For many who had been round to witness Michael Schumacher overtaking Alain Prost because the all-time chief for grand prix victories, it was simple to imagine that the seven-time world champion’s document would by no means be overwhelmed.
However the very subsequent race following Schumacher’s first retirement on the finish of the 2006 season, Lewis Hamilton started a profession that might finally see him eclipse nearly each document Schumacher set – from wins, pole positions, laps led and raced led, with solely the all-time marks for quickest laps and hat trick victories remaining in Schumacher’s sole possession.
Hamilton scaled to unfathomable heights, turning into the primary driver ever to achieve triple digits in race wins and greater than doubling Prost’s tally achieved over one of many sport’s most illustrious careers. However with age slowly creeping up on Hamilton, his tally will at some point attain its finish. Actually, with Mercedes’ mediocrity within the ground-effect period up to now, Hamilton has remained on 103 wins for the reason that 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – a 31-race winless streak that’s solely rising.
Whereas Hamilton has been struggling to get again on the highest step of the rostrum, one other driver appears to have acquired a everlasting residency over it – Max Verstappen.
Verstappen is because of match Hamilton’s 44 wins in 173 racesSince Components 1’s newest technical laws revolution at first of 2022, Verstappen has gained 21 of the 30 races to double his profession complete from 20 to 41. He wants only one extra to surpass Ayrton Senna’s tally and declare possession of fifth place on the all-time wins record. With 14 rounds nonetheless remaining within the 2023 season, there’s a troublesome however real probability that he may surpass Prost and Sebastian Vettel to maneuver into third place by the top of the yr.
However will Verstappen handle to emulate Hamilton, do what many anticipated would by no means occur and set a good larger benchmark for all-time race wins in Components 1?
Together with his quick begin in Components 1, Hamilton racked up the wins at a speedy fee. Verstappen actually was no slouch – successful on his debut with Purple Bull – however he has solely begun to essentially construct up wins over the current seasons. If he wins the subsequent three rounds, Verstappen will match Hamilton’s fee of 44 victories in his 173rd grand prix.
If he does that, it’s laborious to see him stopping. Purple Bull proceed to dominate the trendy period and Verstappen’s group mate Sergio Perez is faltering in his efforts to match him. So there’s each probability Verstappen may overtake Hamilton’s profession win fee on the similar stage of his profession by the top of the season.
With F1 seasons having extra races than ever, Adrian Newey persevering with to provide championship successful automobiles and Purple Bull’s rivals unable to supply a problem to them, Verstappen can proceed to take wins for years to return. And at solely 25 years outdated, he may doubtlessly race in F1 for an additional 15 seasons or much more if he needs to, giving him a superb alternative to set a brand new document.
Because the twenty first Century has proven up to now, domination in Components 1 is available in waves. Simply because your group is on prime now doesn’t imply that you’ll stay there endlessly, simply as Purple Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes are all conscious. Ultimately, Purple Bull might be caught and can face larger competitors for wins, slowing down Verstappen’s win fee.
Then there’s the query of Verstappen himself. How lengthy will he proceed to need to compete in Components 1, given how vocal he has been about his pursuits away from the world championship? He has brazenly voiced his dislike of dash races and appears to search out little pleasure from the ever-growing variety of avenue circuits Liberty Media appear keen so as to add to the calendar.
Then there’s his admitted curiosity in endurance racing. He’s carried out loads of it nearly on iRacing over time – it’s inevitable he’ll need to pattern the true factor. That might see him calling time on his personal F1 profession earlier than he’s inside attain of Hamilton’s document, which may simply nonetheless develop additional.
Together with his unbelievable uncooked expertise and aptitude behind the wheel, Verstappen has achieved extra in his 25 years than any driver has ever carried out by such an age. Solely Vettel can have overwhelmed Verstappen to a few world championships at an earlier age, however Verstappen already holds much more wins than Vettel had by the top of 2012.
The competitors in F1 is getting closerSo Verstappen has all the power and potential to ultimately match Hamilton’s unbelievable wins document. Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless a tricky wager that he’ll have the ability to ultimately get there – and it’s due to components that Verstappen has no management over.
In contrast to when Schumacher, Hamilton and Vettel had been successful week after week, Verstappen’s dominance is going on in an period the place the price range cap is starting to drastically reshape F1. When you ignore Purple Bull, the present discipline is arguably nearer than it has ever been, with many within the sport anticipating the grid to converge even additional.
That ought to solely improve the extent of competitors on the entrance over the approaching seasons as automobiles get nearer and it turns into more and more troublesome to search out these benefits to realize efficiency over different groups. Trendy Components 1 is designed to naturally forestall dominance and as soon as Purple Bull is caught, Verstappen could not get pleasure from the identical alternatives that Hamilton needed to win year-after-year with restricted competitors, setting a brand new wins document alongside the way in which.
But when there’s any driver who may ever show folks fallacious and proceed to select the wins over time to strategy Hamilton’s document, it’s Max Verstappen.
Do you assume Max Verstappen can beat Lewis Hamilton’s all-time wins document? Have your say in our ballot under.
Will Max Verstappen finish his F1 profession with a better variety of grand prix wins than Lewis Hamilton?
- Each drivers will finish their careers with the identical variety of profession grand prix wins (6%)
- Max Verstappen can have the upper variety of profession grand prix wins (47%)
- Lewis Hamilton can have the upper variety of profession grand prix wins (47%)
Complete Voters: 32
A F1 Triviaaccount is required to be able to vote. When you wouldn’t have one, register an account right here or learn extra about registering right here. When this ballot is closed the outcome might be displayed as a substitute of the voting type.
Debates and polls
Browse all debates and polls