Lewis Hamilton has a chance to win a record-breaking eighth world title in the 2022 Formula 1 season. But another record is almost a certainty.
Following the controversial ending to the 2021 Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi, which saw Lewis Hamilton fail to capture what would have been a record-breaking eighth world championship, ending his run of four in a row, there was intense speculation about his future — or lack thereof — in Formula 1.
Hamilton signed a contract extension last summer to remain with Mercedes through the 2023 season, but based on how the 2021 season ended, some believed that he may not return for the 2022 campaign.
But he had decided to return, and the focus has naturally turned back to what it was throughout the 2021 season: can he break Michael Schumacher’s record and become the first ever eight-time world champion?
Hamilton has broken a number of significant records in recent years, so it’s no surprise that he has a chance to break more.
But there is one record that he is all but guaranteed to break this year: most races with the same team.
That record is currently held by Schumacher and sits at 180. Schumacher competed in 180 races for Ferrari from 1996 to 2006. Hamilton currently sits at 178 starts with Mercedes from 2013 to 2021.
With a record-breaking 23 races on the 2022 schedule, Hamilton is poised to break this record in the upcoming season.
His 180th start is slated to come in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on Sunday, March 27, and his record-breaking 181st start is slated to come in the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday, April 10.
The next closest driver to Hamilton on this list is 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, who made 151 starts with Ferrari from 2007 to 2009 and then from 2014 to 2018.
Among active drivers, 2021 world champion Max Verstappen is closest to Hamilton on this list. He has made 118 starts — consecutive starts — with Red Bull going back to the 2016 season.
A full 2022 campaign would give Verstappen 141 starts with the team, which would be good for fifth place on the all-time list. David Coulthard, who made 150 starts with McLaren from 1996 to 2004, currently ranks fourth.
The 2022 season is scheduled to get underway this Sunday, March 20 with the Bahrain Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit. Be sure to start your free trial of FuboTV today, and don’t miss the live broadcast of the race on ESPN at 11:00 a.m. ET tomorrow.