Lewis Hamilton to become sixth member of special F1 club at French Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton reveals the Queen told him off at the Royal lunch

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Lewis Hamilton will become only the sixth driver in F1 history to race at 300 Grands Prix when he takes his position on the starting grid this weekend. The Briton will take to the Circuit Paul Ricard for the French Grand Prix on Sunday after finishing on the podium in each of the last three races.

Hamilton is set to join Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button in the 300 club after becoming one of the greatest drivers in the history of F1. The 37-year-old has won a joint-record seven world titles throughout his illustrious career, with six of those coming between 2014 and 2020.

Hamilton, who narrowly missed out on a record eighth title last year following a controversial last lap at the title-decider in Abu Dhabi, began his F1 career with McLaren in 2007 and won his first title a year later as he finished one point ahead of Brazilian rival Felipe Massa.

The veteran has since gone on to dominate the sport and has raced for 16 consecutive seasons. And he can move into fourth position on the all-time list of total F1 appearances before the end of this season.

Raikkonen, who retired at the end of last year, has taken part in more Grands Prix than any other driver after racking-up 350 appearances. But Alonso is only five behind him and can jump to the top of the standings this year. Barrichello, meanwhile, raced for 19 consecutive seasons between 1993 and 2011 and appeared in 322 races, while Schumacher and Button both called time on their careers after taking to the track 306 times.

The only other current driver in the all-time top 10 is Sebastian Vettel, who has 289 F1 races under his belt. Massa finished his F1 career after 269 Grands Prix, while Riccardo Patrese raced 256 times and Jarno Trulli competed on 252 occasions.

Hamilton will be hoping he can commemorate his latest milestone by producing another strong performance. The Briton has struggled for form this season amid Mercedes’ porpoising problems but finished third at the recent Canadian, British and Austrian Grands Prix.

Hamilton is still sixth in the Drivers’ Championship standings this season, however, and trails leader Max Verstappen by an enormous 99 points. So the Mercedes ace is already all but out of this year’s title race. But he will at least be hoping to impress during the second half of the season and challenge for more podium finishes at the remaining 11 races.

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