Norris breaks Hulkenberg’s record for most points without a win in F1

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The 2023 Japanese Grand Prix was a great race for McLaren, and a landmark one too, but not one they were in contention to win.

Encapsulating the frustrating distinction of those two facts last weekend, Lando Norris took the record for the most points scored without a win. Norris is now on 543, overtaking Nico Hulkenberg on 530. However Norris has started less than half as many races as the Haas driver: 98 to 197.

Norris has driven for McLaren since making his debut in 2019, and his second place last weekend was his 10th podium finish. The record for most podium finishes without a win belongs to Nick Heidfeld, with 13.

It was also the second time he has shared the podium with a team mate, and only McLaren’s third double podium in the last 11 years. McLaren cars have now finished on the Japanese Grand Prix podium 27 times.

Stroll was the last rookie to start from the front row
Oscar Piastri picked up his maiden grand prix trophy in his rookie season. He is the sixth Australian to stand on a grand prix podium, after his manager Mark Webber, AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo, Tim Schenken and world champions Jack Brabham and Alan Jones.

During this century, only eight other rookies have picked up podiums and 10 drivers have claimed their first grand prix podium more quickly than Piastri, who got there in 16 attempts. In both instances, the last driver to achieve those feats was Lance Stroll when he made his F1 debut for Williams in 2017.

As he qualified second, Piastri has now also shared the front row of the grid for an F1 race with Max Verstappen twice, which is as many times as Verstappen has with Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez this year. The other occasion came at the sprint race in Belgium.

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From pole position, Verstappen delivered his 48th grand prix win and the sixth for Red Bull at Suzuka which means the team now has as many wins there as Mercedes. The result also secured Red Bull the constructors’ title, achieved earlier than ever before as there are still six rounds to go.

Red Bull won the championship for the sixth time
Verstappen set the fastest lap of the race by a second, and he is now level with Juan Manuel Fangio with nine career hat-tricks of victory, pole and fastest lap from a grand prix. Over the weekend he also matched Fangio’s tally of 29 poles, and is now alongside Jim Clark in having claimed 28 fastest laps.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen kept their uninterrupted 2023 scoring runs going. Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso ensured he remained the only driver this season to reach Q3 at every round, albeit by just 0.048 seconds. His team mate Stroll, in comparison, failed to progress beyond Q1 for the fourth time this year and the third time in a row.

Remarkably this was the first Japanese Grand Prix to go the distance in five years. The chequered flag was waved a lap early in 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic led to the race not being run for two years and then last season it was shortened

Finally, Yuki Tsunoda’s 12th place finish on Sunday was the best home result for a Japanese driver in F1 since Kamui Kobayashi finished third at Suzuka in 2012.

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

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2023 Japanese Grand Prix

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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34 comments on “Norris breaks Hulkenberg’s record for most points without a win in F1”

  1. The fact Sergio Perez has only started on the front row twice this year, should be a source of huge shame for him.

    1. He started on the front row four times, just twice with Verstappen. Not much better in the grand scheme of things, though.

      Pérez took pole in Saudi Arabia while Verstappen was 15th, and in Miami when Verstappen was 9th.

  2. The first time a driver rejoined a race after retiring since 2005 with the single-lap qualifying format unless Kimi’s & Checo’s rejoinments in the 2017 Azerbaijan GP, which ultimately proved temporary, count.

    Mclaren’s first double-top 3 finish since the 2014 Australian GP, & the first actual double-podium appearance since 2012.

    The last time any championship got clinched in Suzuka with the upcoming early-season switch.

    Alex Albon’s second consecutive Japanese GP DNF.

    The 2019 Japanese GP case was only about discounting the last lap from final classification rather than that race not physically going for the full distance.

    1. The first time a driver rejoined a race after retiring since 2005 with the single-lap qualifying format unless Kimi’s & Checo’s rejoinments in the 2017 Azerbaijan GP, which ultimately proved temporary, count.

      Wasn’t Perez’s at Suzuka also temporary? He came back out, did a lap, pitted to serve his penalty, did a lap and then retired again.

      1. Mclaren’s first double-top 3 finish since the 2014 Australian GP, & the first actual double-podium appearance since 2012.

        Monza 2021.

        1. @maimai I should’ve remembered, but somehow didn’t despite trying hard.

      2. Tommy Scragend My point was about the most recent before the Japanese GP.

    2. Didn’t Perez also unretire in 2021 Belgium? He had crashed on the way to the grid then.

      1. Sumedh, it is probably not counted because Red Bull’s justification for Perez being allowed to start from the pit lane was the race had not started yet and thus Article 22.4 did not apply (which is the rule that states a driver receiving external assistance during a race can be disqualified from the results). If the race had not officially started, Perez could not have retired from the race to begin with.

        1. anon Indeed

          1. #07 and #10 on the old bingo card. 4 out of 10 so far and it’s only Wednesday

    3. Mclaren’s first double-top 3 finish since the 2014 Australian GP, & the first actual double-podium appearance since 2012.

      That must be the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, where they finished 1st and 2nd.

      1. Yes, that was actually the longest gap in recent times, and another race where they were really competitive and could’ve probably got 1st and 4th without the verstappen-hamilton incident.

  3. I hope Lando give Nico his record back by winning a race (Brasil is a one where McLaren could be fast)

    1. Nico is now 11 race starts from beating Andrea DeCesaris’ record of most starts without a win

      1. @Jonathan Parkin
        Isn’t that Hulkenburg’s record; he has had 197 starts without a win?

        1. My bad, I read Nico as Lando.

    2. @macleod More so Losail & LV than Interlagos.

