Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton, Istanbul, 2008

Ferrari score first hat-trick of wins for more than a decade

2019 Singapore Grand Prix stats and facts

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Sebastian Vettel is once again the most successful driver in the history of the Singapore Grand Prix, having won the race for the fifth time on Sunday.

Only four different drivers have won this race since it was first held in 2008. Vettel’s win was his 53rd and, for the third time in his career, it came over a year after his previous success.

Ferrari became the first team ever to score a one-two finish in Singapore. But perhaps more importantly for the team, it’s the first time in more than a decade they’ve won three races in a row.

Vettel’s victory followed Charles Leclerc’s successes at Spa and Monza. The last time Ferrari won three or more races in a row was in 2008, when Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa shared wins in Malaysia, Bahrain, Spain and Turkey.

Leclerc took his third pole position in a row, but have achieved this much more recently: Vettel took three in a row in Bahrain, China and Azerbaijan last year. Leclerc now has the most pole positions of any driver this year, with five. That gives him the same number of pole positions as Giuseppe Farina, Chris Amon, Clay Regazzoni and Patrick Tambay – all of which drove for Ferrari – plus Keke Rosberg, who didn’t.

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Max Verstappen joined Vettel and Leclerc on the rostrum, resulting in only the second Mercedes-free podium of the season, the other having occurred in Hockenheim.

Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Silverstone, 2015
Bottas was the last ‘class B’ race leader
The slow pace in the opening laps of the race allowed the midfield runners to stay in touch with the leaders. As a result for the first time in over four years a lap was led by a driver in a car other than a Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull.

The honour fell to Antonio Giovinazzi, who headed the field for four laps in his Alfa Romeo. Although this team, as Sauber, last led a race in 2013 courtesy of Esteban Gutierrez in the Spanish Grand Prix, it was the first time an Alfa Romeo had headed the field since Andrea de Cesaris led the first 18 laps at Spa in 1983.

The last time a ‘class B’ team led a race was on lap 21 of the 2015 British Grand Prix, where Bottas led for Williams. In the intervening period, Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari led 5,213 consecutive laps. Note this only counts drivers who ‘officially’ led a lap at the start/finish line.

Finally, Kevin Magnussen set the fastest lap of the race for the second time in his career – the previous occasion was last year’s Singapore Grand Prix. However he did not score the bonus point for doing so, as it is only awarded to drivers who finish in the top 10 places, and Magnussen came in 17th.

Therefore 2019 will be the first season for 10 years where the maximum potential points available are not awarded. Half-points were awarded in the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix because less than 75% of the race distance was completed due to heavy rain.

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Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2019 Singapore 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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35 comments on “Ferrari score first hat-trick of wins for more than a decade”

  1. It is worth mentioning that is the first time since 2008 (well and 2009 but the car wasn’t capable for much) that Ferrari doesn’t have a clear “No1” and “No2” status as well. And while in 07-08 the car was equally fast with the McLaren one, depending on the circuit and weather characteristics, in current years Ferrari has to face a Mercedes dominance that seemed unstoppable. Having two drivers equally pushing the team is the best thing that could happen to Ferrari and they need to take advantage of it. Leclerc is impressive and rapidly improving and Vettel will get a great psychological boost with the win, so they have the momentum to close 2019 in a high and challenge for the title in 2020. If they nail their aero weakness from the start of the upcoming season and manage to keep the intra team harmony, they can really challenge and beat Mercedes

    1. @miltosgreekfan +1 Ferrari made the mistake of following the Alonso path of unenlightenment and backing one driver, when their last success came with the Massa+Raikkonen combo (and a decent car). I’m just not sure if Vettel’s revival is a real thing or not. Too early to say I think. But if he accepts equal pairing with Leclerc, even if the latter beats him more often than not, it could work well. Also requires a bit of give from Leclerc (like maybe he’s said enough about Sunday’s swap-around now: he needs to accept that was payback for Monza qualifying and move on).

      1. @david-br The last races will show how the situation with Vettel and Leclerc is. But if they manage to keep some stability between them, then yes it can work. There are gonna be many moments like Monza’s qualy and yesterday where one of the two gets the preferred strategy, but its up to the team to handle it.

