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Hamilton closing in on pole records

Lewis Hamilton (pictured in Canada) has dominated qualifying in 2015 (Image: Mercedes AMG)

Lewis Hamilton (pictured in Canada) has dominated qualifying in 2015 (Image: Mercedes AMG)

Lewis Hamilton is the reigning Formula 1 World Champion. He is leading the 2015 Drivers’ Championship and is the favourite to be this year’s champion too. One of the reasons for his current dominance is his qualifying performance. Hamilton has qualified in pole position for nine out of the first ten races of the season. That performance is remarkable, and could lead to Hamilton breaking some records in the not too distant future.

What’s perhaps most impressive about Hamilton’s qualifying record in 2015 is how much he has improved since 2014. Last season, Nico Rosberg had team-mate Hamilton soundly beaten in terms of pole positions over the season, taking 11 poles to Hamilton’s seven. In 2014 so far, Rosberg has just one pole position (in Spain), while Hamilton has had the top spot on the grid for every other race.

The record for most pole positions in a season is currently held by Sebastian Vettel, who was on pole an astonishing 15 times out of 19 races in 2011. Hamilton will need another seven pole positions this season to beat Vettel’s record. After this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, there are nine races left in 2015. If Hamilton keeps up his Saturday dominance, there is a distinct possibility that Vettel’s record could be under threat.

Given the dominance of the Mercedes team since the start of 2014, it looks like Hamilton is set to have many more pole positions over the next season or two. And that puts a more significant milestone within reach – Michael Schumacher’s record of 68 career pole positions.

Hamilton is currently on 47 career pole positions (up to and including the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix), 21 shy of Schumacher’s record. There are not enough races left in 2015 for Hamilton to challenge the record this season, but it could be within reach as soon as the end of 2016 if Mercedes can produce another dominant car for next year.

At just 30 years old, Hamilton still has potentially quite a long career in Formula 1 ahead of him. Even if he finds himself in less than dominant cars for a few seasons, it is still likely that he will ultimately beat Schumacher’s qualifying record.

Of course, there’s always the possibility that Sebastian Vettel (currently on 45 pole positions) will get there first.

Records in sight for Alonso

Fernando Alonso has already secured his place in history as one of Formula One’s great drivers. With two World Championships and 30 victories by the age of 31, Alonso still has plenty of time to break records in his career, and he is closing in on at least two records in 2012.

Alonso is leading the championship by 40 points with 9 races to go. The title is by no means decided, but the Spaniard’s lead is significant. If Alonso prevails in 2012, he will be (assuming the title goes down to the last race of the season) 31 years 119 days old on the day of his triumph, making him the youngest ever triple World Champion. The current record is held by Ayrton Senna, who was 31 years 227 days old when he won his third title in 1991.

Ferrari’s leading driver is also on the brink of another, albeit perhaps less significant record. Alonso has finished his last 23 races in the points, only one short of Michael Schumacher’s record of 24 consecutive points-finishes. Based on Alonso’s form so far this season, it seems probable that he will break that record without too much fuss. It is worth noting that Alonso’s current streak includes a ninth place at the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix, which would not have earned points during the period that covered Schumacher’s record of 24.

Ferrari have now gone four years without winning the Drivers’ Championship, but their form appears to have returned this season. With Alonso behind the wheel, there are very few records that are out of reach.

Schumi bullish for Canada

“The characteristics of the circuit should suit us, and we are counting on our car performing well there.”

“I’m very confident on this one. If you take the comeback time from the start to now, probably this is the closest that we can be of having a good result this weekend.”

Michael Schumacher is sure that his Mercedes W03 will be competitive in Montreal this weekend. The seven-time World Champion has yet to even stand on the podium since his return to Formula One in 2010, but this weekend provides his best opportunity yet for a race victory.

The 2012 Mercedes is clearly quick. Nico Rosberg has already taken a pole position and a victory in China this year. Schumacher topped the times in Monaco qualifying two weeks ago, and was running quickly in seventh place before a fuel pressure problem ended his challenge. If the car is reliable, this weekend should be competitive for the Silver Arrows.

If he wins this weekend, it will be the eighth time Schumacher has triumphed in Canada, which will equal his own record for most wins at a single race – he has already won the French Grand Prix eight times. At this point of his career, any achievement would break a record he already owns. Whether he takes pole, sets the fastest lap, stands on the podium or wins the race, Schumacher is well poised to once again re-write the record books in Canada.

Monaco race report

Mark Webber has won the Monaco Grand Prix to become the sixth winner in six races – a record for the start of a Formula One season. Read my full race report at :


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