Vettel breaks 60-year-old record with eighth win

2013 United States Grand Prix stats and facts

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Sebastian Vettel became the first driver in Formula One history to win eight consecutive rounds of the world championship with victory in the United States Grand Prix.

He broke a record which has stood for 60 years, when Alberto Ascari took his seventh win in a row driving a Ferrari 500 in the Argentinian Grand Prix. His winning streak had begun the previous year.

Nine years ago Michael Schumacher took seven wins in a row at the wheel of another Ferrari, the F2004.

But Vettel and his Red Bull RB9 now hold the record for most wins in consecutive races:

RankDriverWinsSequence beganSequence ended
1Sebastian Vettel82013 Belgian Grand Prix?
=2Alberto Ascari71952 Belgian Grand Prix1953 Argentinian Grand Prix
=2Michael Schumacher72004 European Grand Prix2004 Hungarian Grand Prix
4Michael Schumacher62000 Italian Grand Prix2001 Malaysian Grand Prix
=5Jack Brabham51960 Dutch Grand Prix1960 Portuguese Grand Prix
=5Jim Clark51965 Belgian Grand Prix1965 German Grand Prix
=5Nigel Mansell51992 South African Grand Prix1992 San Marino Grand Prix
=5Michael Schumacher52004 Australian Grand Prix2004 Spanish Grand Prix

Ascari went on to extend his winning streak to nine races in a row after missing the 1953 Indianapolis 500, which counted towards the world championship. Note also that all the other races in the 1952 and 1953 world championships were run to Formula Two regulations instead of Formula One.

Victory for Vettel in the final race of the year would not only tie Ascari’s record of nine wins in consecutive races entered by a driver, it would also tie Schumacher’s record of winning 13 races in a season. Schumacher won 13 out of 18 rounds in 2004, Vettel has one extra race in which to achieve that feat.

Red Bull are also gaining on McLaren’s record for most wins in consecutive races. They went undefeated for 11 races in a row in 1988 while Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost cleaned up in the devastating MP4-4.

Vettel recorded his 38th win (he’s now three behind Senna in terms of total victories), 44th pole position (needing 21 more to catch Senna) and 22nd fastest lap – the latter moving him one ahead of Fernando Alonso and among the top ten drivers who set the most.

This was Vettel’s eighth hat-trick of win, pole and fastest lap, which means he now has as many as Prost. Ahead of him lie Juan Manuel Fangio, with nine, Jim Clark on 11 and Schumacher’s distant tally of 22.

Finally, his first win in America means the Hungarian Grand Prix is the only remaining race he is yet to win.

More United States Grand Prix stats and facts

There were mixed fortunes for the two Finnish drivers in the race. Heikki Kovalainen failed to score on his return to F1 for Lotus and so increases his already record string of point-less races to 61.

However Valtteri Bottas claimed the first points of his F1 career with eighth place. He is the 323rd driver to score in the world championship.

Romain Grosjean scored his sixth podium finish of the year meaning he now has more than Lewis Hamilton. Curiously, both Lotus drivers have more podium finishes this year than both Mercedes drivers, yet Lotus trail Mercedes in the constructors’ championship.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2013 United States Grand Prix

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Images © Red Bull/Getty, Pirelli

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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101 comments on “Vettel breaks 60-year-old record with eighth win”

  1. i reckon can keep this going into next year :)

  2. Congratulations. Does this make it the 4th most dominant car in history? Mclaren won 15 races out of 16 in 1988, Ferrari won 15 out of 18 in 2004, 15 out of 17 in 2002, , Upto yet Vettel has 13 out of 18 and will win Brazil so thats 14 out of 18.

    What a car!

    1. Great car (since the summer break, it’s been the best Red Bull ever I think) and a great driver at the helm. Also, the other two records I think were with other truly great drivers in Prost, Senna and Schumacher.

    2. Most successful, possibly, but there is more to domination than only one driver winning ‘all’ the races.

      1. Are you referring to Webber, or something more obscure? Webber has made the right decision to retire, he’s clearly not able to to compete with Vettel over a full weekend anymore. If he were at his best then it’s not unreasonable to assume he’d be taking the second step and occasionally the top step at most races.

