If the rumours regarding the imminent contractual extension between Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are confirmed, we can start talking about the different F1 records that the Briton could break during the upcoming World Championship.
Hamilton’s first and utmost goal will, of course, be that of conquering his eighth crown, a feat that no other F1 driver has achieved before him.
Currently, he shares the record of seven World Championship wins with the great Michael Schumacher. If he were to win again this season, the driver from Stevenage would become the most successful Formula One driver in history.
The desire of the Englishman to make history is in itself one of the strongest points in his favour in the negotiations with the German makers.
Achieving his eighth victory surely represent the greatest incentive for the #44 to continue in the front line of the competition, and this perhaps could persuade him to accept a pay cut.
Considering the financial difficulties facing all the teams following the pandemic, it would be a small price to pay in exchange for going down in history as the most successful driver of all times.
However, that is not the only record-breaking challenge in front of the seven-time champion. With Sebastien Vettel he shares the honour of having won eight Grand Prix at one same circuit, the German driver at the French Magny-Cours track, and the man from Stevenage at the Hungaroring in Budapest.
If the evolution of the pandemic allows it, the eleventh appointment of the current season, scheduled for August the 1st will take Lewis Hamilton back to Hungary. A golden opportunity to claim that record for himself.
Ayrton Senna & Michael Schumacher´s records
He could also easily top the list on the number of consecutive poles, a record currently held by Ayrton Senna. The Brazilian legend leads this ranking with eight, followed by Alain Prost and Michael Schumacher, who are tied at seven.
Considering the overwhelming superiority of Hamilton and his Mercedes, the 36-year-old will have no problem pulverising the record of the unforgettable three-time champion from São Paulo. Only the perking up of his hesitant partner Valtteri Bottas could prevent it.
Similarly, the Briton could become the one with the most pole positions in one same circuit. Senna and Schumacher both have started shared this honour in eight occasions at Imola and Suzuka respectively, just as Hamilton in Melbourne.
The Australian GP has been postponed for the time being in 2021, but, if it finally finds a space on the calendar, the #44 will have a great opportunity to smash that record, dethroning the two legends of the speciality.
Another achievement within Hamilton’s reach is that of the greatest number of leading laps overall. The Red Baron holds this record with a total of 5,111, ahead of Lewis with 5,099, only twelve less than the German. For Hamilton to become the driver that has led the most laps in history is, without a doubt, only a matter of months.
Waiting for an almost certain renewal
Before anything can happen, however, Hamilton must sign his renewal with Mercedes. At the moment everyone is still waiting for the final handshake, although everything indicates that they are destined to reach an agreement.
As it is often the case during these negotiations, the confronted financial ambitions of both parties represent the main stumbling block. The figure requested by the racing hero is sure to be excessive -54 millions per year– in the eyes of the firm and a three-year contract.
Mercedes, for its part, argues that the financial crisis that has followed the pandemic has put 20 per cent of its jobs at risk. Signing a multimillion-dollar contract with Hamilton could therefore erode Mercedes’ image and credibility with its employees.
Images of ‘F1 records’: Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas.