Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019

Vettel has gone a full year without a podium finish

2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix stats and facts

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The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix took the place of what should have been the Mexican Grand Prix on the 2020 F1 calendar.

At that race one year ago last weekend, an unimpressed Sebastian Vettel regarded his trophy for second place with dissatisfaction. “They’ve put so much effort into the race and then you get this shitty trophies that look boring,” he remarked.

But Vettel hasn’t had cause to worry about the quality of trophies he’s received since then, as he hasn’t won any more. Vettel’s 120th visit to the podium remains his most recent to date. During that time his team mate Charles Leclerc has taken three podium finishes.

Not since Vettel became a regular driver at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2007 has he gone a full year without reaching the rostrum. Nor has he been close to one this year: Vettel hasn’t spent a single lap inside the top three places.

Start, Imola, 2020
Mercedes have won 100 of the 134 ‘hybrid era’ races
Mercedes continued to pile up the podium finishes – Imola was the 500th (and 501st) for a car powered by their engines. The team also scored their 100th victory of the V6 hybrid turbo era. Since the current engine formula was introduced in 2014, Mercedes have won 74.6% of all races.

Lewis Hamilton followed up his record-breaking 92nd career win with number 93. It was his ninth win of the season, meaning he can still improve on his personal best of 11 in a year and even equal the record of 13, jointly held by Vettel and Michael Schumacher.

His team mate Valtteri Bottas took his 15th pole position, which means there are now only 20 drivers in the sport’s history who have more poles than him. The only other non-champions are Rene Arnoux (18), Stirling Moss and Felipe Massa (both 16).

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As covered yesterday, Mercedes clinched the constructors championship for the seventh year in a row, which is a record. It bears pointing out that their total of seven world titles might well be higher had the trophy been awarded prior to 1958, given they powered Juan Manuel Fangio to the drivers title in 1954 (partially) and 1955 (entirely).

Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Imola, 2020
Brabham probably didn’t celebrate his podiums like this
Daniel Ricciardo’s second podium finish for Renault was also the 31st of his career, putting him level with Australia’s most successful driver, three-times world champion Sir Jack Brabham.

Imola returned to the calendar following a 14-year absence and held its third different race. Best known for playing host to the ‘San Marino’ Grand Prix from 1981 to 2006 (the tiny republic is about an hour’s drive from the circuit), it also held the Italian Grand Prix in 1980.

The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix was the 100th round of the world championship to take place in Italy. Monza has held 70 of those races, Imola 28, plus one each at Mugello (this year) and Pescara (1957). No other country has held more grands prix.

Following the races at Monza and Mugello in September, this is only the second time in the history of the world championship that one country has held three races in a single year. In 1982 F1 visited Detroit, Long Beach and Las Vegas in the USA. On both those occasions a single driver enjoyed a trio of home races: Antonio Giovinazzi this year, Eddie Cheever previously.

Max Verstappen will presumably be pleased to race somewhere else, though: He retired from all three Italian rounds.

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Keith Collantine
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67 comments on “Vettel has gone a full year without a podium finish”

  1. The first race this year both Alfa Romeos finished in the points.

    1. Which is only the 3rd time for this new Alfa Romeo (Sauber)

  2. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
    2nd November 2020, 11:50

    “Not since Vettel became a regular driver at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2007 has he gone a full year without reaching the rostrum.”

    Slightly confused by this line, as Vettel made his Toro Rosso (e.g. full-time) debut in August 2007 and didn’t stand on the podium until his win at Monza in September 2008.

    1. That was the first time he went a year without a podium. He hasn’t gone a year without a podium since then.

      1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
        2nd November 2020, 14:27

        I suppose this interpretation is plausible, but I wonder if the wording could have been clearer – I would suggest it had only been a year at whatever point in 2008, a year after (either) debut.

    2. @hammerheadgb I think he meant to say that, ever since 2008 Monza, Vettel has not spent more than a year without a podium finish

  3. If I’ve counted right this is the 28th different venue at which Lewis Hamilton has won a Grand Prix. It means the number of places where he’s raced (in F1) and not won remains just four (Magny-Cours, Valencia, Buddh and Yeongam).

    1. Edward Russell
      3rd November 2020, 0:11

      Does anyone else have a higher proportion than 28/32? I assume not, if we ignore those who only raced the Indy 500 when it was a round.

