With the first world title in Formula 1 for a Dutchman, Max Verstappen signed for a performance with eternal value. His best racing year had more highlights. An overview by our reporter based on fifteen statistics.
1 Not only was it his first world title in a car, Max Verstappen also chooses to start next season with race number 1. Commercially also interesting, with the sale of caps, shirts and scale models. Sebastian Vettel was the last champion to use number 1 in 2014. Lewis Hamilton stayed true to number 44 after his titles.
24-073 At 24 years and 73 days old, Max Verstappen is the fourth youngest world champion ever in Formula 1. The driver who was the youngest ever to debut and win a race must be Sebastian Vettel (23 years 134 days), Lewis Hamilton (23-300 ) and Fernando Alonso (24-058) as younger champions.
395.5 Max Verstappen has never scored as many points as this year: 395.5. That is 69.5 percent of the total available 568.5 points. Only world champions Sebastian Vettel (2013) and Lewis Hamilton (2018 and 2019) have ever collected more World Cup points in one season.
75 The victory in Abu Dhabi was not only historic for Max Verstappen, the success also meant the 75th victory in Formula 1 for Red Bull. Sebastian Vettel was the first winner in Shanghai in 2009 for the Austro-British constructor, who entered in 2005.
15 With the title for Verstappen, the Netherlands is the fifteenth country with a Formula 1 world champion. With Fernando Alonso, Spain was the last newcomer in the select group in 2005. Record holder? Great Britain, of course, with twenty world titles. Also only on 1 just like the Netherlands? New Zealand, South Africa and Canada.
652 Verstappen drove 652 laps this season as leader of the field on the circuits. More than all other drivers combined. Lewis Hamilton follows at an appropriate distance with 297 laps as the leader. Then comes Valtteri Bottas, who led only 79 laps.
1239 In his time in Formula 1, Max Verstappen clocked a lap as leader of the field 1239 times. In Abu Dhabi, he only added one to his annual tally at the last appointment in 2021, but that one lap at the front proved to be enough for the title at the end.
20 Max Verstappen's decisive victory in Abu Dhabi was the tenth victory of his season and his twentieth in his career. Lewis Hamilton (103 wins), Michael Schumacher (91) and Sebastian Vettel (53) have won the most in Formula 1.
10 With ten times pole position spread over 22 races, Verstappen was at the front of the grid at almost half of the grands prix. Hamilton only came to five poles, Bottas to four. It says a lot about Verstappen's dominance. Until this season, he had only taken pole three times before.
14 No fewer than fourteen times this year, Verstappen and Hamilton finished together in the first two places in a race. No championship has seen more one-twos from two title rivals. Until this year, 2015 was a record year with twelve one-twos for Mercedes rivals Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
60 In Abu Dhabi, Max Verstappen scored his 60th podium finish in his F1 career, just as much as Nelson Piquet, father of his girlfriend Kelly. With 60 podium places, the Dutchman approaches the top 10. Two more times to the podium and he equals the number 10 David Coulthard, who has stood on a podium 62 times.
9 Verstappen recorded his worst day result in a grand prix where he did finish at the Hungaroring. There, after an early incident initiated by Valtteri Bottas, he did not get further than ninth place. He dropped out in Azerbaijan (flat tire), England and Italy (crashes). In all other races Verstappen finished first or second. He never came third.
3 In the summer, Max Verstappen pulled off something amazing that no one can tell him in Formula 1. In the third triple header (three race weekends in a row) in the history of the sport, he scored the full loot in France and Austria (twice). three wins in a row. In the second triple header of 2021, he was well on his way again with victories at Spa and Zandvoort, but a crash followed in Monza.
1991 Verstappen is the first world champion with a Honda engine in his car since 1991. Thirty years ago, Ayrton Senna signed for the last Honda success. Honda, which previously triumphed with Nelson Piquet (1987), Senna (1988 and 1990) and Alain Prost (1989), is already waving off in Formula 1 as a constructor for the fourth time after the success of Red Bull.