So farewell, then, to the Red Bull RB19.
Having powered the Red Bull team, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez to heights nobody in F1 had ever before touched during the 2023 season, the greatest grand prix car in history will never be driven in anger again.
To pay tribute to the RB19 – and mark the unprecedented success of Red Bull and Verstappen in 2023 – here are 19 incredible stats from the team’s historic season…
Max Verstappen: 44 wins since the start of 2021
How’s this for starters?
Of the 66 races since the start of his maiden title-winning campaign in 2021, Verstappen has won 44.
You know? That number. The Lewis number.
How ironic, some might say, but Max might not be so keen on this particular stat.
After taking the 44th victory of his F1 career in Hungary, Verstappen revealed he was eager to distance himself from that number – the Lewis number – as soon as possible.
“Hopefully I don’t stay on 44, that would be terrible! I need to get to 45 quickly,” he remarked.
Red Bull: 21 wins from 22 races
After beginning with a bang, let’s run through some of the more obvious ones from 2023.
The Red Bull RB19 is now the most successful car in history, having won all but one of the 22 races – its greater sample size compared to the McLaren’s MP4/4 of 1988 (16 races) giving it a crucial edge.
Singapore was the only race that didn’t go Red Bull’s way, the win going to Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz after both Verstappen and Perez fell in Q2.
Red Bull were also one away from a clean sweep in the sprint races too, their only defeat coming in Qatar where McLaren’s Oscar Piastri held off a charging Verstappen.
Red Bull win percentage: 95.4%
To underline the point, the RB19 also has the greatest win percentage for any car in F1 history.
Its final tally of 95.4 per cent beats the MP4/4’s 1988 score by 1.6 per cent.
And, according to our maths, means Sainz’s Singapore triumph was worth 4.6 per cent.
Max Verstappen: 19 wins in 2023
When Verstappen set a new record of 15 wins in a season in 2022, most assumed – hoped – it would remain untouched for some time.
Yet with that number achieved in the first year of a new rules cycle, there was always a distinct possibility that he and Red Bull would find even more in season two of the ground effect cars.
But 19 from 22 races? That is a whole new level of obscene – and Max is aware of that.
“It’ll be very hard to have another season like this, we know that,” he said after climbing out of the car for the final time in Abu Dhabi.
Max Verstappen: 10 wins in a row
Here we find the nucleus of Verstappen’s third title-winning season, the unprecedented streak that only quickened his inevitable rise to greatness.
A full decade after Red Bull won nine in a row with Sebastian Vettel, the team – its personnel largely the same as in 2013 – went one better with Verstappen in a golden run spread across four months between Miami and Monza.
Interestingly, Max started from pole position only six times in this record run after being caught out by a red flag in Miami, pipped by Hamilton in Hungary, incurring a grid penalty at Spa and filing behind Sainz’s Ferrari at Monza.
Even when starting down the order, though, there was an inevitability to the way he marched through the field.
And could this record be broken again quite soon? Ending 2023 with seven wins, Max would match his own tally with three straight wins at the start of 2024…
Max Verstappen win percentage: 86.4%
Naturally, Verstappen’s win percentage for 2023 is off the scale too.
His final number of 86.4 per cent is an increase of 18.2 on his 2022 win percentage.
Max Verstappen: Most sprint wins in a season (4)
If there is a race on somewhere, no matter what form it takes, it is a race worth winning.
With the number of sprint races on the calendar doubling to six in 2023, it was likely that this record would fall this year.
Verstappen won four (Austria, Belgium, United States, Brazil) in total with Perez and Piastri triumphing in Azerbaijan and Qatar respectively.
Max Verstappen: On the podium at 21 of 22 races
If only it wasn’t for Singapore…
Fifth place at Marina Bay was the only blemish on Verstappen’s season, with Max finishing inside the top two at the other 21 races.
