Hamilton wins in Russia for a fourth time, McLaren reach 100 points for the first time since 2014 and Vettel and Kubica end their 100% finishing streaks. Here are all the best facts and statistics from the 2019 Russian Grand Prix weekend.
VICTORY FOR HAMILTON
Lewis Hamilton recorded his 82nd Grand Prix victory as he won the Russian Grand Prix for the fourth time in his career. It was his ninth win of the season. The Russian Grand Prix becomes the twelfth event which Hamilton has won at least four times.
Lewis Hamilton led 28 laps of the Russian Grand Prix on his way to victory, making this the 142nd race which he has led. He has now led more Grands Prix than any other driver in Formula 1 history, eclipsing Michael Schumacher’s former record of 141 races led.
Hamilton also scored his 147th podium finish and his 45th fastest lap. It’s the 20th different circuit at which Hamilton has set the fastest lap of a race.
Mercedes’ win in the Russian Grand Prix means that the team continue their 100% win record in the country – a record which goes all the way back to 1913! It was their fourth 1-2 finish at the Sochi Autodrom from the six events held here. It’s the fourth event which Mercedes have won six times.
The 2019 Russian Grand Prix was Mercedes’ 98th victory, putting them two wins away from joining Ferrari, McLaren and Williams as the fourth team to have reached a century of wins in Formula 1.
Mercedes claimed their eighth 1-2 finish of the season. The team have had eight or more 1-2 finishes in a year on three previous occasions – in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Valtteri Bottas recorded his fourth top three finish at the Russian Grand Prix, marking the 42nd time that the Finn has finished on the podium in total. He now has the same number of career podiums as Mark Webber and Damon Hill.
Bottas’ podium was the sixth for a Finnish driver at the track, meaning that Finnish drivers now have more podium finishes here than drivers from any other nation.
Mercedes have now had ten podiums at the Russian Grand Prix, while Ferrari have had six. No other team has finished on the podium here since 2016.
Though they eventually won the race, this weekend was the first time that Mercedes have failed to be fastest in any of the practice or qualifying sessions at the Sochi Autodrom.
POLE FOR LECLERC
Charles Leclerc recorded the sixth pole position of his career. He became the fifth different driver to take pole at the Russian Grand Prix, giving Ferrari their second pole at the Sochi Autodrom. Leclerc now has the same number of career poles as Phil Hill, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Alan Jones, Carlos Reutemann and Ralf Schumacher.
With his fourth consecutive pole position, Leclerc makes this the 41st occasion in F1 history that a driver has taken four back-to-back poles. He’s the 21st and youngest driver to have achieved the feat and only the fourth non-champion to do it, after Juan Pablo Montoya, Stirling Moss and Ronnie Peterson. It’s the first time a Ferrari driver has taken four consecutive poles since Michael Schumacher set seven in a row between the 2000 Italian Grand Prix and the 2001 Brazilian Grand Prix. It’s also the first time a non-Mercedes driver has achieved the feat since Sebastian Vettel did so with Red Bull between the 2011 Hungarian and Japanese Grands Prix.
The Russian Grand Prix is the third consecutive race where Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton have started alongside each other on the front row of the grid. It’s the second time this year that Hamilton has qualified in second place for three consecutive races.
The win wasn’t to be for Leclerc, who finished third. He recorded his ninth podium finish, equalling the career tallies of Jean Behra, Peter Collins, Elio de Angelis, Eddie Cheever, Alessandro Nannini and Martin Brundle.
Leclerc becomes the third polesitter in three years to fail to win the Russian Grand Prix. It’s the first time a polesitter at the track has finished in third place.
With Leclerc taking pole, Monaco becomes the fourth nation to have had a driver start from pole position here. Meanwhile, with his podium, Monaco is the fifth different nation to finish in the top three at the track.
With Carlos Sainz finishing sixth and Lando Norris eighth, McLaren have surpassed 100 points in the Constructors’ Championship for the first time since 2014. The team have now scored more points in 2019 than they did in the previous two seasons combined.
Romain Grosjean was the first of five retirements from the Russian Grand Prix. He’s now failed to finish on three of his six appearances in Sochi.
Daniel Ricciardo recorded his fifth retirement of the year and his third DNF at the Russian Grand Prix.
George Russell and Robert Kubica failed to finish the Russian Grand Prix, making this the first Sochi race where neither Williams driver has crossed the finish line. It’s the team’s first double DNF since the 2018 German Grand Prix and Kubica’s first DNF since the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix.
With both Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica retiring from the Russian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton is now the only driver to have finished every race in 2019.
Ricciardo’s failure to finish from tenth on the grid and Kubica’s failure to finish from eighteenth on the grid marked the first DNF for drivers starting from those grid slots at the Sochi Autodrom.
Daniel Ricciardo and Romain Grosjean become the first drivers to reach three DNFs at the Russian Grand Prix.
After failing to win on his 159th start, Romain Grosjean now sits fifth in the all time list of drivers with most Grands Prix started without a win. He moves ahead of Martin Brundle, who has 158 starts without a win.
The Safety Car made two appearances in the race, making this the second Russian Grand Prix, after the 2015 event, to have had two Safety Car stints. There was also a VSC period.
Kimi Raikkonen’s 100% Q3 appearance record at the Russian Grand Prix came to an end as he recorded only the eighth Q1 exit of his career. Having also been eliminated in Q1 at the Canadian Grand Prix, 2019 is now the second season where Raikkonen has recorded more than one Q1 exit over the course of the year. The other time it happened was in 2014.
For the first time since 2014, neither Racing Point (Force India) driver was able to reach Q3 at the Russian Grand Prix. However, the team maintain their record of never being eliminated in Q1 at the Sochi Autodrom. In better fortunes, 2019 marks the first time both McLarens have reached Q3 at the circuit since 2014 and the first time ever that Renault (and their former Lotus guise) have had both drivers appear in the top ten on the grid at the track.
After crashing out in Q1, Alexander Albon took the unwanted honour of becoming the first Red Bull driver to have been eliminated in the first part of qualifying at the Russian Grand Prix. Albon started from the pit-lane as a result of crashing in qualifying, becoming the first driver to start a race at the Sochi Autodrom from the pits.
Last year, Max Verstappen gained 14 positions from nineteenth to fifth in the Russian Grand Prix. This year, Alex Albon gained fifteen positions from the pit lane to 5th. Verstappen recorded Red Bull’s best ever finish at the track with fourth, and this is the first time both Red Bull drivers have finished in the top five in Russia.
The 2019 Russian Grand Prix was the third race to have been held on 29th September, the other two being the 1991 Spanish Grand Prix and the 2002 U.S. Grand Prix. All three races were won from second on the grid, featured a British driver on the podium and had less than seventeen finishers.
Daniil Kvyat finished the race in twelfth place, making this the fourth race in Russia where he has finished outside the points. That equal Marcus Ericsson’s record of four finishes outside of the points in Sochi.
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.