These F1 drivers drove multiple races without losing the lead once

22-01-2022 15:49 | Updated: 23-01-2022 09:30
F1 News
These F1 drivers drove multiple races without losing the lead once

The drivers who have never lost the lead over a series of several races are all greats. Alberto Ascari managed to lead no less than 305 laps in the early years of F1. Sebastian Vettel isn't doing too badly either with a run of 205.

How do you maintain the lead for multiple F1 races?

To lead a race with a pole position is already a dream for many F1 drivers. To keep this lead throughout the race and win the race is for the bigger drivers; it is part of achieving a grand slam (pole position, win without losing the lead and fastest race lap). There is also an ultimate list of drivers who never lost the lead for several races and hundreds of laps in a row.

Not losing the lead in a race is difficult, for the reason that the pit stop is often a moment in which the positions shift. This is not a virtual loss of place, but in terms of achieving a grand slam and in starring in this list it does mean a loss of place. This means that as a driver, you always have to enter the pit lane after the number two or drive away from the number two by a loose thirty seconds if you want to be the first to make the pit stop.

Ascari vs. Vettel

At the top of the list of most laps is Alberto Ascari who did not lose the lead for five races from the race in Belgium in 1952 until the Grand Prix of Holland that same year. As many as 305 laps, he drove in the lead. At number two and three on the list are two series of Ayrton Senna who led no less than 264 laps in 1988 and 237 the following year.

Of the currently active drivers, Sebastian Vettel recorded the longest series of laps in the lead. He stayed in the lead for no less than 205 laps in 2012; from Singapore to the race in India. This puts the German in fifth place on the list. This can be seen as an outstanding performance, as over the sixty years since Ascari's record, the field has been brought a lot closer together.

Verstappen vs. Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton is conspicuously absent from the top ten here. The seven-time world champion leads almost every record list or is in the top five, but his longest run is 'only' 144 laps in a row in the lead. This earns him a seventeenth place, which he has to share with none other than his rival Max Verstappen.

Verstappen achieved his record last year after taking the lead in France and losing it again after the second race in Austria. Hamilton drove the 144-lap series in 2019 between the Grands Prix of Spain and Monaco. For Verstappen, the 144-lap series is his only listing. Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are much more often seen on the list that starts with a series of 100 laps in the lead; Hamilton six times and Vettel four times.

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