The 2023 Formula 1 season is fast approaching. As the countdown continues to the 2023 season, here are 23 statistics about the number 23 in F1!
1. Sebastian Vettel won his first title at age 23
Sebastian Vettel is Formula 1’s youngest-ever World Champion. Vettel won his first title with Red Bull in 2010 as a result of winning that season’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Vettel was 23 years, 4 months and 11 days old when he became the sport’s 32nd World Champion. His record as the youngest World Champion (and youngest double, triple and quadruple World Champion) is yet to be broken.
Read more: The F1 records held by Sebastian Vettel.
2. Alex Albon will equal the record for most starts in car 23 at race 23 in 2023
Pierluigi Martini currently holds the record for most starts in car number 23, having made 83 appearances in the car number between 1988 and 1995. Alex Albon became the driver of car number 23 when he first joined Formula 1 in 2019. Since then, he has made 60 starts in car 23. That means that at the 23rd race of the 2023 season, Albon will equal Martini’s record as the driver to have made the most starts in car number 23!
3. 2023 will be the first season to feature 23 (or more) races
As it stands, the 2023 Formula 1 season will feature 23 races – a new record for the most races in a single season. When the calendar was first announced, it featured 24 races – but the Chinese Grand Prix was subsequently removed from the schedule due to coronavirus-related restrictions. The 23rd round of the 2023 season is currently expected to be the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, though if another event replaces the Chinese Grand Prix, the all-new Las Vegas Grand Prix will become the 23rd race of the year.
4. Lewis Hamilton has led 23 races from start to finish
So far in his Formula 1 career, Lewis Hamilton has led every lap of a Grand Prix on 23 occasions. It’s the record for the most races in which a driver has held onto the lead throughout the race. The 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix was the first race at which Hamilton led every lap, while the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix is the most recent race at which he has done so.
5. Prost and Senna recorded 23 1-2 finishes
Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna’s rivalry is renowned as one of Formula 1’s greatest. During their time together in the sport, the duo recorded 23 1-2 results – a record at the time. Their last came at the 1993 Australian Grand Prix – which would prove to be the final race which either driver completed. Prost and Senna’s record was eventually broken by Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello at the 2004 Italian Grand Prix.
6. Teo Fabi scored 23 points in his F1 career
141 drivers have scored 23 or more points in Formula 1 – but only one has finished their career having scored exactly 23 points. That driver is Teo Fabi, who scored 23 points between 1984 and 1987.
7. Four races have been won by car 23
Four victories have been taken by a driver using car number 23. The first was for Jim Clark at the 1964 Belgian Grand Prix. The car number would not win again for almost 45 years, with Heikki Kovalainen taking the only victory of his career in car 23 at the 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix. The two most recent wins for the car number came in 2009, when Rubens Barrichello won the European and Italian Grands Prix with Brawn GP.
8. Car 23 recorded its first points and first podium in the same race
Driving for Maserati, Juan Manuel Fangio raced in car number 23 at the 1953 British Grand Prix. Fangio finished as runner-up to Alberto Ascari in the race, becoming the first driver to finish on the podium – or even score a point – using the car number.
9. Niki Lauda recorded 23 pole positions with Ferrari
Niki Lauda has recorded the second-most poles of any Ferrari driver, having recorded 23 poles with the Scuderia during his time at the team. Charles Leclerc will become the third driver to record 23 poles with Ferrari – after Lauda and Michael Schumacher – should he take five pole positions during the 2023 season.
10. Sainz could be the 50th driver to reach 23 podiums in 2023
Talking of Ferrari drivers and the number 23, Carlos Sainz will become the 50th driver to record 23 podiums in Formula 1 if he takes eight top three finishes during the 2023 season. The chances are looking good for Sainz, who took nine podiums last year.
11. Nelson Piquet and Nico Rosberg recorded 23 Grand Prix wins
Just two drivers have finished their Formula 1 careers on 23 victories. Nelson Piquet took his 23rd and final win at the 1991 Canadian Grand Prix, while Nico Rosberg took his 23rd win at the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix. All of Rosberg’s 23 victories came with the Mercedes team. Just 12 drivers have taken more than 23 wins.
