Lewis Hamilton stormed to a record-equalling seventh World Championship in 2020, breaking a multitude of records along the way. Here are all the facts and statistics from Hamilton’s 2020 F1 season!
Hamilton achieved his latest title victory in the most unusual context, against a backdrop of fighting for social equality and in the midst of a global pandemic. He himself was impacted by the pandemic, when a positive coronavirus test meant he had to miss the Sakhir Grand Prix, before recovering in time for the season finale.
Despite those adversities, Hamilton’s seventh title cemented his place as one of the sport’s greatest drivers. He won the 2020 title by 124 points – the largest margin by which he has won the title, and the second largest win margin in the sport’s history. He also joins Michael Schumacher, Juan Manuel Fangio and Sebastian Vettel as only the fourth driver to have won four titles in consecutive seasons.
The season may not have started easily for Hamilton. He failed to lead the title race until after the third round – but when he assumed the lead, he never lost it. He went on to win eleven races over the course of the 2020 season, equalling his personal best number of wins in a single season. Michael Schumacher’s all-time win and podium records were two of many which fell into Hamilton’s ownership this year. Read more: The F1 Records Broken by Lewis Hamilton in 2020.
With a seventh title confirmed, the mission for 2021 is simple: a never-before-seen eighth title win – and there’s no reason to believe it isn’t well within Hamilton’s grasp.
A STATISTIC FROM EVERY GRAND PRIX
Austria: Though he failed to finish on the podium, Lewis Hamilton made the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix the 34th consecutive race in which he scored. It was a new record for most successive races in which a driver has scored points, surpassing his own previous record of 33 consecutive points-scoring races which he had between the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix and the 2018 French Grand Prix. It was also a new record for most consecutive race finishes. As a result of Lando Norris’ podium finish, this was the first time since the 2014 Australian Grand Prix that Hamilton was not the leading British driver in the Drivers’ Championship. On the previous occasion, Jenson Button led the way.
Styria: Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix by 1.216 seconds, which was the largest pole margin since Nico Rosberg took pole by 1.62 seconds at the 2014 British Grand Prix, and only the seventh time that pole has been decided by more than a second since the turn of the millennium. Hamilton went on to win the race, taking his 85th career victory and his second win at the Red Bull Ring. It was the first time that Hamilton finished on the podium in Austria since he won the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix. Hamilton set a new record of taking pole positions in fourteen consecutive seasons and is only the second driver to have won a race in fourteen different seasons.
Hungary: Lewis Hamilton won the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix, taking his 86th career victory. It was his eighth win at the Hungaroring, equalling Michael Schumacher’s record for the most wins at a single circuit. Hamilton became the first driver to take three consecutive wins at the Hungarian Grand Prix and the first driver to lead 150 races in his career.
Britain: Despite suffering a puncture on the final lap, Lewis Hamilton recorded his 87th career victory at the 2020 British Grand Prix. It was his seventh win at Silverstone, setting a new record for most driver wins at their home Grand Prix. Hamilton is the first driver to have taken ten podium finishes at the British Grand Prix and is the first driver to have led 300 laps of the Silverstone circuit. Having led every lap of the race, Hamilton set a new record for most lights to flag victories in Formula 1. Ayrton Senna was the previous record holder, setting the record in 1991, having led nineteen races from start to finish.
70th Anniversary: Finishing as runner-up in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton recorded his 155th podium finish – equalling the record for most podium finishes in Formula 1. The record of 155 was set by Michael Schumacher at the 2012 European Grand Prix. He had been the record holder for most podium finishes since the 2002 British Grand Prix. Hamilton’s podium was the 44th for a British driver at Silverstone, and only the second time in the last eight Silverstone races that he has failed to win.
Spain: With victory in the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton took a fourth consecutive win at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, breaking Michael Schumacher’s record for most consecutive wins at the circuit. Hamilton also broke Schumacher’s record of most podium finishes in Formula 1 and became the first driver to have started from the front row 150 times in his career.
Belgium: Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix, lapping 0.511 seconds faster than his team-mate. With his 93rd pole, Hamilton became the first driver to have started from the front row nine times at Spa Francorchamps. Hamilton went on to win the Belgian Grand Prix, leading every lap and thus becoming the driver to have led the furthest distance in Formula 1 history, taking the record from Michael Schumacher. He also equalled Schumacher’s record of most Belgian Grand Prix podium finishes.
Italy: On Saturday at the Italian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton took pole position with the fastest lap in Formula 1 history. This was Hamilton’s 68th pole during his time at Mercedes, which is as many pole positions as Michael Schumacher secured in the entirety of his career. On Sunday, Hamilton finished seventh and recorded the worst result for an Italian Grand Prix polesitter since he crashed out in the closing stages of the 2009 race. Despite this, Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s record for the most points-scoring appearances and joined Schumacher as only the second driver to have set the Fastest Lap of a Grand Prix on fifty occasions.
