In the comments to the previous post about the amount of first-time winners in any one season, Sidepodcast asked if there had been any time in the past that the Italian 2008 podium had been similar. The reason for “me” asking is because the podium we saw yesterday was actually quite special. Not only did it feature Sebastian Vettel on the top step for the first time, but it also featured the other two first-time winners from this year as well.
In order to answer Sidepodcast’s question, we need to think about exactly what we’re doing – it’s getting quite late for me in the UK, and I’m enjoying a nice glass of Chianti, so this could get a little hairy if care isn’t taken…
…We can only look at the third new winner of the year (onwards), because before the third win, the other two rostrum-fillers wouldn’t have won yet. As more new winners arrive in Formula One in any given season, the chances increase because their is a larger pool to pull from, but of course, the number of races decrease with time, limiting the chances of it happening. So without further ado, let’s look at 2003; the last time more than two drivers won their maiden races in one season.
2003: Raikkonen, Alonso & Fisichella
Kimi Raikkonen broke his duck at the second round and became the first new winner that year. Therefore, we cannot look at the 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix. For reference though, it featured Rubens Barrichello in second, who won his first race back in 2000. Similarly, Giancarlo Fisichella won the third round, so we cannot consider that race either as Fernando Alonso hadn’t won his first grand prix then. For reference again though, it did indeed have Raikkonen in second and Alonso in third. Maybe it was a sign…
Fernando Alonso won the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix in his Renault, and Kimi Raikkonen was right there in second. Who came third? Juan Pablo Montoya. The Colombian had already stood on the top step in 2001, so Hungary that year wasn’t as symmetrical as Italy 2008.
Still, the Brazilian Grand Prix was interesting in that it featured two new winners and one to-be winner. Unfortunately though, this is just the official result. The actual podium was different because Fisichella wasn’t accredited with the win until the officials decided to read the rule book.
1995: Coulthard, Herbert & Alesi
Jean Alesi famously won the Canadian Grand Prix in 1995 – it was only his umpteenth attempt and I remember the day being quite emotional for the determined French-Sicilian. I also clearly remember seeing the two Jordan drivers flanking Alesi on the podium. Therefore, aside from it featuring Alesi, Irvine and Barrichello, there was nothing else particularly special about it.
New win number two was Johnny Herbert at Silverstone. Of course, Coulthard hadn’t won yet by this stage of the championship, but just to say who did support the little Briton on the British podium, it was Jean Alesi and David Coulthard. *Blink* The second new winner of the 2003 season was also joined by the previous new winner and the future new winner. How strange.
The third and final new winner of the year is David Coulthard, a man who is going to be racing in Formula One for the last time this year. His first climb to the top of the rostrum came in Portugal at the Estoril circuit. The podium is interesting, but irrelevant to this post. It is interesting because it features the two main title challengers that year. However, it does not feature Johnny Herbert or Jean Alesi.
That podium at 1995 British Grand Prix is just freaky when you consider the podium for Brazil in 2003.
1982: The Big Year Of Five
Riccardo Patrese won his first Formula One career race at Monaco in 1982; a year that would see another four drivers claim their maiden victories as well. The Monaco event that year was a little crazy and only one driver actually maanged to take the chequered flag. This was almost repeated in 1996 when Olivier Panis took his first and only win in the Ligier. That year though I think three drivers managed to get around to the start/finish straight on the final lap. Anyway, for reference, Patrese was accompanied by Didier Pironi and Andrea de Cesaris.
New winner number two was French driver Patrick Tambay. Patrick won the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in his Ferrari, and was joined on the podium by René Arnoux and Keke Rosberg. René had already won, but Keke was going to win his first race (and championship) later in the year.
Maiden win number three was the ever popular Italian, Elio de Angelis. Elio won in Austria and being the third new victor of the year, we need to look a little more carefully at this result. Coming in second at the Österreichring was Keke Rosberg (again, he still hadn’t achieved his victory yet) and Jacques Laffite. Laffite had previously won a race, so this podium is not quite the same as what we saw yesterday at Monza.
The Swiss Grand Prix of 1982 (held in France because the Swiss had banned motor sport) saw Keke Rosberg finally take his first win of his career. However, joining him was Alain Prost who won a race the year previous and Niki Lauda, who won championships previously. The record-breaking fifth new winner of 1982 was Michele Alboreto. Driving his Tyrrell around a car park in Las Vegas, the Italian took the win and was joined in the celebrations by John Watson and Eddie Cheever. Neither of whom took their maiden wins that year.