[Seven F1 records Verstappen and Red Bull could break in 2023
1. Most consecutive F1 wins
Arguably the most challenging record on this list, as one slip-up on track or in the pits can reset the counter to zero. Throughout F1’s history, only a select few have secured more than five consecutive victories – Alberto Ascari, Michael Schumacher (twice), Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg and now Verstappen. Evidently, the Germans excelled in this regard, with Vettel marking the summit with nine consecutive race wins in 2013.
With eight back-to-back wins this season, Verstappen not only threatens to rewrite the record but also take it to unprecedented heights.
What helps his case is the record-equalling feat could unfold before his home crowd at the Dutch GP at Zandvoort, a circuit only he has conquered since its return to the calendar in 2021. The Italian GP at Monza could then be the venue where the baton passes from Vettel to Verstappen.
2. Most F1 wins in one season
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19
Photo by: Erik Junius
Last year, Verstappen eclipsed the previous benchmark of 13 race victories in a single year, set by Michael Schumacher (2004) and Sebastian Vettel (2013), establishing a new high of 15 wins in a season. Less than a year on, it’s poised for a potential renewal.
Verstappen has already amassed 10 wins in 2023 and given the rich vein of form he’s currently in, it would seem unlikely for him to not go past the record. All he needs is six more wins from the pending 10 races, and the record could be his own as early as the United States GP.
As a team, Red Bull hasn’t put a foot wrong thus far, emerging victorious in each of the opening 12 rounds. With that, the possibility does run high that they could win every single race this year. Even the occasional setback – like Brazil last year- won’t hurt their chances of beating Mercedes’ record of 19 victories set in 2016. The Milton Keynes-based team needs eight wins in the remaining 10 races to claim this one.
3. Most points in an F1 season
Verstappen currently stands at an impressive 314 points, having already gone past the championship-winning totals of Vettel from 2010 (256 points) and 2012 (281 points) in just half of this season – but with the added point push of three sprint race events and bonus point for fastest lap in grands prix.
His performance translates to an average of 26.16 points per event this year (including sprint races and bonus points). At this rate and considering the inclusion of three more sprint races still to come in Qatar, Austin and Sao Paulo, Verstappen’s season-end tally has the potential to soar well beyond the 570-point mark, shattering the record of 454 points he set just last year.
The Dutchman’s scoring rate alone will give Red Bull (currently at 503 points) a good chance of breaking the team record of 765 points set by Mercedes in 2016. Additionally, with seven podiums this year, Sergio Perez’s contributions cannot be overlooked. Every point he adds will only bring them closer to that mammoth target.
4. Biggest F1 championship-winning margin
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing
Photo by: Red Bull Racing
Another record that Vettel clings on to proudly, but perhaps for not much longer. The German extended his own record from 2011 (122 points) to an impressive 155 points over Fernando Alonso in his final title-winning year in 2013.
Verstappen ventured dangerously close to beating this in 2022 but fell short, eventually concluding the season with a lead of 146 points over Charles Leclerc. However, 2023 presents another opportunity as Verstappen’s lead over Perez (currently at 125 points) hasn’t dipped since the Azerbaijan GP in April. Hence, this record is very likely to see a refresh this year.
At present, Red Bull enjoys a comfortable margin of 256 points over Mercedes and looks highly probable to beat Mercedes’ record gap of 297 set in 2016. However, Mercedes and McLaren’s recent upswing in form could make Red Bull’s journey to the top a slightly difficult one.
5. F1 wins from most different grid slots
In his first seven years in F1, Verstappen had won only from the first four grid slots. However, starting in 2022, he has expanded his repertoire by winning from nine different starting positions. His most recent triumph came from sixth at the Belgian GP, which equalled the overall record held by Fernando Alonso. Remarkably, there remain only two grid slots within the top 10 where Verstappen hasn’t won from yet – fifth and eight.
At last year’s Italian GP, nearly half of the grid opted to introduce new engine components and subsequently incurred grid penalties, solely because Monza offered higher overtaking opportunities compared to the later races. This scenario could materialise again this year, giving Verstappen a real chance to surpass Alonso’s record.
6. Highest percentage of F1 laps led in a season
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19
Photo by: Michael Potts / Motorsport Images
Having already led 567 laps this year, Verstappen looks a strong contender to break Vettel’s record of 739 laps at the front, potentially as early as Singapore. The staggering fact, however, is he could also become the first driver to lead a 1000 laps in a season if he maintains his current laps-led rate of 78%.
Red Bull has asserted its dominance quite strongly by leading over 95% of all laps this season. In contrast, teams like Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, and Aston Martin have collectively managed just 30 laps at the front. With a further 10 races to go, Red Bull could potentially cross Mercedes’ record tally of 1055 laps in the lead – set in 2016 – if they lead a further 362 laps.
However, to break the all-time percentage record of leading 97% of race laps – set by the legendary duo of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost for McLaren in 1988 – Red Bull needs to lead at least 596 of the scheduled 602 laps left in 2023. This would essentially leave just six laps for the others to lead through the rest of the year. It does seem tough to overcome, but weirder things have happened in F1.
7. Most consecutive F1 podium finishes
One that has remained untouched for over two decades. Michael Schumacher’s true mastery came to light as he graced the podium in every race of 2002, and the two preceding races, creating an impressive streak of 19 consecutive podium finishes.
Since Abu Dhabi last year, Verstappen has stood on the podium in 13 straight races and only Alonso (15), Lewis Hamilton (16) and Schumacher (19) are ahead of him. If the reigning champion keeps his streak alive, he has the chance to rewrite history at Perez’s home race in Mexico later this year.
Sundaram Ramaswami, also referred to as the F1 StatsGuru, is an F1 statistician and social media content creator.