Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Singapore, 2018

20 telling stats about each F1 driver in 2018

2018 F1 season review

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Which Formula 1 driver had the biggest lap time advantage over his team mate this year? Who took the biggest haul of their team’s points? And whose car broke down the most?

Here are the statistics which reveal the telling details about every driver’s performance in 2018.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Singapore, 2018

For the fifth year in a row, Lewis Hamilton won the most races of any driver, taking 11 victories. But as well as being fast he was consistent too, covering 1,200 laps, the most of any driver.

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2018

Out of the six drivers in the top three cars, Valtteri Bottas finished ‘Last of the Best’ the most, doing so seven times.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit of the Americas, 2018

A series of first-lap blunders meant Sebastian Vettel lost the most places on lap one of any driver, a net total of 34 across the season. Which helps explain why he had the second-most ‘Last of the Best’ finishes, with five.

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Monza, 2018

Kimi Raikkonen reached Q3 at every race in 21. Vettel and Bottas did the same, but Raikkonen extended a 51-race streak dating back to the 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix. Keeping that up will be harder at Sauber next year.

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Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Circuit of the Americas, 2018

Reliability wasn’t kind to Daniel Ricciardo. He had the most non-classifications due to technical failures of any driver (seven) and lost the most grid places due to penalties of anyone.

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2018

Max Verstappen was a far more regular visitor to the podium than his team mate. He reached the rostrum 11 times to Ricciardo’s two.

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez, Force India, Baku City Circuit, 2018

As well as being the only driver who out-scored his team mate despite finishing behind him more often than not, Sergio Perez was also the only driver from outside the ‘big three’ teams to finish on the podium.

Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon, Force India, Spa-Francorchamps, 2018

Esteban Ocon made a big step forward in qualifying. Having been out-qualified 13-7 by Perez last year, he led 16-5 in 2018.

Lance Stroll

Lance Stroll, Williams, Baku City Circuit, 2018

For the second year in a row Lance Stroll gained the most positions on the first lap of any driver, a net increase of 36 places, though he also had the worst average qualifying result. The second-highest climber on lap one was Verstappen, who appropriately made up 33 places.

Sergey Sirotkin

Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, Singapore, 2018

Despite being out-scored by his team mate, Sergey Sirotkin won the qualifying battle at Williams 12-8.

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Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Hockenheimring, 2018

Nico Hulkenberg had the most ‘best of the rest wins’ by a driver not in one of the top three cars, leading the midfield home six times.

Carlos Sainz Jnr

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Renault, Paul Ricard, 2018

Hulkenberg may have scored most of Renault’s points, but Carlos Sainz Jnr matched his best finish (fifth) and ran higher than him in a race, holding third for eight laps at Paul Ricard.

Pierre Gasly

Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018

Pierre Gasly put Brendon Hartley in the shade by scoring the highest percentage of any team’s total points. He took 87.9% of Toro Rosso’s haul.

Brendon Hartley

Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, Sochi, 2018

However Hartley had to contend with taking the most penalties of any driver. He totalled 11 for the season, just three of which were due to driving infringements.

Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean, Haas, Silverstone, 2018

Romain Grosjean made as many appearances in Q3 as Ricciardo – 16 – but less than half of those led to points finishes.

Kevin Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Interlagos, 2018

The tide turned at Haas after the summer break. Having out-qualified Grosjean seven times up to that point, Kevin Magnussen only managed once more from then on.

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Monaco, 2018

Fernando Alonso signed of his final F1 season in emphatic style, out-qualifying Stoffel Vandoorne in all 21 of this year’s races.

Stoffel Vandoorne

Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, Hockenheimring, 2018

Stoffel Vandoorne finished outside the points 15 times to Alonso’s six. Only the Williams drivers finished 11th or worse more times (17 each).

Marcus Ericsson

Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, Hungaroring, 2018

After adjusting for unrepresentative lap times, Marcus Ericsson had the biggest average deficit to his team mate of any driver. He was 0.431s slower than Charles Leclerc.

Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc, Sauber, Baku City Circuit, 2018

Sauber’s five best results were all scored by Leclerc (Alonso did the same at McLaren and Hamilton did so 11 times at Mercedes, though the team orders in Russia which cost Bottas a win should be acknowledged). He also kept his nose clean: he didn’t have a single penalty for a driving infringement all year.

Over to you

Have you spotted any more revealing statistics about the drivers in 2018? Share them in the comments.

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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 “20 telling stats about each F1 driver in 2018”

  1. I was almost certain that Hulkenberg was the driver that completed fewer laps than anyone else. Must be neck and neck with those two.

    The best thing that Sainz did during the years was that? Run in third for a few laps? Makes you re-visit the rankings doesn’t it?

    And Stoffel basically spent the season fighting the Williams

    1. Alonso did 985 laps against the 936 of Hulk

      1. so above the stat is wrong?

        where can we get such detailed statistics, care to help Panzik?

