Red Bull’s RB18 is closing on a record set by one of F1’s greatest cars

2022 Mexican Grand Prix stats and facts

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The outcome of the Mexican Grand Prix was all about the toppling of the 18-year-old record for most wins scored in a single season.

Max Verstappen took his 14th win of the year in Mexico. Former record holders Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel didn’t have the luxury of 20 races to hit the milestone (never mind two more to push it yet higher), but it’s generally been the case that F1’s ever-growing calendar has enabled this record to grow and grow.

The Red Bull driver also broke the record for most points scored in a world championship season. Again, the fact the calendar keeps getting longer has made this more achievable, as have changes in F1’s points systems over the years. He’s now on 419, six more than the former record set by Lewis Hamilton three years ago, with 60 available over the remaining grands prix plus Brazil’s sprint race.

Red Bull equalled their best run with ninth win in a row
Verstappen’s win gave Red Bull their ninth consecutive victory, which equals their best ever winning run. They last scored nine in a row over the final races of 2013, all of which were victories for Vettel. However Verstappen’s winning run this year was interrupted after five races by team mate Sergio Perez winning the Singapore Grand Prix.

The Mexican GP has now been won by Verstappen four times in the past five years. Besides the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, the only other venue where Verstappen has taken four victories is the Red Bull Ring.

As the only Dutch driver ever to have won a race, Verstappen has single-handedly moved the Netherlands (34 wins) ahead of the United States and Spain (33 each) in terms of total victories, and into F1’s top 10 most successful nations in terms of wins.

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If Red Bull win the final two races of the year they will equal the all-time record for most consecutive wins by the same team. That was set by one of Formula 1’s greatest cars, the McLaren-Honda MP4/4. Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost won 11 consecutive races in the car at the beginning of the 1988 season.

George Russell, Mercedes, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2022
Russell took another fastest lap
The MP4/4 won all but one of the 16 races held that year. Verstappen’s victory on Sunday was the 16th for the RB18.

Verstappen also took his sixth pole position of the year and the 19th of his career last weekend. It was his first in Mexico but Red Bull’s second, Daniel Ricciardo having taken his most recent pole position for them at this venue in 2018.

The fastest lap was taken by George Russell, the fourth of his career, putting him on a par with Lando Norris, as well as Jo Siffert, Jean-Pierre Beltoise, Patrick Depailler and Jean Alesi. This was the third time in the last four races Russell has set the fastest lap, and the fifth of the season for Mercedes, who remain yet to win a race.

For the fifth time in the last seven races, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez swapped places in their battle over second place in the championship. Both drivers have made it clear they’re not especially excited about which of them claims the runner-up spot, but it is of interest to Red Bull, as they’ve never previously had both their drivers occupy the top two places in the championship at the end of the year.

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

2022 Mexican Grand Prix

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Author information

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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76 comments on “Red Bull’s RB18 is closing on a record set by one of F1’s greatest cars”

  1. Webber never came second? That’s an interesting one

    1. He was 3rd in 2010 and 2011, 6th in 2012, and 3rd in 2013.

      1. With Vettels title in 2012 I seriously wonder how anyone can not count him as a proper all time great. That’s a man that definitely doesn’t get the credit he’s worth.

        1. Seb was near-imbatible in those blown-diffuser RBRs and no one can take that away from him. Otherwise he has done very little that is remarkable (his maiden Monza win was remarkable, ok) and almost all his wins were supremely boring, pole position followed by being the first at T1 and coasting from there. Properly racing, that is, fighting for position, Seb was always dirt-poor. The fact that once the blown diffuser era was over, Dan Ricciardo made mincemeat of him says all you need to know. Dan is highly appreciated as a great guy but certainly he is no GOAT material (in fact Dan was greatly overestimated by the effortless way in which he owned a 4-time WDC, but truth be told, without the blown diffuser it took very little merit to own Seb). Dan has had a few bright days but overall is a pretty average driver. And still he is much, much better than Seb, provided Seb is not driving a blown-diffuser RBR.

