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F1: Who’s Next on Max Verstappen’s Hit List?

F1 Predictions - ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 20: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing poses in his room following the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 20, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202211202924 // Usage for editorial use only //

Having joined Ayrton Senna as a 41-time Formula 1 race winner in Montreal, who’s the next driver for Max Verstappen to eclipse?

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen has so far defied all the odds since breaking into Formula 1 at just 17 years old, with the Dutchman seemingly breaking record after record.

He was at it again last weekend at the Canadian Grand Prix, where he claimed his 41st career victory at the pinnacle of motorsport. Verstappen embraced the momentous win, as it saw him draw level with the late three-time World Champion Ayrton Senna.

Verstappen joined the legendary Brazilian in fifth on the all-time F1 winners list, meaning he could demote Senna to sixth with victory next weekend at the Austrian Grand Prix. Given that he’s won four races in a row and six in total this season, Verstappen is the clear favourite to claim a 42nd career victory at Oracle Red Bull Racing’s home race.

To eclipse Senna’s record at Red Bull’s home race would be very special, especially as the Red Bull Ring is usually taken over by a sea of orange.

What Did Verstappen Say About It?

Verstappen isn’t usually a driver to get emotional, and to be completely honest last weekend at the Circuit de Gilles-Villeneuve was no different!

The 25-year-old has openly admitted that he’s not a fan of comparing “different generations” of F1 drivers; however, he did reveal that matching Senna was “incredible”.

He’s hoping his 41st win isn’t going to be his last through, with him not planning on “stopping here”, saying, as quoted by PlanetF1.com:

“I hate to compare different generations but, from my side, the only thing I can say is that when I was a little kid driving in go-karts, I was dreaming about being a Formula 1 driver, and I would’ve never imagined to win 41 grands prix.”

“So, of course, to tie with Ayrton is something incredible. I’m proud of that, but of course, I hope it’s not stopping here. I hope that we can keep on winning more races.”

Who’s Next On The List?

With Verstappen in joint-fifth on the all-time winners list, next on his hit list is four-time World Champion Alain Prost.

The four-time World Champion is fourth on the list on 51 wins, a number the Red Bull driver could match at the United States Grand Prix later in the year. To do that, he needs to go another ten races unbeaten, something which certainly isn’t impossible based on his current form.

Staggeringly, Verstappen could end 2023 third on the all-time winners list, given that four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel only claimed two wins more than Prost. Verstappen could match the German as a 53-time winner at the Brazilian Grand Prix but would need to win the next 12 races to do so.

Regardless of how many more wins he claims this season, it’s going to take him several years if he wants to catch Michael Schumacher and rival Lewis Hamilton.

Could Verstappen eclipse Hamilton?

Technically, yes. Seven-time World Champion Hamilton is, of course, top of the all-time winners list.

Since securing victory for the first time at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix, the Mercedes driver has gone on to claim 103 wins to-date, a number which could further increase given that he’s still potentially a couple of years away from retiring.

Given how dominant Red Bull are in the current era of F1, Verstappen is likely going to win an incredible number of races, at least until the new power unit regulations arrive in 2026. Should Red Bull’s superiority carry over into the new regs, then Verstappen will likely come unbelievably close to eclipsing Hamilton’s 103 wins.

Many have labelled it as an impossible feat; however, with him still being just 25, anything is possible. Just how soon Verstappen could beat Hamilton’s record is difficult to predict, due to it being unknown how many races will feature in the coming seasons.

To make a rough estimate, should the forthcoming seasons consist of 24 races (the current plan for 2024), then Verstappen could reach 103 wins at the 2025 season finale. However, in order to do so, he’d need to win every race from next weekend’s Austrian GP, to the 2025 finale.

Whether he does eventually break it or not, Hamilton is seemingly rooting for him. The current record-holder admitted that “records are there to be broken” and that the Red Bull star certainly has the potential to break his record, saying:

“He’s got a very long career ahead of him so absolutely. Ultimately, records are there to be broken. And he’s got an amazing team.

“We’ve got to work harder to try and continue to extend it. I hope we get to have some… at least within the last period of time in my career, I hope we get to have some more close racing.”

 

 

 

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