Ayrton Senna, McLaren, Phoenix, 1991

Verstappen gives Honda its first F1 win in America for 30 years

2021 United States Grand Prix stats and facts

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Max Verstappen scored his eighth victory of 2021 in the United States Grand Prix, extending his lead at the top of the championship table.

Only once in Formula 1 history has a driver won more than eight races in a season and not gone on to clinch the title. That was Lewis Hamilton when he won 10 races in 2016, one more than champion Nico Rosberg.

It’s been clear for some time Hamilton is Verstappen’s only realistic rival in the championship, and that’s nearly the case mathematically as well. Valtteri Bottas is the only driver left who can beat the top two to the title. Sergio Perez may have finally broken into the top four of the championship but he is no longer able to reach the top spot, even if he were to take the five wins, five fastest lap bonus points and single sprint qualifying victory available over the remaining rounds.

With five races remaining, Verstappen could still equal the record for most wins in a season, 13, set by Michael Schumacher in 2004 and Sebastian Vettel in 2013. Both were shorter championships than this year’s 22-race campaign.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit of the Americas, 2021
Red Bull took their 199th and 200th podium finishes
Verstappen’s win gave Honda engines their first Formula 1 victory in America for 30 years. Their last win in the USA came with Ayrton Senna at Phoenix in 1991. F1 didn’t return to America for nine years after that race.

As well as his 18th win, Verstappen recorded his 12th pole position, which puts him level with Gerhard Berger and David Coulthard.

The latter scored Red Bull’s first podium finish at the Monaco Grand Prix in 2006. With both Verstappen and Perez reaching the podium on Sunday, Red Bull recorded their 200th rostrum appearance. Four teams – Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Mercedes – have scored more podiums in F1 history. However in the 15 years it has taken Red Bull to rack up a double century of podiums, Williams have managed just 20.

Having notched up his 100th win earlier this year, Hamilton is well on his way to becoming the first driver to score 200 podiums. Second place on Sunday was his 177th.

This was only Red Bull’s second victory in the United States Grand Prix. Their previous triumph came in 2013 with Sebastian Vettel.

Third place for Perez means he has knocked Lando Norris out of the top four places in the championship, which the McLaren driver has impressively clung to all year until now. Norris started the season brightly, finishing all bar one of the first 10 races in the top five, but in the seven races since he’s only placed in the top six once.

With both Alpine drivers failing to finish, the team posted its first point-less race since the season-opening round in Bahrain. However Yuki Tsunoda scored points for the first time since the Hungarian Grand Prix, finishing ninth.

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Review the year so far in statistics here:

Have you spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the United States Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.

2021 United States Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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31 comments on “Verstappen gives Honda its first F1 win in America for 30 years”

  1. Seems Lando has just a periode which things are not going like he wants. Still in the rain he is very good.

    1. Absolutely and what happened in russia cannot be blamed on his wet weather skill, you see that when there was light rain (where intermediates were the best tyre), yes, he went wide a couple times, but still kept hamilton behind, who’s also no slouch on the wet, it was only when he found himself on a full wet track with slicks that he couldn’t continue, so if conditions had been intermediates till the end of the race he would’ve most likely won.

  2. I may have worked it out wrong but on the old 10-6-4-3-2-1 points system, verstappen would be on 110 points and Hamilton on 101. After 17 rounds this is an incredibly high number for two drivers to have – they’ve been totally dominant, which is special because they’re on different teams. By comparison, in 1995 (which had 17 rounds) Schumacher had 102 points and 9 wins, whereas Hill in second place had 69.

    1. If you ignore Spa half points Max indeed would be on 110 points but Lewis would only be at 95 points (5x wins, 6x 2nd, 1x 3rd, 1x 4th and 1x 5th) not 101. So if we would have the old point system Max would now be 1,5 win ahead vs current ly0.5 win ahead. With Spa half points factored in it would be Max 105 vs Lewis 93.

      In the 2007 season (with the 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 point system) there were even 3 drivers extremely close as the final score after 17 races was Kimi with 110, Lewis with 109 and Alonso with 109.

      That said applying the 10-6-4-3-2-1 point system to 2007 the score drops to Kimi 93, Lewis 87 and Alonso 85 but that still gives the top 3 together more points than now in 2021, 2007 top 3 had 275 points and 2021 has 255 points (Spa full points).

      Also applying the 2007 point system to 2021 scoring (incl half points at Spa) you have Max at 115, Lewis at 112 and Bottas at 72 (=299 or 307 with Spa full points) versus 2007 top 3 having 328 points.

      1. @jelle-van-der-meer ah, good point about 2007. I thought it had more than 17 rounds.

    2. Indeed, since 1995 was a walkover, it’s very impressive to have 2 drivers with this many points.

  3. 3rd consecutive COTA DNF for Alonso as he DNF’d on his two previous visits & 2nd successive for Gasly.

    The 4th-lowest winning time after 2017, 2019, & 2018 respectively.

    Hamilton & Leclerc matched their respective 2019 finishing positions, while Norris matched his equivalent QLF position.

  4. Not only that, we can already award the driver championship trophy to Verstappen, and it would be the first Honda driver championship trophy in more than 2 decades?

    1. It’s waaaaaaay too early to give him wdc; deserved ofc, but this points system heavily rewards not having dnf, not so much wins, a dnf vs 1st costs you 4x more than you get for 1st vs 2nd, considering the 2nd is likely to get fastest lap.

  5. “Only once in Formula 1 history has a driver won more than eight races in a season and not gone on to clinch the title. That was Lewis Hamilton when he won 10 races in 2016, one more than champion Nico Rosberg.”

