Verstappen earns his first chance to win the title, Gasly records his first front row start and Giovinazzi takes a record away from his team-mate. Here’s a statistic from each driver’s 2021 Qatar Grand Prix weekend!
Lewis Hamilton secured pole position for the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix, making Losail International Circuit the 31st venue at which he has taken pole. This was the 102nd pole position of Hamilton’s career and the first time he started from pole since the Hungarian Grand Prix. Hamilton took his 102nd Grand Prix victory on Sunday and became the first driver to have won at 30 different circuits. Hamilton has won from pole position at four of the last five new venues to join the Formula 1 calendar.
Valtteri Bottas recorded his fourth retirement of the 2021 season. It’s the highest number of retirements he’s recorded in any season of F1 which he has competed in. In his previous four seasons with Mercedes, Bottas recorded only six retirements in total.
Max Verstappen finished as runner-up in the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix, recording his 58th podium finish. As a result, he overtakes Nico Rosberg for thirteenth in the all-time list of most podium finishes. His result means that he heads to the next race with a mathematical chance of winning the title for the first time.
For the third time in 2021, Sergio Perez failed to reach Q3. He recovered to fourth place in the race. Both Red Bull have finished in the top five at all of the last five races. The last time that both Red Bull cars finished in the top five at five or more consecutive races was at the opening 12 rounds of the 2011 season.
Daniel Ricciardo failed to reach Q3 for a second consecutive race. He last failed to reach Q3 at two races in a row at the Styrian and Austrian Grands Prix. Ricciardo went on to finish only twelfth, failing to score for a third consecutive race. It’s his longest pointless streak since the 2019 Singapore, Russian and Japanese Grands Prix.
Lando Norris scored for an eighth consecutive race, extending the second-longest scoring streak of his career to date. Norris has not finished in the top six since his podium at the Italian Grand Prix.
For the first time since the Belgian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel reached Q3. This is the second successive race at which Vettel has qualified in the top ten, having also finished in the top ten in Sprint Qualifying in Brazil. Vettel finished where he started, making this the first time since the French Grand Prix that both Aston Martin drivers have scored.
Lance Stroll finished in sixth place, recording his best result of the 2021 season. It’s his best finishing position since finishing on the podium at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. On Saturday, Stroll reached Q2 for the first time since the Turkish Grand Prix, ending a streak of three consecutive Q1 exits.
With fifth place, Fernando Alonso recorded his best qualifying result since the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix. Following grid penalties for other drivers, Alonso started from the top three on the grid for the first time since driving for Ferrari at the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix. Alonso went on to take his first podium finish since the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix. With 146 races having passed since his last top three result, Alonso set a new record for the most races between two podium finishes. Losail International Circuit is the 27th at which Alonso has recorded a podium finish, putting him equal with Michael Schumacher for fourth in the list of most circuits at which a driver has taken a top three result. Alonso is only the second driver in their 40s to finish on the podium since Nigel Mansell at the 1994 Australian Grand Prix. The only other driver to have done so in the last 26 years is Michael Schumacher at the 2012 European Grand Prix.
Esteban Ocon reached Q3 for the first time since the Turkish Grand Prix and went on to finish the race in fifth place. It was his best result since his victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix. This was also the first time both Alpine cars have finished in the top five since the Budapest race.
For the first time since the Russian Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc failed to reach Q3. He qualified in thirteenth place – his second worst qualifying result of the season to date. He went on to finish the race in eighth place, making it the first time he’s finished outside of the top five since the Russian Grand Prix.
Carlos Sainz finished in the points for a thirteenth consecutive race. This was the 27th race in a row at which Sainz has reached the chequered flag. That sees him equal the seventh longest finishing streak in F1.
Pierre Gasly equalled his best qualifying result of the season with fourth place. Following grid penalties for other drivers, Gasly started from the front row of the grid for the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix, recording his first ever front row start. His previous best grid position was fourth place. Gasly is the first French driver to start from the front row since Romain Grosjean at the 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix. Gasly fell nine places in the race, making this the seventh race of the 2021 season at which he has failed to score. It’s only the third time this year that he has reached the chequered flag without picking up a point.
With both Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda making it out of Q1, this is the first time that neither of the Red Bull junior team’s cars have been eliminated in Q1 at six consecutive races since the six races between the 2017 Monaco and Hungarian Grands Prix. Both Tsunoda and his team-mate finished outside of the points, making this the first time that AlphaTauri have not scored since the Russian Grand Prix.
Kimi Raikkonen has now out-qualified his team-mate at all of the last three races. The last time he out-qualified Antonio Giovinazzi at three races in a row was between the 2020 Portuguese and Turkish Grands Prix.
Antonio Giovinazzi finished fifteenth for the ninth time in his career. As a result, he overtakes team-mate Kimi Raikkonen as the driver with the most fifteenth places on the current grid.
At the Qatar Grand Prix, Mick Schumacher recorded his ninth top sixteen result of the season. His team-mate has finished in the top sixteen only once so far this year.
Following a chassis change, Nikita Mazepin was unable to compete in either of the last two Free Practice sessions. He qualified 2.452 seconds away from his team-mate. Mazepin qualified on the back row for the sixth consecutive race. It equals his longest streak of back row qualifications.
After a late race puncture, George Russell finished only seventeenth in the Qatar Grand Prix. It’s his worst result in a race he has finished since finishing eighteenth at the 2020 Russian Grand Prix.
Nicholas Latifi was the second retirement from the Qatar Grand Prix. Like Valtteri Bottas – the race’s other retiree – this was his fourth DNF of the year.
Read more statistics from the 2021 Qatar 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.