Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2018

1,000 wins: A world championship milestone

2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix stats and facts

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Lewis Hamilton scored the 1,000th win* by a driver in a world championship race in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

How did he achieve that feat in what was only the 997th grand prix? In the first years of the championship drivers were allowed to share cars and therefore could share wins.

Three of previous races had joint winners. These were Juan Manuel Fangio and Luigi Fagioli at Reims in 1951, Fangio and Luigi Musso at Buenos Aires in 1956, and Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks at Aintree in 1957. This is why the total number of world championship race wins by drivers adds up to more than the number of races which have held.

This was the 73rd win of Hamilton’s career, leaving him 18 shy of Michael Schumacher’s record of 91. With 21 races on the 2019 F1 calendar, Hamilton could reach that within 12 months, if the W10 turns out to be something really special.

Hamilton ended the year on 408 points, which is the most any driver has ever scored in a championship season, beating Sebastian Vettel’s 2013 record by 11 (though there were two fewer races that year).

It was a year of two halves for Hamilton: He only won three of the first 10 races, but over the remaining 11 he registered just three defeats.

One of those wins was handed to him by team mate Valtteri Bottas, in Russia. Because of that Bottas became the first Mercedes driver since Schumacher in 2012 to complete a full season without winning a race.

The seven points Bottas lost that weekend meant he finished fifth in the championship instead of third. As the top three drivers have to attend the FIA Gala, that means Kimi Raikkonen gets to done his best suit, fly to St Petersburg and attend another press conference instead of Bottas next week. No doubt he’ll be thrilled.

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Vettel took second in the championship for the second year in a row, scoring three points more than he managed last season. While he and Ferrari missed out on the championships again, they could draw some consolation by being the first team to end the season within 100 points of Mercedes since the V6 hybrid turbo era began – the gap was 84 points.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Yas Marina, 2018
Vettel finished further behind Hamilton than last year
A curious and potentially telling detail here is that Ferrari ended the year closer to Mercedes than Vettel did to Hamilton. There was 46 points between the two drivers at the end of 2017; 88 this year.

Vettel joined Raikkonen and Bottas in reaching Q3 at every race this year. However the latter pair pulled off this feat for the second year in a row: Bottas has never failed to reach Q3 as a Mercedes driver.

Max Verstappen ended the year with his fifth consecutive podium finish. Satisfyingly, he made a net gain of 33 places on the first laps of races this season, matching his race number.

However Daniel Ricciardo failed to get a final podium for Red Bull and hasn’t had one since his Monaco victory in May. As he heads off to Renault, how long will it be until he next gets the chance to perform his trademark ‘shoey’?

New 2019 Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc ended the season strongly, with his third consecutive seventh-place finish. He also hammered Marcus Ericsson 17-4 in qualifying, thew same victory margin Vettel had over Raikkonen. One driver did quite a bit better, however: Fernando Alonso out-qualified Stoffel Vandoorne in all 21 races.

Finally, it was a shocking season for Williams, who slumped from fifth in the championship the previous two years to 10th. This is their worst ever finishing position since they entered the championship full-time.

*As spotted by David Hayhoe, author of the highly recommended ‘Formula 1: The Knowledge’. Statistics fans will be pleased to hear a new, expanded edition is on its way in 2019.

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Review the year so far in statistics here:

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2018 Abu Dhabi 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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    58 comments on “1,000 wins: A world championship milestone”

    1. The seven points Bottas lost that weekend meant he finished fifth in the championship instead of third.

      Ah, that’s quite a telling stat. We often speculate about someone losing a WDC due to a small number of points like this, but rarely in the reverse.

      1. All the damage was done in Abu Dhabi. If hewasn’t so poor in the race, He’d be third right now.

        1. If it wasn’t the points he lost in Russia, it was surely the mental blow he got by being put down so publicly by his team so publicly.

      2. It seems like it had a HUGE effect on Bottas mentally. A win for him that day was a sure thing, and instead he gets called a “wingman” and has to hand the win to his teammate. After that race it was clear to him that he wasn’t on equal ground with Lewis in the team’s eyes. I think it really affected his form after that, and to lose two positions in the WDC because of those seven points is just salt in the wound. No wonder he was eager for the season to be over!

        Plus, it’s clear to him that he’s not part of their long-term plans. They’ve only signed him for a year at a time and have all but confirmed Ocon for a 2020 race seat, so unless Lewis pulls a Nico and abruptly retires at the end of the 2019 season, that leaved Bottas out in the cold.