          1. Your assertions rely on the assumption that every driver performs at the same level in every year of their careers. I think this is highly unlikely. We know there is a fine line on which ultimate performance is found, a level of harmony between driver, car and team that is rarely achieved. To expect this to happen over multiple seasons with different regulations or teams is wild. Vettel’s title seasons were all pretty special, 2011 and the latter part of 2013 some of the best the sport has seen. Just because he went off the boil in 2014 (and because Alonso was probably a more deserving champion in 2012) doesn’t detract from his golden achievements.

        2. To be fair… Alonso was a league or two above Vettel in 2012. To almost take a WDC in the 3rd or 4th fastest car on the grid is unheard of in F1. So, I don’t know how Vettel could cement himself as an all time great after that season. Alonso or Hamilton would have won that season with at least 4 races to spare, not scrape a 2 point lucky win again.

    2. José Lopes da Silva
      2nd November 2022, 20:04

      It’s not only you. Many people tend to forget that, assuming that Red Bull was just always the best car of the field by a Williams FW14esque margin. And I never understood why.

      Check how many 1-2 did Red Bull get. How many times was Webber up there next to Vettel in those years…

      1. Because Webber had awful starts more often than not, and that’s what wrecked his races, not the car.

        And he was also definitely not that good. Want an example? Valencia 2010. Best car of the field, starting second, nearly half a second ahead of the rest of the field, the guy had a terrible start and dropped to NINTH, Red Bull called him early for tyres to take him out of the traffic and make ground running alone and while trying do overtake a Lotus/Caterham, had that nasty accident. All by his own fault, while Vettel won the race confortably.

        How can you blame the car? Webber had numerous races like this. And remember : him touching the wall and having a puncture was what gave Vettel his first title.

        1. Webber definitely wasn’t a GOAT, but he was no slouch. Cherry-picking a few bad races can be done for any driver.

          Maybe go back and watch the 2009 German Grand Prix.

          1. ??? Very good race, indeed!
            Caused a collision right at the start and got a penalty.

            Ended up winning because Brawn had a terrible day and Red Bull was beginning to take off. There was literally no opposition.

            I’m not cherry picking mate, but watching Webber driving those cars was way more annoying than what Perez is doing.

      2. randomnumber (@)
        3rd November 2022, 4:38

        It’s because Vettel is German, so he’s been the subject of a relentless smear campaign by English media and fans for his entire career. It would be much worse if he had beaten Hamilton in 2017 or 2018, and he would no doubt be labelled a dirty cheat

        1. Davethechicken
          3rd November 2022, 8:22

          Nonsense. Vettel gets very positive press indeed in the UK.

  2. It’s an impressive record, but at the same time, somehow I don’t feel the RB18 is as dominant a car as the Mercedes circa 2014-2016, or Ferrari 2002, or the McLarens from 89-90.

    The number of pole positions Ferrari have is already an interesting stat. Also the number of races where Ferrari had the fastest car but simply failed to execute, or got let down by reliability… Leclerc should have comfortably won Monaco, Spain, Baku, and the French GP. 75 of those available points resulted in 0 points scored in Monaco he missed out on 13 points by finishing 4th. That’s 88 points, and that’s not considering the points Max wouldn’t have scored since he won almost all of those races.

    Anyway, Ferrari’s and Leclerc’s few costly mistakes really overstate the dominance of the RB18. Yes, they’ve had some truly dominant performances like Spa. But for the most part it’s a car that has failed to score most pole positions, and that picked up at least 4 wins from DNFs or mistakes by Ferrari.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      2nd November 2022, 17:50

      If it were only about qualifying.

      Look at the GPs and you will see Ferrari were only truly dominant in Australia, IMO.

      1. how many times in F1 history, the podium is the same in consecutive years?

