Vettel achieves his second perfect result

2012 Japanese Grand Prix stats and facts

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Sebastian Vettel dominated the Japanese Grand Prix, scoring a perfect result for the second time in his F1 career.

Vettel took pole position, led every lap, set fastest lap and won the race. He first achieved the feat in the Indian Grand Prix last year.

He became the 11th driver to score a grand slam on more than one occasion. Of the 873 races that have counted towards the world championship so far, 52 of them (5.9%) have resulted in grand slams:

RankDriver/sPerfect results
1Jim Clark8
2Alberto Ascari, Michael Schumacher5
4Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna, Jackie Stewart4
7Nelson Piquet3
8Jack Brabham, Juan Manuel Fangio, Mika Hakkinen, Sebastian Vettel2
12Fernando Alonso, Gerhard Berger, Mike Hawthorn, Damon Hill, Jacky Ickx, Jacques Laffite, Niki Lauda, Stirling Moss, Clay Regazzoni, Jo Siffert, Gilles Villeneuve1

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2012On Saturday Vettel set the 34th pole position of his career, moving him ahead of Jim Clark and Alain Prost. That leaves only Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna who have set more pole positions than the Red Bull driver, with 68 and 65 respectively.

In his four appearances at Suzuka, Vettel has never failed to start from pole position.

The last driver to start four consecutive races at the same track from pole position was Schumacher, who managed five in a row at the Circuit de Catalunya in the 2000 to 2004 Spanish Grand Prix. Schumacher did the same at Suzuka between 1998 and 2002.

Vettel’s 24th win of his career puts him level with Juan Manuel Fangio. It took the ‘Maestro’ 51 starts to reach that number, while this was Vettel’s 96th. He also became the first driver this year to win two consecutive races.

This was Vettel’s 13th fastest lap, giving him as many as Jacky Ickx, Alan Jones, Riccardo Patrese and team mate Mark Webber

Webber started alongside Vettel, giving Red Bull their first front row lockout of this season. They did so seven times last year and have started one-two on 16 occasions in total.

New faces on the podium

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Suzuka, 2012Vettel was joined on the podium by two drivers who had not previously finished in the top three this year. There are now 13 different drivers who have finished on the podium this year, compared to seven last year.

Felipe Massa ended a podium drought which stretched back to the 2010 Korean Grand Prix 36 races ago.

The longest ever gap between two podium finishes by the same driver is 129. That was between Alexander Wurz’s first podium in the 1997 British Grand Prix and second in the 2005 San Marino Grand Prix (awarded after Jenson Button was disqualified). However Wurz only started 50 of those races.

Earlier this year Schumacher scored his first podium in 100 races, of which he’d started 48.

Kamui Kobayashi reached the podium for the first time in his F1 career. Like Aguri Suzuki in 1990, he did so in his home race. The only other time a Japanese driver has finished on the podium was Takuma Sato at Indianapolis in 2004.

Kobayashi also achieved the highest qualifying position for a Japanese driver in their home race with third.

More Japanese Grand Prix stats and facts

Schumacher started 23rd on the grid, as team mate Nico Rosberg did last year at Suzuka. Rosberg climbed to tenth and Schumacher alsmot repeated the feat. He finished 11th, within a second of tenth-placed Daniel Ricciardo.

Romain Grosjean became the first driver this year to receive a ten-second stop-go penalty following his collision with Webber. These are uncommon penalties – just three were handed out last year.

Vitaly Petrov received his first penalty of the year, a drive-through for failing to obey blue flags. That leaves just three drivers who have participation in every race weekend without receiving a penalty: Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo and Timo Glock.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2012 Japanese Grand Prix

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    Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images, Sauber F1 Team

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    80 comments on “Vettel achieves his second perfect result”

    1. I wonder if he asked permission to go for fastest lap at the end or if he just went for it anyway? That’s the problem with modern telemetry in F1. Without it I reckon Seb would have had at least a couple more by now.
      It’s not sensible really to push that hard. The best way to win is in the slowest possible time, but where’s the fun in that?

      1. @chalky
        No he does not. The team always tries to encourage him not to go for it.
        Vettel said that ‘Rocky had a heart attack over the radio’ after he set fastest lap.
        Vettel was also asked over the radio, not, to go for FL at the end of the korean GP last year.
        So I think its stanard that they do not give him permission to go for FL. No matter the curcuimstances.

