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F1's unwanted records that could be broken or extended in 2024

Formula 1 has had many records get broken throughout its 74-year history, however not all are positive

Zhou Guanyu, Kick Sauber C44

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

F1 is officially underway for 2024 with reigning world champions Red Bull and Max Verstappen once again proving to be the ones to beat.

It follows a dominant 2023 campaign where Verstappen broke several records including most wins in a season (19), most points in a year (575) and biggest title winning margin to second (290 points) in the standings.

There are more records that look likely to get broken in 2024 as well, but not all of them would make the driver proud - so here are 10 unwanted records that have either been beaten or could be beaten - or even extended - this year.

Most grand prix starts without a win
Current holder: Andrea de Cesaris and Nico Hulkenberg (208)

Nico Hulkenberg is set to break F1’s record for the most race starts without a victory in 2024. The Haas driver has started 208 grands prix, tied with Andrea de Cesaris, meaning he should break it at the Miami Grand Prix after equalling the record in Shanghai. 

Given Hulkenberg is yet to finish a race above ninth this season - while Verstappen has won four of the five grands prix - it would take something completely out of the ordinary for him to win in Miami.

However, in the past he’s actually come close to victory. Hulkenberg claimed a shock pole position for the 2010 Brazilian GP, but then the superior pace of cars around him paid dividends as he ultimately finished eighth.

The German also led much of the wet 2012 Brazilian GP as he climbed from sixth in a rapid Force India, but he spun out of the lead on lap 48 before crashing with Lewis Hamilton when trying to regain first six tours later.

De Cesaris’ best shot of victory ended in retirement despite scoring five podiums in his career. At the 1991 Belgian GP, the Jordan driver was second and applied late pressure on Ayrton Senna, only for his engine to blow with three laps to go while the McLaren driver eventually won by just 1.9 seconds.

Most podiums without a win in F1
Current holders: Lando Norris (15)

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris is one of the highest-rated drivers on the current grid, however, with him now in his sixth F1 season being winless is often used against the 24-year-old. It’s not like he’s never come close to victory either.

At the 2021 Italian GP, Norris came second behind team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in a McLaren 1-2, despite the then 21-year-old repeatedly finishing ahead of the Australian that season. At the following race, the 2021 Russian GP, Norris claimed pole position and looked set to win until rain fell which caused him, on hard tyres, to aquaplane off with two laps to go.

Considering Red Bull’s dominance since, Norris is yet to come as close to victory but he is still getting the best out of his car as he claimed seven podiums in 2023 to match Nick Heidfeld’s record of 13 top three finishes without a win.

Norris clinched the outright record with third at the 2024 Australian GP, while second in China a month later meant he has 15 podiums without a victory - that's excluding his two top three finishes in a sprint race as well. 

Heidfeld never truly had a clear-cut chance of victory across 12 seasons in the series, however he does tie Norris for the most second-place finishes in F1 (eight) without a victory.

Most laps led without a win in F1
Current holder: Chris Amon (183)
Could be broken by: Lando Norris (71)

F1’s record for the most laps led without a win is a feat Norris could break in 2024. Chris Amon currently holds it as, over a 14-year career, he led 183 laps but for numerous reasons - mostly reliability - never stood on the top step in his 11 trips to the podium.

Amon, for example, was leading the 1968 Canadian GP until his transmission failed with 18 laps to go, he retired from a 30-second lead at the 1969 Spanish GP, while a puncture cost him first at the 1972 French GP. However, he did win the well-renowned 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours alongside team-mate Bruce McLaren, so the Kiwi still had some success.

For Norris, he has currently led 71 laps in his F1 career which places him fourth on the list behind others like Jean Behra (107) and Jean-Pierre Jarier (79).

Most career points without a win in F1
Current holder: Lando Norris (691)

Norris also holds the landmark for the most career points without a race victory, however, it’s worth noting that since F1 changed its system for 2010 - the reward for victory increasing from 10 to 25 points - many of the points stats are slightly misconstrued.

That is evident in the four leading drivers for this record because behind Norris is Hulkenberg (534), Romain Grosjean (391) and Lance Stroll (277), while Alex Albon, Kevin Magnussen and Oscar Piastri (only in his second F1 season) are in sixth, eighth and ninth respectively.

So, if Norris comes off the list in 2024 then Hulkenberg will likely become the record holder.

Most race starts without leading a lap in F1
Current holder: Kevin Magnussen (168)

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Magnussen scored a podium on his F1 debut at the 2014 Australian GP, but since then the Dane’s career has not been as successful. His nine F1 seasons have led to Magnussen claiming the record for the most race starts without leading a lap, despite holding a pole position to his name.

Magnussen sealed pole at the 2022 Brazilian GP, but it was a sprint weekend and in Saturday’s race he dropped from first to eighth as his Haas car just wasn’t quick enough. So, on the Sunday, Magnussen was not in a position to challenge for the lead.

The 31-year-old has never really had a car capable of leading races, as his rookie season was spent at a declining McLaren team before joining Renault who was a backmarker at the time.

