Can McLaren and Racing Point keep Ferrari behind?

2020 Styrian Grand Prix stats and facts

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For the past four years, the top three places in the constructors’ championship has been the exclusive domain of three teams: Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari.

When the chequered flag fell yesterday at the Red Bull Ring, only Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team mate and the two Red Bull drivers finished within a minute of the race winner. It would be a surprise if either of them fall out of the top three by the end of the year.

But Ferrari are in the mire. Charles Leclerc may have salvaged a brilliant second place eight days ago, but yesterday he wiped both the team’s cars out at the start.

Perhaps more worryingly for the team, there was little sign the updates they brought for the SF1000 significantly improved it. The highest position a Ferrari achieved in any session all weekend was Leclerc’s ninth place in second practice.

The season may be only two races old, but Ferrari are languishing in fifth place with what may not even be the fifth-fastest car. Ahead of them in the points standings are McLaren in second – over-performing as they lead Red Bull – and Racing Point. The latter have the outcome of yesterday’s protest by Racing Point to worry about, but if it is upheld then McLaren will move even further ahead of Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Mugello, 2012
A new track will join the calendar
There’s no doubt Ferrari are too strong a team not to bounce back from this. But how quickly they can do that is vital, especially in this unusual season. What was supposed to be a championship of record-breaking length has turned into an unprecedentedly compact season, with races coming in three week blocks with one week off, a level of activity more akin to a regular NASCAR season.

This is one affect Covid-19 will have on the history books. The other is the creation of three new races so far, and potentially more to follow. Yesterday Hamilton became the first (and probably only) winner of the Styrian Grand Prix. Perhaps not wishing to give the impression it had conferred a round of the world championship on strife-torn Syria, F1’s social media team decided to keep using the ‘AustrianGP’ hashtag for a second week running.

The 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone and Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000 at Mugello have also been added to the 2020 F1 calendar.

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Hamilton already held the record for most wins in different races and his latest victory increases that tally to 24. He also scored his 85th career F1 win, and is now six shy of matching Michael Schumacher’s record of 91. With eight further confirmed races on the calendar, more likely to follow, and the W11 looking every bit as potent as its predecessors, it’s ‘game on’ for Hamilton to equal that record before the year is out.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2020
Hamilton stunned in qualifying
Valtteri Bottas missed his opportunity to become the first F1 driver to win back-to-back races at the same track, something which had never happened before. However he did stand on the podium in the same country two weeks running, which was previously achieved by Schumacher in the 1995 grands prix at TI Aida and Suzuka.

Hamilton has now won races in 14 consecutive seasons. If he adds another next year, he’ll equal another record held by Schumacher.

For the second race in a row a different driver set fastest lap, and they were a McLaren driver. This time it was Carlos Sainz Jnr’s turn. The last time McLaren had consecutive fastest laps in a race was nine years ago.

Hamilton’s pole position was notable less for being his 89th – already a record by a long way – than for the manner in which he took it. His crushing, 1.216 second margin is the biggest gap between the top two drivers in qualifying since Nico Rosberg took pole position for Mercedes at Silverstone in 2014 by 1.62s.

Over the first two races of the year at the same circuit, 15 drivers have already scored points. That leaves Kimi Raikkonen and the Haas and Williams drivers yet to get on the board.

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

2020 Styrian 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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35 comments on “Can McLaren and Racing Point keep Ferrari behind?”

  1. Ferrari, according to the charts produced by F1, is quite good on corners. Binotto said that 70% of their gap comes from the straight line speed. Norris commented Ferrari is fast on corners.

    Putting all that together, and they may be not so bad at Hungary. A 0.5s gap? That would put them in the mix again.

  2. Along with the 14th consecutive season in which Hamilton has won races, this was also his 14th consecutive seasons of grabbing pole positions. I think the previous record was shared by him and Schumacher (13 seasons, 1994-2006).

    1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      13th July 2020, 16:04

      Strangely, the article says he won races in 15 consecutive seasons. 1994-2006 counts as 13 seasons.

      1. That’s because schumacher’s first win came in spa 1992 and 2nd in portugal 1993!

        Clearly the above poster means pole positions, which was indeed an area schumacher was less specialized in, while hamilton is probably stronger in quali than in the race.

  3. Last time mclaren did best lap in the two opening races was in 1998

    1. If nothing more, this shows the team’s upward trajectory and potential – as a lifelong McLaren fan I’m really glad. The Racing Points are clearly quicker in the race and McLaren might lose some of their midfield upper hand during the upcoming winter (due to engine implementation), but they seem to have more than healthy basis for the new rules.

      1. That’s a great one indeed, I like seeing a strong mclaren as someone who started watching in 1999.

    2. It’s really incredible to see McLaren this fast.

      Who would have thought a few years ago the question is if Ferrari would catch them.

      Still only 2 races in, but still.

  4. Pole position No 44
    second place No 33
    third place No 55

    Race winner No 44
    second place No 77
    third place No 33

    Have this happened before?

    1. If I were the FIA I’d have seriously considered banning multiples of 11 from the list of eligible driver numbers.

      1. But why?

      2. Derek Bennett, of Chevron fame, would have nothing to do with 11 or its multiples.
        His cars were B6, B8, B16 etc, but no B11, B22, B33 etc.
        I believe he had a flying accident on the 11th of a month then died on the 22nd.

        1. Oh no – that was the 33rd post in this thread. Spooky!

    2. Only in Japan 2018, they started and finished in the same positions 44, 77, 33

  5. Hamilton is only the second driver ever to win F1 races in three different decades (00’s, 10’s, 20’s) – the only driver to do this before him was Jack Brabham (50s, 60s, 70s). Of course, Vettel, Raikkonen and from next year Alonso can join them on the list.

