Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2015

Hamilton matches Senna’s podium tally as Vettel’s points streak ends

2015 Belgian Grand Prix stats and facts

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2015Lewis Hamilton’s victory in the Belgian Grand Prix means he has now taken as may podium finishes as his hero Ayrton Senna. Hamilton racked up 80 podiums in 159 starts – it took Senna 158 races to achieve as many.

Only one driver on the grid today has more podiums than Hamilton: Fernando Alonso, with 97. Further ahead of them on the ‘most podiums’ list are Alain Prost (106) and Michael Schumacher (155).

Hamilton’s tenth pole position of the year means he has won the FIA Pole Position Trophy with eight rounds to spare – not that it means much to him. For the first time in his career he took pole for the sixth race in a row, something no one else on the grid has managed.

If Hamilton takes pole at the next two races he will equal the all-time record of eight, set by Senna. Prost and Schumacher also managed streaks of seven in a row – Schumacher was the last driver to take six on the trot, over the last four races of 2000 and the first four of 2001.

Vettel was closing on another record streak when his right-rear tyre failed on the penultimate lap. He had finished the previous 21 races in the points, but that run has ended six races shy of the record held by his team mate Kimi Raikkonen.

Vettel’s 150th grand prix and Ferrari’s 900th therefore ended in disappointment. Raikkonen could only manage seventh place – the lowest finishing place he has record in a Belgian Grand Prix where he was still running at the end.

However Vettel remains the only non-Mercedes driver to have finished on the rostrum more than once this year. Romain Grosjean inherited his third place, giving him and Lotus their first podium since the 2013 United States Grand Prix.

Grosjean would also have had his best starting position since the same race had he not been penalised five places on the grid for a gearbox change. Along with Hamilton, he is one of only two drivers to have out-qualified his team mate ten times this year.

Vettel’s last-lap tyre blow-out means only the Mercedes drivers have completed every racing lap this year. For the second race in a row the race distance was shortened by a lap due to an aborted start.

Force India had their best starting position of the year so far (fourth) and result (fifth) thanks to Sergio Perez.

Nico Rosberg followed Hamilton home in second place, giving Mercedes their seventh one-two of the year and 50th consecutive points score (Ferrari’s 81 is the record). He also set the fastest lap of the race, the 12th of his career, putting him level with Alberto Ascari, Jack Brabham, Rene Arnoux and Juan Pablo Montoya.

Finally McLaren set a new, unwanted record for racking up the largest grid place penalty in F1 history. After changing the power units on Jenson Button and Alonso’s cars twice each, the pair had a combined 105-place grid drop between them.

Button has the most grid position penalties so far this year, 95, followed by Alonso on 75 and Verstappen on 25.

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Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2015 Belgian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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98 comments on “Hamilton matches Senna’s podium tally as Vettel’s points streak ends”

  1. How is qualifying position counted? In past seasons if a driver gets a penalty and drops behind a team mate he initially out qualified, his starting position is taken as his qualifying position.

    1. No. That doesn’t make sense. Starting position and qualifying position is two different things.

      1. Michael Brown
        25th August 2015, 2:50

        You’re right about that. Pole positions are actually counted based on starting position. The most recent examples of those were the 2012 Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix. Maldonado and Webber were credited with pole position after inheriting the position from penalties.

  2. I noticed that the last 44 Grands Prix have been won by just 4 drivers (Rosberg, Vettel, Hamilton and Ricciardo). I wonder if there has ever been a longer ‘winning streak’ by four drivers.

    1. Best I can find is 26: Portugal 87 to Canada 89 (Prost, Mansell, Berger, Senna)

      1. That is the next best and after that is:

        Belgium 62- Germany 64 – Gurney, Clark, Hill, Surtees – 23
        Hungary 93 – Japan 94 Berger, Senna, Hill, Schumaker – 21

        1. And I apologise for my spelling of Schumachers name! I am literllay cringing right now

          1. Someone pronounces it like that too. Is it Brundle??

    2. @girts And I think it is safe to assume this will continue for some time.

    3. There have been two 25 race streaks between four drivers in recent times that haven’t been mentioned yet.

      One of Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton or Button won the 25 races from Belgium 2010 to Abu Dhabi 2011. The streak was broken on both occasions by Webber who won in Hungary 2010 and at Brazil 2011.

      If you include Webber to make it a quintet these five drivers won 44 races from Italy 2009 until Malaysia 2012. Barrichello won in Italy in 2009 and Rosberg won in China in 2012 either side. Interesting that this only four drivers have won the last 44 races as it matches this streak.

      Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Massa – 25 races from Japan 2006 – Monaco 2008.
      The two drivers either were Michael Schumacher (China 2006) and Kubica (Canada 2008.)

    4. It wasn’t so long ago that we had seven different winners to start the season back in 2012. How times change!

      1. So True it Hurts

      2. Although to be fair, that was more of a freak occurrence than a characteristic of those times. Ever since 2009 the winning teams/drivers have been a rather stable club with few and rare new entries, especially when you look across seasons.