        1. “It seems like it had a HUGE effect on Bottas mentally.” This is really the only thing that matters. Not the points he lost.

        2. @partsguy20 I like Bottas a lot, but he needs to be more resilient if he is going to be so affected by an undesirable outcome.
          I get it, but if he hasn’t got the psychological strength to deal with setbacks which are not of his making, then he’ll struggle to be more than a #2.

          1. @psynrg, I think that is something that is rather ingrained in Bottas’s character, because Williams were making the same complaint about Bottas when he drove for them – that he is prone to prolonged lapses in confidence which were often self inflicted and which resulted in a downturn in performance that was much more noticeable than it would be for most drivers.

            Equally, whilst there are those who might pin everything on the team orders in Russia, to me that feels a bit too simplistic – Bottas did have some somewhat poor races in the earlier part of the season as well. I do wonder if Bottas had already been losing confidence much earlier in the season, as he had already had some difficult races before that – Australia was a write off after having to change his gearbox, he’d worked hard in China to take the lead, only for it to then be snatched away from him by Ricciardo, which was then followed by the bitter disappointment of his DNF in Baku.

            He might have rebounded in some of the following races, such as Canada, but the French GP was another bitter blow where, having looked good for at least a podium, the clash with Vettel lead to a rather frustrating race for him. That was again followed up by another DNF in Austria – all of that meant that, by the time of the British GP, which is the approximate midway point of the season, he’d already fallen back to fifth in the WDC.

            By that point in time, he’s already nearly 50 points behind Hamilton and 67 points behind Vettel in the WDC – basically, nearly two race victories behind Hamilton and nearly three behind Vettel. That is a sizeable amount of ground to make up in the WDC, and would be a bit of an intimidating challenge to some – we know that there are other drivers out there who would look at a seemingly insurmountable gap like that and say “you know what, I can still catch them”, but Bottas doesn’t seem to have that same level of confidence and self belief about him.

            Equally, in the latter half of this season, Bottas scored 143 points from the German to Abu Dhabi GPs inclusive, which means he actually outscored Kimi over those same races (he scored 135 points) and was still closely matched to Vettel (149 points) and Verstappen (156 points). The fact that he could outscore Kimi and still be beaten by him in the WDC underlines the fact that, in some ways, the damage was really done in the first half of the season, and his performance in some races in the first half of this season makes me wonder if he’d already begun writing off the 2018 season.

        3. People seem to believe he lost speed after that incident. That would suggest he actually was somewhere before Russia. He never were. Here’s the thing, Bottas has two tracks where he’s quite good. Austria and Russia. The only two venues he’s actually in the mix. He’s proven that ever since his Williams-days. The rest of the year he’s nowhere.

      3. I could be wrong on this but I believe Hamilton would have also still won the championship in Mexico even if they’d have held position in Russia and let Bottas keep the win.

        The fact that the switch not only made no difference to the championship but actively dropped bottas from 3rd to 5th really drives home how needless the order was.

        1. Exactly and I and a few others said this since the same russia race! I kept seeing articles, mercedes was right to use team orders; well, doesn’t look like that, does it?

        2. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. We assume Mercedes somehow knew this was going to happen.

          For the article to suggest that the switch cost him 3rd is not on, especially when you consider him losing position in races like Austin & Brazil. Abu Dhabi he went from 2nd [18 pts] to 5th [10 pts], which is a bigger points swing than the 7 he lost in Sochi.

          Bottas gave up too much points over the season whilst running in higher position. I’m sure if we look across the season, we’ll find that of the top 6 drivers, he leads in that category.

      4. Had he driven the car a little better on a number of occasions he would have finished higher and we wouldn’t have to blame his 5th place finish on one position on track in 1 particular race that in reality was no guarantee win as it was only 20 laps in and he had less than 1 second on Hamilton.

    2. Serves Mercedes right after the Russian decision to swap drivers.

      1. Yes I bet they’re losing sleep about Bottas being fifth. If only they had 5 back-to-back WDC and WCC’s to console them.

        1. As manager I try to do the best for all staff, and not just rake in the titles early without thinking of all team members.
          In my book, and the way I work, Russia was the wrong decision. I’d rather have two happy drivers getting the best out of them, than having a better chance of a WDC for one, and a disgruntled driver in the other seat.

          I’m not a psychologist, but IMO part of Bottas poor form after Russia was team inflicted.

          1. I’d argue they did do the right thing for all staff. The double world championships attest to this. I take your point though. :-)

          2. As manager I try to do the best for all staff, and not just rake in the titles early without thinking of all team members.

