Rosberg has third-shortest reign as champion after Hamilton win

2017 Mexican Grand Prix stats and facts

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As title-deciders go, the Mexican Grand Prix was somewhat anti-climactic.

Not least because the newly-crowned champion was well out of the action Ninth place for Lewis Hamilton’s is the lowest position a driver has ever finished in while clinching the championship: one below Michael Schumacher’s eighth in the 2003 Japanese Grand Prix in which he won his sixth world title.

Seven drivers posted no-scores in their championship-deciding rounds. Technical problems forced out Jack Brabham in the 1966 Italian Grand Prix and Jackie Stewart in the 1971 Austrian Grand Prix, but both won the title anyway. More controversially Alain Prost in 1989, Ayrton Senna in 1990 and Schumacher in 1994 all won the title after crashing into their championship rivals.

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The other non-scorers were more unusual. Nelson Piquet won the championship 30 years ago today when his team mate Nigel Mansell withdrew from the Japanese Grand Prix due to a practice crash. And poor Jochen Rindt died before clinching the 1970 title, which became his at the 1970 United States Grand Prix.

With 50 points left available, Hamilton’s 56-point lead over Vettel means he is un-catchable. That gap is equal to the number of points Vettel lost in those three disastrous races in Singapore, Malaysia and Japan. This year is also the first time Vettel has led the world championship but failed to win it.

However Vettel can still lay claim to being the youngest driver ever to win four world championships. He was 26 years and 116 days old when he won the 2013 title. At 32 years and 303 days, Hamilton is 11 weeks older than Michael Schumacher was when he won his fourth world championship in 2001. The sport’s only other four-times champions were several years older: Alain Prost was 38 (1993) and Juan Manuel Fangio 45 (1956).

F1 drivers’ championship reigns – see full chart
Hamilton ended his former team mate Nico Rosberg’s reign as champion after 336 days. Only two drivers had shorter reigns: John Surtees (280 days) and Rindt (315).

Despite his low finishing position Hamilton sustained his 100% points-scoring record for this year and increased his total points-scoring streak to 23 races. This is the third-longest in F1 history, tied with Fernando Alonso’s best scoring streak, and four shy of Kimi Raikkonen’s all-time record.

Esteban Ocon extended his streak of finishes to 27 and his streak of points scores to 12. He also tied his career-best finish with fifth. That helped Force India equal their best-ever result in the world championship as they now cannot be caught for fourth place.

It was a relief for Ocon who had to sit out the first practice session while Alfonso Celis drove his car. Into a wall, as it turned out. Force India’ occasional test drivers have an unfortunate habit of doing this: Daniel Juncadella shunted Sergio Perez’s car in practice at Interlagos in 2013 and Nico Hulkenberg binned Paul di Resta’s car at Valencia in 2011. It’s not a problem unique to this team, however: at the Hungaroring earlier this year Antonio Giovinazzi put Kevin Magnussen’s Haas in the barrier.

Ocon’s Formula Three rival Max Verstappen capitalised on the first-lap clash between Vettel and Hamilton to post his most dominant result to date. For the first time ever he led every lap of a race.

Hamilton wins his fourth world championship title
He has now won three races without ever starting from pole position. This is one less than the record jointly held by Eddie Irvine and Bruce McLaren.

His third win means Verstappen has now won as many races as Mike Hawthorn, Peter Collins, Phil Hill, Didier Pironi, Thierry Boutsen, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Johnny Herbert and Giancarlo Fisichella. In a bizarre coincidence, all three of Verstappen’s wins have come in races immediately after Daniil Kvyat has been demoted.

In a reversal of fortune following his problems earlier this year, Verstappen was among just two of the six-Renault powered cars to reach the chequered flag. The other was Pierre Gasly, who’d had his fill of problems in practice and did only 12 laps of a track he’d never driven on before the race. Daniel Ricciardo dropped out early on meaning he and Verstappen have each had four retirements due to technical problems during the season.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2017 Mexican Grand Prix

Browse all 2017 Mexican 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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81 comments on “Rosberg has third-shortest reign as champion after Hamilton win”

  1. Hamilton has now tied the record for consecutive race starts, on 206 starts. He shares the record with….Nico Rosberg.

    Hamilton’s 9th place is the lowest ever position a driver has finished a race where they also won the championship

    1. @celicadion23 You only get an anorak point for the first one :-)

      1. Haha clearly didn’t read the article properly.

        Just unearthed this equally geeky one; Hamilton winning the title in Mexico rather than Brazil or Abu Dhabi keeps the record going of all F1 drivers who have won at least four championships, winning their first four titles at four different races.

