Max Verstappen went on vacation this year with a reassuring advantage in the world championship standings. In fact, the reigning champion has – just nine races from the end of the championship – an 80-point gap over his closest rival, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc. This means that between now and the end of the World Championship the Dutchman from Red Bull will only need to finish second – including the Sprint race and without even scoring a fastest lap – to be crowned world champion again. A scenario that no one would have foreseen after the first three races of the season, also looking at the speed performances of the F1-75, the car made by Ferrari in Maranello.
Mistakes of strategy and lack of reliability have, however, paved the way for the 24-year-old from Hasselt, who in the second part of the championship could also enjoy taking on some historic F1 records. The main one is that ofl number of wins in a single season: the record was set at 13 from Michael Schumacher And Sebastian Vettel. The Kaiser first reached this peak in 2004, the season of his last title. The German won 12 of the first 13 races and in total achieved 13 wins in 18 GPs. His ‘disciple’ equaled him in 2013, also at the end of a winning cycle, at the wheel of Red Bull. Vettel’s most important row came at the end of the season, with nine consecutive successes. That year, however, included 19 races, one more than Schumacher’s.
Verstappen will have an advantage from this point of view, given that the current championship is organized on 22 Grands Prix. The champion from Hasselt will only need to win five of the last nine to be able to equalize his two predecessors. At the level of percentage data, however, the primacy is up to Alberto Ascari. The Italian in 1952 won six out of eight races, equal to 75%. Schumacher in 2004 stopped at 72.2%. To bring these numbers closer, Verstappen – who currently won 61.5% of the GPs this season – should win eight more races, thus reaching 16 wins in 22 GPs. More difficult for the orange will be to retouch the absolute record of podiums, which he himself set at 18 during last season. The Dutchman is currently at 10/13. He should therefore go to the podium in all the remaining stages of the championship to improve himself.
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