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Racing Through History: F1 Driver Max Verstappen’s Unprecedented Season

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Oracle Red Bull Racing and Dutch driver Max Verstappen have pieced together a historic 2023 season. Verstappen went on an unprecedented 10-race winning streak, breaking former Red Bull driver and five-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel’s winning streak of nine races set in 2013. Never in Formula 1 (F1) history had anyone before or after Vettel come close to winning nine races in a row, yet Verstappen made it look easy winning 10 and then some!

Verstappen’s almost guaranteed presence on the top step of the podium every race placed Red Bull far ahead of its competitors in the Constructors Championship. Oracle Red Bull Racing clinched the Constructors Championship at the Japanese Grand Prix 17 races into the season with 623 points — a remarkable and impressive feat for a race team.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz was able to break Verstappen’s winning streak with an impressive victory of his own at the Singapore Grand Prix. Until Singapore, Red Bull Racing had been unbeaten for 301 days. The Singapore Grand Prix saw both Red Bull drivers fail to reach the third and final qualifying session as they struggled with breaking issues.

Ferrari and Sainz were able to capitalize off Red Bull’s weaknesses as they took pole and the race win. While Verstappen’s streak was broken, he has still won 13 of 22 races this season. Sainz and Sergio Perez, Verstappen’s teammate, are the only two additional race winners F1 has seen in 2023.

Verstappen has accumulated quite a following of loyal fans. His “Oranje Army” is present at every race, rain or shine. You can’t miss them in the stands; their orange flares, shirts, and signs don’t let you forget how popular Verstappen has become as a driver. The fans’ dedication to Verstappen and Red Bull speaks volumes to F1’s shift in team dominance and driver popularity. While Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes used to control the circuit week in and week out, Red Bull has dethroned the eight-time Constructors Champions and rocketed toward the front of the field.

Now, you really know you’ve made it when someone writes a song about you (it’s true, just ask Taylor Swift’s exes). The Pitstop Boys, a group of three Verstappen fans, wrote and produced a song titled “Super Max!” The song is equally as catchy as it is meme-able. If you’re on F1 TikTok, you know.

Verstappen has the chance to clinch his third Driver’s Championship this weekend at the Qatar Grand Prix. As long as Verstappen scores three points in the Sprint Race on Saturday, he will secure his third championship in three seasons. A sprint race is, in layman’s terms, a qualifying race to set the starting order for the main race on Sunday. Points are awarded to the top eight finishers.

Three championships in three seasons is a feat only a handful of F1 greats have accomplished. Verstappen has arguably solidified a place for himself among the legends of the sport. You can watch Verstappen and the rest of the grid take on the remaining five races of the F1 season in the early hours of the morning on ESPN!

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a senior at Florida State University majoring in Sport Management. she loves watching movies, listening to music, and binge-watching theme park vlogs. on Sunday mornings, you can find her watching the latest Formula 1 race.