Grosjean is first banned driver since Schumacher

2012 Belgian Grand Prix stats and facts

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Romain Grosjean will be feeling contrite after being banned from the next race for triggering a huge crash on the first lap in Belgium.

But his ban puts him in surprisingly good company. Several drivers who were handed race bans went on to become world champions.

The last driver to be banned from a race was Michael Schumacher, who was excluded from the Italian and Portuguese Grands Prix in 1994 following a messy incident in that year’s British Grand Prix.

Schumacher had broken the rules by overtaking pole sitter Damon Hill on the formation lap. He was handed a five-second stop-go penalty, which he failed to serve, and was then shown the black flag. Only then did he appear in the pits for his stop-go penalty, six laps after the black flag was first shown.

The FIA rejected Benetton’s appeal that the original penalty had been handed down too late and disqualified Schumacher from the race and two future races.

Before Schumacher could serve his ban another future world champion incurred the FIA’s wrath. Much like Grosjean, Mika Hakkinen was adjudged to be responsible for a first-lap crash in Germany, and was banned from the next race at the Hungaroring.

There was a spate of such exclusions in 1994. Eddie Irvine was banned from one race when he was blamed for a four-car crash in the Brazilian Grand Prix. When his Jordan team appealed the ban it was increased to three races.

Joining Schumacher and Hakkinen in the ‘future champions who were excluded from races’ is Nigel Mansell, who was barred from racing in Spain in 1989 after colliding with Ayrton Senna in Portugal while the stewards were trying to black-flag him for a pit lane infraction.

Since 1994 the only other race exclusions was the BAR team’s two-race ban in 2005 for infringing the technical regulations. Renault were initially banned from the 2009 European Grand Prix when Fernando Alonso lost a wheel during that year’s race in Hungary, but the ban was quashed on appeal.

Some may recall Felipe Massa’s absence from the 2002 United States Grand Prix following a collision with Pedro de la Rosa at Monza. But Massa was not excluded – he had been handed a grid penalty so the team chose to replace him with Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

Lap one crash ruins races

The crash ruined the races of several drivers including both Sauber pilots. This was especially galling for them as Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez had achieved their personal best starting positions with second and fourth respectively, which was also the best combined qualifying performance for Sauber.

Kobayashi equalled the best qualifying performance by a Sauber (they had pole positions as BMW Sauber), which was also achieved by Jean Alesi in the 1998 Austrian and 1999 French Grands Prix.

And Kobayashi also matched the best ever qualifying performance by a Japanese driver – Takuma Sato qualified second for the 2004 European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.

Another driver whose race was ruined by the first-lap crash was Fernando Alonso. Had he scored in this race he would have equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of 24 consecutive points finishes (set when points were awarded to the top six/eight drivers). Alonso’s last non-score was at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve last year.

Four drivers were eliminated on the first lap. That’s the most since the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix when Vitaly Petrov, Nico Hulkenberg, Felipe Massa, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Lucas di Grassi all retired.

Button’s first pole position for McLaren

Jenson Button claimed his first pole position for McLaren, in his 50th appearance for the team. He now has eight career pole positions, as many as John Surtees and Riccardo Patrese, and is the seventh different pole sitter this season.

He converted it into his 14th career win and his first at Spa-Francorchamps, becoming the first driver to lead every lap of a race this year. Button now has as many wins as fellow world champions Graham Hill, Jack Brabham and Emerson Fittipaldi.

Had he taken the fastest lap as well this would have been Button’s first ever ‘grand slam’. But Bruno Senna beat him to it, setting his first ever fastest lap.

Button’s win means McLaren have scored points in the last 50 consecutive races – the entire duration of the Button-Lewis Hamilton partnership. If they continue to score points in the next six races they’ll beat Ferrari’s record of 55 consecutive points finishes though, again, this record mostly covers races where points only went down to sixth.

Third place for Kimi Raikkonen was the first time he has finished the Belgian Grand Prix in any position other than first. He was classified 18th in 2008 having crashed with two laps to go.

Nico Hulkenberg achieved his highest race finish to date with fourth place. Both Toro Rosso drivers equalled their previous best finishes of eighth (Jean-Eric Vergne) and ninth (Daniel Ricciardo).

Three penalties in one weekend for Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado picked up three penalties in one weekend: a three-place grid penalty for impeding Hulkenberg, followed by two further penalties to be served in Italy.

That will give him a total of nine of the season so far as follows:

Bahrain Grand PrixFive-place grid dropGearbox change
Monaco Grand PrixTen-place grid dropCollision with Perez in practice
Monaco Grand PrixFive-place grid dropGearbox change
Canadian Grand PrixFive-place grid dropGearbox change
European Grand Prix20-seconds added to race timeCollision with Hamilton
Hungarian Grand PrixDrive-throughCollision with Di Resta
Belgian Grand PrixThree-place grid dropImpending Hulkenberg in qualifying
Belgian Grand PrixFive-place grid drop for Italian Grand PrixJump start
Belgian Grand PrixFive-place grid drop for Italian Grand PrixCausing a collision with Glock

Maldonado also received a reprimand and fine for his collision with Perez at Silverstone. He had five penalties last year.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2012 Belgian Grand Prix

Browse all 2012 Belgian Grand Prix articles

Image © Ford

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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156 comments on “Grosjean is first banned driver since Schumacher”

  1. In both of his Belgian Grands Prix, Romain Grosjean caused a lap one collision that eliminated Lewis Hamilton and the championship leader from the race.

