Vettel and Hamilton match Piquet and join F1 top tens

2012 Singapore Grand Prix stats and facts

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Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton staked their claim to be among F1’s greats at Singapore.

Vettel joined the top ten drivers who have won the most races and Hamilton added his name to the top ten pole-sitters.

In doing so they both equalled tallies set by three-times world champion Nelson Piquet.

Vettel scored his 23rd career victory and his second in Singapore. He is now among the top ten drivers to have won the most races in Formula One:

1Michael Schumacher91
2Alain Prost51
3Ayrton Senna41
4Nigel Mansell31
5Fernando Alonso30
6Jackie Stewart27
7Jim Clark, Niki Lauda25
9Juan Manuel Fangio24
10Nelson Piquet, Sebastian Vettel23

The day before Hamilton matched Piquet’s tally of 24 pole positions:

1Michael Schumacher68
2Ayrton Senna65
3Jim Clark, Alain Prost, Sebastian Vettel33
6Nigel Mansell32
7Juan Manuel Fangio29
8Mika Hakkinen26
9Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet, Lewis Hamilton24

This was the fourth pole position in a row for McLaren. The last time they managed that was in 1999, when they had six poles in a row between the British and Italian Grands Prix.

Hamilton’s pole position time was almost two seconds slower than that recorded last year. The restrictions places on exhaust-blown diffusers over the winter probably explain much of the loss of performance. There were some minor changes to the track including revised kerbs and limited resurfacing.

Hamilton retired from the race meaning he now has four no-scores and three wins from the last eight races.

Fastest laps record equalled

Nico Hulkenberg set the fastest lap for the first time in his career. He is the tenth different driver to do so this year.

This equals the record for the most different drivers to have set fastest lap during a season. This also happened in 2009, 1982, 1981, 1976, 1975 and 1954.

The latter is particularly interesting because ten different drivers set fastest lap in a season which only had nine races. The inaccuracy of the timing system used at that year’s British Grand Prix meant seven drivers were credited with a fastest lap of one minute and 50 seconds.

As fastest lap was worth a point at the time the seven drivers – Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Jose Froilan Gonzalez, Mike Hawthorn, Jean Behra, Alberto Ascari and Onofre Marimon – were each awarded one-seventh of a point. Behra did not add to his tally during the rest of the season and ended the year with a total of 0.14 points.

No back-to-back winners in 2012 so far

No driver has managed to win two consecutive races in the 14 rounds so far this year. The last time an entire season was completed without a driver winning back-to-back races was the 1974 season, which had 15 Grands Prix:

1Argentinian Grand PrixBuenos AiresDenny Hulme
2Brazilian Grand PrixInterlagosEmerson Fittipaldi
3South African Grand PrixKyalamiCarlos Reutemann
4Spanish Grand PrixJaramaNiki Lauda
5Belgian Grand PrixNivellesEmerson Fittipaldi
6Monaco Grand PrixMonte-CarloRonnie Peterson
7Swedish Grand PrixAnderstorpJody Scheckter
8Dutch Grand PrixZandvoortNiki Lauda
9French Grand PrixDijonRonnie Peterson
10British Grand PrixBrands HatchJody Scheckter
11German Grand PrixNurburgringClay Regazzoni
12Austrian Grand PrixOsterreichringCarlos Reutemann
13Italian Grand PrixMonzaRonnie Peterson
14Canadian Grand PrixMosportEmerson Fittipaldi
15United States Grand PrixWatkins GlenCarlos Reutemann

More Singapore Grand Prix stats and facts

Certain drivers seem to excel in Singapore. Fernando Alonso scored his fourth podium in five races here. The only time he has failed to finish in the top three here was last year, taking fourth place.

Paul di Resta may also be considered among the ranks of Singapore specialists. Last year he had the best result of his rookie season at the track, finishing sixth.

This year he improved on that with fourth – a new personal best – and also matched his best qualifying position with sixth place.

Timo Glock also shines at Singapore and he gave Marussia their best result to date with 12th place. This also improved on the best result scored by the team in its previous identity, Virgin. It moved them back in front of Caterham in the constructors’ championship.