    5. In fact Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel have won the last 18 GPs between them.. If they continue like this they are easily going to break the previous best win streaks for four drivers, just between the three of them.

  3. Belgian GP was also Vettel’s 100th consecutive GP without a DNF caused by crash. That’s a record and it’s still counting….

    1. Nice!

    2. Especially impressive given his 2010 record. Proves that when sportive maturity meets raw talent, a great combination can result.

      1. In 2010 he had 1 DNF caused by accident. Same year Hamilton had 2, Alonso and Button had 1 for each.

        1. which dnf?

          1. Turkey against Webber, the Red Bull raw.

  4. If Nico Rosberg finishes ahead of Hamilton in a season, he’ll be the second driver to beat two WDC’s in Formula 1. Hamilton currently holds that achievement.

    1. tuvothepirate
      24th August 2015, 14:04

      Actually Felipe Massa has done this already, he beat Jacques Villeneuve in 2005 and Kimi in 2008 I guess

    2. Alain Prost beat loads of world champion teammates during his career. Niki Lauda, Keke Rosberg, Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill. That’s five. Mansell and Hill hadn’t won the title yet when they were teammates to Prost but that’s five former and future world champions that Prost beat during his career.

      Perhaps you meant on the current grid. But then Jenson Button has done this too. He beat Villeneuve in 2003 and he also beat Hamilton in 2011. If Button beats Alonso this season (which given the horrendous reliability of the car wouldn’t mean as much compared to if the car were competitive) then he will have beaten three world champion teammates.

      1. As has been correctly pointed out, so has Massa.

      2. @debaser91 Surely Vettel holds the record in 2012 with 5 other world champions on the grid? (Hamilton, Schumacher, Alonso, Button and Kimi)

        1. The stat was about beating a world champion teammate (i.e. in the same car), not beating the most world champions on the grid.

          1. @debaser91 Anyway, either McLaren driver will have this record as they are both on one, Alonso beat Kimi last year and Button beat Hamilton in 2011.

          2. Button is on two, he beat Villeneuve when they were at BAR. But yes Alonso can manage it if he beats Jenson this year, I forgot about that.

          3. @debaser91 Ah yes, Villeneuve… I’m pretty sure we’re overlooking certain drivers that have this record also.

          4. It doesn’t really seem something that uncommon. Hamilton beat Alonso and Button.

          5. When it comes to beating reigning WDCs in the same car I believe he is the only one in the history. With two.

        2. Misunderstood – overlooked the ‘teammate’ part.

          1. Well just as people rightly pointed out how much unreliability kept LH from outright dominating NR, all the while NR ending up with nearly the equivalent unreliability once the full season had run it’s course, let’s at least acknowledge that at BAR JB had a far more reliable car than JV that year over the entire season. JV had about a third less points but half the reliability so when looking at them healthy car to healthy car JV actually prevailed, just as was being argued for LH vs. NR.

          2. @robbie I see 6 vs 8 DNS/DNFs. Were there loads of niggles that don’t show up clearly, because you said half reliability? More importantly I see that Button beat Villeneuve 3-1 in races both finished, including a 4th place.

            Villeneuve also didn’t merely have a thrid fewer, he had nearly half the points, and the only points he did score were in races where Button had retired.

          3. @matt90 Ya worded that a bit awkwardly. JV didn’t race the last race in which JB got 5 points, so prior to that the points were 12-6 JB to JV, with JV having way more unreliability. And indeed you have to look at all the sessions and what occurred during the races to see where it went wrong for JV…eg. Austria he ran the race without steering wheel electronics and resultantly had a car stall in the second pit stop on top of that. So he shows finishing, and in 12th, but that’s just one example where you can’t just look at the final finishing spots, again, as was done with LH vs. NR.

      3. In all fairness, Hamilton didn’t actually beat Alonso in 2007. Tehy were tied on points.

        1. Someone will say “He did, on the count back”. Someone else will say “That doesn’t make much sense”. Someone will add “Hamilton was a rookie”. Another will say “But he had lots of practice in McLaren”. And the other guy will add “Alonso was new on the team”. Undoubtedly others will comment that Alonso had to adapt to tyres, Alonso blackmailed Ron Dennis, Alonso wanted to be number 1, Alonso blocked Hamilton in Hungary, but Hamilton had previously agreed to give precedence to Alonso in that quali, Hamilton played in front of the cameras, Alonso played in front of the cameras, Hamilton was Ron’s favorite, Alonso outperformed Hamilton in slower cars during Vettel era, blablablabla…..

          1. Who finished ahead in the championship?

          2. lol Kanan, spot on :)

        2. How come Hamilton was placed 2nd and Alonso 3rd?

      4. I’m blown away, thought only Hamilton beat two WDCs. Love it when F1 fans come up with real stats. Was feeling chuffed about my comment, not anymore

        1. He did. He is the only driver who managed to outscore two REINING world champion in the same car. ( Alonso 2007, Button 2010 ).

          All the example above are not valid because the drivers Villneuve, Raikonnen, etc. were not defending WDC at those years.