    1. @enigma Great stat! Though Hamilton may not appreciate it…

      1. Near 20 years since a driver being banned. I watch every GP since 1996 and some of them before and I bitterly think some others driver could have been banned before Grosjean (Schumacher, for instance, Hungary 2010), don’t you think so?

        1. Exactly my thoughts. I always have a feeling that something bad needs to happen before the FIA does something. This resulted in a crash that could have seriously injured Alonso, so one driver got banned. In Hungary 2010 they had a lucky escape, so no-one got banned.

        2. Dunno about a ban, but Schumacher should have been black-flagged IMMEDIATELY in Hungary 2010. There is absolutely no excuse, black flags exist for these reasons.

          1. Hmm, Why?

            Because he forced another driver off the track? Should bans always be given for that?

            I think you have to explain the idea more.

          2. if so where was rosbergs for bahrain?? only difference is the wall. the rules dont say anything about changing how you drive cos there is a wall there. the track is defined by the white lines not where the walls are.

          3. The think about Shu, he left enough room for Rubens to keep all four wheels on the track if he was brave enough to go for it, he even moved left after the wall to ensure this because the grass juts out after pit exit. Grossjean has neither the skill nor the awareness to drive closely to other cars

        3. Schumacher at Monaco 2006 definitely deserved a race ban!

          1. How about last races of1995 & 1997? Thats when **** begins.. And young guys, whose idol Schumi is, got the idea that wrecking your opponents is part of formula racing.

    2. Yes, the same thing happened at the 2009 Belgian gp, where in the midfield, Grojean, Hamilton, Alguersuari and current championship leader Jenson Button crashed out on the first lap.

    3. Next year, I think someone will come with a banner “Beware of Grosjean” to Spa!!

      1. I plan going to Spa for the first time next year, I’ll take care of the banner if my plan comes to life.

        1. :). I hope your plan does. And the that the banner makes it onto tv ;)

    4. Although Grosjean was at fault I still think the punishment is disproportionate… smacks of the FIA trying to make an example…

      He didn’t drive hamilton deliberately off the track completely, it was the wheel-to-wheel tap that turned it into an accident…. if they hadn’t tapped wheels, if they had tapped wheel-to-sidepod instead, then it is likely that Grosjean would have moved back away from Hamilton and the race would have continued.

      So I think Grosjean drove aggressively and badly but I don’t think he drove deliberately dangerously or recklessly, it was simply bad driving and midjudgement compounded by a couple of inches bad luck when he tapped wheel-to-wheel.

      A 5 place grid drop would be a more appropriate punishment to me. Or a suspended ban.

      Do Renault have the option of appealing ?

      1. Why shouldn’t he be made an example of in this case – driving standards of the rookies has been a talking point for the last few years as we’re at that point when a number of ‘the next generation’ are lining up F1 drives in the next 2-3 years.

        The sad thing is, serious injuries or (unfortunately) fatalities seem to be the only things that cause the drivers to take a step back and consider the consequences of their actions. Whilst I never want to see an F1 driver die behind the wheel again, something needs to be done to enforce decent driving standards (or at least competent spatial awareness).

        1. Why shouldn’t he be made an example of in this case

          Because maybe it’s unfair?

          1. artificial racer
            4th September 2012, 18:48

            It’s not unfair. It’s arguably inconsistent, but not really when you consider the impact of this crash and Grosjean’s history this year of early-race crashes. He’s taking undue risks.

            Other drivers aren’t repeating their mistakes this way, except Maldonado perhaps.

      2. Lotus have already said they won’t appeal … they probably think it’s time lost and they can still run 2 cars in Italy so from their point of view I don’t think it is so important (big decision will be to chose the driver but very likely to be D’Ambrosio)

        But Massa was not excluded – he had been handed a grid penalty so the team chose to replace him with Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

        I wonder, which penalties are to the driver and to the car ? If you have a penalty for causing collision, abviously it’s to the driver and gearbox change would be to the car. At which point a team shouldn’t use his 3rd driver to avoid that. For example running Bottas to avoid those 10 places penalties at next race ? It’s not like Maldonado is WDC contender and that could be a brighter prospect to Williams (but probably not easy to putt Maldonado aside with this money thing, too bad, would be a great lesson for him and great time for Bottas instead of a back grid race to 1 or 2 points … maybe)

        1. That’s a very interesting point @jeanrien. Could Williams replace MAL and then avoid the 10 grid places penalty? It’s not very likely to happen as you mentioned due to sponsorship, but would be nice to see something like that.

      3. @Mark,
        If or if not, Grosjean didn’t bother to look of there was a car beside him. So you talking like his actions were just a result of calculation gone wrong is way off the point. Assuming you are the only one on track at the start of a race is absolute recklessness. It is like taking a cannon and shooting out of a window assuming no one will be walking past. There can be no excuse for such stupidity.
        What made it even worse was that they were at the braking zone, had Hamilton gone on the grass to avoid Grosjean, the accident would have still happened.

        1. All this crap about how reckless Grosjean is and his lack of awareness is starting to give me the hump.

          You want to talk about aggressiveness, and lack of awareness, how bout you look at Alonso;

          A FAR more aggressive move than the one Grosjean made on Hamilton.

          Were you all calling for Alonso’s head on a plate after that?? Oh no, that’s right, you were all too busy blaming Grosjean for pushing Schumacher into the wall!

          Yes, Spa was Grosjean’s fault, but it was only the slightest of touches that unfortunately had big consequences. Alonso’s move on him at Monaco had far more potential to cause MUCH bigger carnage!

