Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Interlagos, 2019

McLaren end longest-ever 2,000-day wait for podium result

2019 Brazilian Grand Prix stats and facts

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McLaren and Honda did not enjoy a successful reunion four years ago, but they were united in success at the end of an extraordinary Brazilian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen scored Red Bull’s third Honda-powered victory at a circuit where the Japanese manufacturer had only scored a single win once before. That was Ayrton Senna’s emotional home triumph for McLaren in 1991.

This was the eighth victory of Verstappen’s career, giving him as many wins as 1967 world champion Denny Hulme and Jacky Ickx.

You had to feel for Alexander Albon, who would have had third place at least had Lewis Hamilton not tipped him into a spin on the penultimate lap. Instead Pierre Gasly hung on to second place by his fingernails, leading Hamilton across the line, before the Mercedes driver’s five-second time penalty dropped him down to seventh.

This earned Toro Rosso their second-best result in their 14-year history. Sebastian Vettel’s 2008 Italian Grand Prix victory is the only time one of their cars has finished any higher. Gasly was the first French driver to reach the podium since Romain Grosjean at Spa four years ago.

Verstappen and Gasly formed the first Honda-powered one-two since Gerhard Berger led McLaren team mate Senna home at Suzuka in 1991. Their last one-two formed by two different teams was four years earlier at Monza, Nelson Piquet’s Williams leading Senna’s Lotus home.

Not present on the podium, but promoted to the rostrum later by dint of Hamilton’s penalty, was Carlos Sainz Jnr, for the first time in his career. He is the fourth Spanish driver to finish in the top three and scored the 100th podium finish for his country, joining Alfonso de Portago (one), Pedro de le Rosa (one) and Fernando Alonso (97).

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With Gasly and Sainz finishing in the podium places for the first time in their careers, this was the first time the top three has featured more than one newcomer in over 25 years. This is a very rare occurence: It’s only happened four times in the last four decades. The last such occasion was the 1994 German Grand Prix, when Ligier team mates Olivier Panis and Eric Bernard finished second and third.

Gasly grabbed his first podium too
Sainz and Gasly are, of course, both been in the Red Bull Junior Team and have both been Verstappen’s team mate. They are also older than him. With a combined age of 71 years and 60 days, they formed the youngest podium trio in F1 history, beating the record set when Vettel won at Monza in 2008. He, Heikki Kovalainen and Robert Kubica had a combined age of 71 years and 338 days.

This was the first podium for McLaren in over two thousand days. Curiously one of their drivers was also absent from their last podium result: Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button finished third and fourth on the road in the 2014 Australian Grand Prix, but Button was promoted to third place when Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified from second.

That 2,072-day wait is the longest McLaren has ever gone between podiums, which began in the year before their ill-fated tie-up with Honda. However Honda’s F1 technical director Toyuharu Tanabe, praised their former partner’s success.

“Congratulations to McLaren, with whom we scored that last win in 1991, for finishing on the podium today,” he said. “We would like to dedicate this win to our founder, Soichiro Honda, whose birthday it would have been today,” he added. Honda was born on November 17th 1906.

Hamilton’s penalty also promoted the Alfa Romeo pair, giving the team its first double top-five finish since 1951 – it never managed it during its stint in the sport in the seventies and eighties. Today’s Alfa Romeo is a rebranding of the Sauber team, which last had two cars in the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix as BMW Sauber, and prior to that in the 2004 Belgian Grand Prix as Sauber.

Alfa Romeo therefore scored 22 points, the second-largest haul for anyone yesterday after Red Bull. With one race to go, they have slashed Racing Point’s lead over them in the constructors’ championship from 30 points to 10.

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Review the year so far in statistics here:

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2019 Brazilian 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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44 comments on “McLaren end longest-ever 2,000-day wait for podium result”

  1. Good to see two new faces on the podium and McLaren ending their 2000 day podium drought, but one issue that i hope the budget cap/new rules can reduce, is the gap between top teams and the rest. Don’t get me wrong, this season we had 3 midfield guys on the podium which is the biggest number since 2015, but the gap between Mercedes – Ferrari – RBR and the rest has been that big, that there is no room for real challenge by a midfield car, even in specific circumstances.

    1. When was the last time there was no Ferrari or Mercedes engined car in the top 3?

      I think Monaco 2010 with Vettel, Webber and Kubica?

