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A leading number of leaders

Steven Lynch August 30, 2013

Our resident expert - Steven Lynch - is back to answer more of your questions including the race with the most leaders and British winners for Mercedes

Kimi Raikkonen finished in the points for 27 consecutive races © Sutton Images
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In the Belgian GP Kimi Raikkonen retired for the first time for ages - and missed out on points for the first time for ages too. Was it a record? asked Ray Edmondson

Kimi Raikkonen's brake problems at Spa led to his first retirement for 39 races - since the 2009 German GP when he was driving for Ferrari (he took a break from F1 in 2010-11). That run included 27 successive points finishes: he broke the previous mark of 24, set by Michael Schumacher between 2001 and 2003, at Silverstone earlier this season. Raikkonen's previous non-points finish was back in April 2012 in China - the third race of the year - when he ended up 14th after running into tyre trouble late on. Fernando Alonso was in line to break Schumacher's old record last season, but his run of successive points finishes came to a sudden halt at 23 when he was taken out on the first lap of the 2012 Belgian GP.

There were seven different leaders in the Australian GP earlier this year. Was this any sort of record? asked Alan Lewis

The seven who took a turn in front in Melbourne earlier this year were Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Adrian Sutil and the eventual winner Kimi Raikkonen. That was the fourth race with seven different leaders, following the Canadian GPs of 1973 and 2008, and the 1975 British GP. But top of the list is the Italian GP of 1971, which had eight different front-runners: Clay Regazzoni, Ronnie Peterson, Jackie Stewart, Francois Cevert, Mike Hailwood, Jo Siffert, Chris Amon ... and Peter Gethin, who ended up winning his only GP by an incredibly tight margin.

Tom Kristensen has won Le Mans nine times - but has he ever raced in F1? asked Kevin Smith

Tom Kristensen, who was born in Denmark in 1967, clinched his ninth victory in the Le Mans 24-hour race this year, driving the winning Audi with Loic Duval of France and the Scot Allan McNish. Belgium's Jacky Ickx comes next with six victories at Le Mans. For all his success in sports cars, Kristensen has never raced a Formula One car: he did have a season as Tyrrell's test driver (in 1998, their last hurrah), and a couple of years later completed a lot of laps in a Williams as a test driver for Pirelli as they prepared for their return to F1.

The only two British drivers to win a world championship race for Mercedes © Sutton Images
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I was wondering, after Lewis Hamilton won in Hungary, whether any British driver had ever won a Grand Prix in a Mercedes before? asked David Stoneman

You're right in thinking it was a long time ago, but it has happened: back in 1955 Stirling Moss won the British GP at Aintree in a Mercedes, by a whisker from Juan Manuel Fangio, that year's world champion. Mercedes actually achieved a 1-2-3-4 in that race, with the veterans Karl Kling (aged 44) and Piero Taruffi (48) completing the procession. Moss's was the only previous win by a Briton for Mercedes in a world championship race, although Dick Seaman won the German GP in one in 1938, in the pre-championship era.

Did Mark Webber have the best Grand Prix result for Jaguar? asked Nick Harrison

The Jaguar team took part in the F1 world championship between 2000 and 2004, and Mark Webber drove for them in the last two of those years. Webber's best result for them was sixth, which he achieved on four occasions. But Jaguar's only two podium positions came a little earlier than that: Eddie Irvine was third in Monaco in 2001, and again in Italy the following year (both times behind Ferrari 1-2s). The Jaguar team - which had started life as Stewart - was sold to Red Bull in 2005.

I noticed that Jacques Villeneuve won his fourth Grand Prix - was that some sort of record? asked Charles Cooke

Jacques Villeneuve's first victory came in the 1996 European GP at the Nurburgring. It was his fourth race - but actually he was rather unlucky not to have won his first one, in Australia earlier that year, when he took pole position for Williams and led for much of the race before dropping down to second with an oil leak. Only two drivers have won a world championship Grand Prix earlier in their careers. Tony Brooks co-drove the winning car in only his third race, the British GP at Aintree in 1957 - Stirling Moss took over Brooks's car, which was allowed in those days, after 26 of the 80 laps. But the Italian Giancarlo Baghetti established an unbeatable record in France in 1961, when he won his debut GP, driving a privately entered Ferrari at Reims. This excludes the first world championship season of 1950 (when Nino Farina won the first race, and Juan Manuel Fangio the second) and the American drivers who won the Indianapolis 500 when it formed part of the F1 world championship.

If you want to ask Steven a question, use our feedback form. The most interesting questions will be answered here every other Friday. His long-running Ask Steven column on Cricinfo remains one of that site's most popular features

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If you want to ask Steven a question, use our feedback form. The most interesting questions will be answered here every other Friday. His long-running Ask Steven column on Cricinfo remains one of that site's most popular features Ask Steven features a number of experts, headed by Steven Lynch, who answer your questions across Formula One as well as a variety of other sports