi’s – itself based on the design used by Elio de Angelis.

In 1996 at Monaco David Coulthard was struggling with his helmet fogging up so he borrowed one of Michael Schumacher’s spares for the race. While the real Schumacher crashed out on the first lap, the ‘fake Schumacher’ finished second for McLaren, wearing the same helmet Schumacher had used to finish third in Brazil.

Felipe Massa and Webber led a race for the first time this year. Half the drivers in the championship have now led a race at some stage. Three more race leaders this year will equal the record of 15.

Finally, Maldonado went from hero to zero by winning from pole position in the previous race but starting last for this one and crashing out on the first lap.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2012 Monaco Grand Prix

Browse all 2012 Monaco Grand Prix articles

Image © Red Bull/Getty images, Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Lotus F1 Team/LAT

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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58 comments on “Webber the sixth winner and fifth pole sitter of 2012”

  1. I cannot fathom the reasoning of doing this yet persisting to call themselves Lotus.

    I must admit to finding their method far better than adopting the histories of a completely unrelated team. By insisting it’s the name that counts you end up with absurd situations like saying Lotus (Team Enstone) in fact finished 10th in the constructors last year with their drivers Trulli and Kovalainen.

    1. Although I do agree with your assessment that the name has been abused in this debacle, and should have been well left alone.

      1. The people in Enstone who put the car on the starting line for 500 races deserve to celebrate, however their jet-setting bosses buy, sell, rebrand, repaint, and reinvent the team.

  2. Statistically mind blowing, thanks again Keith. I can recall you detesting with Team Enstone on twitter when they announced their hashtag for Monaco that it was not the right choice. That’s a great explanation as to why.

    1. @funkyf1 That and it clashed with the convention of races being named for their distance: Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, etc…

      I did the maths (you may have seen on Twitter) and worked out a Monaco 500 would be 241 laps lasting over five-and-a-half hours (requiring much bigger fuel tanks).

      1. Fuel tanks are barely your problem. If your tyres are falling apart after lap 20 in a 78 lap race, how many tyres do you need for 241 laps on triple the fuel load? You’ll likely be pitting every fifth lap for the first 100 laps at this degradation rate.

        1. It seems likely that Pirelli would probably bring different tyre compounds to a 241-lap race as compared to a 78-lap one, though.

          1. I’d love to see a F1 endurance race, that’d be a spectical. One of the “old” boy’s would probably win.

      2. Didn’t that hilariously wrong episode of CSI invent a “Monaco 500”?

  3. What are the three stars on the Lotus, just in front of the driver?

    Do they refer to something the team’s won three times (can’t be world championships, Schumacher and Alonso won 2 each), or something Dany Bahar has claimed for Group Lotus – or just something to do with a sponsor? Any ideas?

    1. If my hazy memory serves me correctly, they’re the number of constructors’ titles won by the “Enstone team”; 1995, 2005 and 2006.

      1. Ah thanks @kaiie, I forgot about the Constructors.

      2. That was also puzzling me @kaiie Thanks for clearing it up!

  4. Has it ever happened before that for two races in a row, the fastest man in Qualy didn’t start the race on pole? This hasn´t happened at least since the 2006 season.

    1. @andae23 No. I believe all the instances of the fastest driver in qualifying not being on pole are covered in the article. Not counting drivers being faster in Q2 than Q3, which was usually the case pre-2010.

      1. The fantastic stat I read in the metro today was that Schumacher got his 96th pole positions. Eh? I see what they did there, but it’s a doubly shocking mistake.

  5. In 1951 season there were also 6 different winners in the first 6 races.

    1. Sort of – one of them was a shared drive between Luigi Fagioli and Juan Manuel Fangio in the French Grand Prix. Obviously shared drivers haven’t been allowed for decades so it’s a tricky point of comparison to today. As Fangio and Fagioli shared the points from the win, we could get technical and say 2012 is the first ever season with six full points-scoring winners.

    2. Fangio won the first race of the season and then shared the car that won the fourth race of the season with Fagioli. He also won the fifth race of the season.

    3. Even if we forget that Fagioli and Fangio shared the car in the French GP, we should remember that FIA Formula One cars weren’t allowed in 1951 Indianapolis 500 (the race was restricted to American Championship Cars). It was a part of the World Championship of Drivers, but it wasn’t Formula One. I think.

  6. dodge5847 (@)
    28th May 2012, 13:49

    Hamilton and Alonso are the only two drivers to score points in every race so far.

