Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2004

Can Mercedes match Ferrari’s record of dominance? 2018’s stats to watch

2018 F1 season

Posted on

Written by

Mercedes could become the second team in F1 history to sweep both championships for five years in a row. Here are more statistical milestones which could be reached in the season ahead.

Mercedes can do the ‘quintuple double’

Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2004
Ferrari swept all before them in the early 2000s.
Only once in F1 history has a team and one of their drivers won both championships in five consecutive seasons: Ferrari and Michael Schumacher, between 2000 and 2004. Mercedes can equal it this year, having won all four constructors titles since 2014 and seen Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg sweep the drivers’ titles.

However they won’t be able to match Ferrari’s feat of winning six consecutive constructors’ championship until next year.

Adding extra spice to the story, the team most likely to stop them could be the record holders, as Ferrari were the most serious season-long threat to Mercedes last year.

Other teams have come close to this achievement in the past. Red Bull swept both titles between 2010 and 2013 (Sebastian Vettel won the drivers’ titles with them) and McLaren did the same from 1988 to 1991 (Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost took the drivers’ titles in their cars).

Another Mercedes success (or, indeed, a return to title-winning glory success for Red Bull) would make 2018 the 10th consecutive season without a championship for any of three of F1’s most historic and successful teams: Ferrari, McLaren and Williams.

Go ad-free for just £1 per month

>> Find out more and sign up

Hamilton’s points streak

Having finished in the top 10 at every race last year and a few at the end of 2016, Hamilton is poised to break the record for most consecutive points finishes. The record is currently held by Kimi Raikkonen, who scored points for 27 races in a row from the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix to the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix.

If Hamilton finishes the first two races in the points he’ll match Raikkonen’s record, and one more will make him the new record points scorer.

Last year Hamilton set a new all-time record for most pole positions, beating Schumacher’s record. He’s got a lot further to go to equal Schumacher’s record of 91 wins: Hamilton is currently on 62. But if Mercedes remain as competitive as they were last year, and Hamilton signs up for a few more years, his chances of taking that record will begin to look serious.

Ericsson’s points drought

The Sauber driver hasn’t finished in the points since the 2015 Italian Grand Prix. If he’s not in the top 10 at either of the first two races he’ll reach an unhappy milestone of 50 consecutive no-scores: Not a record, but nothing to shout about either.

Raikkonen’s unhappy podiums

Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, Monaco, 2017
It’s been a while since Raikkonen stood on the middle step
Raikkonen already holds the record for most consecutive podiums without a win: His last 21 podium appearances have all been in second or third place.

This is a streak which surely can’t go on much longer. He’s already extended the previous longest run, set by Jean Alesi, by five races.

Mercedes fourth-best team (and maybe third-best engine)

There’s a strong chance Mercedes will become the fourth most successful F1 team of all time in terms of victories.

They need six more wins to move ahead of Lotus, who scored 81 wins in various guises including two in their 2012-13 incarnation. As Mercedes have scored at least twice as many wins as that in each of the last four years we can expect them to get the job done before the summer break, unless something has gone badly wrong with the W09.

Mercedes might also surpass Renault as the third most successful engine in terms of victories. Renault have 168 wins so far, plus another five TAG Heuer-branded wins with Red Bull over the past two seconds, giving them a total of 173. Mercedes have 162, so if they win 12 more races than Renault/TAG Heuer this year they’ll move ahead.

Will that happen? Last year Mercedes power won 12 races to Renault’s three (all TAG Heuer). They need to do better than that this year, as they did in the three prior seasons when the scorelines were 19-2, 16-0 and 16-3 in Mercedes’ favour.

Record-equalling calendar

At 21 races, the 2018 F1 calendar equals the longest ever seen in F1 – there were also 21 races in 2016.

However that season took one week longer to complete than this year’s will. The compression has partly been achieved by creating F1’s first-ever triple header: The French, Austrian and British Grands Prix will be held on consecutive weekends.