Magnussen switched to Haas in 2017 and the American outfit has never scored a podium, while failing to finish above fifth in the standings. Magnussen took the record from Martin Brundle (158 race starts) in 2023, while he is the only current driver inside the top 10.

Most race starts without a podium in F1
Current holder: Nico Hulkenberg (208)

Hulkenberg currently holds F1’s record for the most race starts without a podium, where three fourth-place finishes are his best results across 208 grands prix.

However, they have not been the 36-year-old’s best shots of a podium: Hulkenberg was second with 17 laps to go of the 2012 Brazilian GP until his collision with Hamilton dropped him down the order, he lost a likely third at the 2016 Monaco GP due to a slow pitstop, he spun out from fourth at a wet and frantic 2019 German GP after briefly running second, while failing to convert his pole position into victory could be seen as a missed opportunity.

It’s not exactly how people expected Hulkenberg’s career to pan out, as he arrived in F1 with high expectations having just won the GP2 title. However, the majority of Hulkenberg’s career has been spent in midfield machinery with a failed move to Ferrari for 2013 perhaps being the biggest missed opportunity of all.

He will more than likely continue to extend this record in 2024 ahead of second-placed Adrian Sutil on 128 race starts, while no other current F1 driver is inside the top 10.

Most career points without an F1 world championship
Current holder: Valtteri Bottas (1,797)

Valtteri Bottas, Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber

Valtteri Bottas, Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas is F1’s record holder for the most career points without becoming world champion, as he’s scored 1,797 points since his debut at the 2013 Australian GP. After four seasons with Williams, Bottas moved to world champions Mercedes and his five years there were his best shots of clinching the drivers’ title.

However, Bottas was constantly beaten by team-mate Hamilton so never came close to challenging for the world drivers’ championship despite finishing runner-up twice. Bottas eventually left for midfield Alfa Romeo - now Sauber - in 2022 which has seen his chance of podiums - never mind titles - very much diminish.

This is another record misconstrued by the points change though, because five other current drivers are inside the top 10. Perez is second on 1,571 points ahead of third-place Daniel Ricciardo (1,317), while Charles Leclerc (1,150) is fifth, Carlos Sainz (1,051.5) is sixth and Norris (691) is eighth.

Most podium finishes without an F1 world championship
Current holder: Rubens Barrichello (68)
Could be broken by: Valtteri Bottas (67)

Rubens Barrichello is F1’s record holder for the most career podiums without winning the world championship, as the Brazilian scored 68 top three finishes across 322 grands prix from 1993 to 2011.

His career is probably best known for being Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari team-mate from 2000 to 2005, however Barrichello was given the much unwanted tag of ‘number two driver’ because the Scuderia's priorities were clearly with the world champion. Still, with the fastest car Barrichello twice came runner-up in the championship, while his next opportunity in a front-running machine was Brawn where he finished third in 2009.

Just behind Barrichello for the podiums record is Bottas, who has scored 67 top three finishes in his career so far. Although it’s not exactly an unwanted record as Bottas would undoubtedly love to score some podiums in 2024 - especially after such a disappointing 2023 season - it’s also not a feat that he would be shouting to the rooftops about.

Most seasons between successive F1 world championship wins
Current holder: Niki Lauda (six seasons)
Could be broken by: Fernando Alonso (17 seasons)

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Niki Lauda has F1’s record for the largest gap between successive world championship wins, as six seasons separated his second title in 1977 and third crown in 1984. After winning the championship in 1977, he left Ferrari for Brabham but his two years there were disappointing as he finished fourth and 14th in the standings before retiring.

Lauda came out of retirement to join McLaren for the 1982 season, but his first two years with the team were quite disappointing as he failed to finish above fifth in the championship. However, it all came together in 1984 when he battled with young team-mate Alain Prost, who ultimately missed out on his maiden title by half a point to Lauda.

Fernando Alonso could break Lauda’s record in 2024 as his last title came in 2006. Like with Bottas, it’s not exactly an unwanted record because Alonso would surely love to win the world championship again, but the 42-year-old could argue that that elusive third crown should have come much sooner.

On three occasions he has missed out on the championship at the final race – 2007, 2010 and 2012 – while much of Alonso’s career has also been spent driving for a midfield outfit despite his elite talent. But, given Red Bull won 21 of 22 grands prix in 2023 it’s unlikely that the Aston Martin driver will be able to mount a title challenge this year.

Most retirements in an F1 season
Current holder: Andrea de Cesaris (14) in 1986 and 1987
Could be broken by: Any F1 driver in 2024

De Casaris also holds F1’s record for the most retirements in a season as he failed to finish 14 grands prix in both 1986 and 1987, which was all but two rounds in both years. It is a record no driver will even want to get close to in 2024, however the current cars are much more reliable than they were in the 1980s.

For example, Logan Sargeant and Esteban Ocon both retired from seven grands prix in 2023 which was more than any other driver, while the season before Zhou Guanyu had the most with six. So, it is very unlikely that a driver will retire from 14 or more grands prix in 2024 however with 24 rounds this year - F1’s biggest calendar ever - it is not completely out of the question.

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