The F1 records Hamilton, Alonso, Raikkonen and others can break in 2021

2021 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

If the number one accolade a Formula 1 driver can attain is the world championship, then being able to say they won more titles than anyone else is the highest achievement there is.

It’s something very few drivers have been able to lay claim to in the sport’s 72-year history. Since Alberto Ascari became the first multiple world champion in 1953, only Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher have pushed the bar higher, winning five and seven titles respectively.

Last year Lewis Hamilton drew level with Schumacher in terms of title wins. In 2021, a historic and record-setting eighth world championship victory is his goal.

That’s one of several records and milestones he and other F1 drivers may reach this year.

Hamilton: Running out of records to break

Schumacher won his seventh title in 2004
Having become the most successful driver of all time in terms of wins (95) and pole positions (98), Hamilton is poised to reach a century of both this year. Having taken at least nine wins in each of the last seven seasons, it would be a surprise if he didn’t hit a hundred on both counts before the summer break.

The other big goal Hamilton is staring at this year is the biggest of all: A new record for most world championships. Only he and Schumacher have made it to seven and while the Ferrari star came close to scoring an eighth in 2006, Hamilton can become the first person to do it this year. He can also equal Schumacher’s record for most consecutive championship wins by taking a fifth in a row.

Beyond that, Hamilton is running low on outright records of major significance he is yet to break. If he leads a dozen laps on Sunday he will break Schumacher’s record for most laps spent at the front of the field.

Schumacher also holds the record for most win, pole and fastest lap hat-tricks, which Hamilton needs four more to reach. The Mercedes driver is two shy of Jim Clark’s 53-year-old record for most ‘grand slams’ of win, pole and fastest lap plus leading every lap of the race.

A single win this year will ensure Hamilton equals Schumacher’s record of winning one race per year in 15 consecutive seasons. And if he wins the Hungarian Grand Prix he will become the first driver to win nine times in the same race and at the same track, a record Schumacher holds for the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours.

Hamilton’s success in recent years has largely come at the expense of his team mate Valtteri Bottas. If Mercedes dominate again and Bottas finishes runner-up, he will be the first driver to do so in three consecutive seasons since Graham Hill in 1963-65. Two of those titles were won by Clark, the other by John Surtees in 1964.

Advert | Become a Supporter & go ad-free

Alonso: Longest drought

Alonso last tasted victory in F1 in 2013
The record for the longest gap between consecutive wins is held by Riccardo Patrese, who went 2,402 days without a win between his triumphs at Kyalami in 1983 and Imola in 1990.

If Fernando Alonso wins a race on his return to F1, he will break that record. This weekend’s race comes 2,877 days since he last stood on the top step of the podium, at the Circuit de Catalunya in 2013.

Kimi Raikkonen set a new record for the longest gap between wins in terms of races when he won the United States Grand Prix three years ago, 114 races after his previous triumph (112 of which he’d started). It’s already 153 races since Alonso’s last win, 115 of which he entered.

A win for him would also establish a new record for the longest gap between a driver’s first and last win. This is held by Raikkonen too, whose 2018 victory came 15 and a half years after his breakthrough triumph at Sepang in 2003.

Alonso, Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel all have the chance to win a race with a fourth different constructor. The record is five, held by Stirling Moss. Following his move to Aston Martin, Vettel could win with a third different engine manufacture, leaving him one shy of Fangio’s record of four.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Raikkonen: Magnificent seven

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021
Raikkonen has used number seven for nine years
Having been characteristically unmoved by becoming the most experienced driver in Formula 1 history last year, Raikkonen has the opportunity to remain nonplussed at further milestones in 2021. It will be his 19th season of competition, equalling the record held jointly by Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello.

He will celebrate his 42nd birthday before the end of the season. The last F1 driver to reach that age while still competing was Schumacher, who was 43 by the time of his retirement in 2012.

When he starts his eighth race this year (currently due to happen at the French Grand Prix) Raikkonen will set a new record for starting the most races with the same car number. It will be his 163rd start as number seven, one more than Romain Grosjean started as number eight.

More numbers and stats for 2021

Mick Schumacher, Haas, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021
Schumacher’s number 47 hasn’t been used much before
Three drivers will start their first F1 races on Sunday, including the third member of the Schumacher family and the fourth driver from Russia, Nikita Mazepin, although he is not allowed to refer to himself as such this year or next.

