The Unstoppable Force of Max Verstappen

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11 March 2024

By Amy

For years, seven-time world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton’s name has been the name everyone has known when it comes to motorsports, whether they are a fan of Formula 1 or not, but in recent years, a new one has surfaced: Max Verstappen.

Hailing from the Netherlands, Verstappen has broken countless records and ruthlessly dominated the rankings, breaking Hamilton’s seven-year streak of winning the world champion title. Although he was once notorious for his aggressive, sometimes dangerous, driving style, as well as his questionable win in 2021, he is now known for his relentless passion for racing, impressive consistency and insatiable need for victory. No matter what team fans support, they cannot deny that he is extremely talented and deserving of the world champion title.

Before driving in F1, Verstappen had only experienced one season of F3 (one of the feeder series to F1) and no experience of F2, the level above this. On top of this, just three days after turning 17, he made his debut at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix (GP) practice session and became the youngest driver in the history of F1, albeit as a test driver. 163 days later, he became the first and last 17-year-old to ever drive in an F1 Grand Prix, and thus his record-breaking career began. The statistics speak for themselves.

‘Most’ records Max holds

In 2022, Verstappen broke four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel’s record by winning 15 out of the 22 races, which also meant he had the most points scored in a season, with 454. He then broke his own records last year by winning 19 out of 22 races and an insane 575 points. The first GP of this season also saw him beat Hamilton’s record of 1008 consecutive points scored with a whopping 1030. Undoubtedly, this number will be much higher by the end of the year.

Naturally, the list of records that come with this level of consistency is lengthy; Verstappen has the most consecutive wins (10 GPs), and the most podiums in a single season (last year there was only one race in which he didn’t end up on the podium), the most pole positions converted into wins in a row (12 wins in a row after starting the race from first place), the most laps led in a season (75% of the laps in 2023), the most races left in a season before winning the championship (he clinched the title with six races left) and the most points between first and second place in season. This means there were 290 points between him and his teammate, Sergio Perez, leaving Verstappen with over two times Perez’s total, notably in the same car.

Verstappen has also scored the most hat tricks in a single season, meaning he has achieved the fastest lap in qualifying, the fastest lap in the race and finished in first place, all in one race weekend on six different occasions. The previous record was set by Alberto Ascari in 1952 and has been matched only by Michael Schumacher in 2004, which demonstrates how rare drivers like Verstappen are. Furthermore, he holds the record for the most overtakes in a single season, with 78 in 2016.

A more bizarre record he holds is the most pit stops by the winning driver in one race, with six pit stops at the 2023 Dutch GP. For those who don’t follow Formula 1, this is impressive because every pit stop costs valuable seconds and most drivers only stop twice to change tyres (given that there are no unpredictable events) to minimise lost time.


Although Hamilton still holds the record for the most Grand Prix victories, with 103, and Verstappen is only at 56, at the rate he is going, it will probably only be about three seasons until he catches up. Unless of course, like he did for Hamilton, the next Verstappen comes along and ends his win streak. However, I think it is safe to say that his dominance will continue for a while longer. As for what comes next, we can only wonder whether he will manage to beat his own record of statistically the greatest Formula 1 season in history again this year and whether Hamilton’s team switch to Ferrari will allow him to compete against Verstappen for the world champion title.

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