In the 52 races since the ‘new teams’ arrived, 12th place is the best any of them have managed. Heikki Kovalainen finished 12th for Lotus (now Caterham) in the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix.

This race saw the 50th start for HRT. The team failed to qualify at Australia this year and last.

Michael Schumacher made his 300th start in an F1 race (in his 302nd appearance, see here). However while he won his 100th start (1997 Japanese Grand Prix) and 200th start (2004 European Grand Prix), this race ended with a crash which earned him a ten-place penalty for the next race.

The race was stopped after 59 of 61 laps under the two-hour time limit rule. The last race to be stopped short of full distance was the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix, which was red-flagged and the result called based on 31 laps of a scheduled 56, due to heavy rain and poor visibility.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2012 Singapore Grand Prix

Browse all 2012 Singapore Grand Prix articles

Image © Singapore GP/Sutton

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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76 comments on “Vettel and Hamilton match Piquet and join F1 top tens”

  1. This is what I noticed:

    – This was the first time a McLaren and a Williams have shared the front row since the 2005 European GP: Heidfeld was on pole for Williams, Raikkonen started second. The first time these constructors shared the front row was the 1985 Austrian GP (a race in which De Cesaris crashed terrifyingly): Alain Prost took pole position for McLaren, Nigel Mansell started second for Williams.

    – This was the fourth pole position for McLaren in a row. The last time McLaren has had so many back-to-back poles was in 1999: six pole positions from the British to the Italian GP.

    – This is the seventh time we have seen a Vettel-Button-Alonso combination on the podium (2012 Singapore / Germany -though Vettel was later given a time penalty-, 2011 India / Japan / Hungary / Italy / Monaco). It’s the third time Vettel has won, with Button second and Alonso third. Incredibly, we are still waiting for the first Alonso-Vettel-Hamilton podium to occur.

    – This is the fifth race in a row that we have seen a British driver on the podium. That’s the 25th time for the UK they have had a podium streak of at least five races. The longest streak of consecutive podiums for the UK was 50 GPs, between 1962 and 1967 (so HAM, BUT and DIR still have a long way to go…).

    – With Webber dropping out of the points after his penalty, this became the 9th time this season that the winning driver’s team mate didn’t score a point (that’s 64% !). The last time this has happened this often was in the 1999 season: 9 times (but that was the entire season). The 1993 season holds the record: 12 times.

    – Fourth place was Paul di Resta’s best finishing position to date. It’s the best for a Scottish driver since Coulthard finished third in the 2008 Canadian GP. Also 12th place for Timo Glock was the best result for the ‘new teams’ so far.

    – Similarities with other Singapore GPs: Schumacher has hit other drivers in every Singapore GP he has raced so far. Fernando Alonso has finished in the top 4 in all 5 Singapore GPs so far.

    – Nico Hulkenberg has the honour of becoming the 125th driver to set a fastest lap. The last time the number 12 car set fastest lap was Vitaly Petrov at the 2010 Turkish GP. Hulkenberg finished 14th, which is the lowest finishing position for the fastest driver since Fernando Alonso finished 14th at the 2010 British GP.

    – Since the German GP, Hamilton has had a streak of win-retire-win-retire… the last time such a streak occurred was way back in 1995: Schumacher won in France, retired in the UK, won, retired, won and retired again. This is also the third time in a row that the winner in the previous race had to retire. The last time this happened was in 1996, where it happened four times in a row.

    1. @andae23 Great stuff as ever!

      1. I don’t understand the top 10’s. In both of them there are drivers who are equal on number of poles or wins. If they are given different rankings due to who managed it first, shouldn’t that make both Hamilton and Vettel only 11th in their respective lists?

        1. @matt90 That’s too hair-splitting for me. As far as I’m concerned they’re ranked equal in tenth.

          1. Then why aren’t Hamilton and Piquet equal ninth with Lauda in poles, Vettel equal 5th with Prost, and Lauda and Clark equal for wins?