    2. Second year in a row that someone has won the title in their 206th race as well. I’m not 100% sure about this one but I believe Michael Schumacher also won a title on his 206th start.

      1. According to the statsf1 website Michael Schumacher’s 206th start was Germany 2004, I believe he had to wait until the Belgian Grand Prix (his 208th) to clinch his 7th championship.

  2. Only Ocon and hamilton have finished every race(so far) in points and not a single driver has managed to complete the total laps done so far this year ie no one has finished all the races on lead lap.

    1. Ocon didn’t finish in the points in Monaco.

      1. Forgot about that, until US GP Lewis was the only driver to have completed every single race on lead lap but now we have none this year.

  3. Admittedly a fairly obvious, but none-the-less exciting one. 2018 will the first time that two 4 times World Champions will race in the same season.

    1. Now I didn’t think about that one. Nice. All though to be pedentic : the first time to 4 times wolrd champions when they are indeed 4 time winners.

      1. Says the guy who spells pedantic wrong. Now I’m the pedantic! Argh!

        Also, not sure I see your point…

  4. Is it the first time that the champion hasn’t finished on the lead lap (not counting the retirements) in the race that he won the championship in?
    Michael wasn’t lapped in 2003 if I remember right.

    1. Hunt was a lap down in 1976 i think, Andretti lapped the field

    2. He is the first driver since Hunt to win title while being a lap down. Also he has won 4 titles in 4 different countries.

  5. VET and HAM are the only 4 time champions going into the next race. Stats are obviously my thing…

    1. The 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix will be the first with two four-time champions on the grid. Schumacher retired at the same race Vettel won his third title; When Prost last started, in 1993, Schumacher wasn’t champion yet.

    2. @ferrox-glideh that assumes Alain Prost doesn’t make a surprise comeback for Renault.

      1. @jerseyf1 If it was up to me it would be Alain Prost in one car and Robert Kubica in the other. :)

  6. For 10 years now, Germany and Britain has dominanted the WDC – HAM and VET 4 each, BUT and ROS 1 each. This is the longest strike of drivers from two contries.
    Furthermore, it has been 20 years now (1997) since a non British, German, Spanish, Finish driver has won WDC.

  7. Toro Rosso have now used 5 different numbers (10, 26, 28, 39, 55) during races in a Formula 1 season. Has there been any other teams to do this?

    1. Maybe during the three car per team times but I’m not sure how the number system where back then.

    2. @dragon86 @unitedkingdomracing It hasn’t always been the case that drivers used the same number all season, especially before the seventies,
      so other teams have used considerably more than this.

      For example in the first world championship Alfa Romeo used 1, 2, 3, 4, 32, 34, 36, 12, 14, 16, 8, 10, 6, 18, 46 and 60 consecutively on between three and five cars over six races (they didn’t do the Indianapolis 500).

      1. Holy mother of statistics and trivia, Batman!

  8. Hamilton is the only driver on the grid this year who has had an even number of hairs on his head at the start of every race.

    1. Hamilton has the highest tattoo to skin ratio of any 4 time WDC.

      Despite winning fewer poles this year, Mercedes again won the trophy for most sandbagged Q1 sessions during the season.

      Finally Versappen has been awarded the coveted Painted Face award by the Dutch Cosmetic Council for his role in promoting (orange) face paint.

    2. What?!?!? LOL :-D

    3. Not so Mr Chris, in Bahrain AND Canada tgis year Hamilton had an odd number of hairs on his head. Get your facts right.

      1. You Go Shave-z
        1st November 2017, 19:04

        Actually it is debatable the additional odd hair was technically a split end

    4. With 3 wins out of 3 tries, Red Bull is more successful at firing Torpedos than any other F1 team.

    5. Hamilton is the first and only world champion to sport jewellery in his nose.

      1. You Go Shave-z
        1st November 2017, 19:00

        The Brazilian GP will be the first race for the 2017 drivers champion.
        Vettel was the last driver to crash into Hamilton when he was only a three times world champion.

  9. A bit premature don’t you think? HAM may have clinched the title, but he’s not yet “crowned”. Perhaps you can say HAM clinched the title third fastest in history (of non-repeat winners)?

    It’s not impossible for a driver to be stripped of points, DSQ from the championship, etc. So while unlikely, the championship isn’t officially over yet.

    Rosberg is the “current” World Driver’s Champion until HAM is officially crowned at the FIA Gala after the season concludes.