          1. actually grossjean moves left to block and refuses to give room when he is clearly being overtaken. If he doesnt move left, there is no room for Michael to move outside of him. Completely Grossjeans fault also.

      4. @marlarkey

        it was the wheel-to-wheel tap that turned it into an accident

        not really – Romain got so close his back wheel was squarely behind lewis’ front wheel and lewis’ FW was touching Romain’s side pod which actually prevented lewis from breaking – he couldn’t have got any closer had he of tried – this I suspect is why he got banned, well and of course he had no right and no need to be crowding Lewis off of the track in the first place

        I have no doubt he thought his back wheel was in front of Lewis’ front wheel and it was an accident but it was unnecessary, avoidable and nearly resulted in loss of life or limb and not the first time either

        Drivers beware from now! and that includes Lewis

      5. I have to agree with this.
        For a start, the idea that he MUST be punished because he almost killed Alonso is just hilarious, as it sounds like if he happened to ALMOST kill DiResta or Kobayashi should just receive a five positions penalty. It is just plain silly and some folks insist on it, on and on, in this and other forums.
        Also, Maldonado’s move at the start was WAY more dangerous than Grosjean’s. Yes, Grosjean moved to the right side of the track at the start of a race in a very tight circuit. That was dangerous and maybe unnecesary. But it sounds like never ever in the whole history of Formula 1 there was a pile up at the start. Come on, guys…

        1. artificial racer
          4th September 2012, 19:27

          It’s happened before with him though. I admit I found the penalty surprising and it’s the first time I remember that the “championship leaders” being affected seems to be a big factor in the decision. But I can’t argue with the logic of giving him a ban. Even his team boss can’t. Maldonado is Maldonado but each case is different. He got off lightly for his intentional wrecks, but it also happened that none of those wrecks had big consequences.

          I think E.Boullier is happy enough. Has anyone noticed that this worked out excellently for Lotus and for Renault in general? All the cars taken out were Ferrari engines and Hamilton. The Saubers were damn quick and along with Alonso might likely have prevented Kimi and/or Vettel’s podium.

    5. It’s also two years in a row that a black and gold car has caused a first lap incident which has involved Fernando Alonso.

    6. And on both occasions the polesitter was on pole for the first time in over 3 years.

    7. I anticipated that on Saturday, though i included Button on my prevision.

    8. and both times Hamilton has been not classified this season he had started in 7th.

  2. With Maldonado’s list of penalties stacking up, with this season alone, one has to wonder what exactly he has to do before he recieves a race ban? He intentionally drove into someone this year (and last) and basically got a stern word in his ear.

    1. @jamesf1 One also has to wonder why he doesn’t learn. He’s had so many penalties and errors that have cost him so much. This year, he could’ve scored three times as many points as he has.

      1. That is the difference between drivers who had to work hard to earn an F1 seat and work hard to keep that seat, and drivers who have big money behind them as an insurance of staying behind the wheel.

        1. Eventually, but GRO has (I guess) 6 first lap chrashes to his account and I don’t think he’s backed by big bucks…

          1. Have a gander who owns both Lotus F1 and Gravity Sports Management.

          2. maybe because he is backed by his manager M.Bouiller…

        2. I wonder at which point the prize money lost was, or will be, greater than the sponsorship money he brought in.

          1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
            3rd September 2012, 17:20

            Interesting point i hadn’t been focusing so much on the lower teams points just the drivers. I think caterham said in their first year that 10th place was worth 10 million and i think 20-30 million for getting it twice in a row last year.

            If the midfield championship ends like this i was surprised to see that williams are 8th. Behind force india who definitely have had a slower car all year and behind sauber who arguably have been slower since williams have won and sauber haven’t. 2 constructors places That’s got to be worth 20 million I’d be surprised to hear stupidado brings 20 million to a team. The only driver who i honestly think would bring close to that is fernandos santander sponsorship.

            I could however be incorrect with all of those numbers, sometimes i wonder if the teams even know how much bernie pays them it’s so clandestine.

          2. And don’t forget the cost of the ruined cars he produces.
            Counting up that damage + lost money of lost points … He has to bring in big big bucks.
            If he didn’t have that huge potential he showed at Spain, he would have been a goner.

            He has always been a reckless driver… who remembers this terrible WSR crash?

          3. The link didn’t show up so here it is

          4. @solidg do you know what he got after that ? But still a big surprise a driver crashing under red flag keeps his licence … there is nothing more wrong than that. Hopefully the driver is not in his car anymore and the stewards noticed him and moved fast. Much more dangerous than the Grosjean one and yet not sure he had be penalize the same way …

          5. Is this crash the starter between Maldonado and Grosjean ?


          6. @jeanrien I don’t know what they did after this crash.
            But he has a bad reputation.
            Another proof.

            How he is driving in F1 is incredible.

  3. “There was a spate of such exclusions in 1994. Eddie Jordan was banned from one race when he was blamed for a four-car crash in the Brazilian Grand Prix. When his Jordan team appealed the bane it was increased to three races.”

    I think you mean ‘The other Eddie’? Mr. Irvine

    1. Yup I just thought the same thing.

    2. Changed it, thanks.

    3. Typo in there to. From what film has taught me, you try not to have any dealings with Bane, whether an appeal or otherwise.

  4. That’s the most since the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix when Vitaly Petrov, Nico Hulkenberg, Felipe Massa, Vitaly Petrov and Lucas di Grassi all retired.