Alonso doing double duty

Fernando Alonso, Toyota, World Endurance Championship, Bahrain, 2017
Alonso could do 27 races this year
Fernando Alonso is surely going to be F1’s busiest driver this year. He’s already raced in the Daytona 24 Hours and recently announced plans to dovetail his McLaren F1 duties with a stint at Toyota’s World Endurance Championship team.

As F1 Fanatic reported last week he is looking increasingly likely to participate in every WEC race this year. That would mean him starting a total of 27 major races this year – at least one every other weekend.

This will also give him the chance to emulate Nico Hulkenberg’s 2015 feat of winning the Le Mans 24 Hours while an active F1 driver.

Home heroes

Charles Leclerc, Sauber, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2017
Leclerc will be Monaco’s first home driver since 1994
The return of races in France and Germany means 10 rounds of this year’s world championship will feature at least one home driver. They are:

  • Hamilton (Silverstone)
  • Vettel, Hulkenberg (Germany)
  • Ricciardo (Melbourne)
  • Perez (Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez)
  • Ocon, Gasly, Grosjean (Paul Ricard)
  • Sirotkin (Sochi)
  • Stroll (Circuit Gilles Villeneuve)
  • Sainz, Alonso (Circuit de Catalunya)
  • Vandoorne (Spa-Francorchamps)
  • Leclerc (Monaco)

Charles Leclerc will be the first Monegasque driver since Olivier Beretta in 1994, so Monaco will welcome its first true home driver for 24 years. Beretta finished his one home race in eighth position, which scored no points then, but would be worth four today.

Last year Hamilton became the third driver in F1 history to score a ‘grand slam’ at home. The top candidates for a repeat this year are likely to be Vettel and Ricciardo.


The following milestones should be reached this year:

  • Bahrain: Vettel’s 200th start
  • China: Bottas’s 100th start
  • Monaco: Red Bull’s 250th start, equalling Jordan’s total
  • Austria: Force India’s 200th start (assuming they don’t change names), Haas’s 50th start
  • Britain: Alonso’s 300th start
  • Belgium: Ricciardo and Perez’s 150th appearances (including weekends where they practiced but did not race)
  • Singapore: Hulkenberg’s 150th start
  • Russia: Perez’s 150th start, Ocon’s 50th appearance
  • Abu Dhabi: Ricciardo’s 150th start, Ocon’s 50th start

Note also that Vettel’s next podium appearance will be his 100th. Only Schumacher, Hamilton and Alain Prost have more.

Over to you

Which statistical milestones are you keeping your eye on in the season ahead? Share them in the comments.

F1 statistics

Browse all F1 statistics 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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

45 comments on “Can Mercedes match Ferrari’s record of dominance? 2018’s stats to watch”

  1. digitalrurouni
    6th February 2018, 13:09

    Interesting stats thanks!

    1. Thinking the same. A little too much f1 eagerness shown, a lot of foretelling, a lot sooner than one would ve hoped. F1 cant come soon enough.

  2. When was the last time an F1 driver raced simultanously full time in another series?

    1. @Damon This is a really good question.

      For an opening bid I suggest Roberto Merhi, who began both the F1 and Formula Renault 3.5 championships in 2015 was replaced by Alexander Rossi at Marussia for five races in the former and left the latter after picking up a ban for causing a huge crash at the Red Bull Ring.

      But what we really want here is someone who did all the races in F1 plus another category – I’ll have a think about that one…

    2. Early 90s sports cars perhaps?
      Michael Schumacher completed the full 1991 world sports car championship even after his f1 debut (8 sports car + 6 f1 races + 2 DTM + 1 Jap F3000)
      Probably sone better examples. Jonny Herbert perhaps?
      Otherwise probably 70s for full dual campaigns like Alan Jones (F1 and Can-Am).

      1. In 1984 Thierry Boutsen did every F1 race, finished 15th in the championship with Arrows, and also did the majority of the World Sports-Prototype Championship, fore-runner of WEC. He did eight of the 11 WSPC rounds in a Porsche, missing Le Mans, Mosport and Kyalami. Across the two championships he therefore did a total of 24 races. I think he also did a touring car race that year.

