Thursday, September 16News That Matters

Lewis Hamilton’s F1 records he could beat or match in 2021

Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of making history in Formula One as he looks to win a record eighth world championship heading into the 2021 season.

The Brit is currently tied with Michael Schumacher after cruising to the title last term and he heads into the new campaign as strong favourite to eclipse the legendary German’s total.

It could prove to be a record-breaking season in many other ways for Hamilton too and Sportsmail looks at the significant records which could fall in the Mercedes star’s lap over the course of the campaign while analysing his chances.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning his seventh world championship at the Turkish Grand Prix, as he heads into 2021 aiming to claim an unprecedented eighth title

Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning his seventh world championship at the Turkish Grand Prix, as he heads into 2021 aiming to claim an unprecedented eighth title

Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning his seventh world championship at the Turkish Grand Prix, as he heads into 2021 aiming to claim an unprecedented eighth title

World championships

Current record: Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton (seven)

In the land of F1 you would have to be living under a rock to not be aware that the biggest of all records is likely to be smashed into a million bits of carbon fibre this season.

Hamilton has won six of the last seven world championships for the all-conquering Mercedes team – who also took the other title in that run with Nico Rosberg in 2016.

Simply put, only Valtteri Bottas looks to have the machinery stopping Hamilton from steamrollering the opposition again and as good as the Finn can be, there is next to no evidence Hamilton is going to lose out on world title No 8 to his team-mate.

Success chances: 9/10 

Michael Schumacher took his seventh and final world championship at the 2004 Belgian GP

Michael Schumacher took his seventh and final world championship at the 2004 Belgian GP

Michael Schumacher took his seventh and final world championship at the 2004 Belgian GP

LEWIS HAMILTON’S OUTRIGHT RECORDS 

GP wins – 95

Different GP wins – 28

Home GP wins – (7 – Britain)

Pole positions – 98

Different GP poles – 27

Different circuit poles – 29

Home GP poles – (7 – Britain)

Different GP podiums – 31

Different circuit podiums –  32

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Consecutive wins

Current record: Sebastian Vettel (nine)

Vettel set many records during his time at Red Bull, and while much of them have tumbled to Hamilton, he does have one that is looking pretty tough to beat.

His run of nine straight race victories to end the 2013 season turned a promising battle for a world championship with Fernando Alonso into a cakewalk and no one has come close to hitting his nine-race streak since.

Despite Hamilton’s overall dominance since 2014, he can never put more than five victories together, something he did last year when he won at Nurburgring, Portimao, Imola, Istanbul, and Bahrain.

However his run was unfortunately curtailed after being ruled out of the Sakhir Grand Prix due to contracting coronavirus.

With Max Verstappen winning the last race in Abu Dhabi he doesn’t even have a headstart going into the new season so it’s a standing start for the world champion.  

Success chances: 4/10 

Sebastian Vettel won the final nine races in 2013 for Red Bull to claim his fourth world title

Sebastian Vettel won the final nine races in 2013 for Red Bull to claim his fourth world title

Sebastian Vettel won the final nine races in 2013 for Red Bull to claim his fourth world title

Wins in a year 

Current record: Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel (13)

Vettel’s nine wins in a row from 2013 was padded on top of four previous triumphs taking him joint level with Schumacher whose equally unstoppable season in 2004 also led to him taking the world championship.

Hamilton has come pretty close to at least matching this a few times, winning 11 races in each of the three previous campaigns.

In fact, last season was the best achievement of the lot having only competed in 16 races – two fewer than Schumacher. With a record 23 races on the calendar, he will have time on his side and this season will be his best chance of finally hitting 13 or maybe even 14.

Success chances: 7/10 

Michael Schumacher celebrates one of his 13 victories in 2004 at the British Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher celebrates one of his 13 victories in 2004 at the British Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher celebrates one of his 13 victories in 2004 at the British Grand Prix

Wins at a single grand prix

Current record: Michael Schumacher (French GP – eight) Lewis Hamilton (Hungarian GP – eight)

There are two records for the price of one here, with Hamilton also looking to steal Schumacher’s record for the most wins at a single venue.

The German was always sensational around the French countryside based Magny-Cours circuit, but Hamilton is at his best in Budapest where he has won the Hungarian Grand Prix in four of the last five seasons.

Success chance: 8/10 

Schumacher won the 2002 world championship in record time after winning the French GP

Schumacher won the 2002 world championship in record time after winning the French GP

Schumacher won the 2002 world championship in record time after winning the French GP

Grand Slams

Current record: Jim Clark (8)

When legendary British driver Clark still holds the record you know it is going to be a tough nut to crack.

