Hamilton beats Senna’s record for lights-to-flag victories

2020 British Grand Prix stats and facts

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Lewis Hamilton has overtaken his hero Ayrton Senna to set another Formula 1 record with his victory in yesterday’s British Grand Prix.

Despite his last-lap puncture, Hamilton led every lap on Sunday, the 20th time in his career he has done so. That moves him ahead of Senna’s former record of 19.

Interestingly, one-quarter of Hamilton’s lights-to-flag victories occured last season. Sunday’s was his first of 2020. Senna’s final such victory came in the 1991 Australian Grand Prix (pictured), which lasted just 14 laps before being red-flagged, and is the shortest F1 race of all time.

Mercedes led their 27th race in a row last weekend, one shy of their longest such run, and four short of the all-time record held by Williams.

Hamilton also started the race from pole position, but was again denied a ‘grand slam’ by Max Verstappen, who set the fastest lap on the final tour. Had Mercedes pitted Hamilton on the penultimate lap, which they could have done without losing him the lead, he might have done it, and also been spared that heart-stopping conclusion to the race.

Verstappen’s fastest lap was the eighth of his career, putting him level with James Hunt, Gilles Villeneuve, Ralf Schumacher and Jenson Button.

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Romain Grosjean, Haas, Hockenheimring, 2019
It’s been a year since Grosjean finished in the top 10
Hamilton latest win leaves him four victories away from matching Michael Schumacher’s record of 91. This is also the number of pole positions Hamilton now has.

While Hamilton beat Alain Prost’s record for most wins in his home grand prix, he is still short of Schumacher’s record for most wins in his home country. Prost won the French Grand Prix six times, but Hamilton just scored a seventh British Grand Prix weekend. Schumacher, meanwhile, won nine grands prix in Germany: Four German Grands Prix at the Hockenheimring and five European Grands Prix at the Nurburgring.

Second-placed Verstappen reached a milestone with his 106th grand prix start: he has now contested as many races as his father Jos Verstappen, who raced in F1 between 1994 and 2003.

As team principal Cyril Abiteboul pointed out, Renault enjoyed one of their best results since returning to F1. Fourth place for Daniel Ricciardo and sixth for Esteban Ocon netted 20 points towards their championship total, more than they scored in the first three races combined, and almost as good as the fourth/fifth the team bagged at Monza last year.

Finally, despite running in the top five for the second race in a row, Romain Grosjean failed to score. It’s now been over a year since the Haas driver last scored a point.

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

2020 British 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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    59 comments on “Hamilton beats Senna’s record for lights-to-flag victories”

    1. The 143rd consecutive race won by either Mercedes, Ferrari, or Red Bull, and 144th without a Mclaren-win.
      2nd DNF in a row for Kevin Magnussen in Silverstone, although he has a chance to end this streak next Sunday, thanks to the circumstances this year.
      The first DNS since the 2017 British GP when Jolyon Palmer stopped on trackside on the formation lap.

      1. Kimi failed to start Malaysian GP that year and that race was later.

    2. Hamilton & Senna , Absolute Legends !!!

      Go Danny Ric !

    3. – Five different constructors in the top 5. Last time this happened was (of course) 2019 German GP.
      – Magnussen has completed a total of 7 racing laps in the last two British Grands Prix.

      Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but this might be the first time Kimi Räikkönen finished last in a race.

      1. – Five different constructors in the top 5. Last time this happened was (of course) 2019 German GP.

        Nice stat, @kaiie.
        But now you should try to find the max amount of different constructors in the top 10; did we ever get to 10?
        I’ll give you a head-start on the countback: Russia 2015; 8 different constructors in top 8.

        PS Not sure at what angle Magnussen left the track, but I guess he didn’t finish lap 1.

        1. 9 different constructors in the top 10 at Malaysia 2012. Force India were the only team with two drivers scoring points.

          1. great find @f1frog.
            I found a ‘real’ 9 different constructors in top 9: Belgium 2005 (Sauber had the highest finishing 2nd car in 10th).

            1. And we have to go back to the Portuguese GP in 1989 to see a top 10 with 10 different constructors ;)

      2. @kaiie

        – Five different constructors in the top 5.

        That made me wonder as to when the last time Renault had their 2nd car finish ahead of all other team’s 2nd cars. Not THAT must have been a while ago!

        1. Found out the answer to this (posted lower down).

    4. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
      3rd August 2020, 14:09

      “Had Mercedes pitted Hamilton on the penultimate lap, which they could have done without losing him the lead”

      This is not correct. Pitting at the end of the penultimate lap (51) would have kept him in the lead but due to being in/exiting the pits he could not have gone for fastest lap. Pitting at the end of lap 50 would have opened the door for Red Bull to leave Verstappen out instead of boxing (as Max ended up doing).

