- With his Mexican Grand Prix victory, Max Verstappen scored the most points in a single Formula 1 season.
- Verstappen’s 416 points eclipses the previous record of 413 points held by Lewis Hamilton (2019).
- With two races remaining in 2022, Verstappen could extend his tally.
It can’t be stressed enough: Max Verstappen is enjoying a dominant Formula 1 season in 2022. The Red Bull driver overcame early season troubles to get a commanding grip on the championship, and he won it with four races remaining.
But it’s the way he did it that’s gotten everyone talking, and team boss Christian Horner believes that his driver does not get the required recognition for what he’s accomplished this year.
“When you see how he is playing with the tools he has available in the car, he is constantly on top of them,” Horner said.
“I sometimes think his achievements don’t receive the plaudits that they should because I think what we’ve witnessed this year is an absolutely outstanding performance from a driver who is absolutely at the top of his game.”
In addition to winning 14 races in one season – the most of any driver in F1 history – Verstappen also secured another record last time out in Mexico: scoring the most points in a single season.
F1’s points over the years
F1’s points system has changed quite a bit over the years. When the championship started in 1950, only the top five finishers were awarded points (8, 6, 4, 3, 2). In 1960, the sixth-placed driver received one point. But in 1961, the driver received nine points for a win while the team would still only get eight.
From 1962 – 1990, the top six drivers would still be awarded points, but the winning constructor would now also get nine points.
READ: Rewriting history – How Max Verstappen went about dominating the 2022 F1 season
1991 saw the introduction of a new points system (10, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1), and from 2003 to 2009, it changed again to reward the top 8 finishers (10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1).
The current points system came into play in 2010, where the 10 top finishers are rewarded. Only this time, the gap between the first and second finishers would be much bigger: 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1. In 2019, F1 introduced a bonus point for the driver who set the fastest lap of the race, provided said driver finishes inside the top 10.
What about Verstappen?
Admittedly, it feels a bit hollow to rave about Verstappen’s points tally this season, given how the points system has changed over the years. Yet, this is the nature of the sport, and the Dutchman can’t be blamed for racing in an era when everything is different from 72 years ago.
Be that as it may, Verstappen won 14 of the 22 races in this year’s championship, with the final two races likely to go his way, as well. With his win in Mexico, Verstappen is currently on 416 points, now standing on a winning percentage of 76.47%.
The tally eclipses what Lewis Hamilton did in 2019 with 413 points (75.64%).
Winning the 2022 F1 Drivers’ championship and holding the record for most wins in a single season is impressive, but securing such an immense number of points is the line being drawn underneath these two incredible feats.
Discussion about this post