Max Verstappen reached the milestone of 40 career F1 wins with his Spanish Grand Prix victory – putting him within touching distance of the top 5 all-time.
The reigning World Champion enjoyed a perfect weekend last time out in Barcelona. Verstappen was fastest in every single practice session, then followed this up with a commanding qualifying performance. He took pole by almost half a second over Carlos Sainz – totally outclassing his rivals.
On Sunday, the Dutchman held the lead at turn 1 before romping away from the rest of the field. Verstappen took his fifth win from the first seven races in 2023 thanks to yet another superior drive.
This lights-to-flag victory secured a Spanish GP grand slam (start first, lead every lap, set the fastest lap) for car No.1, too.
In short, the Dutchman and his RB19 look like they will be tearing up the record books in 2023. After his win in Monaco, Max Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel for the most F1 wins at Red Bull. This, of course, is a record that he will inevitably extend throughout the rest of 2023 and beyond.
But what about all-time wins? Well, the Red Bull ace has some legends firmly in his sights…
Who Max Verstappen can overtake on the all-time F1 wins list this year
Firstly, Verstappen will most likely break into the top 5 in all-time F1 victories before the summer break in August. The Dutchman (40 wins) is just a single P1 behind Ayrton Senna (41 wins), who is fifth in the sport’s history.
If Verstappen takes the chequered flag at the next race in Montreal, he will match the Brazilian icon’s tally.
There is then a gap up to fourth for Max Verstappen to climb on the F1 wins mountain. That is to Alain Prost, who took 51 victories during his storied career. Therefore, the Red Bull star would have to win 11 of the 15 remaining rounds to match “The Professor”.
So, when is the earliest that this is possible? If Max Verstappen wins the next 11 races in a row, he will equal Prost’s tally at the 2023 US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. Failing that, the Dutchman will have four more races after Austin to do it, too.
But matching Prost would require the Red Bull ace to surpass his single-season F1 wins record. Having already won five rounds, and requiring eleven more, he would need 16 victories in 2023. This would beat his previous record of 15 which he set in 2022.
Is it possible to break into the top 3 by the end of 2023?
Verstappen could even reach third in the all-time wins list this year, mathematically. However, it would take an unbelievable, historically outrageous campaign to do so.
Sebastian Vettel, on 53 wins, is third overall. “Super Max” would thus have to get P1 at 13/15 remaining races to be on par with the German.
To move clear of Vettel, Verstappen would need to win 14 of 15 rounds left in 2023. This would require an insane 19 victories on the season. Surely, this is not possible – yet given the dominance of car and driver, it cannot be ruled out.
Max Verstappen will almost certainly break into the top 5 for most F1 wins ever. If his stranglehold on the rest of the field continues, he may be able to tie Alain Prost on 51 victories, too. Although it seems passing the Frenchman and reaching Vettel may just be a step too far in 2023.
F1: top 10 drivers with the most victories
|10||Jim Clark & Nikki Lauda||25|
Featured image credit: Getty