At the shortest ever Formula 1 race, Verstappen equalled Moss’ record of most wins without a title, while Russell recorded his first podium finish. Here are the facts and statistics from the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix.
THE SHORTEST EVER GRAND PRIX
For 30 years, the 1991 Australian Grand Prix held the accolade of being the shortest ever Formula 1 race. That changed at the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix, the result of which was decided after just a handful of laps behind the Safety Car. Due to the red flag procedure, the official classification of the race shows that it ran to just one lap, with Max Verstappen victorious in a time of three minutes and 27.071 seconds. That makes the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix 21 minutes shorter than the 1991 Australian Grand Prix, where racing was called off after 24 minutes.
The 2021 Belgian Grand Prix was only the sixth F1 race in which half points were awarded. This last occurred at the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix, which was called off due to similarly wet conditions.
With the race being red-flagged, this is the first time that three consecutive Grands Prix have been red-flagged since the 1990 Belgian, Italian and Portuguese Grands Prix were stopped. It was the first race to be red-flagged twice since the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix.
VERSTAPPEN EQUALS MOSS’ RECORD
Max Verstappen had very little to do to secure 12.5 points for winning the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix. The Dutchman secured the sixteenth victory of his career, equalling Stirling Moss’ record of most victories without winning a title. Moss’ record has been broken four times previously – by Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Nico Rosberg, all of whom went on to eventually win the title, handing this particular record back to Moss.
Verstappen’s victory was the first for Red Bull at the Belgian Grand Prix since Daniel Ricciardo won the 2014 event. It was the first win for a Honda-powered car at Spa since Ayrton Senna won with McLaren at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix.
Verstappen becomes the 28th different driver to win a round of the World Championship held at Spa, while Red Bull are the fifth team to have taken four victories at the track.
RUSSELL RECORDS HIS FIRST PODIUM FINISH
George Russell qualified for the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix in second place. He recorded Williams’ first front row start since the 2017 Italian Grand Prix, and the first front row start for a British Williams driver since Damon Hill at the 1996 Japanese Grand Prix. Russell went on to finish in second place, recording the first podium finish of his Formula 1 career.
Russell is the 215th driver to finish on the podium at a round of the World Championship and is the first driver to record their maiden podium finish at the Belgian Grand Prix since Ivan Capelli in 1988. He is the 73rd different driver to finish on the podium at Spa.
Russell recorded Williams’ first podium finish since Lance Stroll finished third at the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. It was the team’s first podium at Spa since Valtteri Bottas’ third place in 2016 and the first time the team have recorded a top two result at the circuit since Jacques Villeneuve finished as runner-up in the 1996 Belgian Grand Prix.
HAMILTON SETS NEW SPA PODIUM RECORD
Lewis Hamilton recorded his 174th podium finish, finishing the Belgian Grand Prix in third place. Significantly, this was Hamilton’s tenth podium at Spa, seeing him set a new outright record for most podiums at the track. He previously shared the record with Michael Schumacher.
With both Hamilton and Russell finishing on the podium, Britain becomes the first nation to record 40 podium finishes at Spa.
THE POINTS SCORERS
Daniel Ricciardo recorded his best qualifying result and best race result of the 2021 season with fourth place. It was his best race result since his podium finish with Renault at the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. This was the second consecutive season in which Ricciardo has finished fourth at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo’s fourth place is McLaren’s best result at Spa since Jenson Button’s victory at the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix.
With sixth place, Pierre Gasly maintained his 100% points scoring rate at the Belgian Grand Prix. This was the Frenchman’s best result yet at the circuit – his previous best being eighth place last year.
Pierre Gasly’s sixth place is the best result at the Belgian Grand Prix for the Red Bull junior team since Sebastian Vettel finished fifth for Toro Rosso in 2008.
Finishing in tenth place, Carlos Sainz scored at the Belgian Grand Prix for the first time since 2017. He is yet to finish above tenth here, having also finished tenth on his only other points-scoring appearance.
Nicholas Latifi picked up a point for his ninth place finish. It’s his second points-scoring appearance, having also picked up points at the last race in Hungary. With Russell finishing on the podium and having also scored at the last race, this is the first time Williams have scored with both cars at two consecutive races since the 2016 Belgian and Italian Grands Prix.
THE OTHER FINISHERS
Finishing in twelfth place, Valtteri Bottas failed to score at the Belgian Grand Prix for the first time since his maiden season in 2013.
Bottas is the first Mercedes driver to fail to score at the Belgian Grand Prix since Lewis Hamilton retired from the race in 2014.
With thirteenth place, Antonio Giovinazzi finally secured his first classified result at the Belgian Grand Prix. He retired from the race on his previous two appearances in 2019 and 2020.
Both Alfa Romeo drivers were classified in the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix. It’s the first time both of the team’s cars have been classified at the event since 2015.
In one of the more surprising results from today’s race, the Fastest Lap of the race was set by Haas driver Nikita Mazepin.
Lance Stroll was last of the twenty finishers at the Belgian Grand Prix. He received a ten second penalty after changing his rear wing during the race’s stoppage. It was the first time the Canadian has failed to score at Spa since 2018.
Stroll is the first driver to finish the Belgian Grand Prix with the Silverstone-based team and not score a point since Paul di Resta finished eleventh for Force India in 2011.
PEREZ ALMOST RECORDS A DNS
Sergio Perez crashed on his way to the grid ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix and would have recorded a Did Not Start had the race started at its original scheduled time. It would have been the 33rd DNS recorded at Spa, as well as Perez’s first DNS since the 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix. However, in the gap between rain delays, Red Bull were able to repair Perez’s car and he was classified in nineteenth place. It was the first time a Red Bull driver has been classified nineteenth in a Grand Prix.
With all 20 drivers finishing, this was the eleventh Formula 1 race in which all drivers who started reached the end of the race. One of those other ten races was the 1961 Dutch Grand Prix – which is also the only F1 race in which no drivers made a pit stop. Technically, no drivers made a pit stop in the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix either, but all drivers entered the pit lane when the red flags were shown.
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. Now in its sixth 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 Motorsport Guides. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.