Verstappen is Le Castellet’s first Honda-powered winner in 32 years, Schumacher reaches Q2 for the first time and Gasly equals his longest points-scoring streak. Here’s a statistic from each driver’s 2021 French Grand Prix weekend!
Finishing as runner-up, Lewis Hamilton failed to win the French Grand Prix for the first time since the event’s return to the calendar. He became the first driver to reach 170 podium finishes. Only six teams have recorded that many top three results in Formula 1’s 71-year history. Hamilton has finished where he started in all of the last three French Grands Prix. He’s the fifth driver, after Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet, James Hunt and Nigel Mansell, to record as many as three podium finishes at Circuit Paul Ricard.
Valtteri Bottas became the first Mercedes driver to fail to qualify on the front row at Circuit Paul Ricard since the French Grand Prix’s return to the calendar. This was his fourth third place qualifying result of the 2021 season; his third in the last four races. He finished fourth in the race. Bottas is yet to gain a position from where he has started in the French Grand Prix.
After taking the fifth pole of his career on Saturday, recording Pirelli’s 250th pole in F1, Verstappen won for the thirteenth time, equalling David Coulthard as the driver to have the second-most wins without winning the title. Only Stirling Moss is ahead of Coulthard and Verstappen in that particular list, on sixteen wins. Verstappen became the twelfth driver to win at Circuit Paul Ricard – the first to do so in a Honda-powered car since Alain Prost in 1989.
Sergio Perez’s presence made this the 300th F1 race which a Mexican driver has started. Finishing in third place, Perez became the 30th different driver to finish on the podium at Circuit Paul Ricard; and the first Mexican driver to do so. This was the first time that Perez has scored at the French Grand Prix in his Formula 1 career. On Saturday, he became the first driver to qualify for 200 races without taking pole position.
Finishing in sixth place, Daniel Ricciardo equalled his best McLaren result so far. The Australian became the first driver to score from tenth on the grid at Circuit Paul Ricard since Keke Rosberg at the 1982 French Grand Prix.
Lando Norris finished in fifth place at the French Grand Prix, marking his seventh top five finish in the last eight races.
Sebastian Vettel maintained his 100% points scoring record at Circuit Paul Ricard with a ninth place finish. Vettel finished in the top ten for a third consecutive race. It was the first time he’s scored points at three successive races since the 2019 German, Hungarian and Belgian Grands Prix.
For the second race in a row, Lance Stroll Stroll qualified in nineteenth place without setting a lap time. He’s still yet to make it out of Q1 at the French Grand Prix. He finished the race in tenth place, becoming the first driver to score from nineteenth on the grid at Circuit Paul Ricard since Jacques Laffite in 1983. It was only the third time that a driver starting further back than seventeenth has scored at the circuit.
With ninth place in qualifying at the French Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso equalled his best qualifying result of the 2021 season so far. This was Alonso’s first Q3 appearance at Circuit Paul Ricard. The Spaniard went on to finish eighth, making this the fourth consecutive French Grand Prix in which one of Team Enstone’s cars has finished in eighth place
On his second home Grand Prix appearance, Esteban Ocon qualified in eleventh place. He also qualified eleventh on his first home race appearance in 2018. He finished fourteenth in the race, making it past the first lap at his home race for the first time.
With Charles Leclerc finishing sixteenth, the 2021 French Grand Prix was the first race in 2021 in which the driver starting seventh failed to score. Fourth and sixth are now the only grid slots to score at every race this season.
The 2021 French Grand Prix is the second race of the 2021 season at which Carlos Sainz has failed to score. Both times he has failed to score, he has finished in eleventh place. Strangely, both races at which Sainz has failed to score are the only two races at which he has out-qualified his team-mate so far this year.
Pierre Gasly recorded the Red Bull junior team’s first Q3 appearance at Circuit Paul Ricard, qualifying in sixth place. On Sunday, he recorded the team’s first points at the track with a seventh place finish. Gasly scored for a sixth consecutive race, equalling the longest points-scoring streak of his career to date.
After crashing out in qualifying, Yuki Tsunoda started the French Grand Prix from the pit lane. He became the first driver to start an F1 race at Circuit Paul Ricard from the pit lane.
Kimi Raikkonen started where he finished in the 2021 French Grand Prix. Seventeenth was his worst qualifying result of the year to date, and also the furthest back position in which he has finished a Grand Prix without retiring. He also finished seventeenth at the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix and the 2020 British Grand Prix.
Anotnio Giovinazzi has now lost positions on both French Grand Prix appearances – though he only lost two from his thirteenth place qualifying position in 2021, compared to six from tenth place in 2019.
Mick Schumacher crashed out at the end of Q1, bringing an early end to the session. Ironically, that secured the German his first Q2 appearance; though he couldn’t take part in the session due to his crash. It was the first time a Haas driver progressed to Q2 since the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix.
Nikita Mazepin did not qualify on the back row for a second consecutive race; though the 2021 French Grand Prix was the second consecutive race in which two other drivers failed to set a lap time. He went on to finish in twentieth place, becoming the 34th driver to finish twentieth in a Formula 1 race.
With fourteenth place in qualifying, George Russell recorded Williams’ best qualifying result at Circuit Paul Ricard since the 1990 French Grand Prix when both drivers qualified in the top ten. He went on to finish the race in twelfth position – his best result since scoring with Mercedes at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.
Nicholas Latifi finished eighteenth in the French Grand Prix. He became only the seventh driver to be classified in eighteenth place on five occasions in his F1 career.
Read more statistics from the 2021 French 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.