    2. Most people would agree that Ferrari dominated in 2002, but Williams got something like seven pole positions that season. They only won once, though – a similar story to Ferrari’s this year, where they have had the pace on Saturdays but not on Sundays.

      1. Williams locked the front row in Nurburgring 2002. And Ferrari won that race, Barrichello ahead, with a 40-something second gap.

        Given that Schumacher didn’t attack him that day, Austria was still very fresh, and that he spun-off mid race and still finish right behind Rubens, i believe he could have won that race by more than a minute in free air.

        The pole position argument is borderline worthless when come race day the difference is so big. The same goes for Ferrari’s current car.

      2. Williams achieved those poles in an era where rules dictated you qualify on the same fuel load you intended to start the race with. I dare say if the qualifying rules where the same as in 88, Ferrari would’ve probably taken out pole in every race.

        1. No, this rule began in 2003.
          2002 was still the classic 12 laps, or 4 timed laps, qualifying system.

    3. There was nothing comfortable in baku and france, was all to fight for and very tight!

    4. some racing fan
      2nd November 2022, 18:47

      The McLarens from 89-90 (MP4/5 and MP4/5B) were not nearly as dominant as the 88 MP4/4. The MP4/5 in 89 won 10 of 16 races but the MP4/5B only won 6, largely because the Ferrari in 1990 was a competitive car and Berger was driving a car that was 6 inches too small for him.

    5. Nobody seems to remember the 1961 Sharknose Ferrari which I consider the most dominant car of all time. Yes the stats for the MP4/4 are somewhat better but that was with Prost and Senna at peak power. 61 was dominated by Ferrari with much more pedestrian drivers. Including Giancarlo Baghetti who won his very first F1 race and was nowhere near a great driver. Todo

  3. Will be interesting to see how Keith rates the RB18 in his usual end of year car performance. Keith usually only
    analyses qualifying pace (except for 2010, where is analysed overall pace) so let’s see if he rates Ferrari or RB the “fastest” qualifying car of 2022.

    1. True, I remember he looks at quali pace, in that case no matter if ferrari or red bull comes out fastest, it will be really underestimating red bull’s performance.

      1. And that’s what i’m kinda dreading. The RB18 is bordering on dominant. It reminds me of the 2019 Merc. If Keith ranks Ferrari fastest, I can imagine many Max fans citing Race Fans to argue “Max won 2022 in an inferior car!” lol

        Racefans would do better to look at overall pace, not just qualifying. The Ferrari is fast on Saturday, but the Rb18 is leagues ahead on Sunday.

        1. It’s also because it’s easier to overtake in these cars so they sacrifice qualifying speed for race pace.

        2. Even if Ferrari is labeled Fastest (and i believe F1 still rate Ferrari fastest with a 0.08 marge) no one is calling the RB18 inferior (at least me) It’s as fast as the Ferrari but it’s race pace is beter.

  4. I think these stats should now be represented as percentages rather than numbers.

    1. I agree. Looking at percentage of races the MP4/4 is undoubtedly the most winning car, taking 93.75% (15/16) of the races to the RB18’s theoretical maximum of 81.82% (18/22)

    2. José Lopes da Silva
      2nd November 2022, 20:10

      Completely agree.
      (Check where Fangio stands in all main percentage records…)

      1. Ah, those pesky Indy 500 races from the 50s that mess all the F1 stats!!

        El Chueco won 24 of his 51 races, a staggering 47.1%

        Best ever? a well forgotten Lee Wallard who entered Indy 500 twice and won once: 50%

        Percentages should always be qualified by a minimum number of entries, otherwise you get ridiculous results.

        1. José Lopes da Silva
          3rd November 2022, 19:48

          Indeed. But it’s simple: You just need to exclude outliers, a basic statistic rule Then, Fangio rules with no opponent.

