Leclerc joins the winners club, Mercedes reach 200 podiums, Raikkonen records a career first and a Thai driver finishes in the top five for the first time in 65 years. Here are all the statistics from the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix weekend!
CHARLES LECLERC: GRAND PRIX WINNER
In difficult circumstances, Charles Leclerc became the 108th Grand Prix winner in Formula 1 history. Leclerc’s maiden victory makes him the fourth different driver to be victorious in 2019 and Ferrari the third different team to win this year. He’s the 39th driver to have won a race with Ferrari in F1. It also sees Monaco become the 23rd different nation to have won a Formula 1 race. They’re one of three nations currently on one win apiece, with Poland’s Robert Kubica and Venezuela’s Pastor Maldonado each taking their country’s only win.
Leclerc became the 27th driver to win a Formula 1 race at Spa. Leclerc is the first driver to take his maiden F1 win at Spa since Michael Schumacher did so with Benetton in 1992.
On Saturday, Leclerc took Ferrari’s first pole at Spa since 2007. It’s only the third time Ferrari have started from the front in Belgium this millennium, the other times being with Michael Schumacher in 2002 and with Kimi Raikkonen in 2007. Gerhard Berger is the last Ferrari driver to fail to convert pole into a win at Spa, having failed to finish the 1995 event. Leclerc is the 32nd driver to have taken pole position at Spa, giving Ferrari their tenth pole at the circuit.
Charles Leclerc won the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix by just 0.981 seconds. It’s only the fourth time that an F1 race at Spa has been won by under a second. Phil Hill won at Spa by 0.7 seconds in 1961, Damon Hill took Jordan’s first F1 victory by 0.932 seconds at the circuit in 1998 and Kimi Raikkonen won the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix by 0.939 seconds.
MERCEDES REACH 200
With both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finishing on the podium, Mercedes became only the fourth team in Formula 1 history to reach 200 podium finishes. The 2019 Belgian Grand Prix marked the first time since 2010 that all three podium finishers have started from within the top four on the grid at Spa. Bottas became the first driver to finish on the podium having started from fourth at the circuit since Fernando Alonso in 2005. For Hamilton, it was his eighth podium finish at the circuit, putting him one away from equalling Michael Schumacher’s record tally of nine Spa podiums.
A RARE DNF FOR MAX
After crashing out on the first lap, Max Verstappen recorded his first retirement, and his first non-top five finish, since the 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix. But Red Bull maintain their record of one car finishing in the top five since their last double DNF at the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. That was thanks to Alex Albon recording a career-best fifth place finish on his debut outing with the team. The only other time a Thai driver has finished in fifth place was at the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix, when Prince Bira finished fifth for Maserati.
A FRENCH/AUSTRALIAN PAIRING
On Thursday it was announced that Esteban Ocon will join Daniel Ricciardo at Renault in 2020. This will be the first Australian and French driver pairing since Ricciardo raced alongside Jean-Eric Vergne at Toro Rosso in 2013. The only other Australian to have had two French team-mates in his career is Alan Jones, who teamed up with Jean-Pierre Jarrier at Shadow for the 1977 United States Grand Prix and with Patrick Tambay at Team Haas for all but one race of the 1986 season.
So far, there have been six French/Australian driver pairings in F1 history. Aside from Jones’ time with Jarrier and Tambay, Vern Schuppan raced with BRM at the 1972 Belgian Grand Prix, when Jean-Pierre Beltoise was also in the team (though Schuppan didn’t take part in the race as his car was driven by Helmut Marko); Larry Perkins drove alongside Patrick Tambay for Surtees at the 1977 French Grand Prix (though neither qualified for the race); David Brabham raced with Jean-Marc Gounon for seven races at Simtek in the 1994 season; and the longest-lasting French/Australian partnership was between Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne, who raced together for two seasons at Toro Rosso in 2012 and 2013.
Other stats from the weekend:
Neither Carlos Sainz nor Lando Norris finished the Belgian Grand Prix. This was, therefore, the first race in which McLaren have recorded a double DNF since the 2017 Italian Grand Prix
As a result of grid penalties for plenty of other drivers, George Russell recorded the best grid slot of his career so far, starting from fourteenth. Russell currently holds the record for most appearances without a DNF. He’s appeared in thirteen Grands Prix but is yet to fail to finish. There are 97 drivers who never recorded a non-finish in all the races they started in their careers, with 69 of those only appearing at one event.
For the first time in his Formula 1 career, Kimi Raikkonen finished in sixteenth. The only time he’s recorded a finish lower than that without failing to finish was at the Monaco Grand Prix earlier this season, where he finished seventeenth.
Daniel Ricciardo has now had three consecutive point-less races. It’s his longest streak of non-scoring rounds since driving for Toro Rosso at the 2013 Singapore, Korean and Japanese Grands Prix.
Sebastian Vettel set the fastest lap of the Grand Prix, recording his fifth fastest lap at Spa. It puts him second in the all-time list of most fastest laps at the circuit, one away from equalling Alain Prost’s record.
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.