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Mexico stats - Hamilton moves level with Prost

30 Oct 2016

Victory in Mexico ensured Lewis Hamilton remains firmly in the fight for the 2016 championship crown - but it was also significant in terms of the all-time rankings...
  • While all the drama unfolded behind him, Lewis Hamilton was immaculate and almost entirely untroubled as he converted pole into victory in Mexico. As a result he moves to within 19 points of team mate Nico Rosberg in the title fight - and also level with four-time world champion Alain Prost on 51 F1 victories. Only one man lies ahead of Hamilton now - Michael Schumacher, on 91.

  • This was also the 23rd different circuit at which Hamilton has prevailed - a record only Schumacher can match. Of the current venues, there are just two at which Hamilton has never triumphed - Baku (where he has only raced once), and Sao Paulo, where his best finish is second.

  • For Mercedes meanwhile, this was a 17th triumph in 19 races - breaking their own record of 16 wins in a single season, set in both 2014 and '15. And they still have two races to add to the tally...

  • Behind the two Silver Arrows though, we had the unusual scene of seeing Max Verstappen finish third, Sebastian Vettel walk out to the final step of the podium - and then Daniel Ricciardo eventually being awarded the position.

  • That shuffle had a big impact in the championship - as a direct result, Ricciardo is now assured of third place in the drivers' standings. He now has 242 points to Vettel's 187 - an unassailable advantage. 

  • Ricciardo's promotion also extends Red Bull's podium streak - they have had at least one driver finish in the top three since Singapore, a run of five races. What's more, Red Bull have also out-scored Ferrari in every race over the same period. Before the stewards' intervention, both sequences had looked set to end.
  • Vettel meanwhile had looked set to end his podium drought - this was only the second time in 11 races that he had enjoyed walking out to a Grand Prix podium. His penalty means though means he has just one classified top-three finish since Baku in June - his worst run since his first full season in the sport with Toro Rosso in 2008.

  • For the second race in a row, Vettel led at least one lap of the race. In fact he spent 12 laps in total at the front of the field - taking him to 2,696 career laps led. The significance? That carried him above Prost and into fourth all-time, behind only Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna and Hamilton.

  • On top of his podium, Ricciardo also ended the race with the fastest lap - the fourth time he has achieved it this year, and the eighth time in his career. That moves him level with James Hunt, Gilles Villeneuve, Ralf Schumacher and Jenson Button for a tie of 37th on the all-time list.

  • This was also Ricciardo's 15th consecutive points finish - making this his joint-best run of form (level with a run of 15 points finishes in the points between Bahrain and USA in 2014). Only six drivers have ever enjoyed a better spell - Kimi Raikkonen (who holds the all-time record at 27), Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton, and Nico Rosberg.

  • Perez maintained a run of his own - he might have cut a frustrated figure at times, but he has a 100 percent scoring record at his home circuit. Last year the Mexican finished 8th; this year he could only manage 10th, despite appearing to have the pace for more.
  • Right behind Perez, Marcus Ericsson finished an agonising 11th for Sauber - the closest he and the team have come to cracking the points all season. 

  • The Swede managed a remarkable 69 laps on the medium tyre, having pitted at the end of a dramatic first lap in which he was hit and sent into a spin. Even more remarkably, another driver managed the exact same feat - Renault's Jolyon Palmer also pitted at the end of the first lap, switched to mediums and nursed them to the chequered flag, finishing 14th.

  • For the sixth time this season, the top ten positions were filled by just five teams - and they also happened to be the current top five in the constructors' standings - Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, Force India and Williams.

  • There was a season-first meanwhile, courtesy of the stewards: four different drivers were given time penalites either during or after the race.

  • And finally, Williams' Valtteri Bottas came oh so close to setting a new speed record in F1. The Finn clocked a breathtaking 372.5km/h through the Mexico speed trap - faster than Kimi Raikkonen's Monza speed trap record from 2005, but just 0.1km/h shy of what Juan Pablo Montoya was clocked at at a different part of the circuit in the same race. Don't bet against that record being eclipsed in Mexico City next year...