Max Verstappen can keep racing with the number one on his car next season having clinched the world championship for the second year running at Suzuka. At the following race in Austin he claimed win number 33, matching the race number he used for every other F1 season until he became champion.Fernando Alonso into sixth place in the list of most successful drivers by wins.
It was also his 13th win of the season which means he equalled the record for most wins in a seat which Michael Schumacher set in 2004 and Sebastian Vettel equalled in 2013. With three races left, and having won seven of the last eight rounds, there is a high chance Verstappen will go on to break that record.
The wins scored by the three multiple champions make for an interesting comparison. Verstappen’s Red Bull predecessor Vettel scored all of his 13 wins from the front row in 2013 over a 19-round season – the same number of races held so far this year. Schumacher, nine years earlier, needed only 18 races to win 13 times, and only two of those came off the front row.
Verstappen, however, took six of his wins from off the front row and only four from pole position. His average starting position over the 13 wins is 3.92 to Schumacher’s 1.85 and Vettel’s 1.38.
|Michael Schumacher, 2004||Sebastian Vettel, 2013||Max Verstappen, 2022|
|1||Australia||Albert Park||1||Malaysia||Sepang||1||Saudi Arabia||Jeddah Corniche Circuit||4|
|2||Malaysia||Sepang||1||Bahrain||Bahrain IC.||2||Emilia Romagna||Imola||1|
|3||Bahrain||Bahrain IC.||1||Canada||Montreal||1||Miami||Miami International Autodrome||3|
|4||San Marino||Imola||2||Germany||Nurburgring||2||Spain||Circuit de Catalunya||2|
|5||Spain||Circuit de Catalunya||1||Belgium||Spa-Francorchamps||2||Azerbaijan||Baku City Circuit||3|
|10||Great Britain||Silverstone||4||India||Buddh IC.||1||Netherlands||Zandvoort||1|
|11||Germany||Hockenheimring||1||Abu Dhabi||Yas Marina||2||Italy||Monza||7|
|12||Hungary||Hungaroring||1||USA||Circuit of the Americas||1||Japan||Suzuka||1|
|13||Japan||Suzuka||1||Brazil||Interlagos||1||USA||Circuit of the Americas||2|
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Verstappen’s win ensured Red Bull took their fifth constructors’ championship title, and first since 2013. It also meant Red Bull’s power unit operation, which runs rebadged Hondas, won the championship at their first attempt. The last engine manufacturer to win the championship in their first season was Repco in 1966.
Red Bull scored their eighth consecutive victory. They can equal their best at the next race – Vettel scored nine in a row for them at the end of 2013.
Carlos Sainz Jnr gave Ferrari their first ever pole position at the Circuit of the Americas. It was the first time Ferrari has had pole position for the United States Grand Prix since Schumacher did so at Indianapolis in 2006. However it was Ferrari’s second pole position in the USA this year. Charles Leclerc took pole for the Miami Grand Prix, but there as in Austin victory went to Verstappen.
This was the third pole position of Sainz’s career. He now has as many as Jose Froilan Gonzalez, Tony Brooks, Dan Gurney, Jean-Pierre Jarier, Jody Scheckter, Elio de Angelis and Teo Fabi and Daniel Ricciardo. It didn’t do him much good in the race, however, as he was taken out at the first corner. Not only was that his sixth retirement of the year, it’s the second time this year he’s only completed a single racing lap over two consecutive events.
The driver who ended Sainz’s race, George Russell, took the fastest lap by being the only driver to use a set of soft tyres, over the final two laps. That was the third of his career which gives him as many as Sainz, plus Pierre Gasly and former drivers Brooks, Jarier, Bill Vukovich, Bruce McLaren, Richie Ginther, Jochen Rindt, Chris Amon and Keke Rosberg.
After Fernando Alonso became the seventh different driver to officially lead a race this year at Suzuka, Sebastian Vettel became the eighth in Austin. It was the first time he’s lead a race since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix last year.
Alonso’s post-race penalty – which is under protest – promoted Vettel to seventh place. He passed Kevin Magnussen on the final lap, who nonetheless gave the team only their second points finish in their home race. The first came courtesy of Romain Grosjean in 2016.
Have you spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the United States Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.
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