The Oracle Red Bull Racing Team at the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 20,  2022.
© Mark Thompson/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

The top Formula One records that may never be broken

From the fastest-ever pit stop to the youngest driver to start a race, we delve into some of F1's most remarkable records.
By Tom Bellingham
5 min readUpdated on
F1 is considered to be the pinnacle of motorsport. With intense speeds, apex engineering, dramatic competition and a surrounding hype that goes unmatched, the world championship racing series has existed in a realm of its own since 1950 — and there have been some impressive milestones along the way. Here’s a list of the most exciting, shocking and surprising Formula One records.

Fastest pit stop: Red Bull Racing

The record: 1.82 seconds
All the Aston Martin Red Bull racing team needed was 1.82 seconds to change the four tires of Max Verstappen's RB15 at the Brazilian GP in 2019. Previously that season, the team had already broken the world record for the fastest pit stop three times but continued to raise the bar.
Out-of-this-world pit stops have always been a speciality at Oracle Red Bull Racing. In addition to speed records, the crew literally performed a pit stop thousands of meters above the earth. Check out the video in the player below:

2 min

Zero-G pit stop

Find out what happened when the mechanics tried to do a pit stop at zero gravity on a cosmonaut training plane.

English +11

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Most starts: Fernando Alonso

The record: 358 races
No one in the history of Formula One has raced more than Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard, the world champion of 2005 and 2006, passed Kimi Raikkonen's previous record of 349 race starts in the 2022 season. Still competing in F1 and after three F1 stops of the 2023 season, Alonso has started a staggering 358 races.
Race winner Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso attend the press conference after the Bahrain GP at Bahrain International Circuit on March 5, 2023.

Fernando Alonso is still going strong in F1

© Peter Fox/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool


Fastest speed: Valtteri Bottas

The record: 372.5kph
F1 is known for its breathtaking speed, and at the 2016 Mexican GP, Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas set the mark to beat when he reached an official top speed of 372.5kph. The FIA even unofficially claimed 373.3kph, but either way, it made Bottas the first F1 driver to reach the 370kph mark in a grands prix

Quickest to earn a penalty: Sebastien Vettel

The record: 6 seconds
From becoming the youngest world champion to earning the most consecutive wins, Sebastien Vettel has broken just about every Formula One record throughout his 16-year career. This includes the record for receiving the fastest penalty. In his first F1 appearance at the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix, Vettel drove out of the garage and accelerated in the pit lane, earning him a penalty just six seconds into his F1 career.

Youngest winner: Max Verstappen

The record: 18 years and 227 days
Max Verstappen’s record-setting career began in 2014 when he replaced Jean-Éric Vergne as part of his preparation for a full-time seat at Scuderia Toro Rosso in the 2015 season. Aged 17 years and three days, he was the youngest person in history to participate in an F1 race weekend.
Having become the youngest driver ever to score points in a GP in 2015, Verstappen would make the move to Red Bull Racing in 2016 and solidified his name into the history books when he became the youngest winner in F1 history – at 18 years and 227 days old – triumphing at the Spanish Grand Prix and beating the previous record held by Sebastian Vettel.
Verstappen becomes F1’s youngest winner in Spain

Verstappen becomes F1’s youngest winner in Spain

© David Ramos/Getty Images


Youngest and oldest drivers: Max Verstappen and Louis Chiron

The record: 17 years and 166 days – 55 years and 292 days
It comes as no surprise to learn that the youngest winner of a race was also the youngest driver to start a World Championship race. Handed a seat by Scuderia Toro Rosso, the Dutchman made his debut at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix at the age of 17 years and 166 days – breaking Jaime Alguersuari's record by almost two years.
At the other end of the scale, the oldest GP competitor in Formula One history is Monegasque Louis Chiron, who took part in practice for the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix at the age of 55 years and 292 days.

Closest margin in qualifying: 1997 European GP

The record: 0.000 seconds between first and third
The 1997 title final was destined for greatness, as Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve started the race in Jerez with just a point difference – and needless to say, it didn’t disappoint.
During qualifying, Villeneuve registered a 1m 21.072s lap time to secure pole position. Shortly after, Schumacher crossed the finish line in exactly the same time. Then, minutes later, Villeneuve's teammate Heinz-Harald Frentzen matched the same time. Three cars, three identical lap times, measured to within a millisecond.

Fastest race: Michael Schumacher

The record: 1 hour 14 minutes and 19.838 seconds
The fastest Formula One race of all time took place in Monza when Michael Schumacher won the 2003 Italian Grand Prix with an average speed of 247.585kph and a total race time of just 1hr 14m and 19.838s. In doing so, the 2003 Italian Grand Prix became the shortest F1 race ever without the use of a red flag.
Michael Schumacher wins F1's fastest ever race

Michael Schumacher wins F1's fastest ever race

© Ferrari


Smallest winning margin: 1971 Italian GP

The record: The top 2 separated by just 0.01 seconds
A lot of incredible moments have happened at the finish line in Formula One racing. However, nothing quite compares to the 1971 Italian Grand Prix, where five cars crossed the finish line in a slipstream.
The result: Peter Gethin took the win. Then Ronnie Peterson followed just 0.01 back. Next came François Cevert at 0.09 seconds, Mike Hailwood at 0.18 and Howden Ganley at 0.61 seconds behind the winning time – making it the closest result in F1 history.
The finish to the 1971 Italian Grand Prix

The finish to the 1971 Italian Grand Prix

© Popperfoto


Shortest career: Marco Apicella

The record: 800 metres (2,600ft)
Many Formula One drivers have competed in just a single race, but none were shorter than Marco Apicella’s one and only F1 appearance at the 1993 Italian Grand Prix.
The Italian driver impressed Eddie Jordan enough to give him a one-off drive in his home race for the Jordan team, but after being involved in a multi-car collision at the first corner on the very first lap, Apicella’s F1 career was over in just a few seconds.

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