(L to R): Max Verstappen, Red Bull; Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes; Circuit of the Americas, 2022

Records smashed and winning runs wrecked: The 2022 F1 season in stats

2022 F1 season review

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The 73rd season in the Formula 1 world championship was a record-setting one in a variety of ways with new all-time benchmarks set and some long-running sequences coming to an end.

A 15-year continuous run ended for Lewis Hamilton, as did a peculiar record held by Daniel Ricciardo. And something happened in 2022 that has not occurred in Formula 1 since the 1979 season.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are some of the most outstanding records that were either set, broken or ended in the 2022 season…

Record breakers

Max Verstappen soared to unparalleled heights in 2022. As well as successfully defending his world championship title from 2021, he set a new all-time record for most wins in a single season with 15, breaking clear of Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher’s previous record of 13. Despite the incredible achievement, Verstappen’s season win percentage (68.18%) was actually lower than both Vettel’s from 2013 (68.42%) and Schumacher’s 2004 season (72.22%).

Verstappen took a record 15 wins on his way to the title
Verstappen ended the year with a total of 35 wins, taking sixth place in the all-time standings. Over the course of the season, he overtook Mika Hakkinen, Kimi Raikkönen, Damon Hill, Nico Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Juan Manuel Fangio, Niki Lauda, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell and Fernando Alonso. His total of 454 points scored is also an all-time highest ever tally.

Curiously, Verstappen led fewer laps in 2022 (616) than 2021 (652) – despite winning five more races this season. Even more interestingly, Verstappen actually led for more kilometres (3,164) in 2022 than in 2021 (2,988).

Outside of the world champion, a new all-time mark was set for most career grand prix starts by Fernando Alonso. He matched former Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen’s previous record of 349 race starts at the Italian Grand Prix, then broke it the following round in Singapore. With 355 career starts by the end of the season, Alonso has competed in close to a third of all world championship races ever contested and will cross that mark when he starts the second round in Jeddah.

Sergio Perez took pole position at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, establishing a new record for most F1 starts by any driver before their first pole, at 214. After Kevin Magnussen held the honour of most starts without pole for any driver on the grid until taking pole in Interlagos, Perez’s former Force India team mate Esteban Ocon becomes the active driver with the most race starts without a pole (111).

Nico Hulkenberg stepped into the Aston Martin over the opening two rounds of the season to replace the Covid-stricken Sebastian Vettel. While he scored no points, he did further extend his own record of most races started without a podium finish (181).

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First timers

Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2022
Sainz became F1’s 112th winner…
The 2022 season saw no fewer than four drivers enjoy their first pole positions of their career. Perez took his career first pole in Jeddah, before Carlos Sainz Jnr secured his first ever pole for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

George Russell was next to take a surprise first career pole in Hungary, before Kevin Magnussen became the fourth and final first-time pole winner when he topped Friday qualifying in Interlagos. That made 2022 the first season with four first-time pole winners since 1979, when Gilles Villeneuve, Alan Jones, Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Rene Arnoux all scored their first pole positions.

In his second season with Ferrari, Sainz finally joined the ranks of grand prix winners when he converted his Silverstone pole into the win the following day, becoming the 112th race winner. After taking the sprint race win in Brazil to secure pole for the grand prix, Russell converted to officially take the chequered flag for the first time and become winner number 113.

George Russell, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2022
…and Russell was crowned the 113th.
Zhou Guanyu became a trailblazer this season when he became the first ever driver from China to race in Formula 1. Prior to Bahrain, he’d been the second Chinese driver to participate in a grand prix session after Ma Qinghua ran five practice sessions for HRT and Caterham across 2012 and 2013.

China became the 41st recognised nation in history (including former nations such as East Germany and Rhodesia) to have competed in at least one grand prix. After taking a point on debut, Zhou became the 78th driver to finish in the points in his first F1 race – a feat later matched by Nyck de Vries in Monza. Zhou also became the first Chinese driver to take a fastest lap in Formula 1, when he set the quickest single lap in the shortened Japanese Grand Prix.

