Ayrton Senna, McLaren-Honda MP4/7A, Hungaroring, 1992

Honda claim first fastest lap since 1992

2016 Italian Grand Prix stats and facts

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Nico Rosberg’s 21st career victory means he is now the 14th most successful driver of all time in terms of race wins. He could move up to eighth on that list by the end of the year.

This was his first Italian Grand Prix victory and one which denied Hamilton a hat-trick of wins at Monza. However Hamilton did set a new record by starting his 181st race with Mercedes power, the most any driver has competed in with a single manufacturer, moving him ahead of Michael Schumacher’s 180 Ferrari-powered starts. Unlike Schumacher, Hamilton has started every race in his F1 career with the same engine manufacturer.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monza, 2016
Hamilton now has the most podiums of any active driver
Hamilton also took the 56th pole position of his career and his fifth at this track. He therefore tied the record for most Italian Grand Prix pole positions with five, putting him level with Ayrton Senna and Juan Manuel Fangio.

However Hamilton fell victim to the problem which has dogged the pole sitter throughout this season: he wasn’t able to keep his lead. In eight of the twelve standing starts we’ve had so far this year the pole sitter has not held the lead at the end of lap one. In the first 12 standing starts last year the pole sitter only lost the lead three times, which suggests the change in rules has had an effect.

Nonetheless Hamilton took the 98th podium finish of his career which moves him ahead of Fernando Alonso as the most successful driver on the grid today in terms of podiums. Only Michael Schumacher (155) and Alain Prost (106) scored more during their F1 careers.

This was the fourth one-two finish for Mercedes this season. They cannot equal their record of twelve one-twos which they set last year, despite there being two more races on the calendar. They are close to sealing the constructors’ championship for the third year in a row but cannot clinch it at the next race.

Daniel Ricciardo was unable to score a fourth consecutive podium finish but he did pick up points for the tenth race in a row.

And while Esteban Gutierrez took Haas into Q3 for the first time in their short history, he wasn’t able to score his first points of the year for the team.

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Honda take fastest lap

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Monza, 2016
Alonso gave Honda their first fastest lap for 24 years
Hamilton’s pursuit of Rosberg flagged in the final laps and Fernando Alonso took advantage of a fresh set of tyres to set the fastest lap of the race. This was his first since 2013 and, perhaps more significantly, McLaren’s first since its reunion with Honda.

The last time a Honda-powered car set the fastest lap during a race was in 1992, when their V12 propelled Ayrton Senna to the quickest lap during the Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril.

In the intervening 24 years Honda powered the likes of Jordan and BAR, and ran their own works team for three seasons, all without ever setting the fastest lap in a race.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

Have you spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the Italian Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.

2016 Italian Grand Prix

Browse all 2016 Italian Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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84 comments on “Honda claim first fastest lap since 1992”

  1. The only reason Alonso was able to post this fastest lap was because he was the only one on fresh tyres. No offence to you (as this is a correct stat and fact), to me it means nothing.

    1. I think that Alonso wanted to prove a point of the current formula regulations. That a Honda f1 car can set the fastest lap in monza shows us how slow the cars go in the usual racing conditions.

    2. @matthijs Do you think Alonso would have been able to set the fastest lap in last year’s race at Monza even with the benefit of a fresh set of tyres? I doubt the Honda was up to it then.

      1. @keithcollantine Maybe not. But both McLarens finished outside the points yesterday, so obviously Alonso’s fastest lap wasn’t a true reflection of Honda’s speed. More a reflection of the condition of his tyres.

        1. @matthijs “Only reason” was cos of fresh tyres?!!! really? So a Manor Or Sauber could have been faster if they were on fresher tyres too?

          1. @lums Yes, maybe. Daniil Kvyat had the fastest lap in Spain and he was driving a 2015-spec Ferrari. So, yes the fastest lap says little about the performance of your engine.

          2. @lums Yes, look at the qualifying times.

          3. A manor fastest would have been possible, wherlin split the mclarens on the grid, so they were good for the mclaren pace anyway.

        2. @matthijs

          wasn’t a true reflection of Honda’s speed

          Nobody’s saying it is though.

          1. @davidnotcoulthard, I know, that’s why I said no offence to Keith (as this is a correct stat and fact), but I would not have chosen to highlight it because to me it means little. Like @rethla mentioned, every car beat this fastest lap in qualifying so in theory every driver can post the fastest lap if they go for fresh tyres and the correct engine settings.