  5. cameron coulson
    2nd November 2022, 18:18

    Regarding Russell’s fastest laps…majority are skewed. Softs on the penultimate lap when everyone else is babying their tires…really

    1. Red Bull got many of them in the past too. Hamilton has been denied a couple of grand slams due to cars taking a “free” pitstop for fastest lap due to that stupid rule. Wish they’d get rid of it and award a point for pole if anything.

  6. So, what would racefans readers say was the greatest ever F1 car?

    The 1950 Alfa Romeo 158 and 1952 Ferrari Tipo 500 were the only cars to win every race in a season, but were both somewhat lacking serious competition, and didn’t win every race the following season when they were again used, while the Ferrari was also technically an F2 car. Then the streamliner Mercedes W196 from 1954-55 was very dominant but did have clear weaknesses. Next came the Cooper T51 and T53 that won in 1959 and 1960, the first properly competitive rear-engined cars.

    In 1961, the shark-nose Ferrari 156 was incredibly fast, particularly in a straight line, and was able to dominate the season despite Phil Hill and Wolfgang von Trips being the lead drivers against Stirling Moss in a Lotus, while Giancarlo Baghetti was able to win on his debut. Then came the monocoque Lotus 25 which dominated the 1963 season, but did have Jim Clark who was head and shoulders above the rest of the drivers, and the car was also quite unreliable. The Brabham BT19 of 1966 and 1967 also deserves a mention, as it won the championship with Jack Brabham himself driving, while the Lotus 49 was able to be competitive for four years from 1967-70.

    It was then replaced by the Lotus 72 for the majority of 1970, perhaps the first proper ‘wing car’ which was used all the way until 1975, and won three constructors’ titles. Then the six-wheeled Tyrrell was revolutionary but ultimately not massively successful. Colin Chapman’s fourth great Lotus was the Lotus 78, first used in 1977, and the first ground effect car in F1. The team dominated 1978, but arguably deserved more success for this amazing revolutionary concept. Also used in 1978 was the Brabham fan car, created by inventive designer Gordon Murray, used just once, in the Swedish GP, and never again as it was technically legal but very questionable.

    The following decade, Gordon Murray brought in the Brabham BT49 in 1980, and the BT49C was the most impressive variant of this car, able to run closer to the ground at speed but return to the minimum ride height when stationary for inspection. The McLaren MP4/2 was another dominant car in 1984, while variants of it continued to be used when they won the following two championships. The FW11 and FW11B Williams was then the dominant car in 1986 and 1987, while arguably the most dominant was the McLaren MP4/4 which won 15/16 races and was sometimes over three seconds quicker in qualifying than the next car.

    The FW14B Williams of 1992 was the first car to properly use active suspension and traction control, and as a result Nigel Mansell dominated the season. Two years later, Benetton won the championship in 1994 thanks to their probably illegal B194, but to be fair to them it was quite a clever way of cheating. Williams dominated again in 1996 with the FW18, and McLaren dominated in 1998 with the MP4/13, which also brilliantly allowed the drivers to use the front and rear brakes separately to aid steering, but again was questionable with the rulebook.

    Ferrari dominated the early part of the 2000s, with the F2002 and F2004 the most successful. Schumacher finished first or second in every race with the F2002, and the car was so dominant that Ferrari were able to pick and choose the winner in the final part of the season. And Schumacher won 12 of the first 13 races in 2004. The Brawn in 2009 was also a great car with the double diffuser allowing them to win the title in their first and only season, after Honda had been ninth the year before.

    McLaren invented the F-Duct in 2010, but it was quickly copied by other teams. Red Bull then dominated 2011 and 2013 with the RB7 and RB9, the latter winning nine in a row with Vettel, while Mercedes won the next eight consecutive constructors’ titles. The W05 was particularly dominant in terms of speed but not entirely reliable, but the best of all these Mercedes cars was the 2020 W11, which included DAS and was the fastest car in every race but one. Then Red Bull have won more races in a season than any other team with the RB18 this year, but while it is the overall best car, they have been helped my mistakes by their rivals.