          2. Yeah, exactly.

          3. @matt90 Fair point. And… now they are!

          4. Being pedantic pays off :p

    2. This is the seventh time we have seen a Vettel-Button-Alonso combination on the podium

      1. Strange that we’ve had a VET-BUT-ALO seven times, but still no VET-HAM-ALO podiums.
        Especially considering all seven have come while Button has been at McLaren as Hamilton’s team mate.

    3. Great stats once again @andae23 .. I imagine you to be like Will Ferrell in Stranger than fiction, brushing your teeth 27 times each :)
      “Hmm! There are 908 cheerios in my bowl, I haven’t eaten that exact number of cheerios since 1997, coincidently I was also wearing my blue jumper on that day!”

      Only messin ; P Look forward to this article after each GP.

      1. :D Then I hope no one’s going to kill me while writing a comment here…

    4. This was also only the second time ever that Vettel has won a race which he did not start on the front row! The previous occasion was Malaysia 2010 when Webber took his second ever pole by risking intermediates at the end of Q3. Rosberg started 2nd and Vettel 3rd, but he overtook them both to lead after the first corner

      1. Well spotted @jx!

        1. Technically Germany 2012 doesn’t count for VET-BUT-ALO (in terms of final race result) as Vettel was penalised, but it does for being seen on the podium…

      2. I noticed that one too @jx , just goes to show how important qualifying can be!

    5. @andrae23

      Schumacher has hit other drivers in every Singapore GP he has raced so far

      Always a rookie as well! Kobayashi, Perez and Vergne.

      1. Didn’t he hit Petrov too?

  2. I suspect Hamilton could be up to about 7th in both lists by the end of the season.

  3. I think it won’t be long until Vettel is behind Ayrton Senna in both pole positions & race victories. He may take a while to overhaul him in pole’s though!

    1. i personally find it a sign of a better driver if he has more wins than poles. ie alonso, prost (most of his only come in his final season!) and schumacher.

      Usually a sign they can overcome average cars and have great race craft.

      1. I disagree, I think having a higher number of poles shows that the driver can utilise the full potential of that cars’ speed. Ayrton Senna, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton all have more poles than wins. I would say the major exception is Schumacher because he was so dominant in the races.

        1. The only reason MS does not have more poles is that his dominant time was in full weight qualifying, the Ferrari was always heavy so he could easily undercut at the pitstops.

      2. Alonso has so few poles because of that rubbish qualifying era where the best driver did not get pole position, prior to that he was gettinggood qualifying positions in a minardi, and after that period he has had a ferrari that has never been the top car.

      3. I think it often depends on a drivers specific circumstances. Clark in particular lost many races due to reliability. Senna also retired in many races where he had pole.

      4. The reason most of Prost’s poles came in his final season is because Senna completely outclassed him in qualifying when they both drove for McLaren. I think poles are a much better factor, as usually there are no external factors to take into account (penalties/mechanical problems/racing incidents can cloud the true picture).
        Sure, Prost is a great driver, Schumacher greater still but I would still pick Senna as my greatest driver of all time!

        1. I think it would be intersting to see every drivers pole rate, ie: Clark got 33 poles and started 72 races; as a percentage how many poles did he (and the other people on that list) get?

        2. @ max must disagree. Race is where it counts and it where it shows your craft and consistency and set up skills, managing a car over an hour and a half rather than one minute 30. Alonso’s title lead is down to his experience and race craft and lack of errors. on your logic maldando would be a better driver than alonso based on his qualy performances.

          Prost knew where the points paid, senna never out scored him as team mates, didnt really even come that close. and if it wasnt for bizzare top 11 results only, senna would only have 2 titles and prost 5. Those were the rules so is what it is. but its an observation that is wrongly overlooked when its claimed prost was blown away, as he clearly wasnt.

          1. Obviously the races are where championships are won, but Alosno isn’t a shabby qualifier himself! Out of Senna and Prost, Senna was the better driver (they both won one each with Mclaren whilst partnered, then Senna outclassed him twice).
            It was only Prost’s experience that kept him ahead, on pure pace he was no match for Ayrton (which is why he wouldn’t let Senna be signed by Williams in my opinion for fear that he would be beaten well and truly)!

