An eighth crown would make Lewis Hamilton the most successful driver in F1 history. In 2021, the Briton has already crossed the mythical threshold of 100 victories and 100 poles.
Situating a pilot in the history of his discipline is a perilous exercise, so difficult is it to compare the eras. This is particularly the case in F1, where the number of races per season has tripled in the space of 70 years, prompting to moderate a gross total by a percentage. Nevertheless, if there is one area that is easily comparable, it is that of world titles.
Alone on the big 8 of the titles?
In 2021, Lewis Hamilton has the opportunity to win an eighth coronation of the world champion. Unheard of for an F1 driver. Nowadays, he stands at the height of Michael Schumacher, especially since the two men have each been vice-champion twice. Close to the title during his remarkable debut at McLaren, the Briton made up for it the following season, in 2008. His six other crowns bear the seal of the Mercedes team. With the exception of the 2016 financial year, fell into the pockets of his former teammate Nico Rosberg, it has always outperformed the competition, especially last year, at the cost of intense domination. This weekend he can become the most successful driver in F1 history after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, theater of a duel with Max Verstappen (Red Bull).
Victories and poles, 100 percent
Like the world titles, Lewis Hamilton’s entire track record saw a boost at the start of the hybrid era. Since 2014, he has accumulated 81 successes, compared to 22 in his first seven seasons in F1.. Not content with having erased the record of Michael Schumacher (91), the native of Stevenage (Hertfordshire) reached this year the symbolic threshold of 100 victories, with a total of 103 successes. It’s the same for pole positions, where his counter also displays 103. Credited with 287 Grands Prix, it currently claims 36% of victories and poles. In this area, the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio seems unbeatable, with 24 successes and 29 poles in 51 GP, or respectively 47% and 57% success.
A 15e times received 5 out of 5
Born January 7, 1985, Lewis Hamilton distinguished himself by his ability to continuously maintain himself at the highest level. So, he has never finished a season beyond fifth place in the championship (2009, 2011). In the same vein, the ennobled Briton claims a rather incredible statistic: in each of his 15 years in F1 he has always achieved at least one pole position and one victory. It will be interesting to see if it continues this all-time series in 2022, despite the regulatory change that may interrupt Mercedes’ cycle of domination since the start of the hybrid era.
The champion of reliability
Over time, the GP2 champion in 2006 has made great progress in his ability to reduce driving errors. In 2007, the year of his debut in F1, several approximations in China and Brazil had prevented him from winning a title that was open to him. Lewis Hamilton is now almost impervious to errors, to the point of having reduced its abandonment rate to 9.4%, the best score of a world champion. It is true that the reliability of his Mercedes is an asset, but the driver seems at least as solid as his machine in this sector. In all of the last five seasons, the number 44 hasn’t seen the finish line just twice: at Austrian GP 2018, due to a failure of his Silver Arrow, then at GP d’Italie 2021, following a clash with Max Verstappen.
What records resist him?
Obviously, the record for number of Grand Prix contested, owned by Kimi Räikkönen (350 including the Abu Dhabi GP this weekend), is not in his sights (287). Currently, the Briton holds most of the pure performance records, in number of wins (103), poles (103), podiums (181), front rows (172) and laps in the lead (5,345). However, Michael Schumacher is clearly ahead of him in terms of fastest laps in the race (59 to 77). In 2022, Lewis Hamilton will be able above all to try to affix his name on main “longest streak” records : victories (5 to 9 for Sebastian Vettel), poles (7 to 8 for Ayrton Senna) and podiums (16 to 19 for Michael Schumacher). Obviously, before all his challenges, his main objective remains the conquest of an eighth world title, on December 12, 2021 in Abu Dhabi.
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