The Formula 1 season, the king of motorsports, has been completely dominated by Max Verstappen, who is heading towards his third consecutive world championship title with unstoppable confidence. It wouldn’t be surprising at all if Red Bull’s frontman breaks several records along the way.
This season’s F1 has seen eight races so far, out of which Verstappen has won a remarkable six. There are a total of 22 races scheduled, and many fans believe that the 25-year-old Belgian-born driver won’t give anyone a chance unless there are technical issues with the blazing-fast RB19.
In the previous season, Verstappen surpassed the two legendary Germans, Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, by winning 15 races in a year, setting the record for the most wins in a single season. The likelihood is very high that he will push the bar even higher this year. It’s worth noting that last year’s calendar also included 22 races.
Verstappen always ends up on the podium. Out of the eight races so far, he has been the fastest qualifier in five of them. To surpass Vettel’s record, who also represented Red Bull at the time, Verstappen needs to win 11 more qualifying sessions. Considering that there are 14 races left until the end of the season, the opportunity is there, although breaking the record for the most wins is much more likely.
It’s interesting to note that in the F1 statistics, there is a ranking where Kimi Räikkönen shares the top spot with the seven-time world champion Schumacher. This ranking lists the drivers who have set the fastest laps in a single season. While Schumacher set the fastest lap ten times in 2004, Räikkonen achieved it in 2005 and 2008. Verstappen currently has three fastest laps this season, but reaching eleven wouldn’t be a shock.
The Dutchman’s dominance this season is well illustrated by the fact that, in addition to his six wins, he has secured two-second places, meaning that Verstappen is always present on the podium. When he won his first World Championship title in 2021, he finished on the podium in 18 out of the 22 races, so surpassing that record this season shouldn’t be too challenging.
And if Verstappen is already so impressively consistent, why not take another top record? The record for the most podium finishes from the beginning of a season is currently held by Schumacher, who achieved it 21 years ago by securing a podium finish in the first 17 races. By the way, this also meant that the legendary driver, who suffered severe injuries in a skiing accident back in 2013, made it to the podium in every race that season.
With a calendar that accommodates more races, Verstappen has a great chance to surpass Schumacher’s record this year. It largely depends on the reliability of the Red Bull team, but so far, there hasn’t been any reason to doubt it. And there’s no longer any reason to doubt Verstappen either, as he has displayed blistering pace and some newly-found maturity, picking his spots where needed.
In the previous season, Verstappen amassed an impressive 454 points when he won the World Championship title. No one has earned more points in a single year. This year, after eight races, he has collected 195 points, and if he continues at this pace, he will likely exceed 510 points.
Will there be a historically large gap? Verstappen still has the opportunity to surpass the record held by Vettel and the lion-hearted Englishman Nigel Mansell, who won nine races in a season starting from the pole position. Verstappen has not faltered in this regard this year: on the five occasions when he secured the top qualifying spot, he left no room for anyone else in the race.
If Verstappen’s towering dominance continues, he will become the world champion for the third consecutive year quite early on. In 2002, Schumacher was crowned the Formula 1 king six races before the end of the 17-race season.
Verstappen is currently the leader in the Formula 1 standings, with a 69-point lead over his teammate, Mexican driver Sergio Pérez. In 2013, when Vettel won his fourth consecutive title with Red Bull, he had a whopping 155-point advantage over the closest rival, Fernando Alonso. If this year unfolds similarly to the first eight races, Verstappen’s trajectory will be better than that of the German driver.
It’s also worth noting that thanks to Red Bull’s remarkable performance, with Verstappen winning six races and Pérez winning the other two, a record achieved on six occasions may be broken. In 1950, 1952, 1963, 1988, 2014, and 2015, only two drivers won races throughout the entire season, which could be considered somewhat of an anti-record.
Whatever the rest of the season holds, it is clear that Verstappen is highly likely to claim at least one new record and may even surpass some of his previously set high marks.