Formula 1: Max Verstappen can break a record just by staying home

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Formula 1 (Photo by DOUGLAS MAGNO / AFP) (Photo by DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP via Getty Images)
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Formula 1 (Photo by DOUGLAS MAGNO / AFP) (Photo by DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP via Getty Images) /

Max Verstappen is guaranteed to break a Formula 1 record set back in 1952, even if he finishes last in the final two races of the 2023 season.

There will never be a true answer to the Formula 1 GOAT debate, but there is no longer a debate over the sport’s all-time most dominant driver.

Three-time reigning world champion Max Verstappen has won 17 of the 2023 season’s first 20 races, an all-time record, and 15 of the last 16, a stretch that included a record-breaking 10-race winning streak.

For a little bit of context, no other driver has won more than 13 races over an entire season, and Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1’s all-time wins leader, has never won more than 11. Additionally, his best ever win streak is five races, and one more Verstappen win would give him two separate win streaks of at least six races this year alone.

While some fans have pointed to the strength of the RB19 as the difference maker (and yes, it is arguably Adrian Newey’s best car), Verstappen has scored more than twice as many points — and more than eight times as many wins — as teammate Sergio Perez in 2023.

Their argument has since shifted to the idea that the RB19 is better suited to Verstappen’s needs than Perez’s, but those fans were singing a much different tune when the season began with each driver winning twice.

Some used Perez’s strong start of the season to suggest that the 2022 car (RB18) was built toward Verstappen’s strengths and now with one that didn’t favor either driver, Perez actually had a chance.

But Verstappen has won 15 out of 16 races since, matching his entire 2022 season win total, with Perez securing just three runner-up finishes — and no wins — during that stretch.

Max Verstappen can afford to stay home for the 2023 Formula 1 season’s final two races and still break a 71-year-old record.

Even though, according to one person, nobody looks at Wikipedia, somebody has literally already updated his 2023 season win tally to show that he is going to own this record whether he competes or not, listing him as having won 17 races in 22 starts.

The final two of those 22 starts have yet to occur, yet even if he places last in both events, he would end the season with a record-breaking win percentage of 77.27%. His current win percentage of 85% is 10 percentage points higher than Alberto Ascari’s record from 1952, when he won six of eight races.

Among seasons with more than 10 races, Michael Schumacher holds the record of 72.22%, having won 13 of 18 events in 2004.

Notably, Verstappen can’t just skip the final two races to finish at 85%; the fact that Hamilton’s 2022 season is listed as 11 wins in 17 races instead of 11 in 16 (he missed a start with COVID-19) is proof of that.

So even if he does decide to sit out (which is what Lando Norris is probably hoping for at this point), he would be listed at 17 wins in 22 starts instead of 17 in 20 — which would still be the all-time record.

Next. All-time Formula 1 wins list. dark

The 2023 season’s final two races are the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix at the new Las Vegas Street Circuit and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit. They are scheduled to take place on Sunday, November 19 and Sunday, November 26. Begin a free trial of FuboTV now and don’t miss either race!