Ayrton Senna, McLaren

Hamilton set to match Senna in more ways than one

2015 Italian Grand Prix stats and facts

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Ayrton Senna, McLarenLewis Hamilton can match his childhood hero Ayrton Senna following his ‘grand slam’ in the Italian Grand Prix weekend.

Hamilton’s dominance at Monza was complete: he headed every practice session and all three stages of qualifying, led every lap of the race and set fastest lap on his way to winning from pole position.

A win for Hamilton in the next race at Singapore would move him up to 41 victories from 161 starts – equalling Senna’s career record. Sebastian Vettel is already on 41 wins, though he has started nine fewer races than Hamilton.

Hamilton can also equal the record for most consecutive pole positions at the next race. He took his seventh in a row at Monza – Senna set the record of eight over the last three races of 1988 and first five of 1989. Senna also set seven poles in a row in 1990-91, as did Alain Prost in 1993 and Michael Schumacher in 2000-01.

With a 53-point lead in the championship, Hamilton is on course to match Senna in another way – by taking a third world championship. There are 175 points up for grabs in the remaining races, but with Mercedes usually monopolising the top two positions when they don’t break down, Hamilton could finish second to Rosberg in all the remaining races and still win the title.

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Hamilton also increased his streak of front row starts to 20 in a row. He needs four more to equal the all-time record held by – you guessed it – Senna.

This was Hamilton’s 81st appearance on the podium, moving him one ahead of Senna. The next driver for him to catch in Fernando Alonso on 97, who has the third-highest tally of podiums in F1 history.

However Hamilton could have been denied his 40th career win as his team came under the eye of the stewards due to having tyre pressures beneath the allowed minimum before the race began. His victory was eventually upheld, but it serves as a reminder that had it not been for a controversial decision at Belgium in 2008, Hamilton would already be on 41 wins. Senna was also contentiously stripped of a victory during his F1 career, at Suzuka in 1989.

With second and third on the grid Ferrari enjoyed their best qualifying performance at home since 2010, when Alonso took pole with Felipe Massa third. Second was Kimi Raikkonen’s highest qualifying position since the 2013 Chinese Grand Prix, but a slow getaway meant he was last as the cars reached the first corner.

Raikkonen’s drama was an example of how starts have become more unpredictable since the restrictions introduced at Spa. We saw an average of 31.8 changes of position on the first lap of races over the first ten events of the year, which has almost doubled to 61.5 over the last two races. However track configuration may have played a significant role in this and as drivers are expected to refine their getaways we may see this settle down over the remaining rounds.

Red Bull were expected to struggle at Monza and so it proved: this was the first time since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix that neither of their cars made it into Q3. The team received 85 grid place penalties following a series of power unit component changes.

A total of 168 grid place position penalties were handed down at Monza – that’s more than the total for the entire of 2014. Last year drivers were docked a total of 160 grid places, the total for this year reached 400 at Monza.

Despite his late engine failure Nico Rosberg was still classified as he had covered more than 90% of the race distance. However it means Hamilton is now the only driver left who has completed every racing lap so far this year.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

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

2015 Italian Grand Prix

Browse all 2015 Italian 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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117 comments on “Hamilton set to match Senna in more ways than one”

  1. I know it’s a statistic that doesn’t hold too much meaning nowadays since the move to the new points system in 2010 but Sebastian Vettel is now the highest point scorer in F1 history with 1796. Prior to this race he had been level with Fernando Alonso on 1778. Lewis Hamilton is 3rd, Jenson Button 5th, Kimi Raikkonen 6th, Nico Rosberg 7th, Mark Webber 8th and Felipe Massa 9th on the list which illustrates rather well the devaluation of this statistic. If you convert points to one system then of course Michael Schumacher is still well on top.

    1. Sebastian Vettel’s also now over 100 races without a crash out. Monza was 101st. This is the all-time record.

      1. How many crashes did he have apart from his two crashes with Webber that I remember?

        1. I have only the crash outs. Stat is also related to DNFs caused by crashes. He might have had a crash, but finished the race anyway. I don’t remember that. His last collision and subsequent DNF was Turkey’10.
          His previous crash outs:
          He’s one of the least accident-prone drivers amongst world champions and current drivers.
          His first and latest crash was with Webber :D

          1. How about spa 2010?

          2. He might have had a crash, but finished the race anyway. I don’t remember that.

            On the top my head, the rather memorable first lap collision from Brazil 2012.

          3. @f1fan-2000 He finished in Belgium’10.
            @retak Yeah, that’s the only one I remember off the top of my head.