    2. edwin liberata (@)
      3rd November 2020, 4:33


  4. Within a calendar year, the latest ever Grand Prix held in Europe. Previously 1951 Spanish Grand Prix (Oct 28) was the latest and 1997 European Grand Prix is also later than 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix.

    White Istanbul is split over Europe and Asia with Bosporus, the circuit is on Asian side so next race will not make a new record.

  5. Hamilton also extends his record of most wins at different circuits to 29.

  6. Poor Aston Martin team, they’ll have the worst line-up next year

  7. No Finish driver has ever won in Italy,

    Mercedes have won 70% of all the constructors championships they have entered

    Mercedes have 7 constructors championships the same as Lotus

    Hamilton now has 46 consecutive race finishes/ in the points

    1. Valtteri Bottas has 4 straight constructor championships under his belt without being champion, equalling Mark Webber. Only Rubens Barrichello did better !

  8. With the ‘Emilia Romagna’ under his belt, the number of grands prix that he has entered but not won still also stands at 4, I think – European, Indian, Korean and 70th Anniversary!

    1. Who, Kobayashi?

  9. If Ferrari can stop screwing around with his pit stops and race strategies and give him the same car as his team mate’s, then Vettel could end up on podium too

    1. @blutto

      give him the same car as his team mate

      I think they are.

      I think Vettel’s problem is that Ferrari are developing the car around what Leclerc wants as he’s the driver that will be there next year. Vettel likes a car that is planted at the rear with a very lively front end so he can throw the car into a corner & nail the throttle on the exit. Leclerc likes a car that is a bit more in the opposite direction.

      Trying to develop the car around 2 radically different driving styles that each require the car to be setup vastly differently would end up compromising the overall development path so they have simply opted to develop it around the driver they hope to retain long term rather than the one who won’t be there next year, Hence why Vettel has lost ground to Leclerc over the season & the car has been developed further towards a direction he struggles with.

      1. I’m convinced that there’s no way that Vettel would be allowed to beat Leclerc.

      2. Vettel likes a car that is planted at the rear with a very lively front end so he can throw the car into a corner & nail the throttle on the exit.

        People keep regurgitating this and its not right, Vettel likes a stable rear end not a planted one as he steers the car with the rear.

      3. I think Vettel’s problem is that Ferrari are developing the car around what Leclerc wants as he’s the driver that will be there next year.

        One has to mention Leclerc is the more successful of the two drivers (75 pts vs Sebastian’s 18 pts), so it does make sense to build a car to his preferences because he’s more likely to bring home the points than Sebastian is.

      4. @stefmeister The so called ‘Vettel defence’. I dont buy into that theory that much. Sure drivers have their profile, but the top of them are capable of juggling around with the specificities of a car. Vettels issue is that he can not perform in traffic. First of all interaction-wise, not knowing where to put the car. And secondly, mentally he gets too uptight not being at the front which leads to errors as well. A very likeable chap though, but lucked into 4 WDC by a superior car and a sub par teammate. I guess Vettel is on luck only outscored by Lewis with his hybrid V6 era 100 race winning car (vs 17 Ferrari, 16 RedBull and 1 Alpha Tauri wins). We are currently watching two of the luckiest F1 drivers of all time (with Lewis having earned that seat by the way. He is certainly one of the greats)

      5. If a car has a “planted” rear end then it almost certainly pushes, and in that case you can’t “nail the throttle on exit” as you will usually run out of track, i.e. fighting to apply throttle. Yes, I race.

  10. You can be the greatest driver on the grid, but if you go to Ferrari and get shunted to ‘second driver’ status, your performance level will drop dramatically.
    It’s a hoot while the honeymoon is on and you’re number one driver. But then there will be politics and things will sour. You’re banished to the other side of the garage and soon you’re left outside in a black bag for the bin men to collect.
    Schumacher left before this happened to him. But Kimi and Seb got a good dose of it, and so will Leclerc.

    1. Sadly, I think you’re right. Vettel has not forgotten how to drive, and I don’t think that Ferrari is actively sabotaging him, I just think they don’t care; their effort is 100% focused on LeClerc in terms of strategy and car development. Ferrari’s strategy calls have never been great, even on a good day, and let’s face it, Vettel can sabotage himself better than just about anyone, but to invest such large sums of money in a 4 time WDC who was “all in” for the Scuderia, then fail to give him the car he needs and eventually, unceremoniously kick him out the back door in favor of the new kid in town strikes me as poor management more than anything else. They did the same with Alonso and they’ll do the same with LeClerc.

