McLaren enduring their longest ever win-less streak

2015 United States Grand Prix stats and facts

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Lewis Hamilton’s achievement in winning a third drivers’ championship was covered here yesterday.

This was the first time a British driver has ever successfully defended a title – a surprising fact given there have been more champions from Britain than anywhere else. However there were consecutive British champions from 1962 to 1965 (Graham Hill, Jim Clark and John Surtees), 1968-69 (Hill and Jackie Stewart) and 2008-09 (Hamilton and Jenson Button).

Hamilton took the title with his 43rd career win, which moves him ahead of Sebastian Vettel as the most successful driver competing today in terms of race wins.

Coincidentally, Hamilton was the first F1 driver to clinch the championship in the USA since his team mate’s father Keke Rosberg in the Las Vegas Grand Prix which took place on this day 33 years ago.

However he missed out on pole position again, meaning he can no longer equal Vettel’s record for most pole positions in a season. Having taken seven in a row earlier this year, he’s missed the last four since then.

Rosberg notched up his 19th pole position and also set the fastest lap of the race: the 13th of his career, putting him level with Jacky Ickx, Alan Jones and Riccardo Patrese.

McLaren’s long wait for a win

Button took his best result of the season so far with sixth, but McLaren passed an unwelcome milestone as they are now in their longest ever win-less streak in terms of races. There have been 54 grands prix since Button took the team’s last win at Interlagos in the 2012 season finale.

That’s one more than the team’s 53-race win-less streak between James Hunt’s victory in the 1977 Japanese Grand Prix and John Watson’s in the 1981 British Grand Prix – albeit the latter was longer in terms of time. So was their gap between Ayrton Senna’s final win for them at Adelaide in 1993 and their next win courtesy of David Coulthard at Melbourne in 1997 – a 49-race interval.

Two teams celebrated happier milestones. Sauber marked their 400th race participation, including their 2006-2010 spell as BMW Sauber. They only started 397 of those races: the team did withdrew from the 1994 Monaco Grand Prix (after Karl Wendlinger’s crash in practice), the 2000 Brazilian Grand Prix (wing failures) and the 2005 United States Grand Prix (along with all the other Michelin runners).

Red Bull also marked their 200th start – and they were marking ‘starts’ rather than ‘appearances’. They have 201 if you include USA 2005.

Having taken a new Ferrari engine and incurred a grid penalty, Vettel took the 700th Ferrari-powered podium finish on Sunday. This also means Ferrari are now un-catchable in second place in the constructors’ championship.

Finally, while 9.08 million British television viewers watched Hamilton clinch his first world championship live on free-to-air television in 2008, just 1.7 million were watching live yesterday on pay TV in the UK.

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

Review the year so far in statistics here:

2015 United States Grand Prix

Browse all 2015 United States Grand Prix articles

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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91 comments on “McLaren enduring their longest ever win-less streak”

  1. Alonso has achieved three 11th places in a row.

    1. The Great Depression begins anew…

    2. You can only do so much with a GP2 engine!

      1. Apex Assassin
        27th October 2015, 22:08

        GP2 engines sound better, cost less, and have a better power curve. F1 would be sooooo much better if it used GP2 engines.

  2. Finally, while 9.08 million British television viewers watched Hamilton clinch his first world championship live on free-to-air television in 2008, just 1.7 million were watching live yesterday on pay TV in the UK.

    Wow. I don’t know if you can point the finger at F1 or Sky their very costly subscription. I had to watch in French, which although I don’t like to admit is really good for my French.

    1. @xtwl pff, I watched Sky without paying a penny (YAY for Internet!), even if I have the chance to watch the latin american coverage.

      That number was probably a lot bigger… I wonder how many people follow F1 via streamming websites…

    2. And everyone wonders why teams can’t find sponsorship deals…

      I realise that the BBC are the guys who sold rights to Sky, not FOM, but renewing the deal with Sky must be the most counter productive move I have ever seen a sports management company make. When the BBC took over from ITV, they raised the bar considerably (excepting Jonathan Ledgard).

