Latest / Feature

Nico Rosberg and the best winning streaks in F1 history

17 Apr 2016

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg heads into Sunday's 2016 Formula 1 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix in search of a historic sixth consecutive race victory. Only three drivers have ever done better - while every man to achieve five successive victories has gone on to win at least one world championship. We run through the trailblazers Rosberg is hoping to emulate...

Sebastian Vettel - 9 consecutive victories
Belgium to Brazil, 2013

The longest winning streak in history ran all the way from the summer break - at which point the title looked like being a close, four-horse race - to the season’s final Grand Prix. No one had a chance: Sebastian Vettel’s run also included six poles and two 'Grand Slams' (pole position, fastest lap, race victory, every lap led), in Singapore and Korea. The German ended the year as the sport’s youngest four-time world champion, while his nine-race victory streak took him to 13 wins for the season - which remains a joint record with Michael Schumacher’s 2004 campaign.

Alberto Ascari - 7 consecutive victories
Belgium 1952 to Argentina 1953

Technically, it could be argued that Alberto Ascari won nine times on the bounce in a run that spanned two seasons. Certainly he strung together six consecutive victories in a near-perfect 1952 campaign - absent from the first round, he won all the remaining rounds and took pole at all but Silverstone – and win seven came when the 1953 season opened in Argentina. He was also victorious in the two subsequent Grands Prix in the Netherlands and Belgium, although these followed the Indianapolis 500 - then an official round of the championship - which Ascari and his other title rivals opted to sit out. Nevertheless, Ascari’s run remains the only time a driver has won every world championship Grand Prix he entered over an entire calendar year. Image © LAT Photographic

Michael Schumacher - 7 consecutive victories
Europe to Hungary, 2004

Strictly speaking, Michael Schumacher has three appearances in the top 10 winning streaks list, taking five victories in a row at the start of 2004 and six across the 2000-2001 seasons. His longest run came in late 2004, however, when he triumphed at seven consecutive Grands Prix. Fittingly the run featured two victories on home soil and one Grand Slam - the latter coming in Hungary, where Schumacher led for 70 laps en route to his record-equalling seventh victory, which also brought him a record seventh world championship crown.


AND THOSE TO HAVE WON FIVE IN A ROW...

Jack Brabham
Netherlands to Portugal, 1960

Having famously pushed his car over the line to seal the title in 1959, Jack Brabham defended his world championship crown in style in 1960, winning five times on the bounce in a 10-race calendar. His streak lasted until round eight at Porto, where victory earned him the title - but it could have been more given he and Cooper were among those who boycotted the season's penultimate race at Monza.

Jim Clark
Belgium to Germany, 1965

The greatest year for one of the greatest drivers in history culminated with five victories on the spin during the 10-race season. During that time Jim Clark also secured an historic triumph at the Indianapolis 500 (by that time no longer a round of the F1 calendar), where he became the first non-American winner in 49 years. To date, he remains the only man to win the Indy and Formula One crowns in the same year.

Nigel Mansell
South Africa to San Marino, 1992

After years of painful near-misses, Nigel Mansell dominated from the outset in 1992. Victory in the South African season opener was followed by triumphs in Mexico, Brazil, Spain and San Marino. Mansell went on to become the first man to win nine times in a single season, wrapping up the title by August.

Lewis Hamilton
Italy to USA, 2014

Up until Monza, momentum had swung countless times between Lewis Hamilton and title rival - and team mate - Nico Rosberg. But after forcing Rosberg into a mistake, and duly securing victory for himself, in Italy, Hamilton was irrepressible: he started on pole or second for all of the remaining seven races, and won five in succession and six in total. Even so the title went to the wire, with Hamilton clinching it at the final round in Abu Dhabi.

Nico Rosberg
Mexico 2015 to Bahrain 2016…

Before 2015, Nico Rosberg had never even managed two consecutive wins. At the end of the season, though, he hit his stride, setting six consecutive poles and winning the final three races. The momentum didn’t end: he came through a wild race in Australia to win the 2016 opener, and dominated next time out in Bahrain - leaving him on the verge of six in a row, something only achieved three times previously...

AND MERCEDES ARE ON A ROLL TOO...

The Silver Arrows head to China seeking a ninth successive win, with their last defeat coming in Singapore last year. Only three times in F1 history has a team achieved nine or more wins in a row – in 1988 when McLaren won 11 in a row, in 2002 when Ferrari won 10 on the bounce and in 2013 when Red Bull finished the season with nine straight victories.