        1. He’s talking about active suspension williams cars which were at times more than 2 seconds clear of the field in quali. That’s domination. You can will all races in a season by 1 second and be called successful, bot not dominant.

          1. Considering how restrictive the regulations are these days, the current state of domination is doubly impressive imo.

      2. The problem with your comment, is that 1 driver has won all the races while the other driver has ha over 11 mechanical faults, yet is STILL 6 points off Hamilton who is 3rd in the championship. They are over 200 points ahead as a team, which is 8 race wins ahead, and both cars have been on the podium 22 times. 10 poles and a further 9 2nd place starts and 6 front row lock outs.

        The car is extremely dominant.

    3. Yes, yes, impressive stuff from Vettel and most importantly the RBR car, but still, not as impressive as the fact that M.Schumacher would’ve scored 13 consecutive victories in 2004, had Montoya not crashed into him in the tunnel during the safety car period at the 2004 Monaco GP! ;)

      1. @commendatore I’m not too sure whether Schumacher actually deserved that victory anyway if he had attained it and he did lock his brakes, but absolutely: 7 followed by 5 is no mean feat, to put it very mildly.

      2. M.Schumacher would’ve scored 13 consecutive victories in 2004

        Im not sure he’d have won that race anyway.

        Schumacher had to make 1 more fuel stop so would have needed to pull out a 15-20 second gap & only had around 10 laps of fuel left to do it. Given how fast Trulli had been that weekend & how Schumacher’s pace hadn’t been brilliant through the rest of that race there’s no way he’d have pulled the gap to retain the lead.

      3. @commendatore Well, by your logic, VET “should have won” Hungary if he wasn’t held up by BUT. VET also “should have won” GBGP if it wasn’t for his gearbox. Lastly, VET “should have won” at Monaco if the streets weren’t so narrow and ROS didn’t defend so well, bringing his total to 13 in a row, 14 if he wins in Brazil and 16 wins on the season…

      4. err… Schumacher crashed into Montoya, he was following too close in the tunnel, and also Schumacher was not really on target to win that race, so don’t blame Montoya.

    4. Well this is certainly one of the most dominant streaks ever, but I’d say the FW14 might have been just a bit better. It won 10 from 16 races but probably should have been more if not for some errors or racing incidents that lost a possible win, of which Vettel basically had none this year.
      Also the FW14 scored more 1-2’s.

      But you’re forgetting some very dominant cars from before the “modern” era.
      1950: Alfa Romeo won all races.
      1952: Ferrari won 7 out of 8.
      1953: Ferrari won 8 out of 9
      1955: Mercedes.

      There are probably more.

      1. I tried to keep to the modern era purely because I dont think its fair to compare the 50s to the current day, based around teams, budgets and so forth.

        1. Fair enough. You did say “in history” though, which I took as… well, F1’s entire history :)

  3. Vettel only has 3 hat-tricks?

    1. No, 3 is definitely not correct. Wikipedia lists him at 7, probably that’s not counting yesterday.
      Prost has 8 so if he is at level with Prost, it’s 8 for Vettel.

      1. No, it is seven including yesterday.

        1. See below, I was wrong, it is 8.

    2. No, he has seven hat tricks and is fifth in the list of record holders together with Senna and Ascari, behind Schumacher, Fangio, Clark and Prost.

      1. he has 8. see the article

        1. You are right, I forgot to count Korea this year, only counted it as Grand Chelem. Duh.

    3. @chaddy Sorry, typo.

      1. That’s what I figured @keithcollantine— I thought he had at least that many grand-slams. Hope you enjoyed Texas!

  4. this was grosjean’s first f1 race without a world champion for a team-mate

    1. Very cool stat!

  5. Congrats to Seb. I hope but I don’t see how others can close the gap in 2014 :( .

    I laughed at Kovalainen’s rubbish performance. It’s a shame Valsecchi could not have the seat as he probably would have done better. When they saw he would definitely be out of the points they even tested a front wing or something.