    Personally, I would select the McLaren MP4/4 as the greatest ever F1 car as, although they did have the best drivers, it wasn’t by the margin of their dominance by any stretch, and they were able to utterly dominate the season with minimal reliability problems and ten 1-2 finishes, while they should have won every race. Second place would be the FW14B with the active suspension and traction control. All four of the aforementioned Lotuses were brilliantly revolutionary, but still flawed so not the best ever F1 cars.

    1. José Lopes da Silva
      2nd November 2022, 20:19

      As usual, your analysis excels.
      Personally, given the amount of results achieved by the MP4/4 drivers throughout their careers, I honestly believe the car would not look so good if you had another pair of pairs of hands – let’s say, for instance, Gerhard Berger and Nigel Mansell, both highly respected race winners (Mansell a worthy champion) but both beaten by the MP4/4 in the same machinery. My best car ever choice would go somewhere else.

      1. To be fair, I think if Mansell had been driving the McLaren and Senna and Prost the Ferraris, he would not have won the title as dominantly as he did in 1992, so maybe I should adjust my conclusion and say that McLaren in 1988 was the best overall team, but the FW14B the actual best car. I didn’t think as much about the conclusion as the length of the comment beforehand would suggest!

        Hyoko’s suggestion below of the shark nose Ferrari is also a very good one. It was beaten twice by Stirling Moss, in Monaco and the Nurburgring, but I think we can all agree that those were truly masterful drives, and based on the results of Phil Hill in other seasons, he was perhaps the weakest champion.

    2. You wrote this learned treatise before my reminder of the ‘61 sharknose above, but sorry, I had not read it.
      Anyway I stick to my guns. I have no opinion on those prelapsarian Alfa 158 and Ferrari 500 but I still consider that the 61 Sharknose Ferrari was ahead of the competition by a wider margin than the MP4/4 and the Fw14B were on their day. I do not believe that the MP4/4 would have had nothing remotely like those stats with say, Boutsen and Naninni at McL, with Prost and Senna meanwhile driving for Ferrari. Of course it is very difficult to reckon how much went with the car, how much with the team and how much with the drivers, and we’ll never know. But that’s the point of a forum like this one.

    3. @f1frog I don’t know which is easier to choose the best driver, best car or best team and for me personally I don’t have an answer. Yes I have my favorites (Alonso, Brawn BGP001, 2014 Ferrari (Raikkonen/Alonso))

      1. For me, favourite car is the Brabham fan car, as referenced by @x303 below. Favourite team would be Lotus and favourite driver is more difficult but I do somewhat worship Jim Clark.

        1. Hey, bingo!! I know people dislike math models, but in my reckoning they are much better for extricating the relative contribution of drivers and cars than people’s biased opinions. Models are not perfect but they are totally unbiased.

          It so happens that there is an old post (2015) in F1metrics about the most dominant cars of all time (cars, not the usual car/driver/team package) and the MP4/4 does not even make the top ten (the FW14B does but only 9th).

