Valtteri Bottas, Matt Deane, Lewis Hamilton, Suzuka, 2018

Mercedes take first back-to-back one-twos since 2016

2018 Japanese Grand Prix stats and facts

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Lewis Hamilton needs only 33 points from the remaining four races to be sure of the 2018 championship title.

To put that into perspective, that’s an average of eight and a quarter points over the next four races, when his average over the last four is a perfect 25. Sebastian Vettel is 67 points behind, which is one point further away than he was after the first 17 races of last season.

Suzuka saw Hamilton take his fourth consecutive victory. If he wins the next race he will tie his personal best streak of five wins in a row.

It was also his fifth Japanese Grand Prix victory, leaving him one shy of Michael Schumacher’s record. As in Russia, Mercedes has been undefeated in Japan in the V6 hybrid turbo era. Nor have they lost in that time at the next venue on the calendar: the Circuit of the Americas.

With his 71st win, Hamilton is now 20 away from reaching Schumacher’s all-time victories record. He’s contracted for two more seasons at Mercedes and has won at least nine races in every season since 2014. It’s therefore likely he could equal Schumacher’s 91 wins around the same time his current Mercedes contract expires…

Mercedes have decisively overturned Ferrari’s performance advantage. They scored their second one-two finish in a row last weekend which is something they never managed to do during the whole of last season. Their most recent consecutive one-twos were in the final four races of 2016.

Hamilton led every lap of the race, the first time he has done so this year. However he was denied a ‘grand slam’ of pole, win, leading every lap and fastest lap by Sebastian Vettel, who claimed the 35th fastest lap of his career. His 1’32.318 was 0.778 seconds off the all-time Suzuka race lap record, held by Kimi Raikkonen.

Sergio Perez, Force India, Suzuka, 2018
Double points for Force India again
Valtteri Bottas notched up his seventh second-place finish of a season in which he is still yet to win a race – partly due, of course, to Mercedes’ team orders in the Russian Grand Prix. This was his 30th podium appearance, moving him ahead of Daniel Ricciardo.

Force India had both cars in the points again. They’ve done this at every race at the summer break except Singapore, where their two drivers tangled with each other.

Finally, two-times Japanese Grand Prix winner Fernando Alonso finished 14th in car number 14 for the second race in a row. It ensures that in all of his Japanese Grand Prix appearance for McLaren he never finished no higher than 11th, which was where he also finished on his first visit to Suzuka with Minardi in 2001.

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Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

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2018 Japanese 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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27 comments on “Mercedes take first back-to-back one-twos since 2016”

  1. He only needs 8 points over the next four races, not 33.

    1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
      9th October 2018, 13:37

      How so? There are 100 still available. Unless your crystal ball tells you there’s a Vettel DNF coming up ;)

      1. @Alain Eight points in the next race to be precise. If he leaves COTA with a lead of at least 75 points, then it’s guaranteed that he’d finish the season as the WDC as then Vettel wouldn’t be able to equal him on the number of race wins this season anymore if they were to end the season on equal points. @hammerheadgb

        1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
          9th October 2018, 14:19

          Still, not just eight points, but eight points more than Vettel.

          1. @hammerheadgb @fluxsource @david-br Yes, and that’s basically what I indeed implied.

          2. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
            10th October 2018, 9:33

            @jerejj I could tell by your explanation that you understood what you meant, however the original poster was disputing the accuracy of the “33 points” stat, which is in fact correct.

            Consider the nitpicking to be for the wider audience’s benefit. :)

        2. He needs 8 points over Vettel, not 8 points overall. He needs 33 points overall from the next 4 races, even if Vettel wins all 4.

          1. FlyingLobster27
            9th October 2018, 21:30

            Yes for the first bit @fluxsource, but not the second: Hamilton will need 33 points from the next four races only if Vettel wins all 4! 33 will put him out of reach in any case, but how much Hamilton really needs depends on how much Vettel scores.