    1. Heikki’s pace wasn’t helped by a KERS failure.

      They also changed his front wing due to a loss of downforce which he suffered very early on. This may have been caused by debris stuck in the wing (Something that happens too often in the Pirelli-era due to the extra marbles they produce).

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        19th November 2013, 13:35

        So for the second season in a row, a Lotus replacement driver has had a KERS failure

    2. Dude, they’ll basically move from one car to the other, as they do every year, but next year the new cars will be very different compared to the actual ones, i expect a more exciting season than the 2012 one :)

  6. I thought Ascari’s 9 race run is still officially recognized as the F1 record?

    1. @jb001 I don’t know what you mean by “officially recognised” but it is mentioned in the article.

      What we have here are two different records. One is a record for most wins in consecutive rounds of the championship and one is a record for most consecutive wins by the same driver.

      1. I guess it doesn’t really matter, since Vettel is a strong favourite for the Brazilian GP which would give him 9 consecutive wins anyway.

      2. Unfortunately in the 50’s Indy 500 was officially part of the F1 championship, which made for a lot of absurd F1 records. I am particularly annoyed by Lee Wallard’s, who started only 2 so-called “F1” races (Indy 1950 and 1951) and won 1 of them (1951), that is 50% of wins/race started, a bit over Fangio’s 46.15%, a shame because Fangio has all the good percentage records, way above Schumacher (but Wallard entered 1954 and DNQ so he got only 33.33% wins/race entered, well below Fangio).

        Indy 500 and the rest of the F1 races were really worlds apart. It is not just that the cars and specs were wholly different, the drivers also were. In Indy 1953 (the gap in Ascari’s 9-win sequence) there were 33 drivers and not a single one of them entered a single race in the rest of the F1 championship, and vice versa, there were 82 different drivers in the 8 non-Indy F1 races in 1953 but none of them entered Indy 1953 (true, Ascari entered Indy 500 in 1952, and DNF by the way, but this was a very rare exception to the general rule).

        So Ascari’s 9 consecutive wins is “almost” a 9 consecutive F1 races win sequence, because only in officialdom the Indy 500 race was a F1 race. Most likely, Vettel will win next race in Brasil and get a 9 consecutive F1 races win sequence for the first time, officially speaking. But for those of us who never accepted Indy 500 as true F1 races, Alberto Ascari was already there.

  7. From the way it is right now, if Vettel cruises off to early victories next year, a fifth consecutive WDC is inevitable. And with that he will tie with Michael Schumacher for the most number of consecutive WDC in history.

    1. but he will be the only and one driver to be in 6 top 2 in a row

  8. I think Vettel’s ability to win at so many different tracks is as impressive as any of this other records. I hope he can win Hungary soon, and next year sure brings a few new circuits into the mix. I wonder what the record of different track location wins is, although I’m sure Schu holds it.

    I also think that Vettel really needs to win at the Hockenheimring, so right now he seems to be missing two places; obviously this is a different measure from the one quoted though.

    1. Just when he thought he had 1 to go, Bernie adds 4 new races to the calendar! (Not that I expect NJ or MC to happen in 2014.)

      I guess he also missed the opportunity to win at the French and Turkish GPs.

      1. SV won Turkey 2011

      2. He has already won the Turkish GP, in 2011. Of the circuits he has raced in, he just hasn’t won in the Hungaroring, Hockenheim, Indianapolis, Magny-Cours and Fuji. This means he has won in 20 of the 25 circuits he has raced in, impressive!

        1. @toiago Schumacher won at 23 out of 34 circuits he raced in (28 of them he raced at before his comeback).

    2. You sure want some of the viewers to break their TV screens by throwing chairs at it. :P

      1. If Vettel only ever wins Hungary and Hockenheim from here on out, I think the particular viewers you mention would be very happy!

  9. The only track on which Vettel hasn’t won is now Hungaroring (after 6 attempts, 5 of them in a car that was capable of winning). So it seems our all conquering World Champion does have a bogey track.

