Max Verstappen’s journey to claiming the 2023 Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championship title has been undeniably dominant. With an astonishing 17 race victories, 19 podiums, and 11 pole positions after 20 races, Verstappen has had a season which will no doubt go down in history as one of the most triumphant of all time, and it isn’t over yet.
“Max grew up in a racing family with both his father Jos and mother Sophie successful racers in their own right, so in many ways his destiny was fixed,” commented renowned Formula 1 keynote speaker, Mark Gallagher.
“What makes Max’s achievements so impressive is how he has grown into the role of team leader at Oracle Red Bull Racing since first breaking into F1 at the age of only 17. As David Coulthard has pointed out, Max lives for racing, if he isn’t racing in F1 he is competing on-line or driving a kart or indeed anything he can get his hands on. His single-minded focus on being the best he can be has combined with the superb Red Bull machinery produced by the technical team under Adrian Newey to create a formidable partnership. One which will go down in history as one of Formula 1’s truly legendary car and driver pairings.”
Verstappen’s remarkable season is accentuated by ground-breaking achievements and the smashing of numerous long-standing records, from obtaining the highest number of points scored in a season to securing the most consecutive wins.
Not too long ago, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna’s monumental achievement of winning 15 of 16 races for McLaren in one season was seemingly a one-off occurrence. Yet, 35 years later, Verstappen has single-handedly claimed a colossal 17 wins in the 2023 season so far.
Verstappen has been almost invincible since his success at the opening race in Bahrain. After facing initial competition from teammate Sergio Pérez, who secured wins in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan, Verstappen’s determination was evident. His 10-race winning streak began in May and ended in September, breaking Sebastian Vettel’s 2013 record of nine consecutive victories.
This streak came to a halt in Singapore after Red Bull struggled to bring the car to life, but Verstappen soon returned to the top step of the podium and hasn’t left.
Aside from Singapore’s blip, Red Bull Racing have delivered exceptional consistency throughout the season and Verstappen has extracted the maximum performance from his car, culminating in the team claiming the World Constructors’ Championship at the Japanese Grand Prix.
As Formula 1 heads into the final years of its current regulations, Verstappen is setting his sights on a fourth consecutive title. Maintaining his dominance in 2024 and 2025 is plausible, particularly as, at the age of 26, Verstappen isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Considering his consistent progress each season, it’s challenging to imagine a scenario where Red Bull and Verstappen are not championship contenders in 2024 and 2025.
With the relative stability of car development regulations, teams such as Mercedes, Ferrari, and McLaren may have a better opportunity to close in on Red Bull. Although, the lack of change to these regulations may work in Red Bull’s favour, allowing them to refine their package.
Looking ahead to 2026, a considerable challenge arises as Red Bull Powertrains ventures into becoming the manufacturer of their power units. However, if previous seasons are any indication, Red Bull’s ability to adapt to changing regulations will yield positive results, and their partnership with Verstappen will preserve their dominance in the coming years.