After 1264 laps of racing, the 2018 Formula 1 season has come to an end. We’ve trawled through the record books and collected some of the best facts and statistics from the year. From more records for Mercedes to one of Williams’ worst seasons on record, here’s F1 2018 in numbers!
HAMILTON AND MERCEDES BREAK MORE RECORDS
In 2018, Lewis Hamilton equalled Juan Manuel Fangio by taking a fifth Drivers’ Championship. Hamilton won the title in Mexico for the second consecutive year, making the country the first in which he has won the title twice. He’s also the only driver to have won the championship twice in Mexico.
Hamilton broke the trend in a number of ways this year. 2018 is the first time that he has failed to win the British Grand Prix in a season where he’s won the championship. This year was also the first time that the winner of the Hungarian Grand Prix has gone on to win the title in the same season since 2004. In addition, for the first time in his career, Hamilton won races during a season after claiming the title with his wins in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton scored 408 points over the season, a new points record, beating Sebastian Vettel’s previous record of 397 points in 2013. There are only 22 drivers who have scored more than 408 points in their entire F1 careers, let alone in a single season!
Mercedes took 11 victories this year, the same tally as Benetton did on their way to winning the 1995 Constructors’ Championship. It’s the least number of wins Mercedes have taken in a season since the start of the hybrid era in 2014. Mercedes won the title by 84 points, which is the same gap as Williams won by in 1993. They become only the second team to have taken both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships in five successive seasons.
GRAND PRIX WINNERS
For the 24th time in F1 history, and for the second consecutive season, there were five different race winners this year. Lewis Hamilton took the most wins, with eleven, equalling his best-ever tally of wins in a single season. Sebastian Vettel took five victories over the year, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen each taking two wins for the team. At the US Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen ended a record-breaking 114-race win drought by becoming the fifth and final different winner of the season.
With Vettel and Raikkonen both winning a race, 2018 is the first season since 2008 where both Ferrari have drivers have won a Grand Prix in the same season. It’s the 30th season in which that has happened since Ferrari began competing in the sport.
There were five occasions where a driver took consecutive victories this year. Sebastian Vettel did it once, with back-to-back wins in Australia and Bahrain, while Lewis Hamilton did it four times; his longest streak of victories being four, between the Italian and Japanese Grands Prix.
Nine of this year’s races were won by less than five seconds, while 16 were won by less than ten seconds. The smallest victory margin was 0.699s, which separated Sebastian Vettel from Valtteri Bottas at the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix, while the largest win margin came at the Spanish Grand Prix, when Lewis Hamilton beat everyone else to the chequered flag by 20.593s.
ON THE PODIUM IN 2018
In total, seven different drivers finished on the podium over the course of the 2018 season. Sergio Perez was the only driver from outside the top three teams to take a top three finish this year, finishing third in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Strangely, Perez now has more podium finishes at the Baku City Circuit than any other driver.
Lewis Hamilton took the most podium finishes of any driver this season, with 17 – equalling the all-time record for most top three finishes in a season. Hamilton has taken 17 podiums in a single season twice previously, in 2015 and 2016.
Valtteri Bottas took more second places than any other driver this season. He stood on the second step of the podium seven times without scoring a victory. That surpasses the record of six runner-up places taken by Francois Cevert without a victory in 1973. Bottas becomes the first Mercedes driver since Michael Schumacher in 2012 to fail to win a race for the team over the course of a season.
Kimi Raikkonen took the most third place finishes in 2018, with eight. In total, he’s had 45 third place finishes in his career – more than any other driver.
Mercedes were the team with the most podium finishes this season; but only just. Mercedes took 25 top three finishes between their two drivers, compared to Ferrari’s 24.
Both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen reached 100 podium finishes this season, marking the first time two drivers have reached that milestone in the same year. Vettel reached a century of top three finishes at the Australian Grand Prix, while Raikkonen joined the club at the Italian Grand Prix.
There were only five occasions this season where the polesitter failed to finish on the podium. This happened to Sebastian Vettel three times throughout the year, in China, Azerbaijan and Germany, while mechanical failures for polesitters Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo in Austria and Mexico respectively prevented them from finishing.
44 of this year’s 63 podium finishes came from the top three on the grid. There were 7 occasions this year where the top three on the grid all finished on the podium, and four occasions (Monaco, Canada, Singapore and Japan) where the top three all finished in the order in which they started. Just five podium finishes came from outside the top six on the grid in 2018, with the podium finish from furthest back occurring at the US Grand Prix, when Max Verstappen finished as runner-up having started 18th.
The 2018 Austrian Grand Prix was only the fifth time since the start of the 2014 season where neither Mercedes driver finished on the podium.
Daniel Ricciardo’s only podium finishes this season came when he won the Chinese and Monaco Grands Prix.
POLESITTERS AND FASTEST LAPS
Five different drivers started from pole this season, with Lewis Hamilton taking the most poles (11). Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel were the only drivers to take back-to-back poles this season, with Vettel taking the most consecutively (three, in Bahrain, China and Azerbaijan).
