Vettel's hunt for the records after the Indian Grand Prix
At the 2011 Indian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel added 1 pole position, 1 front row start, 60 laps in the lead, 1 victory, 1 podium finish, 1 fastest lap, 1 Grand Chelem, 1 win from pole position and 25 world championship points to his racing record.
With this perfect weekend, Vettel has already secured a number of records, and kept him in the running for a few more.
- Aged 24 years and 119 days, Sebastian Vettel is the youngest driver in Formula One history to achieve a Grand Chelem: winning the race from pole position, leading every lap of the race and setting the fastest lap. The previous record holder was Ayrton Senna, who was 25 years and 10 days when he achieved a Grand Chelem at the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix.
- In lap 42 (or 44, depending if you count leading on track or in time at the French GP), Sebastian Vettel surpassed Nigel Mansell with most laps led in a season. Nige lead for 694 (or 692) laps in 1992, with Vettel now having led 711 laps thus far in the 2011 season.
- Taking his 9th race win from pole position in one season, he equaled Nigel Mansell's 1992 record. He has 2 more races to make it his own.
- With his 16th front row start of the season, Vettel now shares the record for 'most front row starts in a season' with Ayrton Senna (1989), Alain Prost (1993) and Damon Hill (1996).
- With Vettel taking the 16th pole position of the season for Red Bull, Red Bull now holds the team record of most pole positions in one season.
- While the 25-points-per-win system has kind of screwed up the 'most points in a season'-record, Sebastian Vettel now holds that record under the 2004 points system. Under that points system, Vettel would now have 153 points (in 17 races), against Michael Schumacher's 148 points (out of 18 races).
- Counting in race wins, Vettel now also beat Schumacher's 2004 record of 14.8 race wins (148/10 points per win). His 374 points, now equals 14.96 race wins (374/25 points per win).
By winning, Vettel will still be able to equal Schumacher's season record of 13 race wins in 2002. With two races to go and 13 pole positions, Vettel is in a good position to at least equal, and possibly beat Nigel Mansell's 1992 record for most pole positions in a season. Likewise, with two races to go and 16 podium finishes, Vettel is in a good position to at least equal, and possibly beat Michael Schumacher's 2002 record for most podium finishes in a season. He's also well on his way to also beat Jim Clark's 1963 'percentage laps led in a season' record, but it won't come easy: he must lead all but 27 laps in Abu Dhabi and Brazil to beat that record. Vettel needs just 29 more points to have the highest percentage of possible points in a season.
2011 INDIAN GRAND PRIX STATISTICS
- This is Sebastian Vettel's 28th pole position, 21st win, 16th win from pole position, 35th podium finish, 9th fastest lap, and 1st Grand Chelem. Sebastian Vettel is the 22th driver in history to achieve a Grand Chelem, and this is the 51st Grand Chelem in history. With his 16th win from pole position, he has now cleared himself from Jim Clark, ranking 5th on that all-time list. With 21 wins, he is now ranked 11th in all time driver wins, while his 9th fastest lap is the same amount as Denny Hulme, Ronnie Peterson and Jacques Villeneuve scored in their careers.
- Jenson Button scored his 41st podium finish, with which he has now cleared himself from Lewis Hamilton again.
- Fernando Alonso scored his 72nd podium finish.
- You might not have realised, but McLaren has now secure second place in the constructors' championship. With 442 points to Ferrari's 325, and only 86 constructors' points left in the season, the Woking team has assured themselves of start numbers 3 and 4 in 2012
- Although Felipe Massa celebrated his 150th Grand Prix start one race early, the 2011 Indian Grand Prix actually marked this event. Unfortunately he did not finish his 150th race.
- While some could argue if Lewis Hamilton's grid penalty for cutting the chicane could be considered a penalty, his grid penalty for ignoring the yellow flags definitely makes 2011 his penalty record season: now 7 (or 6).
- Vettel's Grand Chelem at the inaugral Indian Grand Prix was the 10th Grand Chelem at an inaugral Grand Prix, the first one in 35 years. This after Monaco 1950 (Juan Manel Fangio), Rouen 1952 (Alberto Ascari), Zandvoort 1952 (Alberto Ascari), Argentina 1953 (Alberto Ascari), Monsanto 1959 (Stirling Moss), Brands Hatch 1964 (Jim Clark), Clermont-Ferrand 1965 (Jim Clark), Paul Ricard 1971 (Jackie Stewart) and Long Beach 1976 (Clay Regazzoni).
- India became the 30th country to ever host a Formula One Grand Prix. In the 2011 Formula One season, there are now races in three of the five most populated countries of the world: China (1.3 billion), India (1.2 billion) and Brazil (196 million). Next year, the United States (313 million) joins that list, leaving only Indonesia (242 million).
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