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Winning the championship
Formula One facts and figures

Winning the championship

i About facts-figure section.

From the season statistics, are there any that indicate the world champion? We will analyze the world champions for victories, podium, front row start, pole position, fastest lap and finishing the race in points.

For example, in 1984, Niki Lauda won the championship without starting from pole position or front row, but also without being the driver with the most victories in that season.

Apart from the fastest lap in all the statistics, there is at least one season in which the champion is not surpassed in terms of performance by another driver, but could be on par with another driver. For example, in 1950 GIuseppe Farina is the champion obtaining three victories, just like Juan Manuel Fangio, or the last case in 2010 when the champion Sebastian Vettel gets five victories, just like Fernando Alonso.

Champions statistics with not the most or tie performances

In the graph above we will see the cases when the pilot is not in first place in a certain statistic and the cases when he was tied with other pilots. It is possible that in the same season he will be tied but also surpassed by other drivers, for example in 1967 Deny Hulme has 2 front row starts. In the same season he is tied with Dan Gurney but also surpassed by Jack Brabham with 4

6) Fastest lap

TIE: 30

From the statistics mentioned above, it seems that speed in Formula 1 is not really that important. In 33 seasons the champion did not have the most fastest lap and in 30 seasons he was tied with at least one other driver.

Emerson Fittipaldi in the 1972 and 1974 seasons became world champion without obtaining any fastest lap. In four other seasons we have similar cases: in 1968 Graham Hill, 1979 Jody Scheckter and in 1982 Keke Rosberg.

Among the champions who obtained the fastest lap, Lewis Hamilton has the lowest percentage in 2008 with only one in 18 races, a percentage of 5.55%. The best percentage has Alberto Ascari who in 1952 obtained 6 fastest laps out of 8, thus having a percentage of 75%.

5) Front row start

TIE: 17

It seems that starting the race from the front row is not that important either, Niki Lauda managing to become champion in 1984 without any race from the front row, the best starting position being the third place in a race. In 1982, Keke Rosberg manages to become champion with a single front row start.

4) Pole position

TIE: 16

Even starting from the first place does not seem to be an important factor.

In 1984, Nelson Piquet has 9 races from pole position, but finishes the championship only in fifth position, a season in which he had to abandon 9 out of 16 races.

In 2022, Verstappen wins the championship with 7 starts from pole position, while Leclerc has 9.

There were also two seasons when the champion never started from pole position.

  • 1967 Denny Hulme
  • 1984 Niki Lauda

3) Finish in points

TIE: 27

Even if the sum of points collected decides the champion, it is not enough to finish as many times as possible in points.

Giuseppe Farina in 1950 wins the championship with only four races finished in points. But considering that there were 7 races in that season, we will mention Jochen Rindt who wins the championship in 1970 finishing 5 times in points from 13 races

On the other end, Michael Schumacher in 2002 and Lewis Hamilton in 2017 and 2019, they became champions by obtaining points in each race.

2) Win the race

TIE: 18

In 1958, Mike Hawthorn is the first to win the championship with only one victory, being surpassed in number of victories by Stirling Moss with four and Tony Brooks with three. 1982 Keke Rosberg also wins the championship with one victory, being overtaken by five pilots, all with two victories each. In the other seasons, only one pilot managed more victories than the champion.

Three drivers managed to get the title without the most victories in two seasons

  • Niki Lauda 1977, 1984
  • Nelson Piquet 1983, 1987
  • Alain Prost 1986 and 1989

Other statistics:

  • Keke Rosberg and Nico Rosberg are the only father-son pair
  • Maximum in three consecutive seasons we have this situation 1982, 1983, 1984
  • From this list, only Alain Prost in 1986 is champion, but not with the most victories, but he also has seasons when he has more victories than the 1982, 1983 and 1984 champion.

1) Podium

TIE: 19

It seems that statistically, the more a pilot is present on the podium, the more chances he has to win the championship, Michael Schumacher is the only champion who in 2002 finished on the podium in all races.

Only in 2003, we have two drivers with more podiums than the champion, Michael Schumacher wins the championship with 8 places, while Juan Pablo Montoya has 9 and Kimi Raikkonen 10

Other statistics:

  • Only Schumacher has this performance in two seasons, 1994 and 2003. In 1994, he has 10 podium finishes, while Damon Hill has 11.
  • In 1979 Gilles Villeneuve obtained more podiums than the champion, same case for his son, Jacques Villeneuve in 1996
  • In five seasons, the champion has all podium finishes in first place: 1950 Giuseppe Farina, 1952 and 1953 Alberto Ascari, 1960 Jack Brabham, 1965 Jim Clark
1950Giuseppe Farina3Luigi Fagioli5
1960Jack Brabham5Bruce McLaren6
1976James Hunt8Niki Lauda9
1979Jody Scheckter6Gilles Villeneuve7
1988Ayrton Senna11Alain Prost14
1994Michael Schumacher10Damon Hill11
1996Damon Hill10Jacques Villeneuve11
2003Michael Schumacher8Juan Pablo Montoya9
2003Michael Schumacher8Kimi Raikkonen10
2012Sebastian Vettel10Fernando Alonso13
2016Nico Rosberg16Lewis Hamilton17
About facts-figures section

All the articles in this section follow the statistical data.

In this section, I'm just trying to find some pattern from a statistical point of view compared to the results from Formula1.