Since the retirement of the great Michael Schumacher, there have been several drivers vying for the crown of king of the track. While there are many great drivers in Formula 1, most experts agree that it's currently a straight-out race between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen for top billing.
However, no matter how well Verstappen and Hamilton perform, there are some track records that are extremely hard to beat. Here's a look at some of the most impressive F1 records of all time.
Starting the race in pole position gives drivers a much better chance of taking the chequered flag first. For that reason, qualifying is hotly contested, with everyone looking for the best start.
The record for the number of poles in a single season currently rests with Sebastian Vettel who notched up 15 poles from 19 races in 2011. Hamilton has done pretty well himself, but his maximum was 12 poles from 21 races in 2016, a fact which underlines just how impressive Vettel’s tally is.
As the number of races in F1 increases, the chances of a driver surpassing Vettel's total rise. With a rumoured 22 races in 2022 onwards, even claiming 15 poles won't be as outstanding as Vettel's feat.
Michael Schumacher is viewed as one of the untouchables of motor racing and with good reason. His performance on the track was above and beyond his rivals, even when he wasn't in the best car.
Little surprise, therefore, to discover that Schumacher still holds the record for the number of consecutive podium finishes. At the end of the 2001 season and the start of the 2002 season, Schumacher claimed 19 podium finishes in a row.
In fairness to Hamilton, he has come very close with a score of 16 consecutive podiums in 2014 and 2015.
The competitiveness of Formula 1 and the challenges from other drivers mean it's going to be very hard for anyone, even Hamilton, to ever topple Schumacher off his perch.
Pole positions and podium finishes are easy to measure, with the results clear for anyone to see. Consecutive laps are a different kettle of fish and much more difficult for audiences to keep score.
In 1952 Alberto Ascari led for 304 consecutive laps, starting from the second lap of the Belgian Grand Prix and finishing up with the last lap of the Dutch Grand Prix.
A quick look at the lap numbers from other drivers shows just how impressive this feat is. The late, great Ayrton Senna is in second place but a very long way behind Ascari, with 264 consecutive laps recorded in 1988.
Hamilton may have been a dominant force on the track, but he's a long way off the pace with this record. His best is just 144 laps, set during 2019 when he won back-to-back races at Barcelona and Monaco.
The difficulty with this record is that leading laps is not the same as winning races. Drivers may have to concede the lead on a few laps if they are running with a different strategy from the rest of the field. While it’s theoretically possible for anyone to overtake Ascari, the odds of this record being beaten are incredibly low.