  7. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that before qualifying, Sergio Perez was the only driver on the grid who had not been eliminated in Q1 since the introduction of the knockout qualifying system.


    While Tony Fernandes-era Lotus (2010-2011) adopted the heritage of their predecessors, the new Lotus are positioning themselves as ‘Team Enstone’.

    This explains why they called the Moanco Grand Prix their ’500th race’. I cannot fathom the reasoning of doing this yet persisting to call themselves Lotus. By this reasoning, their first race was the 1981 Italian Grand Prix in which they competed against Lotus.

    I am guessing that they are doing this because Lotus Cars is currently up for sale. Gerard Lopez and Genii Capital are rumoured to be considering or submitting (depending on who you talk to) a bid to buy the company from DBR-Hicom. Given that they are closely associated with the team that carries the Lotus name, it might appear presumptuous for the team to continue to refer to themselves as Lotus before the deal is done. Doing so might even cause Lopez and Genii to lose any bid they make.

    1. They started doing this before the current instability with regards to Group Lotus, though – it goes right back to when they named the chassis the E20 (representing 20 years at Enstone) rather than giving the car a Lotus type number.

  8. Webber should improve his starts and he will be alright. Monaco is very unique even among street circuits. Webber must capitalize his grid position with good starts to avoid the drama of come back races.

  9. Red Bull have become the 4th team to win Monaco 3 times (with Cooper, Tyrrel and Williams), although McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus and BRM have won it more than 3 times. It is only the 5th time a team has won Monaco on three consecutive occasions, the others being Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart winning between 63 and 66 for BRM, Graham Hill and Jochen Rindt winning between 68 and 70 for Lotus, Prost between 84 and 86 for McLaren, and of course Prost and Senna winning between 88 and 93, also for McLaren. Webber is also the first Australian to win the race twice.

    1. Red Bull are both the fourth constructor and the fourth team with exactly three victories at Monaco, though the identities of the other three (constructors/teams) are not the same. Cooper (constructor) had three victories at Monaco, but Cooper (team) have only two, because Trintignant’s 1958 win was in a Cooper entered privately by Rob Walker Racing. Walker had two other victories (both by Stirling Moss, driving Lotuses), making Rob Walker Racing one of the three teams to win three races at Monaco.

  10. Of course the most important statistic is missing off your Rosberg vs Rosberg table – namely championships won. Which Rosberg Snr heads Rosberg Jnr one nil.

  11. Looking at the performances, I dont think Sahara Force India will finish above 7th place this season

    1. With any and all due respect, I didn’t think Nico Rosberg would win this season, or that we’d have six new winners in six races.

      I tend to agree with you, but I’ve given up predicting anything this season.

  12. McLaren has not finished on the podium in the last three races. The last time this happened was between the 2008 Brazilian GP and the 2009 German GP (a whopping 10 races without a podium finish). The biggest gap between consecutive podium finish for McLaren counted 34 races: between the 1979 Argentine GP and the 1981 Spanish GP.

  13. As I wrote commenting a previous article, this was Lotus’ 500th start, taking into account the Enstone heritage.

  14. I guess there is an argument for Schumacher’s pole to stand over the others in that his penalty was from a previous race, whereas others, like Hamilton’s at Spain, was relevant to that specific session. I don’t think it should stand, but there’s you can separate this and some others.

    1. @ed24f1 It doesn’t change the fact that Webber was the pole sitter this weekend, but if you look at it as ‘Qualy winner’ instead of ‘Pole sitter’, there’s certainly a difference between someone getting pole with an illegal car or cheating in the session, and someone being moved back thanks to a penalty that Schumacher had.

  15. Wasnt Monaco Paul Di Resta’s 21st consecutive finish? I tihnk that’s right, sure I remember Brundle and Crofty talking about it. I’m sure Heidfield must be looking on hoping his record isnt about to be taken!

    Also, a very good sign that Alonso and Hamilton are the only drivers to have finished in the points in all races. Bodes well for the championship chances and proves that as ever, consistency is the key.

    1. I think Di Resta is still a fair way off Heidfeld’s record.

    2. Yeah that was Paul’s 21st consecutive race finish, having retired last in last years Turkish GP I think. Heidfeld went 41 races though between the 2007 French and 2009 Italian Grand Prix, so he’s only half way there! An incredible record really…

      1. Didn’t he retire in Canada, but got classified with 90% rule? Heidfeld had also one similar race during his streak, in 2007 Japan.

