I’ve been noticing a lot of curiosity on the Formula One websites, blogs and forums today, much of it centred around first time winners and maiden victories for teams. Given that Sebastian Vettel’s win has gone down with a lot of popularity, it’s hardly surprising. Also, Sebastian is the third new winner this year so far, which prompted Alex to ask on Sidepodcast if anyone knew the last time a season had four new winners…
First Time Winners, Season By Season
|2008||Robert Kubica, Heikki Kovalainen, Sebastian Vettel||3|
|2006||Felipe Massa, Jenson Button||2|
|2003||Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Giancarlo Fisichella||3|
|2001||Juan Pablo Montoya, Ralf Schumacher||2|
|1997||Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Mika Hakkinen||2|
|1996||Jacques Villeneuve, Olivier Panis||2|
|1995||David Coulthard, Johnny Herbert, Jean Alesi||3|
|1989||Thierry Boutsen, Alessandro Nannini||2|
|1985||Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna||2|
|1982||Patrick Tambay, Michele Alboreto, Riccardo Patrese, Elio de Angelis, Keke Rosberg||5|
|1980||Nelson Piquet, René Arnoux||2|
|1978||Gilles Villeneuve, Patrick Depailler||2|
|1977||Gunnar Nilsson, Jacques Laffite, Alan Jones||3|
|1975||James Hunt, Carlos Pace, Jochen Mass, Vittorio Brambilla||4|
|1974||Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter, Carlos Reutemann||3|
|1973||Ronnie Peterson, Peter Revson||2|
|1971||Mario Andretti, Peter Gethin, François Cevert||3|
|1970||Clay Regazzoni, Emerson Fittipaldi||2|
|1968||Jacky Ickx, Jo Siffert||2|
|1967||Denny Hulme, Pedro Rodriguez||2|
|1965||Jackie Stewart, Richie Ginther||2|
|1962||Graham Hill, Jim Clark, Dan Gurney||3|
|1961||Wolfgang von Trips, Giancarlo Baghetti, Innes Ireland||3|
|1959||Jack Brabham, Joakim Bonnier, Bruce McLaren||3|
|1956||Peter Collins, Luigi Musso||2|
|1955||Stirling Moss, Maurice Trintignant||2|
|1951||Alberto Ascari, José Froilán González||2|
|1950||Juan Manuel Fangio, Giuseppe Farina||2|
*All Indy 500 winners (that were part of the championship) have been excluded because for most of them the 500 was their only win in Formula One and many of the regular F1 drivers didn’t take part.
So, the last time three drivers won their maiden races in a year was 2003, with Alonso and Raikkonen beginning their winning careers, and Giancarlo Fisichella being awarded a strange victory after the Brazilian Grand Prix was red flagged and Raikkonen took the win initially. Before then, 1995 was the last time three new faces joined the record books; Briton’s Coulthard and Herbert and the emotionally charged Jean Alesi who cried his way around Montreal on the parade lap.
1982 was perhaps the most special year for multiple first-timers and is also the answer to Alex’s question; Keke Rosberg, Elio de Angelis, Riccardo Patrese, Patrick Tambay and Michele Alboreto all won their first races that year, totalling 5 and to date, the most ever. In fact, that year saw eleven different winners, and Rosberg took the title with only his one maiden win under his belt.
1975 was the previous landmark season, with James Hunt, Carlos Pace, Jochen Mass, Vittorio Brambilla each taking a winners trophy. 1974 and and 1971 both saw three drivers break into the winners circle, as did 1962, 1961, 1959 and of course, 1950. Although as I state in the table, Johnnie Parsons and all other Indy 500 winners have been excluded because for most of them the 500 was their only win in Formula One and many of the regular F1 drivers didn’t take part.
So there you have it. There have been many times when three drivers have broken their winning-virginity in one single year, but only once have four, and only once again have five.