          The list goes: The ’55 Merc of Fangio and Moss (5/7 victories) is 20th (a big share of the result goes with the superb drivers, something that also happens with the ’88 MP4/4)
          Then the ’70 Ferrari (only one in the list that did not win WCC nor WDC, which went to Jochen Rindt/Lotus in the best season ever for a F1 driver except for… well you know what happened to poor Jochen).
          The ’67 Brabham/Repco makes 18th, the ’53 Ferrari 17th, the ’07 Ferrari 16th, the ’82 Ferrari 15th, the ’98 McLaren 14th, the ’86 Williams 13th, the ’87 Williams 12th, and the almighty (with Prost/Senna) ’88 McL MP4/4 11th.
          Now for the top ten, “cars that drove themselves to victory”, beginning with the ’52 Ferrari Tipo 500 which won 7/8 races of the season (F1Frog says it won them all, but those pesky Indy500 races of the ’50s included in the F1 championship always mess up the stats, Alberto Ascari entered Indianapolis with a Tipo 500 but finished only 31st, the winner was Troy Ruttman with a Kuzma-Offenhauser car).
          9th was the famous ’92 WilliamsFW14B, below some of the RBRs and Mercs we have seen in recent seasons. like
          the 2011 RBR (8th) or the 2015 Merc (7th).
          The most dominant Williams was the ’96 FW18 (6th) with which Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve owned a much better driver, who finished only third in his Ferrari, although with some brilliant wins at Catalunya, Spa and Monza.
          The ’04 and ’02 Fezzas were 5th and 4th respectively. And again we get recent RBRs and Mercs. The 2013 RBR was 3rd and the 2014 Merc was 2nd. The ’14 Merc advantage was so staggering, according to the model, that switching the Sauber drivers (Sutil and Gutierrez, the worst drivers of the season by the model) with the Merc drivers, Merc would still have won the WCC with Sutil 1st and Gutierrez 3rd, while Nico Rosberg and the other Merc driver would have been 15th and 13th in the Saubers. People say it was the car, well, because it was the car.

          I am surprised that the ’50 Alfetta which won 6/7 races of the season (not all of them, as F1Frog says, again the 500 Indy is off, no Alfetta did even enter, and the win was for Johnny Parsons in an Offenhauser) is not in the top 20 but maybe there were not enough data to dissect drivers from cars for the ’50 season, or maybe it just ranks below 20th, the post does not mention it.

          And we get to the most dominant F1 car ever: no surprise, the ’61 Fezza Sharknose. My cat could have won the WDC in one of those.

          1. One thing I will say is that the mathematical model is based only on finishing positions, not the margin of victory. So Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost would be expected to finish one or two places ahead of Gerhard Berger, and so it doesn’t really take into account just how easy the McLaren MP4/4 made that for them. Phil Hill and Wolfgang von Trips are expected to finish outside the top ten in equal cars so the Ferrari shark-nose is expected to put them ten places higher, so ranks very highly. While it was clearly a remarkable car, these results seem to suggest to me that the Mercedes W05 was perhaps the most dominant car, and indeed that season Hamilton and Rosberg were so far ahead of the rest.

    4. This was an interesting read, thank you @f1frog!
      I’d have a cheeky pick with the only car that did better than the mighty MP4/4: the legendary Brabham BT46B with its record win ratio. It won 100% of the races it entered, that is the 1978 Swedish GP.
      For those not aware, it’s an interesting story.

      1. Good point! but even with 100% wins, the Brabham fan car was never a dominant car for a season, which is (mainly) the debate here. 16 races were held in the 1978 F1 season and the BT46B won only one. The JPS-Lotus dominated the season, followed by Ferrari.

        1. Absolutely, I don’t put the ‘fan car’ in the same group as the others because it did not participate in a full season.

    5. José Lopes da Silva
      3rd November 2022, 19:53

      Superb points for reflection from @f1frog and Hyoko, thanks. You remind of the internet in the early 2000s.

      1. Thank you very much. I didn’t use the internet in the early 2000s, was is really any different to now?

        1. I did. Before the www was a thing, the real thing was Usenet (more the 90’s) and people tended to write long and well thought out, informed posts. There was a lot less b1tch1ng. But flame wars were also often waged.

        2. Jose Lopes da Silva
          5th November 2022, 18:50

          I guess that due to a smaller percentage of people using the Web, the percentage of jerks was smaller. Pre-social media was just different.

  7. The most impressive thing about this car is that it wasn’t even the fastest car till Hungary. Putting Ferrari under pressure, they snatched multiple wins — Monaco, France and Hungary.

