Daily Archives: October 9, 2011

Japanese Grand Prix stats and facts

Button took his first win in the dry for McLaren

Button took his first win in the dry for McLaren

Today Sebastian Vettel has become the sport’s youngest ever Formula 1 back-to-back world champion, at the age of 24 years and 98 days. Here are the statistics from this weekend:

  • Jenson Button took the 12th win of his career, as well as his 6th fastest lap. It was the first ever victory he has ever taken in the dry for McLaren.
  • Vettel continued his crushing form, taking his 16th podium finish in 17 races. He is now absolutely certain to break the Formula 1 record for most points scored in a season.
  • He also took his 27th pole position out of 77 races – a better ratio than Michael Schumacher. It is also the second time this year that Sebastian has scored 5 consecutive pole positions.
  • Michael Schumacher led a lap for the first time since the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix, and the 141st time he has done so. He has also become the oldest driver to lead a lap
  • Since this style of article hasn’t been updated recently, there’s one stat I missed a while back – Lewis Hamilton has broken the record for most penalties in a season, with 6 so far.
  • While Red Bull recorded their 35th pole position, McLaren took their 147th fastest lap and 173rd race win.
  • After a string of shocking results, Lewis Hamilton has now gone without a podium finish since the Nurburgring.
  • Vettel is the 9th driver in F1 history to take back-to-back drivers’ championships, following the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio, Jack Brabham, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Mika Hakkinen, Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso.
  • He is only the second world champion from Germany, yet they have 9 titles between them. This is one more than Brazil, and 5 less than Great Britain.
  • Pirelli have now supplied tyres to 6 world champions, the most recent one before Vettel being Juan Manuel Fangio in 1957.
  • Button’s victory ensures McLaren took their 9th victory in 27 races at Suzuka, although they previously hadn’t won here since 2005 with Kimi Raikkonen.
  • The next race in Korea will be contested with 13 world championship titles between the drivers – the highest ever. It will also be the first time since the 1991 Australian Grand Prix that 3 double world champions (Schumacher, Alonso, Vettel) will contest a race together.
  • Finally, to end with a strange stat – In very similar fashion, the pole sitter for the 2000 Japanese Grand Prix (Schumacher) (also the title decider at the time) was also 0.009 seconds ahead of the contesting McLaren (Mika Hakkinen) in 2nd place.

Points standings after Japanese Grand Prix

Driver Standings

Driver Points
1 Sebastian Vettel 324
2 Jenson Button 210
3 Fernando Alonso 202
4 Mark Webber 194
5 Lewis Hamilton 178
6 Felipe Massa 90
7 Nico Rosberg 63
8 Michael Schumacher 60
9 Vitaly Petrov 36
10 Nick Heidfeld 34
11 Adrian Sutil 28
12 Kamui Kobayashi 27
13 Paul di Resta 20
14 Jaime Alguersuari 16
15 Sergio Perez 13
16 Sebastien Buemi 13
17 Rubens Barrichello 4
18 Bruno Senna 2
19 Pastor Maldonado 1
20 Pedro de la Rosa 0
21 Jarno Trulli 0
22 Heikki Kovalainen 0
23 Vitantonio Liuzzi 0
24 Jerome D’Ambrosio 0
25 Timo Glock 0
26 Narain Karthikeyan 0
27 Daniel Ricciardo 0
28 Karun Chandhok 0

Constructor Standings

Team Points
1 Red Bull-Renault 518
2 McLaren-Mercedes 388
3 Ferrari 292
4 Mercedes GP 123
5 Renault 72
6 Force India-Mercedes 48
7 Sauber-Ferrari 40
8 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 29
9 Williams-Cosworth 5
10 Lotus-Cosworth 0
11 HRT-Cosworth 0
12 Virgin-Cosworth 0

Button wins, while Vettel seals title in Suzuka

Vettel retains his lead, while the McLarens switch places

Vettel retains his lead, while the McLarens switch places

Sebastian Vettel is the new 2011 Formula 1 world champion!