            But they did think of all team members. Bottas is just one in 1000 team members, the other 999 will be more than happy with the double and drivers don’t care about where they come if it is not first.

      2. I think Wolff was pressured by the retiring chairman of the board and the need to make sure he leaves with a 5th double championship.
        If we see how Ferrari suddenly found again their lost pace, it was the right decision.

    3. How did he achieve that feat in what was only the 997th grand prix?

      Me thinks you’ve been sat patiently waiting for this day to finaly come!

      1. @eurobrun :-)

        And a redux after the upcoming Chinese GP.

    4. I enjoyed the fact that Nico Hulkenberg won the best of the rest “B championship” despite completing the fewest laps of anyone all season.

    5. Will Chares Leclerc win back to back the rookie of the year ward?

    6. As rational a decision as handing Hamilton the win in Russia seems I think it’s important to remember F1 isn’t rational. It’s driving prototypes round in circles to see which is fastest, it’s fun, it’s a silly little game that a lot of people enjoy, and a little magic was lost at that GP forcing such a pragmatic action. Made even worse by the fact without it Hamilton would still be champion, would still have broken the all-time points record, and Bottas would have been both 3rd and had a much-deserved win.

      I’ve enjoyed these season probably more than any since I’ve been watching, but that team order leaves a blemish on what could have been a near perfect year for sports fans.

      1. That small little move will barely be remembered and rightly so.

        Mercedes made to big a deal out of a move that was the only sensible thing to do.

        Sounds harsh on Bottas but he isn’t a driver that was or is able to challenge for a title. At that point Seb had potentially the fastest car. Merc needed the points.

        1. I wouldn’t bank on it being barely remembered. Plenty remember “Fernando is faster than you”, “Multi 21”, the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix where Barrichello was ordered to allow Schumacher to pass, and Singapore 2008 where Piquet Jr was ordered to crash to engineer an Alonso win.

          Fans have pretty good memories.

          1. I couldn’t agree @philipgb with you more on both your posts, a thrilling year across the entire field with a few notable blemishes – and that moment was one of them, and of course many of us will remember! I’m in awe of the knowledge of many of the fans on this site!

          2. Yes this team order will go down in the annals of F1 history; along with the blatant and long-winded team order issued to Kimi in Germany. But to be fair at least Lewis had the decency to win after his team order and not plant it in the barrier like Vettel did after his.

            1. In Germany Vettel had new tires and was obviously a lot quicker. As many people here said, that is probably not even considered a team order.

          3. Fans have pretty good selective memories. Remember how Raikkonen was asked to pull over to let Massa past in China back in 2008? Nobody thought twice about it.

            Mercedes got the WDC and WCC this year almost entirely because of one of the two drivers. Bottas usually turned up and put the car where it had to be at minimum, while Hamilton managed to put it higher than it should have been at numerous races. That’s the difference. Hostile fans will fixate on any incident for years after, that’s just the way it goes.

            1. @david-br

              Well, you just thought about China 2008, I’ll admit I forgot, but then Massa didn’t win the WDC.

              Yes, the championships are largely thanks to Hamilton. Doesn’t change my point, I’m in no way saying he didn’t deserve his success.

              And I’m not a hostile fan. I’m a Hamilton fan, I’m amazed by this year’s performance. My gripe isn’t with him, isn’t with the fact Mercedes are champions. I watch F1 to be entertained, the people who attended the Russian GP went at great expense to be entertained. And it was a great race, Hamiltons fight with Vettel was exactly why we all tune in. But Mercedes soured the event with the team order. No one on that podium looked happy, I don’t imagine many people watching either at the track or at home felt much cause for celebration. They took something that’s meant to be a game, meant to be fun, and they made a pragmatic business decision that made it all less special.

      2. No mug this year saying “real drivers don’t need team orders”, Keith?

    7. Jonathan Parkin
      29th November 2018, 13:11

      Does the countdown to 1,000 races include the Indy 500 from 1950-1959

      1. I’m guessing yes but great question.

      2. They are counting all world championship races as far as I can tell, so yes. And also the two years the world championship was run to Formula Two regulations in 1952-53. Hence the careful wording above!

      3. Yes. Unless the calendar changes, the 2019 Chinese GP would be the 1000th World Championship race/round and Italy would be the 1000th World Championship Grand Prix…the Indy 500 races not being Grands Prix.

    8. Are we going to get a comparison of the Rate the Race scores for the whole 2018 season soon?

      I would love to see this.

