Did you know that seven drivers have scored their breakthrough Grand Prix triumphs on British soil? Or that on four separate occasions British drivers have locked out all three steps of the podium? On the eve of the 2015 Formula 1 British Grand Prix, we present a compendium of the event's most fascinating stats and trivia...
Giuseppe ‘Nino’ Farina won that first race for Alfa Romeo. With countryman Alberto Ascari victorious at Silverstone in 1952 and 1953, Italian drivers won three of the first four world championship races on British soil. However, they’ve not won any races in the country since…
By contrast, British racers have always tended to fare well on home soil. 17 of the 48 previous races at Silverstone have been won by British drivers, with a further six home wins coming when the race was staged at Aintree and Brands Hatch. In ’63, ’64 and ’65 Jim Clark led British sweeps of the podium places, followed home on all three occasions by Graham Hill and John Surtees. British drivers also locked out the rostrum spots in 1958, led by Peter Collins - the first Briton to win at Silverstone.
Speaking of Jim Clark, the Scottish racer won five races in Britain - a record only matched by Alain Prost. It’s a measure of Clark’s dominance, however, that his tally of 365 laps in the lead of races in Britain remains unsurpassed.
In terms of teams, it’s Ferrari who can boast the best win tally in British Grand Prix history. The Italian team have taken 16 victories - including their first ever world championship triumph in 1951 - on British soil. 13 of the Prancing Horse’s wins have come at Silverstone, with the other three at Aintree (1961) and Brands Hatch (1976 and 1978). McLaren and Williams have claimed 14 and 10 victories respectively at their home race.
Of the current grid, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton have both won the British Grand Prix twice, whilst Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg each have a single British victory to their name. In total, Alonso has stood on the podium at Silverstone six times - only one off Alain Prost’s and Michael Schumacher’s joint British Grand Prix podium record of seven. Jenson Button, by contrast, has never stood on the rostrum in front of his own fans, despite taking part in more races at Silverstone (15) than any other current driver.
Alonso also shares the record for most pole positions at Silverstone with three (with Clark, Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill). But if you think pole position is all-important at Silverstone, think again. Only four of the last 20 races have been won from pole position at the Northamptonshire venue.
Speaking of Mansell, the moustachioed racer holds the record for the most British Grand Prix fastest laps. The local favourite claimed seven of them over 11 starts on home soil, as well as four victories. Kimi Raikkonen has the most fastest laps in Britain of the current crop - four.
Five drivers have won the British Grand Prix by a lap or more over their nearest rival - Ascari in 1952, Juan Manuel Fangio in 1956, Jackie Stewart in 1969, Emerson Fittipaldi in 1975 and Prost in 1985. The smallest winning margin in British Grand Prix history came in 1955 when Stirling Moss crossed the line 0.2 seconds ahead of Mercedes team mate Fangio at Aintree.
That victory incidentally was Moss’s first in F1 competition. Six other drivers have scored maiden victories in Britain - Farina (1950), Froilan Gonzalez (1951), Tony Brooks (1957, shared drive with Moss), Jo Siffert (1968), Peter Revson (1973) and Johnny Herbert (1995).
The longest race in Silverstone history was the 1956 event which was won by Fangio in 2h 59m 47s. The shortest was the 1985 race, won by Prost in 1h 18m 10.436s.
Seven of the 10 Formula One teams are based in Britain, all within a 160-kilometre radius of Silverstone. Force India - whose factory is in Silverstone - are based the closest to the circuit, McLaren - in Woking - are the furthest away.
And finally, if Lewis Hamilton spends one or more laps at the front of the field at Silverstone, he'll surpass Jackie Stewart’s 45-year record of 17 consecutive Grands Prix led. What better place to do it than at home?