We delved into historical stats to evaluate Red Bull’s level of dominance and their chances of winning 100% of races this season

Spoiler alert! It’s rather unlikely to happen.

We scrutinized historical F1 racing stats to gauge Red Bull’s dominance compared to other dominant teams and estimate their likelihood of ending the season with a 100% win rate. 


Intriguingly, certain statistical similarities suggest that this season bears more resemblance to the 2002 and 2004 championships than the seasons with the highest win rate by a single dominant team.


These findings, among others in our study, make it rather improbable that we will witness a 100% Red Bull win rate in 2023.


Lewis Hamilton has been quoted saying this about Red Bull’s current dominance:

“I’ve never seen a car this fast. When we were quick, we weren’t as quick as they are now. I believe it’s the fastest car I’ve seen, particularly in comparison to the rest.”

“They are likely going to win every race.”


But is this truly the case? Are these comments really rooted in facts or emotions? Is Red Bull’s dominance more pronounced than Mercedes during their most dominant seasons? Or is Hamilton not the best judge, having never watched a Mercedes car fly past him?


Here is a summary of our key findings:

There have ever only been two seasons with a +90% win rate. In both of them the teams could have won 100% of races if it had not been for unforeseen setbacks. What do these seasons have in common and how do they compare with Red Bull’s current season?


Will Red Bull win 100% of races this season? Our findings suggest that the chances of this happening are slim. Here’s a quick look at the most compelling stats we found.


Reasons it will NOT happen:

  • Dominance is skewed towards one driver (Verstappen 75% and Perez 25% of wins).
    Historical statistics reveal that near 100% win rates require both drivers performing at their peak to offset inevitable season hiccups.
  • Average margin in qualifying is 0.394 seconds (much less than Mercedes’ 0.616 seconds in their top win rate season of 2016 in which they could have won 100% of races)


Reasons it WILL happen:

  • The current race pace difference is among the most dominant in the modern era of F1. The average time gap at the finish line is 21 seconds after the first 8 races. However, the cost cap and existing aerodynamic testing restrictions may temper this advantage.


Given these points, while Red Bull’s performance is exceptional, securing a 100% win rate may not be within reach considering the unpredictable nature of racing and the performance disparity between their drivers. Factors such as the slight differences in pole positions and aerodynamic testing restrictions could further impede this goal.

Let’s delve into what we discovered.


Only two seasons ever saw a race win rate exceeding 90%

First, we naturally want to examine the most victorious seasons in Formula One.

Interestingly, from 1950 till 2022, there have only ever been two seasons with a win rate exceeding 90% of races.

The team with the highest win rate in a single season was McLaren in 1988, where Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost won 93.75% of races. They clinched 15 out of 16, with only the Italian Grand Prix falling to Ferrari.


The second most victorious team was Mercedes in 2016. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg won 90.48% of races, 19 out of 21.


* Both teams could have won 100% of races

In both the 1988 and 2016 seasons, it’s clear that the prevailing teams had cars with the potential to clinch victory in 100% of the races, had it not been for unforeseen setbacks.


  • In 1988, McLaren missed out on just 1 out of 16 races, the Italian Grand Prix. This loss was not due to any lack of pace or performance, but was rather attributed to an unfortunate engine failure.
  • Conversely, in 2016 Mercedes fell short in 2 out of 21 races, Spain and Malaysia. In Spain, the now-infamous Turn 4 collision between Hamilton and Rosberg prevented their victory. Then, in Malaysia, an unexpected engine failure in the 41st lap of the race while Hamilton was in a comfortable lead, dashed their chances of winning.


8 seasons ever with a win rate exceeding 80%

When we examined other dominant team seasons, we discovered that there have only been 8 seasons ever with a win rate exceeding 80% from 1950 till 2022. These were:

  • 1950 – Alfa Romeo
  • 1952 – Ferrari
  • 1988 – McLaren
  • 2002 – Ferrari
  • 2004 – Ferrari
  • 2014 – Mercedes
  • 2015 – Mercedes
  • 2016 – Mercedes

We’ll exclude the first two seasons from the rest of this study due to fewer races, inconsistent scoring systems, and technological disparities compared to modern F1.


Red Bull holds 100% of the wins so far, but there remain 14 of 22 races.

In the visuals above we also see the orange line representing the pole position percentages of these seasons and from this we can draw some interesting conclusions further on in this study.


Equal number of wins for both drivers seems to correlate with higher win rate

Examining the two most victorious seasons, an interesting statistic emerges: both team drivers secured almost an equal number of race victories in both +90% win rate seasons.


In 1988, Senna won 8 races and Prost 7. In 2016, Hamilton won 10 and Rosberg 9 (with Rosberg clinching the championship).

This is a clear indication of car dominance in these seasons, rather than the dominance of a single driver.


From 1980 till 2022, seasons with an above 80% win rate, only 2002 (88.24%) and 2004 (83.33%) clearly deviated from this pattern.


  • In 2002, Michael Schumacher won 64.7% of races and his teammate Rubens Barrichello 23.5%.
  • In 2004, Schumacher claimed an astounding 72.2% of victories, while Barrichello merely won 11.1%.


Sure, there could be team orders in play here, but this could also hint that the high win rate was more attributable to the dominance of one driver rather than the car, attesting to Schumacher’s racing prowess.

As for this season, the wins are divided as follows between Red Bull drivers: Verstappen: 75% of wins Perez: 25% of wins.