    1. I don’t know if it’s a bogey. His win percentage is ~32%, so if you flip a coin with a 32% chance of getting heads, there is a 15% chance, or 3 in 20, that you would not get heads in 5 flips. So even with his very high win percentage, it would be very unlikely to win at every different track on a pure odds basis. And the fact that he has 1 instead of 3 tracks left to win at, means he has relatively spread-out victories (and even more so when you factor in multiple different racing venues over the years).

      1. I don’t think winning or losing a race is comparable to flipped coin statistics. ;)

        1. Haha good point. But I will say that he’d have to have a win percentage around 53% for it to be more likely than not that he’d have won every track so far, and I don’t think people would like that coin very much! Anyway, I think the coin insight is sound– there are so many tracks that in 5 years it’d be improbable to have such spread out victories– and, if you believe as I assume that a driver can be particularly good at certain tracks, then the victories should be even more consolidated.

    2. Well he did have a great chance of winning it in 2010 before he got a penalty behind the safety car I believe trying to help out Webber.

      2011 was wet so naturally that would be a bit skewed.

      2012 he didn’t really have a car capable of winning at that point but you are right enough, strategy kind of snookered him as was the case in 2013.

      So not so much a bogey track, just one which hasn’t played out well. It’s not one of his favourites though I imagine!

    3. The only track on which Vettel hasn’t won is Hungaroring

      Not quite true, afraid you are confusing tracks with GPs. f ex Vettel has won the German GP only this year, it was in Nurburgring, but he has never won in Hockenheim, although he raced there in 2008, 2010 and 2012. He has won the Japan GP in Suzuka but never in Fuji (having raced there in 2007 and 2008). He has also raced but never won in Magny Cours (2008) and Indianapolis (2007). And that’s it (not counting of course the dozens of tracks where he never has raced). No mean feat of course!!

      1. And btw, besides the Hungarian GP the only one Vettel has raced and not won is of course the French GP, only it’s not in the present calendar and who knows if it will return (for shame, indeed)

  10. Yesterday was the first time Hamilton has finished a race in North America outside of the Podium positions.

    1. Interesting observation!

    2. What about the 2008 Canadian grand prix?

      1. He didn’t finish that race, his stat is talking about races Hamilton finished.

      2. Or the 2011 one? But I think it is meant that if he finishes he did on the podium until yesterday.

      3. Just to clarify, I was referring to when he was a classified finisher. In fact, before Canada this year, he had never finished a race in NA anywhere other than 1st.

  11. Great… but not that great as it seems, in my opinion. Not that ridiculous, but this is a little bit like Alonso’s MOST POINTS EVER RECORD. Cars today are lot more reliable, so I don’t quite think this record is that great as Schumacher’s record.

    1. But if drivers don’t have control over their cars failing, the best they can do is win when the car works, and that is tough. We can say there could have been more streaks with more consistent cars, but a driver who wins a lot maximizes his chance of a long streak when things don’t fail.

      1. Yes, but what I wanted to underline is that back in the day it was less likely to break records since the car were in constant update, team tried to push boundaries in every department, so more proned to fail. One could have had the fastest car on the grid by miles (see Kimi in 2005, for ex), but because the car was updated every race in every way, the chances to fail were a lot more than today. So, if a team who developed the car every time but managed to make it reliable too… it means they did a great job indeed, and deserved the prize. And I’m reffering especially at the engines.

        1. RB 5,6,7,9 were and are the most unreliable cars on the grid. RB8 is arguably level with mp4-27

    2. Not sure what record you mean…consecutive wins? Most points ever? Either way, just thought I would remind you that MS enjoyed uncanny reliability and there are cars this very season that have been more unreliable than some of MS’s.

    3. Schumacher had no technical issues during his 2004 streak, nor did Barrichello, so the Ferrari was pretty much bulletproof as well.

      1. OK, but that is more deserved because the rules weren’t that “fix” as today, aero package apart. So, back in 2004, if a team updated an engine (more revs, more power etc, so pushed it to the max) and did not fail for 10 races in a row, that means the team did a great job indeed, better than most team anyway. Now, the engines are the same for years, so if an engine fails… that is what I call a bad job. Today, to break records, the best car is needed since the reliability is there for every team. Vettel is more than proof since now he is breaking records that resisted for 60 years. How many cars retired due to tech problems in this race ?!?! None !