      2. @mads is right. Rocky said something along the lines of slow down “there is too much too lose” to Vettel on the radio after he set the fastest lap.

        I seem to remember Christain Horner saying “Don’t even dare” when Vettel asked what the fastest lap of the race was late in a race a few years back.

        1. @geemac – I find it hilarious listening to Rocky on the team radio; he never actually says don’t set the fastest lap, he implies it. Vettel knows exactly what he means but never really listens to him!

          1. I know, Rocky is good like that. I have to say it is one of the things I admire about Vettel, he likes to have the fastest lap despite the fact that it doesn’t actually mean much.

            1. I admire it to, it shows that he cares about statistics more than anything; he wants to better as many as he can!

            2. artificial racer
              9th October 2012, 7:32

              Theoretically, he is taking extra life out of his engine and gearbox with the fastest lap efforts. Could come back to bite him.

    2. Grand Slam !!!! Way to go….

    3. This is what I noticed:

      – This was Renault’s 100th front row lock-out as an engine supplier! They have the most front rows of any engine supplier, followed by Ford Cosworth (79) and Ferrari (70). Also, Renault’s next pole position will be their 200th.

      -The 47th lap of the race was Renault’s 10,000 lap in the lead! They rank third: Ferrari has the most (13,615), second is Ford Cosworth (10,695).

      – With Hamilton moving to Mercedes for the 2013 season, he will no longer be the driver that has driven the most race for just one constructor in his entire career. He will hand the record back to Jim Clark, who started a GP 72 times with Lotus.

      – This was Sebastian Vettel’s fourth consecutive pole position at Suzuka. The record for most consecutive pole positions at a circuit is held by Ayrton Senna: from 1985 to 1991, he scored seven consecutive pole position at Imola.

      – A lot of podium records: Massa and Kobayashi were the 12th and 13th driver to score a podium this season. That’s the most different drivers on the podium since the 2009 season (13). The season with the most different drivers on the podium was the 1982 season: 18 different drivers (Rosberg, Pironi, Watson, Prost, Arnoux, Patrese, Lauda, Tambay, Cheever, Piquet, Alboreto, Reutemann, Mansell, Villeneuve, De Crasheris, De Angelis, Laffite and Andretti).

      – Kamui Kobayashi scored the first podium of his career and his first in Japan since his karting days. With that he loses the record for most points without a podium: he hands back the record (which he claimed in Germany this year) to Adrian Sutil (95 points).

      – This was the first time the number 14 (Kobayashi) car finished in the top three since Mark Weber finished second at the 2009 Abu Dhabi GP.

      – It was only the third time a Japanese driver scored a podium: Aguri Suzuki (3rd 1990 Japan) and Takuma Sato (3rd 2004 USA) are the other two. Japan as a nation holds the following records: most GPs without a win, GPs without a pole position, podiums without a win, podiums without pole position, points without win, points without pole position and least laps/kilometres lead.

      – Felipe Massa lost candidacy for becoming the first world champion’s teammate without a podium since Hector Rebaque in 1981. He can still become the first champion’s teammate without a win since Rubens Barrichello in 2001.

      – McLaren and the UK end their streak of five consecutive podiums. Pastor Maldonado ends his streak of nine consecutive GPs without a point, following his win in Spain. For Maldonado, it’s only the third occasion that he has scored points this season. The only drivers that scored points on fewer occasions this year are Vergne (twice) and the ‘new teams’.

      – With Nico Rosberg crashing out of the race in the first corner, Kimi Raikkonen now is the only driver to have completed every lap this season so far.

      – Weird statistic: Fernando Alonso has led more laps this season than Sebastian Vettel, but Vettel has led more kilometres than Alonso.

      1. De Crasheris

        I C WAT U DID THAR

      2. *whispering* but aren’t a lot of those records you claim for Japan, for the Netherlands as well? My nickgiver never had pole and only one podium. How are those measured?

        1. Because the Netherlands competed in 243 and Japan in 381 GPs, Japan holds the record, and the Netherlands is second. A similar thing holds for the other records.

