With his 17th victory of the Formula One season, Triple World Champion Max Verstappen became the most dominant driver in the history of the sport during a campaign.
The greatest season win percentage, until this Sunday’s São Paulo Grand Prix at Interlagos, was 75% for the late Italian champion Alberto Ascari, who won six of the eight world championship races with Ferrari in 1952.
With 20 races under his belt, Verstappen’s percentage is at 85%. Should he lose the final two races of the season in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi, he will still finish over 77%.
When asked how much the numbers drove and resonated with him, the 26-year-old wasn’t exactly focusing too much on the data.
“It’s not about that. I mean, it’s not something that when I joined Formula One, I need to have a 75% win record over a season you know,” he told reporters.
“These kinds of things come along when everything just works really well. I feel good in the car, the car is very competitive, and the team barely makes mistakes as well. So then you can get a season like we are having. “For me it’s more about just enjoying the moment and trying to maximise every single opportunity.”
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Verstappen took a then-record 15 wins in 2022 but an unprecedented run of 10 successive victories from May to September and a new ongoing streak of five in a row could mean he ends this year with 19 out of 22 — an 86.3% win rate.
His 19 podiums for the year so far are also a record, even if seasons were far shorter in the old days, as are the 524 points scored, although scoring systems have also become far more generous.
He has led 922 laps, another record for a season, and counting.
The gap between him and teammate Sergio Pérez, second in the standings, is 266 points — way more than the record margin of 155 points between first and runner-up set by Sebastian Vettel with the same team in 2013.
That same gap is also bigger than Vettel’s entire points haul (256) in winning the 2010 title.
Since the May 2022 Spanish Grand Prix, Verstappen has led the championship standings for two seasons. He is expected to finish the season with a record-tying 39 consecutive race wins as the leader.
After breaking the record last year for the most wins in a season without starting from pole (nine), he now leads all drivers with 11 victories from pole position in a season.
Red Bull’s 19th victory of the season exceeded their opponents’ record of most laps led from the same season (1,055) and matched Mercedes’ record from 2016.
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