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Max Verstappen takes Michael Schumacher's record for most podiums in an F1 season

Jake Nichol December 13, 2021
F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi
Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Max Verstappen picked up a long-held record from Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton in 2021 – the most podiums ever in an F1 season. How many did he get and what about Hamilton?

It’s probably the record that Max Verstappen was really after in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but he claimed the record for most podiums in an F1 season at Yas Marina.

Any finish on the rostrum would have been good enough for the Red Bull driver to take the record, but he took it in style with a win.

It also secured him the world championship for the first time, little things and all that…

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Now Verstappen holds the record for most podiums in an F1 season, how many did he get in 2021, and what happened when he didn’t finish on it?

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Max Verstappen most podiums in an F1 season record

Schumacher (2002) and Vettel (2011) both recorded 17 podium finishes across their title winning campaigns for Ferrari and Red Bull, respectively.

Indeed, Schumacher’s 2002 campaign was so crushing, he finished on the podium in EVERY race of the year – that’s 11 wins, five seconds and a third.

That third place came in just the second race of the season…

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Nobody has, or ever will top Schumacher’s tally of 100% of podiums in a season, but Verstappen gave it a good go.

The #33 took 18 podium finishes from 22 grands prix – 10 wins and eight seconds.

Verstappen only finished lower than second all season, once.

It was a staggering campaign of consistency from the Dutchman, rewarded with his first world title.

What happened when he didn’t finish on the podium?

Verstappen did not take a podium in four races in 2021.

The details are below:

  • Azerbaijan GP – tyre failure – classified 18th but was not running at the end
  • British GP – DNF – first lap collision with Hamilton at Copse
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Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP via Getty Images
  • Hungarian GP – 9th – Valtteri Bottas skittles the pack at Turn 1, Verstappen sustains severe damage
  • Italian GP – DNF – lands on top of Hamilton’s car

What about Hamilton and his podiums?

Verstappen is still someway off Hamilton’s all-time tally of 182 podiums – he is currently on 60 as of the Abu Dhabi GP.

The Briton matched his own personal tally of 17 podiums for a fifth time.

Hamilton recorded eight wins, eight seconds and a third from the 21 races he finished.

It was his failure to bank second places when Verstappen won that arguably cost him the title.

Every race Hamilton won in 2021 – the British GP aside, Verstappen finished second to him.

In the 10 races Verstappen won, Hamilton finished runner-up seven times.

Hamilton was seventh in Monaco, fourth in Austria and third in the aborted half-points Belgian GP.

Even if no points were awarded at all in Spa, Verstappen would still have won the title.

He would have dropped from 395.5 to 383, with Hamilton falling from 387.5 to 380.

Most podiums by Hamilton by year:

  • 2015 – 17 podiums – 19 starts
  • 2016 – 17 podiums – 21 starts
  • 2018 – 17 podiums – 21 starts
  • 2019 – 17 podiums – 21 starts
  • 2021 – 17 podiums – 22 starts
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Photo by Hasan Bratic/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

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Jake can usually be found writing about or watching anything to do with motorsport – from Formula 1 to NASCAR to British Truck Racing. His work as a motorsport journalist has been published by the likes of Autosport, and Motorsport News – all highly respected names. Away from racing he is a keen amateur astronomer, podcast listener and enjoys long walks in the park with his three dogs.