    Since Spa while they have clearly been the best car, it is still not dominant enough that both drivers are guaranteed a 1-2 unlike the MP4/4. With races like Zandvoort, Mexico, Austin where across stints multiple drivers have been within a couple of tenths and are able to comfortably split the RBs over the race, it really shows the caliber of driver Max is and how remarkably well he has done to get these wins.

    The MP4/4 with 11 consecutive wins was definitely a dominant car.

    The RB18 while not dominant looks that way because of the best driver performing at the very best, a strategy team that makes other teams look like rookies and an overall roundedness that not many cars have — this car is quick everywhere and doesn’t have an obvious weakness.

  8. Percentage wise, the RB18 will never beat the outstanding record of the MP4/4 which won 15 ou 16 races in 1988 (93.75%). To beat that record, the RB18 needed to win 21 out 22 races (95.45%) this season.

  9. Lol comparisons like these are useless. To call them “records” is a complete joke. The 1988 season counted only 16 races. This season counts 22 races. It’s 38% more! This is no way to count records.

    McLaren MP4/4 is the most dominant car ever built and it always will be!

    1. and it always will be!

      Psst, fortune teller, what are the winning lotto numbers?

      1. Fact is, neither of the ultra dominant Ferrari cars (2000-2004) or the Mercs in the hybrid era (2014-2020) was able to beat that record.

        Never say never and records are there to be broken. But IMO, the MP4/4 outstanding record will be extremely hard to beat in the forseeable future.

    2. That depend on how you define dominant car. The 1992 wiliams fw14b was far more dominant if you ask me. Only because of some dnfs and the briliant Senna and Schumacher williams didn’t win all the races that season. But if you count pole positions they had all except one that season. And 1993 was a repeat only with a different driver winning the WDC

      1. The Mercedes W05 also claimed all the pole positions in 2014 except one, won 16 out 19 races and did 11 one-two finishes.

    3. While the MP4/4 record will certainly be tough to beat, let’s never forget that it is not just the record of a car. The record belongs to a team (McL, quite tightly run by then) and two drivers that were way above the competition.

      The present RBR is no doubt a great machine, but its level of dominance is way below those of the Sharknose, the MP4/4 or the FW14B. Early in the season the Ferrari was faster, and Merc which was then a distant third is now a razor-thin margin behind the RBR and well above the Fezza. Also the reliability of the RBR was poor early in the season, and Fezza’s even worse, but Merc’s has been rock solid all season. This season we should speak of a dominant driver and team more than of a dominant car. The strategists of Fezza and Merc have been abysmal all year, and don’t get me started about the drivers.

      1. Not even Mercedes must believe they’re a “razor thin” margin behind Red Bull. lol
        If they were, they would be in contention even with less than optimal strategies and what’s happening is the exact opposite : they need the best possible strategy, and a bit of luck, to at least TRY to race Verstappen for race wins.

        1. I’d say Merc would already have a win or two had their strategies not been catastrophically bad

    4. McLaren MP4/4 is the most dominant car ever built and it always will be!

      A simple thought experiment:

      Let’s run the 1988 F1 season again but this time as an spec series; all the drivers get identical cars.

      How many of the sixteen will be won by Alain Prost or Ayrton Senna? Maybe not fifteen, but surely 12 or more, wouldn’t you agree?

      Maybe, just maybe, that the 1988 McLaren dominance was not just about the car.

  10. What a great read! @f1frog

  11. Easier to judge who was driving. Over half of the grid would have won in that 80s McLaren, whereas Perez probably wouldn’t even be leading the championship as team leader for Red Bull.

    1. Perez likely isn’t on the half of the field that could win the title with RB18.

  12. First time Haas have reached Q2 in Mexico.

    The last 11 GPs in Mexico have seen 11 different pole-sitters.

    First time Perez has finished 3rd on a Sunday this season.

    No Ferrari on the front row for the first time since Canada.

    First circuit at which Verstappen has won in 4 different seasons.