        1. @keithcollantine, In terms of partial seasons, Derek Warwick in 1986 would be another candidate – he raced for Brabham in 11 races that year, being called up after de Angelis’s fatal testing accident, whilst simultaneously taking part in the World Sports-Prototype Championship that season (nine races in that series). He also raced in the Japanese Sports-Prototype Championship (the 1000km race in Fuji, where he and Cheever were 3rd), as well as the IMSA GTP Championship in the US (the Daytona 24 Hours, where he finished on the podium).

          There would also be Martin Brundle in 1987 – he drove for Zakspeed in F1 whilst taking part in three races in the World Sports-Prototype Championship (DNF’d at Le Mans and Silverstone, but was in the winning team at the 1000km race in Spa).

          Pierluigi Martini also ran a partial F1 campaign in 1988, driving for Minardi in 11 races whilst competing in 10 of the 11 races in the Formula 3000 series (he had to miss the 9th round because that clashed with the Portuguese GP).

          Ivan Capelli ran in the WTCC and in F1 at the same time in 1987 (either four or five WTCC races, depending on the source), plus a one off race in the ETCC that year as well.

          Having mentioned him before, Eddie Cheever is another driver who comes close in 1987 – he drove a full season for Arrows that year, whilst racing in 7 out of 10 of the World Sports-Prototype Championship for the Jaguar works team (winning three races and finishing 4th in the standings that year).

  3. How about both Hamilton and Vettel could become one of three men to win five or more titles. Surely that’s going to happen for at least one of them this year. And when it inevitably does 2010-2019 will already be the decade with the least amount of champions since F1 history with 3 (Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel), even if 2019 is won by another driver to make it 4. Ideally Vettel wins 2018 and Hamilton 2019, so they can both fight for their sixth in 2020, the start of a new decade.

    1950-1959: 5, Farina, Fangio, Ascari, Hawthorn, Brabham
    1960-1969: 7, Brabham, P. Hill, G. Hill, Clark, Surtees, Hulme, Stewart
    1970-1979: 7, Rindt, Stewart, Fitipaldi, Lauda, Hunt, Andretti, Schekter
    1980-1989: 6, Jones, Piquet sr., K. Rosberg, Lauda, Prost, Senna
    1990-1999: 7, Senna, Mansell, Prost, Schumacher, D. Hill, Villeneuve, Häkkinen
    2000-2009: 5, Schumacher, Alonso, Räikkönen, Hamilton, Button
    2010-2019: 3, Vettel, Hamilton, Rosberg

    1. Nice stats. And the drop is there since the 90s decade. Except for 2006-2009, the last 2 decades have indeed been quite miserable.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        6th February 2018, 14:14

        @flatsix yeah but if you use 7 as the decade cutoff we had the following champions since 2007-2017:
        Räikkönen, Hamilton, Button, Vettel, Rosberg

        But the main thing here are Vettel and Hamilton. I wouldn’t call it miserable – in fact some seasons have been incredibly tense like 2010 and 2012 with not just 2 drivers deserving the championship but 3. The Hamilton-Rosberg rivalry was one of the best that F1 will ever have. Rosberg was the most ruthless driver we’ve ever seen and Hamilton was absolutely spectacular every season.

        Not to mention the arrival of talents like Verstappen and Sainz. Ricciardo vs Verstappen is a mini-season itself.

        And last but not least, the pain of seeing Hulkenberg struggle to get a good car (mostly because everyone’s has a clause against Nico in their contract) instead of having 70 poles like Lewis. That guy can win qualifying battles with more weight in cars he doesn’t like. It’s almost as painful as watching Nadal deal with injuries since 2010 and now Djokovic.

        1. Lol I doubt Rosberg was the most ruthless driver we’ve ever seen, by any stretch of the imagination. That award would go to Schumacher hands down, and many consider Senna no better although I disagree with that. But I do agree the LH and NR rivalry was fantastic. Yeah there were some uncomfortable times between Nico and LH, but that was one symptom of that unique rivalry between childhood friends, in far and away dominant cars, leaving everything between the two of them. Nico was far from ruthless until he and Hamilton were paired in dominant cars, so it’s not like he made a career out of it like Schumacher did. Hamilton was not ‘absolutely spectacular’ in every season, for he didn’t win in 2016, and he spent the season unspectacularly accusing his team of sabotage. And you’ve of course skipped 2011 when Button bested LH and LH unspectacularly claimed off-track distractions cost him on Sundays.

