Lewis Hamilton: The street circuit king of F1

Lewis Hamilton is now gearing up to race around the streets of the Azerbaijan capital, Baku, a type of circuit where he has previously excelled, but will he enjoy the same success this time around?

Lewis Hamilton has won a record 103 grands prix over the course of his 17-year Formula 1 career that kicked off with McLaren back in 2007, and out of these 103 wins, 18 were achieved at street circuits from 71 participations.

The seven-time F1 Champion won his first ever street race in F1 in his rookie season in top flight as a McLaren driver in 2007, winning the Canadian Grand Prix of that season. He went on to win six more times in Montreal over the course of his career.

His other street circuit wins include three in Monaco, four in Singapore, two in Melbourne, one win in Jeddah and also one in Baku, the venue the F1 circus will be visiting next this weekend for the fourth race of the 2023 season.

The second most winning driver around street circuits is German legend Michael Schumacher who won 16 F1 street races, while Hamilton’s idol, Brazilian F1 great, the late Ayrton Senna sits in third place with 15 street-race wins.

Most podiums and points at street venues

In addition to the wins, Hamilton is the driver to have most podiums at street circuits, 38 to be precise, the second best being retired quadruple F1 Champion Sebastian Vettel with 33 podiums. Michael Schumacher comes third with 26 podiums around F1 street venues.

These stats were compiled in an interesting study done by the folks at Vegas Insider that also analyzed results in terms of points showing that Hamilton is the F1 driver with the most points scored at F1 street circuits.

The experiment analyzed the results of 204 F1 races from 1950 up until today, referring to F1’s Official Website, and including 381 grand prix drivers.

However, the study applied a key adjustment while generating results, and that is applying the current points system in F1 to all races with the aim of assuring uniformity in points distribution as F1 has had different scoring systems over the years.

From a points perspective, Hamilton scored 988 Championship points from racing on F1 street circuits, with Vettel second on 862 points, while double F1 Champion Fernando Alonso is third best in the leaderboard with 672 points, making him the closest “active” F1 driver to Hamilton in that regard. Schumacher is fourth with 644 points.

A different story this time at Baku

However, and as was the case in Baku in 2022, Hamilton would not be expecting a decent result this time around as Mercedes are yet to sort out their car woes for the second season of the new “ground effect” regulations in a row.

In 2022, Hamilton was stuck in the bouncing death trap of his “porpoising” W13, and finished the race in Baku fourth after qualifying seventh after an agonizing race, with his images struggling to climb out of the cockpit after the race due to the pain his W13 inflicted on him still fresh in fans’ memories.

One year later, the W14 seems to be more tame than the W13 on the bouncing front, but the car is still not up to the standards of F1 machinery Mercedes usually produce, and despite his second place in Melbourne in the previous race, chances are the result was a track-specific one-off.

And while Mercedes have done a major technical reshuffle putting James Allison back in the Technical Director seat, results are not expected before the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in May, when a heavily revised W14 is expected to be unleashed.

Until then, all Hamilton can do is just give his best in Baku this weekend…

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