      They went chasing the biggest fee for the TV rights, rather than looking in to the best way to continue the sports growth. If the all of the races were free to air (or at least a small, reasonable subscription fee) in core countries in Europe, the teams might have just found it easier to find sponsorship and revenue.

      The expensive subscription cost is only half of the problem. Sky are awful. Their style of exclusivity and sensationalism doesn’t suit F1 like it does with sports like Football. David Croft is embarrassing, too. He always was. Even on BBC 5 live.

      Frankly, after seeing this huge decline in UK viewership since subscription came along, I’m amazed that FOM has allowed this to continue and flabbergasted that they actually perpetuate it!

      FOM were paid a hansom fee to go to the toilet on their own front doorstep.

      1. @andybantam Agree with everything you said.

        I’ve seen the days of ITV; BBC-shot in the arm-Legard; BBC DC+Martin/aka: the Dream team; Sky and the incompetent clown (Crofty).

        I concur with all the points you made and implied.

        1. @mateuss I agree. DC+Martin worked out really well. Martin was surprisingly good as lead commentator, and DC was actually quite good, very accurate regarding team politics and still in touch with the modern era.

          On sky Croft, Herbert and Kravitz, are unprofessional, occasionally funny, but most of the time insulting. On bbc I have no idea why Anderson is out, Jordan is just provocative and I’m a big fan of Lee McKenzie, cannot state that enough.

          1. Herbert is Sky’s version of Mark Blundell. He offers no insight at all and can barely fit a sentence together.

            I don’t mind Ted. He can be rather nerdy at times, but you can tell he loves the sport. Croft is an oaf and a dimwit and should stick to commentating on darts. There are far too many blokey comments and in-jokes going around, like calling Nasr “Fred” (instead of “Phil”).

      2. I agree with you on Crofty or as he likes to call himself Crofty he is god awful but I think sky’s coverage is pretty good plus the f1 channel is a great idea throw in the classic races they show. Fact is what exactly did you want FOM to do? The bbc pulled the plug on the deal. The BBC coverage has went downhill as well nowhere near as good as it was

        1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
          26th October 2015, 22:32

          I think the BBC coverage misses Jake Humphrey. Suzi Perry, while she seems nice, doesn’t hack it as a presenter. Also Ted Kravitz/Gary Anderson were both really good members of the BBC team as well that they lost.

          1. They got rid of Anderson and replaced him with McNish. It makes no sense.

          2. Jake Humphrey was awful. He should have stuck to presenting kids TV. DC and Martin Brundle with Lee Mckenzie were good. The best was good old Murray and James Hunt.

      3. We had one (perhaps it was two?) golden year(s) where the live commentary team was comprised of Brundle and Coulthard. It was glorious.

      4. Spot on.

        Eyeballs matter to sponsors and advertisers. FOM seem to think differently.

      5. Apex Assassin
        27th October 2015, 22:10

        I’m sick of seeing Ron run this team into the ground… what Ron has created doesn’t deserve the good name of Bruce McLaren!

        On the bright side, with extremely high salaries, no sponsors, few decent results, poor performance, and the road car division failing to meet it’s sales marks every single year, we may not have to wait long until McLaren is massively overhauled.

    3. or a potential title decider, involving a British driver, the number is disastrous.

      Quote from the linked article. The lack of free to air means people just don’t care anymore… just the same that happened to cricket after the 2005 ashes.

      The general public in the UK don’t really care that Hamilton has won three world championships – maybe also because Hamilton appears more American than British these days, I dunno. The truth is even I don’t care as much as I once did to be honest.

      1. Finally, while 9.08 million British television viewers watched Hamilton clinch his first world championship live on free-to-air television in 2008, just 1.7 million were watching live yesterday on pay TV in the UK.

