Verstappen could win the title for the third time and become the driver to have led the most laps in a single season, while Red Bull could equal their longest scoring streak. Here are the milestones and the records which could be broken at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix!
THE 2023 QATAR GRAND PRIX MILESTONES
The 2023 Qatar Grand Prix will be the 1,096th World Championship event in Formula 1 history.
This will be the second time that Formula 1 has raced in Qatar. After its debut in 2021, Lusail Circuit returns to host its second F1 race – the second race in a ten-year deal Formula 1 has signed with Qatar.
The grid for the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix will be determined by the result of a Saturday sprint race. This will be the tenth race to use the F1 Sprint since it was introduced at the 2021 British Grand Prix.
The 2023 Qatar Grand Prix will be the seventh round of the World Championship to be held on October 8. The last race held on this date was the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix.
The 43rd lap of the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix will be the 100th Grand Prix racing lap to take place at Lusail Circuit.
VERSTAPPEN TO WIN THIRD TITLE?
Max Verstappen could take a third consecutive Drivers’ Championship win at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix and could do so as a result of Saturday’s Sprint race. That would make him the first driver since Nelson Piquet in 1983 to win the title on a Saturday.
If he wins the title on Saturday, he’ll become only the second driver to win the title with six Grands Prix remaining in the season, after Michael Schumacher in 2002. With Red Bull having claimed the Constructors’ Championship last time out, that would make it the first time in history there’d be six consecutive ‘dead rubber’ races.
If he wins the title on Sunday, Verstappen would be the third driver to win the title with five Grands Prix remaining in the season, after Nigel Mansell in 1992 and Michael Schumacher in 2002. With Red Bull already crowned champions, it would be the first time there have been five consecutive ‘dead rubber’ races in F1. The current record is four in a row, which happened at the end of the 1992, 2001, 2002 and 2004 seasons.
Verstappen would become the 11th driver to have won three Drivers’ Championship titles and only the fifth to have won three successive titles, after Juan Manuel Fangio (in 1956), Michael Schumacher (in 2002), Sebastian Vettel (in 2012) and Lewis Hamilton (in 2020).
Verstappen would become the second-youngest triple World Champion in Formula 1, at 195 days older than Vettel when he won his third title at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Qatar would become the 22nd different country in which the Drivers’ Championship has been won if Verstappen clinches enough points to win the title over the race weekend, while Lusail Circuit would be the 32nd different circuit to have hosted a title decider.
A title win for Verstappen over the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix would make it the fifth time that the title has been won at night, after the 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2021 Abu Dhabi Grands Prix.
Sprint Saturday at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix will mark 664 days since Verstappen’s first title win at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It would be the fewest number of days between a driver winning their first and third titles, breaking Sebastian Vettel’s current record by 78 days.
A title win for Verstappen on Sunday at the Qatar Grand Prix would make it the second time that a driver has been crowned World Champion for the third time on October 8. Michael Schumacher also won his third title on October 8 in 2000.
THE F1 RECORDS TO BREAK
Lewis Hamilton took pole and won the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix. Should he do so again in 2023, this would be only the sixth time that a driver has taken pole and won in both of the first two Formula 1 races at a venue. The other drivers to have done so are Juan Manuel Fangio at Reims in 1950 & 1951, Alberto Ascari at the Nurburgring in 1951 & 1952, Alberto Ascari at Zandvoort in 1952 & 1953, Stirling Moss at Aintree in 1956 & 1957 and Sebastian Vettel at Buddh International Circuit in 2011 & 2012.
Max Verstappen could make Lusail Circuit the 24th different track at which he has won in his Formula 1 career. That would see him overtake Michael Schumacher for second on the list of most circuits at which a driver has taken victory.
A pole position for Max Verstappen at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix will see him equal Michael Schumacher for sixth in the list of most circuits at which a driver has taken pole in Formula 1. Verstappen has taken pole at 18 different circuits to date in his career.
If he leads 28 laps of the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix, Max Verstappen will set a new record for the most laps led in a single season of Formula 1. Sebastian Vettel has held the record since 2011, when he led 739 laps that year. Verstappen has led 712 Grand Prix laps so far in 2023.
