For the third time in a row, Max Verstappen becomes World Champion in a dramatic Sprint race.
Max Verstappen has done it again. After an incredible year of domination, Max Verstappen is World Champion for the third consecutive time. Verstappen’s fans have been expecting it since the start of the season. Verstappen’s haters have been waiting in vain for a mistake from the Dutchman. Super Max Verstappen, however, confirms again his talent. With a battling run to second position he ultimately finished in between the McLaren’s of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris.
- The race to the victory
Even though the pole position for the Sprint Race went to the talented Oscar Piastri, there were no doubts in Verstappen’s ability to “redeem” himself. However, as the lights went out he went from P3 to P5. Losing ground right at the start of the race wasn’t very favorable but the medium tyres came to the rescue. As the drivers who chose the soft compound started to struggle Verstappen quickly made his way past them.
When the second safety car came out Russel was leading with Verstappen in fifth place. On lap 9 Verstappen turned up his pace to close in on Leclerc, he then ducked into the Ferrari’s slipstream before slipping ahead during the run to turn 1. After he repeated this trick on Sainz, Max found himself in third place. However, we could say that Super Max sealed his third title when teammate Sergio Perez crashed on Lap 11. Why? To make the Championship virtually open Sergio Perez should have scored at least three points more than Verstappen. With this, the Mexican made his possibility of catching Verstappen mathematically impossible. But Max Verstappen could have “only” finished sixth, and the title would have still been in his pocket.
This race confirmed the Dutchman as the sport’s title winner for the third consecutive season. Thanks to this result Verstappen joins an exclusive group of drivers with three F1 crowns. Max’s name is now up there with the likes of Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet, and Ayrton Senna. In addition, Max’s title completes the double for Red Bull, with the team having won the Constructors’ Championship back at Suzuka.
“To have been able to achieve something like this, I can’t thank you all enough, and besides all the performance-related stuff, it’s also been a pleasure working with you all, and that’s definitely the most important in the end. Thank you very much.”
– Max Verstappen to his team after snatching the title
- The Max Verstappen Era: record after record
Max has dominated from the moment the first light went out. His skills and determination to win have been ever-present. So saying this season has been record-breaking for Verstappen would be using a euphemism. Not everyone believes in records and even fewer people believe in the greatness that takes to break them. At least when we talk about Max Verstappen. However, Super Max had been breaking records long before he became the World Champion. Here’s a list of some of his incredible record-breaking moments up until now.
- At the 2015 Australian GP, he became the youngest driver to race in Formula 1 at 17 years and 166 days.
- At the 2016 Spanish GP, he became the youngest driver to win an F1 race at 18 years and 228 days.
- At the 2021 Austrian GP, he became the youngest driver to achieve a grand slam at 23 years and 277 days.
- At the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP he became the first driver to achieve the most podiums in a season with 18 podiums, the record was previously held by Michael Schumacher in 2002 and Sebastian Vettel in 2013 with 17 podiums.
- At the 2022 Mexican GP, he became the first driver to achieve the most victories in a season with 14, the record was previously held by Michael Schumacher in 2004 and Sebastian Vettel in 2013 with 13 victories.
This year at the Italian Grand Prix he became the first driver to achieve 10 wins in a row, breaking Sebastian Vettel’s record of 9 wins in a row in 2013. Nobody after him successfully achieved to break or even equalized this record. Until Max Verstappen came. To most people record don’t mean anything. But this proves that we’re currently living in the Max Verstappen era and whether it will be long or short Max Verstappen can be considered part of the legendary drivers who came before him.
For Red Bull, this has been an incredible year. Even more so for Super Max Verstappen. He made his way into the season breaking record after record, challenging the ones of the Champions who came before him. However, his first World title didn’t come as easily as this. With a Championship fought until the last lap of the last race of the season amidst all controversies. In 2021 Max had to do it the hard way. Nothing comparable to the smooth domination of this season. However, this title is no less valuable than either the first or the second.
It’s clear that Max Verstappen has a gift. He has something that goes beyond the talent, the strong car, or his team’s impeccable job. At only 26 years old Verstappen has through his hands three World Championships. And the goal has always been the same: being the best.
When Red Bull entrusted its hopes and dreams to return to greatness in the barely of age Max Verstappen they were not looked upon kindly. But “Mad Max”, as he was called when he started his career in F1, proved Red Bull right. There he climbed to the highest step of the podium for the first time in his career and from there he never came down. It’s his natural habitat, on the podium he knows he has made it. It’s a privilege to see him achieve everything he only dreamt of as a kid. No one knows what the future holds for him, but it’s clear that at this moment Max Verstappen has become more than a simple Formula 1 driver.