Charles Leclerc, Sauber, Baku City Circuit, 2018

Leclerc is first points-scorer from Monaco in 978 races

2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix stats and facts

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By his own admission, Lewis Hamilton’s 63rd career victory won’t go down as one of his finest. However it continues his record of winning at least one race in each of the 12 seasons he’s started so far.

He has now won on 25 different circuits (a record he already held) and has won 22 different grands prix (tying Michael Schumacher for the record). He could add one more to each of these if he wins the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard, which will give him a clean sweep of winning every event on the calendar.

For the third race in a row Sebastian Vettel took pole position. In a further sign of their improving form, this was their first trio of consecutive pole positions in a decade: Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa took three-in-a-row for them at Istanbul, Monaco and Montreal in 2008.

Baku is cementing a reputation for unpredictability. In three years we’ve had three different winners (Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Rosberg) and three different pole sitters (Vettel, Hamilton and Rosberg). Most surprisingly, only one driver has appeared on the podium twice in Baku, and he doesn’t drive for Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull: it’s Force India’s Sergio Perez.

F1 visited Azerbaijan two months earlier than usual and in cool, gusty conditions teams were not able to lap any quicker than last year. As a result, this was only the second time since the beginning of last year that the track record was not broken during an F1 race weekend. Indeed, half the teams lapped slower than they did in 2017, three of them by more than a second:

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Baku does not appear to be Nico Hulkenberg’s kind of track. In 2016 he spun in qualifying and could only manage ninth while team mate Perez finished on the podium. He crashed out of the race in both of his two appearances for Renault, and can surely chalk this one up as an eighth missed opportunity to score that elusive first podium.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 2018
2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix in pictures
He at least managed to sustain his 100% qualifying record against Carlos Sainz Jnr. The only other driver who is undefeated in qualifying this year is Fernando Alonso.

There was no joy for Valtteri Bottas who was three laps away from winning when he hit a piece of debris. This ended his career-best 18-race streak of points finishes. Team mate Hamilton extended his record streak to 29 with his win.

Monaco has been waiting an awfully long time for its second driver to score a point since Louis Chiron finished third at his home race in 1950. That was the second round of the world championship. Charles Leclerc finally succeeded him in the 980th race by taking sixth. Leclerc may have finished three places lower than Chiron but he scored twice as many points.

Another country ended a long wait for a points-scorer. Brendon Hartley’s 10th place was the first points for a New Zealander since Chris Amon came fifth in the 1976 Spanish Grand Prix (round 268 of the world championship).

Williams got their first points on the board courtesy of Lance Stroll, meaning all the teams have scored points within the first four races of the season. This is the first time this has happened since points were extended down to 10th place in 2010.

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Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

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2018 Azerbaijan 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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21 comments on “Leclerc is first points-scorer from Monaco in 978 races”

  1. The first time this season that a pole time from last season didn’t get beaten. The official lap record didn’t get beaten either, so, therefore, the fastest 2017 race lap still stands as the holder of the ‘official’ lap record of this circuit.
    – For the first time since his most recent title-winning season (2013), Vettel has achieved three pole positions in a row while his teammate’s run of consecutive front-row stars came to an end.
    – Hulkenberg’s streak of starting from seventh on the grid came to an end.
    – The second race weekend in a row in which the STR-drivers have had a moment together on the track.
    – With his and Force India’s first podium-position of the season (also first for both since the 2016 edition of coincidently this same particular GP), Perez finally managed to open his points-tally of this season as well as Stroll, Leclerc, and Hartley (the latter two also opened their respective total points-tallies of their so far short F1-careers at the same time) meaning that Sirotkin and Grosjean are now the only drivers still yet to open their respective points-tallies of this season after four races. Williams also managed to score points as a team for the first time this season meaning that now all ten teams have scored points at least once in the four races run so far.
    – The second DNFs of their respective F1-careers so far for both Sirotkin and Ocon. Furthermore, both of Ocon’s DNFs he’s endured so far have coincidently occurred on lap one.
    – Both Hulkenberg and Verstappen have now DNF’d on this circuit for two consecutive seasons. Also the second double-DNF of the season for Red Bull as a team.
    – Alonso has now finished seventh in three successive races.
    – Now for the first time, this season someone else besides Vettel is the leader of the Drivers’ Championship standings.
    – The first unsafe release-free race weekend of the season.

    1. @jerejj So that’s why you’ve been waiting for this. You really have a lot to share. :)

      1. @ruliemaulana Yes, LOL. I just wanted to get this out of the way due to how many statistical aspects and facts I had gathered concerning this race both before and during the race weekend (and of course finalizing my list after the race as per usual following each race). I don’t think I’ve ever before put this much effort into gathering up as much stuff for an article of the ‘stats and facts’ series as this time around, LOL.

