That leaves them one shy of equalling the all-time record of 11 wins in a row by a team, set by McLaren during their outstanding 1988 season.
Mercedes have been here before. On two occasions in 2016 they arrived at a race having won the previous 10, but didn’t manage to claim the record-matching 11th. The first of those runs ended at the Spanish Grand Prix, where the teams’ drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg took each other off at the start.
Hamilton scored his fourth win in a row on Sunday and is one win away for matching his personal best streak of five consecutive wins. However he has a long way to go to equal Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine in a row, set at the end of 2013.
Vettel denied Hamilton a ‘grand slam’ on the final lap of the race on Sunday. The reigning world champion had set pole position – his 86th – led every lap and set the fastest lap with his final tour of the Paul Ricard circuit. However Vettel, who had put a few of new soft tyres on, relieved Hamilton of the bonus point for fastest lap by two-hundredths of a second.
That also spoiled a neat symmetry: Before the race began the F1 community assembled to honour Jackie Stewart, who recently turned 80, and scored a ‘grand slam’ in Paul Ricard’s first French Grand Prix back in 1971.
Remarkably, eight races in to the year Hamilton has won six of them, took his 79th career win on Sunday, and could still eclipse Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 total victories before the year is over. His tally of 178 points is just 21 shy of a maximum score of 208 at this stage.
Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas scored points for the 20th race in a row. The last time either of them failed to score was at last year’s Austrian Grand Prix – the next venue on the calendar.
McLaren enjoyed a strong weekend in France. The MCL34s swept the third row of the grid which was their highest starting position since Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen did the same in the 2014 Italian Grand Prix. Lando Norris achieved his highest starting position to date with fifth (as did Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi in 10th).
Robert Kubica finished ahead of George Russell for the first time this year but remains yet to out-qualify his team mate. Lance Stroll has also been out-qualified by Sergio Perez in every race so far this year, and hasn’t reached Q2 yet either.
Pierre Gasly is also taking a hammering from his team mate at the moment. He crossed the line 11th, seven places behind Max Verstappen, but was subsequently promoted to 10th place by Daniel Ricciardo’s penalty. That made him the first French driver to score points in his home race for 16 years: Olivier Panis took a point for eighth place for Toyota in 2003.
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Review the year so far in statistics here:
- 2019 F1 championship points
- 2019 F1 season records
- 2019 F1 race data
- 2019 F1 qualifying data
- 2019 F1 retirements and penalties
- 2019 F1 strategy and pit stops
Have you spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the French Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.