        1. @miltosgreekfan It seems to me there are two separate issues with Vettel. One is that Leclerc is simply faster (though still waiting to see how he copes in wet races). The other are the mistakes he was already making before Leclerc turned up, for 3 seasons now. To my mind, they disqualified him from being a serious contender for the WDC. You just can’t make those mistakes up against a competitive team and a driver like Hamilton. Now he has a team mate usually faster than him and less error prone. Vettel can undoubtedly perform at a world champion level under certain conditions. I don’t think that’s enough to beat Leclerc over a season, and so I doubt he’ll ever win another championship – at least at Ferrari, and probably anywhere else (Red Bull again? If Verstappen was there, same problem). So it’s a question of how that reality plays out.

          1. @david-br You mention two issues with Vettel, but i believe the one caused the other as well. I honestly think that all those spins and mistakes he did from Germany 2018 mostly, did affect and his speed, his raw pace. He started his Ferrari years pretty strongly, with a solid and dominant(vs Kimi) 2015, but from 2016 ge started to struggle more in qualy, he got involved in more first lap incidents and we reach 2018 where he lost the ball after Germany. Vettel is a “confident” driver, so i hope that with this win, he’ll be able to regain some self confidence, reduce the mistakes and challenge Leclerc in qualy where Vettel hurts after Canada.

          2. I honestly didn’t think he could ever win another race, that was already a surprise for me, let alone another championship.

          3. @miltosgreekfan I think that’s probably because he never really had to race much in 2015. Mercedes was always 0.7s ahead, and they were usually a similar margin ahead of the next cars. But even in 2015, Vettel had some seriously questionable races. Bahrain and Mexico come to mind. In 2016, 2017, 2017 and 2019, Vettel has been forced to take risks against other drivers when racing because they are relatively similar in pace.

    2. @miltosgreekfan, I believe that there was no formal “No.1” and “No.2” driver arrangement at Ferrari in 2014 when they had Alonso and Kimi at the team at the same time.

      @david-br, why are you referring to it as “the Alonso path of unenlightenment and backing one driver”? Even when Enzo was the team manager at Alfa Romeo in the pre-WW2 era, he had a preference for a lead and second driver arrangement, provided that the lead driver held up their end of the bargain and proved they were quickest.

      It was a structure that Ferrari implemented from the start in F1, and one which they have traditionally operated to. In some ways, Miltiadis is perhaps wrong to cite 2008 as an example of Ferrari not having a “No.1” and “No.2” structure, as the original intention was for Kimi to lead the team and for Massa to support him – after all, having won the title the previous year, Ferrari were expecting Kimi to lead their title bid for 2008 as well.

      As it was, Kimi never really seemed to get to grips with the 2008 car, and perhaps was burnt out after the effort that he put into his 2007 campaign (at least according to what he told the Finnish press during the 2008 season), such that Massa was much more competitive and eventually became their best chance of the WDC – but that wasn’t an intentional policy on their part.

      It’s mainly been at times when they’ve wanted to tell their lead driver that they felt that he wasn’t holding up to his end of the bargain that Ferrari might then provoke their lead driver by putting a more competitive driver against them.

      1. @anon You’re right of course, Ferrari historically always had that preference. Alonso merely ‘reset’ their preference. However my view has always been that when they’re up against a near equal team – as McLaren were – it helps them, rather than hinders them, to have two drivers on equal level. You could see that in Singapore. Whatever Leclerc felt, the fact they had two competitive drivers helped them annul Hamilton’s threat. Meanwhile Mercedes can’t count on Bottas doing the same. As usual, he was nowhere near winning, whereas Hamilton had a chance on the right strategy.

      2. Its known that Kimi is “non political” driver within a team, so from the early days of 2007 there was no favorism between the Ferrari drivers, despite their huge salary difference. They agreed to support whoever was in front in the points after Monza and Kimi was the one after a suspension retirement for Felipe. They were evenly matched in those 3 years and they seemed to work properly. Knowing Ferrari’s tactics, they could have done some obvious stuff to support one of the two, but with expection of three cases where it was necessary (Brazil 07,France 08, China 08), they never used team orders.

    3. I remember ferrari going for team orders when michael broke his leg and hockenheim at austria02, indy 02 maybe, Brazil 07, actually not that many times, the austria one is still embarrasing. That said I don’t remember Ferrari ever having a clear #1 #2. They must’ve had, Alonso maybe, but their #2 have been almost always useless, only massa/rai, seb/lec shared the same piece of track, I think it’s only when your drivers are both competitive that driver status becomes apparent and unfair.

