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Unbeatable F1 records that can't be surpassed

Max Verstappen and Red Bull are shattering Formula 1 records every weekend – sometimes it seems like they might claim all top performance tables by season's end. However, some records are fundamentally unbreakable. Even here, Verstappen has already made his mark!

Gap between career start and first penalty: 6 seconds

Sebastian Vettel ended his Formula 1 career with many records, but only one is likely to stand forever – and it's the most awkward, absurd, and unusual. During his debut at the Turkish Grand Prix in 2006, Vettel moved out of the garage for the first practice in an F1 car and immediately exceeded the pit lane speed.

Only six seconds after leaving the garage! The BMW-Sauber driver was penalized, setting the record for the shortest time between starting a career and receiving the first penalty.

Theoretically, Vettel's record could be surpassed – but only if someone deliberately aims for it. After all, an F1 car accelerates to an "excess" speed (80 or 100 km/h) in just 2 seconds. The exit from the pit box and turning onto the pit lane also takes time! Thus, a rookie would need to fully press the accelerator immediately and hope to beat the record – unlikely in today's F1, given the scrutiny rookies face.

100% podium finishes in a season – Michael Schumacher in 2002

In 2002, Michael Schumacher finished in the top-3 17 times – 11 wins, 5 second places, and one third place. There were 17 Grand Prix in total that season. Neither before nor after has anyone achieved a podium finish in 100% of the season's races – even though Verstappen finished in the top-3 18 times in 2021, there were 22 Grand Prix that year. Even in his dominant 2022 with 15 wins, Verstappen was on the podium the same 17 times – again over 22 races.

Lewis Hamilton in 2015 and Vettel in 2011 came closest to Schumacher's record, achieving 15 podiums out of 17 races. Even if Max manages to finish in the top-3 in every race this year, he can at best only match, not surpass, Schumacher's record, which is essentially perfect. Notably, most betting agencies, including Mostbet UZ, see Verstappen as the clear favorite in all remaining races of the current season.

Largest margin of victory: 5 minutes. now it's 2.5 laps

Over 50 laps at the Portuguese circuit in Porto in 1958, Sir Stirling Moss built up a lead over Ferrari's Mike Hawthorn of a whopping 5 minutes and 12.75 seconds – with a qualifying lap time of 2 minutes and 34 seconds. Effectively, this can be considered a gap of 2.5 laps – and very long laps at that. In today's F1, one lap takes between 70 to 110 seconds, with an average being around 90 seconds.

So, by today's standards, it would be a 4-lap lead on an average circuit! This season, the largest gap has been a 33-second lead by Max Verstappen over Lando Norris in Hungary, which is already considered astronomically large. Even with Red Bull's supercar, it's unlikely that the Dutchman will pull a 4-lap lead on the peloton unless all competitors face massive technical issues or end up in a pile-up.

The longest Formula 1 race: Canada Grand Prix 2011

Jenson Button's win in rainy Montreal remains memorable for fans as one of the most thrilling. En route to the top spot, the McLaren driver managed to collide with his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, suffered a puncture, was penalized with a drive-through the pit lane, and made four additional pit stops for new tires – accumulating a total of six pit stops! This was followed by a remarkable surge through the field and a sensational overtake of Sebastian Vettel on the final lap. Ultimately, Button secured one of the most dramatic victories in Formula 1 history, and no other race winner in all 69 years of the sport has made more pit stops en route to the finish line.

While this record could theoretically be equaled, the timing of the race itself cannot be: The Grand Prix officially lasted 4 hours and 4 minutes, with over two hours under red flag conditions due to rain. Such an occurrence is now impossible: following the controversial rain-hit Belgium Grand Prix of 2021, the race duration has been limited to three hours after the first lap.

The Youngest F1 driver – in an official session, race start, and with points

Max Verstappen broke records from his very first day in Formula 1. His appearance in the first practice of the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix for Toro Rosso made him the youngest driver in history to pilot a top-tier race car. The future two-time champion hit the track just 3 days after his 17th birthday!

At the start of the following season, Max secured a full-time seat in F1 and began the race at the Australian Grand Prix at the age of 17 years and 166 days. Two weeks later in Malaysia – at 17 years and 180 days – he finished 7th, setting a new record as the youngest points scorer. At that time, the young driver didn't even have a regular driver's license, and he was technically not even allowed to drink the podium champagne!

Such feats are now impossible: precisely because of Verstappen's case, the FIA revised the super license rules. Now, Grand Prix participation is only granted to those who have reached 18 years of age and possess a regular civilian driver's license. All three of Verstappen's records will remain unbroken.

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