The German driver finished 3rd in today’s Japanese Grand Prix, with Jenson Button winning the race, ahead of Fernando Alonso. Vettel lost the lead at the second round of pit stops, then fell behind the Ferrari later on. However, with no obligation to race for the win, he calmly sat back and clinched his second world title. Here is the full report:

At the start, Button made the best getaway, but was blocked by the Red Bull in front. This allowed Lewis Hamilton to sweep around the outside of Turn 1 and take 2nd place. Local hero Kamui Kobayashi slipped to 12th.

However, Button was less than pleased with the German’s move, and was complaining to his team for a penalty. Fernando Alonso easily moved past teammate Felipe Massa for 4th place.

While Lewis clung on to Vettel at the start, he appeared to slow with a slow puncture on Lap 9. He pitted, releasing Button to catch the Red Bull.

Buemi's race ends in the gravel trap

Buemi's race ends in the gravel trap

Sebastian pitted on Lap 10, while Button and Alonso picked up the pace. Both cars, plus Mark Webber, all stopped the following lap. Once the running order calmed down, it became clear that Hamilton had lost two places from his tyre problems.

Sebastien Buemi became the first retirement of the day, as a faulty wheel came off during his pit stop, and the Toro Rosso coasted to a halt in the gravel trap.

The gap between first and second was only 2 seconds, while the top 6 were separated by just 9 seconds. Oddly enough, it soon became apparent that Lewis Hamilton was again struggling with his tyres, allowing Felipe Massa and Mark Webber to give chase behind.

Vettel’s tyres wore off quicker than expected, with both Red Bulls pitting on Lap 20 – with only a few seconds between each pit stop. Jenson followed the same strategy, and emerged just ahead of the championship leader.

Within a few laps, the safety car was deployed. As Felipe Massa tried a move on Lewis Hamilton at the final chicane, Lewis squeezed the Ferrari and broke off a piece of Massa’s front wing, which landed in the middle of the track. The debris was causing cars to swerve to avoid it under braking, and the situation was deemed unsafe.

The safety car pitted after several laps, and Jenson tore away by over half a second per lap. Nico Rosberg continued his ascent through the field, pushing Vitaly Petrov aside to take 11th.

After being reeled in by Alonso, Vettel chose to switch to the harder tyre on Lap 34. Webber followed the tyre call the following lap, indicating heavy tyre wear by the Red Bulls.

Sebastian emerged behind Adrian Sutil, getting badly held up for a lap before passing the Force India. Despite being on the prime tyre, he set the fastest sector 1 time the next lap, prompting Button to bring forward his stop.

Button wins, while Vettel causes the biggest celebrations

Button wins, while Vettel causes the biggest celebrations

Fernando Alonso pitted two laps later, and emerged ahead of Vettel. Meanwhile, Hamilton made a slightly more safe pass on Massa on the pit straight. For a few laps, Michael Schumacher was actually granted the lead of the race due to the pit stop, the German leading a race for the first time since the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix.

However, he soon pitted, slipping to 6th. Meanwhile, the battle for 2nd place began to heat up, with Vettel attempting several passes on Alonso, with the Ferrari driver cutting Sebastian off at every opportunity. Soon though, these battling cars began to catch Jenson Button at quite a considerable rate.

With 5 laps to go, the gap between first and second was 2.1 seconds. However, Jenson was able to pull out enough pace to maintain the gap to Fernando behind.

Sebastian Vettel celebrates back-to-back championships

Sebastian Vettel celebrates back-to-back championships

Button crossed the line to take an excellent victory, while Sebastian Vettel clinched the title from 3rd place. Interestingly enough, Jenson pulled over after the chequered flag, indicating the McLaren was extremely short on fuel.

The podium celebrations featured three world champions, one of which had just become the youngest ever back-to-back winner. After 9 wins out of 15 races, it is without doubt that it has been a fantastic season for the young German.

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