Russell’s first grand prix victory means F1 has a dozen winners – for one race only

2022 Brazilian Grand Prix stats and facts

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George Russell became Formula 1’s newest winner in last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver scored his breakthrough victory at his 81st attempt.

He is the 20th different driver from Great Britain to win a race. There are two other one-time winners on that list, who between them started a total of 80 world championship races, one fewer than Russell. They are 1961 United States Grand Prix winner Innes Ireland, and Peter Gethin who won the astonishingly close Italian Grand Prix at Monza a decade later.

Russell is the latest in a series of drivers to claim their first wins in recent seasons. F1 has had five new race-winners in the last 53 races, stretching back to Pierre Gasly’s win in the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, and including breakthrough victories for Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz Jnr.

F1 now has a dozen different winners in its 20-strong field. However that won’t be the case after this weekend’s race as two of them are set to hang up their helmets, eight-time winner Daniel Ricciardo and F1’s third most successful driver of all time in terms of victories, Sebastian Vettel, who has 53. The pair were team mates at Red Bull for a single season in 2014.

Sprint race start, Interlagos, 2022
Magnussen led the sprint race from pole position…
Russell’s win brought relief for Mercedes, who had gone without a victory this year until then, and avoided their first win-less season since 2011 as a result. Their last victory came at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 21 races earlier. The last time they went this long without a victory was between Nico Rosberg’s triumphs in the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix (Mercedes’ first in its modern incarnation) and at Monaco the following year.

Mercedes’ 11-year race-winning streak is the longest of any team at present. Red Bull are next on seventh. The record is held by Ferrari, who won a race every year for two full decades from 1994 to 2013.

We also had a new pole-winner, though not for the grand prix, where Russell started at the front for the second time in his career. Kevin Magnussen won pole position for the sprint race, which as of this year F1 defines as the pole-winner of the grand prix.

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This is problematic terminology, as Russell obviously started the grand prix from pole position. Moreover, it is inconsistent, as drivers who took pole positions for sprint races last year were not regarded the same way. For the purposes of Stats and Facts, the two achievements will be referred to separately: Russell took his second grand prix pole position, Magnussen his first for a sprint race.

Russell claimed pole position for the grand prix
Magnussen is the fourth different driver to take pole position for a sprint race, joining Max Verstappen (three), Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton (one each).

Russell added another fastest lap to his recent haul: This was his third in a row and all four he’s had this year have come in the last five races. It’s the fifth fastest lap of his career, putting him level with Giuseppe Farina, Carlos Pace, Jody Scheckter, Didier Pironi, John Watson and Michele Alboreto. Russell therefore also claimed his first hat-trick of pole position (traditional definition), win and fastest lap.

Regular qualifying is back this weekend (three cheers!) and Ferrari have an opportunity to set a new team best. If Sainz or Charles Leclerc claim pole it would be the first time the team has ever started 13 grands prix from pole in a single year.

Fernando Alonso equalled his best finishing position of the year with another fifth place. That has brought him within five points of team mate Esteban Ocon in the championship. Having trailed him in the season all year long, Alonso has a realistic chance of jumping ahead at the final race of the year.

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

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2022 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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22 comments on “Russell’s first grand prix victory means F1 has a dozen winners – for one race only”

  1. There have always been stats for wins, poles and flaps. Is F1 now going to create a new category for sprint wins or is this stat going to be ignored until they (hopefully) disappear from the calendar I wonder.

  2. Here’s one for you, stats fans: I have an unbroken run of watching every F1 race since Italy 96 (I missed Belgium whilst on Scout camp…), BUT I have never watched a sprint race. So, can I rightfully still claim to have watched every race since Italy 96 or not?!

    1. Definitely. Sprint races don’t count as a real race and the sooner they’re gone the better it’ll be

      1. Does the 2021 Belgian GP count as a real race? (or the six-car one at Indy)?!

    2. That’s impressive, @unicron2002! I myself am almost sure that I never missed watching a race since somewhere around 1990… (not necessarily live)

      1. Very impressive… our age takes most of the credit though! I’ve only missed 3 or 4 races since South Africa 93. And missed the start of Britain 03, US 03 and Belgium 04. And fallen asleep during a few!

