Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016

Hamilton makes rare podium run from outside top 20

2016 Belgian Grand Prix stats and facts

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Nico Rosberg’s 20th career victory means he has now won as many races as Finnish world champions Mika Hakkinen and Kimi Raikkonen.

Rosberg also took his 28th pole position and led from start to finish for the seventh time in his career. He has now led more laps then anyone this year, 324, which is 16 more than his team mate Lewis Hamilton has.

However Hamilton claimed the fastest lap, the 31st of his career, meaning he is now on his own in fourth on the all-time list. His climb from 21st on the grid to third place was not the biggest recovery drive of his career: He started one place lower at the Hungaroring two years ago and also finished third (Hamilton also took third from 20th on the grid at Hockenheim in 2014).

Finishing on the podium having started outside the top 20 is very rare. This is only the 15th time it has happened, and four of those came in the Indianapolis 500 when it was part of the world championship.

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Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016
Ricciardo regained the initiative at Red Bull
Rosberg and Hamilton were separated on the podium by Daniel Ricciardo. His second place finish with Max Verstappen failing to score meant he has now out-scored his young team mate over the nine races they have raced together at Red Bull, by 115 points to 97.

However Ricciardo was out-qualified by the other Red Bull driver for only the second time this year. That means he is now tied with Valtteri Bottas for the best qualifying recording so far, having beaten his team mate 11 times out of 13.

Second on the grid for Verstappen was the best starting position of his career so far. However the race was the first time he’s seen the chequered flag without scoring a point this year.

Nico Hulkenberg equalled the best result of his career so far with fourth place, a position he previously reached at the same track four years earlier and in South Korea three years ago. Hulkenberg is yet to finish on the podium after 107 starts: the longest podium-less career belongs to Adrian Sutil who went 128 races without a top-three finish.

With his team mate Sergio Perez finishing fifth Force India moved ahead of Williams into fourth place in the constructors’ championship. This will be their best-ever finishing position if they are still there come the end of the season.

Finally, Esteban Ocon became the 71st French driver to start a round of the world championship. Appropriately he emulated his hero Michael Schumacher who also made his debut at Spa 25 years earlier, five years before Ocon was born.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2016 Belgian Grand Prix

Browse all 2016 Belgian 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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58 comments on “Hamilton makes rare podium run from outside top 20”

  1. Any facts about Verstappen being the youngest ever to start on the front row of the grid?

    1. who cares, it should be about how soon from starting your first race, not about your age, as the age is now being restricted anyway.

      1. I know Giancarlo Baghetti won the first F1 race he entered, but I don’t think anyone has ever nabbed pole on their F1 debut.

    2. Everything Verstappen does now is the youngest anyways as he is younger than any driver has ever been. Youngest driver to start 7th, 8th 9th…, youngest driver to blink, youngest driver to race in Spa etc.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        29th August 2016, 21:47

        Yes, it gets tedious hearing how many records he breaks as it is actually the fact that every driver keeps breaking records. E.g, Bottas was the first F1 driver ever to to qualify 9th at Spa on the 28th of August 2016. Verstappens records are clearly more impressive than that but some of them sound rather pointless to mention. For the rest of this year, Wherever Verstappen qualifies and finished, he will probably keep being the youngest driver for whatever position he finishes in. It’s about time they stopped mentioning these things.

    3. Yeah, well VES did not cover himself with glory on that one

  2. I was hoping Keith would touch on Lewis’ strategy to go for Softs instead of Mids, towards the end of the race.

  3. If i’m not mistaking Germany currently
    holds the curious triple of most wins without a championship, most podiums without a win and most races without a Podium, with Rosberg, Heidfeld and Sutil

    1. and Michael Schumacher? that is a really petty stat choice – and don’t forget Rosberg is not technically German.

      1. Rosberg IS technically German. Both by having a German mother AND from having a german Passport/citisenship and off course he races under a German licence kpcart. Or don’t you consider Grosjean french, Verstappen Dutch, and maybe Sutil also shouldn’t be seen as German because of his father?

        You are right that they have quite a nice load of records there with Schumi having the most championships of anyone and the three you mention @mrbroerns.

        1. @bascb, there is the complication that the nationality of the driver is officially based on the authority that issues his driving licence, which is not necessarily the same as the nationality of the driver. That did lead to the historical anomaly where Jochen Rindt was a German national, but was classed as an Austrian because he used an Austrian racing licence.

          Grosjean is classed as a French driver because he has a French racing licence, but officially he is a Franco-Swiss dual national. Similarly, Rosberg is officially a Finnish-German dual national and, in his junior career, switched between the two nationalities (I believe he raced under a Finnish licence when in Formula BMW): as for Verstappen, I think he is technically a Belgian-Dutch dual national.

          1. Nowadays it is your nationality on your Passport, dual nationals can choose. Hamilton had a dual nationality but never raced for Switzerland.

