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Analysis: The 2012 F1 season in numbers
Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Dec 2012   |  11:38 am GMT  |  279 comments

Kimi Raikkonen completed every lap, bar the last one of F1’s longest ever season, the only driver to do so, while only half of this season’s races were won from pole position. And the Brazilian Grand Prix featured the most overtakes ever in a wet F1 race – these are just a few of the headlines from an analysis of the 2012 F1 season in numbers.

Although it appeared that qualifying was more important than ever this year, in fact the highest number of wins from pole for a driver was three for Sebastian Vettel – a very different statistic from last year. Another change from last year was that only one team managed a 1-2 finish; Red Bull in Korea.

The tale of what might have been is clear for Lewis Hamilton who ended up with the most pole positions with seven.

Another surprise is that despite all the rain we had during practice and qualifying sessions this year, only two of the 20 races were rain affected; Malaysia and Brazil.

In total there were 1139 overtaking manoeuvres this season, while the most overtaking manoeuvres in a dry race was 90 at the Chinese Grand Prix.

The most overtaking manoeuvres in a wet race was 147 at the Brazilian Grand Prix, which is a new record. The least overtaking manouevres in a race was a paltry 12 at the Monaco Grand Prix.

The season featured a record seven winners in the first seven races, with eight race winners in total. Red Bull and McLaren were tied on seven race wins and eight pole positions apiece. The lowest grid slot for a race winner was the 11th place start of Fernando Alonso in Valencia.

Alonso’s challenge was underpinned by his 13 podium visits, the most of any driver. But wins were too sparse, just three for the Spaniard compared to five for Vettel, who became the first driver ever to win his first three F1 World Championship titles in consecutive seasons. Germans have now won half of the last 20 World Championships, a boom time for the sport in Germany.

The most emphatic winning margin was 20.6 seconds between Vettel and Felipe Massa in Japan, while the tightest was Mark Webber’s 0.643s margin over Nico Rosberg in Monaco. Webber has still not managed to win a Grand Prix where he started lower than third on the grid.

Raikkonen did a superb job to finish all 20 races, 19 of them in the points, while Michael Schumacher was left cursing his bad luck with eight retirements.

Kamui Kobayashi did the most laps on the Pirelli hard tyre with 798, compared to just 661 for Raikkonen. Sebastian Vettel did 975 laps on the soft tyres, compared to 880 for Alonso, who preferred the medium (842 laps to Vettel’s 707)

And finally fun quiz….two drivers each made up an impressive 72 places from lights to flag in races from their grid slot over the course of the 20 race season.

Who are they?

Make your guess in the comments section below and the first correct answer will receive a signed and personalised copy of our new book JA on F1 2012 – The Year of Living Dangerously, which is published this Friday December 7th.

* The competition is now closed. The answer is Jean Eric Vergne and Sergio Perez and the winner is Rachit Thukral, post #29. Congratulations to him and thanks to everyone who answered.

You can read all about the longest and certainly one of the most dramatic seasons in F1 history in JA on F1 2012 – The Year of Living Dangerously, which is priced at £10.99; it’s a 256 page large format paperback with stunning Darren Heath images and signed copies are available to order via our online shop now.

[Thanks to Michael Sheppard and Pirelli for help with stats]

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What happened to my post?

I wrote Vergne and Perez. And talked about how I was right, but I wouldn’t get the prize.

What happened to my comment? Was I censored or am I missing something?



Massa and Glock


Pérez 80, Vergne 79 poz.


Schumacher and Vettel


72 places in 20 races is an average of 3.6 places for every race. It has to be the bottom end, because only they gain those places reliably as others retire. To put that to perspective, a top driver would have start at end of the three times and finish near podium to get anywhere near that number.

Well, okay, I suppose some middle-tier driver could qualify reliably at 10+ and drive to points.

Anyway, could be Glock, but I’d say Kovalainen and Petrov, because Glock and Heikki was said already. Kovalainen started almost always at 19 and Petrov at 20.

James, will you close the thread and tell the correct answer when appropriate?


Massa and Schumacher


Jean Eric Vergne and Felipe Massa


kimi and Alonso


Massa and Perez?


Senna and Perez


Senna and Ricciardo


Vettel and Webber


Alonso and Massa


Alonso and Raikkenon


Ok James let us have it


massa and Alonso


My guess is: Alonso & Perez


kobayashi and alonso


Perez and Vergne… Got the answer yesterday, but then I saw a comment with the correct answer already… So that kinda burst my bubble… 🙁 How about a random winner selection process next time James? 🙂


Alonso and Perez


heikki kovalainen and naren karthikeyan


Probably already guessed, but I’ll say Massa and Vergne were the two.


Glock and Massa


Massa and Alonso


Button and Perez

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