            Of course I should also add that I don’t know which ones were his fault, or which ones are open to debate, or when others just plain and simple crashed into him. I think he had a serious number of first lap crashes in 2008 which were not particularly his fault though…

          4. Thanks hamman, very interesting. I couldn’t find such a statistic with google. Is there a site I can look this up. Don’t say it is on this one, I haven’t fully explored it yet..

          5. http://formula1.markwessel.com – points for different systems
            http://www.statsf1.com – all sorts of stats

            You can see the history for a driver if you select his profile.
            For example: http://www.statsf1.com/en/sebastian-vettel/engagement.aspx

          6. @hamman
            Great, thanks again!

          7. No problemo! You’re welcome….

    2. @debaser91 I don’t bother with that one because, as you say, it’s meaningless. To put it into perspective, had the 2010 points system always been used Michael Schumacher would have 3,890 points.

      1. Right this is meaningless, I don’t understand why they are not always using an adjusted statistic when they are making comparisons about total points.

        1. Because it’s not fair – how hard do you think someone in 11th pushes these days vs when points went to 6th? And likewise you’d take extraordinary risks to go 7th to 6th whereas now, not so much.

          And don’t get me started on the 1st to 2nd points ratio. That’s a travesty.

          1. Of course such comparisons are never entirely fair. However it is much fairer to take the same yardstick, don’t you think?

            Apart from different incentives, other differences are less reliability in earlier times, less races.

            However since people like Schumacher, Vettel and Alonso are usually fighting for the top spots there shouldn’t be that much of a difference of incentives. So I think it should be obvious that the yardstick clearly trumps incentives when you want to compare total points.

        2. @skylien
          This article is called stats and facts, and it is a fact, therefore it’s relevant to this article (if not to any realistic form of comparison).

      2. @keithcollantine You are quite right. I just remember David Croft mentioning it during commentary and in the absence of any interesting facts coming to mind I thought I’d write it. Even if you adjust to one points system then the careers of people like Clark and Fangio who raced when there were many fewer races per season are devalued. I guess you can use things things like points per race and points per finish but still comparing across eras doesn’t really work.

      3. Schumacher: 3891
        Alonso: 2619
        Prost: 2459
        Hamilton: 2085
        Raikkonen: 2038
        Vettel: 1982
        Barrichello: 1891
        Senna: 1842
        Button: 1795
        Coulthard: 1728

        Another stat maybe more meaningful: points average
        Juan Manuel Fangio: 15.90
        Alberto Ascari: 13.16
        Sebastian Vettel: 13.13
        Lewis Hamilton: 13.03
        Michael Schumacher: 12.63
        Alain Prost: 12.17
        Nino Farina: 12.06
        Jim Clark: 11.76
        Ayrton Senna: 11.37
        Jackie Stewart: 11.18

        All calculations are made with current points system.

      4. Also, the points are skewed by the number of races held in any season. For years there was only 16 races per season, but in the 60’s & 70’s much less at nine.

  2. @keithcollantine 4th Paragrath

    “at next year”

    – “at next race?”

  3. The Mercedes works team suffered their first power unit-related DNF since Lewis Hamilton at the 2014 Australian GP.

    Pastor Maldonado has retired from 8 of the 12 races this season. Looking at only the first 12 races of the season, that’s the highest number of retirements since Adrian Sutil in 2008.

    1. 2014 Abu Double GP, Ros had an engine failure.

      1. Correction PU failure.

        1. Which didn’t result in NDF, okay, ignore me.

          1. Had Rosberg followed his team’s instructions you’d be correct. ;)

  4. This season this was the first race which included Hamilton and Vettel at podium ceremony without Rosberg. We are missing these permutations with their podium finishes: Hamilton-Vettel-Rosberg and Vettel-Rosberg-Hamilton.

  5. The highest number of teams on the podium so far @keithcollantine

    1. @davidnotcoulthard Not just so far, I predict there will be no greater number on the podium for the rest of the year.

      1. There’s also never been a greater number of teams on the podium. Ever. :P

      2. @jerseyf1 HAM-BOT-GRO on the podium interviewed by VER? :P

        1. (Brackley-Williams-Enstone-Ferrari)

  6. I was just looking at total wins and if I’m not mistaken, since the start of 2007 Lewis Hamilton & Sebastien Vettel have won 50.6% of all races!

    Race: 160
    LH: 40
    SV: 41

    1. :-O But if you think about it a little bit, it’s not that much. Especially since they’ve certainly won all the championships other than 2007 and 2009. Maybe because Hamilton’s won 18 of his wins in last 2 years, it plays with my perception…. That’s almost half. And before it was mostly Alonso challenging for the championships, with Button winning as many races as Hamilton.