          2. So @anon? It doesn’t make Rosberg technically not a German as kpcart stated. There are many people who have dual citisenship, that gives them more options, not make them less of either (yes, Rosberg, Grosjean and Verstappen all enjoy dual nationalities)!

            And as you mention, for racing the driver nationality is based off their racing licence

      2. Not petty at all… Schumacher was the single most successful driver, and one exceptional driver can come from anywhere. Before him, an argentine had the most championships, a french the most wins and a brazilian the most poles. That some of the most unwanted records are held by three drivers from the same country is unlikely and therefore remarkable. To make a clean sweep Germany only misses the “most races without a point”, the worst of all, that belongs to Luca Badoer (ITA)

  4. how about hamilton loses out because of red flag ?
    his tyre advantage diasappeared …he might have won if he hadn’t made an extra stop

    1. Hamilton won out because of the red flag. Gain all that track position due to others pitting early and was allowed to change tires under the red. This let keep the track position. Without the red Hamilton might not have even gotten a top 5.

      1. I think it had more to do with Verstappen taking out Ferrari than the red flag. That said, I don’t think Lewis did any thing wrong, had a good showing, had to work harder than his teammate, but hes had far more brilliant performances than this one. If he had taken 2nd, I would think he would have contended for driver of the day, but it seems RBR are doing a good job w/ their Renault pu.

        1. True, Hamilton had a lot go his way but I just see the bulk from his positions coming from the Red Flag. He more then likely would have been right behind them with the Red Flag.

          1. I disagree Corey, he gained most placed under the safety car. Teams jumped to pit under the safety car before they knew it would be red flagged. If they were able to get racing without the Red flag Hamilton would have been in a stronger position as he’d already made the positions up under the safety car and had the better race tyre on at the time. Either way, it worked well for him, but it was the safety car rather than the red flag which helped him most.

          2. You’re forgetting that Hamilton was allowed to change tires allowing him to keep those spots. If it remains under safety car, he would have fallen behind some of those guys after he pits. No guarantee that he would have come in third.

        2. Vettel took out both Ferraris.

          It seems that Verstappen can’t do anything good at the moment. In above comments he is even blamed for getting ‘the youngest ….’-records.

        3. Ricciardo probably had a bit to do with that as well.

      2. The crash at the start put Hamilton into contention for a podium the safety car cemented his podium and the ref flag prevented a possible win or second place. A safety car without the ref flag would have been a prefurable scenario for hamiltion. All in all done well to keep out of trouble and drive fast throughout the whole race with minimal errors but not in any way one of his better drives.

    2. How is that a stat?

  5. He was very lucky, but he could have easily ended up second if he didn’t pit another time, Ricciardo was at reach, but it’s better than nothing, this shows yet again what Lewis is capable of.

    1. no, it showed what the car is capable of, Lewis was on a very conservative strategy…. any of the other f1 drivers would have got the same result in the same car, some maybe 2nd with an aggressive strategy. the red flag helped A LOT

      1. I can’t see Maldonado doing the same in a Mercedes car (even though he is a GP winner).

      2. Of course the red flag cost him, he started the race on the medium tires which turned out to be the preferred tires in the race, he only completed 9 laps on them which is a disadvantage, and Ricciardo was able to repair his damaged front wing while under the red flag. so it did hurt his chances.

        1. @scepter Hamilton made up like 10 spots from the red flag alone. Seems like the Red Flag helped him.

          1. Erm, no he never, he made the spots up from people pitting under the Safety Car, it was the Red flag that took away his advantage because those in front could change to the preferred race tire, and replace their broken wings.

          2. @Corey Those places were made when the other drivers pitted under the safety car and the virtual safety car, not the red flag.

          3. @scepter Those places were kept with the tire change under the red flag. That is why I’m saying it helped him. With out the red, he would have had to pitted sooner then the rest which would have put him behind them. No guarantee he gets back up to a podium position without the red.

          4. @Corey I agree the places were kept under the red flag, but it was also injunction with having a top car and driver combination. :)

    2. To me it really did not show what Hamilton was capable of @abdelilah. The biggest thing was the first corner clash and its aftermath eliminating much of the field ahead. Then the SC followed by the red flag (with many drivers pitting and dropping behind him under the SC because they did not expect the red flag). Without all of that Hamilton would have finished in the lower end of the top ten.

      The passes he did make were nothing special, and in making them he locked his brakes repeatedly, which led to him having to stop and not being anywhere near a chance at attacking Ricciardo.

      1. @bascb – I agree although he did do well to keep out of trouble and calmly make his way through the pack. Hamilton of 5 years ago would have been too aggressive too early IMO and certainly would have risked more at the start.

        1. Good point, yes. That is where Hamilton showed his maturity @petebaldwin, still not something that would win him the DotW vote in my view.

      2. Hmailton would have made it to P3 as well without all that. He was on the best strategy and it was ruined because of the red flag. Then he had to switch to an alternate strategy with the softs and those hadn’t worked for Mercedes all weekend. Plus he had to make an extra stop which cost him more than the safety car gained for him.