            Frankly, the “33 in 4” stat is confusing (as shown in this convo), not very revealing (33 points can only be scored in 2 races, but Hamilton can be champion in 1)… and kind of useless beyond what the article does with it, which is put Hamilton’s current form into perspective. No-one’s looking at 4-race totals as far as championship permutations go, it’s about Hamilton outscoring Vettel race-by-race.

        3. @jerejj Well to be super precise, he needs eight more points than Vettel.

    2. He needs 9 points to be safe assuming Vettel wins the remaining 4.
      8 points will leave them with exactly the same number of wins, but Vettel will have more point scoring positions.

      1. I meant score 9 more points than Vettel

        1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
          10th October 2018, 9:29

          Out of interest, how can Hamilton score 9 points more than Vettel, if Vettel wins all 4 races? :P

  2. Ouch! So Alonso is now in a car less capable than the Minardi he had in his rookie year… How the once mighty McLaren has fallen. I hope they can turn it around next season.

    1. @tribaltalker
      I was thinking surely even in the 2007 McLaren he couldn’t have been that bad, but then I remembered the race was in Fuji that year.
      Then i thought in 2001, there were probably a few retirements (just 5 from 22 starters), but I took a look at the results again and he was 11th on merit which is pretty good going.

      1. And he DNF’d in that 2007 race.

  3. They could go as crazy as putting Russel on the car and sending Hamilton on vacations, he would still be champion. The way things are going at Ferrari and with Vettel, I don’t see him scoring 68 points in 4 races.

    1. Exactly, or a hamilton injury while doing other stuff, that would reopen the championship a bit but most likely hamilton would still win.

  4. This was the 3rd win this year by Perez in Formula 1B; 1 behind the Hulk.
    9 drivers still up for the title this year.

    Check out these interesting statistical entries by @jamiefranklinf1 & @mashiat.

  5. The laps stat is an odd one, cos obviously 80 laps at Monaco / Spielberg are the equivalent of around 45 laps of Spa.
    I’d be interested to see how this equated to miles / km.

    1. Alonso leads that already. He’s raced further than anyone, at 83,266km. MSC next on 81208. BUT third.

  6. Post-Suzuka, Fernando Alonso moves to second on the all-time laps completed list, overtaking Rubens Barrichello. Just 174 more laps will see him claim Michael Schumacher’s top spot record of 16,825 laps.

    174 out of 244 available until the end of his (last?) season. Doable even in a McLaren. But does he want that record or even know about it?

    1. @david-br I doubt he’d care too much whether he’d achieve that or not.

      1. Yes, and also not sure it’s so easy, mclaren’s reliability certainly isn’t bulletproof, an early retirement and a late one are enough to fail it.

  7. Mercedes is showing what an unlimited budget and a staff of 1,500 can accomplish in F1. Of course, Toto wants to fight anything that will change this situation. But if doesn’t change, I give F1 5 more years before it starts to fade away.

    1. @partofthepuzzle, I am not sure where you have got that figure of 1,500 people from, as it is almost certainly overinflated. I have seen a few individuals claim figures that high, but they are often lumping together large chunks of Mercedes’s motorsport division even if they aren’t all working on F1 project.

      One common error is counting all of the staff at High Performance Powertrains and assuming they all work on their F1 programme. Dieter has in fact pointed out that fallacy in his articles in some of his articles on this site, suggesting that a bit over a third of the staff at High Performance Powertrains aren’t working on F1 related project – yet the individuals whom I have seen claiming such high staff counts ignore that and wrongly include those non-F1 related staff as well.

      That’s why he’s put the figure at closer to 900 people for the top teams, or about 60% of the figure you have quoted – it would also fit a lot more with some of the figures that Abiteboul has publicly mentioned in the past, which suggested the top teams have workforces of about 850 people. Maybe you can provide a source for your figures?

    2. Because Ferrari does not have the money to compete with Mercedes right?

  8. Not a stat but a fact.

    The next 4 races is the 4 different places where Lewis Hamilton have clinch his 4 titles!

    It will be very interesting to see where (probably) clinch his 5th.
    Personally i want at Brasil which is LH favourite place as he is huge Senna fan!

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