Number 33 is now number one after Max Verstappen secured his maiden FIA Formula One World Championship title for Red Bull Racing Honda with an extraordinary last-gasp victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Dig a little deeper, though, and there are any number of stats that matter to provide context, nuance and an explanation as to how – and why – Red Bull’s flying Dutchman soared to the sport’s summit after a 2021 F1 season for the ages, where he dethroned seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton.
Here are the key numbers from Verstappen’s memorable 2021 world championship-winning campaign:
Verstappen led 652 laps this season, which equates to 50.2 percent of all race laps, more than double the number of laps led by Hamilton (297), and more than the other nine drivers who led races this year combined (348). More than half of the 1239 career laps he has led have come this season. In the season finale? He led for one lap – the final one.
Verstappen achieved the world title in his 141st F1 start, 23 of which came with Scuderia Toro Rosso (2015-16) before his switch to Red Bull Racing for the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, which he won on debut for the team.
Podium finishes in 2021 of the 60 in Verstappen’s career. Since the beginning of 2018, he has been on the podium in 49 of 81 races, equating to 60 percent of all Grands Prix held in four years.
Races out of 22 where Red Bull Racing had the fastest pit stop of the Grand Prix in 2021 (Verstappen in Bahrain, Portugal, Monaco, Azerbaijan, Styria, Austria, Hungary, Netherlands, Turkey, Qatar and Abu Dhabi, and Sergio Pérez in France and Saudi Arabia).
Both the number of wins this season of the 20 in Verstappen’s career and the number of 2021 pole positions of his career total of 13. His most dominant run came in the France-Styria-Austria triple-header, where he won three races in succession for the first time and led all 142 laps across the Styrian and Austrian Grands Prix at the Red Bull Ring.
Number of seconds Verstappen had in hand over Hamilton over 5487km in all of the races both drivers ran to their completion in 2021 (excludes the Azerbaijan, British, Belgian and Italian Grands Prix).
Fastest laps this season of the 16 in Verstappen’s career, five of which earned an extra world championship point for finishing inside the top 10 in Spain, France, Austria, Qatar and Abu Dhabi.
Successive years where Red Bull Racing has won the DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award for the team with the fastest average pit stop time over the course of a season. Of the fastest pit stops this season, Red Bull had the eight fastest single stops and nine of the top 10.
Verstappen is the second world champion to win the title for Red Bull Racing after Sebastian Vettel won four in a row from 2010 to 2013.
In seconds, the fastest pit stop of the season when Verstappen pitted on lap 40 of the Hungarian Grand Prix – one of five sub-two-second stops for the team this season.
The number Verstappen will carry on his car for 2022 as the reigning Formula One World Champion.