Max Verstappen may struggle to top his F1 2023 achievements in 2024 and beyond, believes former grand prix driver Jan Lammers.
Red Bull driver Verstappen produced the most dominant campaign in F1 history last year, winning a record 19 of a possible 22 races to secure a third successive World Championship.
The Dutchman scored 575 points over the course of 2023 – more than double the amount of Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez and more than Lewis Hamilton and George Russell managed for Mercedes combined, who finished second to Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship.
Max Verstappen praised for stunning F1 2023 season
Verstappen’s stunning season means he has won 44 of the last 66 races stretching back to the start of his maiden title-winning campaign in 2021, with the 26-year-old the overwhelming favourite to secure a fourth straight title in 2024.
Zandvoort-born Lammers, who made 23 F1 starts between 1979 and 1992, feels it will be hard for Verstappen to top his record-breaking 2023.
Asked to rate Verstappen’s season out of 10, he told the Dutch edition of Motorsport.com: “How much better can you have it? I think the future will show how special it is what he has achieved [in 2023].
“Of course, it’s just in the ambition of a sportsman and a team to make the impossible possible every time again.
“These are records you break then, so I’m sure they will try to improve on this. But certainly from a Dutch perspective, this season deserves a 10.
“But how much better can you have it for the spectator, especially the Dutch? The competition was also good, because it was not always obvious that Max would win.”
Verstappen’s relentless consistency was at the heart of his historic 2023 campaign, with the Red Bull star setting a new record with 10 victories in a row between Miami and Monza.
Lammers has likened Verstappen’s high standards to those of two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso and Lionel Messi, widely recognised as one of the greatest footballers in history.
And he sees no evidence that Verstappen will ease off as his success swells, adding: “As long as Max races, he will absolutely drive with this attitude.
“You see from people like Alonso and Messi, who might go on to do another World Cup, that fortunately it takes very little energy when they do something really with passion and natural talent.
“So as long as he keeps that drive, stays focused and doesn’t have too many distractions, I think he will just keep delivering this kind of performance as long as he races.”
Lammers picked out Miami as the highlight of Verstappen’s season, with the World Champion recovering from ninth on the grid to comfortably beat pole-sitting team-mate Perez.
He explained: “He had to get through the field and he just did that very calmly and in a nice rhythm. One by one he passed them and in the end he wins that race.
“We often see drivers get stuck when they have to come from 16th place, for example.
“So overtaking is not so obvious and easy at all, but Max again makes it look like it is easy. I thought that was really very clever, one of his best races of all.”
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