Max Verstappen rounded off the most dominant season in the history of Formula One with his 19th victory from 22 races in Abu Dhabi.
Verstappen finished 18 seconds ahead of his nearest rival, Charles Leclerc of Ferrari, with the Mercedes of George Russell in third.
His team-mate Sergio Perez crossed the line in second place, but was demoted after receiving a five-second time penalty for colliding with Lando Norris’s McLaren earlier in the race.
Verstappen clocked the fastest lap of the race to earn a bonus point and finish the season with 575 points out of a maximum possible 620. The ratio of 92.6% is well ahead of the previous record of 84.7% set by Michael Schumacher in 2002.
Three laps from the end of the race in Abu Dhabi, Verstappen became the first driver to lead for 1,000 laps during a single season. Altogether he led the field for 75.7% of the entire race distance, beating Jim Clark’s record of 71.5% from 1963.
The 26-year-old acknowledged it had been an “incredible season” as he reflected on yet another victory. “It will be hard to do something similar again, but we definitely enjoyed this year,” he said.
The 19 wins for the Dutchman broke his own season’s record of 15, set last year, while Perez won two of the other three, making Red Bull the most successful team in a single season in the sport’s history.
Verstappen has won 54 Grand Prix races in his career so far, the third highest total of all time. He will start next season as the overwhelming favourite to win a fourth world title, which would draw him level with Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel.
During the season he passed Prost, Vettel and Ayrton Senna to become the third most successful driver of all time in terms of races won. Only Michael Schumacher, with 91 wins, and Lewis Hamilton, on 103, stand ahead of him.
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