        1. You are aware of literally hundreds of RB reliability problems from recent years?

          1. I guess they’re not doing such a great job. When parts of the car are the same for years… but they still can’t make them reliable… I think they’re not doing the best job. And I’m not talking about aero parts, of course. Anyway, it’s just my position. Great for him and his team.

          2. @corrado-dub: That’s where RB and Renault are different to Ferrari and Mercedes. RB tries to engineer every single part of the car to the edge for trying to gain an advantage over others. Ferrari and Mercedes don’t risk that much.

            To have such an advantage in an era where parts are mostly the same for years, is even more remarkable as you would guess Ferrari & Co. would have caught up by now!

    4. @corrado-dub I don’t entirely agree – we’ve seen this kind of reliability from the top teams for a good decade or so now. Schumacher was able to finish every race on the podium in 2002. And as others have already pointed out it wasn’t a car failure that kept his seven-race winning streak in 2004 from being longer it was (among other things) a collision with another driver.

  12. Congratulations to Vettel, but this sure makes for some boring races.

    1. Yeah unfortunately it seems a little one-sided at RBR, yet with MW allowed to compete it is a wonder (and a disappointment) he (MW) hasn’t been more of a thorn in SV’s side. At least it’s not as boring as MS/Ferrari where the decision was made in the boardroom as to who was to win. And then contrast that with another dominating era that has been cited on this topic…Senna/Prost 88…they won 15 of 16 races, so you got to pretty much expect a Mac to win the next race….you just didn’t know which driver, so you could cut the suspense with a knife…the complete polar opposite of MS/Ferrari.

  13. Whether you like him or boo him, you’ve got to admit that it takes a legend of a sport to dominate in such a way. It’s one thing to win the eight races, but to win them in such a commanding fashion is quite astonishing.

    His car is clearly the best but you can only drive what you’re given and he’s soundly beaten Mark Webber into submission these last few years.

    Comparisons to the sports greats are absolutely in order. Delighted to have been in attendance for the first race of this new record!

    1. Should be whether you like him or dislike him I think; absolutely no reason to boo! :P

    2. “you’ve got to admit that it takes a legend of a sport to dominate in such a way”

      Cant say I agree. I rekon half the field could do exactly what Vettel has done in his machinery. To be absolutely frank.

      The other half would do what Webber has done in that car. Good but not good enough.

      1. It’s a bit silly to think that half the field would be so far ahead of the other half.

        Only the top handful drivers would be capable of dominating in such a fashion given a chance, and even then, I’d struggle to say that they would do as well as Vettel is now, based on their own current form.

      2. I don’t think half the field of f1 drivers is as good as vettel, maybe in the top 4 or 5 drivers they are similar level, but then who is to say they can dominate, ie Hamilton has had a great car nearly every year and never got a streak of wins going, Webber never got a streak going in the redbull.

    3. @ben-n if it was cycling I would absolutely agree with you but this is motorsport

      you must be assuming webber is in the same team? :)

  14. This was the 14th victory of Germany in the same season,
    One more than in 2004. (New record)

    1. And for the 13th consecutive time we’ve heard the German national anthem on the podium!

  15. Vettel has more wins than he does 2nd, 3rd & 4th place finishes put together.
    Wins = 38
    2nd = 13
    3rd = 10
    4th = 14
    38 – 37

    1. Starting to sound similar to Jim Clark’s stats (finished second just once, and six times third).

    2. @cornflakes I adore this stat. Well done.

    3. this makes total sense. No wonder he gives us the index finger ‘number 1’ after every win!

    4. @cornflakes Sounds similar to Schumi’s stat: He has more wins than he does his 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th-place finishes put together.

      1st: 91
      2nd: 37
      3rd: 18
      4th: 15
      5th: 12

      Wins: 91
      Other Top-5 Finishes: 82

      1. That is incredible really when you think about it.

    5. @cornflakes @journeyer These are interesting statistics so I had a look at a few other drivers. Many of the greats have a large proportion more wins than 2nd places (Vettel and Clark as mentioned plus Senna, Mansell, Fangio, Schumacher). Other drivers who have more of an equal spread include Raikkonen, Alonso and Piquet. Prost and Hamilton are somewhere in between.

