As Hamilton equals Button as the British driver with the most starts, Suzuka could become the circuit to have decided the most titles and Leclerc could take his tenth pole of the year. Here are the milestones and records which could be broken at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix!
The 2022 Japanese Grand Prix will be the 1,075th World Championship race. It will be the 46th Japanese Grand Prix since the event was first held in 1963 and the 36th time that the event has been held as a round of the World Championship. This will be the 32nd Formula 1 race held at Suzuka; the first since 2019.
This weekend, Lewis Hamilton will equal Jenson Button as the British driver to have made the most F1 starts. He also equals Button and Michael Schumacher for fifth in the all-time list of most starts.
Kevin Magnussen will make his 97th start with Haas at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix. That sees him overtake Romain Grosjean as the driver to have made the most race appearances with the American team.
This will be the fifth Formula 1 race held on October 9th. The last race held on this date was the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix.
Lap 27 of the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix will be the 1,650th racing lap held at Suzuka in F1 World Championship history.
Yuki Tsunoda will become the first Japanese driver to partake in his home Grand Prix since Kamui Kobayashi in 2014.
VERSTAPPEN COULD WIN THE TITLE
Max Verstappen could be crowned World Champion for the second year in succession. If he does so, he would be the first driver to win the title at the Japanese Grand Prix since Sebastian Vettel also picked up his second title while driving for Red Bull at Suzuka in 2011.
In total, this would be the 12th time that the title has been decided at Suzuka. It would see the Japanese circuit take the outright record of most title deciders hosted. Monza has held or shared the record since the early 1960s. Japan has hosted the most title-deciding races of any country, having hosted 14 title deciders in total – at Fuji Speedway, Suzuka and Aida.
If Verstappen does secure the crown in Suzuka, he would become the eighth driver to win the title at the venue. He’d also become only the fourth driver to win the title with four races of the season remaining. Nigel Mansell, Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel are the only other drivers to have done so.
Verstappen would become the sport’s second youngest double title winner, being just under 9 months older than Sebastian Vettel was when he won his second title in 2011.
THE F1 RECORDS TO BREAK
A victory for Red Bull would make this their seventh consecutive win. It would be only the second time that the team has secured seven successive wins, having last done so when Sebastian Vettel won nine consecutive races with Red Bull at the end of the 2013 season. In total, it would be the 15th time that a team has taken seven wins in a row, the first time a team has had such a long winning streak since Mercedes won all seven events between the 2020 Tuscan and Bahrain Grands Prix.
Charles Leclerc could take his tenth pole of the season this weekend. It would be the 18th occasion on which a driver has taken ten poles in a single year. With Verstappen likely to win this year’s title, Leclerc could become only the fourth driver to take ten poles in a year and not win the title, after Ayrton Senna in 1989, Nico Rosberg in 2014 and Lewis Hamilton in 2016.
A pole position for Charles Leclerc would make him only the second Ferrari driver to take ten poles in a single season. Michael Schumacher is the only other Ferrari driver to achieve the feat, doing so in 2001.
Fernando Alonso has finished 278 races so far in his career. If he crosses the finish line this weekend, he will overtake Kimi Raikkonen as the driver to have crossed the finish line at the most Grands Prix.
If Lance Stroll is eliminated in Q1, he would equal Timo Glock for second in the all-time list of most Q1 exits in Formula 1. Glock was out in Q1 on 59 occasions. Only Marcus Ericsson, with 71 Q1 eliminations, has been eliminated in Q1 at more races.
George Russell has led 87 laps in his career without winning a race. Should he lead another 21 laps this weekend and not win the race, he will overtake Jean Behra as the driver to have led the second-most laps without taking a victory.
If Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton finish first and second, they will set a new record as the driver pairing to have recorded the most 1-2 results. The current shared record is 31, for Hamilton & Verstappen and Hamilton & Nico Rosberg.
Rubens Barrichello currently sits ninth in the all-time list of most races in which a driver has scored. He scored in 140 races during his career. That number could be equalled by Valtteri Bottas this weekend.
If the race is won by less than a second, 2022 will be the first season since 2017 to have had at least three races in which the win margin was under a second. The record for most races won by under a second in a single season is seven, in 2002.