  4. The streak of most races passed without a maiden podium ended with Piastri finishing 3rd – he is the 216th driver to score a F1 podium. Russell was the 215th to do so 48 races ago (756 days) at the Belgium 2021 race.
    For reference Alonso was the 184th in 2003, Lewis was 192nd in 2007 and Perez was 199th in 2012.

    The previous longest dry spell of maiden podium was 41 races long but in days this holds the record with 924 days. It started on Sept 8th 2008 after Vettel took his shock maiden win/podium at Monza and ended March 27th 2011 when Vitaly Petrov scored his maiden and only podium in his F1 career.

    All of the last 10 maiden podium scorers are still in F1 today – if Liam starts in Qater there will be 15 drivers with at least 1 podium, if Ricciardo starts it will be 16 – not sure if that is the record or not.

    Max extended his own record of most wins in a 36 months period from 38 to 39 wins.
    Red Bull increased their own record to 44 wins but are still trailing Mercedes who holds the record with 51 wins in 36 months

    1. With winning from pole Max has again equal amount of wins from pole as wins not from pole – both 24.

      Given 24 wins from pole from 29 poles, Max has the highest pole to win conversion rate with 82.76% (excluding drivers with less than 5 poles). The only other drivers with an above 60% conversion rate are:
      Fittipaldi at 66.67% with 4 wins from 6 poles
      Ascari at 64.29% with 9 wins from 14 poles
      Alonso at 63.64% with 14 wins from 22 poles
      Button at 62.50% with 5 wins from 8 poles

  5. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
    27th September 2023, 17:52

    Norris may soon be within striking distance of another unwanted record.

    The record for most F1 podiums without a win is currently held by Nick Heidfeld, with 13 podium finishes to his name. Norris currently has 10.

    1. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
      27th September 2023, 17:53

      Whoops – should have read the article more thoroughly before commenting.

  6. Considering the differences in the points system, this “record” is absolutely pointless. Older results would need to be “translated” for this to make any sense, and even then it wouldn’t of course (since nobody seriously fought for a tenth place in times when only the first six drivers had scored points). I don’t understand the obsession with insignificant and meaningless records like this.

    1. then don’t read the stats articles 👍

    2. Arguably all F1 records are insignificant and meaningless. Is Max really twice as good as Jim Clark? Surely he is if his wins record is anything to go by! And Lewis is twice as good again! For now at least… I love stats though. Fascinating stuff!

      1. Jody Scheckter won a Grand Prix with 50% more wheels than all of them.

    3. The most meaningful are season-related: most championships, most seasons (consecutive or overall) with at least a win, a pole, a podium, etc., that control for the gradual increase in races per season since the championship started in 1950. Not even the percentage records are perfect, because they flatter the old days, since with fewer races per season a higher percentage per season is easier to achieve than now.

      That’s why Schumacher’s record of reaching the podium in every race of a season is so impressive: never achieved before, with fewer races (Indy 500 stats included), neither after, with more races per season

  7. Of course, Hulk continues to hold the record for the most points without ever being on the podium.

  8. Perez has equalled Vettel and Verstappen’s 32 career penalty points.

    Verstappen has converted his last 13 poles to wins – first driver with such a streak.

    First time Verstappen has led a lap in the dry at Suzuka.

    Piastri is currently the 4th driver (after Moreno, Suzuki and Kobayashi) whose only career podium (to date) has come at Suzuka.

    Apart from his DNF in 2013, Hamilton has always finished 1st, 3rd or 5th at Suzuka.

    Red Bull’s first DNF of the season – each team has now had at least 1 mechanical DNF in 2023.

    In addition to clinching the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull are also guaranteed the Drivers’ Championship with one of their drivers.

    Gasly has started 12th in 4 of the last 5 races.

    Both Ferrari drivers have started ahead of the other 8 times and finished ahead of the other (including races where one did not finish) 8 times this year.

    Having only scored 17 points in the first 8 race weekends of this season, McLaren have scored 155 points in the last 8 race weekends.

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

    1. In addition to clinching the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull are also guaranteed the Drivers’ Championship with one of their drivers.

      True, but even if Max took a sabbatical for the rest of the year, the odds are overwhelmingly in his favor, not Checo’s who would need a heroic rest of the season, winning all races and on top of that scoring almost every point for the sprints and flaps, missing at most 2 points of the 180 available.

  9. A few weeks ago I posted how many races did Max need to get ahead in the % of wins/started races, provided he kept wining all the races. With the Marina Bay failure it has changed a bit but now that he is back in form this is how it goes

    Jackie Stewart will most assuredly be surpassed this season, with only two wins from Max. However Schuey will not be surpassed this season (Max needed a perfect run of wins to overcome him by the Abu Dabhi race, including Singapore).

    If in the next season things are a bit like in this one two more overtakes are on the cards. With a perfect run of victories, Max would overtake Schuey in the first race and the crane rider in the second race of 2025 (Bahrain & Jeddah supposedly). It can take a few more races but the writing is on the wall.

    And that could be it. Max needs a lot more wins (plausibly too many to be consecutive) to overtake Jim Clark, while Ascari and Fangio are too far away by now.

    And now some unexpected development. With a winless streak and no retirement in sight, the crane rider is poised to be overtaken by one more driver before the end of next season. Nobody else but Michael Schumacher, by the 18th race of 2025, supposedly Marina Bay. After both these demotions, Craney, fourth at present, leaves the top five (the outliers Lee Wallard and Bill Vukovich , who raced only in Indy 500, are not included)

    1. I reckon Max would get pretty close to Fangio if he wins every race from now on and races to the age Fangio did. That ought to do it!

      1. Not pretty close but way ahead. But both your premises are highly unlikely.

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