Changes in the 'Hunt for the records' after the Japanese Grand Prix
At the 2011 Japanese Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel added 1 pole position, 1 front row start, 17 laps in the lead, 1 podium finish and 15 world championship points to his racing record.
Having not won the race, leading all laps, and not setting the fastest lap, Sebastian Vettel did not become the second driver in history to win the championship with a Grand Slam. He did become the 6th driver in history to become world champion in Suzuka, after Nelso Piquet (1987), Ayrton Senna (1988, 1990, 1991), Alain Prost (1989), Damon Hill (1996), Hakkinen (1998, 1999) and Michael Schumacher (2000, 2003). Although Sebastian Vettel can no longer beat the 2004 record of most wins in a season, when Michael Schumacher drove his Ferrari to 13 race wins, he will still be able to equal the record this year. Vettel will however no longer be able to beat Alberto Ascari’s record of 7 consecutive wins this season.
2011 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX STATISTICS
- For the record books: Sebastian Vettel is now the youngest two-time world champion, just 24 years and 98 days. That is actually just 39 days older than Fernando Alonso was when he took his first championship in 2005.
- Sebastian Vettel is the 9th driver in history to win back-to-back world championships, after Alberto Ascari (1952-1953), Juan Manuel Fangio (1954-1957), Jack Brabham (1959-1960), Alain Prost (1985-1986) Ayrton Senna (1990-1991), Michael Schumacher (1994-1995, 2000-2004), Mika Häkkinen (1998-1999), Fernando Alonso (2005-2006). Only Fangio and Senna had won championships before winning their back-to-back championships.
- With Vettel securing the championship, it is the first time since Michael Schumacher in 2003 that the title was won in Japan. He is now the 6th driver in history to become world champion Formula One in Suzuka, after Nelso Piquet (1987), Ayrton Senna (1988, 1990, 1991), Alain Prost (1989), Damon Hill (1996), Hakkinen (1998, 1999) and Michael Schumacher (2000, 2003).
- Vettel's second world championship is the ninth world championship won by a German driver. Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel now together have more championships than all Brazilian drivers combined (Nelson Piquet (3), Ayrton Senna (3), Emerson Fittipaldi (2)).
- Michael Schumacher still holds the record for winning the world championship with most races left in the season, with 6 races left in 2002, but securing the title with 4 races left, Sebastian Vettel equals Schumacher's 2004 result. Lest we not forget Mansell however, he clinched the title 5 races before the end in 1992.
- With the championship won, and no one other than Sebastian Vettel being able to lead the championship anymore, he now holds the record for "leading the championship for most races in the season", leading the championship for all 19 races of 2011. The previous record was held by Michael Schumacher, leading the championship all year through the 18 races in 2004.
- With Button's win on Suzuka, McLaren has now won 9 of the 27 Japanese Grand Prix since 1976.
- When Schumacher (42 years, 279 days old) led the race before his last pit stop, he became the old driver to lead a race since Jack Brabham (44 years, 107 days old) led the 1970 British Grand Prix.
- In his tenth Japanese Grand Prix, this is only the fourth time Mark Webber scored points in Japan; third out of nine races in Suzuka.
- Button's victory is McLaren's first win at Suzuka since Raïkkönen's win in 2005.
- Although Force India must be happy to finish, after having a double retirement in the 2008 and 2010 Japanese Grand Prix, they were again unable to score points in Japan.
- With Perez's eight place finish, Sauber has now consecutively scored points in the last six Japanese Grand Prix, counting both Fuji and Suzuka.
- The old record for most driver's championship titles entering a race -9 championships equally across Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna in the 1991 Australian Grand Prix- was already shattered when Michael Schumacher brought his 7 championships into the 2010 Australian Grand Prix, starting that race with 11 championship titles. The 2011 Korean Grand Prix will be started with 13 championship titles across the field, but it will be the first time since the 1991 Australian Grand Prix that 3 double world champions will start a race: Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and now Sebastian Vettel.
- This is Jenson Button's 12th win, 40th podium finish and 6th fastest lap.
- Fernando Alonso scored his 71st podium finish, slowly creeping up to Ayrton Senna's 80 podium finishes.
- Sebastian Vettel's 27th pole position, means he is now the all-time 7th driver in most pole positions, clearing himself from Mika Häkkinen, with 26 pole positions. His third place finish in Suzuka meant his 33rd podium finish in his young career: finishing on the podium in 42.8% of his races.
- Although Sebastian Vettel can no longer beat the 2004 record of most wins in a season, when Michael Schumacher drove his Ferrari to 13 race wins, he will still be able to equal the record.
- Vettel will no longer be able to beat Alberto Ascari's record of 7 consecutive wins this season.