Red Bull: One-two in the Drivers’ standings for the first time
This was the box left unticked in 2022, when Red Bull were left frustrated by Perez missing out on the runner-up spot to Charles Leclerc.
It was uncertain for an extended period of this season too, but Perez’s third place in Las Vegas managed to see off Hamilton in the fight for second, ultimately finishing the season with a 51-point advantage over the Mercedes driver.
Never in doubt…
Red Bull: 30 podiums in total – the most for a title-winning car since 2019 (32)
The RB19 equalled the Ferrari’s 2004 tally of 30 podiums, Verstappen alone delivering 21 and Perez chipping in with nine.
It makes for the highest number of a podiums for a title-winning car since the last pre-pandemic season in 2019, when Mercedes registered 32 in total.
The record still belongs to the Mercedes W07 of 2016, when Hamilton and Nico Rosberg delivered 33 podium finishes between them.
Max Verstappen: First driver to lead 1,000+ laps in a season
Never again let Verstappen have you believe that he cares nothing for statistics.
His radio message to Red Bull to give Perez pit-stop priority in Abu Dhabi was made in the knowledge that he was nearing the thousand-laps-led benchmark, allowing him to pit and rejoin without losing the lead.
He ended the season with 1,003 laps led, obliterating Vettel’s record of 739 from 2011.
Max Verstappen: 75.7% laps led
Verstappen’s 1,003 laps in the lead also saw him make history with the highest percentage of laps led in a season.
Max’s 75.7 per cent overhauled Jim Clark’s record of 71.4 per cent from 1963.
Max Verstappen: Most wins from pole position in a season (12)
It may come as a surprise that Verstappen set only 12 pole positions in 2023, with Perez, Hamilton, Sainz, and Leclerc all leading the field away from the start line.
Whenever Verstappen started from pole though, it was a forgone conclusion.
His 12 pole-to-flag victories set a new record for the most wins from pole in a season.
Max Verstappen: Most consecutive wins from pole (16)
And Verstappen’s knack of winning from pole position is not a new habit either.
He has 16 consecutive victories from pole stretching back to the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix – another record.
Max Verstappen: Most consecutive races as Championship leader (39)
If you still needed convincing that we all now live in the Max Verstappen era, take a look at this.
Verstappen has now spent a record 39 straight races at the summit of the Drivers’ standings, unmoved at the top since the Spanish Grand Prix in May 2022.
Max Verstappen: Scored points in the last 41 races
Verstappen has scored points at each of the last 41 races since his retirement from the third race of the 2022 season in Australia.
The run, fittingly, includes 33 wins, four second places and a single third position (Monaco 2022).
His worst result in that time is seventh (Silverstone and Singapore 2022).
Max Verstappen: Most pit stops by the winning driver in a single race (4)
A surprising one maybe, but Verstappen set a new record for the most pit stops by the winning driver in a single race in 2023.
No surprise that the race in question was the frantic dry-wet-dry-wet race at Zandvoort, where Verstappen pitted four times – not including red flag tyre changes – en route to winning his home grand prix for the third year in succession.
Max Verstappen: A record 2024 entry fee for a driver (€1.2m)
Success comes at a cost.
Verstappen’s huge success rate in a season featuring the joint-longest schedule in F1 history brought the highest points total ever seen with 575 – 290 more than Perez and 341 clear of third-placed Hamilton.
With the FIA entry fees based on the points scored in the previous season, by our calculations Verstappen will have to pay €1,217,900 to defend his title in 2024 – an increase of 26.3 per cent on his 2023 fee.
Glory! But also pain.
Red Bull: A record 2024 entry fee for a team ($7.4m)
Turns out Perez’s tally of only nine podiums in the greatest F1 car ever has done Red Bull some good after all.
The team’s haul of 860 points in 2023 blew away Mercedes’ previous benchmark of 765 from 2016, with Perez’s struggles sparing Red Bull from having to make an even bigger payment to return in 2024.
Recent estimates suggest Red Bull must pay $7,445,817 to defend their title.