      1. But Sebastian has only 18 points in the WDC, whereas Charles has 75 points. If Sebastian had 75 points and Charles had 18 then I’m sure Ferrari would be treating him like he was a Number Two driver and Sebastian like he was the Number One driver.
        Maybe there is a degree of cause and effect, where Ferrari see Charles is bringing home more and better bacon than Sebastian is, so they are concentrating their efforts on building the car to Charles’s preferences than Sebastian’s, meaning it is easier for Charles to bring home even more better bacon and harder for Sebastian to bring home any bacon.

        1. I see your point, and if Vettel’s poor performance over the season naturally led to LeClerc being favored I would agree. However, Ferrari had shown Vettel the door in May, before the season ever really started. At that point, before any points were scored by anyone, Vettel was obviously relegated to #2 and it was apparent that all Ferrari’s effort would be with their new driver.

          1. I’m guessing he was supposed to outperform leclerc last year and didn’t, hence the decision to show him the door.

          2. Vettel was ousted in February, after the F1 preseason test.

    2. Vettel hit magnussen and tore off a chunk of his own front wing, stop blaming Ferrari for Vettel’s constant mistakes. Yes the pit stop cost him about 10s, but him crashing into kmag cost him much more. Given back that 10s from the pit stop Vettel would have finished no higher than 8th.

  11. Not only was the pit stop a mess but so was the strategy.

    Having gone as long as he had surely the better option would have been to go onto the softs at the end to give him the best pace possible. A long opening stint on the mediums & then doing a shorter stint on the hards at the end didn’t make sense to me.

    With a good stop he’d have been maybe 11th/12th & close to the points so give him the pace advantage of the softs & the best opportunity to try & do something.

  12. The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix was the 100th round of the world championship to take place in Italy. Monza has held 70 of those races, Imola 20, plus one each at Mugello (this year) and Pescara (1957).

    This should be 28 at Imola

  13. For the first time, Mercedes have taken pole position in all of the first thirteen races of a season, bettering their previous run of twelve poles in the first twelve races of 2015. This is only the third time that a team has taken pole at all of the first thirteen races of the year. They are the first team to do so since Red Bull in 2011.

    Bottas became the first driver to have reached Q3 at 75 consecutive races. He has not failed to qualify in the top ten during his stint at Mercedes, with his last Q2 exit being at the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which was his last race with Williams.

    For only the second time in 2020, neither Racing Point driver reached Q3. Sergio Perez qualified in eleventh place, recording his first Q2 exit since the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (though he has had one Q1 elimination since then). Meanwhile, Lance Stroll qualified in fifteenth, recording his worst qualifying position of the year so far.

    Daniel Ricciardo finished in third place, becoming the first non-Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull driver to record two podium finishes in a season since Sergio Perez in 2016.

    Giovinazzi gained ten places from where he started, which is the most positions he has gained in any race during his F1 career.

    Finishing in fifteenth place, Alex Albon became the first Red Bull driver to fail to score at three consecutive races since Max Verstappen retired from the 2017 Canadian, Azerbaijan and Austrian Grands Prix. Albon is the first Red Bull driver to finish two successive races outside of the points since Mark Webber finished ninth at the 2009 European and Belgian Grands Prix.

    Magnussen has equalled the longest point-less streak in his F1 career. This was his tenth successive race without scoring. He last failed to score at ten successive races between the 2016 Spanish and Italian Grands Prix.

    Verstappen no longer has a mathematical chance of becoming Formula 1’s youngest-ever World Champion.

    Finishing the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in seventh place, Carlos Sainz matched his longest streak of top seven finishes. This was the third race in a row where Sainz finished in the top seven. He also recorded three successive top seven results between the 2019 British and Hungarian Grands Prix.


    1. @stijner those Albon facts are grim reading.

