The 2014 season in stats: The year in context

2014 F1 season review

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[interactivecharts]Cars were expected to be much less reliable in 2014 but those fears proved largely unfounded. However Mercedes’ domination of the season was realised, and by taking 11 wins Lewis Hamilton boosted his career victories tally by 50%.

Reliability, 1992-2014

The increased in car failures which accompanied the introduction of F1’s ambitious new engine formula was widely expected. Indeed, many expected it to be worse than it was – before the season began there was speculation the early races would see fewer than ten finishers.

That never came to pass, and by the end of the year the low number of starters was a greater concern than the number of finishers.

The rate of technical failures did rise to 13.7% in races, its highest level since 2006, which was the last time a new engine formula was introduced. The cars remain considerably more reliable than they were a little over a decade ago, when one in four cars on the grid could be expected to break down before the chequered flag.

Despite the increase in failures average number of finishers remained above 80%. This may well be because driver errors are less likely to result in retirements due to the increased use of asphalt run-off areas.

Classified finishers44.8952.9146.1750.2450.2956.8857.9552.5658.5660.757.9766.8872.574.269.1975.1377.7282.0676.9781.3683.5487.5680.34
Technical failures27.1424.0325.931.124.2724.626.4229.5525.1327.0129.1224.3816.9411.4418.1813.648.79.1213.1510.757.716.7013.76
Other DNFs27.9723.0627.9318.6625.4418.5215.6317.916.3112.312.918.7510.5614.3612.6311.2313.598.829.887.898.755.745.90

Season data

The low number of winners and pole sitters indicates this was not an especially competitive season. Just three different drivers won races, equalling the record low most recently seen in 1988.

Meanwhile the number of races is set to trend further upwards next year. There are currently 21 races on the 2015 F1 calendar, and although the Korean Grand Prix is widely expected not to happen, that would still leave a record-equalling 20 rounds on the schedule.

However with only nine teams expected to take part next year, the number of drivers competing in the series could hit a new low.

Number of races1616161716171616171717161819181718171919201919
Different drivers3735463524282324232623242527272622252728252324
Different winners54454646454855547655853
Most wins by individual9789878599116137766651151311
Different pole sitters33743644453679646853743
Most pole positions by individual1413679109116117586667410157911
Different lap leaders55788116115761311111112151388131310

World champions

Only one of the five champions currently racing in Formula One won races this year: Lewis Hamilton, who overtook Fernando Alonso to become the fifth most successful F1 driver of all time in terms of total wins. The 11 wins he scored this year amounts to one-third of his career victories.

Alonso, like Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, endured a win-less campaign. Jenson Button did too and his second successive season without a win means his victory rate has fallen to 5.6%, lower than any other champion bar Keke Rosberg (4.39%) and John Surtees (5.41%).

PosName% Wins (#)% Poles (#)% Fastest laps (#)% Car failuresPoints/finish*
1Juan Manuel Fangio47.06% (24)56.86% (29)45.10% (23)17.6520.79
2Alberto Ascari40.63% (13)43.75% (14)37.50% (12)18.7517.15
3Jackie Stewart27.27% (27)17.17% (17)15.15% (15)32.3216.55
4Jim Clark34.72% (25)45.83% (33)38.89% (28)29.1716.45
5Giuseppe Farina15.15% (5)15.15% (5)15.15% (5)15.1515.96
6Alain Prost25.63% (51)16.58% (33)20.60% (41)16.5814.96
7Ayrton Senna25.47% (41)40.37% (65)11.80% (19)20.5014.70
8Sebastian Vettel28.06% (39)32.37% (45)17.27% (24)10.0714.43
9Michael Schumacher29.74% (91)22.22% (68)25.16% (77)10.7814.25
10Mike Hawthorn06.67% (3)08.89% (4)13.33% (6)22.2213.37
11Jochen Rindt10.00% (6)16.67% (10)5.00% (3)55.0013.26
12Lewis Hamilton22.30% (33)25.68% (38)13.51% (20)06.0813.23
13Fernando Alonso13.68% (32)09.40% (22)8.97% (21)08.1212.13
14Niki Lauda14.62% (25)14.04% (24)14.04% (24)34.5011.99
15Nigel Mansell16.58% (31)17.11% (32)16.04% (30)32.6211.98
16Jack Brabham11.38% (14)10.57% (13)9.76% (12)34.9611.74
17Mika Hakkinen12.42% (20)16.15% (26)15.53% (25)24.2211.33
18Denny Hulme07.14% (8)00.89% (1)8.04% (9)25.8911.33
19Damon Hill19.13% (22)17.39% (20)16.52% (19)14.7811.13
20Nelson Piquet11.27% (23)11.76% (24)11.27% (23)24.5110.96
21Phil Hill06.38% (3)12.77% (6)12.77% (6)27.6610.74
22Kimi Raikkonen09.48% (20)07.58% (16)18.96% (40)13.7410.67
23John Surtees05.41% (6)07.21% (8)9.91% (11)44.1410.58
24Jody Scheckter08.93% (10)02.68% (3)4.46% (5)18.759.85
25James Hunt10.87% (10)15.22% (14)8.70% (8)29.359.68
26Emerson Fittipaldi09.72% (14)04.17% (6)4.17% (6)25.699.29
27Graham Hill08.00% (14)07.43% (13)5.71% (10)33.149.00
28Mario Andretti09.38% (12)14.06% (18)7.81% (10)39.848.71
29Alan Jones10.34% (12)05.17% (6)11.21% (13)28.458.52
30Keke Rosberg04.39% (5)04.39% (5)2.63% (3)38.608.50
31Jenson Button05.64% (15)03.01% (8)3.01% (8)09.777.55
32Jacques Villeneuve06.75% (11)07.98% (13)5.52% (9)22.706.77