          2. @matthijs Even though it’s not really a good indication of McLaren’s pace I think it’s still significant enough. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

        3. It’s not a true reflection of the Honda engine in race trim, we can agree on that. It was Alonso doing a couple of Qualifying laps while the rest of the field battled it out for points.

          But it is bot something that means little, as some F1 fans were not even alive the last time that that happened.

          But I also agree with those that see it as a criticism of the lowly speeds we see during the race sessions compared to the raw potential of these cars.

          1. @faulty, the thing is, back in 1992 it could be argued that it didn’t really mean much then either – in fact, this particular statistic highlights that very point.

            In the 1992 Portuguese GP, Senna set a fastest lap that was 0.9s faster than Mansell and over 1.1s faster than his team mate, Berger, but both Mansell and Berger finished comfortably ahead of Senna (Mansell finished 37s ahead of Berger, who was the only other driver who was on the same lap as the leader).

            There are other seasons where the results were similarly anomalous – in 2008, Ferrari took over four times as many fastest laps as McLaren (13 to 3), with Kimi taking 10 of those fastest laps, Massa three, Kovalainen two and Hamilton just one, whilst Nick Heidfeld picked up two fastest laps that season. Other recent seasons saw similar disparities – in 2005, Renault picked up the same number of fastest laps as Ferrari – three in total – against 12 for McLaren, yet we know in reality that Ferrari was pretty uncompetitive that season and was not far off being beaten by Toyota that year.

            As an assessment of speed in race trim, the statistic of fastest lap is not a great guide to the outright performance of a car and driver combination – it might tell you that a driver, on a particular lap and in a particular set of conditions, was the fastest at that point in time, but it doesn’t often give a clear picture of how the rest of the race unfolded.

          2. It’s interesting that he was still 2 seconds slower than his qualifying time, yet with roughly the same fuel and the same tires. What accounts for this difference?

      2. Didn’t they try during one race last year, toward the end of the season? I seem to remember a discussion about that.

        1. Victor (@victorandrei1999)
          5th September 2016, 15:25

          Yes. In Abu Dhabi !

      3. @keithcollantine Whilst I believe the stat has some meaning, I would guess that we will never know if fastest lap would have been possible last year. The McLaren’s gap to pole from 2015 to 2016 did improve by .500 but so did the times, percentage wise it’s still a positive step. The difference in qualifying is still over 2 secs. I believe the key is that this year there’s 3 compounds per weekend granting a step on performance of at least .500, with that in mind at least 1.5 secs can be accounted on tyres, not to mention that the Mercs were already running on those mediums for a while, and I assume running a conservative mode on the PU.

        1. Yeah I think Honda can take heart in this year they’ve made a big step over last year and they’ve solved the fuel consumption issues. I think they have learned a great deal for 2017.

    3. I see the value in it as a moral boost for the team (especially in relation to last year, as Keith has said), but I also think it provides conclusive proof as to why points should never be awarded for a fastest lap, as they are in some series.

      1. What proof does this bring?
        Had there been points awarded for it i highly doubt McLaren would have been near the fastest lap this race.

      2. @eurobrun

        points should never be awarded for a fastest lap, as they are in some series

        Yeah I definitely agree – especially in light of that silly Formula E finale earlier this year.

    4. Honda engine still have realibity problems. I think he used it 100% just on this fastest lap. Maybe next year they can use it on full power. They should be running it around 80%.

  2. I am still struggling to understand the thinking behind this fastest lap. Neither Alonso nor Mclaren stood to make any meaningful gain from stopping for new tyres and putting in that lap time from what I could tell.

    1. For giggles, Fernando’s always complaining that the tyres don’t allow the drivers to use the car’s potential and there was nothing to lose in letting him enjoy a lap.

    2. The info on the behaviour of the car could be useful. If nothing else, as Alec mentioned, for the pure enjoyment of going fast. He knows he’s about to retire, even without Button and Massa reminding him.

    3. He was outside the points so it didn’t cost anything to do so.

      1. Wouldn’t they have been gutted if there was a collision up in front of them after doing that then….

        1. That collision would’ve had to eliminate at least 3 cars before becoming relevant to Alonso’s race. It’d be a massive understatement to say that was unlikely.

        2. @danstimo If there was a massive crash out front, then surely the Safety Car would be deployed, so Alonso being on new tyres would be a good thing.

        3. Didn’t he destroy his tyres already anyway? He was complaining about them in the radio. Perhaps he couldn’t even have finished otherwise.

