Will Max Verstappen Overtake Fernando Alonso in All-Time F1 Wins This Season?

Max Verstappen Fernando Alonso F1

Verstappen is inching closer to Alonso’s win total, can he continue his hot streak and pass the two-time champion by the end of the year?

There is no doubt that Max Verstappen has been the class of the Formula One field in 2022. His eight first-half wins have him 80 points ahead of rival Charles Leclerc and put him as the clear championship favorite. As he closes in on a second-straight championship, however, he is also closing in on a fellow champion on the all-time F1 wins list.

Verstappen currently sits at 8th on the list with 28 all-time wins, just four behind Fernando Alonso, who is 6th all-time with 32. Before looking ahead though, let’s look at how Max got here.

Verstappen’s climb from Rookie to Champion

The reigning champion’s potential was recognized by those in the paddock right from his debut in 2015 at just 17 years old. But he couldn’t translate it into many wins early on as Red Bull struggled to compete with Mercedes’ dominance in the turbo-hybrid era. Max logged just 10 wins in his first six years in F1. But since Red Bull gave him a championship-caliber car in 2021, he has dominated, winning 18 races in the last year and a half, and inching closer toward back-to-back championships.

Now with the right car, experience, and raw talent, Max seems untouchable some weekends and a likely podium-sitter on even his worst ones. With nine races remaining in 2022, he needs four wins to tie Alonso and five to overtake him. Currently, not many would scoff at the notion of him winning all nine remaining races like former Red Bull superstar Sebastian Vettel in 2013, but there will inevitably be some adversity somewhere. So let’s take a look at where Max is most likely to move up the list this season.

Most Likely Wins

Zandvoort

  • Max’s home race, and one that he’ll push hard to win. His win at last year’s Dutch Grand Prix was smooth sailing, and the entire weekend was a party for the Dutch Army. I’ll pencil him in for another strong performance amidst the orange smoke this year.

Mexico City

  • Verstappen is a three-time winner in Mexico City including last year’s race. It’s one of his strongest tracks and the Honda (now Red Bull Powertrains) engine always excels at high altitudes. Maybe he throws his teammate Sergio Perez a bone if the championship is wrapped up by then, but there’s no doubt Max will be amongst the favorites when F1 rolls into Mexico.

Abu Dhabi

  • Outside of his first year with Toro Rosso, Max has finished in the top five in every trip to Yas Marina, including four-straight podiums and two-straight wins. It’s another one of his strongest circuits and though it might not be as intense of a weekend as last year, I expect Verstappen to win to wrap up a strong season.

Brazil

  • One of the tracks that Verstappen wasn’t able to conquer last year, but he has three straight podiums in Interlagos including a win in 2019. It’s another high-altitude circuit and had it not been for Lewis Hamilton pulling out a legendary weekend last year Max could be going for three-straight victories here. I expect he’ll have another solid performance this year.

Wouldn’t Be Surprised

Spa-Francorchamps

  • Max performed well here in the past, but has yet to win an actual “race” at Spa, capturing his only win in last year’s two-lap parade. Don’t count out Verstappen to win this weekend, but it’s less of a guarantee than the others, especially with Ferrari looking to make a statement to begin the second half.

United States

  • Max put on a show last year in Austin holding off Lewis Hamilton in the final laps, dethroning Mercedes on one of their strongest tracks. He’s been solid in Austin throughout his career, but Ferrari and Mercedes may be closer here than at other circuits.

Japan

  • Verstappen hasn’t won at Suzuka, but he logged three-straight podiums before a mechanical failure in 2019. This will be his first shot at Suzuka in a championship-caliber car, so the potential is there, but the history doesn’t back it up.

An Uphill Battle

Monza

  • Max has never run well at Monza, with his highest finish being fifth. He retired from the last two races and I don’t trust the track record enough to have him as a true contender for the Italian Grand Prix

Singapore

  • Another track Verstappen has yet to win at, it may be another struggle in 2022. The slow corners and lack of long straights will likely favor Ferrari and may prove tough for Verstappen as he looks to win for the first time in Marina Bay.

The Verdict

So there we have it, Max’s chances at wins for the remaining F1 races. He has a very strong chance at passing Alonso this year given his current form, and he may have his sights set on some legends higher on the list very soon. It should be said that even though some races rank higher than others, Max and Red Bull are in rare form at the moment, so he shouldn’t be discounted at any circuit. Now it’s time to see if Max can continue to cement his legacy and climb further up the all-time wins list in 2022.

Prediction: Max Verstappen picks up four wins from the final nine rounds this season to tie Fernando Alonso heading into 2023.

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Featured Image Credit: Dan Mullan / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool