Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Shanghai International Circuit, 2018

Hamilton breaks Raikkonen’s record for consecutive points finishes

2018 Chinese Grand Prix stats and facts

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Before the Chinese Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton said he thought it would be difficult to finish higher than he started. Sure enough, he came home in the fourth place he started from, though he must have been relieved than Sebastian Vettel wasn’t one of the three cars ahead of him.

That fourth place gave Hamilton a new F1 record. It was his 28th consecutive points finish, moving him ahead of the previous record held by Kimi Raikkonen.

From the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix to the 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix, Raikkonen came home in the top 10 every time for Lotus. Hamilton’s streak began at the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix and included all of last year’s races. Raikkonen’s run ended when a visor tear-off went into his brake duct and caused a failure: How much longer will Hamilton’s run go on without something as trivial as this bringing it to an end?

Raikkonen reached an unhappy milestone yesterday as it was the 100th race since he last won a round of the world championship. He has made 23 podium appearances since that last win, which is a record.

Daniel Ricciardo scored his sixth career victory, which moves him level with world championships John Surtees and Jochen Rindt plus Tony Brooks, Gilles Villeneuve, Jacques Laffite, Riccardo Patrese and Ralf Schumacher. After yesterday’s win he said “I don’t win boring races”, and given here he’s started them from that certainly rings true.

Ricciardo has scored all six of his wins from fourth on the grid or lower. That contrasts sharply with his former team mate Sebastian Vettel, who won 49 times but started within the top three places every time. Hamilton’s career record is similar to Vettel: 62 wins, of which just four have come from starts outside the top three.

Many of the statistics from last weekend point towards Mercedes having a tougher time in 2018 than they have in any season since the V6 hybrid turbo era began in 2014. They have failed to win any of the last three races, which hasn’t happened since the end of 2013 (but it hasn’t stopped them taking the lead in the constructors’ championship). The W09 is the first car they have built which didn’t take pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix since the W02 of 2011.

The performance of Mercedes and Ferrari’s customer teams suggests the latter has produced a very strong engine this year, perhaps even a better one than Mercedes. Haas and Sauber both have more points after three races than Force India and Williams.

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Start, Indianapolis, 2006
Ferrari’s last back-to-back front rows came in 2006
Meanwhile Ferrari had their first pole position in China since the venue held its first round of the world championship in 2004. They also had back-to-back front row lock-outs for the first time in more than a decade. You have to go back to Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa in the 2006 United States and French Grands Prix for the last time this happened.

Raikkonen has qualified second for all of this year’s races so far but hasn’t been able to finish that high in any of them. To be fair to him, Ferrari’s strategy yesterday looked more geared to his team mate’s needs than his. Another driver on the grid has started every race so far from the same position: in fact, Nico Hulkenberg has started seventh for each of the last six races.

Three races in, every driver on the grid has out-qualified his team mate at least once, with two exceptions. Carlos Sainz Jnr is yet to put one over Hulkenberg, and Stoffel Vandoorne has started every race behind Fernando Alonso. Both are also yet to finish races in front of their team mates, a situation they will be feeling an urgent desire to out right.

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Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2018 Chinese Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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31 comments on “Hamilton breaks Raikkonen’s record for consecutive points finishes”

  1. Jonathan Parkin
    16th April 2018, 12:55

    Raikkonen also has extended his own record of most 3rd places.

    Vettel I believe has won only five of his wins from 3rd place meaning he has won 44 from the front row

    1. That would be correct, Vettel only won the 2010 Malaysian GP, 2012 Singapore GP, 2015 Hungarian GP, 2017 Bahrain GP, and 2018 Australian GP from third place. All the others have come from the front row.

    2. When you look at it, quite a few recent champions rarely won anything from outside the top three – for example, Senna managed it just twice (1993 European GP, where he started in 4th, and 1990 US GP, where he started from 5th), whilst Schumacher managed it six times (not including the 2005 US GP).

      Mansell managed it four times in total, Hill never managed to do it in his career (3rd was the lowest he ever won from), whilst Hakkinen did it twice (1997 European GP and 2001 US GP – and the 1997 European GP is a bit dodgy given the collusion between McLaren and Williams during that race). Alonso did it five times, but that includes the 2008 Singapore GP: Kimi, meanwhile, is the most successful currently active driver in that respect with eight victories from 4th or lower, albeit with none since 2013.

      In terms of the total number of times that a driver won from outside the top three, Prost is the most successful of the more recent champions in that respect, having managed it 16 times in his career (or about 31% of the time), although in terms of raw percentages, Kimi is ahead (40%).

      Mind you, that is hardly a phenomenon that is modern either – if you go back in time, for example, Fangio never won a race from lower than 3rd place on the grid during his career, and even then only two wins came from a place lower than 2nd on the starting grid (then again, he rarely started from anywhere else but the front row of the grid): Clark didn’t win a huge number of races outside of the top three either (four in total).

      Realistically, if you are starting outside of the top three, chances are that you’re not going to be fast enough to challenge for a win anyway – after all, three quarters of all victories in the history of F1 have come from the first three starting positions on the grid, so the odds are already fairly heavily stacked against you if you’re fourth or further back on the grid.

      1. Several of ricciardo’s wins must be from out of top 3, the most recent 2 are.

        1. @esploratore Daniel has never won from the top 3. The highest start position from which Daniel has won a race is P4 in Hungary 2014 and Malaysia 2016. (He’s also won once from P5, twice from P6 and once from P10).

          Keith mentioned all of Daniel’s wins were from 4th or lower in the main article.

          1. Ah, sorry, didn’t see, in that case he has 6 wins from outside the top 3, which is already as many as schumacher, impressive.

  2. Hulkenberg also has the record of 59 (if i remember correct) Q1 passes without being kicked out

    1. Yes you’re correct

  3. The fourth race weekend in a row (The Abu Dhabi GP of last season included) that has featured at least one unsafe release in the pit lane.
    – The second race in a row in which Hulkenberg and Alonso finish 6th and 7th respectively.
    – The third consecutive front-row start for Kimi (the first time of his career he’s achieved this feat in F1) and the second successive Ferrari front-row.
    – The first time since last season’s British GP that STR-drivers collide with each other on the track.
    – The sixth win of his career on as many different venues for Daniel Ricciardo.
    – The inaugural 2004 race still holds the official lap record of this circuit after two races with the current aero-regs and wider tyres.
    – Williams is still the only team without a single point this season after three races while Perez, Grosjean, Hartley, and Leclerc along with the Williams-drivers are still the only drivers yet to open their points tallies this season.
    – The first time (IIRC) that Pirelli has opted to bring non-sequential tyre compound combination to any given circuit.

    Furthermore: ”The W09 is the first car they have built which didn’t take pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix since the W02 of 2011.” – Wrong, Seb driving for Red Bull at the time started the 2011 edition of the Chinese GP from the pole.

    1. I think that’s what Keith meant. The W02 wasn’t on pole and neither was the W09, whereas the W03-W08 all took pole.

      1. @geemac I see. I might’ve misinterpreted the choice of wording a bit.

  4. Be interested in a comparison of VET, HAM & RIC’s percentage of starts within the top 3. It’s hard to win from the top 3 if you usually qualify lower and the opposite is also true. For VET, where many of his wins came in his championship years, I suspect the stats are different for those years vs. his less successful years. Similar for HAM, probably.

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      16th April 2018, 15:42

      Vettel in his championship years only won two races outside the front row. The Singapore GP in 2012 because Lewis retired and the infamous Malaysian GP the following year. (Multi 21 Seb)

  5. Bit of a non ‘achievement’ as Hamiltion has had a car capable of finishing in the points at every race for the last five/six years. And even with quite a few off-weekends, hes still managed to get points because of the car. A driver in a midfield team would not have that luxury.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      17th April 2018, 13:58

      I agree that it would be practically impossible for a driver in a midfield team to do this but I would not mark it as a non-achievement. It’s a significant achievement for Hamilton and especially for Mercedes who have been able to deliver a car and run a race that’s gotten him points in so many races.

      I think it’s as much a team achievement as a driver achievement if that’s what you meant.

  6. HAM needs to win a race soon. He looks like a beaten man already and BOT is threatening to jump ahead of him in the standings early doors. For much of the proceedings in Shanghai, he didn’t look interested. Contract negotiations can’t be going too well.

  7. The only people who’ve beaten their teammate in every race they’ve both finished are:

    RIC 2:0, AlO 3:0, HUL 3:0, STR: 3:0, MAG 2:0

    IMO all surprising except for Alonso, although obviously still early days..

    1. Add Ericsson to that list 2:0

  8. We have now gone 100 races in a row where only three constructors have won, Mercedes (66), Red Bull (22) and Ferrari (12), this is surely the least competitive era of Formula One right now.

    1. Yet 5 riders have won in the hybrid era;

      Hamilton: 40
      Rosberg: 20
      Vettel: 10
      Ricciardo: 6
      Verstappen: 3
      Bottas: 3

  9. That’s good for hamilton but if you think about it if he had never had an engine failure in 2016 Malaysia his score would be 39.

    1. @F1 fun And 50 without the infamous 2016 Spanish GP first lap collision as well. The ‘what if’ games works many ways, not just one way, LOL.

    2. You’re bound to have a mechanical problem sooner or later, there’s a reason the record was less than 30 races and not 50 till now.

  10. “Three races in, every driver on the grid has out-qualified his team mate at least once. Carlos Sainz Jnr is yet to put one over Hulkenberg, and Stoffel Vandoorne has started every race behind Fernando Alonso.”

    The two sentences here are contradictory – if Sainz has not “put one over” on Hulkenberg, then I assume that means he has not after all outqualified his teammate at least once this year.

    1. You are terrible, so you left out where it said ‘With two eceptions‘ and decided to spew nonsense. Grammer police eh!

  11. First time Ricciardo has won a race without Hamilton suffering a mechanical problem or incident during the weekend.

    Stroll has finished all 3 races in 14th place so far this year.

    Hulkenberg’s 6th 6th-place with Renault (he has not had a top 5 finish with them).

    First time all cars have been classified since Japan 2016.

    Mercedes currently lead the Constructors’ Championship by 1 point despite not having won a race this year.

    Hamilton is still 5 short of Heidfeld’s record 33 consecutive actual finishes, and 13 short of his 41 consecutive classified finishes.

    First time since Britain and Germany 2012 that Ferrari have managed back-to-back poles. First time since USA and France 2006 that they have locked out the front row in consecutive races.

    Raikkonen has started all 3 races from 2nd this year, yet Mercedes have finished 2nd in each race.

    5th time Raikkonen has started 2nd in China without ever starting on pole – a record for a driver at any track.

    First time Mercedes have gone 3 races without a win in the turbo era.

    86th front-row start for Vettel – equals Prost, 1 behind Senna (also trails Hamilton and M Schumacher).

    Thanks to statsf1.com and magnetimarelli.com for some of these.

  12. In their first three races with Renault McLaren has scored more points than they got in their whole first (hybrid) season with Honda.

  13. Mercedes engines has reached 10.008 laps leds, being only the fourth engine with more than 10.000.
    Ferrari 14.479, Renault 11.108 and Ford Cosworth 10.695.

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