    4. Pure egotism from Alonso.

      1. More like just having some fun.

    5. He only lost one place (to Gutierrez) and no points, and he gained a fastest lap and some publicity for the team. He was running 13th with no realistic prospect of overtaking, so it would have required at least 3 cars ahead of him to have a serious problem for him to score any points. That was unlikely with 3 laps to go.

      1. Exactly. A lame attempt at being relevant.

        His giggle-fit on the radio also showed just how far this guy has fallen.

        Take up sewing or some other sport and leave the driving in F1 to those who act their age

        1. obviously Sara is pumping in relevant fastest laps on a regular basis! shame we have never seen one! ;)

    6. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      5th September 2016, 20:05

      He was embarrassed that Jenson had beaten him :)

    7. Well I heard F1Fanatic ran a story on it… McHonda have been struggling for all the positive press they can muster. I take it as a good sign and a willingness to take any advantage at all.

      It’s definitely amped me up for next season already!

  3. The top ten drivers in the standings all scored points. Excluding Melbourne (for obvious reasons), this is the first time this has happened this season and, I’d venture, in a while.

  4. If the next 7 races end the same as 2015, the WDC would go to Rosberg for having most wins:

    SIN – HAM 262 ROS 258
    MAL – HAM 280 ROS 273
    JPN – HAM 305 ROS 291
    USA – HAM 330 ROS 309
    MEX – HAM 348 ROS 334
    BRA – HAM 366 ROS 359
    ABU – ROS 384 HAM 384

    However if we assume that no car would get in between them, Hamilton would still win it by 9 points if everything plays out the 2015-way.

    If everything plays out like in 2014, excluding Mexico which wasn’t in the calendar, it’s completely Hamilton’s way, but it would still go down to the wire.

    SIN – HAM 275 ROS 266
    MAL – HAM 300 ROS 284
    JPN – HAM 325 ROS 302
    USA – HAM 350 ROS 320
    BRA – HAM 368 ROS 345
    ABU – HAM 393 ROS 363

    1. I think it’s fair to say that Hamilton took his foot off of the pedal after Austin last year, so 2015 may not be a great base for comparison if it’s close to the last race this year.

      1. @danstimo Why do people find it so difficult to accept that Rosberg was just superior in the last 3 races of 2015? Hamilton didn’t “take his foot off the pedal”. He was poor for the last 5 races in terms of pace.

        1. It’s not hard to accept at all, he was faultless after the title was wrapped up and at the start of this season. But there is no tangible way to prove this either way, only conjecture and speculation. There is no denying that drivers openly admit the level of relief that they feel at the point of winning a title, so it would be very probable that this would affect performance following that point. I’m sure the final races of last season would be a dream come true for any burgeoning sports psychologist to study.

          I have a suspicion that if we were discussing two different drivers my opinion would not elicit this type of response.

          1. @danstimo
            If Hamilton took his “foot off the gas” after Austin, it does not explain why Rosberg out-qualified him in the last 6 races (3 races prior to when Hamilton won the WDC). Hamilton did not win Russia or USA on merit of speed, he won them because either Mercedes screwed Rosberg (Russia) or because Rosberg screwed himself (USA). What happened in the final three races was coming for weeks in advance. All it took was for Rosberg to finally have some clean weekends, and he’d beat Hamilton.

          2. Rosberg had been faster than Hamilton since Singapore @danstimo. That he did not win convincingly in Sochi was only down to his car giving up on him. Hamilton did not take his foot off the pedal, he just was not quite on the pace like Rosberg was. In reality it was a bit of luck with the weather and Rosberg making mistakes that handed the Austin win (and the Championship) to Hamilton when it did. And after that Rosberg went on where he had started 2 races earlier.

            I would also say I had taken the pressure off in Hamilton’s place (no use giving Rosberg the advantage in head games). But that does not mean it is true. But once Hamilton was behind on track, he couldn’t pass any more than Rosberg had been able to in the earlier races where Hamilton soundly beat him and put in the foundation for his 3rd title.
            You could see the same this year, once the Mercedes dropped down into the field, it struggled to get back to the top again, regardless of what driver was in that car.

        2. Two of the last three races (Mexico and Brazil) are tracks that do not favor Hamilton’s style.

          As he showed this year, he’s capable of changing up his style to suit the short, flowing tracks (ie, Austria), but he apparently didn’t feel it was worth the effort last year.

      2. We’ll never know, but no, it is absolutely not fair to say.

        * ROS began his run of superior qualy performances prior to HAM wrapping the title.
        * ROS lost RUS and USA (prior to title wrap) for very specific reasons, and the “fully motivated Hamilton” was unable to win on its own merit.
        * ROS continued that run into this year as well.
        * The frustration of HAM about not being able to pass ROS during the last 3 races speaks volume about how little he took off the foot.

