Last year’s British Grand Prix enticed a record-breaking number of race fans, settling any doubts over the popularity of Formula One. In our latest review, Balázs Szabó looks at the numbers that the long 2019 has produced.
351,000 – The 2019 British Grand Prix saw 351,000 people flocking to the iconic circuit at Silverstone over the three days of the race weekend, recording the highest grand prix attendance in the 70-year history of the sport. A new record was set on race day as well thanks to enthusiastic fans -141,000 people watched the race at the scene.
20 – The 2019 season was the third to cover a total of twenty-one race, the record for most races in a seaon. The record was born in 2016 and was repeated by the last two championship. The 2020 campain, however, looks set to rewrite the history books by featuring 22 grands prix in total.
23 years and 256 days – The Brazilian Grand Prix was not only spectacular due to different incidents involving Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, but also thanks to unusual trio of podium finishers. Behind the winning driver, Max Verstappen, Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz claimed the first podium finish of their career after Lewis Hamilton was deprived of his third-place finish due to a collision with Alexander Albon. The trio of Verstappen-Gasly-Sainz has set a new record for the youngest average age of podium finishers.
1.82 – Red Bull proved the fastest during the pit stops considering the entire season. The enegry drink-owned team registered their fastest tyre change at Sao Paulo when they fitted new Pirelli tyres to Max Verstappen’s car in an amazing 1.82 second.
Two – The governing body had to implement one of its most severe penalties, the disqualification on two occasions. Following a post-race investigation after the Japanese Grand Prix, Renault had both drivers disqualified for a technical infringement following a protest from Racing Point.
Six – Romain Grosjean recorded the highest number of retirements in 2019 – not a feat that he can be happy about. The Frenchman was involved in two serious accidents which both led to retirements. On four other occasions, technical gremlins forced the Geneva-born to retire from the race. On the other end of the spectrum, Lewis Hamilton was the only driver to finish every grand prix, avoiding technical problems and accidents.
21 – Of 21 qualifying sessions, Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were the only drivers to reach the last qualifying segment at every race weekend.
Six – With their sixth consecutive Constructors’ title, Mercedes equalled Ferrari’s run of success as the team with the most back-to-back F1 constructors’ titles.
0 – Ending or interrupting his Formula One career at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Nico Hülkenberg extended his record for most races without reaching the podium. The Emmerich-born driver started in 177 grands prix during his 10-year career and even if he came close to podium finishes on multiple occasions, he has failed to secure a place in the top three.
100 – The ultra-dominant team Mercedes has become the fourth team to reach 100 wins in F1 thanks to their 15 victories in 2019.
312 – Kimi Räikkönen became the second most frequent starter in Formula One. The Finn completed his 312th grand prix in last year’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, surpassing Fernando ALonso who has 311 starts to his name. The 2007 champion can beat Rubens Barrichello’s record (323) in next season’s British Grand Prix.
2 – After Prince Bira , Alexander Albon became the second Thai driver to compete at the highest level of motorsport. Driving for Maserati, Bira earned a total of eight points in his career which streched between 1950 and 1954. The Thai-British driver Albon has already scored 92 points in his debut year in Formula One.
Over 1000 – Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas have become two other drivers to reach 1000 points in F1 history. By the end of the 2019 season, the Perth-born driver has earned 1040 points while the Nastola-born driver has collected 1289 in total.
Zero – Of the 1018 races in the history of Formula One, there are only a few ones in which every driver was classified. In 2019, it was the Austrian Grand Prix which saw all twenty drivers finish the race. In fact, there are only nine races without a driver to retire from the race happenings. The most outstanding of these races is the 1961 Dutch Grand Prix where all fifteen starters saw the chequered flag while every other race of this list was held after 2004.
75th – Atfer a hiatus of 27 years, Honda has clinched a victory as an engine supplier for the first time in the Austrian Grand Prix. Honda rejoined the sport in association with McLaren in 2015, but their efforts were met with no success. After they decided to part ways with the British squad, the Sakura-based manufacturer joined forces with Red Bull. The union did not need to wait long for their first common success thanks to Max Verstappen who came out victorious at the Austrian Grand Prix. The Dutchman recorded two further victories at Hockenheim and at Mexico City. Before the success with Red Bull Racing, the Japanese engine-manufacturer last won with McLaren back in 1992. It is worth noting that Honda spent four years between 2006 and 2008 as a constructor in the sport with Jenson Button’s victory at the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix as the most notable success from the era.