*Average scoring rate at every round where they did not suffer a race-ending mechanical failure, adjusted to the current points system and ignoring double points and shared drives.

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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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40 comments on “The 2014 season in stats: The year in context”

  1. I think it’s also quite telling that Hamilton has the lowest number of car failures…

    1. Lowest ratio, at least

      1. dont be so defensive over a statistic that is real number. as mentioned by someone else, like how bulletproof Alonsos car has been. we could ofcourse bring up Hamiltons own failure ration, like when he crashed in china in 07, monza in 10, both which lost him championships, and all the times he crashed with other cars in 11 where he kept going, and crashed into the wall in 08 and kept going.

        1. China 07 maybe, but Hamiton definitely didn’t lost the 2010 championship because of Monza.
          It’s not like the other races would be the same if he didn’t crash in Monza. He still would struggle on only the 3rd best car for the remaining races and needing be no less than perfect and lucky to still win.

          1. If he hadnt crashed in singapore 2010 too, would have helped.

        2. Or maybe if his tyre didn’t blow out while running second in Valencia in 2010 that would have helped?

    2. The benefit of his first drive being at McLaren no doubt. It would be interesting to compare Lewis, Seb and Fernando over the past 2/3 years to see how their reliability rates compare.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        24th December 2014, 13:20

        @keeleyobsessed @alec-glen what it’s incredible for me is that Seb, even when he started his career at BMW / Toro Rosso (having 1.5 seasons with one win) and after this winless year (add 19 races), and having more car failures than Hamilton and Alonso, is still with better stats than the 2 of them. I’m hoping Ferrari can deliver at least a decent car next year!

        1. Not wanted to discount statistics, but they do only show a certain aspect. Car Failures does that equate to failure to finish a race? Does an incident caused by driver that cause a failure to another driver come into effect? What regulation changes in those periods, etc etc. Where is John Surtees?

        2. Vettel drove the class of the field during the 2009-2013 period and with second class teammates. Accordingly, the German’s stats are hardly surprising. Indeed, this reflects the problem of just focusing or overly focusing on stats alone. We need to understand context. That is, the relative quality of machinery, teammates, opposition; also, reliability, length of the season, etc.

          1. Exactly.
            It is rare on F1’s history to see someone on the best car for such a long period. That’s why i believe Vettel already made most of his numbers. Unless he’s a new Schumacher and dominates the sport with Ferrari, which i doubt as he isn’t a fraction as resourceful as Schumacher was.

      2. Alonso’s first technical retirement since 2010 happened this year. And then another I believe. His Ferraris have been quite bulletproof.

  2. I predict one between Rosberg, Ricciardo and Bottas will be champion within next 3 years. They currently in the top 3 teams and started to reach their peaks of their career, unless McLaren-Honda will be amazing, I can’t see why one of these guys will not be a champion.

