Hamilton sets the 20th fastest ever pole lap, Verstappen equals Mansell’s tally of podiums and Gasly records an impressive feat for AlphaTauri. Here’s a statistic from each driver’s 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend!
At the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton took pole position at a 32nd different circuit and won at a 35th different circuit. This was the fifth time that Hamilton has taken pole from the last six new venues to join the F1 calendar, as well as the first time that Hamilton has taken pole positions at consecutive races since taking five poles in a row between the 2020 Spanish and Russian Grands Prix. Hamilton’s pole lap was taken at an average speed of 253.984km/h, making it the 20th fastest pole lap in Formula 1 history. Hamilton became the first driver to have finished on the podium at 35 different tracks and the first to set the fastest lap at 26 different circuits.
Valtteri Bottas qualified in the top ten for the 100th consecutive time. It’s a feat which has been achieved only twice previously, by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. Finishing third after passing Esteban Ocon on the finish line, Bottas finished on the podium at a 27th different circuit, equalling Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso for fourth in the list of most different circuits at which a driver has finished in the top three.
Max Verstappen finished as runner-up for the third race in a row. It’s the first time a driver has recorded three consecutive second place results since Nico Rosberg finished as runner-up at all of the last four races of the 2016 season. Verstappen finished in the top three for the seventeenth time in 2021. He equalled the record for the most podium finishes in a single season. It’s a feat which has been achieved six times previously, once each by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, and four times by Lewis Hamilton. With his 59th podium finish, Verstappen equals Nigel Mansell for twelfth in the list of most F1 podiums.
Sergio Perez crashed out of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, ending an eight race streak of points-scoring appearances for the Mexican driver.
Daniel Ricciardo failed to qualify in the top three for the third race in a row. It’s the first time he’s failed to qualify in the top ten at three races in a row since the 2013 Korean, Japanese and Indian Grands Prix. Ricciardo went on to finish fifth, recording his first points finish since the United States Grand Prix. He’s now scored at six of the last twelve races – each one of those occasions being a top five finish. While team-mate Lando Norris has scored ten times in the same timeframe, only two of those finishes have been in the top five.
Lando Norris scored for a ninth race in a row, recording his third tenth place result in the last four races.
Sebastian Vettel recorded his third Q1 exit of the season. He was also out in Q1 at the Bahrain Grand Prix and the Dutch Grand Prix. Vettel was the last of five drivers to retire from the race. He recorded his first DNF since the British Grand Prix.
Lance Stroll was out-qualified by Sebastian Vettel for the fifth race in a row. He was last out-qualified by his team-mate at five consecutive races between the 2020 Spanish and Russian Grands Prix.
With thirteenth place, Fernando Alonso failed to score for the first time since the United States Grand Prix.
After qualifying in ninth place for a third consecutive race, Esteban Ocon narrowly missed out on a podium finish after being passed on the line by Valtteri Bottas. Ocon led a lap of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. It was the first time he’s led a race since winning the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Alpine driver has now finished in the top five at each of the last two races.
With seventh place, Charles Leclerc recorded his sixth consecutive top eight result. It equals his longest streak of top eight results in 2020, which he recorded between the Tuscan and Turkish Grands Prix.
Carlos Sainz qualified in fifteenth place. He failed to reach Q3 for the first time since the Turkish Grand Prix, when he also qualified fifteenth. Sainz went on to finish eighth. The four points he scored saw him overtake Nico Hulkenberg as the driver to have scored the most career points without winning a Grand Prix. Sainz also became only the sixth driver to have crossed the finish line at 28 consecutive races.
With sixth place, Pierre Gasly finished in the top six for the eighth time this year. It’s the first time that a driver for the Red Bull junior team has finished in the top six at eight races in a single season. The previous record at the team was seven top six finishes for Sebastian Vettel in 2008.
For the second race in a row, Yuki Tsunoda finished to score points having started inside the top eight on the grid. Of his six top ten starts this year, Tsunoda has converted two into points finishes (in Baku and Texas).
Kimi Raikkonen qualified in twelfth place, equalling his best qualifying result of the season. He also qualified twelfth for the Mexico City Grand Prix.
Antonio Giovinazzi qualified in tenth place for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, reaching Q3 for the first time since the Italian Grand Prix. He finished in ninth place, recording his best finish of the 2021 season and his best result since the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix. It’s the second time he’s scored this year, after the Monaco Grand Prix.
Mick Schumacher was the first of five drivers to retire from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. This was his third retirement in the last seven races. Schumacher’s crash brought out the red flags. It was the fifth time that the first race at a new venue has resulted in a red flag period. It also happened at the 1982 Detroit Grand Prix, the 1996 Australian Grand Prix, the 2010 South Korean Grand Prix and the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix. You could also include the 1950 Indianapolis 500 on this list.
Nikita Mazepin lined up 20th on the grid for the second race in a row. Mazepin has started from the 20th grid slot on six occasions this year, each time the occurrences being in consecutive pairs (Portugal & Spain, Styria & Austria and Qatar & Saudi Arabia).
George Russell became the first driver to reach 15 Q2 exits in the 2021 season. Following a collision with Nikita Mazepin, Russell retired for the fifth time this year. It was his first retirement since the Dutch Grand Prix.
Nicholas Latifi finished in twelfth place for the first time in his career. It’s the seventh best result of his F1 career to date.
Read more statistics from the 2021 Saudi Arabian 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.