      1. Actually is COTA 2013, where an all Reanult engine powered cars covered the top 3 positions

  2. Looking at the stats for this race you could be forgiven for thinking F1 is alive and well and competitive as ever

    Imagine if 2021 onwards creates variety like this regularly or at least semi regularly.

    1. So far 2019 has been the least competitive for people outside the top 5 in the championship since 2011.

      The 2019 top 5 has scored 1,440 points from a total of 2,038 points = 70.6%
      The 2011 top 5 had scored 1,404 points from a total of 1,919 points = 73.2%
      After USA race it was actually up to 73.6% but in Brazil it dropped a lot as top 5 only got 31 from 101 points (=30.7%) of Brazil points.

      This stat has an almost continuous upwards trend since 2011
      2012 = 1,135 out of 2,020 = 56.2%
      2013 = 1,210 out of 1,919 = 63.1%
      2014 = 1,292 out of 1,919 = 67.3%
      2015 = 1,267 out of 1,919 = 66.0%
      2016 = 1,437 out of 2,121 = 67.8%
      2017 = 1,390 out of 2,020 = 68.8%
      2018 = 1,475 out of 2,121 = 69.5%
      2019 = 1,440 out of 2,138 = 70.6%

      1. @jelle-van-der-meer – very nice stat, thanks for crunching the numbers!

  3. There are now just 4 active F1 drivers without a podium, equal the amount of active F1 drivers with 1 podium finish.

    Vettel has now been to the podium in exactly 50% of the races he started, Hamilton % is just above 60%.

    Max has now overtaken Daniel in both wins (8 vs 7) and podiums (30 vs 29) – for both all achieved when driving for Red Bull.

    Although it didn’t give him an extra points – Bottas set his 13th FLAP before his engine gave up. This is equal to Riccardio who also finished outside the points when he set his 13th FLAP during the 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix. He finished outside the points due to contact with ….. wait for it ….. Bottas :-)

    1. I count 5 (Hulkenberg, Giovinazzi, Russell, Albon, Norris).

      1. Hülkenberg being the only non rookie I believe

    2. Assume bottas’ lap doesn’t count as he didn’t finish in top ten? (stupid rule, surely)

      1. It’s so that anyone who isn’t running in the top 10 doesn’t just pit two laps from the end and go for fastest lap, without actually racing anyone. Or you could even take out fuel mid-race if you’re out of contention and run a series of qualy style laps to try to get that fastest lap point.

      2. It is still recorded as the official fastest lap of the race but he doesn’t score a point for it.

        1. am i correct that there is just no FLAP point given out or does the point go to the fastest lap out of the top 10 finishers? Is this the 1st time the driver with the FLAP didn’t finish in the top 10?

          1. @lancer033 there are 2 different things.

            The Stat FLAP – this goes whoever set the fastest lap during the race regardless if that person finishes top 10 or not or even like Bottas retires.

            The 1 point for FLAP – introduced this year awards 1 point to the driver that set the fastest lap of the race but ONLY if that driver is classified in the top 10. Interesting question if some that has FLAP and crossed the finish in top 10 gets to keep his extra point if penalties drop him outside the top 10 – my guess he would lose the extra point.

            To answer your question if this is the first time no extra point is awarded for FLAP, no it is not – Singapore this year was the first time it happened, Kevin Magnussen set FLAP but finished 17th so didn’t get the extra point.

    3. @jelle-van-der-meer False, I remembered well ricciardo recovered till 4th with a good race pace in hungary 2018, he was WELL INSIDE the points!

  4. Some random bits:
    Only the 7th race (out of 120) in the turbo hybrid era without a Mercedes on the podium. The previous ones being 2015 Singapore, 2016 Spain, 2017 Monaco, 2018 Austria, 2018 Mexico, 2019 Germany, and 2019 Singapore.

    The first podium without a Mercedes or a Ferrari since the 2013 US GP.

    The second time (correct me if I’m wrong) this season where no point was given for the fastest lap, as Valtteri Bottas failed to finish the race.

    Kimi Räikkönen equals Fernando Alonso’s number of entries (314) and starts (311). If all goes as planned, Räikkönen will become the most experienced driver midseason next year.

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      18th November 2019, 17:01

      Wait you have to finish the race to get a FL point!! Why!!

      1. I’m thinking because only drivers in the top 10 can be awarded the FL point.

      2. If you didn’t have to finish the race, Williams or another uncompetitive team could decide to field a car underfueled (or otherwise optimized for a couple of flying laps) if they deem their chances of getting the FLAP point exceed their chances of finishing 10th. The top 10 stipulation ensures it’s only a bona fide racing lap which counts.

