In an extraordinary 2023 Formula 1 season, Max Verstappen shattered records with 19 grand prix wins and a third consecutive World Championship. However, he candidly acknowledged a “big embarrassing mistake” at Silverstone, showing a rare moment of vulnerability in an otherwise impeccable season.
- Record-Breaking Season: Max Verstappen claimed an unprecedented 19 grand prix wins out of 22 in the 2023 season, setting a new standard in Formula 1 with a third consecutive World Championship and a final tally of 575 points.
- Singular Error at Silverstone: In a rare moment of lapse, Verstappen drove into the pit wall during the British Grand Prix qualifying, damaging his front wing and marking it as his only major error of the season, which he himself described as “rather embarrassing.”
- Challenges and Tensions: Despite the near-perfect season, Verstappen faced challenges, such as an incorrect setup in Singapore and instances of tension with his team, like in the Spanish GP where he pursued the fastest lap against team advice.
Max Verstappen’s 2023 Formula 1 season was a breathtaking display of skill, endurance, and strategic mastery. The Dutch driver’s triumph, clinching his third World Championship in a row, was a testament to his unrelenting pursuit of excellence. With a historic 19 wins out of 22 races, Verstappen not only surpassed previous records but also raised the bar for future F1 seasons.
However, even in a season filled with triumphs, Verstappen faced a significant hiccup. The incident at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, where he collided with the pit wall during qualifying, stood out in stark contrast to his otherwise flawless campaign. Reflecting on this, Verstappen admitted, “I’ve only made one big mistake this year. I drove into the pit wall at Silverstone. That’s rather embarrassing.”
Despite this error, Verstappen’s season was characterized by consistent brilliance and a strategic approach to racing. He spoke of his drive for perfection, saying, “You can always do better. Sometimes you’re just less far away from perfection than usual.”
The season also saw its fair share of challenges beyond Silverstone. At the Singapore Grand Prix, an incorrect setup on his RB19 led to a less-than-ideal performance. Verstappen finished in fifth place, a rare setback in a season dominated by Red Bull, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz claiming victory.
Verstappen’s approach to racing often involves pushing the limits, a mindset that has served him well throughout his career. In his own words, “Normally everything is controlled from my side. I think even in Barcelona, when I already had three cautions for these track limits. Nevertheless, I said to myself, I have to have this fastest race lap, so don’t make another mistake.”
As the 2024 season approaches, expectations are high for Verstappen. If he wins the World Championship again, he will match Sebastian Vettel’s record of four consecutive titles with Red Bull, a goal that is well within his reach given his exceptional talent and dedication to the sport.