Ayrton Senna, McLaren, Adelaide, 1989

Vettel one win away from equalling Senna

2015 Malaysian Grand Prix stats and facts

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Ayrton Senna, McLaren, Adelaide, 1989Sebastian Vettel needs just one more victory to equal Ayrton Senna’s tally of wins.

Vettel lies fourth on the all-time list of winners following his 40th grand prix victory yesterday, which also made him the first driver to win the Malaysian Grand Prix four times.

This was the 222nd win for Ferrari, who are now 40 victories clear of McLaren at the top of the all-time team winners’ table. It ended a win-less streak for the team which stretched back to Fernando Alonso’s win in the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, 34 races ago.

This isn’t their longest win-less run: between 1990 and 1994 they went 58 races without a victory. Gerhard Berger brought that to an end with their 104th win, which at the time put them level with McLaren as the most successful F1 team in terms of wins.

Uniquely, Vettel is the first driver to score his debut win for Ferrari having already won an F1 race using one of their engines. This is because he is the only driver in F1 history to have won a race powered by Ferrari but not in a Ferrari – his breakthrough victory in the 2008 Italian Grand Prix for Toro Rosso.

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Vettel started the race from second position, which was the first front row start for a Ferrari driver since Felipe Massa’s second place at the same race two years ago.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2014Following a win-less 2014, Ferrari took their first win with turbo power in F1 since 1988. On that occasion the team also halted a streak of domination by one of their rivals.

Yesterday Vettel ended a run of eight consecutive wins for Mercedes, while in 1988 it was Berger again who broke McLaren’s eleven-race monopoly on the top spot. Vettel drove a F1-87/88C of the type Berger won the race with last year.

While Vettel scored his 40th win, Lewis Hamilton took his 40th pole position. This was also Hamilton’s 150th F1 start.

The fastest lap went to Nico Rosberg, who has now scored ten during his career, as many as world champions Graham Hill, John Surtees and Mario Andretti.

Verstappen becomes youngest points scorer

Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, Albert Park, 2015Not only does 17-year-old Max Verstappen have a great chance to to break many ‘youngest ever…’ records, he will probably get to keep them as the FIA is setting a minimum age limit of 18 for F1 racers next year.

Having become the youngest driver to start a race in Australia two weeks ago, he is now the youngest driver ever to score points in a race at the age of 17 years and 184 days. He took the record off Daniil Kvyat who set it in last year’s Australian Grand Prix aged 19 years and 329 days.

Sixth place on the grid was not only Max Verstappen’s best starting position so far, it also equalled the best result achieved by his father Jos, at the 1994 Belgian Grand Prix. The elder Verstappen took third place in that race but did not get to stand on the podium – he was promoted from fourth after team mate Schumacher was disqualified.

Roberto Merhi started his first race and achieved the first finish for himself and Manor.

Another newcomer was Ferrari test driver Raffaele Marciello, who became the 100th Italian driver to participate in an F1 race weekend when he drove for Sauber in first practice. Italy follows Great Britain and the USA to have had 100 different representatives in the world championship, but no Italian has raced in F1 since the end of 2011 when Jarno Trulli and Vitantonio Liuzzi lost their seats.

The FIA’s new ten-second time penalty was used for the first time in the race. Pastor Maldonado was the first recipient and has also reached a new high in terms of the most penalty points accumulated by an F1 driver.

Other drivers have now begun to deduct penalty points they incurred last year: yesterday’s race marked 12 months to the day since Valtteri Bottas became the first driver to receive penalty points, and now his two can be removed his licence is clean again. Maldonado, Marcus Ericsson, Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez are the other drivers currently racing who will have penalty points deducted later this year.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

Did you spot any other interesting stats and facts from the Malaysian Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.

