Max Verstappen: The Man who lives with every fiber of his body for F1


Over the last three years, Max Verstappen has become the preeminent F1 driver in the world. He has created what most would call a dynasty, winning the Drivers’ Championship in three consecutive seasons. During that time, the gap between Verstappen and every other driver has grown. The Belgium-born Dutchman won 10 races in 2021, 15 races in 2022, and a record-setting 19 of 22 F1 races during the 2023 season

He’s become a dominant force in F1, arguably more so than any other sport has ever seen. That has made Verstappen the face of the sport and expanded the popularity of F1 worldwide. Even in places like Canada, where there is just one F1 race annually, the best offer racing-themed slots and casino games because Verstappen is becoming a household name. But are Verstappen’s dominance over the last three years and his growing popularity enough to make him the best driver in F1 history?

Statistically speaking, Verstappen still has some work to do. His 54 career wins are barely half of Lewis Hamilton’s all-time total of 103 wins. Verstappen is also a few dozen victories behind the great Michael Schumacher, who won 91 F1 races during his time. Likewise, Hamilton and Schumacher both won seven world championships during their time. In fact, Hamilton won four in a row from 2017 to 2020 while Schumacher once won five straight crowns from 2000 to 2004. That leaves Verstappen trailing those two legends in both categories despite his utter dominance over the past three years.

Max Verstappen French GP
Max Verstappen (Image credits – Twitter)

Verstappen also trails the other two legends when it comes to win percentage. Hamilton, who remains active on the F1 circuit, has won 31% of his career races. Schumaker won 29.5% of his races during his F1 career. Verstappen is slightly behind both with a win percentage of 29.1%. Of course, with Hamilton still active, his win percentage is on the decline after failing to win a race in 2022 or 2023, largely because Verstappen has become a dominant force within F1. If Verstappen can continue to dominate the way he has in recent years, it won’t take long for his win percentage to exceed that of Hamilton and Schumaker, even if his number of total wins still lags behind.

Even now at the age of 26, Verstappen could already have a step up on both Hamilton and Schumaker. During the 2023 season, Verstappen set the single-season record with 19 wins, as well as the record for making the podium in 21 of 22 races. Those numbers exceed anything that Hamilton or Schumaker accomplished in their remarkable careers. Hamilton never won more than 11 races in his career, a number that Verstappen has surpassed twice. Schumaker, meanwhile, never won more than 13 races in a single season. He also reached or exceeded 10 wins just twice in his career while Verstappen has won at least 10 races in three straight seasons.

On the other hand, Verstappen still can’t match the type of longevity that Hamilton and Schumaker both displayed. As mentioned, both legends won at least four consecutive world championships at one point whereas Verstappen has won just three in a row. But it goes beyond that. Between 2014 and 2021, Hamilton won at least eight races in eight straight years, including six years when he won at least 10 races. Schumacher had an even longer run of consistency. In the 13-year period between 1994 and 2006, he won at least five races 10 times with seven seasons in which Schumacher won at least seven races. As dominant as Verstappen has been over the last three years, he still has a long way to go to match the longevity of drivers like Hamilton and Schumacher.

That being said, there’s no question that Verstappen is on his way to becoming the greatest F1 driver of all time. His success over the last three years is unprecedented in the sport, creating a path for him to surpass both Hamilton and Schumacher in most statistical categories within the next handful of years. With Hamilton racing and drivers like Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso in the mix, it’s not as if Verstappen doesn’t have plenty of competition. The field of drivers is arguably as deep as it’s ever been, yet Verstappen has dominated like no other racer that has come before him.

At age 26, it would take something monumental to stop Verstappen from one day leaving no shadow of a doubt that he’s the best F1 driver of all time. Of course, for some people like former driver Gerhard Berger, Verstappen is already the greatest of all time.

 “He simply lives with every fiber of his body for his sport, for Formula 1,” Berger said after the 2023 season. “That is his passion, which is why, for me, he is the world’s best racing driver of all time.”

Leave a comment