    2. Mercs have managed to miss on podium finish in 5.83% of races in hybrid era, I dont think any other team in F1 can claim this much success over the years.

  5. Sainz became the driver with most GPs before first podium – it was his 101th start. Martin Brundle held the earlier record with 91, although he was on the podium in his debut year, only to be disqualified.

    Sebastian Vettel failed to score for the second consecutive race for the first time since 2009 Hungarian and European Grand Prix.

    Interlagos became the first circuit where Valtteri Bottas has two DNFs – he was punted off by Hamilton in 2013.

    1. The stat of “most races before a podiums has a great line if holders.

  6. *sadHulkenbergnoises*

    1. I expected more from the Hulk at Interlagos, where he’s been something of a specialist in the past. He seemed anonymous, never looking like he might salvage a result from the Renault.

  7. This is Vettel’s umpteenth race ending crash that was his fault. This breaks the previous record for active four time world champions by a country mile.

    1. @david-beau

      This was, after penalties, Hamilton’s second worse race of the season. Yet, like last time in Germany, he still managed to outscore Bottas (DNF).

      1. @slotopen
        Ouch. That’s kinda brutal, but very true! Albeit this time mechanical and not his fault.
        However, those laps Bottas spent behind Leclerc were excruciating to watch. This is the reason he will never be championship material!

        Hamilton, Verstappen, even Ricciardo (probably not in that Renault tho) would have been past within three laps given the chances he had. Seb would have at least had a dive! Lol.

  8. Correct me if I’m wrong but wouldn’t the 2014 Australian GP been the last time 2 guys got their first podium had Ricciarrdo not been Disqualified?

  9. Interesting statistics !

    I’m convinced that, with a little bit of time & imagination, we can invent at least another 1000 equally amazing & eye-opening factoids about this race.

    1. I wonder how many races has Berndt Marylander led ? He must’ve had quite a bit by now. Only crossed the finish line first a few times though. He was close this time around too.

  10. Didn’t Canada 1995 have two debut podiums? Barrichello and Irvine?

    1. @frood19 No, because Barrichello finished 2nd in the previous season’s Pacific GP in Aida, Japan.

      1. @jerejj ah right, I thought he might have had one in 1994. In my mind he had the pole position in Spa but no podiums.

  11. Isn’t the “…longest-ever 2,000-day wait for podium result” the same amount of time as the “..“McLaren end shortest-ever 2,000-day wait for podium result”?

  12. Verstappen’s 30th podium – the only other driver with exactly 30 is Montoya, who was also once denied an Interlagos win due to a collision with a backmarker.

    Every team has had at least 1 mechanical DNF in 2019.

    First time since Singapore 2017 (another race where a collision between the drivers ultimately eliminated both) that Ferrari have not scored points. Current longest unbroken streak: Red Bull with 37 (last no-score was Azerbaijan 2018, where their cars collided).

    First time since Japan 2017 that no German driver scored points. Great Britain now holds the longest unbroken streak, with Hamilton’s 32 consecutive points scores (last no score was Austria 2018).

    First French-born driver to finish on the podium since Alesi in Belgium 1998.

    First time that none of the top 3 were alive when Ayrton Senna died.

    Best result for an Italian driver since Trulli finished 2nd in Japan 2009.

    Having not previously scored a point here, Interlagos is now the circuit at which Gasly has scored the most points.

    Thanks to statsf1 and channel4 for some of these.

    1. And who was that backmarker that denied Montoya that victory – you guessed it right it was Verstappen :-)

      1. Max really wanted that stat so he traveled back in time!

        1. Brazilian Grand Prix of 2001 – below taken from Wikipedia:
          “By lap 39 Montoya was leading by more than 30 seconds over Michael Schumacher. However, he retired after a crash while he was lapping Jos Verstappen. Verstappen let Montoya by, but as he pulled in behind Montoya while braking for turn 4 his Arrows slammed violently into the back of Montoya’s Williams and both men were out of the race.”

    2. Senna stat is impressive, drivers are really getting young in f1.

  13. First time that the season’s top 2 constructors missed the podium since Spain 2013. That race had two Ferraris and a Lotus on the podium but they finished 3rd and 4th in the final standings.

    Amazingly in 2012 this happened 3 separate times.

    1. Yes, 2012 was a crazy season by recent standards.

  14. First time Toro Rosso scored a podium under dry weather.

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