Formula 1: 3 exclusive clubs Max Verstappen can join in 2023

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Formula 1 (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Formula 1 (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images) /

Max Verstappen is aiming to win his third consecutive Formula 1 world championship, and doing so would put him in three exclusive groups.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen picked up where he left off last year by winning the 2023 Formula 1 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit two Sundays ago as he begins his quest to become a three-time world champion. The win was his 10th in the last 12 races going back to last year.

Should he win a third title this year, he would join three very exclusive lists.

In itself, winning three titles isn’t super uncommon in Formula 1. In fact, 10 of the 16 two-time champions (not including Verstappen) have gone on to win a third title, and at the age of 25, Verstappen should have plenty of opportunities to rack up his trophy collection.

So a third title would make Verstappen the 11th to pull that off, and he would tie three-time champions Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet, and Ayrton Senna for sixth on the all-time list.

But winning three in a row is a much rarer feat. Of the 10 drivers to win three, only four have ever won three in a row. Verstappen has a chance to become the fifth.

Interestingly, all four of those drivers have won at least four total Formula 1 titles.

Michael Schumacher, a seven-time champion, won five in a row from 2000 to 2004. Lewis Hamilton, also a seven-time champion, won four in a row from 2017 to 2020. Juan Manuel Fangio, a five-time champion, won four in a row from 1954 to 1957. And Sebastian Vettel, a four-time champion, won four in a row from 2010 to 2023.

In fact, there is only one driver with more than three titles who never won three in a row, and that is four-time world champion Alain Prost.

Of those four drivers, Vettel is the only one whose first three titles were won in consecutive seasons. Should Verstappen be crowned champion again this year, he would become just the second driver to ever pull that off.

Vettel, of course, won all four of his titles in succession — and with the same team for which Verstappen now competes.

dark. Next. All-time Formula 1 wins list

But it is a long season, as we are just one race into the 23-race campaign. Interestingly enough, the driver who won the season opener hasn’t won the world title since Nico Rosberg pulled it off in 2016, and no driver has led the standings after every race on the schedule since Hamilton pulled it off in 2015, so Red Bull and Verstappen are taking nothing for granted.