    Petrov retired twice? ;)

    1. Damn, ninja’d.

    2. I think it was Liuzzi that Massa crashed into at the first corner.

    3. And I thought my days of getting the two ‘Vita…’s mixed up were over. Ta.

    4. Liuzzi’s first name begins with the same four letters, I reckon that’s what confused Keith :)

      1. Plus the fact that both were prone to crashing at that time.

    5. Also to note that Di Grassi actually retired on the formation lap rather than on the first lap.

  5. That’s the most since the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix when Vitaly Petrov, Nico Hulkenberg, Felipe Massa, Vitaly Petrov and Lucas di Grassi all retired.

    Looks like Vitaly retired twice in the same Grand Prix ;)

  6. The Massa story from 2002 is interesting. Did he get a penalty when he returned for the next race? Or did FIA accept it as a self-imposed race ban?

    There’ll be lots of wishful thinking among the Maldonado-haters that Williams do the same, and give Bottas a race at Monza.

    1. I believe Williams has a contract with the Venezuela people that there must be at least one Venezuelan in every session. (can anyone confirm this?)

      1. Yes that’s true and it’s a 5 year contract!!!

  7. Am I the only one who practically burst into tears when that first lap horror occurred?

    When the debris was cleared, basically all my favorite drivers were out. Kamui and Alonso on the sidelines within 300 metres. I was inconsolable. I really wanted to see what Kamui could do at the pointy end of the field in a car that seemed to be going very well.

    I was absolutely gutted for Sauber. The little team that could. :'(

    I really hope that they can bounce back and do even better at Monza. Imagine some combination of Ferraris and Saubers on the podium. I reckon you’d be able to hear the tifosi from Alpha Centauri.

    That said; as angry as I am with Grosjean, I don’t think a race ban was appropriate. Some form of penalty; sure. But the reality is that it was an error in judgement, and that happens even to the best of them. He was also much more mature and contrite about the error than say, Maldonado after any of his incidents. And I was one of the ones with my heart in my mouth when I saw his car go over Alonso’s. There’s no doubt that he needs to practice his race starts though.

    I personally think that Maldonado, for his accumulated errors and outright deliberate attacks on other drivers is far more deserving of a race ban. His attitude is absolutely shocking.

    1. @lurker

      I couldn’t agree more. I was sad to see both Saubers go out, because I believe they could have had a very good race, and certainly deserved it.
      I guess the race ban is due to the accumulation of his race start incidents this year, but it still leaves me wondering why Grosjean immediately receives a race ban, whilst Maldonado still gets off reasonably lightly, even when using his car in such a reckless fashion.

      1. I don’t get it either. The only thing I can think of is that it was because of the “severity” of the incident and the fact, as the FIA have said, because the championship leader was less than 2 feet away from having his head stoved in.

        Those factors are important, certainly (though I personally believe that it was irrelevant that he took out the championship leader, and I’m an Alsonso fan. It be the same for me if he’d mounted a Marussia or HRT for example). What I believe is far more important though is the mentality of the driver.

        When you get into an accident, you can’t know for certain how severe its going to be. I believe the “severity” is outside the driver’s control.

        However, deliberately blocking or ramming another driver, or trying to stay side by side with another car when you’re clearly going to run out of grip and slam into the other guy if you persist (Maldonado on Perez in Silverstone and on Force India in Hungary), is in my opinion, far more serious because the attitude of the driver is dangerous.

        It shows a massive lack of respect for the other competitors, and it’s only a matter of time before you run out of luck and you have ‘the big one.’

        Driver attitudes are what need to be sculpted through appropriate penalties against offending competitors.

      2. hamilton should have got a ban last year also.

    2. @lurker I agree with your post in its entirety – and also had a great big lump in my throat (even though my man Button was sailing on regardless). So sad for Sauber, and a shockingly close call for Alonso, but I do feel a race ban for the negligent but *not* murderous Grosjean was unfair compared to other penalties meted out this year.

    3. I may be mistaken (don’t care for Grosjean enough to follow Grosjean all the time) but I feel like he never accepts the blame for what he did. Off the top of my head I remember 6 incidents caused by him and at best I heard him say ‘that was not right, BUT..’. No but, just be a man and admit it. I don’t mind people making mistakes, even making them again, but admitting and actually trying to change is needed and I see none of that in him.
      That being said, I metioned it before and I stand by it, I don’t think Maldonado should have a superlicense and I hope FIA just lets him continue until they have enough reason to strip it from him.
      Nothing against those two but there are so many fast drivers in other racing series who deserve a chance to show they are not only blazing fast but also smart inside the cockpit.

      (rant over :D )

      1. Don’t forget most of his comments and admision of guilt will be censored by the team / management. It is the world we live in today,

    4. I agree with most of your post, but personally I think that the ban is deserved. He may not have *deliberately* driven into Hamilton, but it was careless to say the least. Also note that Lotus have already declared that they do not intend to appeal and that they offered no mitigation. So that would suggest that they think it was close enough to being a fair punishment not to be worth appealing (and risking an extended ban if the FIA thought they were taking the [expletive deleted]).

      This is in no way meant to be me having a go, but a genuine query: I wonder how many people would agree with the ban if Maldonado had received a one race ban (or a couple of 1 race bans) in the past. As I said, I agree with Grosjean’s ban. But I object strongly to the inference that Maldonado is less dangerous than Grosjean!

