The Verstappen effect at Red Bull | Pirelli

The Verstappen effect at Red Bull


Barcelona seems to play an important role in the career of Max Verstappen. It was here on the outskirts of the Catalan capital, on 15 May eight years ago that an 18 year old Max took his first Formula 1 win and became the youngest Grand Prix winner ever. Today, not yet 27 years of age, the three-time world champion stood on the highest step of the podium for the 61st time, presenting his team with its 120th Formula 1 win. It means that he is responsible for over half of Red Bull's victories, a clear demonstration of just how important he is to the Christian Horner run squad, not just from a purely technical and racing point of view, but also historically.


Just five drivers have won in cars designed by the  Milton Keynes team, and apart from the Dutchman, only Sebastian Vettel made it to double figures with 38 wins. The German still outdoes Max when it comes to world titles, but Verstappen could well double Vettel's number of race wins next year, having already gone ahead of him, in third place in the all-time winner's list at the end of 2023. The other three Red Bull winners are left with the scraps: Mark Webber got nine and his fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo seven, while Mexico's Sergio Perez has five and as a current driver, is the only one apart from Max who can still add to his  Red Bull total.

It's clear therefore that Verstappen has played a major part in a team that, in its 20th season in Formula 1 is already fourth on the list of all-time Grand Prix winners and when it comes to Drivers' world titles. How do these numbers stack up against other teams? Ferrari and Mercedes have had drivers even more dominant than Red Bull. 72 of the Italian team's wins came courtesy of Michael Schumacher, although as a percentage, the seven times world champion's score of 29.4% is lower than Verstappen's. But that's because over a much longer period, with 74 years in the sport, it has racked up no fewer than 245 victories. However, in the case of Ferrari there's a huge gap between Schumacher's total and second placed Niki Lauda on 15 wins for the Prancing Horse. That other seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, has a huge influence on Mercedes' figures, having secured 82 of the team's 125 wins, almost two thirds (65.6%).
There's a much smaller spread between winning drivers in other longstanding teams. At McLaren, only seven wins separate the top two on the list of winners, Ayrton Senna on 35 and Alain Prost on 30, while Nigel Mansell on 28 and Damon Hill on 21 are split by seven at Williams.



Of course, statistics must always be seen for what they are – intriguing numbers that trigger a discussion and they don't necessarily produce any clearcut conclusions. What we do know is that we are lucky enough to be able to watch at close quarters the career of a driver and a young man who is destined to write many more pages of the Formula 1 history book.