Max Verstappen’s dominant season marks the sixth time this century
that a driver built up enough points in the Drivers’ Championship
to best the runner-up in the Constructors’ standings. The Dutchman
has enjoyed statistically the most dominant season in Formula 1
history and has set a new win percentage record, besting the 1952
achievement by Alberto Ascari. But what are the other occasions in
recent times that a single driver’s effort would’ve been enough to
see off the challenge from the next best team? Lewis Hamilton –
2020 The 2020 Formula 1 season was the last year that Mercedes
dominated the F1 field, having done so since the introduction of
new regulations in 2014. The W11 it fielded that season is
considered to be one of the greatest cars in F1 history and it is
widely regarded to be the fastest of all time. Hamilton won 11 out
of the 16 races held that year during the Covid-impacted campaign
and stood on the podium 14 times. Ending the year with his seventh
World Championship, Hamilton tallied up 347 points. Finishing
second in the standings that year was Red Bull which took two wins
with Verstappen, but with 319 points, its two-driver line-up
couldn’t beat Hamilton’s effort during the year. Sebastian Vettel –
2013 The last year before the turbo-hybrid era began saw pure
domination from Sebastian Vettel who set a record for the most
consecutive wins in a row – an achievement that stood until
Verstappen bested it last season and again this term. Vettel’s
fourth and final F1 title was an unchallenged one as he triumphed
at 13 of the 19 races, including each of the last nine Grands Prix
of the season. The German driver secured 394 points during the year
to beat his own record set two years previously. Vettel suffered
one retirement and two fourth-place finishes during the season but
other than that, he was on the podium at every race. Mercedes
narrowly edged Ferrari to second place in the standings that year
but with just 360 points to its name, it didn’t trouble Vettel’s
tally. Michael Schumacher – 2004 Michael Schumacher’s last
title-winning campaign in Formula 1 in 2004 saw him win 12 out of
the opening 13 races of the season which set in stone his
championship hunt. The German triumphed just once more in the last
five races but his efforts were enough to easily see off a title
challenge from his rivals. Schumacher’s tally of seven F1 titles
stood unmatched for 16 years until Hamilton mirrored his efforts
but up to then, Schumacher’s final year at the head of the
standings placed him above everyone else in the record books. He
took home 148 points [under the old point-scoring system where 10
points were awarded for victory] while second-place in the
Constructors’ standings BAR, who fielded Jenson Button and Takuma
Sato, had 119 to their name. Michael Schumacher – 2002 Schumacher’s
second appearance on this list comes from his fifth title-winning
campaign, the year he matched Juan Manuel Fangio’s Championship
tally from 1957. It was a truly dominant campaign for Schumacher
and remains the only season in F1 history that a driver stood on
the podium at every race. With 11 race wins, five second places and
one drive to third, Schumacher’s consistency saw him breeze to the
title with Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello ending the year in
second. In the Constructors’ Championship, Williams scored 92
points to finish runner-up but its tally didn’t come close to
Schumacher’s 144 that eased him to another championship. Michael
Schumacher – 2001 Having seen off a challenge from Mika Hakkinen
the year before for his first title with Ferrari, 2001 was the
first year that the German cruised to a championship with the
Italian squad. Schumacher picked up two retirements during the year
and finished fourth in Italy but otherwise, he was on the podium at
every race. With nine victories coming during the campaign,
Schumacher picked up 123 points throughout the year. McLaren was
still Ferrari’s closest challenger at the time, but with Hakkinen
and David Coulthard at the wheel, it only produced 102 points.
Schumacher finished the year with a sizeable lead in the standings
as he had almost double the tally of runner-up Coulthard. Bonus:
Kimi Raikkonen – 2007 Kimi Raikkonen’s sole F1 title in 2007 came
during his maiden season for Ferrari and at the end of a year-long
tussle with McLaren. McLaren itself faced multiple challenges that
year with rookie Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso scrapping for
supremacy. But a more pressing problem was on the cards when it
later emerged that McLaren had access to Ferrari’s car designs,
sparking one of the biggest controversies in F1 history. McLaren
was ultimately thrown out of the Constructors’ Championship but
would’ve scored 218 points if not for the penalty. Raikkonen won
the season with 110 points while BMW Sauber was boosted up to
second place with 101 points on account of McLaren’s

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