          Here’s hoping we have a close battle for the whole season this time, with potentially LH, SV, and MV duking it out every race, with the Championship coming down to the last race amongst those 3. I don’t see Hulkenberg, nor Sainz, nor even Ricciardo being in it for the Championship this season.

          1. Robbie

            You just can’t resist can you?

            Lewis was spectacular in 016. He won more poles and races than the ruthless Rosberg, you know the guy that just about dragged it over the line after a 25% head start! (Now read the previous sentence again and wonder why anyone would be paranoid if your and only your engines kept blowing up? Particularly all the while your working with a team mate who we now know was “viscous” and actively creating team disruption – you know all the stuff you accused LH of until Toto blew the lid off and told us the truth)

            Suddenly those “it was an accident gov” moves and the most driving penalty’s in a year can be understood.

            Anyway – onward to another year…

          2. You really do dislike Hamilton, dont you @robbie. “Not winning” is NOT synonymous with “spectacular”. Lewis was certainly a lot more spectacular than Rosberg in 2016, and in case you forget, the team principals and F1 publications agreed that he was also more spectacular than the other drivers in 2016.

            Despite starting 22nd in China (due to a gearbox penalty before quali), starting P10 in Russia (due to problem in quali), starting P22 in Belgium (due to gearbox and engine penalty), and a DNF in Malaysia that robbed him of a definite win, he ONLY lost the championship by 5 points.

            He beat Rosberg on poles, wins, laps led, and on every single metric that counts. I would definitely call that performance spectacular – especially in relation to his teammate.

            As for 2011, despite it being his worst year in F1, and Buttons best, he STILL beat Button on poles, fastest laps and matched him on race wins. He took the ONLY non-Red Bull pole position of the year, not to mention lapping Button in a race where he had no mechanical issues.

            Again, if you are comparing teammates, in terms of performance, Lewis was more spectacular than Button that year.

            But don’t let the facts change your narrative. It is already well framed by hate and dislike.

          3. @Drg No I can’t resist when ridiculous comments about Rosberg are made. Perhaps you could refresh me on what TW blew the lid off? Btw I’m surprised you can come up with reasons for LH to be paranoid and you think it is alright for him to take that out on the team, in public, through the media.

            @kbdavies Hate is far overreaching it. It is more like a disrespect I have for entitled people and for drivers who admit things like phoning it in in 2011, or in races after which they have won the title, or when they ungratefully publicly throw their team under the bus when the chips are slightly down while having the good fortune of being in a dominant car.

            With you guys it’s not cool for me to criticize LH, but you get to have free rein when it comes to Nico. If anyone seems to have a hate on it is you who can’t resist coming up with excuses and insults toward NR for beating LH in 2016.

          4. @robbie, you can criticize all you want, but at least make it justified. @freelittlebirds said Lewis was “spectacular”, then you brought up 2016 and 2011 to assert that he is not.

            Unfortunately, the facts do not bear you out; as he was more “spectacular than those you attempted to compare him to in those seasons. To make it worse, you brought up stuff that others drivers have been guilty off (and worse) in order to counter the facts i gave you.

            Question is: do you criticize other drivers with the same passion, opprobrium, and disrespect you afford Lewis Hamilton? If not, then we can conclude your dislike of him is personal, rather than based on any factual evidence.

          5. @kbdavies: indeed, he doesn’t like schumacher either, brings up his “underperformance at 41-43” as if he should be expected to be as good as he was in his first career against him!

          6. @kbdavies Ironic comment since this started when Nico was called the most ruthless driver we’ve ever seen. Who really has the passion to dislike someone on a personal level rather than factual?

