Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz Jnr, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

F1’s Spanish stars remain closely matched in fourth season as rivals

2018 Spanish Grand Prix stats and facts

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A return to form for Lewis Hamilton in the Spanish Grand Prix saw him rack up his 64th career win and 74th pole position – also the sixth in a row for Mercedes in Spain. He extended his record points-scoring streak yet further, to race number 30.

However the Mercedes driver was denied a hat-trick of pole, victory and fastest lap as Daniel Ricciardo set the quickest tour of the race. This was the third time this year he has done so – Valtteri Bottas claimed the other two.

Bottas joined Hamilton on the podium, making Mercedes the first team to score a one-two this season. Max Verstappen also scored his first podium finish of the season which is the 150th for Red Bull.

That result moved Verstappen up to sixth in the constructors’ championship, one point ahead of Fernando Alonso. This was the first time Alonso has scored in his home race since returning to McLaren.

Alonso has been in the points at every race so far this year, something only Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have also managed. The McLaren driver is also the only person left in the field who is undefeated by his team mate in all races and qualifying sessions this year.

Carlos Sainz Jnr continued his record of scoring points in every Spanish Grand Prix he has started. He also took the chequered flag before Alonso in each of those.

Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018
Sirotkin has a narrow edge on Stroll in qualifying
Sainz has been the top-scoring Spanish driver since he came into F1, though it’s been a close fight between him and Alonso. Sainz was 18-11 up at the end of 2015, but a better year for McLaren-Honda in 2016 saw Alonso edge ahead 65-64 on cumulative points.

The 2017 campaign was dire for Alonso and Sainz took advantage to forge ahead 118-82. So far this year the much-improved McLaren-Renault package has allowed Alonso to out-score Sainz, but he is still down on 114 to Sainz’s 137.

The final point went to Charles Leclerc, which puts him one point clear of Stoffel Vandoorne. Monaco’s first home driver for 24 years will arrive at the grand prix having scored in the last two races in a row.

Lance Stroll narrowly finished outside the points but he did well to reach the chequered flag at all as he was almost eliminated on the first lap by Romain Grosjean. Stroll made up the most places on lap one in 2017 and is at the top of the board again so far this season, having gained 18 places on lap one – twice as many as any other driver.

Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin are the two most closely-matched team mates in terms of performance: the rookies averaging 0.017 seconds faster than the sophomore driver in the ill-handling FW41. The next-closest team mates qualify at the opposite end of the grid: Hamilton has a 0.018s advantage on average over Bottas.

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Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

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2018 Spanish Grand Prix

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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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22 comments on “F1’s Spanish stars remain closely matched in fourth season as rivals”

  1. Thanks! I was wondering if the stats post was discontinued. I look forward to it after every race weekend.

    1. Seconded :) It satisfies my inner f1 geek immensely

  2. Vettel fan 17 (@)
    18th May 2018, 18:41

    Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Sainz, Perez and Leclerc are the only drivers on the grid to have scored points in both of the last two races.

    Ocon retired in two consecutive races for the first time in over 4 years.

  3. It was also the first time since Italy 2015 that Sauber scores points for two races in a row.

  4. Hulkenberg endings, where he started, his 59 Q1 strikes whitout being kicked out

  5. The last time a car won a race that was not a Mercedes, Ferrari, or RBR was March 17, 2013. Somewhat ironically, the last man to do it now drives one of these cars, but he has not managed to win again since.

    1. That would be our dear icecream munching, no nonsence, don’t ask me any more stupid questions, It feels great to be world champion (with no expression of excitment on face) Kimi driving one of the 4 Lotus cars. I do believe

    2. Vettel fan 17 (@)
      18th May 2018, 20:55

      And who was the last driver to win a race in a car that was not a Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull or Lotus? A certain Crashtor Maldonado…

      1. That’s not true, actually. Jenson Button is the last to win outside those four teams.

        1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
          18th May 2018, 23:33

          Darn, forgot about McLaren. My bad.
          Another way of looking at it is that the last time a engine other then Ferrari, Mercedes or Renault won was back in 2008 (!) when Kubica won with BMW Sauber in Canada (I might be wrong.