The track record was beaten at 19 circuits this season, with the Baku City Circuit and Suzuka being the only tracks where the overall record wasn’t broken. All of the new track records were set in the final part of qualifying, except Sebastian Vettel’s new track record at the Hungaroring, which was set during Free Practice 3. Meanwhile, the Lap Record was beaten at 9 of this year’s races.
The largest pole margin in 2018 came at the Belgian Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in the rain-hit Q3 by 0.726s. The smallest pole margin was at the Mexican Grand Prix, where Daniel Ricciardo was just 0.026s faster than his team-mate. Pole was taken by less than a tenth of a second on 8 occasions throughout the season.
10 of this year’s Grands Prix were won from pole, while 16 were won from the front row of the grid.
At the Italian Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest ever lap in a Formula 1 car, with an average speed on his pole lap of 163.785mph.
The 1264 laps of the 2018 Formula 1 season lasted for a total of 32 hours, 14 minutes and 15.271 seconds. The Singapore Grand Prix was the longest race this season, lasting almost 2 hours, while September’s Italian Grand Prix was the shortest, lasting just under 77 minutes.
1,118 overtakes were made during Grands Prix over the course of the 2018 season. The most came at the Japanese Grand Prix, where there were 87 overtakes, while the least came at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, which featured just 15 overtakes.
Lewis Hamilton completed the most laps of any driver in 2018, finishing 1200 of the 1246 laps. Fernando Alonso completed the least – 931.
71 laps of the 2018 season were completed behind the Safety Car, meaning Bernd Maylander led 5.7% of this year’s total laps. No driver outside the top three teams led a lap this year.
The least number of drivers to complete all the laps of a Grand Prix this season was three, at the Austrian Grand Prix, where only the podium finishers were not lapped. The most was at China, where all 19 cars which finished the race were not lapped.
The Russian and Brazilian Grands Prix were the only races this season to not feature some form of Safety Car. 13 races featured a full Safety Car period, while 6 featured only a Virtual Safety Car stint.
The German Grand Prix was the only race in 2018 to be affected by rain.
The lowest number of cars to finish a race this year was 13, at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, while the most finishers was 19, which happened in both China and Singapore. In total, 338 cars reached the chequered flag from the 420 starters, giving an overall finish rate of 80.5%.
This season was only the second in the past ten years to have not had a red-flagged race. The last time there were no red-flagged races was in 2015.
TEAM AND DRIVER RECORDS
Despite finishing as runners up, Ferrari scored their highest ever tally of points in a single season, amassing 571 points over the 21 races.
Sauber scored five more points in 2018 than they have done in the past four seasons combined.
Haas finished a best-ever fifth in the championship, scoring almost double the number of points which they amassed last year (93 in 2018 compared to 47 in 2017).
For the fourth time in their existence, McLaren finished sixth in Constructors’ Championship (the other times being 1971, 1981 and 2016), while for the first time in their history, Williams finished last in the Constructors’ Championship. Williams scored only seven points this season. The 2011 and 2013 seasons, in which they scored just five points, are the only other times where they scored less than ten points in a season.
Lewis Hamilton (1st) and Stoffel Vandoorne (16th) equalled their best Drivers’ Championship position, while Max Verstappen (4th), Nico Hulkenberg (7th), Kevin Magnussen (9th), Pierre Gasly (15th), Marcus Ericsson (17th) and Brendon Hartley (19th) scored their best-ever championship positions.
Lewis Hamilton (408), Kimi Raikkonen (251), Max Verstappen (249), Kevin Magnussen (56), Pierre Gasly (29) and Brendon Hartley (4) all beat their previous best tally of points in one season.
Marcus Ericsson equalled his highest number of points in a single season with 9, the same as he scored in 2015.
Sebastian Vettel scored more points in 2018 than he did when he won the title in both 2010 and 2012.
Without their exclusion from the first half of the championship, Force India would have scored 111 points, which would have put them fifth in the Constructors’ Championship. In 2018, Force India became the first team to surpass 1,000 points without a win, taking 1,098 points in total since 2007. 2018 is the first time since 2015 that their driver Sergio Perez hasn’t finished 7th in the Drivers’ Championship, amassing his lowest points tally since 2014.
LUCKY AND UNLUCKY GRID SLOTS
Valtteri Bottas’ DNF from third on the grid in Azerbaijan was the only time this season where the driver starting from third failed to score a point.
16th was the grid slot which scored the least points in 2018, with just four points scored by drivers starting from that position over the course of the year.
Statistically, twelfth was the unluckiest grid slot to start from in 2018, with drivers who started there retiring from the race on more occasions than from any other grid slot. Drivers starting 12th recorded 8 DNFs throughout the year, including four in the last five races. Meanwhile, a driver starting from 18th retired from a race only once this year (Nico Hulkenberg at the Belgian Grand Prix).
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. 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 Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.