        Might as well be, but there are clear hints that ROS was simply genuinely superior at that moment in time (by a very small margin, as usual in the overall run as teammates they had).

    2. According to your calculation Hamilton gained 12 points last year at Singapore. But that’s not correct (DNF).

    3. Hamilton retired in Singapore last year. So I’m not understanding the logic applied to the result in Singapore.

      1. I’m sorry Jordan, you’re right.
        I forgot to spell out loud that my calculation are not taking into account technical problems. HAM would have finished 4th in SIN, ROS just behind him.

    4. ColdFly F1 (@)
      5th September 2016, 14:01

      Great stat/insight @stefanauss.

      I think this is the first time that Rosberg is ‘virtual’ WDC on a 12-month rolling total.

  5. Ferrari’s first podium since Austria. First for Vettel since Baku. Conversely the first time since Baku that a Red Bull hasn’t finished on the podium.

    To add on the Honda fastest lap stat, it’s the first fastest lap for a turbocharged Honda since the final race of the original turbo era (Prost, Adelaide, 1988).

    Worst finish for Massa at Monza since 2006, where he also finished 9th. In terms of race wins, this is already Rosberg’s most successful season with seven. Mercedes already have more wins this season than dominant campaigns such as Red Bull in 2011, Williams in 1996 and McLaren in 1984. Victory at Singapore will see them match their personal best for consecutive race wins (10).

    It was Mercedes’ 32nd one-two finish. Just one fewer than Williams as it stands and twice as many as Red Bull. They have scored as many points as Red Bull did back in 2010 but with five fewer races.

  6. The first time a Finnish driver has won an F1 race in Italy (yes yes, Nico races under German licence…). Häkkinen came close a few times: he retired from the lead in Imola and in Monza in 1999, and finished second at both these venues a year later. Räikkönen also retired from the lead at the San Marino GP in 2005.

    1. I remember 1999 vividly. Mika crying in the trees at the first chicane

  7. ColdFly F1 (@)
    5th September 2016, 13:58

    Positions gained within the top 10 a mere 4 positions (1 each for ROS & RIC, and 2 for MAS).

    Does anybody know if we ever had a Top10 quali = Top10 finish?

  8. “In eight of the twelve standing starts we’ve had so far this year the pole sitter has not held the lead at the end of lap one.”

    Mercedes should stop wasting time on qualifying and race simulations during free practice, trying to find another half second so that you’re a second ahead seems excessive when their cars can’t even get off the line cleanly. If I were them I’d spend the entire practice sessions doing start practice to try and work out what it is with their clutch that is making starts such a lottery.

    1. @philipgb

      it is with their clutch that is making starts such a lottery.

      I thought it was with the change in regulations rather than their gearbox?

      1. @davidnotcoulthard

        Yeah the change in regulations to a single manual clutch. The complete lack of consistency with the Mercedes solution is damn near making pole useless.

        1. It is the same for all drivers. Hamilton just needs to learn to start better under this system. Ferrari And redbull line up on the grid at about the same time, so you can’t blame overheating. The fact that Mercedes also get it right in many races tells me it is all driver fault when they don’t get it correct.

          1. It’s clearly not as both Rosberg and Hamilton keep randomly getting much worse starts than Ferrari.

            And the fact Mercedes have come out and said the drivers are doing exactly as the procedure requires but the clutch hasn’t performed as expected tells me it’s a bug they haven’t yet ironed out with the new procedures.

            But don’t let official statements detract from taking a jab at a clearly supremely talented pair of drivers because it suits your narrative of their being to blame.

    2. As far as I know, it’s the design of the clutch that causes all these troubles to Mercedes. There is not complete fix for this year, they have to wait for the season to end.

  9. Since FA has expressed dismay at F1 and talks of leaving if things don’t improve next year, let’s not remind him that his record yesterday was still over 4 seconds slower than the lap record of Barrichello’s from 12 years ago. Just like to throw that in amongst comments we hear from some who get all excited these days when a single lap in quali touches on times of yore…it’s about race pace and the fact that these days the object is to race slowly in F1…pushing is detrimental. I know that even FA would be fine with 4 seconds slower cars, if he could at least have some fun and push. I suspect next year will be much better or at least carry more potential to be tweeked.

    1. @robbie It’s not like we’ve regressed in this respect since Spain 1981 though

      1. @davidnotcoulthard Hmmm, from what angle are you coming with that?

