For speed, technical skill and raw excitement, nothing in the world of sport can quite match Formula 1.
Note: All statistics are up to date as of 18 October 2016.
For almost 70 years, motor racing’s premier championship has provided high-octane action on some of the world’s most iconic circuits, and given rise to some of the most legendary names in any sport, from Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, to Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel. In World Formula 1 Records we dive into the numbers behind these champion drivers, breaking down their pole positions, fastest laps and grand prix titles.
Behind every top driver is a great team, and we showcase the incredible feats of F1’s top constructors here too, including iconic names like Ferrari and McLaren, as well as recent success stories such as Red Bull and Mercedes. Finally, we take a look at facts and figures surrounding Formula 1’s most historic tracks, from the tight urban turns of Monaco to the sweeping straights of Monza. Read on to discover everything you could possibly want to know about F1.
All sports produce record and statistics galore, from goals scored to matches won to titles collected, and motor racing has its own measures of excellence, whether it’s races won, pole positions collected, fastest laps, races started or even laps led.
Examine the tables of who has done what, or which team, and you will be looking at a list of the best of the best. However, as you go through this book you will find anomalies aplenty, such as the greatest names from the early days of the Formula One World Championship languishing far further down the lists than you might expect. That’s simple to explain, as they contested far fewer races each year in the 1950s, sometimes as few as six per year and, sadly, they also had a tendency to be killed in action as cars and circuits were far less safe back then. That’s why Juan Manuel Fangio, a fi ve-time World Champion, has just 24 grand prix wins to his name, leaving him only 10th in the all-time list at the start of 2016. Mind you, that was 24 wins from just 51 starts, whereas Rubens Barrichello has more than six times that number of starts and fewer than half of the number of wins, emphasising how Fangio’s hit rate, at 47 per cent, is something that will probably never be matched.
Such was the longevity and success of Michael Schumacher’s career first with Benetton and then, chiefly, with Ferrari before his swansong return with Mercedes that he tops pretty much every category of records. Indeed, even if Sebastian Vettel or Lewis Hamilton, the most successful of today’s heroes, start winning every Grand Prix from 2016 on, it will be midway through the 2018 World Championship at the earliest before they will be able to topple the German’s remarkable tally of 91 wins.
What leaps out as you read the figures and stories in this book is just how much the tide has fl owed between success and failure across the years as the World Championship accelerates into its seventh decade. For example, teams that once had the world at their feet, such as Cooper and Brabham, have long since shut their doors for the final time and even McLaren is now struggling. Their loss is the gain of others, however, with newer teams like Red Bull and Mercedes GP finally enjoying their time in the spotlight.
Formula One, the world’s fastest-moving sport, has been exciting and entertaining fans around the globe since the World Championship began in 1950. The drive to win is as strong as ever, but Formula One has changed dramatically over the years. The cars have been transformed into high-tech missiles with incredible acceleration, cornering and braking capabilities. The circuits are bigger, better and considerably safer. So, with every Grand Prix, the records keep on being added to in a blaze of glamour and speed.
Below All eyes on Turn 1: It’s Mercedes in control as poleman Nico Rosberg holds off his team-mate Lewis Hamilton by occupying the inside line into the first corner on F1’s return to Mexico in 2015. Sebastian Vettel can be seen between them in his Ferrari. Yet victory here came too late for Rosberg to prevent Hamilton landing his third title.
Michael Schumacher’s dominance of Formula One from 2000 to 2004 means that his name is at the top of almost every list of driver achievement. But some of his rivals and those who raced before him certainly made huge contributions to the colourful history of Formula One, including greats such as Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Jack Brabham. Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.
Below A man on a mission: Juan Manuel Fangio produced one of his greatest performances to chase, catch and pass the Ferraris to win the 1957 German GP at the Nurburgring for Maserati, en route to his fifth F1 title.