It has been almost 10 years since Michael Schumacher won his last World title. Not much seems to have changed, because there is another German dominating F1 currently, and his well on his way to the older German’s records. While the races in a season have steadily increased, hitting 20 in 2012- the longest season ever, this has increased the competition with superiority having to be asserted over larger periods of time.
Here is some interesting F1 trivia about the drivers, their seasons and teams:
-In the last decade (since 2003), the drivers’ Championship has gone down to the final race of the season in 5 of the 10 seasons. In 2012, Vettel clinched it only at Brazil (the final race).
-Fernando Alonso has been involved in 4 final-race showdowns, winning only one of them (2006- also his last drivers title). In 2007, 2010 and 2012, Alonso went into the final day with a serious chance of winning the championships, failing all 3 times- 2010 being his biggest heartbreak, where Vettel stole it from under his nose at Abu Dhabi.
–Schumacher holds the record for winning the season with the maximum number of races left, in the 11th GP (Monaco) in 2002 (out of 17).
–Schumacher is also the only F1 driver in the history of the sport to have won over 10 races in a season TWICE (2002 and 2004- 11 wins and 13 wins). Vettel is the only other driver to have won over 10 (in 2011, he won 11 out of 19).
–Keke Rosberg (1982- widely considered the best season ever with 11 different race winners) and Mike Hawthorn (1958) are the only drivers to have won the Championship with a single race win in a season.
-UK has the maximum no. of world champions (10). Germany has just 2 drivers- with 10 World Championships between them.
-32 different drivers have won the World Championship since 1950.
-5 World Champions are participants in the 2013 season: Vettel, Raikkonen, Alonso, Hamilton and Button. Alonso won in 2005 and 2006, Raikkonen in 2007 (stealing it from a warring Hamilton and Alonso), Hamilton in 2008 (stealing it from a celebrating Massa at Brazil), Button in 2009 and Vettel in 2010,2011 and 2012. He is the favorite to win it in 2013 too.
-In 2007 and 2008, where Raikkonen and Hamilton were upset winners, the margin of victory was 1 point. Schumacher won his first Championship with Benetton by 1 point in 1994.
-In 2010, arguably the most exciting F1 season since 1979, Alonso came into the final race at Abu Dhabi as the leader, followed by Webber and Vettel. The young German walked away with the race and a 4-point Championship victory over Alonso.
-The maximum consecutive race Championships: 5 by Schumacher between 2000-2004.
-Before 2010 when the new points system was introduced, the lowest margin of victory ever was Niki Lauda’s 0.5 point 1984 Championship victory over McLaren teammate Alan Prost.
-Ferrari hold the record for the maximum no. of Constructors titles (15), followed closely by McLaren (12). Their last title was in 2007 with Kimi Raikkonen. Before 2008 (Hamilton), McLaren’s last title was in 1999 with Mika Hakkinen.
-After Schumacher’s 2001 and 2002 season, where he won the title by 58 and 67 points respectively (almost 6 race wins in points), Vettel won the 2011 title by 122 points (almost 6 race wins in points under the new system)
-Till date, Fernando Alonso remains the only Spaniard to have won a World Championship title.
-Vettel is the youngest ever World Champion (2010 at 23 years and 133 days) breaking Lewis Hamilton’s record (2008 at 23 years 301 days). Hamilton would have been the record holder if not for his last-race choke in 2007 where Raikkonen walked away the unlikely Champion.
-Stirling Moss holds the record of maximum runner up places (4) without ever winning the title. Prost also finished as runner up 4 times in his career.
-Alonso holds the record for the highest no. of points as a runner up to the title in 2012 (278), only 3 points behind Champion Vettel.
-Both Raikkonen (2003 and 2005) and Alonso (2010 and 2012) have finished runner-up twice in their careers.