12. Two drivers have recorded podium finishes from 23rd on the grid
Just two podium finishes have been recorded from 23rd on the grid. Niki Lauda finished as runner-up having started 23rd at the 1983 United States Grand Prix West, while Teo Fabi finished third having started 23rd at the 1984 Dallas Grand Prix.
13. Vittorio Brambilla took his only win on his 23rd appearance
Vittorio Brambilla recorded the only victory of his career in wet conditions at the 1975 Austrian Grand Prix. It was his 23rd Grand Prix start and he had picked up only a handful of points prior to his maiden win.
14. Michael Schumacher won at 23 different circuits
During his illustrious Formula 1 career, Michael Schumacher took pole position at 23 different circuits. He overtook Alain Prost’s former record with his final victory at the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix, which marked his first win at Shanghai International Circuit. Only Lewis Hamilton has since gone on to win at more tracks.
15. Sebastian Vettel took pole at 23 different circuits
Sebastian Vettel took pole position at 23 different venues during his Formula 1 career. Baku City Circuit was the 23rd different track at which Vettel took pole, doing so in 2018. Vettel was not the first to have taken pole at 23 tracks – Lewis Hamilton beat him to it, having taken pole at a 23rd different circuit when he set the fastest lap at COTA for the 2016 United States Grand Prix.
16. 23 is the average age of the three youngest podiums in F1
The three youngest podiums in Formula 1 all had an average age of 23. The youngest podium to date came at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, where the top three (Max Verstappen, Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz) had an average age of 23 years, 8 months and 13 days. Drivers on the podium at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix and the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix also had an average age of 23.
17. 17 podiums have been recorded by car 23
The driver of car number 23 has finished in the top three on 17 occasions. The longest gap between podiums for the car number is 27 years – between Bruno Giacomelli’s third place finish at the 1981 Caesars Palace Grand Prix and Heikki Kovalainen’s third place result at the 2008 Malaysian Grand Prix.
18. Alonso’s longest points streak is 23 races
In Formula 1’s history, there have been just five occasions on which a driver has scored points at 23 races in a row. Fernando Alonso’s longest points streak is 23 races, when he scored at all 23 races between the 2011 European Grand Prix and the 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix.
19. Ferrari have a 23% pole rate
Ferrari have taken pole at just over a fifth of all the Formula 1 races they have entered, with a pole rate of exactly 23%. They have the most poles of any team, with 242.
20. Derek Warwick and Martin Brundle scored their first points in their 23rd races
Two drivers have picked up the first points of their career on their 23rd Grand Prix appearance. Derek Warwick did so with a fourth place finish at the 1983 Dutch Grand Prix, while Martin Brundle did so by finishing fifth in the 1986 Brazilian Grand Prix.
21. The Tyrrell team recorded 23 Grand Prix wins
1971 Constructors’ Champions Tyrrell recorded 23 wins during their time in Formula 1. Michele Alboreto recorded the team’s final victory at the 1983 Detroit Grand Prix. Five drivers won with the team: Jackie Stewart, Francois Cevert, Jody Scheckter, Patrick Depailler and Michele Alboreto.
22. Alberto Ascari scored points at 23 races
In his World Championship career, two-time World Champion Alberto Ascari picked up points at 23 races. Aside from his ten retirements, Ascari failed to score only once in his career. That was at the 1953 German Grand Prix, when he shared a drive with Luigi Villoresi.
23. Gilles Villeneuve and Charles Leclerc took their maiden poles on their 23rd attempts
Both young Ferrari stars, Gilles Villeneuve and Charles Leclerc each took their first pole with the Scuderia on their 23rd Grand Prix appearances. Villeneuve did so at the 1979 United States Grand Prix West, while Leclerc took his first pole at the 2019 Bahrain 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.