Lewis Hamilton arrived this Formula One weekend in Silverstone 2023 to being his seventeenth British grand Prix weekend. Lewis has won the race a record eight times which is another record he shares with Michael Schumacher who won also the French Grand Prix on eight occasions.
The British driver does have another circuit where he has been victorious the same number of times and that at the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix circuit in Budapest.
Hamilton breaking wrong kind of records
Yet having been thwarted in Abu Dhabi 2021 from claiming a historic eight championships, Lewis has since been breaking records of a different type.
2022 was the first season since Hamilton’s rookie year in 2007 when he failed to win a race. Clearly Mercedes have failed to fully grasp the new ground effect car design regulations which came into force last year and even their ‘B car’ launched in Monaco back in May does not appear to have the regular beating of their competition in mercedes and Aston Martin.
Now come Silverstone qualifying, it appears McLaren have joint the front running ‘also rans’ behind the incredible Red Bull and Max Verstappen.
McLaren’s big upgrade went well in Austria which is a completely different circuit to Silverstone described y Jenson Button as “a complete aerodynamic work out” when speaking to Zak Brown after Saturday’s qualifying.
Ex driver says Hamilton “done”
This bodes well for the Woking based team and next time out in Hungary with the slow corners in Budapest, should McLaren be running near the front again their car is set to work well at th remaining venues on the 2023 calendar.
McLaren’s joy creates further upset at their rivals Mercedes who believed after a strong result in Canada their W14 car was coming good.
The a poor outing in Austria where Russell and Hamilton finished P7 and P8 respectively has been followed by Silverstone qualifying which sees them starting sixth and seventh behind both Ferrari’s and Mclaren’s.
Ex F1 driver and Sky pundit believes Lewis Hamilton’s era at the top of Formula One is “done and dusted”.
Verstappen in the ascendancy
By way of contrast Max Verstappen’s star is in the ascendency.
“I just think he’s operating at such a high level,” Karen Chandhok told Sky F1.
“I just think he’s a driver now who’s in such a zone, and the car is in such a good position for him as well, that he’s just got the confidence that he knows he’s not going to go off track, he knows he’s not going to lose the win, he knows he’s not going to get a penalty. It’s commendable, right?”
Max is “Schumacher-esque”
It is the new highs in terms of performance Chandhock believes will see the sun set on the Hamilton era comparing the rise of the Dutch world champion with the Legendary Michael Schumacher.
“You know, it’s the same like when we watch that Lewis era a decade ago, or nearly a decade ago, or when you watch the Michael era two decades ago, we are watching greatness unfold,” added Chandhok.
“And it’s remarkable to see the little details that they achieve.”
Having pitted for fresh rubber in Austria, Verstappen quickly hunted down Charles Leclerc but was quick thinking enough to brake into turn three and stay behind the Ferrari driver, because this meant he was behind at the DRS line and easily made the pass down th straight into turn four.
Verstappen to claim another Hamilton record
Perez by comparison was faced with a similar challenge but instead tries to make the move into turn three, failed and lost the DRS. It was three laps later the Mexican driver finally worked out the DRS trick and then with a little help from the team.
Despite having a dominant car the equal of the current Red Bull RB19, Hamilton failed to smash the record books the way Verstappen is at present. Lewis most consecutive run of race wins is set to be surpassed by his arch rival this weekend if the Dutch driver brings it home at the front of the British Grand Prix.
That will be Max’s sixth consecutive race win. Hamilton’s best was just five, though he achieved this on two occasions in 2014 and 2020.
During the 2020 season, Max Verstappen claimed another F1 all time record with his 15 wins in a season. He also surpassed Hamilton’s most % wins in a season record clocking up a win percentage of 68% that Verstappen may well eclipse again this year.
Red Bull driver set for GOAT records
Verstappen has eight years less in Formula One than Lewis Hamilton, so the big number records like most ever total wins lie sometime ahead for the Red Bull driver.
Although on his current trajectory Max will top even Lewis’ total pole positions and race wins records probably whist being five years younger than when the British star hit his zenith.
Christian Horner rubbed salt into Hamilton and Mercedes wounds this weekend when he observed that Williams were challenging the former world champions labelling it as “exciting” to see the grove based team “in the mix” after qualifying.
The Red Bull boss also praised Jenson Button for his work as a consultant with Williams who have clearly improved with Alex Albon beyond recognition so far this year.
What a MOVE this was by @Charles_Leclerc into Copse 🤯
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 6, 2023