Formula 1: A 1000-Page Encyclopedia

“We arrived here not knowing how we would measure against Ferrari – they were so quick in the last race. Valtteri has been quick all weekend and to have a one-two is really special on the 1,000th Grand Prix. The start was where I could make the difference and after that it is history.” (Lewis Hamilton, 2019)

Thousands of kilometres, hundreds of crashes, dozens of drivers, fatal accidents, dead drivers and historical victories since the beginning of the story in Silverstone on May 13th, 1950. While 2019 is going ahead with iconic memories, motorsport celebrated the 1,000th race of Formula 1 and Lewis Hamilton took justified pride of his 75th win via the above interview. 

Before the comprehensive analysis of 1000 Grand Prixes, it is important to recall that ‘1000’ is still open to discussion. The difference between the terms ‘Race’ and ‘Grand Prix’ has been a matter of weeks, while some sources say that the first Grand Prix took place in Le Mans in 1901, while others go back a year and remind the Gordon Bennett Cup as the start of the story. Despite the foundation of the FIA (in 1904) as the governing body of motorsport, the structure of the F1 could not be determined due to world wars in the following decades. After all, the story began with 1950 Silverstone, which is considered as the first official Grand Prix, and the victory of Giuseppe Farina in Great Britain.

In addition to the discussions on the official start date, Indianapolis 500 races in the 1950s and Formula 2 seasons that held in 1952 and 1953 stand out as further controversial arguments. 

“In modern times, F1 historians generally discount the Indy 500 as part of the Formula One championship. It was not an FIA-sanctioned event and was governed by an entirely different set of rules to the F1 championship. The points system was different. The racing was different. The cars were different. Many Grand Prix drivers didn’t make the trip overseas to compete in the Indy 500—the race was largely contested by U.S.-based drivers, so the results were generally not reflective of the overall season.

Then, we encounter another problem. In 1952 and 1953, the driver’s championship was not run according to Formula One regulations. It was run according to Formula Two regs. Before the 1952 season, Alfa Romeo and BRM withdrew from the championship, citing that they felt they’d be unable to compete against the dominant Ferrari factory team. That basically left Ferrari as the only one with an F1 car that could win a race. So, fearing a total lack of competition, the FIA decided to make things easier for two years by running the more low-cost, low-power Formula Two spec cars.” (Elizabeth Blackstock, Jalopnik.com)

Aside from all these controversies, a considerable milestone of the adventure was passed in China on April 14, 2019, and a new page was turned in the history of the F1. Given that developed and accelerated vehicle, the increasing safety perception after losing lots of drivers on tracks and growing economy with the advanced broadcasting technology, Formula 1 is nowadays followed by millions of sports fans around the world.

Within this study, 1000 Grand Prix were analyzed by various parameters such as track, team and driver, and the dashboard explored some surprising results as well as some expected ones. It is important to remind that there are three occasions where two drivers would be credited with a Grand Prix win due to the car-sharing practice implemented in the early stages of Formula 1. 1951 Rheims Grand Prix was won by Juan Manuel Fangio and Luigi Fagioli. Luigi Musso shared victory in the 1956 Argentine Grand Prix with Juan Manuel Fangio. The third and last time Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks won the 1957 Aintree Grand Prix. There is a similar situation in the pole position parameter too. According to the records, two drivers were considered as a holder of the pole position in the 1956 Monza Grand Prix, the 1956 Monte Carlo Grand Prix and the 1957 Aintree Grand Prix. In this context, various sources reflect different figures, particularly, in the number of wins and pole positions of teams.

Quick Facts

Grand Prix, Track, Country

  • The year more than 10 Grand Prix held for the first time: 1958 (11)
  • The year more than 20 Grand Prix held for the first time: 2012
  • The years most Grand Prix held: 2016 and 2018 (21)
  • The track where most Grand Prix held: Monza, Italy (68)
  • Grand Prix with the longest timeframe: Silverstone, Monte Carlo, Spa-Francorchamps, Monza (1950-2018)
  • The country where most Grand Prix held: Germany (77 -> Nurburgring: 40, Hockenheim: 36, Avus: 1)

Team

  • The team with most win: Ferrari (234)
  • The team with most pole position: Ferrari (223)
  • The team dominating a specific Grand Prix*: Mercedes & Sochi (Russia) (100% win rate at 5 Grand Prix)
  • The team with most wins on a specific Grand Prix*: Ferrari & Nurburgring (14 wins, 35% of total races)
  • The driver with the most wins in a specific team: Michael Schumacher & Ferrari (72 wins, 31% of the team’s total win)
  • Top-winners of a specific team**: Jackie Stewart & Matra (9 wins), Jody Scheckter & Wolf (3 wins)

Driver (Nationality & Age)

  • Most winner: Michael Schumacher (91)
  • The country with most wins: Britain (280 wins from 19 drivers)
  • The country with the highest number of victories per driver: Spain (32 wins; all by Fernando Alonso)
  • Countries with most wins in decades:
    • 1950-59: Argentina (26/84)
    • 1960-69: United Kingdom (61/100)
    • 1970-79: United Kingdom (28/144)
    • 1980-89: France (55/156)
    • 1990-99: United Kingdom (51/162)
    • 2000-09: Germany (67/174)
    • 2010-19: United Kingdom (72/180)
  • The youngest winner: Max Verstappen at the 2016 Catalunya with Red Bull (18 years, 7 months, 15 days)
  • The oldest winner: Luigi Fagioli at the 1951 Rheims with Alfa Romeo (53 years, 22 days)
  • The youngest winner in terms of average age***: Sebastian Vettel (52 wins, 25.4)
  • The oldest winner in terms of average age***: Juan Manuel Fangio (24 wins, 42,5)
  • The age of most winners: 29 (104)
  • The driver with most pole position: Lewis Hamilton (84)
  • The country with most pole position: Britain (270 pole position from 17 drivers)
  • The country with the highest number of pole positions per driver: Spain (22 pole positions; all by Fernando Alonso)
  • The driver with the highest rate of pole position in the victory***: Felipe Massa (8/11 – 72.7%)
  • The driver with most pole positions in the victory: Lewis Hamilton (47)
  • The age of most pole position: 29 (101)

(*) Grand Prix with at least 5 events
(**) Drivers with at least 3 wins
(***) Drivers with at least 10 wins

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