In stats … 70 years of Formula One

Features Tales from the vault

All data correct to 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

On the 13th May 1950 at an old RAF base in Northamptonshire, the FIA Formula One Championship began, 1950 The Royal Automobile Club Grand Prix of Europe Incorporating The British Grand Prix. Over the seven decades since there have been 1,018 Grand Prix’s across every continent in the world except Antarctica. The sport has changed from fun into a professional series with drivers competing for the world championship.

There have been thirty-three drivers’ champions in seventy years, twenty-nine final race deciders. Michael Schumacher is the most successful driver with seven world titles and ninety-one wins, those record can be equalled this season only by Lewis Hamilton.

The Drivers’ Championship has been won in the final race of the season twenty-nine times in the six-nine seasons. Those final race fights have been tense and mostly flyway races in either Asia or the Americas and more recently the Middle East.

Father and son champions Graham and Damon Hill, Keke and Nico Rosberg. The only brothers to finish one-two Michael and Ralf Schumacher.

The circuit to host the most Grand Prix’s the Autodromo de Nationale Monza which has hosted a Grand Prix in all but one season. Italy and Britain are the only races to be held every season. F1 has grown into a billion-pound business, worth millions of to the economies of countries.

From the gilts and glamour of Monte Carlo to the high-speed Suzuka circuit in Japan. In a season which crosses five continents in nine months, the race doesn’t stop to get to the next place. Every race is different, in bespoke engineered cars the race is never over.

Sadly, along the way, fifty-two drivers have been killed, but over the decades this is thankfully rare. Everyone remembered from Chet Miller at Indianapolis in 1953 to Jules Bianchi in 2015.

Twenty-two countries can bear the honour of having a Grand Prix winner, the UK sits top with nineteen different winners and 288 wins. If we break it down its one win per country in the union, England has the most champions.

Hill is the most successful drivers surname, three different drivers have been crowned champion five times.

Also, the commonwealth has more drivers champions than the European Union.

Longest circuit 16.031 mi (25.800km) only used once for the Pescara Grand Prix in 1957. Shortest circuit Zeltweg Airfield in Austria 1.980 mi (3.186 km) used in 1964 for the Austrian Grand Prix. The shortest distance between circuits 5.7km between Zeltweg and the Red Bull Ring.

The youngest starter and race winner Max Verstappen. Oldest race winner Luigi Fagioli. Shortest time as world champion Felipe Massa just thirty-eight seconds.

Debut winners are Nino Farina, Johnnie Parsons and Giancarlo Baghetti, while Mark Webber had to race 130 times to get his first win. Andrea de Cesaris made 208 starts without a win.

Debut race podiums for Lewis Hamilton and Jacques Villeneuve while Carlos Sainz Jr would need to race 101 times to score a podium. Although The Spaniard waits still to be part of celebrations. Back to back points finish ongoing for Hamilton, currently thirty-three.  Hamilton is the only driver to win at least one Grand Prix in each season he has taken part in.

Shortest full distance Grand Prix 01:14:19.838, the longest Grand Prix 04:04:39.537. That longest race saw six safety cars, a two-hour red flag, five retirements the winner being in every position at some point in the race. Also, most pit stops by the winner Jenson Button.

The closest qualifying session 0.000, at Jerez in 1997 when  Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher, and Heinz-Harald Frentzen all set an identical qualifying lap time.

First-night race 2008 Singapore, also believed to be one of the most controversial races after Renault ordered Nelson Piquet Jr. to deliberately crash during to give a sporting advantage to his Renault teammate Fernando Alonso.

Also, the 2005 race at Indianapolis one of the controversial for the Michelin tyre failures which lead to only six cars starting the race.

The earliest start to a season 01 January 1965 & 1968 in South Africa, also the latest finish to the season 29 December 1962. Latest start to a season provisionally 05 July 2020.

Coldest Grand Prix five degrees in Montréal in 1978 hottest forty-two degrees in Bahrain in 2005.

Most Grand Prix’s entered Rubens Barrichello with 326, Kimi Räikkönen should pass that this year. Most race consecutive starts 250 (ongoing) Lewis Hamilton.

Most entries with a single-engine manufacturer 250 (ongoing) Lewis Hamilton.

Most wins in a season thirteen Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, who tie with Lewis Hamilton for second as well.  Vettel also holds the record with nine back to back wins in a season.

Most drivers with a mathematical chance of winning the championship at the final race four, Hamilton, Vettel, Webber and Alonso. Most consecutive different winners from the first race seven, Button, Alonso, Nico Rosberg, Vettel, Pastor Maldonado, Webber and Hamilton.

Eighteen engine suppliers Porsche and Weslake taking one win, from Vanwall, Tag Heuer, BMW, Honda, Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari. Ford taking the highest win rate in a season winning ever Grand Prix in 1973, as well as twenty-two back to back wins.

Most wins by a tyre supplier Goodyear with 368 wins.

These records are to be beaten…

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