      1. Indianapolis wasn’t a team order, it was schumacher wanting to give back a win to barrichello, a shame given his record at indianapolis.

    4. Strong points. I think they’ll be able to take advantage of the way Mercedes has treated Bottas recently as well. Ferrari is pushing both to build a stronger team, meanwhile Mercedes is doubling down on Hamilton. Slowing down Bottas for Hamilton to pit wasn’t a strong strategy even if it meant coming out behind Albon.

    5. Except that Vettel is still treated as number one, having handed the win and numerous other positions of Leclerc during the year.

  2. Singapore is Vettel’s first race he has won 5 times – he is 7th person to win a race 5 or more times. Considering the number of wins he has (53 – 3rd all time) it was long time waiting – the other top 5 race winners (Schumacher, Hamilton, Prost and Senna) all have at least won 1 race 6 times.

    Graham Hill has the least total wins while having won 1 race (Monaco GP) 5 times. Jim Clark is the other race that has won 1 race (British GP) 5 times.

  3. Keith, what’s with the “Alfa is the first Class B team to lead” story; wasn’t Lance Stroll briefly leading the German Gp earlier this year?

    1. He was leading but never crossed the timing line on the S/F straight in first position, therefore it does not count.

  4. First DNF of the season for Kimi Räikkönen and George Russell, which leaves three drivers with 100% finishing record this year: Hamilton, Vettel and Kubica.

  5. Williams weren’t really a ‘B’ team in 2015, given they beat RBR in the championship, so if you discount them in 2014/15, and eg Lotus in 2013, who was the most recent then? Lets say the B teams are teams other than Merc / RBR/ Ferrari / Williams (2014/15) / Lotus (2012/13) / McLaren (up until 2012).

    1. @hugh11 Does Alonso in that 2014 Ferrari count? If not, then from memory last I can think of was Austria 2014 with Perez.

    2. Really? Watch the season again. quick b team but definitely not a works team definitely following orders.

      1. I guess it depends on definition of a ‘b’ team. I was more thinking in terms of teams that, over the season (if it existed at the time) wouldn’t have been part of formula 1.5. So basically just teams who can consistently fight for podiums (though ig I should also have excluded Ferrari in 2014, but yeah)

    3. @hugh11, I think that the term is being used there to denote an independent or semi-independent “garagiste” team rather than a works or manufacturer backed team, which is why Williams were mentioned there.

      However, if you prefer your definition – which, it has to be said, also rules out the majority of the grid in the process – then the answer would be Hulkenberg in the 2014 Brazilian GP, where he is credited as leading for 5 laps (@mashiat is right to note that Perez was the leading driver for 11 laps in the Austrian GP that year, but it wasn’t the only instance).

  6. When was the last time an italian led a grand prix? Must’ve been quite some time

    1. At the very worst : Belgium, 2009 (Giancarlo Fisichella)

  7. With his 14th win for Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel is now the 3rd most successful Ferrari driver based on wins. He surpassed Ascari with 13 and is 1 behind Niki Lauda who has 15.

    1. The fact it took him this long to surpass ascari says enough about the 2 drivers to me!

  8. “Only four different drivers have won this race since it was first held in 2008.”

    If the matter of Crashgate would have been addressed properly, Alonso would have been stripped of his fixed result. Shame he got away with it.

  9. when did last time mclaren win a race?

    1. 2012, last race of the season: Brazil. After 7 years, even us – old F1 fans, started to forget that McLaren used to be a top team.

    2. Looking at it is not that bad, it’s only 7 years and we can say they were a top team back then, while for williams, they got a win in spain 2012, but basically they’re no longer a top team since 2003, that’s 16 years, and also mclaren is still currently better off.

  10. First time Merc has gone 4 races without a pole since Red Bull won the last 8 of the normally aspirated era in 2013

    1. Indeed, that’s noteworthy.

  11. I can believe the first one, since every time a car stops they bring the SC in, was becoming a parody before the 3rd one, saw perez stopping with a problem, said, safety car! 1 min after confirmed!

    1. @esploratore So what should they do, leave the car in the firing line, or put marshals out on tracks under double-yellows?

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