      But that’s just my thought

  8. Does this give Maldonado the record of most penalties in a season?

    Another stat, since Jenson and Lewis have been partnered at McLaren, only one of the two have been able to finish the race. 2010, Lewis won, whilst JB retired from the crash with Vettel. 2011, Hamilton retired with JB finishing on the podium and this year Button won, with Hamilton retiring.

    It also stretches back to 2009, when Hamilton retired and Kovaleinen finished. So that’s four years at Spa, with McLaren only having one driver finish!

    1. Does this give Maldonado the record of most penalties in a season?

      No, he’s tied with Lewis Hamilton.

      1. but 3 of maldonados were gearbox change

    2. @jamiefranklinf1 Interesting. And 2008 (technically) as well. Kovalainen had a gearbox problem, albeit on the pre-last or last lap.

  9. Much like Grosjean, Mika Hakkinen was adjudged to be responsible for a first-lap crash in Germany, and was banned from the next race at Hockenheim.Hakkinen was banned from next race and replaced by Phillipe Alliot but the next race was Hungaroring not Hockenheimring.Actually Hockenheim is the circuit that he crashed.

  10. Raikkonen was the first driver to score a podium from third on the grid this season. He overcame the odds too; he and Button were the only drivers to score points out of the top eight on the grid.

    Senna became the ninth different driver to set a fastest lap this year in twelve races. The record for the most in a season is ten, which has happened six times including 2009. Senna is also the fourth driver to set his first fastest lap this season, the fourth such driver. Only three seasons have seen more.

    Senna’s fastest lap was the first fastest lap for car number 19 in 20 years. The previous time was courtesy of Michael Schumacher at Adelaide 1992.

    Alonso’s retirement leaves only Raikkonen, Rosberg and Webber without a retirement. Since Webber was lapped at Spain, only Raikkonen and Rosberg have completed every lap this year.

  11. This race also saw the Marussias get maximum screen time than all their previous race times put together :)

    1. Thumbs up for the director specially because there was a very interesting fight between top guns and he still found time for Marussias fight.

  12. This is what I noticed:

    – No German driver started the race from the top 9. This is the first time this has happened since the 2003 Japanese GP: in that race, Heidfeld started from only 11th. Frentzen, Michael and Ralf Schumacher started from 12th, 14th and 19th respectively.

    – This was Jenson Button’s eighth pole, his first since the 2009 Monaco GP and his first for McLaren. He now has pole positions with four different constructors (BAR 2, Honda 1, Brawn GP 5, McLaren 1), becoming just the fifth driver to do so, joining Rubens Barrichello, Juan-Manuel Fangio, John Surtees and Stirling Moss. Of course it is questionable whether this is a genuine record, as BAR, Honda and Brawn GP are actually the same team. The interval between his consecutive pole positions is 61 GPs, which is the eighth longest gap between poles ever. The longest gap between consecutive poles is 108 Grands Prix: Fisichella 1998-2005 and Andretti 1968-1976.

    – This was the 75th GP victory for McLaren-Mercedes, and the first time a team has won two races in a row this year.

    – Although Button lead every lap of the race (the first time this year for any driver), he didn’t set the fastest lap, which means he didn’t become the 23rd driver to score a perfect weekend.

    – Alonso has ended his streak of 23 consecutive points finishes. He was just one away from Schumacher’s record of 24 consecutive point finishes. This also means that no driver in 2012 has scored points in every race anymore. Webber, Raikkonen and Rosberg are now the remaining three drivers that have finished every race this year.

    – Bruno Senna took his first and Williams’ 131st fastest lap. The last time a Williams set the fastest lap was Rosberg at the 2009 Australian GP 66 GPs ago. This ranks 11th on the all-time list, headed of course by Mercedes (818 GPs 1955-2012) and is the longest gap for the Williams team between consecutive fastest laps ever. The last time the number 19 car (Senna) set the fastest lap was at the 1992 Australian GP by a certain Michael Schumacher.

    – This was Raikkonen’s sixth podium of the year without a win. That means that if he doesn’t pick up a win this year, he will have the most podiums in one season without a win since himself in the 2006 season. In 2006, he scored six podium, but didn’t win a single race that year. The record for most podiums without a win in one season is Button in the 2004 season and Barrichello in the 2001 season (10 podiums!).

    – Lotus as a constructor hasn’t won a race this year. If they won’t be able to win a race this season, but they do become third in the constructor’s championship, that will be the first time since 2007 that a team can become third without winning a single race that year.

    – Although Red Bull, Mclaren and Lotus are leading the world constructor’s championship, this is the very first time these three teams were on the podium together. Also with six podiums, Red Bull has less or equal number of podiums than McLaren, Lotus and Ferrari.

    – 4th place is Nico Hulkenberg’s best result to date. For the team, it’s their best result since the 2009 Italian GP, when Sutil also finished 4th. In the other 11 races this year, Red Bull has claimed 4th position 8 times.

    – Pastor Maldonado hasn’t scored any points in the seven GPs following his victory in Spain. This is the longest drought for a race winner since Gian-Carlo Fisichella in 2003. Following his race win in Brazil, he didn’t score a point in the next eleven GPs.

    – Alonso has scored more points this season than Massa has scored since the 2010 Brazilian GP.

    1. Mate, you need a girlfriend -;)

      1. working on it :P

    2. Interesting stats mate! Good job! nickfrog’s right aswell :)
      Let me know when u post

    3. Is that all?

      (Kidding, of course – this is staggeringly impressive. How do you do it??)