          1. @vettelfan17
            Well thats not saying much since those 3 engines cover 90% of the grid.

      2. Nope. Jenson, Brazil 2012.

  6. I can almost hear @jerejj heaving a big sigh of relief upon seeing this article!

  7. Bottas has finished 2nd behind 3 different drivers in the last 4 races.

    2nd race in a row that a French driver has crashed out on lap 1 then seen his team-mate finish ‘best of the rest’.

    Magnussen has exactly 100 career points.

    2nd consecutive race with fewer than 15 classified finishers – first time this has happened since Austria and Britain 2015.

    All teams have now had at least one DNF this season (although Mercedes have had both cars classified in every race). Renault are the only team without a mechanical DNF so far this season.

    First race this year in which Vettel is not the driver to have led the most laps.

    100 races since Raikkonen’s last win.

    41st time Hamilton has won from pole – 1 more than M Schumacher.

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

    1. Bottas did not finish in Baku!

      1. @david-beau True, but he was ‘classified’ due to having reached 90% of the full race distance before retiring, but yeah, nevertheless a DNF is a DNF as long as a driver doesn’t reach the chequered flag regardless of how many laps he’s driven before retiring.

  8. The most significant improvement in ultimate lap time this season so far compared to last season. A new ‘official’ lap record for the current 2007-present layout of this circuit was achieved as well. Also, the first time for a while that the fastest time set during the race weekend is faster than the fastest time set during pre-season testing. Furthermore, Hamilton’s overall race time is the 2nd lowest race winner’s overall time achieved on the current configuration of this circuit (the lowest to date is Massa’s 1:31:36.230 from the 2007 race).

    The first time in three years (coincidently, the first time since the 2015 edition of the Spanish GP) that Hulkenberg gets eliminated in Q1 already.

    The first Mercedes front-row lockout as well as the first one-two this season and the first of both examples since last season’s Abu Dhabi GP. Furthermore, Kimi and the RBR-drivers have each started from the same grid spot on this circuit for two consecutive seasons now as well as Hamilton, of course.

    The 4th race weekend out of five so far that has featured at least one unsafe-release in the pit lane.

    Grosjean, Hulkenberg, and Ocon have now DNF’d in two successive races while Raikkonen and Vandoorne have now DNF’d on this circuit for two seasons in a row, which subsequently also means that Vandoorne is still yet to reach the chequered flag on this particular GP venue. Furthermore, at the same time of being the 3rd DNF of his so far short F1-career, this was also Ocon’s first DNF that didn’t occur on lap one and wasn’t a result of a crash with another driver either. Also, Gasly’s 2nd DNF in F1 so far.

    The 2nd race in a row in which the SC comes out on track on the opening lap, and the 4th race out of five so far to feature at least one SC-period.

    The 2nd top-10 race finishing position in a row for Leclerc while Grosjean and Sirotkin are still the only drivers yet to score even a single point this season.

    Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Sainz, Perez, Leclerc, and Stroll are the drivers who still have a chance to achieve the feat of reaching the chequered flag in every race of a season after five races.

    1. BTW, why did it take this long for this article to come out, LOL? Normally, the articles of this category are posted on the Monday after a race.

  9. What has happened to Vandoorne. He looked so promising before F1 :(

    1. I wonder about that myself. I knew Alonso is one of the great but do we knew for sure that there was no special treatment for him that disadvantaged Vandoorne?

  10. That result moved Verstappen up to sixth in the constructors’ championship, one point ahead of Fernando Alonso.


    Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin are the two most closely-matched team mates in terms of performance: the rookies averaging 0.017 seconds faster than the sophomore driver


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