  6. After the first lap of the Belgian Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg was leading the race by 4.111 seconds.

    That is the biggest advantage that the leader of the race has had after the first lap since the 2007 European Grand Prix when Kimi Raikkonen had a lead of 5.335 seconds over his team mate Felipe Massa. That happened only because Raikkonen went wide and missed the pit lane entry so he was forced to do another lap, while most drivers (including Massa) pitted for wet weather tyres.

    1. So when was the last time before that, when everybody was trying to have a fast first lap actually? @girts

      1. @mike-dee It was the 2004 Italian Grand Prix when Rubens Barrichello’s advantage at the end of the first lap was 6.943 seconds. The track was damp but it was drying fast. Barrichello had started on intermediates, while Alonso in the second position and many others had dry weather tyres on so they were struggling a lot. As the track conditions improved, Barrichello’s advantage was gone. Alonso passed him on lap 4 and Barrichello pitted for dry tyres on lap 5. Here is the F1 Fanatic article on that race: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2007/09/06/grand-prix-flashback-italy-2004/

  7. Lewis Hamilton has equaled Michael Schumacher’s record for most races with the same engine making his 180th start with Mercedes power.

    1. He’s been the Mercedes boy from the start of his professional career.

    2. @johnbeak And yet he possibly fitted more different engines over the course of this one weekend than he has on any previously race weekend in his F1 career :)

  8. We’ll still have a while to wait for something like the Long Beach GP of 1983. John Watson and Niki Lauda started 21st and 22nd and finished 1st and 2nd for McLaren. I bet Ron goes to bed dreaming of days like that…

    1. Maybe they tried to emulate that last year, and that was why they kept putting both of their cars on the back row with exchaned engines Derek!

  9. Ferrari have not achieved a single podium in the last four races. The rostrum has been split solely between the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers.

    Felipe Massa scored his first point since Baku. He has not finished better than tenth since Spain.

    Esteban Ocon became the first F1 driver to start a race with the number 31 since 1994 (David Brabham).

    For someone who finished in second so frequently in 2014 and 2015, Nico Rosberg has finished in second just once this season. Hamilton has finished in second twice whilst Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel are the most frequent runners-up with three second places.

  10. Is this the first time the front row have been occupied by non-WDCs while the back row was occupied by WDCs?

    1. Heh, there’s a good chance of that. :)

    2. must be for multiple WDC’s…

  11. ‘More than’, not ‘more then’. One is about quAntity, the other is about timE. Not easy to get them confused but it seems in the internet age grammar is not needed to write articles.

    1. For sure your contribution is worth so much more thEn this article :)

    2. “More then” is always a typo, never correct. If you are going to pull the grammar police routine, at least get it write!

  12. Rosberg is the least Finnish of the 3 drivers with exactly 20 F1 wins to their name.

    First time Hamilton has ever managed back-to-back Spa podiums, and the first time since 2007-08 that he has managed back-to-back finishes at Spa.

    Both occasions this year on which Kvyat has beaten his team-mate this year have come in races where said team-mate suffered a puncture/tyre failure early on.

    Vettel is the 11th different driver to finish 6th this year – only Raikkonen has managed it more than once.

    Alonso has incurred 115 places worth of grid penalties in the last 2 Belgian GPs.

    Hamilton has equalled Alonso’s 97 career podiums – only M Schumacher (155) and Prost (106) have more.

    50 consecutive races without a McLaren on the podium.

    Rosberg and Hamilton have each had 24 poles in the turbo era.

    3rd year in a row that Ricciardo has started 5th in Spa.

    Thanks to magnetimarelli.com for some of these.

  13. According to F1.com, Hamilton has done it 3 times, the only driver to have ever done it

    “Starting from the back row of the grid, Lewis Hamilton made up 17 positions to finish third – the third time in his career he’s started 20th or lower and finished on the podium. No other driver in history has done that”

    1. The statistic is “starting outside the top 20.” He started 20th in Germany 2014, which counts as inside the top 20.

  14. With Ocon entering, it was the first race where two teenagers were starting. Monza will presumably be the second and then we don’t know as he turns 20 before Singapore GP.

  15. Rosberg has an amazing number of “non WDC” records, i. e., records for a driver who isn’t a world champion. He has been breaking those records every weekend for a year or more. This weekend he broke seven of them, all of which he held already:

    Wins: 20
    Poles: 28
    Points: 1432.5
    Laps lead: 1367
    Lead whole GP: 7
    Pole position and win: 13
    First rows: 53

    Apart from that, he equalled Massa and himself last year with most wins in a year: 6.

  16. Guybrush Threepwood
    30th August 2016, 4:14

    Let’s be honest, Hamilton only overtook 4 cars on track for the entire race. He drove a good race, but nothing outstanding. His finishing position was more-so a result of everyone pitting before the red flag.

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