Bottas equals Hill’s pole count, Verstappen equals Rosberg’s podium tally and Perez sets multiple fastest laps in a year for the first time. Here’s a statistic from each driver’s 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix weekend!
Lewis Hamilton was fastest in Friday qualifying at the 2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix and would have started Sprint Qualifying from the front of the grid. However, he was disqualified from the session due to a DRS infringement. Nevertheless, he made up 15 places in the sprint race to finish fifth. A further five place penalty saw him start the Grand Prix from tenth – and he went on to win. It’s the furthest back grid slot from which a race at Interlagos has been won. It’s the first time a driver has won from tenth on the grid since Pierre Gasly’s win at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.
Valtteri Bottas secured pole position at the 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix. It was the 20th pole of his career, equalling Damon Hill for the fifteenth most poles in F1 history. Bottas went on to finish third, returning to the podium for the first time since the Turkish Grand Prix. He led three laps of the race, leading in Brazil for the first time in his career.
Max Verstappen started Sprint Qualifying from the front of the grid but failed to convert that into pole position. Verstappen finished where he started in the Grand Prix, in second place. This was Verstappen’s 57th podium finish, equalling the podium tally of Nico Rosberg. This was the third consecutive Brazilian Grand Prix in which Verstappen has finished in the top two – as well as the fifth consecutive race this year that he has recorded a top two result.
With fourth place, Sergio Perez recorded his best Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying result to date. His previous best was sixth fastest in 2017. He went on to finish fourth in the race and set the fastest lap on the final lap. 2021 is the first season in which Perez has recorded more than one Fastest Lap in a single year. Perez has scored at all of the last five races in Brazil.
On the day that Daniel Ricciardo surpassed Nico Rosberg as the driver to have started the second-most consecutive Grands Prix (207), Ricciardo failed to finish for the first time since last year’s Styrian Grand Prix – ending the second-longest finishing streak in Formula 1 history (34).
Lando Norris qualified sixth for the Brazilian Grand Prix, recording McLaren’s best qualifying result at Interlagos since Jenson Button qualified fifth in 2014. For the second race in a row, Norris finished tenth.
Qualifying twelfth, Sebastian Vettel failed to reach Q3 at Interlagos for the first time since 2009. Vettel finished eleventh, making this the second consecutive Interlagos race at which he failed to score.
Lance Stroll was eliminated in Q1 for a third race in a row. He hasn’t had a streak of Q1 exits that long since recording fourteen Q1 eliminations in a row between the 2018 United States Grand Prix and the 2019 British Grand Prix. Stroll has been eliminated in Q1 on all four of his Brazilian Grand Prix appearances and remains yet to out-qualify a team-mate at Interlagos. On Sunday, Stroll was the first driver to retire from the Brazilian Grand Prix. This was his second consecutive retirement at Interlagos. He’s still yet to score at the circuit. This was Stroll’s first retirement since the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso was fastest in Free Practice 2 at the Brazilian Grand Prix. It was the first time he has been fastest in a practice session since topping Free Practice 3 at the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix with Ferrari. It was also the first time the Enstone team has been fastest in a practice session since Romain Grosjean was fastest for Lotus at the 2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Missing out on Q3 by just 0.052 seconds, Esteban Ocon maintained his record of never reaching Q3 on any of his Brazilian Grand Prix appearances. Ocon went on to finish eighth, recording points in Brazil for the first time in his career.
Charles Leclerc came home in fifth place, recording his fourth consecutive top five result. It’s the first time that Leclerc has finished in the top five at four or more consecutive races since between the 2019 Hungarian and Russian Grands Prix – a streak which included his two career victories to date.
Carlos Sainz made the 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix the 40th occasion on which a driver has scored at twelve consecutive Grands Prix. With Daniel Ricciardo retiring, Sainz now has the longest active finishing streak in F1, having finished all of the last 26 races.
For the third time in the last four races, Pierre Gasly set the fifth fastest time in qualifying. In the traditional qualifying sessions, he’s set one of the top six times at fourteen of this year’s nineteen races to date. He fell to eighth in Sprint Qualifying.
Yuki Tsunoda finished fifteenth for the third time in his F1 career. Fifteenth becomes his most common result.
For the first time in seventeen appearances at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen failed to set one of the ten fastest times in qualifying. With twelfth place in the race, Raikkonen failed to score at the Brazilian Grand Prix for the first time since 2016, when he crashed out. This was the first time that Raikkonen has finished a race at Interlagos but failed to score.
Finishing in fourteenth, Antonio Giovinazzi finished in a position other than eleventh for the first time since the Russian Grand Prix.
Along with Nikita Mazepin, Mick Schumacher recorded the Haas team’s first ever Q1 exits at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Nikita Mazepin set a new worst Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying result for the Haas team with twentieth place. Haas had never previously qualified below fourteenth place at Interlagos.
For the first time as a Williams driver in a conventional qualifying session, George Russell was out-qualified by his team-mate.
For the second time in his Formula 1 career, Nicholas Latifi out-qualified his team-mate. He also out-qualified Jack Aitken at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.
Read more statistics from the 2021 Brazilian 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.