Max Verstappen set a new record with 19 wins in the 2023 F1 season, impressing with his skillful driving and leading some to suspect he didn’t have to push his car to its limits to win, a notion supported by team boss Christian Horner, who suggested Verstappen could have won by even larger margins if he had pushed harder.
‣ Max Verstappen set a new record with 19 wins in the 2023 F1 season, surpassing his own previous record.
‣ Verstappen’s performance was so dominant that competitors suspected he didn’t have to push his car to its limits to win.
‣ Team boss Christian Horner acknowledged that there was always an element of managing the car’s performance, particularly in relation to the sensitivity of the tires.
‣ Despite stopping the development of the car mid-year due to wind tunnel restrictions, Verstappen remained the strongest competitor for the rest of the season, with the exception of a defeat in Singapore.
Max Verstappen, the three-time world champion, made quite a splash in the 2023 F1 season. He bagged a whopping 19 wins, breaking his own record for the most wins in a single F1 year. But it wasn’t just the sheer volume of victories that caught everyone’s attention. It was the way he won them.
Verstappen’s style of winning was so effortless that it left his competitors scratching their heads. They were left wondering if he even had to push himself to the limit to secure his victories. Sounds unbelievable, right?
Christian Horner, the team boss, was quizzed by Sky Sports about this. They wanted to know how often Verstappen was just cruising through the Grands Prix he won. Horner’s response? “There’s always an element of managing because the tires are pretty sensitive, so not overstressing the car,” he said.
Now, let’s talk about Verstappen’s victory in Bahrain. According to Horner, it could have been even more significant. He said, “The engines have got to do so many races and reliability being a key factor. At the beginning of the year, that first race in Bahrain, we could have been another 20 seconds up the road if he’d had been pushing.”
But they had to be strategic. With wind tunnel restrictions, they had to decide where to deploy their resources. They even stopped developing the car mid-year. As a result, the field got closer in the second half of the year.
Despite all this, Red Bull Racing only admitted defeat once, in Singapore, where Ferrari took the lead. But for the rest of the season? Verstappen was the strongest each time, despite the challenges pointed out by Horner. Now, that’s what you call a champion’s spirit!