    1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      13th July 2020, 15:47

      That’s a good one! Mansell probably has more chance of adding his name to that list this year than Vettel and Raikkonen.

      1. Yes, probably none of them will add any win, I bought the f1 newspaper the monday after austin 2018, a thing I hadn’t done since schumacher left f1 the first time, since I knew it’d be the last win for raikkonen, vettel won’t have the car and even then, aside from mercedes, it’d be really hard to win a race for current vettel; alonso is certainly still good enough to win some race but he needs a red bull at least, not a renault.

  6. It would teach Ferrari a lesson but I’m afraid this is going to take longer than it did after the dire 2014 season – and significanlty longer. Ferrari needs a strong political figure as their team principal, they also need a clearer, more decisive team structure and as we saw on McLaren’s example, it might take three or four years at minimum. This is going to be a really painful period for Ferrari fans, but that’s the price you pay for bad decisions from the past on the corporate level.

    1. Personally I joined F1 in 2016 Mexico Quualifying
      So this Ferrari fan is patient

      1. It’s a shame though, cause 2017 was probably winnable by a peak schumacher or alonso and 2018 definitely was, it’s only because the “top driver” was what it was that a title didn’t come at the time.

    2. I absolutely hate that team but Arivabene was doing much better job than what Binoto is doing right now. Whats worse is Arivabene had to deal with Marchione.

      1. And do not forget Binotto is totally responsible for the engine soap! It was his “cheat” that cost all Ferrari driven teams about a second!

    3. You mean like having your inspirational team leader die suddenly? Yep, bad decision.

  7. – Lewis Hamilton’s 152nd podium means he is within 3 of Michael Schumacher’s record 155.
    – Additionally, his 51st victory from pole position, and 35th consecutive points finish for Mercedes, a streak stretching back to Austria 2018.
    – Red Bull’s Alex Albon tied his career-best finish in 4th place, matching his result from last season’s Japanese GP.
    – By finishing 5th in the race McLaren’s Lando Norris remains 3rd in the world championship.
    – Racing Point’s Sergio Perez finished 6th, and was the only points-scorer to finish in the same position as in last weekend’s race at Red Bull Ring.
    – He beat teammate Lance Stroll to the line by just 0.066 and was only 0.138s ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.
    – Stroll’s P7 is his best result since finishing 4th in Germany last season.
    – Ricciardo gave Renault their 2nd P8 result in as many races, matching teammate Esteban Ocon’s finish from last weekend.
    – 15 out of the 20 drivers have scored points after the opening 2 races, and those still at zero points are Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen, George Russell, and Nicholas Latifi.

    1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      13th July 2020, 15:41

      Vettel’s first lap retirement was his first since Singapore 2017, again following contact with his teammate.

      1. Not a stat, but the way Leclerc came at him was remarkably like how he came at Sainz the previous week.

      2. Officially he didn’t retire on the first lap as he crawled to the pits and completed a lap.

  8. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    13th July 2020, 15:33

    Lewis’ 14 consecutive seasons of race wins is scary. It really only feels like a few years since watching him overtake 2 cars, 3-wide at Becketts in GP2.

    1. Nelson Piquet Jr. & Clivio Piccione.
      He won both races at Silverstone that year.l

  9. Rather ominous for the rest of the field, Mercedes team drivers qualified 5 places better than last years Austrian Grand Prix and finished 8 places higher (over the two 2020 races).

  10. Well, no one answered the question about ferrari vs mclaren and force india!

    I personally feel they might be able to recover, the first race pace seemed good enough, and after all they’re normally a lot higher than this level, so I think they might snatch 3rd on the championship, we’ll see.

    But indeed force india is not bad at all atm, and nor mclaren, hopefully if ferrari fails they can take their place as mercedes challenger later on, at least for wins, cause red bull alone is not enough.

  11. Hamilton joins Nelson Piquet (Imola), Jacques Villeneuve (Nurburgring) and Daniel Ricciardo (Baku) as drivers to win at a circuit under two different Grand Prix names.

    1. And Nigel Mansell (Brands Hatch).

  12. First time since Canada & Austria 2015 that Ferrari only got 1 car into Q3 two races in a row.

    First time Hamilton has led at the start of the last lap in Austria. He is still yet to do so in an Austrian GP…

    Hamilton is only the 3rd driver (after Jack Brabham and Mario Andretti) to score pole positions in 3 different decades, and only the 2nd driver (after Jack Brabham) to win GPs in 3 different decades. Note that this uses the traditional definition of decade (0-9), which is logical here as the first F1 season was in 1950 – if the technically correct definition (1-0) is used, then only Andretti has managed the former, and only Nelson Piquet has managed the latter.

    The Renault drivers are completely tied in the Championship – each has had an 8th place and a DNF.

    Verstappen, Gasly, and Russell are the only drivers to have started ahead of their team-mates in both races this season.

    Norris and Perez are the only drivers to have finished ahead of their team-mates in both races this season.

    First time since Mexico 2015 that no Ferrari-powered car scored points.

    32nd consecutive year that at least 1 British driver has led a lap at some point – extends the current record.

    First time since the last 2 races of 2014 that Ferrari have gone 2 races in a row without qualifying either car in the top 6.

    Thanks to statsf1 and Channel 4 for some of these.

  13. I wonder how formidable would this Ferrari be, if they still had their old cheating power.

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