        1. yeah he did but was still classified so it kinda counts.

  16. McLaren is going for the record of most places lost during pit stops in a season.

    Seriously, does anybody have stats on that?

    1. i’m gonna make a big thread on mclaren’s failure to suceed 2011-2012

  17. In all six races of the year, the Lotus driver who started from worse grid position has finished better. Grosjean leads 5-1 in grid positions (qualis are 4-2 due to Kimi’s Malaysia penalty), Kimi 5-1 in races.

    1. @bleu Great stat!

  18. Monaco wasn’t as statistically interesting as Spain, I must admit. McLaren surpassed 1000 points, counting since the new points system was introduced. Generally, it was just a continuation of the ‘variety’ stats. This season could well break records for most different drivers getting poles, wins, fastest laps, lead laps etc.

  19. 1. Karthikeyan achieved his best finish for HRT with 15th.

    2. The last 4 races have seen 4 different drivers win from pole. There was a streak of 5 such drivers in 2003 (R Schumacher, Barrichello, Montoya, Alonso, M Schumacher), which might have been 6 if Raikkonen’s engine hadn’t blown at the Nurburgring.

    3. 9 drivers failed to finish in Monaco, and all 9 were from different teams.

    4. With both of the previous 2 points-scoring systems (10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 and 10-6-4-3-2-1) the top 3 would all be tied on points (on 30 pts and 22 pts respectively).

    1. Dave In NZL (now Aus).
      29th May 2012, 3:17

      Brilliant stats – thanks for the work.

    2. @paulgilb Great! This year all drivers converted poles into victories bar Lewis Hamilton, who’s failed twice.

  20. This explains why they called the Moanco Grand Prix their ’500th race’. I cannot fathom the reasoning of doing this yet persisting to call themselves Lotus. By this reasoning, their first race was the 1981 Italian Grand Prix in which they competed against Lotus.

    They competed against Renault, too, but I don’t recall many complaints (though I wouldn’t have been paying that much attention) when they declined to adopt the heritage of the old Equipe Renault squad (even when the team finally changed it’s named from Benetton to Renault, it became “Renault F1 Team” not “Equipe Renault”).

    1. A “Lotus” has competed against all their incarnations, Toleman, Bennetton & Renault.

      1. and Lotus!

  21. Keith, Webber is the 13th driver to become multiple Monaco winner not the 11th. This is evident simply by counting the names you’ve mentioned.

  22. I think it’s a good thing Lotus is doing, trying to detach them self from original Lotus team, as they are the different team. It’s just confusing that we got caught up in contractual obligation phase so name will stay until 2015?

    I’d imagine it give guys at Enstone some sort of pride knowing they have achievements of their own, and dont need to rely on others success.

    Unlike some certain factory teams.

    Unilever Enstone F1 Team :)

    1. Agreed. They’re going through a rather rocky time at the moment and it’s quite evident that the Enstone outfit is a very successful one so why shouldn’t they embrace it?

  23. Lewis Hamilton took part in his 96th Grand Prix for McLaren, equalling Senna’s tally for the same team, although Senna had won 35 races to Lewis’s 17 in the same number of races.

  24. Red Bull drivers have the same points – both 50% for Weber and 50% for Vettel.
    Mercedes has the worst proportion – only 3% to Schumacher and 97% to Rosberg, then Ferrari – 88% Alonso and 12 % Masa.

    Should Ferrari fire Massa or Mercedes – Schumacher? (i know – troll question…)

    1. @maldikons The Mercedes proportion is unrealistic, as Schumacher has had so much bad luck. Though it is interesting to see Rosberg right up there in the title battle, with Michael behind both Toro Rossos.

  25. Michael Kaminski
    29th May 2012, 13:35

    I have no problem with Webber but I disagree with him being handed and unearned pole. I think Schumacher should have been given the 5 place penalty leaving the grid spot empty for the start of the race. This would ensure the integrity of the record books in that when looking back we’d see exactly what happened instead of looking back and seeing that Webber achieved pole which he didn’t; just saying.

  26. Webber has won his 2nd Monaco Grand Prix. He joins Coulthard and Trintignant who won twice in Monte-Carlo but never won the Championship. Only one driver has 3 wins in Monaco and no title – Stirling Moss.

  27. lol. love the maldonado stat

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