Max Verstappen has admitted his domination of the sport cannot go on forever after a record-breaking 2023 season.
Pick a metric of dominance and chances are Verstappen broke it in 2023 after putting together an astonishing 19 wins from 22 races.
But even if Red Bull are predicted to continue to do well in 2024, the Dutchman has conceded that every period of dominance has an end point.
Max Verstappen predicts own downfall in the future
Verstappen is approaching 2024 as the firm favourite to retain his title and make it four on the spin but looking further into the future, the 26-year-old knows there will come a time when it is not VER at the top of the timesheets.
“It cannot always be like this, I know that,” he told the Times. “The season we’ve had has been probably the best single season performance in F1, in terms of stats and records.
“So I know that it will be very hard to try and do better than that. I think I just have to manage my expectations from now on. That’s just something that you have to keep telling yourself.”
Verstappen’s words echo a statement made by the other Red Bull World Champion – Sebastian Vettel.
“I’m speechless… We have to remember these days,” the German said after victory at the 2013 US Grand Prix, his penultimate win with Red Bull. “There’s no guarantee that they will last forever. Enjoy them as long as they last. I love you guys.”
Verstappen is just one title away from drawing level with Vettel but the Dutchman is not too worried about surpassing other greats.
“If it happens, it happens. But you need to be lucky to be in a great car for a longer period of time. You’re very dependent on the material you have,” he said of surpassing the seven titles held by Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton.
“When I won my first title, I said, everything that comes next is a bonus because, realistically, in F1, I’ve achieved everything that I wanted to achieve. Being on the podium, having a pole position, winning a championship. These kinds of things were my dream to achieve in Formula 1. From now on, I’m just, yeah, trying to stay on top.”
Looking back, Verstappen also recognised the role of his dad, Jos, in his success.
“I think you definitely need this kind of natural ability and talent for racing,” Verstappen said.
“But of course it will not bring you all the way to the top. I owe a lot, of course, to my dad. But I think when I grew up it was not so much that I was, like, ‘I want to do what my dad is doing.’ It was just I grew up in that environment where I was always at the racetrack because of my dad.”