Carlos Sainz hasn’t recorded a DNF since the 2020 Russian Grand Prix. As his streak continues to rise up the record list, here are the drivers who’ve had the longest finishing streaks in Formula 1 history!
48 RACES: LEWIS HAMILTON
Lewis Hamilton holds the record for the longest finishing streak in Formula 1. His streak began with his second place finish at the 2018 British Grand Prix. He went on to finish all of the next 47 races, setting a new record with his 34th consecutive finish at the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix.
Hamilton’s streak came to an end with his victory at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. He was forced to miss the next race, the Sakhir Grand Prix, after testing positive for coronavirus. Of races which he actually started, Hamilton’s finishing streak did not come to an end until his race-ending collision with Max Verstappen at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix.
34 RACES: DANIEL RICCIARDO
Daniel Ricciardo had a 34-race finishing streak between the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix and the 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix. Ricciardo’s streak encompassed his final races with Renault and his first races with McLaren. It included his two Renault podiums – at the Nurburgring and Imola – and his McLaren win at the Italian Grand Prix. Ricciardo’s streak ended at the 2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, where he retired 50 laps into the race with a loss of power.
33 RACES: NICK HEIDFELD
Nick Heidfeld held the record for most consecutive races finished for over eleven years. Heidfeld took the record from Michael Schumacher at the 2009 Spanish Grand Prix; Schumacher’s previous record being 24 consecutive finishes between 2001 and 2003. Heidfeld’s streak ultimately ended at what was then an unprecedented 33 races. His new record was not broken until the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix.
Racing with BMW Sauber at all 33 races, the streak started at the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix and ended at the 2009 Italian Grand Prix. He retired from the next race, the 2009 Singapore Grand Prix, in a collision with Adrian Sutil.
33 RACES: LEWIS HAMILTON
Lewis Hamilton makes the top five in this list not once, but twice! In addition to his record breaking run, Hamilton finished every race between the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix and the 2018 French Grand Prix. That streak ended with Mercedes’ double DNF at the 2018 Austrian Grand Prix.
Incredibly, since the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix (the race before this streak started), Hamilton has failed to reach the chequered flag at only three races: the 2018 Austrian Grand Prix, the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix (which he did not start) and the 2021 Italian Grand Prix. That’s only three non-finishes in 107 races!
30 RACES: KIMI RAIKKONEN
Kimi Raikkonen became the second driver to reach 30 consecutive finishes at the 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix. That was where his streak would end, as he retired from the next race, the Belgian Grand Prix, with brake issues.
The Finn’s streak began on his return to Formula 1 with Lotus at the 2012 Australian Grand Prix. It included two victories for the Enstone team, with wins at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the 2013 Australian Grand Prix.
30 RACES: CARLOS SAINZ
With second place at the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz crossed the finish line for the 30th consecutive race, equalling Kimi Raikkonen for fifth in this list. The Ferrari driver has finished on every appearance so far with the Scuderia and has not retired since crashing out on the opening lap of the 2020 Russian Grand Prix. Sainz would need to finish every race up to this year’s United States Grand Prix to set a new record of most consecutive finishes.
Sainz is also on the longest active streak of points-scoring races, with Bahrain marking his 16th top ten finish in a row. Another top ten in Saudi Arabia would see him enter the top 20 of F1’s longest points streaks.
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. 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 and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.