2015 Malaysian Grand Prix

Browse all 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix articles

Author information

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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108 comments on “Vettel one win away from equalling Senna”

  1. Most consecutive wins for a team; Mercedes had won the last 8 races (HAM 7, ROS 1). McLaren holds the record with 11 races (Senna 7, Prost 4) in 1988. Ferrari stalled at 10 races (MSC 6, BAR 4) in 2002, Red Bull ended its streak at 9 races (VET 9, WEB 0) in 2013 and Williams never went higher than 7 races (Prost 4, Hill 3) in 1993. Streak now ended.
    Most consecutive podiums for a team; Mercedes have now finished on the podium in each of the last 21 races. Ferrari holds the record with 53 during 1999-2002, McLaren and Red Bull managed 19 during 2007-2008 and 2010-2011 respectively.
    Most consecutive pole positions for a team; Mercedes have now started from pole 13 (ROS 8, HAM 4) times. Williams holds the record with 24 (Prost 13, Mansell 8 Hill 2, Patrese 1) during 1992-1993. McLaren and Red Bull have had runs of 17 (SEN 14, Prost 3) and 16 (VET 13, WEB 3) during 1988-1989 and 2010-2011 respectively. Surprisingly Ferrari never managed to get more than 7 (MSC 7, BAR 0), this was during 2000-2001. Ferrari’s last pole was in Germany with Alonso in 2012, Red Bull’s last pole was in Brazil 2013 and Williams’ last pole was in Austria 2014.
    McLaren have not won for 40 races, a run that dates back to Brazil 2012. They went 48 races without a win from 1993-97.
    Ferrari have not won since Spain in May 2013, which was the last time a team other than Mercedes or Red Bull won. Streak now ended.

    1. That’s a great stat about the McLaren winless run. I predict they’ll set a new record and go beyond 48 races without a win – but not by much. I think they’ll be competitive again before long, perhaps this year, even if right now they seem to have the power of drains.

    2. McLaren went win-less for 51 races between 1978 and 1981

  2. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
    30th March 2015, 12:03

    Malaysia had 19 starters. The last race with 19 starters was the 2009 Japansese GP.

  3. ColdFly F1 (@)
    30th March 2015, 12:05

    and another Verstappen one (I’m sure we can find some every race).
    Verstappen highest finish for a teenager (under 20) ever!

  4. Alexander (@)
    30th March 2015, 12:11

    Always fun to read the stats and facts after the races! This one brought the idea that F1Fanatic should have some kind of an simple page with statistics of wins/poles/fastest laps and so on, would be nice to check them out without having to google it every time!

    1. @alexanderfin there’s already quite a lot to be found here in terms of the usual records: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Formula_One_driver_records

      1. Alexander (@)
        30th March 2015, 13:03

        @mattds Sure there is, but it wouldn’t be hard to improve those lists and put them here on F1F, and spending time here on the site would get more fun

  5. even though ferrari were winless in early 90s, they are some of my favourite ever f1 cars. they looked and sounded great.

  6. Vettel’s driving style, with the possible exception of Fernando Alonso’s, is the most technically enthralling on the grid. He has the most remarkable ability, perhaps the best I’ve seen in any driver in thirty years of motorsport fanaticism, of carrying speed through the exit of the corner. What’s even more outstanding is his ability to retain these incredible exits in wet conditions, perhaps making the him best wet weather driver on the grid.

    Sebastian belongs with the all-time greats of the sport, no lack of a public private life can deny him that. I increasingly think that asking “who is the best on the grid” misses the point, since racing drivers are highly dynamic entities. The point I would assert is that I am glad I will be able to experience the full extent of the careers of Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso, and that there is a litany of amazing young talent already in line to take their places.

    1. Vettel has always been a great driver, people have been saying things like “it’s just the car”, even after his victory at Sepeng yesterday, a lot of people are saying “it’s just James Allison” or “Vettel must be the luckiest driver ever”.

      Ironically, the same people that said those things thought of Schumi when Vettel was on the podium. Schumacher 5 consecutive championships with Ferrari was partly thanks to the domination of the car, plus he didn’t even have a team-mate to push him. Rubens was always told to move aside if Schumacher was behind him.

      I’m not saying that Schumacher got lucky, I’m just saying people are being extremely unfair to Vettel.

      1. No one ever said that about Schumi! If anything people said the same thing about Schumi that they did about Alonso, i.e. performing miracles in a non-dominant car, destroying team-mates etc

        When Schumacher was winning it was widely accepted he was the best regardless of the advantage his car gave him.

        Raikkonen was definitely on the pace this weekend and was faster than Vettel in all the practise sessions. With a bit more luck he would have been right up there with Vettel, challenging for the win. The Ferrari was mighty and they, especially Alison, deserve a lot of credit. Ferrari being easy on the tyres was exactly what the Alison-designed Lotus was like in 2012.

        1. The Ferrari was mighty and they, especially Alison, deserve a lot of credit.

          I guess they should just leave out the drivers their names and put the head designer instead.