      1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
        3rd August 2020, 14:11

        (In the context of both boxing while retaining the lead AND going for the fastest lap). One or the other could be assured, but not both.

      2. This is not correct

        It is though. Pitting at the end of the penultimate lap is pitting on the penultimate lap

        1. … which is what Kyle is saying, wouldn’t work for both staying in the lead and fastest lap.

    5. This win means Hamilton has the highest win percentage of all drivers who have won 25 or more races, he’s just overtaken Jim Clark.

      1. Schumacher ahead in his first career still (91 wins from 250 races vs 87 wins from 254) which is incredible when you consider Hamilton has had one of the most dominant cars of all time for what is 7 straight seasons now.

        1. schumacher had number 2 drivers who were not permitted to beat him for most of his career ; not so for hamilton !

        2. I’m not sure the 2017 and 2018 Ferrari agrees with you.

      2. Kimberley Barrass
        3rd August 2020, 14:27

        Holy crap.. That’s huge!!!

        1. It really is when you consider how many races and seasons he’s been in the sport. It’s easy to forget how short F1 careers used to be.

      3. No he hasn’t

        Clark 34.72
        Hamilton 34.25

    6. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
      3rd August 2020, 14:11

      (In the context of both boxing while retaining the lead AND going for the fastest lap). One or the other could be assured, but not both.

      1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
        3rd August 2020, 14:12

        ignore – meant as a clarification to above and now posted correctly as sub-reply

    7. When was the last time a Merc powered car was unable to start the race??

      1. @asherway 2015 Belgian GP and coincidently, Hulkenberg also on that occasion.

    8. Senna was otherworldly in terms of talent, from an era of driving absolute monsters, not the cruising Cadillacs of today, so theres really no comparison

      Bottas is a Berger and look how Senna destroyed him every race. Hamilton has never really shown that level of dominance over mostly average teammates.

      1. Because he was dangerous

      2. You really can’t compare the two eras. Yes, Senna was talented but gaps were bigger in those days, as was the risk the drivers took.

        Today’s drivers have a different challenge due to how close the field is in comparison and how much management of the car and strategy is required.

      3. Bottas is no slouch like Berger was.

        1. Berger was no slouch either. Was very competitive against Mansell at Ferrari. I rate Berger and Bottas on the same level @david-beau

      4. The only era the guys drove to the limit most of the time was the refueling era. And Senna only raced 3 races after it started.

        the rest isn’t even worth a serious reply.

        Basically Senna is better because he drove with less technology, which means, he is better because he was born earlier.

        That’s the stuff we’ve got to read on the internet.

      5. On the subject of Hamilton’s dominance over his team mate.

        Another factor to note is drivers these days have to manage their engines.
        Im sure there are limits now on engines and other part replacments which didn’t exist in previous eras, all of which means Hamilton can’t race flat out all the time, he has to drive conservatively, thinking of the bigger picture.

        This weekend you saw what happens when both Mercedes drivers kept their cars maxed out. It didn’t do much for their tires, it wont have done much for their engines.

    9. As I said on another post: Only one driver has scored points in each of the first 4 races this year – first time this has happened since 2008. Also the first time since 2000 that only one driver has finished in the top 10 in each of the first 4 races.

    10. Hamilton also started the race from pole position, but was again denied a ‘grand slam’ by Max Verstappen, who set the fastest lap on the final tour.

      That’s at least 2 grand slams Hamilton has lost out on since introduction of the pointless FLAP point.

      1. It’s not pointless, you get 1 point! ;-)

      2. Albon had a faster lap than Hamilton too, on a different strategy. So even without the FLAP point, Hamilton wouldn’t have a Grand Slam. Verstappen probably wouldn’t have stopped, which means Hamilton wouldn’t have won the race unless Verstappen’s tyre also failed.

    11. Hamilton’s childhood hero was Senna with 65 poles, Hamilton has 65 poles for mercedes alone.

      Its also the third time he has won in consecutive years at silverstone i.e. 2014/ 2015,
      2016/ 2017
      2019/ 2020

    12. There is no point in comparing the competition level of today’s Formula 1, with its blue flags, tire changes, DRS, bogus track limits, and millionaire salaries, with any other era, especially before 1995. It is not the same competition. Every aspect has been commercialised to the point of boredom. Today should be called Formula Once!

      1. Good point, @jjfrazz; there were no blue flags.
        When was the last time that that happened?

        1. @coldfly Except for Kimi. He got lapped as the only driver, so almost no blue flags.

      2. @jjfrazz There’s a reason for blue flags and they’ve been part of circuit-racing forever, not only since the year you mentioned (coincidently, my year of birth).

