Formula 1 stat has a new leader, Lewis Hamilton dethroned

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Daniel Ricciardo is Formula 1’s new active leader in consecutive starts following Lewis Hamilton’s missed start with COVID-19.

Daniel Ricciardo wrapped up his second and final Formula 1 season with Renault in last Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit ahead of a move to McLaren to replace the Ferrari-bound Carlos Sainz Jr. next year.

And for the first time in his career, he competed as the driver with the longest active starts streak.

The 31-year-old Australian has made 188 consecutive starts, which ranks third on the all-time list. In fact, he took third in the season finale from Riccardo Patrese, who competed in 187 consecutive races from 1982 to 1993.

But when he tied Patrese for third place on the all-time list in the previous race, the Sakhir Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit outer layout, he took the lead among active drivers.

After Lewis Hamilton won the Bahrain Grand Prix at the track’s regular layout the week prior, he was forced to sit out as a result of a positive COVID-19 test. He had competed in 265 consecutive races going back to his debut in 2007. He tied and broke Nico Rosberg’s record of 206 in the antepenultimate and penultimate races of the 2017 season, the Mexican Grand Prix at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and the Brazilian Grand Prix at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace.

Ricciardo hasn’t missed a race since making his Formula 1 debut in 2011.

He is slated to move into second place behind Hamilton on the all-time list in the 19th race of the 23-race 2021 season, the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas, if all goes as planned.

With him trailing Hamilton’s record by 78 races, it would presumably take him until 2024 to break the record. He is currently under contract with McLaren through 2022.

The 2021 season is scheduled to get underway on Sunday, March 21 with the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit, which was scheduled to host the 2020 opener but did not do so as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The track had hosted 22 of the last 24 season openers prior to its 2020 cancellation.


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