How Max Verstappen compares to Formula One greats after record-breaking season

By Sports Desk November 27, 2023

Max Verstappen completed the most dominant season in Formula One history with victory in Abu Dhabi.

After a 19th win in 22 races, the PA news agency looks at how the triple world champion compares to the sport’s all-time stars.

Among the greats

Verstappen’s third world championship win put him in elite company as only the 11th driver with a hat-trick of titles to his name.

Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton share the record of seven crowns apiece, with Juan Manuel Fangio their nearest challenger on five.

Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel won four apiece, with Verstappen alongside Sir Jack Brabham, Sir Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet Sr and Ayrton Senna on three.

Only five drivers – Schumacher, Hamilton, Fangio, Vettel and now Verstappen – have won three in consecutive years. He has the chance next season to match all but Schumacher with a fourth straight title, the German having won five in succession from 2000 to 2004.

Verstappen has also moved third all-time in terms of race wins. His 53rd, at the season’s penultimate race in Las Vegas, drew him alongside Vettel for that position and in only 184 races compared to the German’s 299.

Abu Dhabi made it 54 out of 185 and means only Hamilton and Schumacher have won more races – Hamilton has 103 from 331 starts, despite now having gone two seasons without a win, while Schumacher finished with 91 in 306.

Record breaker

Verstappen set a notable record during the season with 10 consecutive race wins up to and including September’s Italian Grand Prix.

That beat Vettel’s run of nine in a row in 2013, also with Red Bull, while Verstappen’s Abu Dhabi win in 2022’s final race and Sergio Perez’s early-season contributions ensured the team won a record 15 in succession.

The Dutchman’s 19 wins broke his own single-season record of 15, set last year. Only 14 F1 seasons have even had 19 or more races in total.

While the length of the season and the modern scoring system are both significant factors, his points tally of 575 is a huge record – again, his own 454 last season was the previous best. Unsurprisingly that brought with it a record winning margin, both outright (290 points) and by percentage with more than double the points of second-placed team-mate Perez (285).

Verstappen also clinched the title with six grands prix remaining, equalling Schumacher’s record from 2002.

His 86.4 per cent win rate was another record, shattering the 75 per cent mark set back in 1952 – F1’s third ever season – when Alberto Ascari won six of the eight races contested.

He is the first driver to lead 1,000 or more laps in a season – smashing Vettel’s record of 739 in 2011 and equalling the combined total of McLaren’s dominant 1988 pairing of Senna and Prost.

Verstappen was the only driver to complete every lap of this season, adding two second places and fifth in Singapore to his 19 wins.

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