In the 44th closest F1 finish, Verstappen equals Raikkonen’s win tally and Sainz extends his finish streak. Here’s a statistic from each driver’s 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend!
🇳🇱 Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen qualified fourth for the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, making this the first qualifying session in which he set a lap time but did not qualify in the top three since the 2020 Italian Grand Prix. Verstappen went on to win the race, recording the 21st win of his F1 career. It sees him equal Kimi Raikkonen for 15th in the all-time list of most Formula 1 wins. Verstappen’s victory was the first for car number 1 since Sebastian Vettel’s win at the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix. He became the ninth driver to have won in seven consecutive F1 seasons. With his win, Verstappen overtook Nelson Piquet for 11th in the all-time podium list and overtook Michael Schumacher for seventh in the list of F1’s most prolific points scorers.
🇲🇽 Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez became a Formula 1 polesitter at the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. His first pole came exactly 11 years to the day since his first F1 qualifying appearance at the 2011 Australian Grand Prix. Perez set a new record for the most race appearances before a driver’s first pole position. This was Perez’s 217th race weekend appearance. The previous record was 130 races before pole position for Mark Webber, who recorded his first pole – also with Red Bull – at the 2009 German Grand Prix.
Perez finished fourth, becoming the seventh successive new polesitter to fail to win on their first attempt from pole. Pastor Maldonado remains the last driver to convert their maiden pole into a win. Perez’s twelve points for fourth place saw Mexico become the tenth nation to score 1,000 points in Formula 1, overtaking both the United States and Austria in the process.
🇬🇧 Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton was unable to reach Q2 at the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. It was the first time that he was eliminated in Q1 since the 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix, as well as the first time he failed to reach Q3 since the 2018 German Grand Prix. This was only the ninth Q1 elimination of Hamilton’s career. The last time he was eliminated in Q1 on pure pace alone with no other contributing factors was at the 2009 British Grand Prix. Hamilton finished tenth for only the third time in his career. He also finished tenth at the 2008 French Grand Prix and the 2012 South Korean Grand Prix.
🇬🇧 George Russell
Finishing in fifth place, George Russell recorded consecutive top five finishes for the first time in his career. This was also the third time that he has scored at consecutive races.
🇲🇨 Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc was the fastest driver in all three practice sessions at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. It was the first time a driver has achieved that feat since Max Verstappen at the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix and the first time Leclerc achieved the feat since the 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Finishing as runner-up, Leclerc missed out on the win by 0.549 seconds in the 44th closest finish to an F1 race. Leclerc recorded podium finishes at consecutive races for the first time since his run of four top three results between the 2019 Belgian and Russian Grands Prix and set the fastest lap at consecutive races for the first time since the 2019 Mexican and United States Grands Prix.
🇪🇸 Carlos Sainz
With third place, Carlos Sainz finished on the podium for the third race in succession. It’s the first time in his career that he has recorded three podium finishes in a row. This was Sainz’s 31st consecutive finish, putting him fifth in the all time list of consecutive Grand Prix finishes. Sainz also scored for the 17th race in a row, making him only the 11th driver to have such a long points-scoring streak in F1.
🇦🇺 Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo failed to reach the chequered flag at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, recording only his second retirement in the last 40 races.
🇬🇧 Lando Norris
Lando Norris was eliminated in Q2 for the second consecutive weekend. It’s the first time that Norris has failed to qualify in the top ten at two races in a row since the 2019 Belgian and Italian Grands Prix.
🇪🇸 Fernando Alonso
While team-mate Esteban Ocon finished in the top six at Jeddah Corniche Circuit in both 2021 and 2022, Fernando Alonso is still yet to score a point at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. After finishing thirteenth in 2021, the Spaniard retired from the 2022 race.
🇫🇷 Esteban Ocon
With fifth place in qualifying, Esteban Ocon equalled his best qualifying result from the 2021 season. Ocon went on to finish sixth, recording his second top six result at Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
🇫🇷 Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly recorded his first four points of the 2022 season at the Saudi Arabian Grand with an eighth place finish. That equals his worst start to an F1 season, having also picked up only four points after the first two rounds in 2019 with Red Bull.
🇯🇵 Yuki Tsunoda
After failing to set a lap time in qualifying, Yuki Tsunoda stopped on his way to grid. With both Tsunoda and Mick Schumacher failing to start the race, this was the first time an F1 race had only 18 starters since the 2015 Australian Grand Prix.
🇩🇪 Nico Hulkenberg
With Nico Hulkenberg twelfth and Lance Stroll thirteenth, Aston Martin are now one of only two teams who have not picked up any points at Jeddah Cornich Circuit. Williams are the only other team yet to score at the track.
🇨🇦 Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll was the only driver to finish a lap down in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix following a late race crash with Alex Albon. The Canadian has failed to score at any of the last four races; his longest point-less streak since the five races between the 2020 Mugello and Imola races.
🇹🇭 Alex Albon
Both Williams drivers failed to finish the race. It’s the second time in the last three races that the team has recorded a double DNF. The last time the team recorded double retirements with such a short interval between them was at the opening two rounds of the 2011 season. This was Alex Albon’s first DNF since the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix.
🇨🇦 Nicholas Latifi
Nicholas Latifi was the first retirement from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, recording his third DNF in the last five races.
🇫🇮 Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas retired from the second race of the season for a second year in succession. Having scored eight points so far this year, it is – predictably – his worst start to a season since 2016.
🇨🇳 Zhou Guanyu
Zhou Guanyu’s 100% finish record remains intact after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. While his team-mate retired, Zhou finished just outside of the points in eleventh place. The Chinese driver qualified two positions better than he did on debut.
🇩🇪 Mick Schumacher
Mick Schumacher suffered a huge crash during Q2 for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The German was taken to hospital for precautionary checks and did not race as a result. Schumacher had the ninth fastest lap time at the time of his crash. He reached Q2 for the fourth time in his career.
🇩🇰 Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen reached Q3 for the second consecutive race. That made it the first time since the 2019 Russian and Japanese Grands Prix that Haas recorded Q3 appearances at two consecutive races. Magnussen finished the race in ninth place, scoring points at consecutive races for the first time since his three race run of top ten finishes between the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix and the 2019 Australian Grand Prix.
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.