      1. No, I’ve found two more: this was the 50th GP with at least one driver from Venezuela and Raikkonen’s 68th podium (which now ranks him 5th all-time, behind Schumacher, Senna, Prost and Alonso).

    4. @andae23 great stats … always love those, and I have some questions you might be able to answer

      Do you know if any of the 3 drivers having completed every race has done every lap of them ? I feel like Webber is the only one to have never been lapped ?

      That means Hamilton continue to be the only driver to have qualify in the top 10 for every race this year right ?

      1. Do you know if any of the 3 drivers having completed every race has done every lap of them ? I feel like Webber is the only one to have never been lapped ?

        Actually the reverse is true: Rosberg and Raikkonen have completed all 730 laps so far, but Webber finished one lap down at the Spanish GP.

        That means Hamilton continue to be the only driver to have qualify in the top 10 for every race this year right ?

        That’s correct

        1. Thanks for the response, but that really surprises me as that Mercedes seems to have been nowhere for a while

    5. Love the last one. Such a slap on the face :D

    6. You could also say Jenson is a driver who has driven for 3 chameleon teams.

    7. Williams’ last 4 fastest laps were with 4 different engine suppliers (BMW, Cosworth, Toyota, Renault).

      Great stats BTW!

  13. Massa was given a race ban in 2002 missing the US GP.

    1. No: he was given a 10 place grid-penalty, so Sauber decided to let Frentzen race.

      1. Fair enough, how about JV at Suzuka 97

        1. He was disqualified after the race, but he didn’t get a race ban for the next race at Jerez.

          1. He was banned for one race for ignoring yellow flags. But Williams appealed, so he raced, but the appeal was later withdrawn, and he was retroactively removed from the results.

    2. Massa was given a race ban in 2002 missing the US GP.

      No he wasn’t, as is explained in the article.

  14. When was the last time when the three top finishers were all blonde?

    1. Bahrain this year.

      1. Oh really? I ‘d swear yesterday was the first I saw that.

        1. You could argue about Grosjean’s blondeness, as you could about Button’s.

        2. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
          3rd September 2012, 17:31

          JB isn’t blonde??? o.O or am i colour blind?

  15. Continuing on Massa vs Alonso: Alonso has scored more points for Ferrari than Massa has scored points in his entire career!

    1. Silly point as the points system changed in 2010.

      1. Not really, seeing as Massa has been in the same team since then. Massa has had 4 or 5 and a half seasons of the old points system, yet his performance in the last 3 years is so poor that they make virtually no difference. I think that’s pretty interesting.

        1. matt90, did you stop to think about converting the 4 or 5 seasons of old points system into todays point system? that would give you a better assessment. Ferrari27 is right that it is a silly point. these days drivers can make more points in one or 2 seasons then past greats did in their whole career. and many of them had seasons with dry spells too.

          1. But Massa has been in the same car as Alonso since 2010. So while Alonso picked up the points, Massa has scored so little points that he wouldn’t even reach Alonso’s point number if you were to add all points Massa scored before 2010.

          2. What andrea23 said. Regardless that previous seasons were worth 2.5 times less points, it is still an interesting stat. After all, massa had at least 3 relatively high scoring seasons (by the standards of the old points system), which totalled 271 points I believe, plus another 49 points from his other seasons prior to the new system, essentially giving him an advantage of over 1 good season’s worth of points (good by Alonso’s standard). So over 2 and a half seasons Alonso has outscored him so comprehensively that even including those additional points in Massa’s total, he still has less than Alonso has scored in just his short time at Ferrari.

          3. andae23 sorry! That teaches me to just glance at a name.

      2. You must be a massa fan! I really hope he is sacked. By the way brazil han’t produce a decent driver since senna. Barichello was mediocre, massa a joke, senna even worse than massa. I just don’t know why the team bosses keep on hiring Brazilian drivers. I hope massa gets fire, Ferrari has had too much patience with him. Because of the first lap crash , massa was able to finish 5th otherwise he would have finished in 9th or 10th place. He is a good person but the biggest joke I have ever seen. Just to think about how much money he makes , it makes me mad because he doesn’t deserved it. Sutil, alguasari, buemi, di resta, hulkember,etc are way better drivers, but the sad part is that 3 of them are not longer in formula 1 and the other two get paid nothing compare to massa. Last but not least, grosjean,massa,Maldonado, senna,kartikeyan, petrov, somewhat kobayashi and Perez should not be in formula one . They don’t have the regularity and speed of drivers like Alonso, kimmi, webber, vettel, button, Lewis, kovalainen, ricciardo, pic, clock, vergne, de la rosa, rosberg, schumi, di resta, hulkenberg. Williams, Saubers , lotus have really good cars but their driver/s are not good enough or deserve to drive those cars. Williams should be in the top 4-5 as well as Saubers but their drivers are experts in throwing away points and missing opportunities in each race.

  16. Mika Hakkinen was adjudged to be responsible for a first-lap crash in Germany, and was banned from the next race at Hockenheim.
    The next race was at Hungaroring ;)

  17. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
    3rd September 2012, 11:24

    I think Grosjeans ban will have the desired effect. It will make him realise careless actions do have consequences.

    Of course the ban won’t bring back what we deprived of by his actions. There was the potential for perhaps one of the most interesting races of the season which we all missed out on, not to mention the totally unfair disadvantages to Alonso, Hamilton and the Sauber guys.