Further underlining the notion that for an exceptionally high win rate both team drivers need to perform are the other dominant years of the Mercedes’ era (2017-2020). In which Hamilton still managed to win 11 races per season on average, but a decrease in victories from the second driver led to a lower overall win rate.


The same can be said for the Red Bull era of dominance from 2010 to 2013 in which Vettel vastly outscored his teammate Webber.


In most of these seasons the teams didn’t even manage a 70% win rate. 


A possible conclusion we can draw from this is that for a team to accomplish near 100% win rates, both drivers need to be performing at their peak to offset inevitable season hiccups and to make it easier to fend off attacks from rival teams. It can also indicate more driver than car dominance in these seasons.


Pole positions and their relation to car dominance

When we look at the pole position percentages managed by the most dominant teams in the modern F1 era we see the same correlation to car vs driver dominance.


In 1988, 2014, 2015 and 2016 the dominant team managed +93% of pole positions. 


In the three most dominant years of the Mercedes era this was 94.7%, 94.7% and 95.2% of possible pole positions. 


In the before mentioned 2002 and 2004 seasons** Ferrari just managed 58.8% and 66.7% of pole positions** Again signaling that the car didn’t have the same level of dominance as other dominant cars in their seasons.

This is a further indication of the high win rate relying more on the level of dominance of the driver than the car. 


Red Bull has managed 7 poles out of 8 races so far. Bringing their percentage to 87.5% pole positions

The time differences in which they clinched these pole positions are not very big too compared to other dominant cars (as we will show in the next section). Signaling again more similarities to the 2002 and 2004 dominant years of Ferrari and Schumacher.


Red Bull’s Pole Position Time Differences are less than the seasons with the most dominant cars

Now let’s compare the time differences that Red Bull has managed to secure pole position in qualifying sessions to the 6 seasons with a +80% win rate by one team.


During the 2016 season, the average gap between Mercedes and the second-fastest team in Q3 qualifying was 0.616 seconds.

In 13 out of 21 races, the gap exceeded half a second. In 2 races, it was even more than a full second.


Comparing this to the gaps Red Bull has managed in Q3 qualifying sessions this season, the average comes to 0.392 seconds. The 1.244 seconds gap achieved by Max in the wet qualifying in Canada greatly affects this figure. Without it, the average gap would be 0.2 seconds.

If we look at the other seasons we see that in regards to qualifying time differences, the 2023 Red Bull surely is not the fastest car that Lewis has ever seen in his career. This was his own Mercedes.


By far the most dominant car in recent history was the 1988 McLaren, qualifying on average a full second faster than the competing cars in that championship.

Red Bull’s Race Pace is one of the most dominant in the modern F1 era

Many believe that Red Bull’s dominance this season lies not in qualifying but in the racing pace of their car. So this is where we looked next and it is the first sign we saw that there could indeed possibly be a 100% win rate this season. But there are some asterisks to this assumption. 


Analyzing the average gaps at the finish line of each race definitely confirms the impressive racing speed of the RB19 car.


The average time gaps at the finish line amount to a staggering average of 21.155 seconds to the next finishing team in the race

*still nothing in comparison to McLaren’s 1988 season in which their cars managed to lap the whole field in multiple races.


Mercedes in their peak season of 2016 managed an average gap of 12.254 seconds.

In 2014 this was an 18.693 seconds average gap at the finish line to the next team.

This significant difference is the first concrete data point suggesting that this could indeed be the year one team clinches 100% of race wins. There is a chance with this big of a difference in racing speed.


That being said however, whether other teams can close this gap is yet to be seen.


The likelihood of this happening is not in Red Bull’s favor and is greater than in previous seasons.


The aerodynamic testing restrictions introduced in 2021 give competitors an advantage in closing this gap.


As the 2022 constructor champion, Red Bull already has the least amount of wind tunnel testing time, which is further reduced by an extra 10% due to the cost cap breach penalty they received.


In addition to this there is a cost cap in F1 now, which should make it easier for other teams to catch up to the top teams. Something that was a lot harder in the Mercedes dominant era of the sport. 


Taking into account historical trends, distribution of wins, and current data, Hamilton’s assertion may seem more based on emotion than reality.


However, if we look purely at the race pace difference, this could indeed be the fastest car Lewis has ever seen in his career.


Can Red Bull win every race this season? It’s a long shot and highly unlikely.


But it is certain that Red Bull’s and in particular Max Verstappen’s performance this season is truly exceptional and well-deserving of accolades, regardless of whether or not they attain 100% of race victories.


Perhaps Hamilton’s observation wasn’t as far off as we initially thought.


But looking at the stats we found, this season has more in common with the 2002 and 2004 seasons in which Ferrari managed a high win rate mainly due to the dominance of their driver Michael Schumacher, than the car being that much more dominant than the rest of the field.

Especially with Perez’s qualifying mistakes and lack of performance in the last couple races, the aerodynamic testing restrictions and cost cap makes it unlikely that we see a 100% win rate this season.

One thing remains certain: Red Bull is giving everyone a run for their money this F1 season and if they manage to pull off a 100% win rate at the end of it, that would be a unique and never before seen accomplishment. 

If you are interested in learning more about the exact data we collected and analyzed for this study, here is a PDF of our methods and here is a Power BI file, presenting all the collected data in an easy-to-understand format.