    2. Victories since the start of 07:
      Vettel 41 Hamilton 40 Alonso 17 Button 14 Raikkonen 11 Rosberg 11 Massa 9 Webber 9 Ricciardo 3
      Barrichello 2 Kubica 1 Kovalainen 1 Maldonado 1
      Makes sad reading if you’re an Alonso fan.

      1. Interesting how JB is 4th.

      2. it does make sad reading, Alonso drove better races then probably 1/3 of Vettel and Hamiltons victories. Sadder reading for me is Kubica 1 win, and Hamilton 40. Kubica was a better driver then Hamilton in junior formula, and was great in F1 until the dreaded… but these stats show how only the fastest car wins, and not the fastest driver.

        1. Luckily fastest drivers are generally attracted to the fastest cars and the fastest teams want the fastest drivers, just as they have always done – so it all works out in the end.

        2. Didn’t Hamilton win practically every title often at the first attempt before F1? Also when in F1, I felt Kubica was overrated and his teammate Heidfeld underrated.

          1. No actually. I guess the only one worth mentioning that he’d won at his first try is GP2. He won 5 races, finished with 114 points, ahead of Piquet jr who won 4 races and 102 points.

        3. Hamilton’s junior record was exemplary.
          Kubica was great in 2008 and 2010 (albeit in 2010 Petrov wasn’t much of a yardstick) and very average in 2009.

        4. “Kubica was a better driver then Hamilton in junior formula”

          Erm, no.

        5. Mate, better look again at the stats from Ham and Kub…

        6. Hahahahaha

        7. Kubica’s junior career wasn’t particularly strong to be honest. It was good, but several other current drivers had stronger junior careers. Meanwhile, Hamilton had one of the strongest junior careers of any driver on the grid – arguably only Hulkenberg’s was better.
          A summary of Kubica’s junior career:
          • In Kubica’s first year of single-seaters (2001), he competed in FR 2000 Italy and FR 2000 Eurocup. He finished 14th in FR 2000 Eurocup and 13th in FR 2000 Italy.

          • In his second year, he competed in the same championships for a second season. He finished 7th in FR 2000 Eurocup and 2nd in FR 2000 Italy. Kubica missed one round in FR 2000 Eurocup (however it’s worth noting that he was outscored 92-80 by Hamilton, despite the fact that Hamilton started only 4 races, whereas Kubica started 8 of the 9 rounds).

          • In his third year, Kubica competed in F3 Euro and finished 12th.

          • In his fourth year, Kubica stayed in F3 Euro for a second season and finished 7th.

          • In his fifth year, Kubica moved to FR 3.5 and won the championship in his rookie year, with 4 wins and 11 podiums in 17 starts. However, it should be noted that this was the inaugural season of FR 3.5, so everyone in the series was a rookie.
          Kubica’s standout performance in the junior formulae was surely winning Formula Renault 3.5 as a rookie, which was very impressive, but that was the only title he won in 5 years of junior formulae (and to be honest the opposition in 3.5 wasn’t particularly strong in his title year: the only future F1 prospects in the field were Pastor Maldonado and Karun Chandhok [plus Winkelhock, though he only competed in one F1 race], and as it was the inaugural FR 3.5 season winning it as a rookie doesn’t mean as much).
          Next we’ll look at Hamilton’s junior career. Hamilton won 3 titles in 6 years of junior formulae, including titles in F3 Euro and GP2 (taking the GP2 title as a rookie), which were arguably the two most competitive junior championships at the time (FR 3.5 was a new series and was still gathering momentum).
          • Hamilton’s first year in single-seaters (2001) simply consisted of 4 races in the FR 2000 Winter Series, in which he finished 5th overall.

          • In his second year of single seaters, Hamilton finished 3rd in FR 2000 UK as a rookie and also took 5th in his first year of FR 2000 Eurocup, despite only competing in the final 4 rounds (of a 9 race season). Over those final 4 rounds, he scored more points than anyone else.

          • In his third year, he won Formula Renault 2.0 as a rookie with 10 wins in 15 races.

          • In his fourth year he finished 5th in the F3 Euro championship as a rookie.

          • In his fifth year, he dominated F3 Euro to take the title with 15 wins in 20 races.

          • In his sixth year, he won GP2 as a rookie ahead of several future F1 drivers (Piquet Jr, Glock, di Grassi, Petrov), taking 5 wins and 14 podiums from 21 starts. Hamilton (1st, 114 points) and Glock (4th, 58 points) were the only rookie drivers to finish in the top ten of the championship. Hamilton’s record for most podium finishes in a GP2 season stands to this day.