    1. @deongunner
      Interesting prediction, here’s what I think in order of likeliness:
      1. Ricciardo – Red Bull are the team with the most room for improvement if Renault can find more horses, they know how to win championships and his team-mate is unlikely to beat him over a season.
      2. Rosberg – It depends how long the Mercedes dominance lasts really, given another chance at 1 on 1 against Hamilton he might come out on top, but the more drivers involved in the championship the less chance he has in my opinion.
      3. Bottas – I don’t think he’s capable of an Alonso 2012-like championship with an inferior car, and I don’t think Williams will provide him with a championship winning car, so I don’t fancy his chances.

      I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of any others could fit the bill and I’m drawing a blank. It’s hard to say because some drivers come alive when they get into a good car, I still think Hulk has the potential despite looking a bit lacklustre this year for example.

      1. Renault will likely to be a sole supplier next year, so I think they will support a lot and improve Red Bull like Honda doing on McLaren currently, and their engine should be better, plus Ricciardo have a nice attitude which sometimes help him on the track
        About Rosberg, I believe he will be better next year, he was not prepared well when he have first chance to win a WC (Hamilton is well prepared by McLaren) and he is a quick learner so I expect Rosberg will learn a lot this year especially his mistakes and lack of agression both attacking and defending.
        Next year will be Bottas third year in F1 and he was already great this year, I think Massa have back to his best and that’s why he outraced Bottas overall this season. Williams will learn, they made many mistakes this year and it should be decreased next year, and they should also improved their downforce, Of course Bottas will be better next year and he still very young. About Hulk I think he’s very consistent, but he don’t really have standout performance like Pérez, I think Pérez have more potential than Hulk, but he just need the consistency

        1. I think it’s funny that people see Hulk’s consistency as a bad thing and Perez’s streakiness as a sign he has more potential.

          When we look at other drivers we say the best are the most consistent (Fernando, Seb) yet knock the drivers who in certain conditions a few times a year are able to get more out of their setup than even the ‘fastest’ guys (Jenson).

          I guess with them it depends where they get their lap time and how much you rate their skill and racecraft. Today’s formula 1’s not about absolute speed after all, it’s about maximising conditions.

          1. All in the eye of the beholder, influenced no doubt by others opinions and becomes there own.

          2. @alec-glen
            Yes his consistency is why I picked him as an extra. Hulk knows how to win championships, he’s done it in F3 and GP2. Perez has some flashy performances but his strength has always been in tyre management, when it comes to outright pace or racing ability he’s not up there. I think if he was in a higher pressure situation his tendency for desperate racing moves might come back to the fore too, which wouldn’t help his scoring rate.

            Force India have a very good driver line-up for what they are, if they make a good car Hulk will rake in the points, if they make an average car then Perez can get the odd great result out of it.

          3. @george Seems like you’re generalizing Perez based on two years in Sauber, where the team strategy and car characteristics (especially in 2012) had more to do with tire management than Perez.

          4. @alec-glen agreed. Hulkenberg is the better driver for me.

          5. @satchelcharge
            Well even when he was at Sauber he usually made long stints work better than Kobayashi, and he did it again this year in some races. The only year this trait hasn’t stood out was at McLaren and he was paired with a similar driver there so that’s not surprising.

        2. Rosberg, needs to find race pace…. I can’t find 3 races where he got into DRS range without the aid of the safety car in 2014 against Hamilton…Even in the driver coaching era he was unable to keep in DRS range… The Spa situation has made him less of a racer and more likely a front runner… However Lewis has always found a way to get into DRS range over Rosberg, which hampers #6 chances of winning the WDC in the Merc dominant era… Reliability is his only chance…

          1. if they had tyres like last year, i think rosberg would have won the championship this year, he was better in races then hamilton last year. hamilton has never been great at tyre preservation, this year was easier in a sence for drivers with less tyre preservation.

          2. Funny, I’m sure I read in Keith’s 2007 DOTY the other day that Hamilton excelled at managing his tyres.

    2. So so often there are predictions on a future World Champion, I follow a lot of sports, I have been a champion myself with two sports (not world stage). Impressive does not lead to success, in nearly all situations. There is only room for one champion each year, and predictions discount those that already are or have been to say they will not do it again. Under THE actual pressure without a clear advantage, normally those that have done it before will do it again. I was lucky and hard work to defend and win for a season or two. The experience of winning cannot be underestimated. Off course in Formula 1 it is not just about the driver but the team and infrastructure too that can limit potential, but potential just is a word to describe an opinion of talent rather than evidence. Still the 3 you choose have brought something good to F1 :)

      1. @glimiril

        I haven´t met anybody (and I doubt I ever will) who witnessed the 1990 US-Grand Prix and, at that time, wasn´t feeling absolutely certain Alesi would be a future (multiple) champion. And there was hardly anybody nearly as impressive in his first full season since, maybe Vettel being a sole exception.

