How Max Verstappen blew away the opposition in the 2023 F1 season

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The 2023 Formula 1 season has been completely dominated by a single driver and a single team. We are talking about Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. The Dutch driver managed to obtain his third consecutive drivers’ championship during the last Qatar Grand Prix.

At the beginning of the season, both drivers of the energy drink team seemed to be at the same level in terms of performance, since in the first 4 races of the year, 2 were won by the Dutchman and the other 2 by the Mexican.

After a bad streak of results on the part of Sergio Perez, which began during the Monaco Grand Prix and spread throughout Spain, Canada and even Great Britain, it was the main reason why Verstappen managed to take off from any possible threat, crowning himself as champion a whole 5 races before the season ends.

It has been a year full of success for the Dutch driver, and we can confirm it with some records that Verstappen has broken. It is well known that the record for consecutive victories was held by the four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel, with a total of 9 consecutive victories.

However, Max Verstappen has broken it this year as he achieved a total of 10 races won in a row, the first being the Miami Grand Prix and the last (of this streak) the Italian Grand Prix.

After the Qatar Grand Prix, Max Verstappen has a total of 433 points, while his teammate and second place in the drivers’ championship, Sergio Perez, has a total of 224, a difference of 209 points. He’s scored more points than the Mexican and Hamilton [P3] combined.

If we start to analyse the Dutchman’s results, we can see how dominant he has been throughout this year. For example, in 2023, 17 races have been raced so far. Of those 17, Verstappen has been on the podium on 16 occasions, that means that in 94% of races he has finished in the top 3.

Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool.

Likewise, of the 17 races that have been held in 2023, Verstappen has achieved victory in 14 of them. That is, 82% of this year’s races have been won by the Dutch driver. The only circuits where he did not win this year was in Singapore, where Carlos Sainz triumphed, as well as in Saudi Arabia and Baku, countries where the victory went to his teammate.

Another impressive statistic that we have been able to observe is the number of points that Verstappen has managed to obtain out of the available. We know that in a Grand Prix with a traditional format you can obtain up to 26 points (25 for the victory and 1 extra point if the fastest lap is also achieved).

Now, if the race weekend has a sprint format, you can obtain up to 34 points (25 for the victory in the main race on Sunday, 1 extra point for the fastest lap and 8 points if the victory is also achieved during the sprint race).

Of the 17 races that have been held, 13 have been a traditional format and 4 have been in a sprint format (Baku, Austria, Belgium and Qatar). If we do the math, the highest amount of points that a driver can have so far is 474 points.

Taking into account that the maximum possible amount is 474 points, and that Max Verstappen currently has 433, we are talking about that the Dutch driver has obtained 91% of the available points throughout the season. To put it in comparison, Sergio Perez, who is placed second in the drivers’ championship, has a total of 224 points, this means that the Mexican has only achieved 47% of the available points. It’s an extremely dominant statistic for the three-time world champion.

As for pole positions, the Dutch driver has obtained a total of 10 throughout this year, with 30 being the total number in this area. In terms of laps led, the energy drink team driver has remained ahead of all drivers in 769 laps, and the only two Grand Prix where he has not led a single lap was during the Singapore Grand Prix and the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The Dutch driver shared during a media session ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix the exact moment where he felt in tune with the RB19, and affirms that from that race onwards was when all the good results that he has managed to achieve came.

“It was when I was behind [Perez] after the pit stop with the Safety Car,” Verstappen affirmed referring to the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. “I was just trying a lot of different combinations on the wheel, to get a bit more of an understanding [on the car], because it was still so early in the season.

“Towards the end of the race, I found my rhythm, I found my preferred balance, and it helped to just find a little bit more of an edge,” Verstappen stated.

“I jumped out of the car after the race, and of course P2 is not where I want to be, but I was like, ‘I actually learned a lot throughout the race’. It was actually very useful to do.”

It is known that to get the most out of a car, the driver must know his car and must be in tune with it. With these statements, Verstappen confim that it was in Baku when he managed to figure out certain characteristics in his driving style and in the RB19, which helped him drive faster.

Although in that race he finished in second position and behind his teammate, it was a key point during the successful season that the three-time world champion has been having.

Verstappen has led 769 to date this season, the most of any driver in any F1 campaign. He’s on course to take the highest percentage record, too.

The 26-year-old is an elite athlete at the very top of his game.