          1. sorry reigning :)

          2. Alain Prost (Lauda in 1985 and Senna in 1989)

            Unless your just talking about current drivers

          3. No I meant all time, but seems like i have mistaken. Maybe they share the record, or there could be someone else left unnoticed.

  5. Hamilton has never won in round 12 of the championship, which is coming up next, it’s the only round he hasn’t won apart from round 20, which has only happened once.

    1. He has broken many of his bad streaks before so that is just another one.

  6. In response to Vettel’s point streak ending, Hamilton is on an 18 race streak in the points. All but one were on the podium (2015 Hungary), and all would have been in the points under the top-6 finishers scoring system.

    Should Merc’s 2015 reliability hold out, Hamilton could be at 26 at the end of this season.

  7. This is the problem for Hulk… No matter how consistently he brings in the points and finishes ahead, it always seems like Perez is in the right place at the right time to grab the headlines, both for himself and the team. Whether it’s just luck or rare genius he just seems to make it happen. That’s what got him a seat at Mclaren, even though it worked out poorly that was still a very impressive move at the time.

    Also, 95 penalty spots for JB? Can’t we just agree this system of punishments is a complete farce, and more importantly, utterly ineffective?

    1. and more importantly, utterly ineffective?

      Not true, it is there to stop manufacturers brings engine after engine to races and actually put work into their reliability instead. Looking at the engine usage stats of Mercedes and Ferrari it is VERY effective. No one made Honda come back into F1 and they only have themselves to blame for being so woefully under prepared.

      1. *bringing


      2. Imagine Vettel decides to take the punishment and takes 5 new engines for 5 races in 1 race. At the moment, this is allowed to happen with the tolerance for Honda and Renault. Then he cranks up the engine and outqualifies Mercedes….
        Maybe he should try….

      3. The Honda and to a lesser but still significant extent Renault engines are still very unreliable. And they will stay unreliable and underdeveloped because the rules don’t permit them to improve at any great rate. They can’t make the engines dramatically better throughout the season.

        How are the punishments improving the situation? All its doing is keeping backmarkers at the back and penalising drivers. Isn’t the removal of the rule, that forced unused penalties to rollover, evidence enough that the FIA themselves realise this situation is stupid? There must be far better ways of administering these rules.

        1. Its still wrong to blame the penalty system though. The issue isn’t that but the lack of development opportunities for the engine manufacturers. Again nobody but Honda put themselves in this situation. It would be unfair to the other manufactures who made to considerable effort and investment into following the current rules to suddenly change the punishment for not adhering to them.

          How are the punishments improving the situation?

          Look at the reliability of the Mercedes engine this season, compare that to engine reliability 10-15 years ago, that’s how it is working.
          As to Honda’s specific case, the punishments aren’t meant to help Honda now, that is why they are called punishments. You can bet they are making a damn sight more effort for next seasons engine to not repeat this.

          A counter argument would be how would removing the punishments improve the situation? It wouldn’t so I’m not sure why you are arguing for it.

        2. You realize that improvement on the basis of reliability are completely open and free from the token system?

  8. First podium for a PDVSA sponsored car since Spain 2012

  9. First time Lewis, Nico and Romain have been on the podium together.

    1. First time three GP2 champions?

      1. @xtwl Your comment provoked my interest so I had to check it out! Obviously Hamilton and Rosberg have been on the podium together plenty of times now (27 occasions) but they had never been joined by a third fellow former GP2 champion until this weekend. Good spot!

        I also found it interesting that Nico has had 36 podiums in F1 and for 27 of them Lewis has also been on the podium. That’s a really high percentage.

        There were three other instances that I could find where there have been two former GP2 champions on the podium, but the driver combination was not Lewis and Nico.

        Singapore 2009 Hamilton 1st Glock 2nd
        Hungary 2012 Hamilton 1st Grosjean 3rd
        India 2013 Rosberg 2nd Grosjean 3rd

        1. Vast Majority of Rosbergs podiums have come in the last 2 seasons so kind of makes sense.

          He has had 10 podiums from 11 this season, even though he is being well and truly spanked by Hamilton

        2. Grosjean was also on the podium with Hamilton on Canada 2012.

  10. Huge difference in the quality of those podiums, though. Senna often did it while willing an inferior car home above a superior field. Hamilton coasts a dominant car home ahead of a half-decent teammate and inferior field.

    1. Senna also had his seasons in an utterly dominant car and vice versa Hamilton also has his podium finishes (and race wins) with a inferior car.

    2. Yes, all of the 80 podiums came in the last two years.
      And Senna drove really bad cars from 1988 to 1991.

    3. Senna never had an ‘inferior car’ to the degree of a F14 T after his Toleman, though. Even the MP4/8 Ford was good enough to lend Mika Hakkinen, still a young gun at that point, to a podium in 1993. At best, he had to deal with a better Williams in 1992 and 1993, but those McLarens were still better than most of the field, Benetton’s inconsistent performance during those seasons not withstanding.

      Hamilton has had a dominant car since early last year. I’m not exactly a Hamilton fan, but he didn’t score all