Max Verstappen wrote his name on several pages of the Formula 1 history books in 2023 as the Red Bull star shattered a number of seemingly unreachable milestones. And he will be going all out to pick up where he left off in 2024 by eliminating one of Lewis Hamilton’s long-standing achievements.
The new season commences on March 2 in Bahrain, where the teams head to the Bahrain International Circuit for the beginning of the new campaign. Verstappen, having won the title in each of the last three years, will be the main man everyone wants to beat after enjoying complete dominance over his 19 rivals on the grid.
Verstappen broke the record for most points collected in a season and most races won by a single driver (19) in what proved to be the most one-sided season in F1 history. Now, the Dutch driver has his sights set on snatching one of Hamilton’s records.
As it stands, the 26-year-old has finished 41 consecutive races inside the points – a phenomenal achievement considering the array of penalties and setbacks he has had, not to mention the reliability of the Red Bull car.
But he is still some way short of what Hamilton achieved between 2018 and 2020.
Verstappen closing in on Hamilton achievement
After finishing second in his home race at the British GP at Silverstone, Hamilton incredibly recorded 48 points finishes in a row until he was stopped from competing at the Bahrain Grand Prix during the Covid-hit season in 2020.
Hamilton contracted the illness and was ruled out of the Sakhir GP on medical grounds, with George Russell literally stepping into his shoes in the cockpit. It brought an end to his long-standing record of finishing in the points because he was considered to be DNS (did not start).
And the fact that Hamilton can no longer extend that run gives Verstappen a golden chance to rewrite the record books. If he is successful in finishing in the top 10 in the next seven world championship rounds in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Japan, China, Miami and Emilia Romagna, he will equal Hamilton’s record of 48 points finishes in a row.
Fittingly, Verstappen would then be able to make history in Monaco, where he currently resides, if he scores a point. Not since the Australian GP in 2022 has Verstappen failed to score, and that was because he was forced to retire due to a fuel leak.
His last actual finish outside the points came at the Belgian GP in Spa in 2016 where he finished 11th. Given his recent track record, it appears only a technical failure will can stand in his way of adding another record to his growing collection.