Hamilton takes a fifth consecutive Catalunya win, Bottas and Verstappen move up the all-time podium list and Tsunoda encounters the curse of the sixteenth grid slot. Here’s a statistic from each driver’s 2021 Spanish Grand Prix weekend!
It was an historic Saturday at the Spanish Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton became the first driver in Formula 1 history to record 100 pole positions. This was Hamilton’s sixth pole at the Spanish Grand Prix, as well as his ninth consecutive front row start at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Hamilton took his 100th pole position by 0.036 seconds – the fourth smallest pole margin of his career to date. On Sunday, Hamilton recorded the 98th win of his career. With his sixth Spanish Grand Prix victory, he equalled Michael Schumacher as the driver with the most wins at the event. 2021 is the fifth season in a row that Hamilton has won the Spanish Grand Prix. Ayrton Senna – who won the Monaco Grand Prix in every season between 1989 and 1993 – is the only other driver to take five successive wins at a single circuit. Hamilton led only twelve laps on his way to victory in the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix. It’s the sixth fewest laps Hamilton has led in a race which he has gone on to win.
Valtteri Bottas qualified in third place at the Spanish Grand Prix. This was the first time since 2017 that Bottas has not qualified on the front row at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Bottas went on to make his fifth Spanish Grand Prix podium appearance, and equalled Nigel Mansell for eleventh in the all-time list of most podiums in Formula 1.
Max Verstappen recorded Red Bull’s first front row start at the Spanish Grand Prix since 2011. After setting the fastest time in Q2, Verstappen ensured that he would remain one of only two drivers to reach Q3 on every appearance at the Spanish Grand Prix. Michael Schumacher is the only other driver to achieve the feat since the current qualifying system was introduced in 2006. With second place, Verstappen became the sixth driver to record five podium results at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Verstappen passed Carlos Reutemann for eighteenth in the all-time list of most podium finishes in Formula 1.
Qualifying in eighth place, Sergio Perez became the first Red Bull driver to qualify outside of the top six on the grid at the Spanish Grand Prix since both drivers qualified outside the top six in 2015. Perez finished the race in fifth place, as he did last year with Racing Point, equalling his second-best result at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
After out-qualifying his team-mate for the third time in four races at McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo finished in sixth place. Ricciardo scored points for a fifteenth consecutive race, equalling the second longest points-scoring streak of his Formula 1 career. It was the first time Ricciardo has scored at the Spanish Grand Prix since 2018.
Lando Norris set the fastest time in Q1 at the Spanish Grand Prix. It was the first time a McLaren driver has been fastest in a qualifying session since Norris himself was fastest in Q1 at the 2019 United States Grand Prix. With ninth place, Norris went on to record his worst qualifying position of the season to date. It was the first time this year he has not qualified in seventh place. It was also the worst qualifying position for the driver who was fastest in Q1 since Charles Leclerc qualified tenth at the 2019 German Grand Prix. Norris finished the race in eighth place and was lapped for the first time this season.
Sebastian Vettel finished thirteenth in the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix. It was the first time since he retired when driving for Toro Rosso in 2008 that Vettel has failed to score at the Spanish Grand Prix. Vettel has now failed to score at all of the last seven races. It is the longest point-less streak in his Formula 1 career. His previous longest streak of races without points was six races, between the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix and the 2008 Turkish Grand Prix.
Finishing in eleventh place, Lance Stroll failed to score for the fourth time in five appearances at the Spanish Grand Prix. In better news, Stroll out-qualified Sebastian Vettel on Saturday. It’s the first time Vettel has out-qualified a team-mate at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
At the Spanish Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso was out-qualified by his team-mate for a third consecutive race. It was the first time that the Spaniard has been out-qualified at three races in a row since the 2013 Japanese, Indian and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix. It’s only the sixth time in his career that Alonso has been out-qualified at three races in a row.
For the first time in his career, Esteban Ocon qualified in the top six for a second consecutive race. Ocon’s fifth place was the best qualifying result for Team Enstone at the Spanish Grand Prix since Romain Grosjean also qualified fifth for Lotus in 2014. The Frenchman went on to finish in ninth place, recording his first points at the Spanish Grand Prix since 2017. It was the first time a driver for the Enstone team scored at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya since Carlos Sainz finished seventh in 2018.
Qualifying in fourth place, Charles Leclerc recorded his best Spanish Grand Prix qualifying result to date. His previous best was fifth place in 2019. Leclerc went on to finish where he started, in fourth place. With the top three also finishing in the order they started, 2021 is only the second time – after 2015 – that all of the top four cars have finished in the order they started at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Leclerc is one of only three drivers – along with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen – to finish in the top six at all of the four opening races of the 2021 season.
With sixth place, Carlos Sainz recorded his best home qualifying result since setting the fifth fastest time on his maiden Spanish Grand Prix appearance with Toro Rosso in 2015. Sainz was out-qualified by his team-mate on home soil for only the second time. With seventh place in the race, Sainz maintained his record of scoring points on every appearance at the Spanish Grand Prix. 2021 is the first time since 2015 that he has finished the Spanish Grand Prix in a worse position than where he started from.
Despite picking up a time penalty for overshooting his grid slot, Pierre Gasly recorded a tenth place finish at the Spanish Grand Prix. He started outside the top ten at the event for the first time since 2018.
Yuki Tsunoda recorded the first retirement of his Formula 1 career at the Spanish Grand Prix. This was only the second retirement for the Red Bull junior team at the Spanish Grand Prix in the last seven seasons. Tsunoda is their first retirement at the Catalunya circuit since Pierre Gasly in 2018. Tsunoda’s retirement marks the third time in the last four seasons that the driver who has started sixteenth at the Spanish Grand Prix has retired.
Qualifying in seventeenth place, Kimi Raikkonen recorded his first Q1 exit at the Spanish Grand Prix since 2009. This was the Finn’s worst qualifying attempt at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya since he qualified 20th at the 2003 Spanish Grand Prix. Finishing the race in twelfth place, Raikkonen gained five positions – the most of any driver. Raikkonen’s twelfth place was his best Spanish Grand Prix result since finishing as runner-up in 2016.
Antonio Giovinazzi progressed past Q1 at the Spanish Grand Prix for the first time. Giovinazzi’s fourteenth place in qualifying made 2021 the fourth consecutive season in which an Alfa Romeo (formerly Sauber) driver has qualified fourteenth at the Spanish Grand Prix. The Italian went on to finish the race in fifteenth place – his best result so far at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
After becoming the first Haas driver to out-qualify a car from another team on pure pace in 2021, Mick Schumacher recorded the worst result of his F1 career to date with eighteenth place.
Having set the third slowest Q1 lap time at the Spanish Grand Prix from the past four seasons – and picking up a three-place grid penalty and a penalty point in the process – Nikita Mazepin finished last of the drivers who finished the race for a third Grand Prix in a row.
George Russell became the first Williams driver to reach Q2 at the Spanish Grand Prix since Felipe Massa in 2017. Progressing to Q2 for a fourth successive race, Russell equalled the longest streak of non-Q1 eliminations in his career to date. The only other time he has reached Q2 at four consecutive races was between the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix and the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. Russell was one of seven drivers to finish the race where he started.
After qualifying nineteenth for a second successive Spanish Grand Prix outing, Nicholas Latifi finished the race in sixteenth place – his best result since finishing fourteenth in the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Read more statistics from the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix in our Post Race Statistics article!
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.