    3. @unicron2002 I’ll admit I’m not an authority on such matters. But I think you can claim to have watched every race since Monza 96’ – I’ll give it to you anyway.

      I watched the ‘sprint thing’ with my mum (a recent Netflix concert to F1) who quite reasonably asked halfway through “why are we doing this?

      The only answer I could think of was ‘money’.

      1. Lucky @bernasaurus it wasn’t as controversial as “I can’t believe I am not getting paid for this

    4. You’re a legend. Totally legend.
      I’m watching consecutevely Gp live from chinese gp 2012 (are more than 200), last gp I’ve missed completely is 2005 Bahrain gp, italian television decided to not broadcast it due to pope death. But you’re the hero of the day

  3. Max Verstappen takes victory in the ‘classic championship’. This championship includes only races at Monza, Monaco, Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps, Suzuka and Interlagos, or the Nordschleife in old seasons, and Verstappen is the first driver other than Hamilton to win it since 2013.

    1 Max Verstappen 105
    2 Sergio Perez 94
    3 Carlos Sainz 85
    4 Charles Leclerc 77
    5 George Russell 67
    6 Lewis Hamilton 60
    7 Fernando Alonso 40
    8 Lando Norris 24
    9 Esteban Ocon 22
    10 Sebastian Vettel 15
    11 Pierre Gasly 6
    12 Mick Schumacher 4
    13 Valtteri Bottas 4
    14 Nyck De Vries 2
    15 Nicholas Latifi 2
    16 Kevin Magnussen 1
    17 Alexander Albon 1
    18 Zhou Guanyu 1
    19 Lance Stroll 1

    Lando Norris also secured the F1.5 championship (not including Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull), having an unassailable lead after the SPRINT RACE of all races! So we did get a championship decider in the sprint.

    1. Surely the “classic championship” should be decided according to the 9-6-4-3-2-1 points system that was in place for most of the classic era?

    2. I don’t get it.
      Does 24 beat 40.
      or do I have the whole thing R. Supp?

  4. F1 has a dozen winners – for one race only

    Is that the record for the highest ever number of race winners on a starting grid?
    2012 had 8 winners + Massa and Schumacher who had won before 2012. So 10 winners then on the Abu Dhabi grid.

    If I go back to 2009 German Grand Prix, Webber won and there were 12 winners on the grid on the next race (Button, Vettel, Barrichello, Webber, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Trulli, Alonso, Massa, Kovalinen, Kubica, Fisichella). However, because of Massa’s accident in qualifying, he didn’t take part and we only had 11 race winners starting the race.

    Could this be the first instance of 12 race winners on the starting grid then?

    1. The 1978 Belgian GP had 15 (!) GP winners on the grid, so having 12 is not a new record (although percentage-wise it might be).

      1. Wow, 15 is a lot!

      2. Great stat but let’s look at the %
        Tomorrow’s race is easier, 12/20, 60% of the present grid are race winners

        There were 24 drivers in the final grid 1978 Belgian GP, but 2 more failed to prequalify and 4 failed to qualify so there were a total of 30 participants (two more drivers did not participate)

        To complicate things a bit, Keke Rosberg faild to qualify. However his maiden F1 win was later on, at the 1982 Swiss GP (his only win in his WDC year, a record by itself). The rest of the drivers who failed to race never won a F1 GP.

        Beside the 15 drivers who raced and were already race winners (In race order: Mario Andretti, Ronnie Peterson, Lole Reutemann, Jacques Laffite, Alan Jones, Jochen Mass, Jacky Icks, Vittorio Brambilla, Jody Scheckter, Patrick Depailler – just back from his maiden win -, Clay Regazzoni, John Watson, Niki Lauda, James Hunt and Emerson Fittipaldi) there were also 5 more driver who eventually became race winners (Gilles Villeneuve, Didier Pironi, Rene Arnoux, Jean Pierre Jabouille and Ricardo Patrese), not counting the already mentioned Keke Rosberg who did not race.