          Given that Hamilton and Kubica both did 2 years in Euro F3, it could be useful to compare their results in the category:

          Rookie year (2003): 12th in the championship (31 points, 1 win, 2 podiums, 0 poles and 3 fastest laps from 13 races)

          2nd year (2004): 7th in the championship (53 points, 0 wins, 3 podiums, 0 poles and 0 fastest laps from 20 races)

          Rookie year (2004): 5th in the championship (69 points, 1 win, 5 podiums, 1 pole and 2 fastest laps from 20 races)

          2nd year (2005): 1st in the championship (172 points, 15 wins, 17 podiums, 13 poles and 10 fastest laps from 20 races)


          Kubica: Best championship finish of 7th, 84 points, 1 win, 5 podiums, 0 poles and 3 fastest laps from 33 races

          Hamilton: Best championship finish of 1st, 241 points, 16 wins, 22 podiums, 14 poles and 12 fastest laps from 40 races

          In my opinion, Hamilton’s junior career was clearly superior to Kubica’s. Kubica was no doubt a very talented driver (potentially a future world champion), and I think he was more impressive in F1 than he was in the junior categories, but I very much doubt that he was as good as Hamilton.
          In F1, Kubica was very evenly matched with Nick Heidfeld overall – across 2006-2009, the results were 29-28 to Kubica in qualifying, 25-24 to Heidfeld in races, and 150-137 to Heidfeld in points (for comparison, when Heidfeld was teammates with Webber in 2005, Webber was ahead 9-5 in qualifying but Heidfeld was ahead 6-4 in races and 28-24 in points). Kubica was less experienced than Heidfeld of course, and although he was beaten in 2006 (only competed in the final 6 races) and 2007, he outperformed Heidfeld in an impressive 2008 season. However, in 2009 he was marginally outperformed by Heidfeld again (Heidfeld ahead 19-17 in points and 7-6 in race finishes). Kubica then had a very impressive 2010 season, out-scoring Petrov 136-27. It’s difficult to rate how good of a yardstick Petrov was (Petrov’s GP2 results were worse than Maldonado’s but better than Chilton’s, and fairly similar to Ericsson’s, probably slightly better), but it was a great performance regardless. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see more of Kubica, as it’s difficult to make firm conclusions based on comparisons with only two teammates. I suspect that, at worst, Kubica was slightly better than Heidfeld and perhaps on a similar level to Rosberg, but I think that he was potentially better than that – I get the impression that Kubica would’ve been somewhere in the middle of Hamilton and Rosberg in skill level. Hamilton and Rosberg both had stronger junior careers than him, but Kubica’s 2008 and 2010 seasons were just so impressive, so I think he had a lot of potential as an F1 driver.

          1. @kpcart, no followup comment to this nice stats breakdown? I’m disappointed.

          2. Epic post @polo.

        8. Kubica was never anywhere close to Hamilton. I think you are being a bit kind only due to his career misfortune.

      3. Well, 1/3 of Alonso’s race wins are also inherited. And that’s the same amount of races in which Vettel lost the lead due to technical issues. That is sad reliability for Sebastian Vettel.

        1. And I think he’s only ever inherited 1 win. That is sad luck for Sebastian Vettel.

      4. Don’t forget. One of those Alonso’s wins are from “Crash gate”

    3. Are we living the Lewis-Seb era?

      1. I think so @jcost. And a very fine era it is IMO.

        Pity Alonso has been sidelined, for now at least, though Max and Carlos with Ferrari engines should be fun.

        1. @lockup Max, Carlos and Daniel Ricciardo.

          1. Yeah, I guess so @jcost. I’m not quite decided about Dan just yet, I suppose. But he is fun, no question, and deserves a better engine too.

  7. Fudge Ahmed (@)
    7th September 2015, 14:20

    Hamilton was the first to say when interviewed by Sky Sports that really, any stats he has in comparison to Senna are hollow because his tally was cut short and would have gone on to surpass all those records by miles.

    Nevertheless, Hamilton is also one of the all time greats.

    1. @offdutyrockstar Yes, but the stats which are relevant are poles/wins from race starts. If Hamilton equals Senna’s record of 41 wins from 161 starts then that really is an amazing achievement.

      1. No. Not really. You have heard of this thing called “reliability”, right?
        Maybe you should try for poles/wins from race finishes. That might be more interesting….

        1. Presumably you would exclude every victory Senna gained from unreliability of his peers. Have fun working that one out, my guess is it will be a futile exercise.

          1. I’m not trying to distinguish inherited wins and races lost from lead. That’d be pretty hard to calculate and subjective. But looks at their win/race-finish ratio.
            Senna finished 97 races and won 41 races. He won the 41st race at his last finish. 41/97=42%
            Hamilton finished 137 races and won 40 races. He’s yet to won the 41st race. Even if he wins the next race: 41/138=29%
            Also, take Vettel:
            Vettel finished 126 races and won 41 races. He won the 41st race at his 125th finish. 41/125=32%