    Good news for Hamilton – he is unable to match that unwanted record in 2021 as if he gets to 10 wins this season he will be WDC, with 9 wins he could still lose the WDC.
    Sadly for Max he would still be able to match or even break the unwanted record as he can get to 11 wins and still see Lewis win the WDC with a 25 point gap. If Max gets his 12th win he will be WDC with Lewis at minimal 7 points behind.

  6. Perez is the first driver from a North American country to stand on the podium in a North American Grand Prix since Villeneuve in Canada ‘96.

    There was the third race in the row to feature no full safety car, the longest streak all season.

    Red Bull got both drivers on the podium for the second race in a row; the last time they managed this in consecutive races was in 2017. It is also the third time they have achieved that this season, the most for them of any season since 2013.

    1. Wow, north american stat is nice.

  7. Kinda worried about Norris, specifically after the win that was his that got away. You see other drivers get into podium or winning contention and lose it either due to a gamble or a mistake and never really reclaim that kind of ability – it’s like they become bruised by the loss. He’s dominated his highly rated team-mate throughout the entire year, held 3rd in the championship on merit for a long time, got taken out in Hungary and watched Ocon take a win, could have taken a podium or even a win in Spa was it not for the crash and then saw Ricciardo take a victory in Monza. Then with Russia, took pole on merit and then made the wrong call to stay out in the race – if it had worked he’d have been a hero but it swung the other way. He’s been arguably out of sorts compared to the rest of the year since those setbacks.

    You see how winning Monza elevated Gasly, I wonder if failing to win Russia has demoralised Norris. I still think he’s been arguably one of the best drivers this season but I do wonder if that loss is going to cause him trouble in the future.

    1. @rocketpanda I hope and expect he is able to get past setbacks and take them as learning experiences as he’s got so much going for him. So much to look forward to for his career. It is his job as well as his team’s to rise above the downs and keep a healthy perspective and I think he and they will be just fine.

    2. Jose Lopes da Silva
      26th October 2021, 14:53

      It’s all about mental strenght. Norris has been coping with it but consciously fighting back, and I believe that’s the best way to get it straight.

    3. Good point @rocketpanda. There could definitely be something to this, especially for Lando who has admitted he is a sensitive fellow

  8. Max extended his 1st or 2nd result run in races without damage to 15 races.
    Starting at Bahrain 2020 he finished 1st or 2nd in all races where he didn’t have damage.

    Damage races were:
    Sakhir 2020: Casualty from lap 1 crash between Leclerc and Perez
    Baku 2021: Tire exploded while leading the race
    Silverstone 2021: Hit by Lewis while fighting with him for the lead on lap 1
    Hungary 2021: Hit as result of bowling ball Bottas, managed to continue with damage to finish 9th
    Monza 2021: Collided with Lewis in turn 2 after pitstops

    1. That’s really a great performance, considering 2020 was a dominant merc season.

  9. The title here is incorrect. Honda won in Brazil in 2019. So, it is not the first win in America since it came back in 2015.

    1. @Ankita Good catch since South America equally forms ‘America’ as a whole.

      1. Well if you’re going to take that kind of license then what about Canada? Mexico? Pretty are the title intends America to mean USA as per it’s context.

        1. Lol pretty ‘sure’…

        2. Agreed.
          Also, Gerhard Berger won the 1992 Canadian GP for McLaren-Honda.

    2. Jose Lopes da Silva
      26th October 2021, 14:54

      The hands that built [the United States of] America is a song by U2.

  10. Useless observation: The completely dry US GP was 3 minutes longer than the last race, the wet Turkey GP.

    1. That is interesting. I would have thought both tracks to have similar average speed. So wet race to be faster than dry race is quite something (both unaffected by safety cars).

      Speaks volumes of the grip that Turkey surface has.

  11. Max’s 18th win – he still has a chance to beat Vettel’s record of 21 wins in the year an F1 driver turns 24, by winning 4 of the next 5 races.

    By comparison, Hamilton achieved 11 wins in the year he turned 24 and Schumacher… just 2 wins!

    1. Yes, verstappen is very advantaged in a record like this cause he started f1 at just 17, 6 years younger than when schumacher started (don’t know about the months though)!

  12. The Haas drivers started 16th and 17th (due to penalties for 3 other drivers) and finished in those positions (due to 3 DNFs).

    Mercedes now have the longest uninterrupted run of points-scoring finishes in races – their last no-score was Azerbaijan (in fact they have had at least 1 in every race since). Red Bull have, however, scored in every weekend (including Sprint Qualifying) this season.

    In his 6 visits to Austin, Sainz has always finished 6th, 7th or 8th.

    Thanks to the official F1 site for some of these.

  13. From Motorsport website

    It seems the 2021 US race has a surprising high amount of overlaps with the 2012 edition.
    * Red Bull 1-3 on the grid
    * Hamilton second on the grid
    * A Spanish speaking driver finishes 3rd (Fernando Alonso in 2012, Sergio Perez in 2021)
    * A Ferrari driver finishes 4th (Felipe Massa in 2012, Charles Leclerc in 2021)
    * A McLaren driver finishes 5th (Jenson Button in 2012, Daniel Ricciardo in 2021)
    * A Finnish driver finishes P6 (Kimi Raikkonen in 2012, Valtteri Bottas in 2021)
    * A Schumacher finishes P16 (Michael Schumacher in 2012, Mick Schumacher in 2021)
    * A Russian driver finishes P17 (Vitaly Petrov in 2012, Nikita Mazepin in 2021)
    * A French driver retires on lap 14 with suspension problems (Jean-Eric Vergne in 2012, Esteban Ocon in 2021)

  14. I’m really sad they were robbed of the chance to do it at home this year. They had such a good shot at it too.

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