    When spare cars were dropped as a cost saving exercise I was a little worried about the consequences. Also the new mantra of keeping to the TV schedule by using the ‘safety’ car infuriates me occasionally. It certainly did in this case. Had I been in charge it would have been a red flag and a restart with spare cars. As I’ve mentioned in other posts. How exciting would it have been to see Hamilton and Alonso running back to get spare cars for the restart (maybe set up for their team mate) and the Sauber guys fighting over their one and only spare car. Then the excitement all over again of another start!

    I realise there are problems with this as I’m sure someone will point out but I can always dream

    1. <>
      But with todays rules there are not spare cars just an extra chassis to be assembled with parts from the race car and a limited amount of spares.So this was not the case.

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        3rd September 2012, 15:20

        I’m aware of this. I was just pointing out how much better it would be if that wasn’t the case!

    2. I agree with you . They should have one spare car per team. The only cost the team wil inched is the transportation costs. Waited 4 weeks for yesterday’s race only for my favorite driver Alonso along with other fast driver to be taken out in the first corners. Ridiculous!!

  18. Keith, one minor point. Di Grassi didn’t retire on lap 1 of the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix, he crashed at 130R making his way from the pits to the grid and never started the race.

  19. When his Jordan team appealed the bane it was increased to three races.

    I’d like to know more about this. Why was the ban(e) increased? Seems odd.

    1. @squaregoldfish It seems like they used to do that a lot. They did it to Senna in ’89 after McLaren appealed his disqualification from Suzuka (Senna was fined and given a suspended ban). It’s probably just an intimidation tactic to prevent them from appealing.

  20. But his ban puts him in surprisingly good company. Several drivers who were handed race bans went on to become world champions.

    Based on this statement, the only logical conclusion I can come to is that Pastor Maldonado will one day be a twelve-time World Champion.

    1. That will be the day the entire world gives up watching F1.

    2. He will first have to get that elusive race ban though @prisoner-monkeys :-P

  21. Now I know why FIA haven’t banned Maldonado from a race yet, they don’t want to see him become a world champion.

    1. This is serious contender for best comment so far :)

      Crazy Pastor Racing

  22. No team has scored a 1-2 yet this season, if this trend continues till the end of the season, it will be the first time since 1977 that no team has scored a 1-2 during a season. Tthere have been several years with just 1-2 scored since, but starting in 1978 at least one team as scored a 1-2 every year up untill 2011

  23. I think the COTD today sums the decision up the best. It seems it’s a bit of a knee-jerk reaction simply to shake all the youngsters up a little bit.

    But to be honest – let’s think, does the punishment fit the crime, or the consequences? Grosjean basically had a wall to the right of him. He turned towards that wall, where another driver was. Without looking to see if anyone was there. He did something similar at Monaco with Schumacher, where everyone was lucky something worse was avoided.

  24. @keithcollantine I think here’s a small typo:
    “Mika Hakkinen was adjudged to be responsible for a first-lap crash in Germany, and was banned from the next race at Hockenheim.”
    The crash happened at Hockenheim, but Häkkinen was banned from 1994 Hungarian Grand Prix.

  25. This is the first race where Martin Brundle has worn a hard hat on his grid walk and to top it off, his prediction was totally correct!

  26. The last driver to be banned was Schumacher in 1994. But Schumacher apparently escaped a black flag (and maybe a heavier penalty such as a one race ban) for his move on Barrichello at Hungary 2010 only because it was near the end of the race.

    In Grosjean’s case, I think the ban is justified and he’s lucky it wasn’t three given his track record. He doesn’t seem malicious or deliberately dangerous, a la Schumacher, but there was something weird about the way he went for Hamilton. I don’t think he took him out on purpose, but maybe he’d been instructed to block him (e.g. for Raikonnen’s sake) if he, Grosjean, got a better start.

    1. If the would have wanted to ban Schumacher, they could have after Hungary. They didn’t, so it was never going to happen.

  27. All of Ferrari’s 55 consecutive races (1999 Malaysian GP – 2003 Malaysian GP) had at least one top 6 finish in every race – and Michael Schumacher scored in all but 6 of them… as for McLaren, only 5 of theirs were outside the top 6 (one in 2010, the rest in 2012)

    1. Bearing in mind the points system changed to top 8 for 2003…

      1. @alexf1man I think the points system was changed in 2002, actually.

        1. No, it was 2003. That was the reason it took Schumacher so long to catch up with Raikkonen in the standings.

  28. But Massa was not excluded – he had been handed a grid penalty so the team chose to replace him with Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

    I was trying to find out more about this, because it struck me as an odd response to a grid penalty. Here’s an article with some further information, in case anyone is curious about the details like I was:

  29. A lot of people seem to think the race ban is unfair and is being decided by the severity of the accident which followed rather than his error which caused the accident. While I can see where they’re coming from I think Grosjean has clearly been in too many first lap incidents, as if he’s maybe a bit too nervous/excited and I think it’s right he gets a serious wake up call so he’ll hopefully calm down in future and be more careful. The fact is he had tons of space around him, more than you normally would stuck in the thick of it right at the start, but still he absent mindedly went across onto Hamilton, who could do nothing, wheels touched and that was that.

    Fact is what would people be saying today if yesterday they’d seen Alonso’s helmet rolling about on the ground after the crash, it was so close and we are truly lucky it wasn’t worse because, with a fraction of a second difference this could have been a tragedy, and it would be Grosjeans fault due to his unnecessary mistake. Accidents happen, and in the heat of battle they can be unavoidable, but normally they happen when maybe just two cars are in the vicinity, the dangers ultimately are less. At the very beginning of a race it is up to every one of these highly paid professional drivers at the peak of their profession to drive with safety in mind, always safety in mind above aggression. I like Grosjean but he has to think sometimes, or learn to think in the heat of the moment, same with Maldonado, otherwise, frankly they should not be allowed to race.