    1. One could argue that ROS’s reign as WC ended in just 2 days as he declared his retirement after that.

      Not just that, one could also argue that technically, ROS’s reign ended after Belgian grand Prix on August 27 as even if he made a comeback to the sport at that point and won all the races, he would have still not retained his title.

      Felipe Massa probably has the shortest reign though – 20 seconds (yes yes, I know he was actually never a champion, this is a stats article, so let’s lighten up)

      I prefer Keith’s style of measuring the length of reign. It is the start of you winning a championship till someone else claims it from you.

      1. Rosberg is the king until the new one is crowned simple.

        1. He’s not a king. So it’s clearly not simple

        2. A king relinquishing his crown is not a king anymore. I think we should only count the days champions were actually reigning, still competing in the sport. For the same reason it’s really hard to talk about Rindt’s reign, as it ended tragically before it even started.

    2. Gavin Campbell
      31st October 2017, 9:11

      Well I think Liberty wanted to change the whole hide the world champion away until the Gala thing – hence the wierd podium bit.

      I think the race result has now been confirmed – for example technically Alonso and Renault should of been thrown out of singapore 2008 subsequent to the crashgate thing but the result still stands in the books. You only have a short time to lodge a protest and the FIA declare the result officially a few hours after the race post parc ferme. Now there are exceptions to this where appeals are lodged with the stewards and things can drag on but the appeals have to go in before the result is confirmed.

      Furthermore there’s nothing in the rule book that allows docking of world championship points as far as I’m aware so Hamilton is champion.

      1. Except being excluded from the championship (which, despite being incredibly unlikely, is still technically possible).

  10. Vettel has his front wing clipped at the start by Verstappen’s rear left tire. Pits afterwards and finds him self in the back fighting his way back to fourth. Bottas finishes 2nd, Ocon 5th and Perez 6th. One Redbull is on the podium and the other retires to a mechanical problem. Even though this scenario seems a rarity it is the second time it happens this year, the first was in Canada back in June.

    1. @philby Stroll finished 6th yesterday though.

    2. Correct on Vettel and Bottas, but not the others:

      Canada: Ocon P6, Perez P5
      Mexico: Ocon P5, Perez P7

    3. In Canada it was Verstappens left tire while in Mexico it was his right tire

  11. It indeed is a bizarre coincidence that all of Verstappen’s wins so far have come after Kvyat had been either demoted/replaced temporarily/axed from a team.
    Verstappen’s most recent win also means that the Mexican GP venue has had three different winners in as many races since its return to F1.

    1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
      31st October 2017, 2:25

      Kvyat’s job description reads “Dutchman’s rabbit’s foot”.

      1. Ha ha ha, very nice description!

  12. If D.Kvyat don’t race again in F1(by that way he cannot demoted) this will mean Max is not going to win another race!(?)

    Yes sure!

    1. Prob means he’s going to be WDC next year.

    2. Plenty of scope for Red Bull to hire and demote Daniil in other series, which presumably would suffice for the effect…

      (…though in reality I share your scepticism about the notion that this statistic will hold).

  13. Lewis Hamilton now holds the record for most competitive non-championship-winning years between World Championships, with 6. Lauda has 7 non-winning years between WDCs, but did not compete for 2 of those years. Along with Lauda, Prost and Brabham have 5, while Schumacher has 4.

    The last 10 seasons have been dominated by just two countries, Britain and Germany, extending the longest streak to 10. Second is the first 8 years of the championship, dominated by Argentina (5) and Italy (3) between 1950 and 1957. Incidentally, no world champion has come from either of those two countries since. The 10 year period with the most world champions from different countries is 1976-85, with champions coming from 8 different countries (Britain, Australia, the USA, Austria, South Africa, Brazil, Finland and France.

    The last decade has seen 5 winners from Britain and 5 winners from Germany, with 1 driver from each country winning 4 times and the other winning once.

    Due to his retirement last year, Rosberg becomes the first German not to retain his debut title, although Germany is still one of only two countries (along with Argentina) where a driver is historically more likely to retain a title than lose it. Two-thirds of Germany’s titles have been retained, as opposed to just 1/17 of British driver’s titles (Hamilton’s 2014 title).

  14. Next race will be the first time ever that two 4-time champions will enter the same race together

  15. Ferrari’s 214th pole as an engine supplier – 1 more than Renault.

    Only circuits at which Raikkonen has raced but not finished on the podium: New Delhi and Baku.