          2. the blinded disregard for prost obvious talents its one of the shames of current f1 fans. they either choose to forget the facts or what happened at the time.

            As per senna prost. as i said prost out scored him both seasons as team mates.

            And over the course of the 3 seasons one with prost in a slower ferrari prost scored 259 and senna scored 232.

            not knocking senna, he was amazing but its time prost gets shown for the great driver he was. 4 world titles and one he scored more points in. as well as a few very near misses.

  4. One you missed, Keith… 81th podium for Alonso, one ahead of Ayrton Senna.

    1. @Architrion I didn’t include it because surpassing Senna does not give Alonso a new record. Alonso’s milestone of equalling Senna was given a prominent feature in the last article:

      2012 Italian Grand Prix stats and facts: Alonso equals Senna’s tally of 80 podiums

      1. okis. Understood

  5. Previous time as dry race was stopped at two hours was 1991 US Grand Prix, where time limit was reached after 81 laps, while 82 was set race distance. After that two-hour-limit has been in effect in three wet Monaco GPs: 1996, 1997 and 2008.

    Thanks to SC rules which allow unlapping, it was the first time as both Marussias finished on the lead lap. Their only lead lap finish before was in Valencia with Pic.

    1. There’s a connection between these two…if it wasn’t for the stupid unlapping rule adding more long, slow laps behind the safety car, we might have got through the laps in less than two hours!

      1. I know how to make it better: the drivers line up in the race order on the lap when the safety car was deployed, and get the lapped drivers to get overtaken behind the safety car.
        That would clear the f1 track of traffic issues, and safety cars would be much safer.
        And to increase safety further still, the FiA can dicatet to each driver when to move over, and when each car can pass via a one-way radio line from Charlie to the drivers

        1. I liked the way Indycar did it in one of the street races: the race director came on the radio and instructed the drivers of cars 8, 14, 21, 67 (or whatever – the lapped runners) to go through the pit lane (and drop to the back of the line). In F1 they could do that, or maybe move over to the right in the DRS zone and slow down. Race Control could give them their lap back, but I don’t think they should – there’s a reason why they were lapped…

        2. @xjr15jaaag @bullfrog There was a very good explanation from Andy G (@toothpickbandit) of the potential unfairness in doing that – it was a Comment of the Day back in March:

          Although I do agree that the present solution is no good – F1 tracks are generally so long it wastes far too much time. And I’m not convinced of its necessity in the first place.

          1. Didn’t think of that, well worth a Comment of the Day! You could credit the lapped runners with a lap and get on with the race – but I can see why you wouldn’t want to mess with the timing like that.

            I guess the Indycar guys just accept the risk of losing out. They have so many full-course yellows that they rarely get lapped – and if they do lose out, there’ll be another caution along soon that they may gain from.

  6. Sebastian Vettel has won an awful lot of Grand Prix in his short career to date. There has been talk that if anyone is going to be able to match Schumacher’s titles and victories record it will be him, because he has such a long time in the sport ahead of him (the same goes for Hamilton as well but not to such a great extent.)

    Therefore I thought it would be interesting to compare Vettel to Schumacher at similar stages in their career, and assumed Vettel would be ahead. After five full seasons in the sport (92-96) Schumacher had 22 victories, whereas Vettel (2008-present) has had 4 and 3/4 full seasons with 23 victories. However during that period Schumacher only started 79 GP’s whereas Vettel excluding his first 8 races with Toro Rosso in 07 has started 86 races due to longer seasons. Taking Schumacher’s first 86 races in full seasons he then has 24 victories, which is 1 more than Vettel.