The Scottish Lotus driver’s record of claiming pole, leading the entire race to win and also setting the fastest lap has stood for an incredible 56 years.

The grand slam of a grand prix is a very difficult thing to achieve. Hamilton has only done it six times and just once since the British Grand Prix in 2017 when he ended the 2019 season in style in Abu Dhabi. 

To break the record he would need three in a season – something he did manage to achieve during 2017.

Success chances: 3/10 

Legendary British driver Jim Clark set the record for the most grand slams in 1965

Legendary British driver Jim Clark set the record for the most grand slams in 1965

Legendary British driver Jim Clark set the record for the most grand slams in 1965

Consecutive poles

Current record: Ayrton Senna (eight) 

Another double for Hamilton to target here. Senna’s unmatched eight for McLaren was spread across two seasons in 1988 and 1989.

So for consecutive poles in one season Hamilton’s seven from Monaco to Italy in 2015 is already a joint record along with Alain Prost.

He hit five last year but his qualifying dominance is not what it once was and even with 23 events, the records for consecutive poles and consecutive poles in a season are going to be tricky to beat.

Success chances: 6/10  

Ayrton Senna proved a qualifying king and took eight pole positions in a row while at McLaren

Ayrton Senna proved a qualifying king and took eight pole positions in a row while at McLaren

Ayrton Senna proved a qualifying king and took eight pole positions in a row while at McLaren

Poles in a season

Current record: Sebastian Vettel (15)

Another stronghold for Vettel, whose 15 poles in 2011 came in just 19 races in his second world championship year.

Hamilton’s best was 12 from 2016 and while he did grab 10 from 17 races last term, a similar strike rate across 23 grands prix would not be enough to overhaul Vettel.

Success chances: 4/10  

Vettel celebrates pole at the 2011 Australian Grand Prix as McLaren's Hamilton looks on

Vettel celebrates pole at the 2011 Australian Grand Prix as McLaren's Hamilton looks on

Vettel celebrates pole at the 2011 Australian Grand Prix as McLaren’s Hamilton looks on

Poles at a single grand prix

Current record: Ayrton Senna (San Marino GP – eight) Lewis Hamilton (Australian GP – eight)

One day before his fatal crash at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, Senna set a new record in his Williams by taking the most pole positions at a single grand prix and venue with eight at Imola. 

Hamilton has since matched both with his eight at Albert Park for the Australian Grand Prix, and he can now eclipse one of the few Senna records standing in F1 in November after the event in Melbourne was moved from its opening race slot in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Success chances: 8/10  

Just a day before fatally crashing, Senna took an unprecedented eighth San Marino GP pole

Just a day before fatally crashing, Senna took an unprecedented eighth San Marino GP pole

Just a day before fatally crashing, Senna took an unprecedented eighth San Marino GP pole

Fastest laps in a season

Current record: Michael Schumacher (10) and Kimi Raikkonen (10)

Make that two Kimi Raikkonens, who slightly bettered his 2005 feat at McLaren by doing it in one less race with 18 while at Ferrari in 2008.

Schumacher though originally set the record in 2004 with the Maranello outfit at the same rate as his Ferrari replacement and that’s the benchmark for Hamilton to hit.

His eight from 2015 is his best run and his best chances of hitting this record may have passed, given the incentive for drivers with little to lose inside the top 10 having the luxury to make a final lap pit stop to try and set the fastest lap to bag an extra point.

Success chances: 4/10 

Kimi Raikkonen took a joint record 10 fastest laps for McLaren during the 2005 season

Kimi Raikkonen took a joint record 10 fastest laps for McLaren during the 2005 season

Kimi Raikkonen took a joint record 10 fastest laps for McLaren during the 2005 season

Fastest laps at a single grand prix

Current record: Nigel Mansell (British GP – seven), Michael Schumacher (Spanish GP – seven and Lewis Hamilton (Italian GP – seven) 

Last year’s Italian Grand Prix proved to be a nightmare for Hamilton whose penalty-hit race saw victory slip away from him.

This time in Monza he is on a mission. First, of course, is to win, but he has two records he can grab at the venue. The first is eclipsing the most fastest laps at a single grand prix along with Mansell and Schumacher.

The second though is fastest laps at a single venue as he battles Schumacher’s seven at Catalunya. Mansell’s seven British GP fastest laps came at Silverstone and Brands Hatch – ruling him out of the second record. 

Success chances: 8/10 

On his way to victory, Nigel Mansell set the fastest lap at the 1992 British GP at Silverstone

On his way to victory, Nigel Mansell set the fastest lap at the 1992 British GP at Silverstone

On his way to victory, Nigel Mansell set the fastest lap at the 1992 British GP at Silverstone

Fastest laps at different circuits

Current record: Michael Schumacher (24) and Lewis Hamilton (24)

Hamilton just needs one fastest lap to take this record from Schumacher and he has a decent amount of options to do so.

Surprisingly, there are still a couple of long established tracks on the calendar he has not taken a fastest lap including the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Circuit in Mexico and the street track in Baku, while he has also not taken one at Paul Ricard in France.

With two new tracks including Zandvoort in Holland and the brand new circuit in Saudi Arabia, it gives Hamilton a good chance of claiming the record outright this term.

Success chances: 9/10 

Michael Schumacher took a fastest lap record at 24 different race tracks during his career

Michael Schumacher took a fastest lap record at 24 different race tracks during his career

Michael Schumacher took a fastest lap record at 24 different race tracks during his career

Consecutive podiums

Current record: Michael Schumacher (19)

Here is one record Schumacher has that while not impossible to break is going to be mighty difficult to do so.

The German’s record stretches over two seasons, starting with the 2001 US Grand Prix before extending all the way through the entire 2002 campaign.

Hamilton has come close with a run of 16 between 2014 and 2015 but it’s a record chase that can be easily ruined by mechanical failures, ill-timed safety cars or even changing track conditions via the weather.

Success chances: 3/10 

Schumacher celebrates winning the 2002 Spanish Grand Prix alongside Juan Pablo Montoya (left) and David Coulthard in a year where he finished on the podium every single race

Schumacher celebrates winning the 2002 Spanish Grand Prix alongside Juan Pablo Montoya (left) and David Coulthard in a year where he finished on the podium every single race

Schumacher celebrates winning the 2002 Spanish Grand Prix alongside Juan Pablo Montoya (left) and David Coulthard in a year where he finished on the podium every single race

Podiums in a year

Current record: Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton (17)

Only the number of races stopped Schumacher in 2002, as he finished on the podium at every single one and clinched the title with ease.

With six additional races and a car seemingly always capable of finishing in the top three, this record is achievable for Hamilton. He has hit 17 four times already and his run of 14 from 16 races last year show he could easily dominate again in a 23-race calendar.

Success chances: 8/10 

Vettel, pictured with Hamilton after winning the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix holds the record for most podiums in a year with 17 along with Schumacher and the Brtish driver

Vettel, pictured with Hamilton after winning the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix holds the record for most podiums in a year with 17 along with Schumacher and the Brtish driver

Vettel, pictured with Hamilton after winning the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix holds the record for most podiums in a year with 17 along with Schumacher and the Brtish driver

Podiums by circuit

Current record: Michael Schumacher (Imola – 12) 

Schumacher’s record at Imola was quite extraordinary considering he only failed to finish on the podium three times between 1992 and 2006.

But Hamilton has been just as mighty around Silverstone and with two podium finishes last season at the track for the British Grand Prix and the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, it’s almost expected that the 36-year-old takes a podium on home territory to equal the record.

Success chances: 9/10   

Schumacher was an almost constant feature on the Imola podium, where he won in 2006 (above) in front of Fernando Alonso (left) and Montoya

Schumacher was an almost constant feature on the Imola podium, where he won in 2006 (above) in front of Fernando Alonso (left) and Montoya

Schumacher was an almost constant feature on the Imola podium, where he won in 2006 (above) in front of Fernando Alonso (left) and Montoya

Podiums at home grand prix 

Current record: Alain Prost (French GP – 11) 

And yet despite the previous record mentioned, Hamilton still trails for the amount of home grand prix podiums.

His 10 top-three finishes at the British Grand Prix are still one short of Alain Prost’s record in France.

Success chances: 9/10 

Alain Prost (centre) celebrates winning the 1988 French Grand Prix  on home soil at Paul Ricard

Alain Prost (centre) celebrates winning the 1988 French Grand Prix  on home soil at Paul Ricard

Alain Prost (centre) celebrates winning the 1988 French Grand Prix  on home soil at Paul Ricard

Laps led

Current record: Michael Schumacher (5,111)

Probably not a record Hamilton has his eye on quite as much as the others but this one is without doubt going to go to him during 2021.

With a tally of 5,099 laps led, he is only 12 laps shy of Schumacher. Hamilton and Mercedes would have to have a catastrophic year of unthinkable proportions to deny him this record.

Success chances: 10/10 

Schumacher's record of leading the most laps with 5,111 is almost certain to tumble in 2021

Schumacher's record of leading the most laps with 5,111 is almost certain to tumble in 2021

Schumacher’s record of leading the most laps with 5,111 is almost certain to tumble in 2021