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Formula 1 statistics and goodies

Hungarian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton wins Hungarian Grand Prix

From time to time, we get requests to show the all-important statistics relating to Formula 1. So here are the current positions of Drivers and Constuctors in the F1 Championships tables as of 12 August 2013. First the Drivers:

1. Sebastian Vettel, German, Red Bull Racing-Renault — 172pts
2. Kimi Räikkönen, Finnish, Lotus-Renault — 134
3. Fernando Alonso, Spanish, Ferrari — 133
4. Lewis Hamilton, British, Mercedes — 124
5. Mark Webber, Australian, Red Bull Racing-Renault — 105
6. Nico Rosberg, German, Mercedes — 84
7. Felipe Massa, Brazilian, Ferrari — 61
8. Romain Grosjean, French, Lotus-Renault — 49
9. Jenson Button, British, McLaren-Mercedes — 39
10. Paul di Resta, British, Force India-Mercedes — 36

Let’s now look at the Constructors’ performances:

1. Red Bull Racing-Renault — 277
2. Mercedes — 208
3. Ferrari — 194
4. Lotus-Renault — 183
5. Force India-Mercedes — 59
6. McLaren-Mercedes — 57
7. STR-Ferrari — 24
8. Sauber-Ferrari — 7
9. Williams-Renault — 1
10. Marussia-Cosworth — 0
Information from the official F1 website.

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We hope this information will be useful to you, and thank you for the many requests. It’s good occasionally to dig a little deeper into a sport, especially a motor sport.

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Lewis Hamilton 5th in Hungary

It’s not exactly what you would call success to start on pole position for a Grand Prix but finish fifth. Yet that’s what Lewis Hamilton did in the Hungarian GP and celebrated afterwards.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton after gaining pole in Hungary

In mitigation, he lost out to a bullish start by Felipe Massa who gambled on an outrageous outside passing manoeuvre on the first bend. Hamilton later suffered a puncture, but managed to limp to the pits and re-enter the race.

Hamilton was helped by his nearest rival, Massa, blowing his engine three laps out. He thus retains his World Championship lead by 5 points from Kimi Raikkonen.

The race was won by Hamilton’s McLaren team-mate, Heikki Kovalainen.

Earlier
On a track notorious for the difficulty of overtaking, Lewis Hamilton is in pole for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

After a courageous win in Germany a fortnight ago when his team made a crucial mistake that initially sent him backwards through the field, and a stunning performance at Silverstone, Hamilton is now four points ahead in the Drivers’ Championship.

His McLaren team-mate Heikki Kovalainen is beside him on the front row. The Ferrari of Felipe Massa is in third, while Kimi Raikkonen’s recent run of poor form continued as the current world champion qualified in sixth place.

With a fair wind and a bit of luck, Hamilton should make it three in a row. This season though has been characterized by the ups and downs of unforced errors and rotten bad luck.

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Lewis Hamilton in pole after Alonso penalized

Is Lewis Hamilton’s dismal run of luck improving at last? Yet another dramatic scenario unfolded yesterday in the qualifying stage of today’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Times (London) reports : “Fernando Alonso was sensationally stripped of his pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix late last night and saw it handed to McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton. The Spaniard was docked five places on today’s starting grid after he deliberately held up the emerging British superstar in yesterday’s final qualifying session.”

It seems that McLaren will also be stripped of any points won in the constructors’ world championship from today’s race.

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John Watson and Button Mania

F1.racing-live has reported that John Watson has tried to introduce some balance into the Button mania gripping Britain after Jenson’s win in Hungary. Although John never grabbed the headlines as Button is doing, he deserved better and is well qualified to comment on such matters. In 1982, when driving for McLaren, he won the Detroit GP from 17th on the grid and then bettered that the next year, winning from 22nd in Long Beach and setting a record for victory from the worst position in the process. It is no surprise that in those years he became known as the only man who could overtake on street circuits.

John Watson

John Watson

But Watson never became the darling of the press as some other drivers do. Any speed cop can tell you who is the current star who has broken through to enter the public consciousness. In America, the question you’re asked on being stopped for speeding is, “Who do you think you are, Mario Andretti?” For years the equivalent question in Britain would concern Stirling Moss, with Jackie Stewart, James Hunt and Nigel Mansell taking their turns for later generations.

Yet there are many British drivers who have had just as much or more success on the track but are never given the speed cop’s seal of approval. John Watson won five Grands Prix, David Coulthard has won thirteen, whereas Hunt won ten. What makes the difference in this race for the public spotlight?

To some extent, it starts and ends with the non-specialist press. If news reporters think a driver’s success is worth reporting, he will break out from the limited arena of the F1 fans to reach those who usually take no notice. News reporters love a bit of gossip and so, when someone with a racy lifestyle like James Hunt’s appears, he’s a gift to the media.

But it’s consistency more than anything else that gets noticed. When a driver like Jackie Stewart starts winning all the races, he cannot be ignored. Watson and Coulthard made the mistake of spreading their wins throughout their careers, never appearing to dominate. A championship helps, although Moss demonstrated that it wasn’t absolutely necessary.

Which leads me to conclude that Watson is right in what he says about Jenson Button. If Button is to become the British hero of F1, he needs to start winning regularly and that isn’t easy. Honda might just be the right team to do it in, however; they seem to be over their mid-season slump and look promising for next year.

I, for one, will be happy if he achieves such fame. It’s about time the speed cop had a new driver to refer to.

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