Tuscany: On the weekend where Lewis Hamilton recorded his 90th Formula 1 victory, he also surpassed Michael Schumacher’s record of most races in which a driver has scored a point, set a new record for most consecutive classified finishes and equalled Kimi Raikkonen as the second driver to have taken podium finishes at thirty different circuits. Hamilton’s win at Mugello made him the first driver to have recorded wins at 27 different circuits.
Russia: For a fifth consecutive race, Lewis Hamilton took pole position – but, for a fourth Russian Grand Prix in a row, the polesitter failed to win. Hamilton finished in third place, recording his 159th podium finish. It marked the first time that Hamilton has lost positions from where he started at this circuit. It was his sixth podium finish at Sochi Autodrom, extending his record.
Eifel: With victory at the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 Formula 1 victories. Hamilton became the tenth different driver to have held the record in F1’s 70 year history. His victory was the first for Mercedes at the Nurburgring since Juan Manuel Fangio’s victory at the 1954 German Grand Prix.
Portugal: Lewis Hamilton won the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix and recorded his 92nd victory, breaking Michael Schumacher’s former record of 91 Grand Prix wins. Hamilton became the eighth different driver to have held the outright record for all-time wins. He is the second driver to set a new record for most F1 wins in Portugal; Alain Prost took a then record-breaking 28th win at the 1987 Portuguese Grand Prix.
Emilia Romagna: Lewis Hamilton recorded his 93rd career victory at the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, winning for the ninth time in 2020. This was his 72nd victory with Mercedes, equalling Michael Schumacher’s record for most wins with a single constructor. Schumacher won 72 times with Ferrari. Hamilton also extended his record for most circuits at which a driver has won to 29. He’s the fifteenth different driver to have won at Imola. It was the sixth win for a British driver at the circuit, the first since David Coulthard was victorious in the 1998 San Marino Grand Prix. On his way to victory, Hamilton became only the second driver, after Schumacher, to have led 5,000 Grand Prix laps. Hamilton has now led 5,021 laps – just 90 less than Schumacher’s record of 5,111.
Turkey: Lewis Hamilton secured a record-equalling seventh World Championship at the Turkish Grand Prix. His title win meantthat the 1999 European Grand Prix became the most recent F1 race in which no eventual seven-time World Champions competed. Hamilton won the race by 31.633 seconds, which is the second largest win margin of his career, behind only the 2008 British Grand Prix. It’s the largest margin by which a driver has won a race since Nico Rosberg won the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix by over 37 seconds. Hamilton qualified outside of the top five for the first time since the 2018 German Grand Prix – but just like in Germany in 2018, he won the race. Hamilton became the first driver to win the Turkish Grand Prix having not started from the front row of the grid and became the first driver to win from sixth on the grid since Daniel Ricciardo at the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix.
Bahrain: Lewis Hamilton equalled the record for most Bahrain Grand Prix poles and wins over the 2020 race weekend. This was Hamilton’s tenth pole position of 2020. Including Hamilton in 2020, there have been only sixteen occasions where a driver has taken ten or more poles in a single season – this was the fifth time that Hamilton has achieved the feat. Hamilton ended the curse of Free Practice 2 at the Bahrain Grand Prix. In the fifteen previous races at the track, the driver who was fastest in FP2 had never previously gone on to take pole position. On Sunday, Hamilton recorded his eleventh win of 2020. Including Hamilton in 2020, there have been only eight occasions where a driver has recorded eleven or more wins in a year. This was the fourth time that Hamilton had done so. For only the second time in his career, Hamilton took a fifth consecutive victory. The only other time that he has won five successive races was in 2014, when he won all five races between the Italian Grand Prix and the United States Grand Prix. Hamilton is only the second driver, after Michael Schumacher, to record five consecutive wins on multiple occasions. The 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix is the first dead rubber Formula 1 race which Hamilton has won which was not held at Yas Marina Circuit. His win was the tenth victory for the polesitter in the previous eleven dead rubber events.
Sakhir: The major news ahead of the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix was that Lewis Hamilton would not take part due to testing positive for coronavirus. This was to be the first race which Hamilton did not start since the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix, ending a record streak of 265 consecutive starts. It also became the first race in which no eventual seven-time World Champion has competed since the 1999 European Grand Prix and the first race in which no drivers with the surname Schumacher or Hamilton have appeared on the grid since the 1994 Portuguese Grand Prix. Hamilton became the first driver to not enter every race in a season in which a driver has won the World Championship since Michael Schumacher in 1994, and the first driver to not start every race in a season in which a driver has won the World Championship since Fernando Alonso in 2005. As a result of testing positive for coronavirus, Hamilton missed out on the chance to extend his personal best of wins in a season, and could no longer set a new record for most wins in a year in 2020. It also ended his streak of five consecutive Grand Prix victories.
Abu Dhabi: On his return to Formula 1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton failed to qualify on the front row for only the second time in 2020. Hamilton finished third in the race, extending his record of most Abu Dhabi Grand Prix top three finishes to nine, and equalling Michael Schumacher’s record of most podium finishes with a single constructor. This was Hamilton’s 116th top three finish with Mercedes. Schumacher finished on the podium with Ferrari on 116 occasions during his career. This was the seventh year in a row that Hamilton has finished on the podium at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
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.