    I think that just shows how difficult Schumacher’s incredible victory record will be to beat, even without taking into account his dominant Ferrari years where he was winning 9,10 or more Grand Prix’s a season he is still neck and neck with Vettel. Of course in the mid 90’s with the death of Senna and Mansell, Prost and Piquet’s retirements and much less competition for race victories at the front it is arguable whether Schumacher had it easier with poorer competition, but that is a different argument entirely. Vettel is going to have to have 10-12 years sustained competing at the front to get anywhere near as close. Thinking about it now, despite Schumacher’s faults and putting aside my own dislike of some of his behaviour on track it really is quite remarkable that he competed at the front pretty much for over a decade.

    1. It’s a possibility, after all Vettel is tipped to join Ferrari in 2 years time!

  7. Since Abu Dhabi 2011 when a McLaren driver won a race, he didn’t score any point on the next race (happened sixth time now).

    1. @geocucc Very interesting!

      1. Unless Alonso retires, not a chance, just a smokescreen.

  8. debaser91

    Indeed, Schumacher`s career is incredible, and it`s going to take something really special to beat his numbers. There will probably be several drivers in F1 in the future that can compete with Schumacher when it comes down to talent, but there`s more to it than that.

    In order to beat MS numbers a driver has to be extremely talented, totally dedicated and have the work ethic to boot. Schumacher was relentless and was able to be in contention year after year after year. Even when his team was out of contention he was there able to score victories and points and be in contention for the title.

    The only young gun that has shown something similar is Vettel, he has been able to challenge for the World Championship (and win a couple) in 2009, 2010, 2011 and is in with a chance in 2012 too. Theoretically he`s still in with a good chance of challenging Schumacher`s number for race wins, but he will have to win between 6 and 7 races a year if he was to retire at 36 (as Schumacher did). That`s a tall order, especially if he has a couple of off-seasons. If he and his team is able to be as dominant as MS and Ferrari was he can do it.

    Hamilton was also in with a shot, but if he`s to retire at 36 he`ll need to win almost 8 races pr season the next 9 seasons in order to beat Schumacher`s record. That is a tall order, especially considering that Hamilton has never won that many races in one season yet. He and his team has to establish a dominance like MS and Ferrari did soon if Hamilton is to be able to get close.

    None of the 2 drivers can afford off-seasons, and I seriously doubt a driver will be dominant at the age of 34, 35 and 36 considering the talent available to F1.

    I`d actually be surprised if any of the 2 are able to come close to Schumacher`s numbers given the FIA`s policy of restricting dominant teams. The only way to establis a domination in F1 that lasts more than a couple of years is to join Ferrari. The FIA have a harder time banning advantages if Ferrari is benefitting from them. That`s natural as Ferrari`s got more clout than the rest of the teams, if Ferrari left F1 half of the spectators would follow suit. It`s a business after all, and F1 without Ferrari isn`t really F1.

    1. you say talent available to f1. but where? young drivers are not given the chance to test extensively like lewis and seb were.

      the ones that do come and do a great job JA get tossed out once they get on the pace. Perez is and di resta are doing well but they have also had long term support. something most do not have.

      1. Jaime wasn’t that bad, but he was given 3 years in midfield machinery, much more than you can say about poor guys like Di Grassi, Chandhok or D’Ambrosio.

        Perez and Di Resta haven’t even been in the sport for that long, and have already shown more of the “spark” required to be promoted to a better team like Vettel in 2008, Alonso in 2001. And unlike Alguersuari, neither has been outqualified by their equally inexperienced teammate in over 2/3 of all the races the competed in.

    2. Not going to happen with the RRA. Schumacher and Vettel enjoyed periods of dominant cars, but I can’t really foresee another dominant car period for Vettel again, and by period I mean more than one year. Too many restrictions on aero and tyres.

  9. How many crash helmets for Vettel?

    1. @jcost – about one every two Grand Prix…it must cost him/the team a fortune!

    2. @jcost Well last round in Monza he wore a helmet celebrating 50 different helmet designs and Singapore was a new one again so I guess that’s 51 helmets.

