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Verstappen could have a more dominant F1 season than Hamilton has ever had

Verstappen could have a more dominant F1 season than Hamilton has ever had

29 September - 17:02

Max Verstappen’s 2022 season has been nothing short of dominant. Achieving 11 race wins so far this season, the Dutchman could wrap up the world driver’s championship at the Singapore Grand Prix. We take a look at other similar streaks of success in F1 history.

Past occurrences

Michael Schumacher currently holds the title for the earliest world driver’s championship victory with his incredible 2002 campaign. An absolutely dominant performance with Ferrari guaranteed his success for the season by the eleventh round, at Magny-Cour in a 17-race-long year. 

If Max Verstappen finds championship success under the lights at Singapore, he will be one race short of the incredible record set by a titan of the sporting world. Verstappen will do it with five races to spare, compared to Schumacher’s six. Nigel Mansell follows this record closely, winning the title with five races to spare in his 1992 campaign. Claiming the championship at the Hungarian Grand Prix, the British driver claimed the title with Williams, who would later go on to claim the world constructors championship as well.

Verstappen raced Hamilton closely in 2021. The World Championship was hard fought and in the end, it came down to the final lap in Abu Dhabi for the Dutchman to win his first in style. This closed Hamilton’s dominant era where he won all but one World Championship between 2014 and 2020. 

But where does the Verstappen dominance lie in comparison to the British driver? Hamilton’s first two World Championship titles were won on the final day of the season. 2017, 2018 and 2019 titles were won with 90% of the season completed. His two most dominant wins came in 2015 (84% complete) and 2020 (82% complete). 

Should Verstappen win the World Championship this weekend, he will do it after just 77% of the season thus surpassing Hamilton’s most dominant single year. Verstappen still has a way to go to beat Schumacher’s efforts in 2002 when the title was wrapped up after 65% of the season. 

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The recipes for success

The high-potential design philosophy is crucial. Instead of aiming for an intricate design which dominates right from the start, a straightforward and still competitive car structure can provide a good base for future iterations to improve performance.

A coherent team environment is also crucial for a successful formula. A positive outlook for the current and the future can provide the right mentality to push forward. This outlook must encompass everyone, including the drivers, who also must strive to maintain a positive competitive relationship between themselves as well.

Perhaps Verstappen’s recipe for domination in 2022 also comes down to the quality of the competition and his teammate. Sergio Perez has only been on the podium once since the British Grand Prix almost three months ago. A strong contrast to what Valtteri Bottas was achieving in his Mercedes who was often beaten by Hamilton but still reached 2nd or 3rd frequently. 

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