      3. Thanks for these stats andae. An enjoyable read, almost an article in itself that comment!

        I have one, Button and Hamilton finished 4th and 5th in that order in 2010 and now 2012. The finishing gap 26secs and 21secs respectively.

    4. “That leaves just three drivers who have started every race without receiving a penalty: Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo and Timo Glock.”

      Glock didn’t start in Valencia race due to illness, so it’s in fact just two drivers.

      1. @geocucc Have tweaked the text to make it more accurate.

    5. Just noticed that my avatar counts 12 grands chelems…

    6. Raikkonen has no-scored just once, the least of any driver. In comparison Alonso has 2, Vettel and Webber 3, Hamilton 4 and Button 5.

      After 15 races Alonso leads the championship with 194 points. After 15 races last year Vettel won the championship with 324 points.

      In the past 3 races at least 2 of the podium finishers encountered a similar misfortune in the previous race:
      -Hamilton, Perez and Alonso were taken out by Grosjean in Belgium
      -Vettel and Button both had a mechanical problem in Italy
      -Massa and Kobayashi both suffered a puncture in Singapore

      1. After 15 races, Red Bull as a constructor has achieved the same number of points this year as Vettel as a driver did last year

        1. @truman – that’s a pretty amazing statistic, it just puts into context how dominant Vettel was last year! (especially considering Red Bull are now leading the constructors’ championship by 41 points (which is just under a 1-2 finish))

    7. least laps/kilometres lead

      You mean least laps/km lead per laps/km completed, right? Otherwise I think a couple of hundred other countries, like for instance Kyrgyzstan, Mozambique, Vanuatu etc. would claim the record :P

      Anyways, great stuff as always.

      1. This was supposed to be a reply to @andae23

        1. Indeed: it makes sense that only countries that have actually led a GP can qualify themselves for that.

      2. Oh wow, never thought I’d see Kyrgyzstan mentioned on a Formula 1 site (I’m from Kyrgyzstan myself).

    8. just curious… if vettel ends up winning the title this year would he be the first to do it without winning a european round?

      1. I think you’re right. Which would be an interesting development of the “world” title.

        Just checked Keke Rosberg 1982 (only one win, in Dijon’s “Swiss” GP) and some of the 60s championships where only the champion had only 1 or 2 wins, and all of them won in Germany, Britain, Monza or Monaco.

        1. Apart from the 60s and 1982, the 2010 championship was also won with just one win in Europe.

      2. No: the 1974 and 1982 had only one european win, as well as some championships in the 1960s, but never has the championship been won without a European win at all.

        1. *Yes:
          that’s a silly mistake…

    9. Has there been a 1-2 finish for a team this year? If not that’s credit to how close the grid is.

        1. And McLaren at Australia as well

      1. Nope there hasn’t, though no one else has won since the first 7.

      2. @tommyb89

        Nope, and if the season finishes that way it will be the first time since 1977 that a season finishes without a 1-2 for any team

        1. @melkurion – mind you with the pace of Red Bull that’s starting to look like an unlikely proposition.

          1. @vettel1 True enough, but don’t forget, Mclaren had by far the best pace for 3 to 4 races in a row , and it didn’t last, nor were they able to make a 1-2 out of it

            1. Unreliabilty might be the saviour of that statistic!

    10. Kamui Kobayashi is the 202nd driver to stand on the podium.

      1. To put that into perspective, Lewis Hamilton was the 192nd driver to stand on the podium in Australia 2007. It seems very strange that we’ve only had 10 newcomers to the podium since then. I guess it further shows how dominant and reliable the big three teams over this period have been.

        1. For those wondering who the 10 are (not in chronological order)…

          -Heikki Kovalainen
          -Nico Rosberg
          -Nelson Piquet Jnr
          -Timo Glock
          -Sebastian Vettel
          -Vitaly Petrov
          -Romain Grosjean
          -Sergio Perez
          -Pastor Maldonado
          -Kamui Kobayashi

          If you are like me and don’t like to include Indianapolis 500 only drivers on F1 lists, then Kobayashi was the 177th driver to score a podium.