          1. @brum55 I don’t think you’re following the right sport mate…

        2. I don’t know why don’t we take the names ROS and HAM and just put the car designer

        3. @brum55 I’m not sure where you’re from, but typically public opinion between 2000 and 2004 was divided between ‘a monkey could win in the Ferrari’ and ‘Schumacher would even win in a Minardi’. There were almost yearly features in some magazines about him not being the best, too, so he was far from universally loved.

          1. I agree with you in a way. In 02 and 04 and possibly 01 the Ferrari was very dominant

            I certainly was not a fan and barely watched the 02 and 04 seasons but Schumacher was considered the best largely due to what he achieved between 96-99.

      2. calm down,have you forgotten last season.yes it was a great performance in the race and quali,but it was one race.

        1. In turn, that’s one season. Compared to 2008, 2009, 2010 and so on.

        2. Yes, and now he just one more to get level with Senna… So many lucky wins seems unreasonable…

    2. This is just my amateur opinion if I had to rate natural talent and technical skill from 1-4

      Alonso; talent 3 skill 4 = 7/8
      Hamilton; talent 4 skill 2.5 = 6.5/8
      Vettel; talent 3 skill 3.5 = 6.5/8
      Kimi; talent 3.5 skill 2 = 5.5/8

      1. Don’t forget Ricciardo

      2. @xtwl I agree completely. Although, even as an Alonso fan, I have to admit that since 2014, he probably deserves a 3 for skill. Even I will admit that Hamilton is on par with Alonso, a greater talent as you alluded to, but seems to just lack that bit of technical knowledge and understanding that Alonso and Vettel seem to have. I also believe that in a competetive car, like the McLaren MP4-22, Hamilton and Alonso are evenly matched, with Alonso having the edge in the races but often qualifying behind Lewis. But in an inferior car, it’ll be close but I think that Alonso will edge it, solely because I believe he has a adaptive skill second to none, as can be proved from the 2005, 2006, and 2011-2014 seasons.

        1. “Even I will admit that Hamilton is on par with Alonso, a greater talent as you alluded to, but seems to just lack that bit of technical knowledge and understanding that Alonso and Vettel seem to have”

          @mashiat I thought the myth “Lewis is just raw talent” was dead…

          Last time I checked Lewis could set-up his car, conserve his tyres, fly when wet, and save more fuel than his teammate while driving faster. So what kind of technical knowledge is Lewis lacking?

          1. @jcost If you look at Lewis’ career, often he has found himself in the position Nico is in right now: having to resort to copying your teammate. In the last season or so Lewis has improved greatly in that respect, but I don’t think he’s quite on the level of Vettel or Alonso. Once more, do I constantly need to emphasize that this is MY opinion, not the world’s?

          2. If you ever have a chance to visit the MTC ask the guys there if Lewis set his car up …….. their answer was no he couldn’t. He also doesn’t like sharing info with his team mate where as Jenson is happy to share his. Many times commentaters have reported that Lewis has reverted to his team mates set up ,Australia 2015 being the most recent example.

          3. @mashiat2 Lewis has said a number of times he never resorted to any other driver to set up his car. He spent a year with Alonso and beat the then double world champion in equal machinery when he was a rookie. He won his first WDC when his teammate was Heiki, did he copy Heiki?

          4. If Lewis copied the car setup from Fernando in 2007, what does that say about Alonso then? That he made the setup for himself and then someone came and beat him in his own car, basically?

        2. What do people keep saying Alonso has “adaptive skill” when he’s always been the Number One driver at his teams and had the car designed around him?

          All drivers have their own preferred driving styles and their own ideas of what an ideal car setup is, and what works for one often does not work for another.

          1. So, poor drivability, traction, downforce and straight-line speed is the car that Alonso had the team design around him?

      3. @xtwl what’s skill? elaborate if you don’t mind.

        1. @jcost Being a complete F1 driver next to just being a good driver. Despite Hamilton being one of the biggest natural talents in my opinion I’d never choose him if I could hire Vettel or Alonso.

          1. “natural talent” without work will take you nowhere. Michael Jordan is the best basketball player ever, he was super talented but was a hard-worker too. Cristiano Ronaldo is a massive talent but he’s also a hard-worker just like many other great athletes.