    2. Those are some great stats!

  14. During the golden 2010 to 2012 RB golden age, I wondered what mischief making the great Fernando Alonso was up to, when he used to constantly cite Hamilton as his biggest threat to the title – even though Lewis was in an inferior car

    I thought it was his a bit or arrogance, i.e. Hamilton matched him in this first season – so he had to be good

    Now we know he was on the money

    1. Lol that was because he was beating Hamilton in a slower car, he could not touch Vettel then.

  15. Alexander Albon has been the lowest-placed driver in a race two times. Coincidently, in Italy on both occasions.

    Lewis Hamilton took the 72nd victory for Mercedes, tying the Michael Schumacher-Ferrari record for the most wins with a single constructor.

    He has also led 5000 laps in F1, a record.

    Valtteri Bottas has now led the 1st lap four times in the last five races but has only when not in the lead on the opening lap in Russia.

    Daniil Kvyat’s first top-six finish since he was on the podium at Hockenheim last July. Quite a contrast to the preceding two races, where he was the last classified finisher.

    Max Verstappen has either finished on the podium or retired this season thus far.

    Nicholas Latifi finished 11th for the 3rd time.

    Out of the three events in Italy, Pierre Gasly either won or retired.

    1. 5000 laps led isn’t a record, Schumacher is still ahead of him

  16. Well only four chances left for Max to prevent a team from finally clean sweeping all pole positions. I’m not sure I can. See it happening to be honest – maybe Turkey is the only real chance in the dry.

    Amazing how this fest has been thwarted just barely over the years.

    1. I think the absence of Monaco probably put that out of reach for Max/RBR.

      1. And Mexico. Max was very likely to take pole in Mexico.

  17. What’s the big deal. He won plenty of races. Plenty of champagne and probably earns more than what 99% of you and I wilL ever even earn in a lifetime in one year.

  18. As a critic of Vettel in the past for some of his antics. I have to say that the disparity between Vettel and Leclerc is not credible in my view. Given their relative performance in the past, and even taking account of possible car development differences away from his preferences. I noticed a very clear Italian disparaging gesture made by one of the Ferrari employees after he crashed in Germany in 2018. Also the seeming cold shoulder he appeared to attract from Arrivabene in comparison with his team mate at the time. And the occasional seemingly “off” body language from Ferrari people makes me wonder if at some point he might have very much fallen out of favour at some point, even possibly unwittingly deeply offended an Italian sensibility somehow. The instability of the car attributed him at some key moments, which he never exhibited at Redbull and early years at Ferrari and his bewilderment at the cars behaviour in recent years gives me pause for thought. As I said I am no fan of Vettel, but I am suspicious of the manner of his seeming decline, which in every way appears to humiliate him like the way he was sacked from the team which I thought was unnecessary.
    It will be interesting to see if he continues to make strange “mistakes” as if the car is behaving with a mind of its own where he is unable to catch the snaps when he moves to his new team. If the “mistakes” continue relative to his team mate then perhaps he was unfortunate to have suffered a precipitous public decline.

    1. Back in 2018, there were some whispers in the press that some Ferrari personnel felt disappointed that they had given Vettel a car that they believed was good enough to take the WDC, only for Vettel to throw away the title. Indeed, some were reportedly complaining that if Alonso had been driving for them, he would have won the WDC that year, or at the very least he wouldn’t have faded in the way Vettel did in the latter part of the season.

      Against that, there have been some suggesting that Vettel might have been in a position where he felt he was having to lead the team in a way that seems to have perhaps pushed him outside of the role he expected to have, and which might have pushed him into a position of conflict with the team at times.

      1. Well, I agree with them ofc, what’s crazy is alonso went closer to the title in the red bull era with a relatively worse ferrari than vettel did in 2017 and especially 2018 (better car, worse result).

    2. Tommytintop (@)
      2nd November 2020, 20:47


    3. strange “mistakes” as if the car is behaving with a mind of its own where he is unable to catch the snaps

      There is nothing strange about this. If you floor the throttle and light up the rears when they can’t take it, the car always snaps. Albon did it in Imola and so did Ricciardo in 70th Anniversary GP.

      Truth is Vettel in the Ferrari has simply not been comfortable. Even prior to the 2018 spins and the 2018 German GP crash from the lead; there were signs that he was making mistakes at critical points during the races. 2017 Canadian GP, Singapore GP, Mexican GP, Azerbaijan GP; all of these resulted in out-of-sync pitstops / retirements and penalties.

