Helmut Marko explains why Max Verstappen won’t break Lewis Hamilton’s records

Max Verstappen can take the record for the most wins in a single season from Sebastian Vettel at the Mexican Grand Prix.

2022 really has been Max Verstappen’s year, with nobody having been able to consistently match, let alone beat, the imperious Dutchman.

Verstappen’s victory at last weekend’s severely reduced Japanese Grand Prix saw the Dutchman claim his second consecutive World Championship, with more dominance likely until at least 2026, with the current regulations set to be unchanged until then.

Despite the race at the incredibly wet Suzuka being only 28 laps, Verstappen somehow achieved the biggest win ever seen at the circuit, after beating Sergio Pérez by 27 seconds.

His pace in the pouring rain was sensational, with his driving ability in the rain being likened to that of Michael Schumacher.

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Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko was asked to sum up the ridiculous margin in which Verstappen won by, with the Austrian admitting that he was “nursing again”.

“That is Verstappen!” said Marko.

“He was nursing again. We were thinking about making a pit stop so we had the fastest lap because, in our calculations, we needed it for the championship.

“But we thought of the risks, the conditions and a two-second margin.

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“But if you do such things with him, you can rely on him that he will deliver some overtakes.”

It wasn’t until Verstappen was in parc ferme that it was realised he’d won the 2022 title, as many were unaware that the FIA had awarded full points due to the reduced race being finished through racing, rather than suspended.

With his second World Championship secure and potentially another three years of domination ahead of him, Verstappen could enter the new engine regulations in 2026 as a five-time World Champion.

He’s also in with a shout for claiming the record this season for most wins in a single campaign.

The record is currently shared by Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, who have both managed 13 wins in a single season.

Verstappen sits on 12 currently, meaning he can match the record at next weekend’s United States Grand Prix and then eclipse it at the Mexican Grand Prix.

A dominant era could put Verstappen in real contention of matching Schumacher’s and Sir Lewis Hamilton’s seven titles; however, Marko is insistent that Verstappen isn’t the “type” of driver who chases records.

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“I thought the record of Michael [Schumacher, seven titles] could never be broken and then Lewis [Hamilton] did it or he has the same amount,” added the Austrian.

“There have to be so many factors together to achieve something.

“For sure, he is not the type who goes for records. One day, he will say fine and then walk away.”