At the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen joined Fernando Alonso as only the second driver to have won races from nine different grid positions. Either driver could become the first to win from ten different grid positions, while Lewis Hamilton could equal the existing record.
Should Lando Norris or Oscar Piastri finish in the top three at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix, McLaren will become the second team in history to reach 500 podium finishes. Ferrari are the only team with more than 500 podiums, having achieved their 500th top three result at the 2002 Hungarian Grand Prix.
A front row start for Oscar Piastri at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix would make this the 100th Grand Prix at which an Australian driver has lined up on the front row of the grid.
Red Bull could equal their longest points-scoring streak in F1 this weekend. They’ve previously scored at 38 consecutive races twice: between the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix & the 2018 Australian Grand Prix and between the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix and the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
A points scoring finish for Mercedes would make the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix the 55th consecutive race at which they’ve picked up points. That would see them equal the fourth longest scoring streak for a team in F1 history.
Pole position for Charles Leclerc would see him overtake Valtteri Bottas as the non-champion to have taken the most pole positions in Formula 1. The pair are currently tied on 20 poles apiece.
Having already won the Saudi Arabian and Azerbaijan Grands Prix, one more victory for Sergio Perez in 2023 would make this the first season in which he has won three Grands Prix in a single year.
If Fernando Alonso wins any race this season, he will become the oldest driver to win a Grand Prix since Jack Brabham at the 1970 South African Grand Prix. Brabham won that race at the age of 43 years, 11 months and 5 days.
A fifth place finish for Fernando Alonso in the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix would see him equal Jenson Button for the most fifth place finishes in Formula 1. Button finished fifth on 27 occasions during his career.
A points finish for Logan Sargeant would mark the first time in over 30 years that an American driver has scored in Formula 1. American drivers have been stuck on 998 points since the 1993 Italian Grand Prix, when Michael Andretti scored the last points of his career with a podium finish for McLaren.
A top ten finish for Nico Hulkenberg would make this the 100th race weekend at which he has scored points. That includes the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix, at which he only scored points in the Sprint.
If three British drivers finish on the podium, Britain would become the first nation to record 750 podium finishes in Formula 1.
Unless Kevin Magnussen leads a lap of the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix, he will equal Martin Brundle as the driver to have started the most Grands Prix without ever leading a lap. Magnussen has led two laps in Formula 1, but that was during the Sprint race at the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, not in the Grand Prix itself.
2023 QATAR GRAND PRIX: RECORDS TO BREAK
As this is the second Formula 1 race at Lusail Circuit, all of the circuit’s records could be extended or equalled at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix.
HAMILTON SEARCHES FOR FIRST VICTORY SINCE 2021
Victory for Lewis Hamilton would see car number 44 equal car number 2 as the car number to have taken the third most wins in Formula 1.
A victory for Lewis Hamilton at any race in 2023 would see him move into the top 20 of the oldest drivers to win a Grand Prix in Formula 1. He would overtake Damon Hill as the third-oldest British driver to have won a Grand Prix.
If Lewis Hamilton wins any race this year, he’ll overtake Kimi Raikkonen as the driver to have had the longest gap between his first and last Grand Prix victories. He’d also be the first driver to have won after the 300th race of his career. Fernando Alonso would break the record if he were to take victory.
A victory for Lewis Hamilton would make him the first driver to have won in 16 different Formula 1 seasons. 2022 is the only season during his career in which Hamilton has not taken a victory.
WILL MERCEDES BE BACK IN THE FIGHT?
A victory for Mercedes would make 2023 the 12th consecutive season in which the team has won a race. They would be only the third team to win in 12 consecutive seasons, after Ferrari (1994-2013) and McLaren (1981-1993).
Victory for a Mercedes-powered car would see them become only the third engine manufacturer to have won in 17 consecutive Formula 1 seasons. The only other manufacturers to have done so are Ferrari (20 seasons, between 1994-2013) and Ford Cosworth (17 seasons, between 1967-1983).
If three Mercedes-powered cars finish on the podium, Mercedes will equal Renault’s record tally of seventeen podium lockouts for an engine manufacturer.