            @esploratore Age is no excuse. If you enter F1 as a driver that means you are 100% ready willing and able to compete in the pinnacle of the sport. If age was an issue why did he return then? Btw many people don’t like MS. It is not exclusive to me, nor is the disrespect I have for LH.

      2. @ Sumedh I’m not sure that the drop is as much as it looks, the main difference could be attributed to greater movement of drivers in the 80s and 90s. Looking at the list of 80s winners Jones, Piquet and Rosberg all won the championships in a Williams while Senna, Prost and Lauda all won in a McLaren. Likewise in the 90s Williams was the dominant team and could win with almost any driver it put behind the wheel – Mansell, Prost, Hill and Villeneuve.

        1. @jerseyf1 Very insightful analysis. Thanks for that.
          It tells us that teams and cars are key. Look for the exceptional driver among those who have performed respectably well in different teams and in different cars within those teams. For the current grid LH has been a winner with all cars he has driven. Alonso has performed well also with all cars he has driven.

  4. ”The record is currently held by Kimi Raikkonen, who scored points for 27 races in a row from the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix to the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix.” – Shouldn’t it read ‘from the 2012 Bahrain GP to the 2013 Hungarian GP as the Belgian GP of that season was the race where it came to an end, so technically the streak lasted till the previous race? Furthermore, Ocon’s 50th appearance is/will be equally his 50th start as he’s started all the races of the weekends he’s entered as a full-time race driver.
    – If Kvyat for whatever reason happens to lose his new/current job as a test/development driver for Ferrari at some point during the season then I’d be willing to bet my money on a Verstappen-win and a starting grid position of 9th for Perez and a grid position of 5th for either Finnish-driver in the race that would follow that type of scenario (Kvyat getting fired so to speak) should it happen, LOL.

    1. Ahah, indeed; verstappen despite his talent has yet to win a race where kvyat isn’t demoted, which is worrying, the right circumstances just don’t seem to come unless kvyat helps!

  5. First time without a Brazilian on the grid since…

    1. Since 1969

  6. Fernando Alonso is surely going to be F1’s busiest driver this year.

    When I looked at the calendar for the World Endurance Championship and compared it with that of F1 I found that two races occurred on the same day, the 21st October. On that day are the 6 Hours of Fuji at the Fuji Speedway, Shizouka, Japan and the US GP at Austin Texas. It seems this coinciding of events has prompted a request by Toyota to change the date of the WEC race, as noted in this report:

  7. It is going to be a long shot, but Raikkonen might just be another driver with 100 podiums by the end of the season. Unless he sticks around for another year, of course….

  8. @keithcollantine

    Austria: Force India’s 200th start (assuming they don’t change names)

    If it’s just a re-branding, with the same personnel and owners, you wouldn’t count it as a new team would you?

    1. @george Depends if they actually go so far as to formally change the name as, say, happened when Lotus became Caterham and Renault became Lotus going into 2012.

  9. At this point nothing stands in the way of continued Mercedes dominance. I have to imagine the 2018 Racecar will be a tweeked version of last years car. Hamilton must be wetting himself knowing what cards he now holds. Best Team, Best Car, Best Driver…on and on. Plus a Solid number two teammate who mgmt is squeezing for more also.
    The way l see it is this,
    nothing can stop Mercedes with this version of the rules and the only possible challenger will come from the rules them-self. Mercedes somehow remains edgier than everybody else.

    I witnessed Colin Chapman sketch out an idea to improve airflow around the car and bore proper functioning Ground Effects that changed EVERYTHING.

    Could it be that one team has figured out something different, something new like fine tuning the Halo and that allows more speed or helmet air foil that accelerates airflow into the airbox. That simple idea or radical concept might be the next Lotus79.

    This is what Formula One does so well in allowing changes to the base of rules. They recreate themselves roughly twice a decade. Each time, someone steps up and has his moment in the sun.

    Hamilton and Mercedes will run the gauntlet and will continue to do so until the next rounds of major rules changes in my opinion

    1. @TEDBELL ”At this point nothing stands in the way of continued Mercedes dominance.”
      – The dominance of Mercedes came to an end at the end of 2016 already. Yes, they won both titles again last season, but not in a dominant manner like the three preceding ones.