        1. @jerejj @ruliemaulana Jere’s eagerness for this article to come up reminds me of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory talking about tapioca!

          1. @phylyp @jerejj heheh… Horner shaking hard his ankle waiting for stat & facts articles…

    2. I was reading somewhere that the last few retirements of Ocon ALL came on lap 1, including all his career in Formula 1 and even some F3 races before that. He has a record of either finishing or binning it on the first lap.

      1. @jmlabareda That’s an even more bizarre coincidence, LOL.

  2. Vettel now scored pole on as much circuits as Hamilton. The decider will come in France but if Hamilton snatches it Vettel has a another chance of equalling Hamilton in Austria. Both have had poles on all other tracks on the calendar.

    1. Thats awesome

  3. Haas is the 4th team this year which has seen each of the other teams finish ahead at least once.
    STR, WIL, SAU are the others as expected (and MCL is not far off with only WIL to never finish ahead).
    The back of the grid is almost as interesting as the front this year.

  4. It’s the second time Grosjean crashes out behind the safety car. First time was in Hungary 2014.

    1. And also crashed on the lap to the grid in Brazil 2016

  5. It’s the second time a Force India driver has opened their points-scoring in a given season with a podium; it also happened in 2009, in Belgium, with Giancarlo Fisichella getting his first point by getting 2nd place in Belgium 2009. At a guess, Sergio will still be driving for Force India next race and therefore have a strong chance of adding more points to the 2018 tally…

    1. Ocon finished 10th in Bahrain, FI opened their account as well :P

  6. First time that 2 drivers have scored their 1st points in the same race since Australia 2015 (Nasr, Ericsson, Sainz).

    Only circuits which Hamilton has raced at but not won: Magny-Cours, New Delhi, Valencia, Yeongam (none of which are on the calendar any more).

    Raikkonen’s podium leaves New Delhi as the only track where he has raced but not finished on the podium. He has finished on the podium at 29 different tracks – equals Prost’s record.

    Tracks at which Vettel has raced but never scored pole (*=only raced pre-Red Bull): Barcelona, Fuji*, Indianapolis*, Magny-Cours*, Nurburgring, Spielberg. Only Barcelona and Spielberg are current circuits.

    First race winner to lead 3 (or fewer) laps of the race since Ricciardo in Canada 2014.

    Second race in a row that Vettel and Bottas have both led more laps than the eventual winner.

    Red Bull are yet to score a point in a race which Channel 4 has broadcast live this year.

    Second time (after Russia 2015) in which Perez has finished on the podium after Bottas (who didn’t finish the race) and a Ferrari driver (who did finish the race) hit trouble in the closing laps.

    Hamilton has finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the first 4 races this year.

    McLaren are the only team to have got both cars to the finish in all 4 races so far this year (although both Mercedes have been classified in every race).

    Hamilton has 120 front row starts and 120 podiums.

    Vettel’s 87th front row start, equals Senna (trails M Schumacher and Hamilton).

    Car #77 came 4 laps away from giving Mercedes their 77th win.

    Raikkonen’s worst qualifying performance since Mexico 2016.

    Ocon’s last 4 single-seater retirements have come on lap 1.

    Hamilton won the race despite only being 3rd with 4 laps to go. I believe the last time something like this happened was Brazil 2003, where Fisichella was 3rd at the end of lap 52, climbed up to 2nd when Coulthard pitted, then took the lead off Raikkonen on lap 54, which was the last lap that counted towards the result.

    The drivers who were running 1st and 2nd with 4 laps to go both ended up off the podium – does anybody know when this last happened?

    Thanks to, and for some of these stats.

    1. @paulgilb At the moment, no, I don’t recall anyone being 1st or 2nd with only four laps to go and still end up off the top-3. Furthermore, the coincidence of Ocon DNF’ing on the opening lap of a race is a bit bizarre, LOL. He either drives till the chequered flag or DNF’s on lap 1.

  7. … all the teams have scored points within the first four races of the season. This is the first time this has happened since points were extended down to 10th place in 2010.

    Has it ever happened before?

    1. Yes, at least in 2002, although it took up to Round 10 (British GP) for all teams to finally score. Of the backmarkers (or sort of) Minardi and Toyota both scored at Australia, Arrows in Spain, Jordan finally in A1 Ring, and BAR in Silverstone. And back in 2002 the points only went to the top 6.

  8. When it comes to Baku coincidences, here are few more, concerning curious similarities between 2017 and 2018 races: 1) both featured multiple safety car periods. 2) in both 13 drivers were running at finish, one was classified when not running, and six were retired. 3) both were led by three different drivers for 30, 18, and 3 laps respectively. 4) in both car other than Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull finished on the podium…which is rare these days.

    1. @gpfacts wow n.3 is impressive!

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