        1. You can find them here for example:

          1. Hmm link doesn’t seem to work in post.. adding some spaces:

            www . statsf1 . com/en/2018/stats-tour-parcouru.aspx

        2. Not sure where all the confusion is coming from, but 936 for Hülkenberg is correct. And Hamilton actually completed 1255 laps…

          1. @gpfacts the confusion is with Alonso’s number of laps, I’ve seen 2 webpages with a different number, with Racefans 3. I recall as well reading somewhere that Hulk was the one that completed the fewest amount of laps in the season.

            On the page given by @tryneplague it says Alonso completed 985, here it says he completed 978. And here we have 931.

            If 931 isn’t correct then the stat pointed out by Keith should be rectified

    2. @johnmilk Apologies, I made an error here by overlooking the lap counts from the final race – Hulkenberg did indeed cover the fewest laps. I’ve updated the article to reflect this.

      1. @keithcollantine and the stat that you used is actually better. Now you just have to update you rankings and place Hulk higher and we are cool

        btw do you compile this info or are you getting from some place else? I can’t find a trustworthy page with that sort of detail

        1. @johnmilk The correct figures are 1255 Hamilton, 985 Alonso, 936 Hülkenberg… :)

  2. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
    20th December 2018, 9:12

    Bottas was also the only one not to win a race from the big three this year.

    1. That was acknowledged in the section on Charles Leclerc.

      “Hamilton did so 11 times at Mercedes, though the team orders in Russia which cost Bottas a win should be acknowledged).”

    2. This was only the second season Lewis Hamilton’s team mate did not win a Grand Prix. The other being Kovalainen in 2009, another Finish driver I would rate very similarly to Bottas.

      1. @yossarian I disagree. Kovalainen was way farther behind LH than Bottas. And 2008-9 was already great but nowhere near as great as he is nowadays

        1. Looking at the 2008 season the qualifying scoreline was 14-4 to Hamilton with an average gap of 0.23 seconds ahead of Kovalainen. Compared to 15-6 and a gap of 0.17 against Bottas. KOV also had a couple of strong weekends, out qualifying Ham at the second attempt in a new team as well as a strong pole at Lewis’ home track. And more importantly he scored a win in a similarly competitive season, yes luck was involved but taking your chances is a big part of racing (and one of the reasons I feel Perez is massively under-rated considering his number of podiums).

          1. I don’t rate Perez very highly despite his podiums mainly because I feel most, if not all of those podiums came from him nursing his tires & extending a stint while others pitted. I’ll certainly give him his just dues for his tire management skills, but seems still far too one dimensional to improve my opinion of him. There are several drivers on the grid who show better one lap pace & racecraft, IMO (and who don’t make a habit of running into their teammate): I rate Hulkenberg higher despite his glaring lack of podiums. It seems he’s rated highly in the paddock as well, because after so long in F1 with no podiums, he still gets paid to drive & doesn’t have to bring massive sponsorship with him.

  3. Compare laptimes in FP1/FP2 and Racepace ( if you consider gridposition and tyres etc, hard But still ) between Leclerc and Ericsson all year with the ones at Saturday (FP3 and especially qualify)…. Then Its pretty clear that they didnt have the same pre-conditions. Its all in Ferraris interest and theres the biggest part of those 4 tenths in average laptime advantage.

  4. All of them are interesting stats.

  5. Hamilton and Alonso are absolute career-killers. Alonso retired Vandoorne on his way out. In a way Vandoorne was unlucky to be paired with Alonso, the bar was too high.
    And Hamilton destroyed Bottas and if it wasnt for someone senior in the team (Toto i think) supporting Bottas, Bottas would be in a similar situation as Vandoorne.
    This explains why Alonso and Hamilton are so highly rated.

    1. Ambrogio Isgro
      20th December 2018, 16:17

      Hamilton almost killed Kovalainen some years ago, while Alonso killed Nelsinho Piquet. Also we saw Leclerc with Ericsson and Gasly with Hartley this year.
      Raikkonen hurt Heidfeld career, Vettel killed Bourdais, Hulkenberg crushed Palmer Jr.

      1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
        20th December 2018, 22:47

        Palmer and Speed did it all by themselves. Neither was that fast, and I understood Speed had some pretty bad attitude issues….

  6. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    20th December 2018, 12:17

    Something that does seem surprising is that Bottas has 7 of the fastest laps this year. Bahrain, Azerbaijan, France, Belgium, Russia, Mexico, Brazil. In the first 8 races, it was only Bottas or the Red Bull drivers getting the fastest laps. He obviously got it in Mexico and Brazil because of having poor races and pitting at the end, but spa and france were races he had to recover from and he still managed fastest laps there despite damage in france. I would only give him credit for 5 or possibly just 4. But is still surprises me that he has this many.

    Ricciardo got 4 this year. Australia, China, Spain and Hungary. Interestingly 2 more than his team mate.

    Vettel got 3 in Britain, Japan and Abu Dhabi.

    Hamilton got 3. Surprisingly for Mercedes, he didn’t get his first fastest lap until after the halfway point in Germany. He then got 2 more in Italy and the USA.