  30. I guess this means Lotus will be running a new driver for the next race ?

    1. @james2488 Yes, probably Jerome D’Ambrosio.

  31. The difference being RG will never be World Champion no matter how many races he gets banned for GP2 style driving.

    I was at Spa in 2009 only to have RG take out LH & JA take out JB on the 1st lap. We didn’t even get to see them drive past in racing trim. With KR cheating using KERS off the track to get to 2nd it was a total disappointment.

    They need to have a sit down with RG & PM to name a few & give them a lesson in driving because it seems they just crack under pressure or just down have the skills needed for F1. I had completely rote off RG his 1st time in F1 but this time around he’s had some great drives when he manages to go longer than the 1st 5 laps!!!

    Just on another note. If Massa is driving a Ferrari next year then you can expect more disappointment. Ok he had a good race today but only because so many drivers at the front retired. His race winning days are more than over & regardless of how little experience SP has he would still do a far better job in a Ferrari

    1. Old stuff, but if driving wide in turn 1 wasn’t penalized in 09 it wasn’t cheating.

      1. About as innocent as Nelson Piquet Jr in a certain race in Singapore

        1. You can’t seriously be making that comparison.

  32. i dont think people would be disputing the race ban if Alonso got badly hurt. the fact that he didnt get badly hurt is just pure luck. on that basisi the race ban is fully justified. just because nobody happened to get injured, or that Maldonado driver carelessly also, shouldn’t have an effect on the penalty that was handed out.

    Grosjean’s starts are like mine when i play on my playstation.

    1. With your eyes closed & 1 hand behind your back?

  33. Another trivial note: there have been two races which were #300 for a driver, both held at Spa and both saw Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari getting hit on the first lap.

  34. Wasn’t Yuji Ide banned in 2006 for a few races?

    1. I think he wasn’t banned, just stripped of his super license.

  35. Felipe Massa was banned in 2002 and missed the United States Grand prix.

    1. No he wasn’t, as mentioned in the article.

  36. I wonder if Jackie Stewart’s offer still stands – of some driver coaching for Grosjean?

    I didn’t much like the self-publicising way Stewart originally asked the question, but surely it can only do some good. The drivers with a feel for the history of the sport – including Webber, Button, Vettel, Alonso – seem to be more respectful of fellow competitors.

    1. I wouldn’t count Vettel among those 3 for the same reason I would count Hamilton. They are both very aggressive and sometimes too much, just not as ignorant and careless as Grosjean. Instead I would say that the most respectful of fellow drivers are currently Alonso, Button, Webber, Raikkonen and Rosberg. Can’t really remember more than 1 or 2 crashes caused by them in their whole careers and 4 of them have raced in F1 about 10 years or so.

      1. Meant to say that those 5 haven’t caused many crashes that involved any other cars than their own. They too have definitely wrecked quite a bit of their own cars.

      2. Raikkonen – good call, he’s probably the cleanest of them all this year. He’s not as openly enthusiastic about F1’s past as the guys I mentioned, but I think the appreciation is there, if you read his quotes about Spa and other favourite tracks.

        Vettel did leave a trail of wreckage a few years ago, but I think he’s improved a lot. No doubt two world championships makes a driver a bit less desperate. Certainly his moves around the outside of the chicane at Spa are better than 2 years ago!

  37. Lewis Hamilton has kept alive his record of going off the track during every F1 race at Spa that he has competed in:

    2007: Forced wide on first lap by Alonso.
    2008: Took to the grass when Rosberg spun in front of him.
    2009: Collided with Grosjean on lap 1.
    2010: Went wide on a wet track.
    2011: Collided with Kobayashi and went down the escape road.
    2012: Collided with Grosjean on lap 1.

  38. When his Jordan team appealed the ban it was increased to three races.

    LOL the good old days…

  39. I wonder if Maldonado bagged any penalties from broken gearboxes last year? If you take away those penalties he’s still on six, but it does skew things just a little.

  40. Just remembered another driver who received a ban – Hans Heyer for the 1977 Austrian GP, having started the previous race illegally (I believe he was not due to compete in Austria anyway).

  41. Bruno Senna set the fastest lap in Spa : it’s the first one for the Senna family.
    (Ayrton has won 5 times and got 4 poles there but no fastest lap)

  42. Does anyone know when was the last race that McLaren had both their drivers retire? My mind stretches back to 2006, maybe Indianapolis?

  43. @keithcollantine
    who’s the driver with most penalties in an F1 season ?

  44. I can remember when Mark Webber drove for Williams, no one gave him the time of day. Now he is contesting for the championship and is considered one of the sports fierciest competitors. The last fifteen years has seen Williams fall from the very pinnacle to be nothing more than an also-ran last year. Can anybody really be serious in suggesting that Williams ‘poor quality’ drivers are the ONLY reason for their failings. Also, much has been made of ‘pay drivers’ such as Pastor Maldonado only getting drives because of the money they bring to a team. People talk about this as if it were new or only happening in F1. That is myth, nothing more. Pay drivers have always existed when it has concerned small teams with limited budgets, not everybody has $500 million each year on hand to finance a racing team, as Ferrari and McLaren have. Lets be realistic here and cut the crap!

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