      If you look at the number of positions you have to go down before the total number of non-victories equals or exceeds the victories it is:

      Raikkonen and Alonso: 2nd place
      Hamilton, Prost and Piquet: 3rd place
      Mansell and Senna: 4th place
      Vettel and Schumacher: 5th place
      Clark and Fangio: Never! (won more than 50% of races finished)

      1. Awesome work. I think it shows the dominance of some drivers and team combinations. I can’t help but feel Alonso and perhaps Raikkonen and Hamilton would have a lot more victories if Vettel wasn’t so dominant recently.

  16. This is what I noticed:
    – For the second year in a row, Lotus is the only team to have a driver change during the season.
    And when D’ambrosio replaced Grosjean last year he also finished outside of the points, and had a KERS problem just like Kovalainen in Austin.
    – 2013 will not be the worst year ever for Williams. They have now scored 5 points, just like in 2011, but this year they have a best finish of 8th, compared to a best finish of 9th in 2011.
    – In 5 races time. Grosjeans prodium per race percentage is risen from 12% after Singapore this year, to 20% after Austin. This means he has overtaken Massa, Webber and Button in terms of % podium per race.
    – In the last 7 races, Sauber have scored 650% more points than in the first 11 races of the year (7 compared to 46)

    1. And another stat:
      It is the first time since the 2009 Singapore gp that Alonso didn’t finish on the podium for 5 races in a row

      1. Related to 2009 Singapore: that was the last time Heikki Kovalainen scored points.

  17. Is Kovalainen the first driver to race for 2 different teams who have had the same name?

    1. Yes you’re right, as far as I know. Petrov also drove for both these teams but in 2011 Lotus was the title sponsor of Renault and was named Lotus Renault

    2. it is true , however might sound a bit awkward none of those new era Lotuses deserve to hold that name,.

      1. and also dispute about the Lotus name have not much of a influence ,.. Heikki deserve a seat in 2014 I think ,..
        he was a bit unlucky in Austin but I am sure he can be more productive that Maldonado or Hulkenberg

        1. Maldonado ok, but Hulk? Really?

  18. Webber has scored more points so far this year than he managed in the whole of last year, despite last season having 20 races and Webber managing 2 wins.

    Button’s worst start of the season, and Perez’s joint best.

    Force India now top retirements (i.e. failures to reach the chequered flag) table for 2013, 1 ahead of Toro Rosso.

    Second race in a row where the only retirement was a lap 1 crash for a driver who was involved in the crash immediately after the final safety car period in Monaco 2008.

    And some more from

    Vettel is the only driver to manage 2 separate sequences of 10+ podiums.
    First time since Japan 2010 that the front 3 on the grid were all Renault-powered.
    Alonso is yet to manage a top 2 finish in Austin – only other such track is Austria (where he had 2 DNFs from 2 starts).
    Leo Kinnunen is (again!) the only Finnish driver ever to start a race and never score a point.

  19. Thought I’d add my 2 cents here.

    If nothing crazy happens, or if it doesn’t rain, in Brazil, it’ll be the first time since 1992 that the podium positions are taken by the top 4 constructors.

    Considering the number of races we have, it just goes to show how reliable these cars have become, and probably how there’s been no rain-affected races.

  20. tommorow’s headline : vettel not getting bored of making history

  21. According to Red Bull Mark Webber made a sub-2second pitstop, being stationary for only 1.923 seconds. I believe that’s a first?

  22. If Vettel wins next race he would also beat his own points record in a season (2011, with the same number of races) and win the constructors all by himself, regardless of what Rosberg and Hamilton do.

    1. Unless Alonso wins and Vettel is outside the points at the next race Vettel will break his own record for greatest winning margin in the WDC (122 points in 2011).

  23. If Webber does not win in Brazil, will be the first time the partner Champion finishes the year without a single victory since Barrchello 2001.

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