Alexander Albon does something which has never been done before, Mercedes do something which hasn’t been done since 1992 and Pierre Gasly does something which hasn’t been done since 1990. Here are all the facts and statistics from the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix weekend!
MERCEDES DOMINATE IN SHANGHAI
On Saturday, Valtteri Bottas took the seventh pole position of his F1 career, equalling Jacques Laffite’s tally of poles. It was his first pole of the 2019 season, and his first at the Chinese Grand Prix. Bottas took pole by 0.023 seconds – the closest pole margin ever seen in Shanghai, and the fifth smallest pole margin in the hybrid era; the same margin by which the Finn took pole for the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix. He’s the sixth different driver to have taken pole position in China, and the fourth in the last four years – marking the longest run of different pole sitters at the Shanghai International Circuit.
On Sunday, Lewis Hamilton recorded his 75th career victory and his second win of the 2019 season. It was his ninth podium finish at the Shanghai International Circuit, as well as being the 137th top three finish of his career.
With his 75th win in the 1,000th World Championship race, Lewis Hamilton has won 7.5% of all F1 races. Having also won the 900th race, this marks the first time a driver has won two of F1’s milestone races.
Lewis Hamilton has now won the Chinese Grand Prix six times. It’s only the tenth time in F1 history that a driver has taken six wins at a circuit.
2019 marks the first time that the Chinese Grand Prix has been won from second on the grid since Kimi Raikkonen claimed victory in 2007.
Lewis Hamilton led every lap of the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix. On Lap 15 he became the second driver to have led 4,000 laps of races in F1 history. He also became the first driver to lead more than 300 laps at the Shanghai International Circuit.
The 2019 Chinese Grand Prix marked Mercedes’ 90th Formula 1 victory. The team have won five out of the last six China races. They recorded their third 1-2 finish at the track, the others being in 2014 and 2015. Mercedes equalled McLaren’s tally of 47 1-2 finishes with their third consecutive 1-2 result. It’s the first time the team have scored three consecutive 1-2 results since the end of the 2016 season, as well as the first time a team have started a season with three consecutive 1-2s since Williams in 1992.
Sebastian Vettel recorded the 112th podium finish of his career at the Chinese Grand Prix. The only other drivers to take that many podium finishes are Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton. Both took their 112th podium finishes at the Italian GP (Schumacher in 2002, Hamilton in 2017). It was Vettel’s sixth top three finish at the circuit, and Ferrari’s thirteenth podium appearance in Shanghai.
Valtteri Bottas finished as runner-up for a second consecutive season in Shanghai. He recorded the 33rd podium finish of his career, equalling the podium tallies of World Champions Denny Hulme and Emerson Fittpaldi.
NINE POINTS FOR GASLY
Pierre Gasly scored the first Fastest Lap of his career at the Chinese Grand Prix, becoming the 133rd different driver to claim a fastest lap in an F1 World Championship event. Gasly is now in a group of 51 drivers to have set the fastest lap of a Grand Prix once in their career. Also in the group are current drivers Robert Kubica, Romain Grosjean, Daniil Kvyat, Kevin Magnussen and Charles Leclerc.
After finishing sixth and picking up a point for fastest lap, Pierre Gasly scored 9 points yesterday in F1’s 1,000th race. The last time a driver scored 9 points at a Grand Prix was Nelson Piquet at the 1990 Australian GP – the 500th race!
With Valtteri Bottas becoming a new driver to take pole at the Chinese Grand Prix, this is the first time a different driver has started from pole in China for four consecutive seasons.
Free Practice 2 marked the first time Valtteri Bottas has topped the timesheet in any session at the Chinese Grand Prix. He went on to be fastest in Free Practice 3, Q1 and Q3.
Pierre Gasly, Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg all recorded their first Q3 appearances of the season.
In the first three races of the season, Pierre Gasly, Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz have each recorded one Q1 exit, one Q2 exit and one Q3 appearance.
Lance Stroll was eliminated in the first part of qualifying for a seventh consecutive race.
With 18th, Robert Kubica equalled his worst Chinese Grand Prix qualifying performance, having also qualified 18th for the 2009 race. The only other time he has qualified 18th was for the 2009 Monaco Grand Prix
Kimi Raikkonen failed to reach Q3 for the first time since the 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix, ending a 53-race streak of top ten qualifications.
Lando Norris failed to reach Q3 for the first time in his career. With a 91% Q3 appearance rate, Lewis Hamilton returns to the top of the list of current drivers with the highest top ten qualifying rate.
Both of Alfa Romeo’s drivers – Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi – recorded their worst Chinese Grand Prix qualifying positions, while Carlos Sainz equalled his worst qualifying performance at the track.
Valtteri Bottas, Charles Leclerc, Pierre Gasly and Kevin Magnussen each recorded their best Chinese Grand Prix qualifying positions, the latter three each recording their first Q3 appearance at the Shanghai track. Max Verstappen also equalled his best qualifying performance in Shanghai.
The Racing Point team failed to reach the final part of qualifying in China for the first time since 2015. Meanwhile, Haas recorded their first double Q3 appearance in Shanghai.
While the Alfa Romeo team continued their record of not reaching Q3 at the Chinese Grand Prix since 2015, McLaren too continued their record of not reaching Q3 at the track since 2013.
Antonio Giovinazzi has finished fifteenth in all three races so far this season.
Carlos Sainz finished in fourteenth position, recording his worst Chinese Grand Prix result. It’s the first time the Spaniard has finished in the same position as he started since last year’s Chinese Grand Prix.
Both of Racing Point’s drivers secured their best Chinese Grand Prix finishes. Lance Stroll finished twelfth, beating his previous best of fourteenth in 2018, while Sergio Perez finished eighth, bettering the ninth place finish which he recorded in both 2014 and 2017.
Kevin Magnussen finished the Chinese Grand Prix four positions lower than where he started it, marking the first time he has lost places at the event. Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen gained four positions from his starting place – the most he has ever gained at the Chinese Grand Prix.
Only six drivers completed all 56 laps of the Chinese Grand Prix, making this the race with the most lapped drivers in Shanghai’s history.
After becoming the first driver to appear in four of Formula 1’s milestone races, Kimi Raikkonen also became the fifth driver to score 100 points at the Shanghai International Circuit.
Alexander Albon became the fourth driver to start from the pit-lane at the Chinese Grand Prix, following Karun Chandhok in 2010, Jean-Eric Vergne in 2012 and Mark Webber in 2013. He’s the first driver to have scored after a pit-lane start in Shanghai.
Nico Hulkenberg’s retirement marked the first time a driver starting from eighth on the grid has retired from the Chinese Grand Prix, while also recording the first DNF for Renault at the track (the Enstone team had two DNFs in 2014 and 2015 under their Lotus guise though).
Lando Norris recorded the first DNF of his F1 career at the Chinese Grand Prix. 2019 is the third consecutive season where the driver starting from fifteenth has failed to reach the chequered flag in Shanghai.
Max Verstappen is the only driver to not change championship position as a result of the Chinese Grand Prix.
Nicky Haldenby is a freelance writer from Scarborough, England. After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fourth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations, and sister site GPDestinations, where he shares regular race previews and articles focussed around the latest in Formula 1 calendar and venue news. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky can also be heard regularly as a guest on various Formula 1 radio shows and podcasts.