        1. @robbie I was trying to say F1 races with refuelling (allowing for this faster race pace) started in the ’90s. Many people cknsider F1’s golden era of sorts to be the ’80s when F1 races DID involve driving at lower than flat-out speeds.

          OK, your comment was referring to how F1 is still slower than 2004. I misread. Sorry.

          That said I’m not sure a somewhat faster cornering speed (and acceleration?) along with enough G-force to perhaps force VES out of F1 for a few years is really on the wishlist of many drivers

  10. Absolutely meaningless glory lap. Also typical Alonso’s ego-pumping procedure lol.
    Of course Macca and Honda made some progress but let us get back to reality.

  11. Fastest lap, not bad for a “GP2 engine”.

  12. That McLaren Honda from 92 was a real beauty !

  13. So much negativity about that fastest lap.
    People get so grumpy when Verstappen isn’t doing stunts on track! :D

  14. Jonathan Parkin
    5th September 2016, 21:34

    Hamilton in terms of standing on the podium beat Alonso in Belgium – if you recall Alonso didn’t stand on the podium in Brazil 2003 after he and BFF Mark Webber reduced their cars to component form against a tyre barrier. In terms of top 3 finishes he beats Alonso in Italy

    1. Only – now – I’m – happy.

  15. On the Alonso fastest lap, i always wonder why people dont do it when miles out of the points. At least then youll get a mention on the telly.

  16. 5th pole for Hamilton at Monza, equals Hungaroring, Melbourne, Montreal, and Shanghai.

    Only the second lap that Hamilton has led this year in a race that he hasn’t won (following 1 in Bahrain).

    Hamilton’s failure to win means that only twice since the Senna/Prost era has the same driver won Monaco and Monza (arguably the 2 most dissimilar tracks on the calendar) in the same year – Alonso in 2007 and Vettel in 2011.

    The next race in Singapore will mark 1 year since Hamilton last started from a position that included a digit higher than 3.

    Massa’s best finish since Spain.

    Ericsson’s best start since Austria.

    Raikkonen has had 2 2nds, 2 3rds, 2 4ths, and 2 5ths so far this year.

    9th is the only points-scoring position that Verstappen has not finished in this year.

    Hamilton would also be 2 points ahead of Rosberg under the 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system. Under the 10-6-4-3-2-1 system they would be tied.

    Only Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull can mathematically win the Constructors’ Championship, and only their 6 drivers can mathematically win the Drivers’ Championship.

    In the 66 World Championship races at Monza, Ferrari have managed 66 podiums.

    Ricciardo’s worst start since Australia.

    Hamilton is the first driver since Fangio to manage 7 front-row starts at Monza.

    Thanks to statsf1.com and magnetimarelli.com for some of these.

    1. “9th is the only points-scoring position that Verstappen has not finished in this year.”

      this is a really interesting one… has anyone ever finished in all points scoring positions in a season? Easier to do it when top 6 scored points…. then with top 8 and now top 10 it becomes quite difficult but Max could actually achieve this !

  17. Did Honda really not get a single fastest lap with Button from 2004 to 2006?

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      6th September 2016, 7:24

      No unfortunately not. Jenson didn’t start scoring fastest laps until 2009.

  18. The top 10 drivers in this year’s drivers championship all scored points at Monza.

  19. Some long overdue records:

    Last Italian to win a GP: Giancarlo Fisichella (Malaysia 2006, for Renault)

    Last Italian to win a GP in a Ferrari: Michele Alboreto (Germany 1985).

    Last Italian to win the Monza GP in a Ferrari: Ludovico Scarfiotti (1966).

    Last Italian WDC: Alberto Ascari (1953, for Ferrari of course)

    1. And a bit more recent: Last Ferrari to win on Monza, Alonso 2010

      1. Nice stats.

        1. With thanks to Denis 68 for the Alboreto stat.
          And three easier ones (the kind most people still remembers)

          Last Ferrari win: Sebastian Vettel, Singapore 2015

          Last Ferrari WCC: 2008 (even though Lewis Hamilton was WDC with McL)

          Last Ferrari WDC: Kimi Raikkonnen, 2007

    2. Not to mention (unless i’m otherwise mistaken)…
      Last Italian(s) to start a GP: Jarno Trulli & Tonio Liuzzi – Brazil 2011

      1. Yup, long overdue, too

        Can you imagine an Antonio Giovinazzi win at Monza in the 2017 Ferrari? Tiffosi would go crazy… Go Giovinazzi!!

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