Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2019

Mercedes reach longest win-less streak of the hybrid turbo era

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F1 racing may not have started, but there’s no stopping the stats. The unprecedented disruption to the 2020 F1 season has created several notable firsts. Though, inevitably, they do share a similar theme.

When 2020 began many wondered whether Mercedes’ title-winning streak might be halted by Red Bull or Ferrari. Few surely expected they would be stopped by something other than either of those two teams. Instead, it has taken a pandemic to interrupt Mercdedes’ winning ways.

It’s now 155 days since Lewis Hamilton signed off his championship-winning 2020 campaign with victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This is the longest Mercedes have gone without a win since the current power units were introduced.

Their last longest win-less streak ran from the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of 2017 to the following year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The opening three rounds in 2018 were won by Ferrari (Australia and Bahrain) and Red Bull (China). Prior to that, you have to go back to the end of the V8 era for a longer gap between Mercedes race wins.

We’ll never know whether they might have been beaten by any of their rivals in the first five rounds on the 2020 F1 calendar which have already been called off, or the following five which have also been scrapped.

The season is expected to begin on July 5th. This will be the latest a season has started by more than a month:.The second running of the world championship began on Switzerland’s Bremgarten circuit on May 27th, 1951:

Austria will become the 11th different country to hold the season-opening race. This honour has fallen to Australia more than any other country – this year would have been its 22nd season-opener.

Start, 2020 Austrian Grand Prix, Red Bull Ring
Austria is due to open the postponed 2020 season
The Red Bull Ring will become the 14th different track to open the season. Again Australia’s Albert Park circuit has the most. Four circuits have held a single season-opener each: Silverstone (Britain), Zandvoort (Netherlands), East London (South Africa) and Long Beach (USA).

With the final length of the 2020 calendar unknown, it remains to be seen whether various anticipated milestones will be reached.

This is a particular concern for Ferrari, who named their SF-1000 “reflecting the fact that, at some point this season, the Scuderia will be the first team ever to take part in 1000 Formula 1 Grands Prix”, they said. That should have come at the ninth round of the season in Canada. However, with 10 races already called off, when, where and whether that will happen remains uncertain.

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Nor is it clear whether Kimi Raikkonen will be able to make the 11 race starts he needs to surpass Rubens Barrichello’s tally of 322 which make him the most experienced racing driver in the history of F1. Not that Raikkonen will be at all bothered, as he made clear on the many occasions he was asked about the record last year.

Lando Norris, McLaren, Monaco, 2019
F1 will miss Monaco for the first time in 66 years
The reduction in the number of races from 22 to some unknown number also raises question marks over whether Lewis Hamilton will have enough time this year to surpass Michael Schumacher’s record for most career wins. Hamilton is on 84 to Schumacher’s 91.

We already know at least two rounds of the world championship won’t take place this year. This will be the first season without an Australian Grand Prix since 1984, and the first without a Monaco Grand Prix since 1954.

Assuming the season does begin as scheduled in Austria, 217 days will have passed since the previous round. This will be the third-longest gap between races in F1 history.

After a wait that long, the sight of Mercedes winning a Formula 1 race may even have regained some novelty value.

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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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11 comments on “Mercedes reach longest win-less streak of the hybrid turbo era”

  1. Pedantry, but doesn’t longest win-less streak implies events they’ve lost? I suppose it wouldn’t be a record for longest time between wins for the team because we have that whole period between the 1950s & 2010s…

    1. I think that if you are going to be pedantic, it’s perfectly fine to also demand you see fit to have the rule ‘where they have been entered’ right? Otherwise the longest streak for anyone could be considered to be the one before the first F1 (official) race – let’s make the start dat for that be from known start of humans building tracks @optimaximal, or would another time be more appropriate? ;)

      (fudged a little:”only if you are competing”, but then clearly no-over-season record would hold, so it is not fun!

    2. @optimaximal @bosyber Implies but does not denote. “Winless” means “without a win”. It’s the same logic on which a couple of Williams fans I know stated that Williams is joint first in the championship right now (while also acknowledging they probably won’t be 2020 title contenders, at least not in the material championship).

  2. Austria will become the 11th country and Red Bull Ring the 14th circuit to open a season if, of course, it happens, there’s still this asterisk or caveat. Nothing’s still set in stone about the proposed two races at both Red Bull Ring and Silverstone not to mention anything beyond, so all still merely words rather than something fully concrete, but yes, so long as Red Bull Ring stays on its scheduled day, it will become that.

    Coincidently, Seb’s year of birth is when most recently a three-digit number of days had passed from new year’s day until the season-opener took place. Until this year, the number of days had consistently stayed between 60 and 90 for a long time.

  3. great facts:)
    i have been asking this on a number of foruns and no one seems to know: why was there no Monaco GP in 1954? I see in Wikipedia that it wasn’t held in 1953 or 1951 either, but it was held in 1950 (as a championship race) and 1952 (it seems to be a non-championship race in that year).

    1. Ki Chi (@kichi-leung)
      4th May 2020, 14:44

      ACM website says the 1953 and 1954 races were not held as “the international regulations had still not yet been finalised”… which is the same reason given for holding it in 1952.

    2. On May 21, 1950, the 11th Grand Prix was won by the late Juan Manuel Fangio from Argentina. The following year, the race was once again cancelled due to budgetary concerns and because rules for newer faster cars had not yet been drafted.

      The 12th Grand Prix was held on request of HSH the Sovereign Prince. However, it was run with sports cars, as the international regulations had still not yet been finalised. In 1953 and 1954, the Grand Prix was not held for the same reason.

      On May 21, 1955, the 13th Monaco Grand Prix returned to the streets of the Principality and has been held every year since.

      Source: https://acm.mc/en/edition/grand-prix-de-monaco-f1-2017/history/

  4. This article is flawed. What is the logic on this when the season hasnt even started yet?
    Republish this again when theyve not won the first 5 races.

    1. It’s just click bait. See also iRacing squabbling, Senna (Jackobi vs. Montezemelo “misremembering contest”), or “Aston Martin” stories.

      I’m reading Christopher Hilton’s patchy “1982” book just now. Journalism wasn’t much better then either.

  5. Most of these are the kinds of statistics/records that typically come with the dreaded asterisk.

  6. Im with the others, but the Ferrari car being named after an event or stat that might now happen is quite funny! I had not realised about that one

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