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Hamilton and Verstappen reach new heights as unwanted records broken

Hamilton and Verstappen reach new heights as unwanted records broken

F1 News

Hamilton and Verstappen reach new heights as unwanted records broken

Hamilton and Verstappen reach new heights as unwanted records broken
GPFans Staff

F1 was treated to a highly-dramatic inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix won by Lewis Hamilton.

Seven-time champion Hamilton ensured a title showdown for the ages with Max Verstappen under the lights in Abu Dhabi through his victory in the chaotic and at times controversial Jeddah Corniche Circuit race.

The Saudi Arabian GP will remain a topic of discussion long after the dust has settled on the 2021 season but for now, it's time to take a look at the stats and facts from a thrilling weekend of racing.

Hamilton Verstappen battle goes down to the wire

For only the second time in F1 history, the two title protagonists will enter the season-finale dead level on points.

The only previous example came in 1974 when Emerson Fittipaldi and Clay Regazzoni headed to Watkins Glen tied on 52 points.

After lining up one behind the other in eighth and ninth on the grid, Regazzoni saw his assault fall with a damper problem in the early stages, with Fittipaldi winning out after crossing the line fourth.

Red flags all around

The race in Jeddah was only the fifth in history to be red-flagged on two separate occasions but was astonishingly the second race to face multiple stoppages in two years.

The four other events were Zolder 1981, Suzuka 2014, São Paulo 2016 and Mugello 2020.

The two stoppages in Saudi Arabia also further extended the tally of red flags for the season to seven, a record for the sport.

The previous highest four, the total reached on five occasions, most recently in 2016.

Hamilton's astonishing tally

Hamilton's victory in Saudi Arabia marked the 31st different circuit he has won at, a remarkable tally considering the total number of circuits he has competed on stands at 36.

The five circuits he has failed to win at are Magny-Cours, Valencia, India, Korea and Zandvoort - the latter being the only one currently used by the sport.

Verstappen's astonish tally

Verstappen's second-place result may have resulted in his points leading being returned to zero, but it was incredibly the 17th time the Dutchman has stood on the podium this year.

This ties him for the most podiums in a single season with Michael Schumacher [2002], Sebastian Vettel [2011] and Hamilton [2015, '16, '18, '19].

Despite Hamilton's repeat achievement, it remains Schumacher's total that remains the pick of the bunch, as he managed the total in a season with just the 17 races, giving a 100 per cent success rate.

Sainz takes unwanted record

Carlos Sainz extended the longest active points scoring streak in F1 to 14 races, but took an unwanted record in the process.

The Spaniard now has the most points in F1 history without scoring a victory with 521.5 points, taking him past the mark set by Nico Hulkenberg.

Alpine flying high

Alpine secured its first consecutive top-four finishes in eight years in Jeddah thanks to Esteban Ocon, with the effort last replicated by the Enstone-based outfit in Abu Dhabi and the USA in 2013.

Ocon also remains the driver not competing for Mercedes or Red Bull to have led the most laps this year despite failing to hold his lead for more than three corners after starting the final restart at the front.

Middle Eastern record for Hamilton

The race marked the first time new venues had hosted back-to-back F1 grands prix since 1970, when Spielberg and Hockenheim joined the calendar.

Hamilton became the first repeat winner of a new Middle-Eastern GP, with Michael Schumacher [Bahrain 2004], Kimi Raikkonen [Turkey 2005] and Sebastian Vettel [Abu Dhabi 2009] the only others to take the inaugural win in the region.

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