Verstappen finishes dominant season in record style

Red Bull's triple world champion Max Verstappen wrapped up Formula One's most dominant season with a record-extending 19th win in 22 races at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday.

Publication: 27.11.2023 - 10:59
Verstappen finishes dominant season in record style
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The pole-to-flag victory, for the fourth year in a row under the Yas Marina floodlights, left the 26-year-old alone in third place in Formula One's all-time list of winners with a career 54.

Only seven times champions Lewis Hamilton (103) and Michael Schumacher (91) have won more.

Sergio Perez finished second on the road for Red Bull but a five second post-race penalty dropped the Mexican off the podium, behind Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Mercedes' George Russell.

Leclerc had let Perez through on the penultimate lap in a strategic calculation to help his team's bid for second place that ultimately came to nothing when the Mexican was unable to pull out a big enough gap.

Russell's podium finish meant Mercedes ended their first winless season since 2011 as best of the rest behind Red Bull, who scored a whopping 860 points to Mercedes' 409 and Ferrari's 406.

"It was an incredible season," said Verstappen, who also became the first driver to lead 1,000 racing laps in a single championship, scored a record 575 points and ended the year with a record win rate of 86.4%.

Along the way he racked up a record 10 wins in a row and 21 podium finishes, with Red Bull winning all but one of the races.

"It was a bit emotional on the in-lap, it was the last time I was sitting in the car which has of course given me a lot," he said after taking the chequered flag 17.9 seconds ahead of Leclerc.

"It will be hard to do something similar again but we definitely enjoyed this year."

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