Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton broke an Indy 500 record

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1 (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1 (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

In the Hungarian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton broke a Formula 1 record that goes back to the days when the Indy 500 was a part of the world championship.

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton haven’t found themselves at the front too often during the 2022 Formula 1 season, with the W13 seemingly the third strongest car behind the challengers of Red Bull and Ferrari.

But the seven-time world champion has now led laps, albeit not many, in three of the last four races, including Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring.

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En route to a fifth straight podium finish and a second straight runner-up result behind reigning world champion Max Verstappen, Hamilton led four laps of Sunday’s 70-lap race around the 14-turn, 2.722-mile (4.381-kilometer) Budapest road course.

He has now led a total of 487 laps at the track in 16 starts (1,071 total laps run), which is a new Formula 1 record for the most laps led by a driver at a single venue.

The previous record was held by Bill Vukovich, and Vukovich held the record by leading 485 laps of the Indy 500.

The Indy 500, of course, hasn’t been a part of the Formula 1 world championship for more than half a century, but from 1950 to 1960, it was indeed on the calendar. It is now on the IndyCar schedule and was ironically won this year by former Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson.

Vukovich, a two-time Indy 500 winner, only completed 676 laps across five Indy 500 attempts, but his 485 laps led are good enough for ninth place on the all-time Indy 500 laps led list — and good enough to allow him to hold this particular Formula 1 record for more than six decades.

As for the Indy 500 laps led record, that mark is 180 laps beyond the mark of Vukovich. Following this year’s running of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”, it belongs to 20-time Indy 500 starter Scott Dixon (665).

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All eight drivers who rank above Vukovich on that list completed at least 1,130 laps of the Indy 500, which is nearly twice as many as he completed.