    Verstappen only got 2 which surprised me a bit given the speed of Red Bull by the end of the season.

    Raikkonen just got 1 in Austria. Fastest lap isn’t something he often tends to get.

    The most interesting one is probably Magnussen in Singapore. Thought he did pit near the end. But still, that is impressive for a Hass.

    1. @thegianthogweed Yeah Raikkonen doesn’t often tend to get fastest lap. Apart from the fact that he has the 2nd most in history behind Mr. Schumacher.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        20th December 2018, 17:00

        I guess i should have made it obvious that i was talking about the current kimi. Who since 2015 has been in a very strong car but has hardly ever got fastest laps from what i know.

        1. @thegianthogweed, he is recorded as having set the fastest lap six times from 2015 to 2018 – the races where he set the fastest laps in those years are as follows:
          2015 Bahrain GP
          2015 Canadian GP
          2016 Hungarian GP
          2017 Australian GP
          2017 Russian GP
          2018 Austrian GP

          It is perhaps slightly more than you might have thought, but it is not particularly high when compared to his rivals – Vettel and Ricciardo have both recorded 12 fastest laps in that same timeframe, Bottas managed 9 and Hamilton 21.

          As an aside, whilst stefano is right that Kimi is second in the all time list for fastest laps, at the same time most of those fastest laps occurred during a pretty narrow period in his career. Out of Kimi’s 46 fastest laps, 20 of them – or about 43% – are accounted for by just two seasons: 2005 and 2008, where he scored ten fastest laps in each of those seasons.

          That success rate is unusual compared to other drivers in the major teams, as none of them have managed to pick up that many fastest laps in a single season once, let alone twice. As you note, in the decade since then, his success at scoring fastest laps has slowed down quite a bit – since his return in 2012, he’s picked up 11 fastest laps, or just below two a season.

          In terms of percentage of races he’s completed, it’s about 15.8% – reasonably good by historical standards, but it’s lower than that of Vettel and Hamilton (16.4% and 17.9% respectively), and a long way short of Michael Schumacher’s rate (25.1%).

          Whilst Vettel and Hamilton have slightly fewer fastest laps to their names – 36 and 41 respectively, they are currently picking them up at a faster rate: similarly, other historical drivers with a similar number of fastest laps, like Prost (41) and Mansell (30) were scoring them at a slightly higher rate (20.6% for Prost and 16.0% for Mansell). Appropriately enough, Kimi’s rate is fairly similar to that of another Finnish driver – Mika Hakkinen, which was about 15.5%.

          To some extent, the fact that Kimi has that many fastest laps is perhaps in part due to the sheer length of his career. 2019 would see him having the fifth longest career in the history of the sport in terms of the number of seasons, and if he completes every race in 2019, he will move into second place in terms of the total number of races completed – so, the fact that he has spent a long time in the sport and spent a large proportion of those years in teams at or near the front of the grid has probably helped boost his stats on that front.

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            20th December 2018, 23:25

            indeed that is more than I thought, but very little for the ability of his car. but you do have a good point being that he’s usually close up there and Vettel has clearly been strong.

    2. “Verstappen only got 2 (fastest laps) which surprised me a bit given the speed of Red Bull by the end of the season.”

      RBR is good on the tyres, Verstappen especially, usually makes early stops. Fatest lap are usually done on fresh tyre near the end of a race.

      1. @thegianthogweed – One of Verstappen’s flaps was in Canada when another driver’s faster lap was disallowed because some idiot celebrity waved the chequered flag too early. Otherwise it was 4 less than his teammate.

  7. Toro Rosso killed Hartley with their crap car, not Gasly, he got the good car.

  8. I have a few:
    When they finished in the points, DannyRick took on average more points then VB33 (13.08 vs 13.0)

    The top2 most racelaps completed, were also the top2 in the championship, while kimi’s 3rd place in the WC, have the 11th most completed laps.

    Both Force India drivers have qualified on 12 different positions, shared with Gasly and K-Mag, while Seb and Ham have 5.

    Grosjean’s quali were mentioned, and while he were in Q3 16 times, he were in Q2 17 times, only dropped out once, as soon as he got there (into Q2).

    Sirotkin and Vandoorne never got into Q3, with 5 and 6 Q2’s respectivly.

    The ones who qualified in the top10 usually lost 0.5 to 1 places in the race, but Q11 usually took 2 or 3. (average finish 8.88, median 8)

    Both Max And Ham climbed 13 places from their Q to the race. Ham with 14 -> 1 in Germany, and Max from 15 -> 2 in USA …
    Ps. After grid penalties, Max did a 19 -> 5 in Russia, and he also did lead the race for quite a few laps. That is 14 places…

  9. the stat for grosjean (same no. of Q3 appearances as ricciardo, but only half converted to points) is rather telling. obviously it’s harder to keep a haas in the points (especially with the current tyre rules) but still it feels like a poor return from RG and a capsule summary of him as a driver (fast but doesn’t deliver consistently).

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