F1

Max Verstappen becomes an F1 great with a record-breaking season

Double world champion Max Verstappen has ended his historic 2022 Formula 1 season with a bang.

His 15th win of the season in the final race of the year sealed a near-perfect campaign for the Dutchman.

He is a two-time F1 world champion and joins the likes of Mika Häkkinen and Fernando Alonso.

But what Verstappen has achieved this season is arguably the best performance by any world champion.

He dominated the field with a record 15 wins from 22 races, finishing his second championship with four grands prix remaining and taking wins from 14th on the grid.

No driver has had more wins in a single season or scored more championship points.

And while these statistics have been inflated by F1 doing more races and scoring differently than in decades past, few world champions have won their title as forcefully as Verstappen.

Michael Schumacher’s triumph in 2004 and Sebastian Vettel’s championship in 2013 are the closest examples of dominance in the last 20 years.

Verstappen is a performance that should see the Dutchman regarded by fans in the same light as Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton and Vettel.

Max Verstappen celebrates his victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with his partner Kelly Piquet.(Getty Images: Mark Thompson)

And he almost needed a season as dominant as this one after his controversial first championship the year before.

He was the beneficiary of a safety car decision late in the final race of the season, allowing him to pass Hamilton on the final lap to win the race and the championship.

Its championship was also tarnished after Red Bull was found to have breached F1’s cost cap for the 2021 season.

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