            Lewis is a talented guy but imply that his success is all down to “natural talent” after years of different racing categories and different cars? C’mon, he can think beyond his God given gift, he works hard on top of his talent and that’s what makes him that extra bit faster. I recommend you Malcom Gladwell’s “Outliers – The Story Of Success”

          2. @jcost

            “natural talent” without work will take you nowhere.

            Did I say he didn’t work hard?

            Lewis is a talented guy but imply that his success is all down to “natural talent”

            Did I say that?

            No, you’re putting words into my mouth I didn’t say. I simply gave him a rating compared to Vettel, Alonso and Kimi. I Alonso and Vettel are more complete drivers and a more complete package than Hamilton. That doesn’t mean Hamilton is a total chump. He’s third in line for me after Alonso and Vettel. That’s still easily above every other driver of the last 10 or so years.

      4. What do you describe as skill?
        Hamilton being 1.25 seconds clear of everyone else in the wet is not skill for you? lol Or was that just talent?

    3. antonyob (@)
      30th March 2015, 14:59

      some statement. and perhaps over doing it somewhat. still its all about opinions. if he wins this years wdc you may be right.

  7. ColdFly F1 (@)
    30th March 2015, 12:25

    It was the 75th time that first the German and then the Italian anthem was played on the podium.
    The reverse has never happened!

    (and all of us over 20 thought of MSc for a second)

    1. @coldfly “It was the 75th time that first the German and then the Italian anthem was played on the podium.”

      Honestly, after hearing it so many times, they feel like one long song… hearing one without the other sounds “wrong” to me sometimes, all thanks to that era of motorsports

    2. Not just over 20s… I’m 17 and I used to watch Schumacher win nearly every race when I was a small kid. Hearing that famous German-Italian combo bought back many memories of his dominance.

    3. It happened when Nuvolari drove for Auto Union before WWII. Not F1 yet it was Grand Prix racing but you got the point…

      1. I don’t think they played a team’s national anthem back then. Only for the driver. I could be wrong, but they didn’t start doing that until much later.

    4. Almost true.
      It was the 75th time a German driver won in a Ferrari: 72 times Michael Schumacher, 2 times Wolfgang von Trips and one time Sebastian Vettel.
      However, in 2008 Sebastian Vettel also won a race for an Italian team. So 75th time German in a Ferrari, 76th time the Formula One anthem.

      1. Actually, Schumacher’s 19 victories for Benneton were also when the team was Italian. They didn’t become British-owned until 1996.

        1. Actually, the exact opposite is true. Benetton became an Italian-registered team in 1996. They were British up to that point.

    5. IMO, pretty much everyone thought of MSc. I’. below 20 and haven’t seen a Msc+Ferrari win, but Schumi was on my mind too.

    6. I make it 76: von Trips x 2, M Schumacher x 72, Vettel x 2 (Toro Rosso and Ferrari)

    7. These comments are dangerous, according to European law?

  8. Max Verstappen’s 6th in qualifying is the highest a teenager has qualified on the grid since Ricardo Rodriguez at the 1961 Italian Grand Prix.

  9. ColdFly F1 (@)
    30th March 2015, 12:36

    Gents – can you please try the various links to the 2015 stats (at bottom of article).
    The link says 2015 but on my laptop I end up in 2011/2012 – weird.

    1. Same here. Race Data goes to 2012. F1 season records from 2011 etc.

      1. @coldfly @evered7 Sorry about that, there’s been a minor change to some parts of the site’s structure and those links hadn’t been updated to reflect it. Fixed now.

  10. Last year Ferrari led total 32 laps/140km. This year they have surpassed it by leading 46 laps/255km.

    1. And it was only across 2 races I believe: 4 laps from Austria and 28 from Budapest.

  11. Juan Pablo Heidfeld (@juan-pablo-heidfeld-1)
    30th March 2015, 13:00

    Over 100 US drivers? I presume that’s mainly due to the Indy 500?

    1. @juan-pablo-heidfeld-1 indeed. If you leave that out, it’s less than 20.

