One special achievement stood out in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix: Sebastian Vettel became the first driver to win eight consecutive rounds of the world championship. Here are the top five stats from Sunday’s race.
Vettel’s record eight-in-a-row…
Vettel may have won eight races in a row but Alberto Ascari went one better, winning nine consecutive races from 1952 to 1953. However during that time Ascari did not enter the 1953 Indianapolis 500, which counted towards the world championship.
Note also that none of these races were run to F1 rules, as the world championship used F2 regulations in 1952 and 1953.
…and eighth hat-trick
Win, pole position, fastest lap: Vettel had them all in Austin, for the eighth time in his F1 career. Only three drivers racked up more during their careers: Michael Schumacher (22), Jim CLark (11) and Juan Manuel Fangio (9).
No points for Kovalainen
Heikki Kovalainen failed to score for Lotus on his F1 comeback. This meant he increased the record for most consecutive starts by an F1 driver without scoring a point to 61. Kovalainen went three seasons without scoring a point while driving for the previous Lotus team (2010-2011) which became Caterham (2012).
Bottas on the board
Valtteri Bottas became the 323rd different driver to score a point in F1 and the seventh Finnish driver to do so.
Vettel can equal wins record
Heading into this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, Vettel could tie Schumacher’s record of winning 13 races in a season. However Schumacher did so in 2004 when there were 18 races – this year’s calendar has 19.
Read more stats and facts from the United States Grand Prix
Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.
Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.
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Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.
“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.
“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”
The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.
Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.