Schumacher will race using number 47, which has only appeared in a points-scoring F1 race (i.e. not including the Indianapolis 500) once before, when Stoffel Vandoorne substituted for Alonso in the 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix. Coincidentally, Vandoorne’s team mate that day was Jenson Button, who raced using number 22, which has been chosen by another 2021 newcomer, Yuki Tsunoda.

Haas have the first all-rookie driver line-up in F1 since 2016, when Manor fielded Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto. Their drivers are also unusually close in age: Mazepin is just 20 days older than Schumacher.

For the first time since 2007 Ferrari go into a season without a world champion in their driver line-up. The last time they went into a season without a driver who did not go on to become a champion was in 1995, when Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger drove for them.

Half of the 20 drivers on the grid are already race-winners, which is even more remarkable when you consider three of the other 10 are rookies. Carlos Sainz Jnr’s move to Ferrari bodes well for his hopes of joining F1’s roster of race winners: Not since Ivan Capelli in 1992 has a driver started the season with the Scuderia yet gone on to end their career without a win.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

The calendar and milestones

Jeddah Street Circuit, 2021
Track data: Jeddah Street Circuit
The 2021 F1 calendar is scheduled to be the longest in the sport’s history, with 23 races. But that was also the case last year, when 22 races were scheduled, until Covid-19 intervened.

The championship will see the first ever race in Saudi Arabia, on the new Jeddah Street Circuit.

It may also see the first ever ‘Sprint Qualifying’ races, held on Saturdays at three rounds. That could pose tricky questions for statisticians: Will F1 therefore have 23 races or 26?

Finally, three drivers are also heading towards significant milestones in 2021:

  • Race four: Daniel Ricciardo’s 200th participation in a race weekend
  • Race six: Sergio Perez’s 200th participation in a race weekend
  • Race nine: Perez’s 200th race start
  • Race 12: Ricciardo’s 200th race start
  • Race 21: Lance Stroll’s 100th participation in a race weekend
  • Race 22: Stroll’s 100th race start

Over to you

Have you spotted any statistical curiosities ahead of the 2021 season? Share them in the comments.

Become a RaceFans Supporter and go ad-free

RaceFans operates thanks in part to the support of its readers. In order to help fund the development and growth of the site please consider becoming a RaceFans Supporter.

For just £1 per month/£12 per year you will also be upgraded to an ad-free account. Sign up and find out more below:

F1 statistics

Browse all F1 statistics articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

27 comments on “The F1 records Hamilton, Alonso, Raikkonen and others can break in 2021”

  1. Sprint Qualifying ain’t half going to mess up the stats book. Probably as much as the WCC-qualifying Indy 500s did.

  2. Amazing to think Alonso hasn’t won in 8 years. Also a typo on Raikonnens sepang victory which says 2013 here when you mean 2003 @keithcollantine

  3. For some reason, I just imaged Perez had been around a season or two longer than Ricciardo. Obviously not.

    1. I thought exactly the same. I tend to forget the half-season non-starter he spent at HRT and always remember his F1 career as getting started at Toro Rosso.

  4. I think Moss would share Fangio’s record for the number of engine manufacturers won with – his five constructors were Maserati, Mercedes, Vanwall, Lotus and Cooper, which ran with Maserati, Mercedes, Vanwall and Climax engines.

    He also finished second in a BRM in the 1959 British Grand Prix, and might well have won races in a Ferrari in 1962 had he not retired following his crash at the Easter Monday race at Goodwood. It could have been seven/six!

    1. Prost is also in the four-engine club – Renault (Renault and Williams), TAG (McLaren), Honda (McLaren) and Ferrari (Ferrari).

      1. and Lauda! (Cosworth, Ferrari, Alfa, TAG). I’ll stop talking to myself now.

  5. Raikkonen has the opportunity to remain nonplussed at further milestones in 2021

    Very nice bit of comedic writing there @keithcollantine : )

  6. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
    24th March 2021, 19:41

    It had completely escaped my attention that Moss managed to win with five different constructors.

    I was under the impression that no one had ever won with more than four different constructors, and that, therefore, Fangio and Prost shared the record.

    I guess you really do learn something new every day.

    1. Nobody has ever won with more than four different teams – Fangio (Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Mercedes, and Ferrari), Moss (Maserati, Mercedes, Vanwall and Rob Walker Racing) and Prost (Renault, McLaren, Ferrari and Williams) share that record.