        I think this is the most interesting stat from this roundup. Less than 20% of the viewers! Surely, this cannot be good for the sport?!

        It’s yet another example of FOM putting short term profit ahead of the long term future of the sport. Rather than forcing a deal with Sky through, they should (IMHO) have dropped the price for BBC to continue broadcasting or found another FTA broadcaster to take it on.

        The general public in the UK don’t really care that Hamilton has won three world championships

        I think the same (or a similar) number of people care as much as they did, but much fewer care enough to pay hundreds of pounds per year to watch it. The 9+ million figure probably included a lot of casual viewers who decided to watch the last race just to see the decider. While on FTA, there was a lot of casual viewership (that I knew of), people who wouldn’t watch every race but would tune in every now and then.

        Let’s face it, if you don’t watch other sports, paying for a Sky Sports subscription is not really worth it. This limits F1 viewership to the small, hard-core fan base who really must watch and those who like F1 and already have a subscription for other sports. The audience will be smaller, we all knew this from the day it was announced.

        And everyone wonders why teams can’t find sponsorship deals…

        And there comes the rub. F1 is just as expensive to participate in as it always has been, but the teams used to be able to rely on huge sums of money from sponsors. But why on earth would a sponsor pay as much for less than 20% of the eyeballs? The teams are getting no more from FOM (as far as I know), less from sponsorship, and having to pay out the same amount to compete. It’s a wonder we haven’t had more bankruptcies!

        1. You do not need to have a Sky Sports subscription to watch F1 on Sky.

          If you were a Sky HD customer already (without Sky Sports) when Sky bought the rights, then you get Sky F1 HD as part of your existing package. Therefore I pay NO EXTRA at all to watch everything on the F1 channel

          1. If you signed up to the HD package before April/May 2013 then you would have the F1 channel without needing the additional Sky Sport Package.
            Just means that you cant cancel your subscription or remove the HD package if you want to retain it!

          2. Yes, I do realise that. I had that before.

            I will point out, though, that even a basic Sky package with HD is £25/month. If one didn’t have Sky before, this means one would have to pay £300/year to watch F1. This is still a lot of money to many people, and more than a casual viewer would pay just to watch F1.

            Also, you have to keep that going. It would not surprise me if you lost that just by moving house. But if you loose it, or if you didn’t have it to start with, you must pay around £45/month for Sky Sports.

            Of course, there is also the option of Now TV, which would cost you around £140 for the year to just watch the races, but this is also unlikely to be attractive to the casual viewer. They have enough interest to watch it if it is on, but having to specifically pay out to watch it, choosing to do so?

      2. Apex Assassin
        27th October 2015, 22:17

        That is pure crazy talk from an extremely narrow viewpoint.

        F1 itself isn’t the “pinnacle” it once was, that would be the better generalization to make even though there are a myriad of reasons why F1 is losing itself… including media, the fact it’s a hedgefund and not a sport, contrived and gimmickry, poorly supplied (power units and tyres), and so on. Plus how can you whinge about F1 not being on tv when you obviously have internet access? That’s just laughably lazy on your part, mate.

        If Bernie has made one statement besides the engine troubles that is absolutely true it’s that Hamilton makes a great champion. Being single and not being a new father like Vettel he’s about to be in the “public eye”/media which obviously promotes the sport massively and for free. Personally it’s just a shame he insists on chasing after the Kardashian skank, but hey it’s free publicity.

  3. John Marshall
    26th October 2015, 16:42

    Wouldn’t that be a win-none streak?

  4. Max Verstappen has scored 45 points already some interesting stats about this achievement:

    Max already scored 1 point more than his father Jos scored in his debut season with Benetton (converted to current points system) although Jos only needed 10 races to score those 44 points

    With 45 points Max already had the 2nd best season of any Toro Rossi driver. Only Vettel in 2008 scored a whopping 93 points (converted to current points)

    1. Toro Rosso*

      1. @jlracing
        I think I prefer Toro Rossi ;-)

        1. @jlracing @beneboy Especially if their drivers are Alexander and Valentino.