  12. Ericsson first Swede to qualify in top 10 since Johansson in last race of 87

  13. * Both Toro Rossos finished ahead of both Red Bulls for the fourth time: China 2007, Hungary 2008 and Belgium 2008. They were also ahead in Australia 2009 but in that race Vettel, driving for Red Bull retired late in the race.
    * Vettel is now the driver with most wins at Sepang. It’s the first ever track which was on the calendar before he started in F1 where he has moved on top of the list.
    * McLaren’s first double-retirement since Bahrain 2014, double-non-classification since United States 2006 where Juan Pablo Montoya took both himself and Kimi Räikkönen out of the race.
    * Pastor Maldonado has retired first and second race in each season he has competed (those being always Australian and Malaysian GP)
    * Fourth race of top-10 points era where only five teams scores points (others being China 2010, Germany 2010 and Bahrain 2014)

    1. That last stat is interesting. One would think that if only 5 teams are scoring points, it indicates that driver doesn’t make much difference at such races and hence, these races are likely to be boring. However, with the exception of Germany 2010, all these races were one of the best in their seasons.

      Extending this, then probably 3 car teams isn’t such a bad idea. As only few teams scoring points doesn’t make a race boring, as proved.

    2. Fantastic stats, thanks.

  14. Vettel has ended his longest win-less (20 races) streak since his first win in 2008 with STR.

    This is his second longest win-less streak, since he did not win from the time he substituted Kubica in 2007 USA GP to 2008 Belgian GP. (21 races)

    His win-less (L)/win (W) streaks are as follows:
    21 (L), 1 (W);
    6 (L), 1 (W);
    4 (L), 1 (W);
    6 (L), 1 (W);
    1 (L), 1 (W);
    2 (L), 1 (W);
    5 (L), 1 (W);
    6 (L), 1 (W);
    1 (L), 4 (W);
    1 (L), 3 (W);
    1 (L), 1 (W);
    3 (L), 3 (W);
    1 (L), 2 (W);
    5 (L), 1 (W);
    9 (L), 4 (W);
    4 (L), 1 (W);
    1 (L), 1 (W);
    2 (L), 1 (W);
    1 (L), 2 (W);
    1 (L), 9 (W);
    20 (L), 1 ?? (W);

    The average win-less streak is 4.81 races. Before 2014 it was 4.05. Counting from his first win it is 4 races exactly and was 3.16 before 2014.

    And the average winning streak is 1.95 races (not factoring the ongoing streak(?).

    If we discount retirements/non finishes then:
    12 (L), 1 (W);
    4 (L), 1 (W);
    3 (L), 1 (W);
    4 (L), 1 (W);
    1 (L), 1 (W);
    1 (L), 1 (W);
    4 (L), 1 (W);
    6 (L), 5 (W);
    1 (L), 3 (W);
    1 (L), 1 (W);
    3 (L), 3 (W);
    1 (L), 2 (W);
    4 (L), 1 (W);
    7 (L), 4 (W);
    4 (L), 1 (W);
    1 (L), 1 (W);
    2 (L), 2 (W);
    1 (L), 9 (W);
    17 (L), 1?? (W);

    As we can see, in this case, his latest win-less streak was his longest one by 5 races. 17 to 12 races.

    His average win-less streak then is 4.05 and before 2014, before his longest one yet it was 3.33. I we start counting from his first win, then it is 3.61 and was 2.82.

    His winning streak average in that case, is 2.17 races, again, not factoring in the current streak.

    1. To compare Vettel with Hamilton, here are Hamilton’s win-less/winning streaks:

      Overall: Not counting RET and non finishes:
      2/1; 1/1;
      2/2; 1/2;
      10/1; 9/1;
      3/1; 1/1;
      9/2; 7/2;
      4/1; 3/1;
      8/1; 6/1;
      6/1 5/1;
      7/1; 6/1;
      7/1; 6/1;
      3/1; 1/2;
      1/2; 0
      5/1; 3/1;
      10/1; 9/1;
      10/4; 8/4;
      3/1; 2/1;
      3/5; 2/5;
      1?? / –

      The average win-less streak is exactly 5, both counting from the start of his career in F1 and from his first win. (Compared to Vettel’s 4.81 and 4.00)

      Not counting NonF and RET it is 4.18 and 4.14 from his first win. (Compared to 4.05 and 3.61 for Vettel).

      Making these comparisons I was surprised to find that Hamilton only has two longer winning streaks than 2 races, that is:
      5 races and 4 races, both achieved in 2014.

      Vettel has
      9, 4, 4, 3, 3 long over 2 races long race winning streaks or 9, 5, 4, 3, 3 if you discount RET and non finishes.