        However, given the right car and the right teammate, there aren´t many drivers on the grid that couldn´t become a championship winner, if any.

        1. Was that when Alesi was in a Tyrell (sorry not certain on spelling), Senna won the race if I remember right? (I wasn’t there I watched on BBC late evening)

          I do remember vaguely I was 20 at the time, I followed Alesi and he was one of my favourite drivers for a long time. But also at the time I was discovering what it meant to win, and hearing coaches and others say the word “Potential”. I did in my own way become a champion but there is a vast difference, between opportunity and delivering.

          I agree given right circumstances, but many predictions of potential I feel forget about the rest of the field based on impressions and perceived talent putting that said driver in the dominant car, driving the way they did in a totally different car. If I for instance had put Lewis Hamilton in Nico Rosberg’s car conveniently for Australia, Canada, (qualifying for Germany, Hungary without controversy) potentially (another use if the word potential based on nothing but opinion) he would of won 15 from 19 just on that alone.

          Projecting is a powerful tool, and can as I have learnt to be disallusional. Yet I love a racer with a heart, and will probably continue to do so, but realistically very few actual world champions come from that. :)

    3. They all certainly have potential to be. Rosberg in my view, so long as Hamilton stays at Merc during this period has little chance of being WDC. If you ask me this year was Rosberg’s best chance with a 25 point head start and need I mention Canada, Monaco and Belgium and his superior amount of poles. Ricciardo I think certainly has a great chance if RB can sort out their engine pronto, and as for Bottas I am not so sure. In the latter part of the year he was being outpaced by Felipe and let’s be honest, Massa’s performances have not been the same since his horrible accident. So to me that says alot. But anyway you can never predict the future with certainty so only time will reveal all.

    4. I think Alonso is more likely than any of those three. Rosberg will not beat Hamilton in the same car, especially as they become more reliable; Williams don’t have the budget to catch up with Mercedes; Red Bull might catch up but they’re losing Newey and they’ll have a power deficit unless they switch to Honda. Then Ricciardo has only had one stellar year, there’s more to find out about him.

      That said by 2017 Bernie will be desperate to stop Lewis. Well by 2016 even. Christ knows what might suddenly become illegal.

      1. @lockup

        That said by 2017 Bernie will be desperate to stop Lewis. Well by 2016 even. Christ knows what might suddenly become illegal

        Yes he will be as he was in 2008.

    5. I’ve actually placed a bet for next year that Bottas will take the title.

      1. 40:1 @dam00r? Just a fun amount I hope.

        I see (on oddschecker) Max Verstappen is only 250:1 !

        Alonso on 10:1

        Bookies are so timid. What’s going to happen to both Merc drivers?

        1. Yes 40:1 @lockup, I went full £100 on it because I do believe that he will win next year and HAM & ROS will crash into each other and ruin for them both

          1. More money than sense.

            Hamilton will be champion again wait and see, come back here in 12 months and tell me I was right.

  3. JV last in the World champions’s ranking – he’ll probably blame Verstappen.

  4. Alas for reading too much in to selected Stats. I wonder where we all would come in the statistics of the world population, current or past? With out regard for period, F1 more reliable as opposed to totally experimental during periods. These tables are a point of discussion only not evidence.

  5. Just one WDC won races this year. The last time this happened was 2007 when only Alonso won races. Of course, he was the only WDC on the grid too.

    1. Prior to that it was 2006, when Schumacher was the only champion to win races, but there was one champion on the grid for the whole season. Interesting stat nonetheless!

      1. Alonso won in 2006 too did he not? Both him and Schumacher were champions at the time.

  6. I was expecting the ‘other DNFs’ to be higher than what it was with the supposedly harder to drive cars. But as Keith said, I think the car park run-offs may have had something to do with that. One thing I do find interesting is that it was a roughly similar rise of technical failures between 2005 and 2006, the last major engine regulation change. I wonder if we will have a similar rate of reliability improvement as was the case from 2006-2008.

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