New Pope blesses Kimi with second title?

In my previous post I pointed out that the winner of the first Formula 1 race of the season goes on to win that year’s title literally half the time.

But Sky Sports F1 commentators David Croft and Martin Brundle came up with an even better stat during yesterday’s season opening Australian Grand Prix.

The race was won by Finland’s Kimi Räikkönen in his Lotus; last time Räikkönen won the first race of the season was in 2007, the year he won the world title for himself and Ferrari.

This was Räikkönen's 20th Grand Prix win, putting him joint 14th on the all-time list with fellow Finn Mika Häkkinen.

This was Räikkönen’s 20th race win, putting him joint 14th on the all-time list with fellow Finnish world champion Mika Häkkinen.

But Räikkönen’s and Lotus’ success at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix in particular has opened up the possibility of yet another startling statistical anomaly repeating itself.

You see the election of Pope Francis had taken place on the Wednesday before the race.

There have been six Papal Conclaves in F1’s history, and three of the first races after them have been won by a Lotus (1963, 1978 and 2013). Well four have if you include Renault’s win in 2005 since the Enstone team has since taken on the Lotus name.

Pope Francis. It is unclear thus far if he follows F1.

Pope Francis. It is unclear thus far if he follows F1.

Remarkably the winner of the first race in a new Pope’s papacy has on four occasions gone on to win both the driver’s and constructors’ world championship that year: Jack Brabham & Cooper in 1959, Jim Clark & Lotus in ’63, Mario Andretti & Lotus in ’78 and Fernando Alonso & Renault in 2005.

The only driver and team who are so far the exceptions to this rule are Jacques Laffite & Ligier.

Laffite won from pole and set the fastest-lap in the first two races of John Paul II’s papacy but finished fourth in the championship and didn’t win another race for well over a year (Germany ’80).

Can Kimi and Lotus carry on this new Pope/world championship run?

Perhaps they can if no white smoke bellows from the Renault engine.

Election Date

Pope

Race Date

Grand Prix

Winner

Team

13/03/13

Francis

17/03/13

Australia

Räikkönen

Lotus

19/04/05

Benedict XVI

24/04/05

San Marino

Alonso*

Renault*

16/10/78

John Paul II

21/01/79

Argentina

Laffite

Ligier

26/08/78

John Paul I

27/08/78

Netherlands

Andretti*

Lotus*

21/06/63

Paul VI

23/06/63

Netherlands

Clark*

Lotus*

28/10/58

John XXIII

10/05/59

Monaco

Brabham*

Cooper*

*That season’s world champion.

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About Alex Crouch 92

I'm a lifelong Formula One fan who also enjoys classic rock/heavy metal music.
This entry was posted in Formula 1, Pope, Religion, Sport and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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