      1. what would happen to the TV ratings if people didn’t think Mercedes had a challenger? If Ferrari can’t step it up this year, Lewis will have to contend with his teammate and reliability issues. And nobody will question it, because people want to believe in this insane parade of sponsor branding. Money is why they go around and around in circles, it has absolutely nothing to do with competition, with respect to the cars and drivers.

        1. And Red Bull? Leaving aside qualifying, they were often close or better in the races. And they have easily the best driver lineup.

    2. As an aside, whilst Chapman often gets most of the credit, it should be noted that a lot of ground work had been done a long time before he enters the picture and perhaps he is given a little too much prominence in the story of ground effects in F1.

      Tony Rudd and Peter Wright were working on the concept of a “wing car”, as cars like the Lotus 79 are sometimes referred to, as early as 1966 whilst at BRM, although poor team management meant the concept developed quite slowly before, according to Rudd, John Surtees pressurised Louis Stanley into cancelling the project shortly after joining the team. As it happens, Rudd ended up taking the original wind tunnel models from BRM to Lotus when he joined that team.

      However, Wright points out that a lot of designers had been touching on the idea of ground effects in the 1960’s, whilst Wright’s development models for Lotus were themselves built upon earlier research work that had already been undertaken by Professor John Stollery, working at the time at Imperial College’s rolling road wind tunnel (which Lotus would later use for their own models).

      Quite a few other designers were already partially taking advantage of ground effects – Forghieri was, albeit slightly unintentionally, already part of the way there with the 312T series cars, where the floor of the cars were working in ground effect (though was unable to fully capitalise on it given the engine layout prevented sculpted underfloors). Gordon Murray, over at Brabham, was also aware of the potential – he’d already tried fitting movable skirts to the underside of the BT44 back in 1974, though couldn’t find anything that was durable enough to last for that long.

      Chapman was perhaps the first to put the pieces together, but Wright was keen to point out that Lotus didn’t really invent the idea of ground effects – they were simply the first team that was able to put together the various pieces of research that had taken place over the previous decade together first.

    3. I have to agree @TEDBELL. Would be cool if they actually let the Hybrids compete with less restricted (weight penalties/ERS) V8 Era cars (price for price). F1 reminds me of MotoGP when they went to a control tire and half the manufactures dropped off the map. These rules suck. 2010 was probably the best last year I can recall, and there has been really no reason to watch the last few years, Merc management have been bad about telegraphing their interests.

      1. @hypokrites, with MotoGP, looking back to 2009, which is when they introduced the control tyre, was there actually that much of a difference? At first glance, it doesn’t look as if the number of manufacturers did alter all that much – certainly not half of them “dropping off the map”.

  10. I agree, the Mercedes were pegged back abit last year by Ferrari. Ferrari’s disastrous second half of the season killed off any hopes they had for the driver’s title. A lot this year will depend on what Red Bull can do aswell as Ferrari ofcourse.

  11. Will all the drivers raise their hand if would like to have the Mercedes as their racecar this year…or last seasons car, or the one before that and on and on. Now describe dominance as you believe it…

    1. That’s true, but many drivers would be happy to be in an RBR or a Ferrari as well. At least as of witnessing last year’s performances, vs 2016,15, and 14 of course.

  12. The last year F1 is free to view in the UK. 😔

  13. “Renault have 168 wins so far, plus another five TAG Heuer-branded wins with Red Bull over the past two seconds”

    And people say Renault hasn’t got the fastest engine!

  14. And the award for least likely heading in a current F1 article goes to… Keith Collantine, for “Mercedes fourth-best team (and maybe third-best engine)”. @keithcollantine

    1. PS Great article. Roll on testing.

  15. @keithcollantine: What is the current record for consecutive non-points finishes? I’ve thoroughly checked statsf1.com, and the highest I’ve found is Luca Badoer with 50 (51 by some accounts). If that’s actually the record, Ericsson will probably break it in China.

Comments are closed.