        1. Tommy Scragend
          3rd August 2020, 19:25

          They have, but in modern F1 their meaning is different from what it traditionally was. A blue flag traditionally just means “there is a faster car behind you”, no more, no less. Not the F1 rule of “get out of the way now or you will be shot”.

          1. With the current situation of cars in terms of the difficulty following and overtaking, and the fact that the front running teams all have either sister teams, or teams dependent on their relationship with their power unit manufacturer team, the removal of blue flags from the equation would be a sporting disaster. Many races would be decided by small teams strategically interfering in the race at the front by holding up their opposition at crucial times. I don’t see what removing blue flag rules would add to the racing without fixing a tonne of more prominent issues in F1 first.

      3. Blue flags instructing drivers to let a leading driver through are widely recorded in Grand Prix in the 1950s – l have seen an official instruction booklet for marshals at one British GP from the 1950s (possibly 1954) which includes instructions on how to use the blue flags to inform a driver that they have to let a faster car through.

        In that case, it didn’t, as some suggest, just mean “faster car approaching” – it included the instruction that the driver was expected to let them through (on the right hand side if possible was the advice to the drivers).

        As an aside, I believe that rule was carried over from the pre-WW2 Grand Prix championship – where I believe there is even a precedent for a driver being disqualified for ignoring blue flags (I think it involved Muller and Lang at one Belgian GP).

        1. True, blue flags had that instruction before, but I remember races on the early 90s where a driver could stay several laps behind another without lapping.
          I think some gray area could be reach between blocking the leaders for eight laps and get out of the way when you are running 3 seconds in front.
          I believe blue flags should only be shown when the leader reaches drs zone of a lapped driver

    13. Ricciardo and Ocon’s 4th and 6th place meant Renault’s slower car finished higher than any other team’s slower car. The last time this happened was the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix (Alonso 1st with Piquet Jr. 4th).

    14. Dear Lewis Hamilton. You are the very best and you don’t have to prove it anymore, we all know. You can save F1 if you go drive for a lesser team. You have plenty of money so you don’t need a huge salary. You can save F1 and the Williams team…. Go drive for Williams and show the world how you can get them back out of the mud. I am sure all F1 fans will stand behind you.

      1. What is funny is even if Hamilton goes to Williams and their fortunes change (Hamiltons’ talent, new sponsors that Hamilton will attract…etc) fans like you would still not give him credit.

        1. AMG44 No idea why you say that?

      2. He’s already done it once, they are called Mercedes.

        1. @riptide
          Mercedes, the team with the biggest budget and most resources?

          1. No the Mercedes team that was fifth behind the super rich Ferraris and the billionaire owned RBs, and were thinking of pulling out of F1. You know, the team most on here said were going nowhere and Ham was an idiot to join. What did Bernie say the Nikki at the time ? Sign Hamilton and the talent and money will follow.

    15. Since Juan Manuel Fangio retired from the sport, the races where numbers of all-time win and pole leaders have been the same.

      1988 Portuguese Grand Prix (Prost 33 wins/Clark 33 poles)
      1989 Portuguese Grand Prix (Prost 39 wins/Senna 39 poles)
      2003 San Marino Grand Prix (Schumacher 65 wins/Senna 65 poles)
      2020 British Grand Prix (Schumacher 91 wins/Hamilton 91 poles)

      Prost won Spanish GP 1988 (race after Portugal)
      Senna took pole in Spanish GP 1989 (race after Portugal)
      Schumacher won Spanish GP 2003 (race after San Marino)

      Let’s see if the streak continues and Hamilton is on pole in the next race.

      1. @bleu That’s some good statting right there.

    16. Had Verstappen passed Hamilton on the final lap it would have been second time where driver leads all laps apart from last. Nigel Mansell did it in Canada 1991. It would have also been 13th time with the race winner leading only last lap, most recently happening in Canada 2011 and before that Brazil 2003.

    17. Hamilton’s 7th pole at the British GP – beats Senna’s record of most poles at a national GP.

      Mercedes’ 8th consecutive pole at Silverstone – a record.

      Mercedes’ 66th front-row lockout – 1 more than Ferrari.

      First time Stroll has reached Q2 (let alone Q3) at Silverstone.

      Silverstone is the first track at which Hamilton has managed 10 podiums.

      12th consecutive year in which Red Bull have managed at least 1 fastest lap.

      Red Bull’s first Silverstone podium since 2016.

      Vettel’s second 10th-place finish this season – he had never had one prior to this season.

      First British GP in which 2 British drivers have started in the top 5 since 1999 (Coulthard & Irvine).

      All 4 races so far this year have seen Norris classified higher than he was running with 2 laps left.

      First driver to win a race with a puncture since Fittipaldi in Spain 1973.

      Thanks to statsf1, Channel 4, and the official F1 site for some of these.

    18. A bit complicated but nice once I finally got it :-)

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