The only F1 record Verstappen can’t beat in 2022
With 14 Formula 1 Grand Prix victories and counting for the 2022 season, Max Verstappen is in uncharted territory.
His victory at the Mexican Grand Prix eclipsed the total of 13 victories – the record jointly held by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel – as the Red Bull driver continued to impose his dominance on the campaign.
He can potentially claim the biggest margin between P1 and P2 in the Drivers’ Championship, with his gap to Sergio Perez currently standing at 136 points.
The all-time record is 155 points held by Vettel in his 2013 campaign against Fernando Alonso, which means Verstappen must beat Perez by 20 points in the last two race weekends.
However, while that record is certainly achievable, there’s one that Verstappen won’t be able to claim – no matter what he does.
The record Verstappen can’t beat
With the expansion of the F1 calendar in recent years, the total number of race wins in a season has become an easier target.
Mick Schumacher even said after Mexico that he expected his father’s record to be broken, given that there are more races these days than in Michael’s time.
With this in mind, the ‘total winning percentage in a season’ metric has become more useful in measuring a driver’s success.
However, despite winning 14 of 20 races in 2022, and potentially even 16 of 22, Verstappen will fail to break a record that has stood since 1952 – the third year of the World Championship – as shown in the table below.
As it stands, with 14 wins out of 20 races, Verstappen has a 70% win rate.
If he takes wins in Brazil and Abu Dhabi for a 16 out of 22 score, that will jump to 72.72% – and put him second on the list behind Alberto Ascari’s record of 75% from 1952.
However, Ascari’s score should remain unbeatable; to beat his tally, Verstappen would have needed 17 season wins.
Ascari’s record is also unique as he also competed in the Indy 500 that year.
In the first 10 seasons of the World Championship, F1 drivers didn’t bother to go to Indiana, but in 1952 Ascari did with Ferrari.
As a result, he missed the season opener in May 1952 in Switzerland, before finishing 31st in the 500 himself.
Upon his return to the F1 scene, he would go unbeaten for the remainder of the season, winning all six Belgian Grand Prix races.
With the 1953 ‘500 aside, Ascari would win every race from Belgium 1952 to Belgium 1953, with the race ending in France 1953 when Mike Hawthorn took the first World Championship win for a British rider with Ascari only fourth.