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Sequence endings

The end of the 2022 season meant that a series of records ceased with it. Most notable was Lewis Hamilton’s record of consecutive seasons with at least one win and one pole position – something he had achieved in each of his first 15 years in Formula 1. By failing to take a single win or pole, his run ends at 15, leaving him tied with Michael Schumacher for the longest consecutive streak of seasons with at least one win and establishing his record for longest consecutive seasons with at least one pole, also at 15.

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2022
Ricciardo’s record run as number three will be beaten
Sebastian Vettel’s final season in Formula 1 was also his only full season in Formula 1 without a podium appearance. His final tally of four world championship titles puts him equal fourth with Alain Prost for the most successful drivers in Formula 1 history, while his 53 wins puts him two ahead of Prost into third place behind Schumacher and Hamilton.

Vettel is fourth all-time for pole positions with 57, eight fewer than Ayrton Senna, but he does sit third for most podiums in history, with 122. When it comes to leading races, Vettel is also third behind only Schumacher and Hamilton for races leading at least one lap (107) and total laps led (3,501).

Daniel Ricciardo’s departure from the grid means that a peculiar record will be broken early next season. Ricciardo currently holds the record for most number of race starts with a single driver number, having the number three on his car for all 188 starts since drivers were first allowed to choose their own personal driver number in 2014. Lewis Hamilton, who has raced with number 44 ever since 2014, will equal Ricciardo’s record in Bahrain next year and will break it in Jeddah.

Odds and ends

In total, there were 34 drivers who participated in at least one official grand prix session in 2022 – the most since 2014 (36).

Race start, Interlagos, 2022
More distance was covered in 2022 than any other season
Only four teams took podium finishes during the season: Red Bull (28), Ferrari (20), Mercedes (17) and McLaren (1) – the fewest since 2018 and half the number of teams who took podiums in 2021.

Six drivers were officially credited with pole position in 2022 – the most since 2012 (7).

Nyck de Vries drove for three different teams in the same season: Mercedes, Williams and Aston Martin. He also tested with a fourth – AlphaTauri – and drove two different cars in the same weekend at Monza (Aston Martin and Williams), the first driver to do so since Harald Ertl also at the Italian Grand Prix in 1979.

With 6,510km of total racing distance, 2022 was the longest ever Formula 1 season by distance. However, the season’s total lap tally (1,294) was three laps shorter than the highest ever: 2021 (1,297).

Every driver who competed in at least 20 grands prix retired at least once in 2022. That makes 2022 the first season without at least one driver completing the entire season without a retirement since 2018.

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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8 comments on “Records smashed and winning runs wrecked: The 2022 F1 season in stats”

  1. Nyck de Vries actually tested the Alpine also

  2. Interesting stats & the driver number thing is something I could’ve never guessed.
    De Vries additionally did a test at Hungaroring alongside Gio & Doohan during the Monza-Singapore interval, so overall, five teams within a single year as the post-season test technically occurred outside the in-season frame.
    The last stat was inevitable to happen eventually, but still a good record after Hamilton’s 2019 & ’20 full sweeps + Sainz’s ’21.

  3. That 15 wins in different years is mindblowing. I was sure Hamilton could somehow win this year but no. Verstappen has now won in 7 years row. He only needs 8 more years which is possible.

    1. To me what’s most impressive is the list of drivers he overtook this season in terms of total wins, like 10 drivers and famous names like clark, stewart, alonso etc.!

    2. Strictly speaking, Hamilton’s streak goes back to like 2003 in single seater racing.

  4. Jonathan Parkin
    30th December 2022, 17:21

    Nico Hulkenberg is close to another unwanted record. Most starts without a win which is currently held by Andrea deCesaris on 208. He did stand on the podium though

    1. True, at this point that record is basically free if you’re a midfield driver who doesn’t get lucky\makes a mistake the one chance he gets, if you’re good enough to stay in f1 for long, since there’s so many races that even 300 gp is no longer that strange, while initially even 100 was a lot.

  5. “Ricciardo currently holds the record for most number of race starts with a single driver number”

    This is an interesting stat that I had not thought about.
    Why are Hamilton (and Perez for that matter) behind him? Is it just because of rounds missed due to Covid?

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