A new pole-less record for Perez, the 850th start for McLaren and will we see a 20th different Grand Prix leader at Circuit Paul Ricard? Here are the records which are up for grabs over the 2019 French Grand Prix weekend!
THE NUMBERS AND MILESTONES
This will be the 1005th F1 Grand Prix. It’ll be the 88th French Grand Prix since the event was first held in 1906 and the 60th time that it has been held as a round of the F1 World Championship. It’ll be the 16th F1 race at the Paul Ricard circuit.
The 11th lap of the 2019 French Grand Prix will be the 950th racing lap of the Paul Ricard circuit in F1’s history.
This weekend marks Kimi Raikkonen’s 300th Grand Prix start and McLaren’s 850th Grand Prix appearance. Mercedes will equal the number of races entered by the BRM and March teams this weekend.
This will be the 120th F1 race to have been held in the month of June.
Haas will equal Maserati’s number of Grand Prix appearances this weekend. The 70th and final appearance for a Maserati was at the 1960 U.S. Grand Prix.
THE RECORDS TO BEAT
A pole position for Mercedes would see them become the fourth most successful team by way of pole positions in F1 history. Having taken all but two poles so far this year, they are currently on 106 total starts from the front of the grid – one behind Lotus’ tally.
If Lewis Hamilton wins this weekend, he’ll join Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell as the only drivers to have scored multiple wins at the Paul Ricard circuit. If Hamilton leads 48 laps of the race, he’ll become the third driver, after Prost and Mansell, to have led 100 laps of Grands Prix at the Paul Ricard track.
A win for Mercedes will be their tenth consecutive victory, having won every event since last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix. That would see them equal their own personal best of consecutive victories, which they’ve done twice before. They won ten races in a row between the 2015 Japanese and 2016 Russian Grands Prix, and won a further ten in a row between the 2016 Monaco and Singapore Grands Prix. A victory this weekend would also set Mercedes up to equal McLaren’s record of eleven consecutive victories next weekend in Austria.
A win for Lewis Hamilton would see him become only the second driver, after Alain Prost, to have taken wins in consecutive years at the circuit.
Sergio Perez is likely to beat Martin Brundle and Johnny Herbert’s record of most entries without a pole position this weekend. All three are currently tied on 165 appearances without a pole positon, Perez’s 166th start without a pole would be a new record.
If Ferrari win, they’ll join Williams and McLaren as the most successful team here on three wins.
A win for a Honda-powered car would see the Japanese engine manufacturer equal Ford Cosworth as the most successful engine manufacturer at the track.
If Lewis Hamilton takes pole on Saturday, he’ll become only the third driver after Jackie Stewart and Nigel Mansell, to have taken back-to-back poles at this circuit.
A pole position for Ferrari, Renault or Williams would see them equal McLaren as the team with the most poles at the track. McLaren have taken three poles at the Paul Ricard circuit.
If Valtteri Bottas sets the fastest lap of the race, he’ll be only the third driver to have taken the fastest lap at this track more than once in his career. The other drivers to have done so are Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell, who each set the fastest lap here twice.
If Lance Stroll is eliminated in Q1, he’ll become the driver on the 2019 grid to have recorded the most consecutive Q1 exits in his career, with 12 eliminations in the first part of qualifying in a row.
If anyone other than Lewis Hamilton or Kimi Raikkonen leads a lap of the 2019 French Grand Prix, they’ll become the 20th different driver to have led a lap of an F1 race at this track.
Sebastian Vettel has won at 21 different Grands Prix so far in his career. If he wins in France this weekend, it’ll be the 22nd different Grand Prix in which he’s taken victory, equalling Michael Schumacher’s tally of wins in different Grands Prix. Only Lewis Hamilton has won at more different Grands Prix (23). Circuit Paul Ricard would also become the 22nd circuit at which Vettel has taken victory – four away from Hamilton’s record of 26. Meanwhile, a top three finish this weekend would see him equal Hamilton and Schumacher with podium finishes in 25 different Grands Prix.
Lewis Hamilton holds the record for most Grands Prix at which a driver has taken pole position. He’s done so at 24 different events; a number which Sebastian Vettel could equal in 2019. He needs to take pole at just one Grand Prix where he’s never taken pole before to equal the record. Having failed to do so at the Spanish Grand Prix, this weekend’s French Grand Prix is his second opportunity of the season to do so.
So far in his career, Sebastian Vettel has set the fastest lap 36 times across 20 different Grands Prix. Only Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen have taken fastest laps at more different Grands Prix than Vettel. He could equal them both this weekend by setting the fastest lap of the race. If Raikkonen sets the fastest lap this weekend, it’ll be the 23rd different circuit at which he’s done so.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its sixth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.