      1. @vettel1
        Well, a GP6-RC Carbon costs about £3,000.
        The paintwork would be about £900-£1200 (maybe £1750 for a gold one like the one he wore at Monza).
        That’s about £4,100 per helmet.
        Could be worse though: the top level Stilo helmet is £4,500 excluding paintwork

        1. And, for the Singapore one, £2.99 for some Christmas tree lights.

        2. So that’s maybe quarter of a million on helmets through his career. Wow.

        3. @xjr15jaaag – I suppose relative to how much the team’s spend on average during a race weekend it’s not really going to put a dent in Red Bull’s budget! And haha @bullfrog !!!

  10. Random fact: Button and Hamilton haven’t scored in the next GP after winning the previous one. If Button had retired in Sepang, they wouldn’t have even finished the next GP.
    HAM: Canada P1, Valencia retired (classified P19). Hungary P1, Belgium retired. Italy P1, Singapore retired.
    BUT: Australia P1, Malaysia P14. Belgium P1, Italy retired.

    And the one fact that always has to be mentioned, still not a podium with Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso.

  11. Most of the stats I had thought of have already been mentioned, but here’s a couple more.

    McLaren again failed to get both cars in the top five. They haven’t done this since China and have only done it twice all year. Red Bull have done it five times (though not since Silverstone), Lotus three times and Ferrari twice. McLaren have also only managed five double-points finishes this year, though they have scored in every race.

    The curse of starting on the second row this year was well and truly broken. Before Singapore, the best result for a driver starting on the second row was third (done three times). Vettel and Button got a one-two starting from third and fourth on the grid. It was the first win for a driver starting third since Hungary 2011.

    It was only the second time Vettel has won from outside the front row. The other time was Malaysia 2010, where he also started third.

  12. During the 6th lap of the race, Lewis Hamilton drove Mercedes’ 30,000th kilometer in the lead !

    1. You are a freak!!! Keith needs to give you a job.

    2. These statistics are brilliant @andae23 , I would never pick up on half of them!

  13. Could Kimi Raikkonen end the season with “most laps completed without winning a race”?

    1. @KeithCollantine The last race to be stopped due to the two hour limit was the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix.

      1. Which was also two laps shorter (76 instead of 78) than the scheduled distance.

    2. Technichally everyone who hasn’t won a race is still in this competition

      1. Yes, but Räikkönen remains the only driver to have completed all the racing laps this year, and leads this… “championship”.

    3. Possibly he could win the title of most points scored without winning a race in a season, but as was previously pointed out anyone who hasn’t scored is still in this competition.
      As for winning the championship without winning a race, I think he’s just too far back now to have a shot. It’s Alonso’s or Vettel’s as far as I’m concerned.

  14. If Sebastian wins this championship, he will be the first ever driver to do so without winning even a single race in Europe.

    The least number of European races won to win the World Drivers Championship is one. This feat was achieved by Mike Hawthorn in 1958, Keke Rosberg in 1982 and (surprisingly) Sebastian Vettel in 2010,.

    The inverse record of winning the World Drivers Championship without winning a race outside Europe is held by 87 world champion, Nelson Piquet. This has happened multiple times in the past when the whole championship (bar one or two races) would be in Europe. But 1987 is the last instance of this happening.

    1. Actually, not just Sebastian, Kimi is also eligible for the first point.

      1. I think this will become more and more common an occurrence with the growing number of fly aways.

  15. Here’s one: the 2 drivers missing out on a memorable event before the race, both were doing the same thing and at both instances Schumacher was involved: Kimi when Schumacher’s good bye photo was taken and now Schumacher had the same issue. Although I love the Weleisters response just as much as Kimi’s…

  16. The number of victories at Singapore currently dictates the number of championships the driver has won.
    EG: Alonso – Winner 2008, 2010 (2 X WDCs)
    Hamilton – Winner 2009 (1 x WDC)
    Vettel – Winner 2011, 2012 (2 x WDCs)

    Therefore if Alonso wins this year’s WDC, we can expect him to win Singapore next year.

  17. The only other driver to celebrate 300 GPs was Rubens Barrichello, and he also ended his race, the 2010 Spa, crashing at other car.

  18. Another illustrious list Vettel has worked his way on to. I wonder what that feels like when compared to winning a world championship? Pretty good I suppose!

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