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The debut season and a comparison Hamilton vs Vers...
Formula One facts and figures

The debut season and a comparison Hamilton vs Verstappen

i About facts-figure section.

Lewis Hamilton debuted at the age of 22, and Max Vestappen at the age of 17, currently being the youngest driver at the start of a Formula 1 race. If Hamilton won even four races in the first season, Verstappen had to wait until his second season when, after four races for Toro Rosso, he moved to Red Bull and debuted with a victory in Catalunya.

The difference in debut performances between the two drivers is also made by the teams where the two debuted. Lewis Hamilton debuted in 2007 at McLaren, the team that was in the top 5 since 2002, while Max Verstappen debuted in 2015 for Toro Rosso, the team that did not rank in the top 5 places, having the best ranking before Verstappen's arrival one place 6 in the 2008 season.

The teams where they debuted in previous seasons

The graph above shows the championship position of the teams they debuted in their first season and up to 9 seasons back. As an example for McLaren, 9 will be 1998 and 0 for 2007 season, and for Toro Rosso 9 represents 2006 and 0 for the 2015 season.

The chances of a better debut according to the chart seem to help Lewis to have better classifications on his Formula 1 debut.

Even if they were disqualified in 2007 F1 season, the year of Hamilton's debut, in the graph for McLaren we have the 1st position in the ranking for teams to emphasize in comparison with the season when Verstappen debuted.

Championship positions

Hamilton had a better start in Formula 1 in 2007, fighting for the title from the first season, finishing in 2nd place, just 1 point behind Kimi Raikkonen. In his debut season, Hamilton managed to get the podium in the first 9 consecutive races, missing the podium in 5 races out of 17. At the 2007 Fuji race, Hamilton managed to get pole position, fastest lap and victory for the first time in his career.

In the 2015 season, Max Verstappen debuts in Formula 1, failing to achieve a better ranking on the starting grid in any race compared to Hamilton, finishing the first season in 12th place. However, he had two races where he ranked better at the end of the race, at the Hungaroring when Max finished 4th and Lewis 6th and in Singapore where Hamilton abandoned the race and Verstappen finished 8th.

Best at starting grid

Best race postions

In the following 5 F1 seasons, Hamilton is the favorite between the two, managing to win all seasons except for 2016 when his teammate Nico Rosberg becomes champion with a difference of only 5 points.

In the 7th season with Red Bull, Max Verstappen wins the first world champion title (2021), a season in which Verstappen begins to have better percentages in the rankings on the starting grid, sharing in that season the number of better rankings at the end of races, 11 races each with a better ranking. Verstappen becomes world champion only 8 points ahead Hamilton, and in 2022 the distance in points increases, Hamilton finishing in 6th place, in his first season in Formula 1 without obtaining a victory, but helping the team win the title of champions for the 8th time consecutive year.

The 2022 season continues with a better positioned Verstappen, and in 2023, including the Spa-Francorchamps race, Lewis fails to have a better ranking in any race.

Fastest lap postions in debut season

Fastest lap postions when won first title

An interesting comparison is between the fastest lap ranking of each race in the debut season vs the season when they first became champion. At the debut season there is a big difference influenced by the difference between McLaren and Toro Rosso performances. The second graph in which both drivers become Formula1 champions for the first time, obviously in different seasons, they seem to be almost equal, an obvious thing because to win the title they should finish each race in the best possible position, evidently having a good positioning in the fastest lap ranking at each race.

If we compare the performances of Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen, at this moment (after the race from Spa in 2023) even if Lewis leads in all chapters, it seems that the balance will tend to tilt in favor of Verstappen, provided that the turmoil of the last two seasons continues.

About facts-figures section

All the articles in this section follow the statistical data.

In this section, I'm just trying to find some pattern from a statistical point of view compared to the results from Formula1.