A podium result for Bottas would see him equal Rubens Barrichello as the non-champion with the most podiums in F1.
Sebastian Vettel will become the third driver to record podium finishes in fifteen different seasons if he finishes in the top three.
If three Mercedes-powered cars finish on the podium, Mercedes will equal Renault’s record tally of 17 podium lockouts for an engine manufacturer.
THE JAPANESE GRAND PRIX RECORDS TO BREAK
A win for Lewis Hamilton this weekend would see him equal Michael Schumacher’s record tally of six Japanese Grand Prix victories. While Schumacher took all of his victories at Suzuka, Hamilton has won here only four times so far – the same number of times as Sebastian Vettel.
If Valtteri Bottas wins this weekend, he will become the fifth driver to have taken back-to-back wins at the Suzuka circuit.
Ferrari and McLaren are currently tied for most wins at Suzuka with seven apiece. Either team could set a new outright record this weekend, or Mercedes could equal their existing tallies.
Mercedes have won all of the last six Japanese Grands Prix. They can extend their record of most consecutive Suzuka wins to seven this weekend.
If a team other than Mercedes or Ferrari take pole position, it would be the third time that three different teams have taken pole position at three successive Suzuka races. It also happened between 1992 & 1994 and 2005 & 2009.
Both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel could equal Michael Schumacher’s record of nine podium finishes at the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend. Vettel can also equal Schumacher’s record of most Suzuka podiums.
If both Ferrari drivers finish on the podium, they will equal McLaren’s tally of 25 podium finishes at the Japanese Grand Prix. It would also see them equal McLaren’s record of 22 podiums at the Suzuka circuit.
Germany and Britain are currently tied for most podium finishes at Suzuka, with 21 apiece. Either nation could set a new outright record in 2021, or both could extend the record.
Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel could become the second driver to have led 200 laps at the Suzuka circuit. Vettel needs twelve laps to reach 200 laps led, while Hamilton needs nineteen laps to do so.
If he finishes as runner-up, Max Verstappen will equal Michael Schumacher as the driver to have finished in second place the most times at Suzuka. Schumacher finished second here three times in his career.
Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel can equal David Coulthard as the driver to have finished in third place most frequently at Suzuka. Coulthard finished third four times in his career.
If Lewis Hamilton sets the fastest lap at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix, he would surpass Michael Schumacher’s record of four fastest laps at the event.
McLaren and Williams are tied for most fastest laps at the Japanese Grand Prix, with eight apiece. Either team could set a new record this weekend, or Ferrari could equal their tally.
Sebastian Vettel will surpass Lewis Hamilton as the driver to have scored the most points at the Japanese Grand Prix, if he outscores Hamilton by seven points. Meanwhile, in terms of points scored at Suzuka, Vettel currently leads Hamilton by a single point!
Three teams could become the second team to reach 300 points at the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend. Red Bull need 16 points to do so, McLaren need 26 points and Ferrari are 32 points away.
In qualifying, Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and Alex Albon will be looking to keep their 100% Q3 appearance rate at the Suzuka circuit. The only other drivers in that club are Brendon Hartley and Ralf Schumacher.
A Q2 exit for either Sergio Perez or Carlos Sainz would see them equal Nico Hulkenberg’s record of five Q2 eliminations at Suzuka.
If Carlos Sainz or Fernando Alonso retire on the first lap of the race, they will equal Jean Alesi as the driver with the most first lap retirements at Suzuka. Alesi was out on the first lap at the Japanese Grand Prix twice.
HAMILTON STILL SEARCHES FOR FIRST WIN OF 2022
Victory for Lewis Hamilton in any race in 2022 will see him become the first driver in F1 history to have won a race in 16 different seasons, as well as the first to win in 16 consecutive seasons.
June 10th marked 15 years since Lewis Hamilton’s first F1 win at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix. If Hamilton wins any race from now on, he’ll become only the second driver – after Kimi Raikkonen – with a gap of longer than 15 years between his first and last F1 wins.
If he takes pole position, sets the fastest lap and wins the race, Lewis Hamilton would become the second driver – after Michael Schumacher – to record 20 hat tricks in his F1 career.