        So, of the 24 drivers who raced at Spa in 1978, 15 were already F1 race winners and 20 were race winners by their retirement time, not bad. (Brett Lunger, Gino Giacomelli, Hans-Joachim Stuck and Rolf Stommelen were the only 4 who raced at Spa ’78 and never won a F1 GP). Or 21 of the 30 who entered the race were F1 race winners, though 6 of them not yet).

        Now for the %, the simplest and fairest way to reckon (IMO) is 15/24 (including only drivers that were already F1 race winners and excluding drivers who did not race) that’s 62.5%, somewhat higher than ’22 Abu Dhabi GP’s 60%. If this is the highest % ever, IDK.

  5. Haas became the first US team to qualify for a pole position since Shadow in the 1975 British GP.

    They also took a pole on their 143rd GP weekend, the longest stretch beating BAR’s 87 GPs.

    And the 4th pole position in history for an American F1 team, the second in history to achieve that. The previous 3 for UOP Shadow in the 1974 season (2 poles Jarier, one pole Tom Price)

    The first time in a while, at least, if not ever, that a team has had its driver qualify first & last in the same qualifying & additionally, on K-Mag’s 140/1th entry & race start. Furthermore, the third longest wait for a pole in F1 after Perez (216) and Sainz (151), who also took their maiden pole positions this season.

    He took his & his team’s career first pole position, but neither of them is guaranteed to officially have a front-row start in F1.

    He qualified fourth in Imola, but this didn’t count as Haas’s highest-ever start because of being for the Sprint rather than the actual race.

    Denmark became the 24th nation to have a driver on a pole – the 23rd was Mexico when Perez qualified on a pole in Jeddah.

    Magnussen started the Sprint from P1 on Gene Haas’ 70th birthday.

    Max failed to take a pole on a Sprint weekend for the first time this season.

    Max started both Brazil Sprints on the medium, with most around on the soft.

    The first Mercedes 1-2 since the 2020 Emilia-Romagna GP & the first British 1-2 since the 2010 Canadian GP (Hamilton-Button for Mclaren).

    The first race this season without either RBR driver finishing in the top three, excluding the season-opener that both retired.

    1. I’d be interested to see the full list of nationalities.

  6. I think that the pole achieved on Friday, in a sprint weekend, should always be considered as the real “pole”. Sprint GP weekends contain, de facto, a 400Km race that will be red-flagged at 100Km. Points are already awarded with the results of those first 100Km (which is the only reason why this is called a sprint and not a “race stopped to continue tomorrow”) but in reality, and given that more or less what can be done between sprint and race could be done under a red flag, it can be considered the same race. At least, that’s the way I see it.

    Actually, the sooner they get rid of such idiocy, the better.

  7. Russell scored maximum points, win + sprint win + fastest lap, and mercedes missed the maximum team points by 1 as hamilton got 3rd in the sprint.

  8. 2nd pole position for a Ferrari customer, following Vettel for Toro Rosso in Italy 2008.

    4th maiden pole-sitter this year (after Perez, Sainz and Russell) – first time this has happened since 1979 (Jabouille, G Villeneuve, Jones, Arnoux).

    First time since Malaysia 2003 that one driver (Alonso) has scored their first pole and a different driver (Raikkonen) has scored their first win.

    First time since Australia that neither Red Bull led a lap.

    Mercedes keep alive their streak of at least 1 victory as a constructor every year since 2012, and at least 1 victory as an engine manufacturer every year since 2007.

    17th consecutive season that at least 1 British driver has won a race.

    First time God Save The King has been played as a winning national anthem.

    Second circuit (after Monte Carlo) where Sainz has managed 2 podium finishes (although he has only stood on the Interlagos podium once).

    McLaren’s first double DNF since Monaco 2017.

    Magnussen’s only 2 first-lap DNFs have both been due to collisions with McLarens at Interlagos (Vandoorne in 2017, Ricciardo in 2022).

    Russell is currently one of 6 drivers to have exactly 1 pole and 1 win but in different races (the others being Bandini, Pace, Brambilla, Kubica and Kovalainen).

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

    1. God Save The King

      Fair enough but since there are no words how can you tell the difference?

Comments are closed.