      All these mistakes and getting beaten by Leclerc in 2019 are eventually causing him to lose speed as well. Think of Massa. From challenging for the title in 2008, being the best of the rest in 2009 and being slightly slower to Alonso; he suddenly became significantly slower and was nowhere after that Germany incident.

      And I don’t agree that Ferrari does this to its lead drivers! Ferrari won the title after Michael retired in 2006. After Alonso quit, the team actually made good strides forward with the car performance. Let us see how much better the Ferrari is in 2021 but this season is one of the first where Ferrari have shown appreciable in-season improvement (historically a weakness); so clearly the team is improving irrespective of how they treat their lead driver.

  19. Verstappen continues his streak of either finishing on the podium or retiring this year. I’m pretty sure other drivers have done that back in the days, but that was before reliability was as good as it is today.

    1. TrickyMario7654
      2nd November 2020, 22:08

      Schumacher did this in 1993 and 1994.

      1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
        3rd November 2020, 12:04

        And 2002. I mean, in that year the “or retiring” part is redundant, but still.

  20. Dear Aston Martin, Enjoy Australia 2021 with more ping-pong and bumper cars

    1. Haha, cat in a bag

  21. Is Kimi’s 14 years the biggest gap between consecutive points finishes at one track? 2006-2020.

  22. I hope Aston Martin has a great sports psychologist.

    Sad to see him performing like this, but he is suffering what best can be described as resigned depression.

    Someone save him.

    1. Said resigned depression happens to actually be a fungi called “consistent holistically incompetent Ferrari”

    2. Marchionne/Ferarri should have brought in Arrivabene to work alongside Matiachi, not to replace Matiachi. Arrivabene was perhaps fine for the role he was brought in, to be closer to Bernie and direct Ferrari better within F1 politically. But I think he shouldn’t have completely replaced the man who made good changes within ferrari and also signed vettel in the process. Arrivabene didnt handle many things well, the media perhaps, and vettel, especially in 2018.

    3. There is a very simple solution: give him a pole winning car. Then he’ll drive off into the distance and win. Vettels problem is other cars on track. That was new for him when the RB turned into a 3rd of 4th row car. He cant handle traffic.

  23. after the 91st victory -Michael Schumacher 60 start, 0 win, 0%.
    Lewis Hamilton 2 start, 2 wins, 100%.

  24. Does anyone know what the most amount of races a driver has competed in, without ever finishing in the top 10?

    1. I think it’s Charles Pic, with 39 races. George Russell will take the record if he fails to score in the remainder of this year and the first two rounds of 2021.

      Luca Badoer holds the record for most GP starts without a point, at 50, but he raced in an era when only the top six scored points (as well as two races in 2009 where points went down to 8th), and had eleven top-ten finishes to his name.

      1. @red-andy, Thanks, nice work.
        Looks like George still has a few chances to make sure he doesn’t become the record holder.

  25. Verstappen no longer has a mathematical chance of becoming Formula 1’s youngest-ever World Champion.

    Sebastian Vettel won his first championship at 23 years and 135 days. Max will reach that age in February 2021.
    The second youngest winner is Lewis Hamilton at 23 years and 301 days. Max will reach that age in late july 2021, I don’t think the championship will be settled by then.
    The third youngest winner is Fernando Alonso at 24 years and 59 days. Max will reach that age in late November 2021. Third youngest is still possible.

  26. AlphaTauri’s best start under this name, achieved in the same country as both of the top 4 starts they achieved as Toro Rosso (they did however achieve 3 top 4 starts in different countries as Minardi). Also Gasly’s joint-best start.

    Norris has finished in every position from 3rd to 10th inclusive exactly once this year, with the exception of 5th where he has finished twice.

    Mercedes have had more front-row lockouts since the start of 2014 than any other team has ever managed.

    3rd consecutive GP at Imola in which Renault have managed a podium.

    Thanks to Channel 4 for a couple of these.

  27. These are my favourite articles, I love the great stats people come up with!

    Adding my one to the mix:
    Remarkably Max Verstappen retired from all 3 races hosted in Italy this year, however, he wasn’t the first man to retire from 3 races held in the same country in a single year.
    Roberto Guerrero retired from all 3 Grand Prix hosted in the USA in 1982, which is the only other year to hold 3 races in the same country

    1. But Max is the youngest driver to retire from 3 races held in the same country in a single year :)

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