With three Grands Prix remaining in 2022, will Max Verstappen set a new record for wins in a Formula 1 season? If so, he will join an elite band of men who’ve set the record in the past.
After sealing his second Drivers’ Championship in Japan, Max Verstappen will be looking to become the record-holder of the most wins in an F1 season, having now equalled the record after winning the American Grand Prix. The longer the record has been held and the longer seasons are, winning the most races in a season is a more coveted record than it once was.
Nigel Mansell – 1992
Almost a third of Nigel Mansell’s 31 Grand Prix victories came in his title-winning season of 1992. Driving the all-conquering Williams FW14B, a car still regarded as one of the most advanced technologically, Mansell was often in a class of one. Trouncing all opposition with nine wins out of sixteen. He often set qualifying times between one to two seconds faster than his nearest competitor. Mansell’s brilliant season was even more extraordinary after it was revealed that he had spent all of it driving with a broken foot. An injury suffered in a crash in the final round of the previous season.
Michael Schumacher – 2002, 2004
In 1995, driving for Benetton-Renault, Michael Schumacher equalled Mansell’s record on his way to a second title. Now driving for Ferrari, Schumacher became a five-time Champion in 2002, equalling the then-record of most Championships of the Argentine great, Juan Manuel Fangio. With the title secured as early as July, Schumacher broke the 10-year Mansell record at Spa-Francorchamps and followed this with an 11th win in Japan.
In 2004, Schumacher was even more dominant, breaking his own record with 13 victories, the historic 12th coming in front of his adoring home fans in Hockenheim. Such was the dominance of the Ferrari team that year, Schumacher’s ninth win of the season at the French Grand Prix was earned with a mightily-impressive four-stop-strategy.
Sebastian Vettel – 2013
After becoming the youngest-ever World Champion in 2010, Sebastian Vettel went on a mesmerising streak of success, retaining the title in the following three years. His fourth and final title was sewn up at the Indian Grand Prix. He would go on to win the remaining three rounds, equalling his hero Schumacher’s 2004 win tally.
Max Verstappen – 2022?
After winning his first Championship amidst controversy last season, Max Verstappen has grown from strength to strength with an emphatic defence of his crown. He has fended off an early-season challenge from Charles Leclerc and looked unstoppable. Some of the Dutchman’s victories have been some of the best of his career, most notably in Hungary and Belgium, taking the chequered flag after starting 10th and 14th (after an engine change) respectively. Verstappen has three chances – Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi – to set another impressive milestone at the tender age of just 25.