With the 2017 Formula One season done and dusted, Lewis Hamilton won his 4th World Championship. In the process, he managed to break Michael Schumacher’s pole position record. As Formula One gears up for the 2018 season, Hamilton will be gunning for his 5th world championship and a chance to equal Juan Manuel Fangio’s record of 5 F1 world championship titles.
What’s the Real Story?
Unfortunately, it isn’t March just yet and most teams still haven’t given any details on their 2018 challengers. F1 fans are still in hibernation, occasionally surfing the internet for news of when the team will launch their respective cars. To help alleviate that anxiety, Essentially Sports looks at some of the records that defending champion Hamilton can break in 2018.
This Is Crazy
Most Consecutive Seasons With A Grand Prix Win
This is a record dominated by ‘The Red Baron’ Michael Schumacher. The German has recorded a win in 15 seasons from 1992-2006. Lewis Hamilton is 2nd with a record of a Grand Prix win in 11 consecutive seasons. At the age of 32, Hamilton still has an opportunity to equal or even beat Schumacher’s record. Recently, Romain Grosjean said that he could possibly race until he is 40. However, it is difficult to see how Lewis could continue racing until he is 40 years old.
Former McLaren driver Jenson Button retired from F1 at the age of 36, but did return for one race in 2017. Theoretically, Hamilton could still race until the age of 37. This year he turned 33 in January, and it will be a dead given that he will get a few wins under his belt.
But There’s a Catch
The question is, can he still hang on until 2022? My guess would be that he can definitely have a very good chance. But as age starts to slowly catch him, it will be increasingly difficult.
Most Number of Podium Finishes
Out of 308 starts, Ferrari legend, Michael Schumacher has achieved 155 podiums while Lewis has achieved 117 podiums from 208 starts. This means that Lewis Hamilton is only 38 podiums behind Schumacher. With age and a quick and competitive car on Hamilton’s side, it is possible for Lewis to depose Michael. Another factor that might work in Hamilton’s favour is the number of races. Back in Michael’s time, the F1 season normally lasted 18-19 races. But with the calendar now pushing on 20 races and if Lewis finishes every race on the podium, he would need 2-3 F1 seasons to catch and pass Schumacher.
You Might be Wondering
Pole to Victory
Hamilton is currently tied for 1st in the all-time list of races won from pole position. Michael Schumacher has won a total of 40 races from pole, while Lewis has done the same. Hamilton has every opportunity to overtake Michael in the Pole to victory front. His only threat is Sebastian Vettel who is tied with Ayrton Senna on 29 pole to victory races. If Ferrari can mount a challenge, Vettel could close the gap to Lewis. But, we can guarantee that Mercedes will have a really powerful engine that is capable of scoring podiums and wins. Lewis will also have to be wary of his own teammate Valtteri Bottas and the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.
It Gets Better
Pole, Win and Fastest Lap (Hat-trick)
Another record held by Schumacher and closely followed by Hamilton. The German has achieved a hat-trick in a total of 22 races, Lewis on the other hand has scored pole, won the race and set the fastest lap 14 times. In other words, the 33-year old is only 8 behind the German in the all-time standings. If he can do this feat in 9 races, he can leapfrog Michael Schumacher. He is under no threat from behind as the closest person is Sebastian Vettel who has only 8.
Want to Know the Best Part?
Pole, Win, Fastest Lap and Led Every Lap (Grand Slam)
This record does not have Schumacher on top, this time around. Instead, it is another Briton Jim Clark who sits on top having reached this milestone 8 times. Hamilton is tied in 2nd with Schumacher and Italian legend Alberto Ascari, having recorded the feat a total of 5 times. This kind of record is Herculean to achieve, to say the least, but I for one, wouldn’t put it past Lewis to break that record.
Most Consecutive Wins at the Same Grand Prix
Ayrton Senna leads the standings as a 5-time winner of the Monaco Grand Prix, starting from 1989 to 1993. Hamilton comes joint 2nd with Juan Manuel Fangio, Jim Clark, Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna with 4 wins at Silverstone for Lewis. His winning streak started in 2014 and stretched into 2017. If Lewis can win in Silverstone in 2018 and 2019, he can surely topple Senna as the driver with the most success at the same circuit consecutively.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Most Wins at the Same Grand Prix
Hamilton won the Canadian Grand Prix 6 times, namely 2007, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017. He is 4th in the all-time list, tied with Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. Schumacher again occupies the top spot with 8 wins at the French Grand Prix in 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2006. If Hamilton can win in Canada 3 more times between 2018 and whenever he chooses to retire, he will be the only driver to win the most number of times at the same Grand Prix. However, a word of caution as 3 wins for the Briton are not set in stone, he still has to fend off challenges from his rivals. As the saying goes, ‘It ain’t over till the fat lady sings’. The 2011 Canadian Grand Prix was enough proof of that.
Total Career Wins
Two years ago, everyone would have said that beating Michael Schumacher’s 91 wins is as easy as counting grains of sand on a beach. However, given how much Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton has been dominating the scene, catching Schumacher seems possible. The Englishman currently has 62 wins under his belt and is in the prime of his career. Also considering that there are around 20 races in a season, you can bet your bottom dollar that Lewis Hamilton will notch up a few wins and inch closer to the magic number 91. With a car that dominant, racking up 30 more wins could be a breeze.
But Here’s the Kicker
But we are getting too ahead of ourselves here and I am not psychic. 2018 is a whole new chapter and we do not know if Ferrari or Red Bull will give Mercedes a run for their money. Who knows, maybe even McLaren might get their mojo back.