          1. This needs to happen.

            I can see the pun based headlines now….

          2. @bnm123 Scuderia Rossi!

        2. LOL.. :P
          And Maldonado will be trolled by Valentino.

  5. It has now been 18 years since a non european driver (and non british-german-finish-spanish) won the drivers championship. The latest was Jaques Villeneuve in 1997 Williams. Looking at the current top 5 drivers in the championship, they also comes from these four countries.

    1. Thats interesting! Even if the Rest of the World has 22 championships, Jacques is the only non-European in 24 years to win the championship. Back in 1991, Europeans were 1 down against the Rest of the World (20 WDC vs 21).

  6. Nico Rosberg’s 19th pole position means that he now has the record for most poles for a non-world champion driver, surpassing Rene Arnoux’s 18.

    1. Who has record for most poles not converted to a win?

      1. A.Senna 36
        M.Schumacher 28
        L.Hamilton 24

  7. Michael Brown
    26th October 2015, 17:13

    “Coincidentally, Hamilton was the first F1 driver to clinch the championship since his team mates father Keke Rosberg in the Las Vegas Grand Prix which took place on this day 23 years ago”

    I don’t understand this. Mind explaining it to me?

    1. I’m guessing it’s missing the “in the US” bit, as in “…the first F1 driver to clinch the championship in the US since his team mates’ father…”

      1. And it was 33 years ago to boot (not 23 as stated)

    2. There was a rather unfortunate problem with a link in that sentence – fixed now!

      1. Also, Keke won 33 years ago, not 23.

  8. maarten.f1 (@)
    26th October 2015, 17:29

    Maldonado scoring points more than twice in a row for the first time in his F1 career.
    Maldonado scoring points at five events during the season, equals his 2012 season so far.

    1. Late in the race my wife was saying “Amazing that this race is so crazy and we are yet to see a Maldonado thing”…

      1. I agree, such attrition yet has not reset!

  9. Ickx has 14 fastest laps not 13 I think. Nico will have to wait at least another race to equal that :P

  10. Kvyat lead his first gran prix. Although only for 1 corner.

  11. The last time Kimi finished in front of Vettel on track was in Bahrain. The largest thrashing of any WDC in history.

    1. Nope, Kimi was higher than Vettel in SPA and Canada.

      1. Pft. Let’s not count Spa. I don’t know why they bother with “classified” nonsense anyway…

    2. @david-beau You forgot about Canada.

    3. @david-beau Schecter did not finish in front of Villeneuve at all in 1980. He was the reigning WDC at the time too. Ferrari are way down in 10th in this graph, btw.

      But, by all means, Kimi is worse than Ide, if that suits your fancy.

      1. This is the first time as teammates Rosberg had overtaken Hamilton on track and “made it stick.”

  12. Am I right in thinking that this could be the first time Fernando Alonso has ever been outscored by his team-mate over the course of a season? :O (I know Lewis technically beat him in ’07 but they were equal on points)…..GO JB!

    1. Currently, Button can claim to have beaten both Hamilton and Alonso in terms of points scored over the full length of their time as team-mates. While he can be argued to have been somewhat fortunate in both cases, it’s still pretty impressive.

      1. i would easily rate Button in the same caliber as these two, has won races all seasons he had a good enough car and showed he was no slouch against these two.

    2. @delevingne depends how you set the parameters. Trulli in 2004 led Alonso on points until he was fired 3 races from the end. Won a race as well, whereas Alonso didn’t.

      If that doesn’t count then the answer is yes :)

      1. Ah the glory days before the Trulli train

      2. We might never know who was going to be the winner of Alo vs. Tru in 2004.
        Jarno had the upper hand in the early season, even scored a win(at the same race when Alo crashed whilst chasing him), but then, he fall out with Flavio, and was later fired.
        Alonso came very strong from mid-season onwards, and was ahead of Trulli in the points when Trulli was shown the door.