      Rob Walker is a weird anomaly; as far as I’m aware he’s the only person to win a race without ever having made his own cars (Ken Tyrrell won four races with customer Matras and Marches before building his own cars starting in 1970). He entered privately-run Coopers and Lotuses, both of which Moss won championship F1 races in (the 1958 Argentine GP and 1959 Portugeuse and Italian Grands Prix in a Cooper, and the 1960 Monaco and US Grands Prix plus the 1961 Monaco and German Grands Prix in a Lotus).

      1. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
        24th March 2021, 21:15

        Four different teams – yes.

        However, as someone else previously mentioned in this comment section, Moss won with Mercedes, Maserati, Vanwall, Cooper, and Lotus. That’s five different constructors. Which is what I said.

        I guess this is one of those cases where it becomes obvious that the words “team” and “constructor” weren’t always synonymous in F1.

  7. breakthrough triumph at Sepang in 2013

    you mean 2003 @keithcollantine

  8. Race four: Daniel Ricciardo’s 200th participation in a race weekend
    Race six: Sergio Perez’s 200th participation in a race weekend
    Race nine: Perez’s 200th race start
    Race 12: Ricciardo’s 200th race start

    This is interesting. As far as I remember, Ricciardo made his debut about 8-9 races after Perez at the 2011 British Grand Prix.
    How is he reaching 200 before Checo?

    Also, why is he reaching 200 race starts after Checo? (A difference of almost 5 races)

    1. Ricciardo did eight practice outings for Toro Rosso before making his grand prix debut in a HRT.

      1. @keithcollantine But doing FP1 doesn’t count as an official entry? A race weekend entry, i.e., participation/appearance (at least FPs and QLF), and start when taking part in the race itself, unless I’ve misunderstood something over my time of watching and following F1?

        1. Or ‘at least QLF’ I should’ve typed. ‘Solely’ doing FP1 isn’t regarded as an official entry in the stats, to my understanding.

    2. Sumedh, To answer the other part of your question, Checo also missed a race due to concussion (Canada 2012) and two due to COVID (Silverstone and 70th 2020). Daniel has thankfully never missed a race due to any sort of ill-health.

      1. @alianora-la-canta 2011 for the former. He crashed in QLF for the 2011 Monaco GP, so he didn’t take part in the race the following day nor in the (infamously long rain-hit) Canadian GP two weeks later (he withdrew from the event on practice day) with De La Rosa substituting.

        1. @jerejj Sorry, thanks, you are right. I forget Checo’s been on the grid for a decade by this point…

  9. Schumi turned 43 in 2012, so the previous year.
    Mazepin’s race number was previously Ericsson’s, so a total of six (47 was an FIA-allocated reserve number at the time) numbers have been used as regular ones twice since 2014 (10 Gasly/Kobayashi, 99 Giovinazzi/Sutil, 22 Tsunoda/Button, 28 Hartley/Stevens, 88 Kubica/Haryanto, 6 Latifi/Rosberg)
    23 events, 26 races. Let’s put it this way.
    Sainz, yes, is a candidate for F1’s next new winner, but so are Norris, Stroll, and Ocon to an extent. Maybe even Tsunoda, given Gasly’s Monza win in the same team. For now, I regard Norris and Stroll as the most likely ones, with Sainz and Ocon as dark horses.
    Time will tell if Alonso can break the record for the longest gap between consecutive wins at any point in the season or next year. Maybe never.

  10. All of these stats are just a sign of how awful F1 is these days. Really, really depressing stuff.

    1. How so? Records are there to be broken.

      1. Half of the 20 drivers on the grid are already race-winners, which is even more remarkable when you consider three of the other 10 are rookies.

        The only reason that fact is a fact is because F1 teams keep useless hanger-ons like Räikkönen around that are long past it, because the supposed “feeder series” are a money-making scam which is enabled by the FIA.

  11. That two of the greatest drivers of the last twenty years, Alonso and Raikonnen, will hold the longest and second longest gaps between race wins (and that is assuming Alonso takes another victory) says quite a lot. If Hamilton and Alonso are considered roughly equal in quality then it would be nice if, upon Hamilton getting the fastest car, Alonso could still get one win for every ten wins of Hamilton, but we are very far away from that.

  12. 11 Perez
    22 Tsunoda
    33 Verstappen
    44 Hamilton
    55 Sainz
    66 Giovinazzi after a crash where he flipped the car
    77 Bottas
    88 available
    99 Giovinazzi

    1. I always felt the entry fee should be doubled for anyone who wanted a number which was a multiple of 11.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.