    9. On Alonso’s final lap in F1, he drove the fastest Sector 2 of anyone in the race.

      True, but he was cutting the chicane on the final couple of laps, no?

      1. @hobo True that, LOL.

    10. Hamilton ended the year on 408 points, which is the most any driver has ever scored in a championship season, beating Sebastian Vettel’s 2013 record by 11 (though there were two fewer races that year).

      @keithcollantine how does this look corrected for previous points systems?

      1. I’m not Keith but as the percentage of available points Hamilton 2018 ends in 7th. (77,71%) He did better in 2015 (80,21%)

        The best ever is Michael Schumacher in 2002 with 84,71%. Also ahead are Vettel twice (2013, 2011), Schumacher for a second time (2014) and Clark (1963).

        1. I mean 2004 on Schumacher of course.

        2. Jelle van der Meer (@)
          29th November 2018, 20:45

          Yeah Schumacher’s famous 2002 season where he had a 100% podium finish, 11 wins, 5x 2nd and 1x 3rd. That would in total point system be 380 points out of a max 425 points (17 races) or 89.4% of available points.

          1. Yes, due to fewer races no one actually got more than hamilton as super-dominant seasons like 2002 and 2004 were before this new points-system, since it started there hasn’t been a dominant team AND driver at the same time.

            Btw, ascari in 1952, ofc only the 4 best results were counted, but in that case he got 100% of possible points, 36 out of 36, would’ve been 100 nowadays, he also scored points in other races, and in that case he wouldn’t get 100% ofc, but they are excluded due to that rule which was in place till senna-prost era, just with a bigger amount of results counting.

        3. @bleu i haven’t checked but just as a gut feeling shouldn’t Clark’s 65 campaign trump his 63 season?

    11. is The Knowledge by David Hayhoe going digital? I have the chunky 2015 version but could do with a digital version next time.

      1. I seriously doubt it, but good question.

    12. There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
      Joint winners, joint losers, who cares?

      If you like to gamble, I tell you I’m your man
      You win some, lose some, all the same to me
      The pleasure is to play, makes no difference what you say
      I don’t share your greed, the only card I need is the Ace of Spades

      1. No idea what you’re on about but f yeah Motörhead \m/

    13. Τάσος Μπεκρής
      29th November 2018, 20:34

      Merceded as a works team holds the record of most winners. Out of 11 drivers driving with their cars 5 of them won a race with a Mercedes car. This means 45%.
      More over 3 out of 11 took the championship, this means 27%.

    14. If it wasn’t for all the points Bottas lost in every race he would have won the championship. ;-) What’s the point of this type of speculation?

      1. Ahah, didn’t think of it, through no fault of his own bottas lost a high enough amount of points to lose 3rd place in the championship with a single of those results, as in since he never won in 2018, that’s min 7 points lost every race, which are enough for 3rd place even if you change a 2nd place into a win.

    15. However Daniel Ricciardo failed to get a final podium for Red Bull and hasn’t had one since his Monaco victory in May. As he heads off to Renault, how long will it be until he next gets the chance to perform his trademark ‘shoey’?

      It must be quite rare for a driver’s only podium finishes in a season to be victories. Last time this happened was with Pastor Maldonado I’m guessing? And maybe you’d have to go back to Olivier Panis in 1996 before that? But those were both one-off wins, who was the last driver to win multiple races in a year without finishing second or third?

      1. This is actually mentioned in the main article btw, it’s rindt in 1970, he got several wins and would’ve probably added more if not for the fatal crash.

    16. This is the first time in a little while that every single driver who competed in each of the races in any given season scored at least a point.

      And some complain that F1 needs to be more fair and balanced – with points for almost last place. ;-)

    17. And raikkonen was also the most recent ferrari driver on the podium during this race, although I expect him to be either 3rd or 4th, so he could have passed that record to vettel either way, OR shared it.

    18. The first time in a very long time if not the first time in F1 history that all the drivers who participated in the opening race of a season also competed in all the remaining races of the same season all the way till the season finale, meaning that the season finished with just 20 drivers having raced, the lowest number in Formula 1 history.

      Also the first time they’ve had the drivers’ faces in the opening credits… maybe they were just trying to avoid a frantic redesign!

    19. I would love to see the stat for total number of positions gained/lost for each driver over the full season.

    20. The most unique stat from 2018 is this:
      All 20 participating drivers kept their seats and all started every one of the 21 GPs. Also, each of these 20 drivers scored points. This is unprecedented.

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