        I think it’s safe to assume that Alo would’ve been the winner had Trulli completed the season with Renault, but a real fight between the two was destroyed when Briatore realized than Jarno could overshadow Alonso and destroy his carrer.

  13. Not only is Hamilton the first British driver to win back-to-back titles but I think he is also the first Brit to win a WDC in both an odd numbered and even numbered year.

    1. That can’t be true…

      *looks it up*

      …huh… it is true…

  14. Hamilton is the first British driver to clinch the championship before the last race since Mansell in 1992.

    1. @thenewno2 Very sorry to say, Button won his 2009 championship in Brazil, the penultimate race (the last one was Abu Dhabi).

  15. Since 2008, the championship has gone to the final round in the even numbered years, and was decided before that in the odd numbered years.

    1. @david-a That sounds promising for 2016..

  16. Lewis Hamilton has crossed the line in first place in F1 44 times. 22 times for McLaren (Spa 2008 was taken away from him) and 22 times for Mercedes. He is also the first driver in history to win ten races in two consecutive seasons.

    Max Verstappen alone has scored more points than Toro Rosso has scored in any previous season (not converting into new money).

    For the first time since the 2005 Monaco Grand Prix, the grid was determined by Q2 times.

    Scott Speed finished 13th in the 2007 United States Grand Prix. Alexander Rossi went one better in his first home race.

    I also believe that this was the first time that Red Bull led some laps in the 2015 season.

    Valtteri Bottas’ first non-classified finish this season. That leaves Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Nasr as the only two drivers to participate in every event yet to have a non-classified finish in 2015.

    1. Also Toro Rosso’s second best two-car result. Fourth and sixth at the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix remains their best to date. This edges the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix (5th and 7th) into that spot.

    2. Actually, Nasr didn’t start the British GP so Vettel’s the only driver to have started every race and be classified in all of them.

      Also, Hamilton is still on track to win 13 races this year, matching Schumacher (2004) and Vettel (2013) – as well as matching Schumacher’s 2002 podium record of 17 (but that year there were only 17 races).

      1. Vettel also had 17 podiums, of course more races than Schumacher.

    3. Max Verstappen alone has scored more points than Toro Rosso has scored in any previous season (not converting into new money).

      This is so meaningless without converting though. It’s like saying Vettel has the highest number of points scored for any Formula 1 driver in the history of sport.

      1. It’s a pretty pointless one as well. Let’s not call that a stat, call it a fact.

  17. Every now and again these articles shows current drivers matching up on stats to legendary drivers and it just shows how different racing is now. A guy like Ickx has an amazing racing pedigree, but his statistics in F1 show a different picture. I wonder how future F1 fans will look at a stat like Raikkonen’s oddly high number of fastest laps (44 to 20 wins) or Felipe Massa being a Ferrari driver for so long but ‘only’ managing 11 wins. Or how we went from Alonso/Raikkonen/Massa (32, 20 and 11 wins) to Hamilton/Vettel (44 and 43 wins) in just a few seasons, providing a much fiercer attack on the record books.

  18. In 2012 mclaren had a race winning car and finished the season with the best car on the grid then for some reason decided to completely change the design of the car and they have never recovered.

    1. That was a huge mistake. They panicked mid-season when they started to struggle, so began their designs with a ‘start from scratch’ mentality. By the time they realised the MP4-27 wasn’t just a winner, but good enough to win a championship (with better reliability), it was already too late. And, based on simulator data, they still believed the MP4-28 was going to be good… until they raced it. Ironically they achieved perfect reliability with the MP4-28.

  19. I think the McLaren’s winless streak is another of those meaningless stats. Improving car takes time, not GP’s. If something needs a month to fix, it ment one winless GP before, but about three now. I think one gets a better picture counting winless seasons.
    Any way, McLaren is not a pretty picture the last few years.