    22nd different circuit at which Vettel has scored pole – equals Prost (who only had 33 poles!), trails Hamilton (26). Circuits at which Vettel has raced but never been on pole: Baku, Barcelona, Fuji, Indianapolis, Nurburgring, Spielberg.

    Still no driver has won the Hungarian GP and the Drivers’ Championship in the same year since 2004.

    The last 5 odd-numbered years have seen the title decided before the last race, unlike any of the last 5 even-numbered years.

    Hamilton cannot match his points total from 2014 even he wins the last 2 races (both seasons having the same number of maximum points).

    3 of the last 4 races have seen Ocon and Perez start 6th and 9th respectively.

    The drivers currently in positions 7-13 in the Drivers’ Championship have all managed exactly 2 8th-place finishes this year.

    Under the 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system, Vettel would still have a mathematical chance of the title (although Hamilton would only need 1 more point).

    Under the 10-6-4-3-2-1 system, Verstappen would only be 1 point behind Raikkonen. As it is, he is over a race victory behind.

    Toro Rosso are the first team since Toyota in Brazil 2004 to enter 2 drivers for the race neither of whom competed for the team at the start of the season.

    35th time Raikkonen has started 5th – equals Alonso.

    First time since Brazil 2007 that Ferrari have managed pole position in October.

    Thanks to and for some of these.

  16. Has anyone completed a race with fewer laps done at a track he had never driven before than Gasly? I cannot even imagine how hard it must be to race under such circumstances…

    1. @fer-no65 Indeed, I wasn’t impressed Toro Rosso persisted with running Gelael under the circumstances.

      But for the record Karun Chandhok started the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix having done only seven laps. Although he had driven the track before, he hadn’t run the particular configuration they used that year.

  17. And Nico Rosberg is now retired, at home,with a young family and loads of 💰 to boot. I am sure he cares not one bit about how long he was champion for. If Hamilton goes on and equals Fangio, and maybe hunts down Schumacher’s title haul, Rosberg will reflect on one stat concerning 2016. And that is that he beat Hamilton in the same machinery to a championship. No driver did that to Michael, and that is something to be proud of.
    That is not a slight to Lewis, because Lewis is a fantastic athlete and driver, but I give credit where credit is due. Rosberg had a game plan last year and it paid off, it wasn’t pretty, but it worked. He was smart and used his head, realizing just how strong Lewis was and without doubt just how hard it would be to beat him.
    When he had, he walked. No shame in that, he achieved a feat that few thought he was ever capable of, and joined his father as a champion.

    1. Well said!

      Shame that many people choose to belittle Nico’s achievements in 2016 due to him retiring a few days after he won the championship. For me, he accomplished what he had to do, and didn’t want this pressure in his life anymore. That’s all down to his personal decision, which I’m sure as a Formula One driver for ten years it wasn’t easy to give it all up for the sake of his family. Many people said it was a cowardly act, and I truly detest those who think that way.

      I feel good after reading your comment. It is good to know there are some kind people still out there.


      1. Agreed. Well said.

    2. When talking about Nico’s championship and giving credit where credit is due, we should probably give credit to Lady Luck. Rosberg had a game plan, sure. Playing cards, when you know you’re not that good, you can hope for your opponent drawing bad hand. It’s a game plan, but it’s not a very good, even if it works.

      1. +1

        Rosberg could never and had never beat Lewis over the course of a season with equal reliability no matter how much you dress it up or overlook it.

      2. Stricktly speaking, Rosberg was very unlucky to have as a team-mate one of the best drivers of all times, and one of the very few in the current grid that was better than him, when his car was a championship contender. It usually destroys reputations, and Nico still managed to win at least one championship, when, yes, luck give him a break and tip slightly the balance in his favour. He nonetheless had a fantastic season and deserves all credit for that

    3. He might also reflect on his defeats from karting all the way to F1 at the hands of Hamilton and realise it was a smart move- as lightning is unlikely to strike twice with Hamilton having reliability and clutch issues. Look at Hamilton’s season- and imagine if he was doing to Rosberg what he is doing to Bottas. So I say smart move by Nico and his retirement is doing his reputation more good than his driving ever would.

      1. Do not think so. ROS is better than BOT. Partially, ROS retirement was good news for HAM in 2017 since Ferrari improved their game a lot. Simply because he was teamed up with an inferior driver, which meant not so many points lost to his team mate. If ROS was still around, more than sure HAM would have had less points (and PP and wins), while ROS would have had more points than BOT… and the title fight would have been on, plus it would have been a 3-way fight.