    First time since 2016 that the Mexican pole-sitter has finished on the podium.

    Same podium in the same order as last year’s race, with Ferrari again 5th and 6th.

    Norris’s best finish in Mexico.

    Thanks to statsf1 and the official F1 site for some of these.

  13. Rb18 wins because 18 is bigger than 4 and you look tiny inside an rb18 and enormous inside an mp4/4.

  14. Hmmm. Results don’t lie, I agree that this years RB was seriously dominant. What I’m surprised by is why anyone would think anything else could happen when ONE team exceeded the cost cap an all the others played by the rules. Unfortunately it seems that advantage is probable big enough that even with the “draconian” penalty we are going to see easy coasts to wins for the next season or two. I REALLY hope I’m wrong though.

    1. What I’m surprised by is why anyone would think anything else could happen when ONE team exceeded the cost cap an all the others played by the rules

      Well, of course anything else could happen. In F1 history it happened many times that a team has sunk an ung0dly amount of money in a car that never took off. You cannot with a WDC or WCC just by spending more money (probably Ferrary would have about 70 WCCs already if that was true). What RBR overspent is a tiny part of the actual budget, less than the cost of the repairs for the Silverstone shunt – courtesy of one Merc chauffeur – or the Baku bowling game – courtesy of the other, even more abysmally inept, chauffeur.

      Rules are rules and a penalty is due, but the breach was very minor, the blame is Merc’s, and its influence in the results has been blown out of all conceivable proportion.

  15. Very nice to read some of the responses above about the passed cars brahbams, ferraris , mclaren of late 80s and 90s. Etc. Makes me all nastalgic! Thanks all for those reminders in history. Something our new fans should go back and watch. Those were ‘days of thunder!’

  16. “The Red Bull driver also broke the record for most points scored in a world championship season. Again, the fact the calendar keeps getting longer has made this more achievable, as have changes in F1’s points systems over the years.”

    Why devalue the record set by Max? Didn’t read these side comments when Hamilton was breaking records – guess like Sky, like Lewis British media still unhappy a non British driver is breaking records.

    For reference, Max 416 points is 77.61% of maximum available points so far this season while Hamilton’s 413 points was 75.64% of maximum available points.

    The longer a season is the more difficult it is to score % of wins or % points as you need to maintain your high performance over a longer period. It is more difficult to win 15 out of 20 races than it is to win 6 out of 8 races.

    1. Is it really? Than why nobody ever won more than 5 races in a row beginning the season but by season’s end that record is almost double the races? That’s what in-season development, focus shifting to the next season and regulation changes does.

      Just like in ’13 a mid season change in regulations made the Red Bull a beast of a car. This season could have 40 races, Max would only lose a handful at best as bad luck happens sometimes.
      And if ’13 had more races, Vettel would win those too, easy.

  17. 2nd Mexico DNF for Tsunoda.

    The first full SC-free race since the Austrian GP.

  18. So if it was for Hamilton’s Mercedes it would mean a dominant car breaking records on auto-pilot. But if it is for Verstappen’s car it is a praise to the car and his driving…

    1. If you are trying to say that the level of dominance of the RBR18 is anywhere near that of the Mercedes W05, I’m sorry but you have quite a lot to learn.

    2. And let’s not forget the team (strategy etc). Seriously, wouldn’t you agree that RBR has been running rings around Merc and Ferrari?

      1. RBR is a very good team, having transfers a handful of people out of the greatest team the world has ever seen to date. Mercedes has inspired many people inside and outside of F1 by its achievements. RBR is nowhere near proving it is as strong as Mercedes. After all, that needs time and not just a couple of -debated- championships.

  19. Looking at the RB18, are there any plans for a ‘first grand prix compared to last grand prix’ analysis of each car’s design? I always find iteration creep to be so gradual throughout the season that I overlook how much the cars have evolved – especially this year, given the new regulations.

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