    1. 2013 was a huge mistake and they should have been WCC with an improved version of 2012’s MP4-27, 2014 was a transition from Mercedes and 2015 a transition to Honda.

      1. Umm.. do we know what exactly went wrong with the MP4-28?

        Ok, maybe even if they nailed it in terms of performance, it wouldn’t been as good as the RB9,
        but maybe it could compete for P2 in the WCC, against Mercedes and Alonso. (:P)

        But what went wrong with it?

        1. One mistake was copying Ferrari and going from pushrod to pullrod suspension, which completely changed the centre of gravity, loading and weight distribution. They thought they had a strong car in testing but realised a suspension part was fitted wrong making the ride-height far too low. They couldn’t race with that setup. Once fixed, the car was really off.

        2. However they did classify both cars in every race, so that was better than the MP4-27’s reliability.

  20. Apologies if you’ve answered this before @keithcollantine, but what was interesting stat from qualifying related to the ‘banana’ code-word?

    1. @john-h Ah it wasn’t a stat. I was waiting to see if anyone pointed out that if we assumed qualifying wasn’t going to go ahead then everyone playing the Predictions Championship already knew the identity of the pole sitter based on the FP3 times before the deadline expired. I don’t think anyone did…

      Also, banana!

      1. Looking at the predictions when I put mine in, it felt like about half had HAM on pole with his exact FP3 time. @keithcollantine

  21. Stats aren’t my thing, so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

    Lewis Hamilton is the first drive to win the same 3 races back to back to back in consecutive years.

    1. Which would be what race? He only won one race in 2013 which was Hungary. He did win the next year 2014, but couldn’t capitalize this yer to go for the three pear.

      1. Check his sentence again.
        He says “consecutive years”, not “THREE consecutive years”.

        1. Then Vettel won 4 in 2 consecutive years. Singapore, Korea, Japan, India. Second year Korea and Japan was in reverse order, but it’s the same thing.

    2. Dunno about others. But I know that Vettel won Singapore-Korea-India back to back for 3 years.

      1. One year he didn’t win but came 3rd in Japan which was between Singapore and Korea. Is that why this is not counted for your stat?

  22. Every occasion (since 2000 at least) in which qualifying (or part of) has been postponed until Sunday has seen a German driver take pole.

    Fewest finishers since Australia (11).

    Under the 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system, Hamilton would not yet be champion (he would be 29 ahead of Rosberg with 30 available).

    Red Bull’s and Marussia’s first non-mechanical DNFs this season (only Mercedes have not had one).

    Vettel and Rosberg are tied on 176 laps led this season (Hamilton leads on 563).

    Raikkonen’s first no-score since Hungary means that Vettel is the only driver to scored in all of the last 5 races.

    Kvyat’s first non-finish since China means that Verstappen now has the longest unbroken run of finishes (not counting classified non-finishes) with 7 (last DNF was his spin in Britain).

    First time a driver has managed pole in 3 consecutive races and converted none of them into wins since Vettel in Britain-Germany-Hungary 2010. First time a driver has managed wins in 3 consecutive races without any of them coming from pole since M Schumacher in Canada-USA-France-Britain 2004. First time both of these have happened together since Australia-Brazil-San Marino 2000 (also happened in Hungary-Belgium-Italy 1993, Brazil-Pacific-San Marino 1994, and possibly others).

    And some more from

    Hamilton’s 87th front row start – equals Senna, trails only M Schumacher (116).

    First race since South Africa 1985 to feature no Ferrari-powered cars in the top 12 grid spots.

    In the 14 races that Rosberg has started on pole with Hamilton alongside him, Hamilton has won 7 of them.

    Kvyat’s first non-mechanical DNF.

    First time since 2013 that Bottas has managed back-to-back no-scores.

    McLaren have equalled their longest podium drought (34 races, previously managed between Brazil 1979 and Monaco 1981).

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