  18. Hamilton will NEVER EVER be the equal of the immortal Fangio.
    And Nico is his own man, a mature adult secure in his place in life.

    1. Fangio, I believe, is dead and most likely rotted in his grave. What immortality?
      But seriously, Lewis has a chance not only to equal him but even surpass his “immortal” achievements. Not so?

  19. Because it is mentioned in the article, it is curious that both Red Bull drivers have retired in 4 races due to technical failures, so both suffered the same reliability issues.
    Many people credited Ricciardo being ahead in the table to reliability but it doesn’t fit anymore…

    1. @bakano Indeed. Off the top of my head I think the same holds true for qualifying: Verstappen had a technical failure in Q1 in China and Ricciardo did in Britain.

      1. The end of the season rankings for those two would be interesting.
        I can’t seem to pinpoint where Max has been bad this season. Monza was one may be. But still he is so much behind Daniel inspite of just one more retirement.

    2. Stats. Verstappen retired from 2nd, 3rd, 3rd and a likely win in Azerbaijan. Ricciardo retired from 4th, 5th, 4th and 8th. That is quite a difference, the non-mechanical retirements aside.

      1. As well, and without examining it under a microscope, can it not be said that there were races in which Max dnf’d while DR stayed healthy and had others dnf or falter in front of him so he capitalized from that too. Not trying to take away from DR, but he did get no small amount of points from the attrition of others, which is of course part of the game. He had to still be there to capitalize. Different story perhaps if Max had been there for some of those too, particularly when it was for bigger points.

      2. The position they were when they retired is no guarantee of the position they would finish the race! Although I do agree that in Max’s cases he would finish very close to what he was, I am almost sure that in the last 2 races Ricciardo would most likely finish 3rd (thus scoring good points too).

        Elaborating on my original comment: it is true that Max has performing better than Ricciardo from a pure performance point of view. He has out-qualified Daniel, that was considered a one lap specialist, and generally be in front when they were both racing unaffected. However we must give credit to Ricciardo for achieving his results and taking the opportunities that were presented to him. He is 44 points ahead of Max, I doubt that he will finish behind cause there are only 2 races left, and that cannot be all attributed to better reliability or luck.
        To some extent I can compare the situation to Prost vs Senna. Senna was faster but on other times Porst was the better driver. I think next year we will see that and even though Max will be considered the better of the 2, and generally faster, the gap between them will not be very high.

        1. Gonna be a blast to see next year.

          I’m pretty pumped about Max so I figured I’d throw a few more stats on him out there, taken from this site. For the most part they don’t yet include Mexico and perhaps that can just be taken into consideration for the moment due to DR’s grid drop and dnf and Max’s win.

          Prior to Mexico, Max had led 12.43% of the total available race laps, DR 2.15%. Of the laps the drivers were able to complete Max led 133 of 693 or 19.19%, and DR led 23 of 813 or 2.83%.

          Prior to Mexico Max’s average position change on lap one was +1.06 for a total of +17 spot gains on lap one. DR gained average of +.47 or +8 total spots on lap one. Considering Max out qualified DR 11-6 (now 12-6) that means Max was starting on average against better cars/drivers, closer to the front, and still gained more places against stiffer competition than the field of cars DR was starting amongst.

          Max has averaged .315 seconds faster quali lap times.

    3. Actually the Austria GP can also be counted as a technical retirement.
      Verstappens clutch failed during the start, which dropped him down to the midfield. His rear wheel gott tapped by Alonso who was hit by Kvyat, but that was not too hard and he should have been able to continue the race except for the clutch.

  20. That is quite a stat on Verstappen, wins and poles. Quite unusual that he is likely to be youngest everything over a single race (weekend), but he still needs pole. Only has a year. If the engine differences remain as large next year as they are this year, it may well not happen.

    1. Ah but then there’s the Max Factor.

  21. I mean it isn’t just mechanical retirements Verstappen has been involved in a lot more race ending collisions too.

    1. Seems it’s 3 for Max and 1 for DR. One of Max’s was Singapore where he started second and was involved in the racing incident with the two Ferraris.

  22. Since Hamilton and Vettel debuted in F1 in 2007 no other rookie has managed to be champion.
    and always one of the two has been champion or vice.

  23. Q: Has anyone achieved more than receiving a fifth place drivers standing at the end of a season as there worst result in there career in F1?

  24. Each time Hamilton has changed the colour of his helmet, he has ended an F1 WDC drought that year.

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