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Formula 1

The drivers that would have single-handedly won the Constructors’ title

It doesn't happen often but drivers can sometimes have such a dominant season that their points tally is enough to beat the second-place team in the Constructors' Championship. What are the most recent examples of this?

Verstappen Lambiase Qatar 2023
To news overview © XPBimages

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.

			© Mercedes
	© Mercedes

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.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

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.

			© xpb.cc
	© xpb.cc

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.

			© xpb.cc
	© xpb.cc

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 disqualification.

			© xpb.cc
	© xpb.cc


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