Lewis Hamilton’s victory in the Mexican Grand Prix was his 51st win in F1, bringing him level with Alain Prost in second place in the all-time winners list, behind only Michael Schumacher who amassed 91 wins.
You may remember we compared the three drivers at the age of 31 earlier this season, but where does Hamilton stack up against Prost and Schumacher in terms of overall statistics after each driver took their 51st victory?
Hamilton might be about to see a fourth world title slip through his fingers as Nico Rosberg can wrap up this year’s championship in Brazil, but he is already assured of his place among the all-time greats as these statistics continue to show.
RACE STARTS TO REACH 51 WINS
AGE AT 51 WINS
WIN PERCENTAGE AT 51 WINS
CHAMPIONSHIPS WON BY 51ST VICTORY
Lewis Hamilton won back-to-back Grands Prix in the United States and then Mexico to keep his F1 Drivers’ Championship hopes alive.
The Brit’s Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg leads the way with 349 points and could secure the title with a victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Hamilton is 19 points adrift of Rosberg with just the two races remaining but a win in Brazil would see the battle for the Championship go down to the final race in Abu Dhabi.
Here’s a look at the closest Championship finishes in Formula One history.
2007 – 1) KIMI RAIKKONEN (110) 2) LEWIS HAMILTON (109), 2) FERNANDO ALONSO (109)
In his first season in F1, a 22 year-old Hamilton had joined the ranks at McLaren to partner defending champion Fernando Alonso. The team-mates went on to challenge for the Championship with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in a three-horse race.
Hamilton was in the lead with 107 points, heading into the final race in Brazil. Alonso had 103 points while Raikkonen was on 100.
The Englishman was tipped to secure an unprecedented victory in his debut season but issues with the car’s gearbox rained on his parade. He could only muster a seventh place finish.
Raikkonen ended up taking the chequered flag to seal the Championship by a single point as a third-place Alonso tied with Hamilton.
1976 – 1) JAMES HUNT (69) 2) NIKI LAUDA (68)
The 1976 season was one dominated by a rivalry so enthralling that it inspired the hit 2013 sports drama film Rush. James Hunt and Niki Lauda reveled in a rivalry that was rife with controversy and stunning racing in equal measure.
The duo went into the Japan GP with Lauda leading by three points but the defending champion ended up retiring from the race due to bad weather conditions.
Hunt however, placed third in the final race of the season to win the Championship by a point.
1984 – 1) NIKI LAUDA (72) 2) ALAIN PROST (71.5)
Lauda secured what is the narrowest Championship win in history. Competing with his younger McLaren team-mate Alain Prost, Lauda realised he couldn’t match him for pace but a supreme strategic understanding saw the veteran keep up.
The Monaco GP was shortened by a red flag with drivers being awarded only half the points and that proved to be Prost’s undoing.
Prost won the final race but finished second in the Championship which Lauda won by a remarkable half point.
1981 – 1) NELSON PIQUET (50) 2) CARLOS REUTERMANN (49)
Both drivers were incredibly consistent throughout the season and put in some great performances. There was no separating them.
The telling moment came in the final race of the season in the United States. Nelson Piquet went past Carlos Reutemann on lap 17 and placed fifth to register two points and win the title by a point.
1994 – 1) MICHAEL SCHUMACHER (92) 2) DAMON HILL (91)
The 1994 season was marred by the fatal accidents of three-time F1 champion Ayrton Senna and Austrian Roland Ratzenberger in San Marino.
However, it also feature one of the closest title races and one which was settled rather controversially. Michael Schumacher was in the lead by a single point heading into the final race in Australia with Damon Hill on his tail.
The German seemingly damaged his car against the wall which on lap 36 which prompted Hill to taje his opportunity to overtake him.
However, Schumacher collided with Hill as he came up alongside him, damaging his front-left suspension and forcing both drivers to retire.
As a result, Schumacher won his maiden driver’s title by one point.
Pirelli has announced the tyre choices made by each team for the upcoming Brazilian Grand Prix, with Mercedes title rivals Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton set to receive the same compound allocations.
As part of new-for-2016 regulations, teams can now pick from three different compounds, with an allocation of 13 sets per driver.
Of those 13 sets, Pirelli will select two sets that have to be allocated for the race (of which a driver must use one set), while a set of the softest available compound may only be used in Q3. Teams are then free to choose the remaining ten sets.
F1’s official tyre supplier has nominated its hard, medium, and soft compound for the race at the Autodromo José Carlos Pace, with all teams favouring the softest, yellow-marked rubber.
One set of softs must be available for use in Q3 should a team reach it, while one set of the hards and one set of the mediums must be retained for the race, although only one of those two race sets has to be used.
Rosberg and Hamilton have opted for one hard, four mediums and eight softs. Meanwhile, the Red Bull and Ferrari drivers will receive one less set of softs with seven apiece.
Williams has gone for the most aggressive strategy, with Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa set to get nine sets of the softest compound available
Overall, the Brazilian GP tyre selection reveals little variety up and down the field and within the teams. Indeed, only the Ferrari and Haas pairings differ in their allocations.
It is worth noticing that most drivers will only have one set of hards for the entire Interlagos event.
All teams had to make their selections 14 weeks in advance.