          1. Who’ll be next? I’m going for Hulkenberg.
            But if Sauber and Williams are still competitive with an update of this year’s car, it could be Bottas or whoever the new Sauber driver is…

    11. Hamilton finished 5th in Suzuka for the third time in a row. It looks like the track doesn’t suit him very well.

    12. Felipe Massa has outscored Alonso in the last five races, while Vettel has scored twice as many points as the Spaniard in the same period.

      Hamilton got into Q3 for the 50th consecutive time. The last time he failed to get into Q3 was in the wet qualifying session at Malaysia in 2010.

      Vettel won by the largest margin seen this year (20.639s). It is 0.013s larger than Rosberg’s winning margin in China.

      Kobayashi became the fourth driver to achieve his first podium this year. 2008 also introduced four new podium drivers and the last time there was more than four was 1994, where there were six.

      In a repeat of Belgium, the top three started first, tenth and third on the grid respectively.

      1. Nice ones!

      2. In a repeat of Belgium, the top three started first, tenth and third on the grid respectively.

        Button started eight, right?

        1. Yes, but he wasn’t on the podium now was he. ;)

    13. Something that Brundle pointed out – this is the first time MSC has not scored a point after starting beyond 20th. He had done so on previous 4 occasions

      1. A nice comparisson as wel.. If this pointsystem would have been active from 91 – 2006, Schumacher would only have had one finish outside the points (China 2004, 12th) Since his comeback, Schumacher has been out of a pointsfinish 9 times.

    14. davidnotcoulthard
      8th October 2012, 12:26

      1)I think it was the first time Webber got angry with a youngster since Japan 2007

      Kids, they do good and they **** it all up

      And at both times he was hit when he was running 2nd.

      2)Vettel achieved the same number of Victories as Fangio in the same race he achieved the same number of grand Chelems.

      3)Alonso retired from a Japanese GP 4 years after he managed a victory there. Vettel retired at Monza 4 years after earning a victory there

      1. davidnotcoulthard
        8th October 2012, 12:28

        Oh, and Fuji ’07 was 5 years ago. A driver who was partly blamed by some for causing the accident finished 5th this year

      2. Webber was running 3rd when he got hit by Grosejan

        1. davidnotcoulthard
          8th October 2012, 16:03

          Oh, yes, Webber was slow off the start, sorry about that…anyway, 3rd place is still in the top 3……

      3. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
        8th October 2012, 14:15

        Bit of a nitpick, but Kobayashi was already ahead of Webber when the contact was made, so he was running 3rd this time, not 2nd.

    15. This was the first time in Alonso’s career that he has retired on lap 1 by his own fault. The other two lap-one retirements were Brazil 2009 and Spa 2012 – on both occasions he was brutally taken out by someone else.

      1. thats up for debate!

        really not a stat

        1. I suspect it was also meant somewhat as sarcasm than as an actual fact ;)

          1. Hm? I just found it interesting that a driver has had his first lap-one retirement through his own fault in his 192nd Grand Prix! Really goes to show how great his spacial awareness and wheel-to-wheel racing is.

      2. Valencia 2008 or was he unlucky there?

        1. @91jb12 He retired on lap 2 actually, as he crossed the finish line while returning to the pits :)

    16. Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso continue to be on the podium, but never together.

      1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
        8th October 2012, 14:22

        The last race in which none of these three appeared on the podium was the 2010 Australian Grand Prix (Button, Kubica, Massa). This means that the last 51 podium ceremonies featured at least one of the trio, but they are yet to appear together.

        1. This has to be my favourite fact. Although the way things are going at Merc this might just come to an end sometime next year, but hopefully not.

        2. In those 51 races, 29 races have featured atleast two of the three. 6 of them feature HAM and VET, 16 of them feature ALO and VET and 7 of them feature HAM and VET.

          The closest we came to having these three on the podium was the 2011 Australian Grand Prix where VET was 1st, HAM 2nd, and ALO 3rd, only 1.2 seconds behind 3rd placed Petrov.

          Arguably, we also came close during the 2010 European Grand Prix when the safety car ruined only Alonso’s race and not Hamilton’s and during the 2012 Canadian Grand Prix when VET and ALO went on a one-stop strategy mid-way through the race.

          1. I’m glad someone has done some numbers on this, saves me the effort! It’s so statistically unlikely, as far as I can see, that its almost freaky.

