Alonso is set to become the driver to have raced the most laps in Formula 1, Hamilton makes his 300th start and Ferrari and Mercedes look to equal the Circuit Paul Ricard win record. Here are the milestones and the records which could be broken at the 2022 French Grand Prix!
The 2022 French Grand Prix will be the 1,069th World Championship race. It will be the 90th French Grand Prix since the event was first held in 1906 and the 62nd time that the event has been held as a round of the World Championship. This will be the 18th Formula 1 race held at Circuit Paul Ricard.
Lewis Hamilton will become the sixth driver to have started 300 Grands Prix this weekend. He’s the first driver to make 300 race appearances with only one engine manufacturer.
This weekend marks the 850th race in which a German driver has competed. Germany is the third nation to reach the milestone, after the United Kingdom and France.
This weekend, Max Verstappen will overtake Mark Webber as the driver to have made the most Grand Prix starts with Red Bull. Webber made 129 starts with the team between 2007 and 2013. This will be Verstappen’s 130th appearance, having made his debut with the team at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.
Alex Albon will make his 50th Grand Prix start this weekend.
This will be the first French Grand Prix since 2001 to feature two French drivers on the grid who have previously won a race. Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon race this weekend, while Jean Alesi and Olivier Panis were on the grid in 2001.
The 2022 French Grand Prix will be the sixth F1 race to take place on July 24th. The last race held on this day was the 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix.
THE F1 RECORDS TO BREAK
Fernando Alonso will overtake Kimi Raikkonen as the driver to have completed the most Grand Prix laps in Formula 1 history if he completes the opening three laps of the French Grand Prix. Alonso has completed 18,619 laps so far in his career.
If Fernando Alonso finishes in the top ten at the French Grand Prix, it will be the first time that he has scored at seven races in a row since scoring at all eight races between the 2017 Mexican Grand Prix and the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix. It will be the tenth time in his career that he has scored at seven or more consecutive races.
Lewis Hamilton can equal the record for most consecutive third place finishes this weekend. Two drivers have finished in third place at four races in a row. Heinz-Harald Frentzen did so between the 1997 Belgian and Luxembourg Grands Prix, while Mark Webber did so at the four races between the 2011 Canadian and German Grands Prix.
If Lewis Hamilton fails to win this weekend, it will be the 13th consecutive race which he has not won. That would extend the longest win-less streak of his Formula 1 career. Read more: Hamilton’s longest win-less streaks.
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 both Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher finish in the points, this will be the first time that the Haas team has picked up points with both cars at three consecutive races. The last time the team finished in the points with at least one car at three races in a row was at the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix, 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the 2019 Australian Grand Prix.
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 Red Bull score 12 points this weekend, they will become the third team to have scored 6,000 points in Formula 1.
If Kevin Magnussen is eliminated in Q1, he will become the sixth driver to record 50 Q1 exits in Formula 1. Read more: Who has the most Q1 exits in F1?
THE FRENCH GRAND PRIX RECORDS TO BREAK
Williams and McLaren are currently tied for most wins at Circuit Paul Ricard, with three apiece. Either team could extend that record this weekend, while Ferrari and Mercedes could equal their existing tallies.
Victory for a Red Bull driver would see the team become the fifth to take back-to-back wins at Circuit Paul Ricard. Renault, Williams, McLaren and Mercedes are the other teams to have done so.
Lewis Hamilton could equal the record for most pole positions at Circuit Paul Ricard. The current record of three poles at the venue is held by Alain Prost.
Pole position for Max Verstappen would see him become the fourth driver to take back-to-back poles at Circuit Paul Ricard. Jackie Stewart, Alain Prost and Lewis Hamilton are the only other drivers to have done so. Red Bull can also become the fifth team to take consecutive pole positions at the circuit.
McLaren have more poles at Circuit Paul Ricard than any other team, with three. Their tally could be equalled this weekend by Williams, Ferrari or Mercedes.
Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel or Max Verstappen could equal the record for most fastest laps at Circuit Paul Ricard. The record is two, currently shared between Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell.
Lewis Hamilton can record his fourth front row start at Circuit Paul Ricard this weekend. Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna are the only other drivers to have started on the front row that many times at the track.
If Lewis Hamilton leads 29 laps of the race, he will become the fifth driver to have led 1,000km at the French Grand Prix in the event’s World Championship history.
Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly can become the first drivers to have recorded multiple first lap retirements at Circuit Paul Ricard.
Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris and Valtteri Bottas will be hoping to maintain their 100% Q3 appearance record at the circuit.
HAMILTON 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.
Pole for a British driver would see the nation equal their own record for most consecutive seasons in which a nation has taken pole. The current record held by British drivers is 19 consecutive seasons with a pole position, between 1955 and 1973.
MERCEDES STILL SEEK SUCCESS
Pole for Mercedes would make them the first engine manufacturer to have poles in 26 consecutive seasons. Ferrari are the only other engine manufacturer to have poles in 25 successive years. Their record streak ended in 2020. Meanwhile, if a Mercedes-powered car leads the race, the manufacturer would be first to lead races in 28 consecutive seasons.
If three Mercedes-powered cars finish on the podium, Mercedes will equal Renault’s record tally of seventeen podium lockouts for an engine manufacturer.
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.