Whisper it: But the 2023 Formula One season has at least for casual fans, been a bit of a disappointment. Now, that’s not to say that the quality of individual races and driver performances haven’t been up to scratch, they have but from the perspective of a thrilling fight for the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships, we know that it is a foregone conclusion. Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pulled so far away in their respective Championships that we might as well give them the titles now, even though we haven’t passed the halfway point.
Of course, the beauty of Formula One is that each Grand Prix is an event in itself. Sure, drivers will all want to win the championship, but each race is a mini-championship in itself. The F1 odds might say Verstappen is almost guaranteed to win the title, but there are a dozen or so races left for fans to enjoy. And each will throw up its own narratives and subplots. Still, we can’t get away from Verstappen’s dominance this season, and we wondered about what records he could break as he proceeds to the title. Please note that stats are taken before the British Grand Prix
Most wins in a Season
It’s arguably overlooked just how good Verstappen was last season when winning no fewer than 15 Grand Prix races. He shattered the record (13) previously held by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel. The good news for Verstappen fans is that he is on course to break that again, with his current win rate of 75% (six wins from eight races) putting him on course for 16 or 17 Grand Prix victories.
Highest Percentage of Wins in a Season
You might think that Vettel breaking his record would automatically mean he has the highest win percentage in a season, but that’s not necessarily going to be the case. He’d need to exceed 16 wins and reach 17 (77%) to surpass Alberto Ascari, who won six of eight races in the 1952 season.
Most Consecutive Wins in the Season
This, in our view, is the most difficult for Verstappen to surpass. Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine consecutive Grand Prix wins in a season might just be good enough to last forever. Vertsappen’s current streak of five (pre-Silverstone) does put him on the right trajectory though.
Total Pole Positions
It’s going to take Verstappen many years to get anywhere near Lewis Hamilton’s record of 106 pole positions, but he is guaranteed to see himself move up the charts by the end of the season. Verstappen’s record of 26 should see him move up ahead of Alain Prost and Jim Clark (33) by the season’s end. But he will need a couple more seasons to catch Schumacher (68), Ayrton Senna (65) or Vettel (57). Nonetheless, it really does put into perspective the incredible achievement of Hamilton.
Most Pole Positions in a season
Simple math here: Verstappen has six pole positions so far this season, so he will need to get at least nine more to equal the record set by Vettel in 2011. It’s doable, but it is going to be tight.
Most consecutive podium finishes
This one is ongoing pre-Silverstone, as Verstappen is currently on a streak of 10 consecutive podium finishes going back into last season. He’ll need ten more to beat Michael Schumacher’s record of 19 achieved across 2001-2002. Again, it’s doable but tough. He will need to be almost perfect between now and the end of the season.
Most points in a season
We will finish with another that Verstappen might be earnestly thinking about breaking – his own record tally of 454 points from last season. His current tally of 229 points puts him on a course to break that. And on the balance of probabilities, he should do it. It would cap off a remarkable season for a driver who seems destined to retain the World Championship.