    17. Contrary to all fans pointing out Webber’s gearbox woes as counter to Vettel’s race-ending failures, Webber has had just two gear box penalties all season!

    18. Pedro de la Rosa had his 100th Grand Prix start, at least by a methot I mostly use. Some stats may list him at 99 due to 2000 Monaco GP where he didn’t take part in the restart. But anyway, 100th start happens about 13 years and 7 months after his first start, which is a new record. Thanks to much less races during his F1 tenure, Jack Brabham was the earlier leader with about 13 years and 3 months.

      Another HRT driver gets also important milestone. F1Rejects forum has followed statistic about most laps driven on the last position. In that category Narain Karthikeyan is the new all-time leader, as he surpassed Christijan Albers during the Japanese GP.

      1. My God, the second stat is particularly disheartening.

    19. Correct me if I am wrong (or if someone has already noticed this), but isn’t this the first time since 2004 that the three drivers on the podium were from three different continents? The last time this happened, I believe, was during the American Grand Prix of that year, with Schumacher, Barrichello and Sato on the podium (ironically, the same nations present now).

      1. Three drivers from three continents happened in the 2009 German Grand Prix. Vettel, Webber and Massa stood on the podium.

        But this could be the first time in ages that an Asian driver stood on the podium.

    20. This was Vettel’s 13th fastest lap, giving him as many as Jacky Ickx, Alan Jones, Riccardo Patrese and team mate Mark Webber

      According to and Wikipedia, Jacky Ickx has 14 fastest laps:

      Vettel is now just 4 shy of Alonso – both in points and laps led in 2012.

      First circuit at which Vettel has managed 4 poles, first at which he has managed 4 podiums, and first at which he has managed 3 wins. It appears somewhat odd that he failed to win last year (although he did only need a point for the title), given that it was his most dominant season to date.

      Two-thirds of Japanese podiums have come on home soil. This ratio is only beaten by Monaco with 100% (their only podium being Louis Chiron in Monaco 1950).

      First time Schumacher has finished a race outside the points in 2012. Alonso is now the only driver not to have finished outside the points this year (in fact, he has scored points in every race in which he has got past the second corner).

      Hamilton ends his win-DNF pattern – it is the first time he has finished somewhere other than 1st since Silverstone.

      Glock’s best qualifying since 2010.

      1. Red Bull’s pit stops were poor here last year.
        Button set a fast in lap and his team helped him in front with a much faster pit stop. With the pitstop alone he gained almost 1.4 seconds.
        Vettel’s fastest stop was almost half a second slower than Button’s slowest stop that day.

        And then there’s the case of the McLaren being the fastest car that weekend only missing out on pole because they left it too late for Hamilton to set a laptime and because Button isn’t that good a qualifier.

    21. So just to be sure, does a Grand Slam include leading EVERY single lap of the race or not? I thought it was just pole, FL and win.

      1. It says so in the second paragraph.

    22. At this point in time, I don’t think anyone can truly look at themselves and say that anyone other than Vettel is the title favorite.

      Vettel has over each of his rivals either a car advantage (Alonso, perhaps Raikkonen) or a points cushion (Hamilton), and it will be difficult to overhaul him from there.

      Taking a look at the races since the summer break, Vettel is the man on form. Aside from a penalty in Monza, Vettel has raised his game to equal that of Alonso in the last four races. P2 in Spa behind the quick McLaren, and back to back wins in Singapore and Suzuka. He did get a penalty in Monza, but up to that point, he would probably have finished fifth, behind Hamilton, Perez and the Ferraris.

      We could be seeing at the youngest 3 time world champion, and only the 3rd champion to ever clinch 3 consecutive titles.

      1. Vettel tied Fangio’s win tally in Japan and we could see him equalling Fangio’s consecutive WDC result in 2014 at the age of 26.

    23. I think it’s amazing how many perfect weekends Clark has had; 8 from 72 races, and had he had a more reliable car, then I’m sure it would have been a lot higher.

    24. I heard Vettel shed a tear when he was compared to Fangio, bless :)

    25. Every time a Japanese driver has finished on the podium, a Brazilian driver has finished 2nd.

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